Tales of Old Tampa Stadium
by Mike Miller
(Mount Dora, Florida)
Bill Rademacher and President Ford
A high school friend of mine, Bill Rademacher, died on April 2, 2018. His death brought back memories of the original Tampa Stadium.
I graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in civil engineering. One of the first construction projects I worked on was Tampa Stadium. That's the "old" Tampa Stadium, long since replaced by Raymond James.
The design of the stadium was quite innovative for the time and representatives from other cities came for frequent visits to study the design and method of construction.
Bill Rademacher played college football at Northern Michigan University and then played for the New York Jets with Joe Namath. That entitled Bill to a Super Bowl ring.
The last years of Bill's pro football career were with the Boston Patriots. Boston played the Miami Dolphins at the brand new Tampa Stadium on November 30, 1969, and Bill got me tickets to the game. I don't remember much except the Patriots won 38 to 23 and Bill came out after the game and visited for awhile.
He went on to have a wonderful coaching career at Northern Michigan University and Michigan State University. Later in his life, Bill suffered from symptoms possibly related to head injuries received during his football career.
Rest in peace, Bill. You were a good man.
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