Published: Sept. 1, 2016

football travel in 1949

Buffs football plays on the road at least five times this season, and the first step to victory is getting to the field. 

Today’s travel team — nearly 200 players, coaches, trainers, managers and others — flies on a chartered United jet, usually in coat and tie and in more relaxed duds when the host team is truly far away, in Hawaii, say. 

In the 1940s and ’50s, travel and life in general tended toward formality. Frank Bernardi (Bus’55), who played for CU from 1952 to 1954 as a wingback, recalls flying on chartered Continental prop planes like the one pictured here (behind Coach Dal Ward’s 1949 team), always dressed to impress. 

Bernardi never missed a flight. But a train ride to the University of Kansas once gave him trouble. The team got off at Lawrence, but, sitting alone in a compartment, he didn’t notice. 

When Bernardi reached the game, his teammates gave him a ribbing he still remembers. 

“Dal Ward was nice enough not to make any comment,” he said. 

Photo courtesy CU Heritage Center