|Tom Tiegen in Gophers cap. That's his machine in the back. It will soon grind up the road he's standing on.|
They'll use it to refill the 24 inch deep trench it is making now.
"Hey, hey!" the boss in the bright yellow safety vest snapped, pointing a finger directly at the man. "Take it easy!" he commanded, then stepped to the car and gently advised the confused lady on how she might best escape the tangle of orange cones.
Then it was the man's turn. By now quite sheepish, he meekly rolled down his window and admitted, "I get impatient in traffic." Completely in charge of the situation, the boss just nodded to him. "You should allow more time when there's construction," he advised, matter-of-factly.
The old quarterback still has it.
Tom Tiegen played three years for Murray Warmath's Minnesota Gophers, most notably on the storied 1962 Rose Bowl team that beat UCLA, 21-3. He had ben there the previous year too, when the Gophers lost to the Huskies.
He's covered a lot of ground since then, quite literally, with 50 years in the road construction business. He's now the proud owner of two mammoth recycling behemoths that were destroying Marschall Road this morning, grinding the worn bituminous and gravel and anything else into a reusable industrial mix.
|No. 17 surrounded by team mates in this 1961|
When Tom spotted the Gopher cap worn by the guy standing by the roadway, idly taking it all in, he yanked the wheel on his big pickup, parked it, took off his hard hat and replaced it with a dusty Gophers cap. The two old Gophers grinned and bonded immediately, agreeing that this was absolutely going to be a great year for Minnesota.
People remember names like Bobby Bell, Carl Eller and Sandy Stephens, perhaps Tom Tiegen not so much. But his name is memorialized with theirs. They were all a team and they brought Minnesota glory in 1962.
The official Minnesota football rosters for 1960, 1961, 1962 all have pretty much the same line, this one is from 1962:
|17||Teigen, Tom||QB||6-0||188||Sr.||Aberdeen, S.D.|
No. 17 is still from Aberdeen, he's still in charge, still six feet tall. He may be a bit over his playing weight of 188, but this morning he sure looked ready to take on anything.
Marschall Road doesn't have a chance.