August 17, 2002

RED RAIDERS OF THE CHENANGO VALLEY :

Exception to the Rule : Kenny Gamble becomes just the seventh Colgate player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (BUD POLIQUIN, August 09, 2002, Syracuse Post-Standard)
The truth of the matter is that this type of thing rarely happens at Colgate University, where the library has properly been a bigger attraction through the years than the football field.

To be sure, many fine athletes have passed through Hamilton on their way to the real world, but for the most part they've ended up in boardrooms and courts of law and think tanks. There are, however, exceptions to most rules, and Kenny Gamble is one of them.

Oh, he got his degree from Colgate, all right. And he's currently an Indianapolis-based sales director of national accounts at OnField Apparel Group, a division of Reebok
International Ltd. But along the way, Gamble evolved into the greatest of all Raider running backs and unwittingly became an immortal. You've heard, certainly, of Red Grange a Walter Payton and Bronko Nagurski and Bo Jackson and all those other giants who so brilliantly lugged footballs for their schools on Saturday afternoons. Well, Kenny Gamble Colgate's Kenny Gamble - is about to join them on the mountaintop because during monies scheduled for this weekend in South Bend, Ind., he'll be
inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

And if for some reason you fail to recognize just how big a deal this is, consider that only six other Raiders in their 113-year football history are
in the Hall. And the one who play, most recently, a tackle named Danny Fortmann did so 67 years ago.

[His] talent got him into the National Football League where Kenny played for three seasons (1988, '89 and '90) with the Kansas City Chiefs before the effects of a broken foot made a civilian of him. But it was those 57 touchdowns he scored for Colgate ... and the career per-game rushing average of 124.2 yards he crafted while with the Raiders ... and the 13 NCAA Division I-AA records he set while in Hamilton that will rightfully land Gamble, along with eight others, in the Hall of Fame on Saturday
Gratified? Absolutely, Kenny Gamble - 37, married and the father of a son and two daughters - is all of that. But surprised? Nah. Not with Holy Cross' Gordie Lockbaum, a peer, having been previously inducted. And intimidated by the names (Butkus, Staubach, Dorsett, Gipp, etc.) with which he'll forever be linked? No way.

''I am not enamored with that,'' Gamble said. ''I'm just not. Maybe because I played pro football, I'm hardened a bit. They're just people. They're not gods.''

They are, though, unique. And soon, Kenny Gamble will officially be so, too. And Colgate - not very used to all the hoo-ha - will be buttons-popping proud. Earl Abell and Ellery Huntington and Belford West played for the Raiders during the second decade of the last century. And Ed Tryon and John Orsi and Fortmann were all finished in Hamilton by 1935. And now, all this time later, here comes Colgate's next Hall-of-Famer. The seventh. And perhaps the best.


I'm a huge Kenny gamble fan, but as it happens I knew Ed Tryon a little--he was in the same class as our grandfather ('26)--and I think you'd have to give him the nod as Colgate's greatest player. In 1925, when Colgate was still a legitimate football power, he was an All-American, led the nation in scoring and led the team to an undefeated season. Reunions were amusing because men in their sixties would gather at his feet like kids. He was still a hero to them and a very nice man. Posted by Orrin Judd at August 17, 2002 6:07 AM
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