Football Legends Honored with Rose Hill MonumentContact: Joseph McLaughlin
|Joe Moglia, FCRH '71, extols the virtues of the Seven Blocks of Granite.
Photo by Ryan Brenizer
The legacy of the Seven Blocks of Granite is now set in stone.
Fordham University dedicated a monument on Friday, Oct. 24, to its famed football linemen from the 1929-1930 and 1936-1937 seasons.
The monument, located just outside the grandstand entrance to Jack Coffey Field on the Rose Hill campus, features the players’ names and a description of their athletic achievements. Seven small granite blocks rest at the base.
"This is a day that has been too long in coming," said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. "It is right that we honor the group of men that has inspired Fordham football for generations."
The linemen, which included future Green Bay Packers coaching legend Vince Lombardi in 1936-1937, fueled Fordham’s rise to football prominence during the Great Depression. The team was a national power at the time, taking on the likes of West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Georgia and North Carolina.
During the four seasons immortalized on the monument, Fordham posted a 27-2-5 record, including 20 shutouts.
The crowd, which included University administrators and athletics officials, supporters of the football program and the players’ descendents, indicated their approval with cheers and applause.
Father McShane noted that both sets of the Seven Blocks contain more than seven names—eight in 1929-1930 and 11 in 1936-1937.
"Seven is eight is 11," he said. "It’s almost like contemplating the Holy Trinity—a mystery beyond our ability to fathom."
The Seven Blocks of Granite monument
Photo by Ryan Brenizer
The nickname was developed by Fordham publicist Timothy Cohane (FCRH ’35), after the linemen forged a reputation for preventing opposing teams from advancing the ball, as if they were running into a wall of stone.
"This is an incredible honor for me to even be here," said Joe Moglia (FCRH ’71), the lead benefactor in building the monument. Moglia enjoyed a 16-year career as a football coach before entering the financial sector in 1984.
In his remarks, he pointed to the Seven Blocks as providing the foundation of Fordham’s gridiron greatness, and noted that they gave hope to a city and nation during trying times.
"It wasn’t an accident that Fordham would draw 80,000 people to Yankee Stadium to play NYU," Moglia said. "The country was looking for heroes; New York was looking for heroes; and the Seven Blocks of Granite gave that to them."
Addressing the football team, which was also in attendance, Moglia implored the players to cherish their place in the grand tradition the began with the Seven Blocks.
"You are the legacy for the Blocks of Granite," he told them. "All we ask is that you represent that legacy and give it all you’ve got for 60 minutes. If you do that, we couldn’t be prouder of you."
Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to approximately 14,700 students in its four undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan, a campus in Westchester, and the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y.