he's one of the best passers in the game right now. He's the best I
ever had." And Luckman superseded Columbia's Cliff Montgomery as the finest player
Little ever had. Years later, Paul Governali starred as a passer for Columbia, but he
never accomplished as much in pro football as Sid did.
The rest of the 1936 season Sid was Columbia's major threat. His team
had an indifferent year but every Saturday Sid did something unusual. At the season's end
he was recognized as a potentially great player.
In 1937 he was good, slowly working himself up to a crescendo of
magnificent accomplishments. In beating Penn, Sid had a field day. The score was 26-6 and
Sid passed fifty-eight yards to one score, twenty to a second tally and lugged the ball
over for a third. The last touchdown came after a series of Luckman passes brought the
ball close to Penn pay-dirt. So he was largely responsible for all the points tallied by
Curiously, a week later, Columbia lost to Brown, 7-6, and Sid, in a
losing game, played one of the finest games of his college career. The New York Times
reporter wrote that "starting on his own 20-yard line, Luckman gave one of the
greatest forward-passing exhibitions ever witnessed." He passed five times in a row.
The first toss gained thirteen yards. The second one made fourteen; the next, eighteen;
the fourth, fifteen. The final toss netted eight yards. The ball now rested on the Brown
half-yard line. Each time Luckman had thrown the ball, the Brown players knew it, but
couldn't stop him. Robert Taylor, a Columbia backfield ace, carried the ball for the final
half-yard, but slipped in the turf and lost possession of the ball. Columbia's chance was
lost. Sid, however, was responsible for the