Roger Staubach remembers having a “very good connection” with President John F. Kennedy, who memory is being honored by the nation Friday on the 50th anniversary of the 1963 assassination.
“We used to train at Quoinset Point. He’d come in on his helicopter, and we went over to meet him a few times,” Staubach said, remembering the days when he was a quarterback at Navy in the 1960s. “He was a Navy guy, a PT-109, so I think he liked us better than Army.”
Staubach smiled thinking about the memory. Speaking two weeks ago before the Cowboys played at New Orleans, Staubach recalled his connection to the late president and remembered him attending the 1962 Army-Navy game that Staubach played in and the plans for Kennedy to attend the ’63 game.
Kennedy was assassinated a week before that game, and it was called off. But it was played a week later at the request of the Kennedy family.
“Obviously, the game was played on his behalf, and it was very emotional. Heck of a game,” Staubach said. “The Army quarterback was fantastic. Rollie Stichweh. We've become very good friends, Rollie and I, and talking about that game and what it meant to the country, just to see servicemen and women at the game, honoring the President at our game is what took place. That's why it's such a deal, the '63 game, because the family asked that the game be played on his behalf. So it was a special game.”
Navy won on a last-second goal-line stand, earning the right to meet No. 1 Texas in the Cotton Bowl.
-- Carlos Mendez