Former Houston Oiler Dennit Morris Passes Away

autographed 1961 fleer dennit morris

Original Houston Oilers linebacker, Dennit Morris, passed away Monday, April 28.  He was 78 years old.  An obituary can be found HERE.

Todd Tobias (790 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

One Response to Former Houston Oiler Dennit Morris Passes Away

  1. KevinCarroll says:

    In 1993 I had the privilege of spending an afternoon with Dennit and his lovely wife Carole in their Tulsa home. He shared recollections of his football-playing days at O.U. and in the pros. As the Oilers’ middle linebacker, Dennit played a key role in Houston’s AFL championship years of 1960 and 61. He was well respected and admired by all of his Oiler teammates before beginning a career in law enforcement.

    In those days one of his hobbies was hunting and sometimes raising rattlesnakes. In 1958, the 49er rookies were expected to put on a talent show for the veterans’ entertainment in training camp. Knowing he couldn’t sing and dance, Dennit walked onto center stage with a burlap bag. He emptied the sack’s contents – a five-foot long rattler onto the floor which got everyone’s attention in a hurry. Morris recalled, “Halfback Dickie Moegle was sitting cross-legged on the floor about 30-feet from me. When that snake hit the floor, Moegle, without using his hands, somehow leaped directly onto the back of a couch.”

    Morris had borrowed the rattler from the San Francisco zoo. As it turned out, the zoo-keepers couldn’t return for the snake for a few days and Morris was keeping it caged in his room. Knowing that the snake was in Morris’ room, 49er players J.D. Smith and R.C. Owens complained to the coaches. They were sleeping curled in a ball all night in fear of the snake getting loose, and their legs were cramping.”

    As it turned out, the sixth-floor of the St. Mary’s Dormitory was evacuated by everyone except Morris and his caged snake until the zoo-keepers returned for the reptile.

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