It was in the Virginia game of 1897 that tragedy struck the Georgia Bulldogs. In the second half of that game, a Georgia fullback named Richard Vonalbade ("Von") Gammon, was fatally injured in a play. In reaction to his death, the Georgia, Georgia Tech and Mercer football teams disbanded, the Atlanta Journal ran a headline proclaiming, the "Death Knell of Football" and the Georgia legislature passed a bill to outlaw football in the state of Georgia. As the bill sat on the desk of Georgia Governor William Yates Atkinson, a letter that Gammon's mother, Rosalind Burns Gammon, had written to the state legislature was revealed. In her letter, she pleaded with the legislators not to pass the bill because her son so loved football. As a result, reading her letter, Governor Atkinson vetoed the bill to ban football in Georgia.