ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Long before there were facemasks, at a time when shoulder pads where puny, the Saint Louis University football team threw itself into the history books.
"The first forward pass in an intercollegiate game was thrown by St. Louis University in a game against Carroll College, which is a small school up in Wisconsin," explains Saint Louis University Archivist John Waide.
That was 1906 and SLU would continue to play football through the forties. They were undefeated in 1901, 1904 and 1906 and took on a rather legendary team in 1923.
"This is Saint Louis U. playing Notre Dame," Waide says pointing to an old program.
"These four guys here, the guys in the backfield, those are the four horsemen," he goes on to say.
They lost that game 13 zip.
"The football team was becoming less and less successful that's for sure in the late 30's before the war and then certainly after the war they weren't very successful," Waide says.
At the same time having a team was getting more and more expensive.
"I think they saw pretty quickly that we're going to have to spend a lot of money to keep up," Waide adds.
But there are a couple of other things that might have led to the end of SLU football.
"The other interesting thing to remember is that it was this time in 48, Saint Louis University won the NIT basketball tournament, which at that time, was a bigger deal than the NCAA tournament," Waide explains.
And according to a statement from Father Reinert, President of SLU at the time, there was concern football didn't go hand in hand with the ideals of a jesuit university so football became a thing of the past at SLU, something that didn't seem to bother students.
"City scared, campus calm over football exodus," Waide says reading a headline in the school paper.
But not before leaving a mark on football history.