A reprint of the TIME magazine article featuring UL's Christian Keener Cagle, together with the Wikipedia article on him. The TIME article was part of the September 23rd issue for 1929 and as seen here, Cagle was the subject of the magazine's cover.

Sport: Cagle & Co.

"Well, I can't see... Well, why don't you... Wait a minute... Sure... that's simple... Why didn't you tell me that before... Well, of course, if you do it that way... A baby could understand... "

Such is the general tenor of conversations often held between a certain famed young man and the bright young person whom he calls his wife. The famed young man has always found it difficult to grasp the inward significance of mathematical and other studious problems. The "wife," or in terms divorced from West Point slang, the famed young man's West Point roommate, is a "star man," standing in the first ten of the first class. He is good at all things studious. His name is J. A. K. Herbert. He is Captain of B Company.

The famed young man, Private Christian Keener Cagle of Company B, does not find that being "the greatest football halfback since Red Grange" helps him with his studies, though J. A. K. Herbert sometimes does.† But neither does his fame diminish bis popularity at the Point because, newspaper and schoolgirl illusions to the contrary notwithstanding. Christian Keener Cagle is not a domineering, fire-eating, muscle-bulging hero off the gridiron. He is quiet, retiring. He brought a drawl but not much rambunctiousness with him from Louisiana. He is not even redhaired, as legend says, nor six feet tall. But two feet are better than six if they can carry you as fast as Cagle's through a broken field. And it is some consolation, if you are not handy at theme-writing, to be able to throw an accurate forward pass —a Cagle accomplishment for which some experts rate him a more valuable player than Iceman Grange of Illinois ever was. Entering another season of seeing his name in big headlines and hearing it thundered from the stands, drilling with his teammates in the new Army jersey of gold with a red stripe, Cadet Cagle must last week have realized two things about Army football this autumn: 1) the Army is about a week behind other teams in practice; 2) the Army has what looks like the hardest schedule of any team this year —Harvard, Yale, South Dakota, Illinois, Ohio Wesleyan, Notre Dame, Stanford.

Many and many a famed stalwart besides Christian Keener Cagle was last week watching plays being diagnosed upon a blackboard and making phantom first downs across an empty field and plunging ferociously at a tackling dummy. Yale heard that Freddy Loeser would play center this season despite the fact that he fractured his skull in an automobile accident during the summer. At Annapolis was Johnny Gannon who helped the Navy tie Michigan last year. Discarding the huddle system, Columbia rehearsed two crack, barking quarterbacks, Liflander and Joyce. Princeton's fleet Eddie Wittmer turned up, sole survivor of a first-string backfield otherwise dispersed by graduation. At Stanford, giant Center Walter Heinecke reported, despite poor health which may keep him on the bench. Charlie ("Foots") Clements, Alabama tackle, seemed to be wearing bigger shoes than ever. Husky after a summer job as highway policeman, Fullback Harold Rebholz returned to Wisconsin. Harvard welcomed two of its less gentle sons, Quarterback Putnam and Fullback Harper.

†West Pointers have two "wives" each. Third member of the Cagle-Herbert family is George W. Lermond, the Army's ablest track man. Wife Lermond stands in the middle of his class academically. *The Army-Navy quarrel over eligibility of first-year men still hangs fire. There will be no Army-Navy game this year.

From Wikipedia:

Christian "Red" Keener Cagle (May 1, 1905 – December 26, 1942) was a professional American football halfback and quarterback from 1930 to 1934, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954.

College career

He first starred at the University of Louisiana (then named Southwestern Louisiana Institute or SLI) from 1922–1925 and earning a degree in arts and sciences. In his career at Louisiana, he scored 235 points from touchdowns, extra points and field goals, a school record that lasted until 1989. Besides being the football captain (1925), he also was a star in basketball and track and field sports at UL, where he received a degree in arts and sciences.

Cagle then played college football for four years at the United States Military Academy (Army) 1926-1929 but did not graduate because he had secretly married in August 1928 in violation of Academy rules and was forced to resign in May 1930. Known as the "Red Thunderbolt of West Point," he was an All-American halfback for the last three years. His longest runs were 75 yards against Yale, 1928; 70 yards against Ohio Wesleyan; and 65 yards against Yale, 1929.  In four years at Army he scored 169 points, averaged 6.4 yards per attempt in rushing and 26.4 yards on kickoff returns.

Team captain at Army in 1929, he was featured on the September 23 cover of Time magazine of that same year. Cagle was noted for playing with the chin strap loose from his helmet, and sometimes without helmet. Sportswriters liked to refer to him as "Onward Christian" because of his ability to advance the ball.

Professional career

He played professional football for five seasons. He was with the New York Giants from 1930 to 1932. In 1933, he and fellow former New York Giants player John Simms Kelly became co-owners of the NFL's Brooklyn Dodgers franchise. Cagle played for the team in 1933 and 1934. Dan Topping bought Cagle's half of the team in 1934.

Personal life

Born in De Ridder, Louisiana, Cagle was one of eight children, including five brothers and two sisters. Cagle was named after an uncle, who in turn was named after the late Bishop Christian Keener of the Methodist church. He attended high school in Merryville, a small community about 20 miles southwest of De Ridder. According to local legend, he was known for getting off the school bus and racing it to school, a race that he quite often won. The football field at Merryville High School is named Keener Cagle Field in his honor.

Cagle was forced to resign from West Point for secretly wedding Marian Haile, whom he had met at UL.

Cagle died in 1942, at 37 years of age, from an accident the day after Christmas (December 26). He was discovered unconscious at the bottom of a Manhattan subway stairwell. According to The Advertiser report, "Cagle tripped and fell the full length of a flight of subway steps." He died three days later of a fractured skull.

At the time of his death he had lived in a Queens apartment house with his wife and was employed by an insurance company.


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