Daily Dose of Crimson Tide: Leroy Monsky Sr.
Lineman Leroy Monsky was one of the keys to the 1937 Alabama football season, which ended with another trip to the Rose Bowl.
He was honored with the Jacobs Trophy as the Southeastern Conference’s best blocker, and named an All-American while the Crimson Tide cruised through the regular season 9-0, having outscored opponents 225-33.
However, during a practice on the way to California, a lineman pulled the wrong way and collided with Monsky, requiring 25 stitches above his left eye. He played, but the incident foreshadowed the game.
"All my life I wanted to play in the Rose Bowl, and on the third play of the game, I get knocked goofy and don't remember a thing until I find myself on the bench at halftime," he said. "What a bad break to end my career."
California won 13-0. It was the only loss Monsky experienced at Alabama, and is still the only time the Crimson Tide lost in the Bowl.
“It was a heartbreaker,” Monsky said. “I still try and blank it from my mind.”
However, Frank Thomas and assistant Hank Crisp called him “the smartest and best guard” they ever coached, and legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice dubbed him the best guard in the country: “Leroy Monsky, amazingly fast for his size and power, was outstanding on both offense and defense and was a key man in the Alabama attack which specializes in the use of the guards.
“His fighting courage was the deciding factor in most of these games.”
Monsky was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1978. He died in 1981.