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This week's Dirk West Cartoon



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Dirk West: King bids farewell as coach

By Joe Gulick
Avalanche-Journal



When Dirk West drew this cartoon and included a caricature of Texas Tech coach JT King before the 1969 Texas Tech-Arkansas game, he didn't know it would turn out to be King's final game as Tech head football coach.

The cartoon was printed on Nov. 27, 1969, which was Thanksgiving Day. Tech played Arkansas in Little Rock that afternoon.

Dirk portrayed the Longhorn as the Southwest Conference's leader, but the 'Horns and Hogs were both 8-0 and tied for the SWC lead at the time. Texas was ranked No. 1 in the nation, and Arkansas was No. 2.

The Red Raiders were upset-minded, but Arkansas - favored by 20 points - smothered them 33-0. That set up a huge Arkansas-Texas showdown the next week, and the Longhorns narrowly prevailed 15-14.

Texas went to the Cotton Bowl, where it defeated Notre Dame 21-17 and won the national championship. The Razorbacks went to the Sugar Bowl and lost to Mississippi 27-22.

The masked football player was Dirk's original version of the Red Raider mascot. He used it through the 1970 season, but he was never as satisfied with it as he was with his other SWC mascots. He liked his later Red Raider - the mustachioed gunslinger - much better, and so did his readers.

The Mustang, Aggie and Bear made puns here about their coaches' names - Hayden Fry, Gene Stallings and Bill Beall.

King became Tech athletic director after the season and hired Jim Carlen to replace him as coach. King had a 44-45-3 record in his nine years as Tech football coach and was 5-5 in 1969.


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