In 1972, on the way to the Liberty Bowl,
Cy and his traveling companions were involved in an accident near St.
Louis, Missouri. That year’s Cy, Robert “B.J.” John, along with the
costume, traveled the rest of the way to Memphis, Tennessee and a
Greyhound bus. John had only bruises and scratches—but Cy was another
story. His frame was bent and he had been spattered with oil and
When John and Cy arrived at alumni
headquarters—the Memphis Sheraton-Peabody Hotel—it was early in
the morning of December 18. The game was to be played that
evening. Alumni and friends who were on hand went into action.
A bowl for donations was placed on the alumni registration
table. Max Porter of the Civil Engineering Department and Jim
Hopson of the Alumni Association coordinated repairs. The body
was removed from the frame and staff of the hotel worked on
getting the frame back into shape. Then Porter and Hopson
located fabric to match Cy and a Memphis costumer. The
costumer, with her assistants, spent the rest of the day
reassembling Cy. Except for the costumer, who charged a minimum
amount to pay her staff, no one involved charged for any of the
work. The money collected at the Sheraton was used for more
permanent rejuvenation once Cy got home
Cy arrived at the pre-game rally that
evening as Governor Robert Ray was speaking. The fans—who had
heard about the accident—went wild, and the applause effectively
ended the Governor’s speech. Cy was back to normal, and ready
for his appearance on national television.
Thank you note from Cy to contributors after the Liberty Bowl.