The Bell Game
The Bell Game is an annual football contest between two high schools in Pueblo, Colorado, USA: Central High School and Centennial High School. They have been playing each other since 1892 in what is believed to be the oldest ongoing American football rivalry west of the Mississippi River and the largest sports event of its kind in Colorado. The rivalry is sometimes referred to as the "One Hundred Year War". Since 1950, the teams have played for ownership of a railroad bell mounted upon a wheeled cart, along with the right to paint the cart the winning school's colors and keep the bell in the winning school for sporting events and school activities. In years where the bell is transferred from one school to the other, the senior cheerleaders from the losing school wheel the bell to midfield at the conclusion of the game where it is handed over to the senior cheerleaders and players from the victorious school. The bell's cart is repainted in the winning school's colors, with one small area retaining the color from the other school to symbolize the rivalry.
|1898||Central||74-0||Central would go on to win an unofficial Colorado state championship.|
|1904||Centennial||70-0||Centennial would go on to win the first official Colorado state championship.|
|1925||Central||43-0||Future NFL Hall of Fame member Earl "Dutch" Clark played his senior year at Central.|
|1928||Central||21-0||Central would go on to win Colorado state championship.|
|1929||Centennial||12-0||Future Hewlett-Packard founder David Packard played his senior year at Centennial.|
|1931||Central||24-6||Central would end up Colorado state runner-up.|
|1938||Central||13-7||Central would go on to win Colorado class A state championship.|
|1939||Centennial||20-13||Centennial would end up Colorado class A runner-up.|
|1941||Centennial||1-0||Central forfeited the game for using ineligible players.|
|1944||Central||40-0||Central would go on to win Colorado class A state championship.|
|1945||Centennial||19-0||Centennial would end up Colorado class A runner-up.|
|1946||Centennial||26-21||Centennial would go on to win Colorado class AA state championship.|
|1947||Central||33-13||Central would go on to win Colorado class AA state championship.|
|1950||Central||25-15||First game where winner took possession of the victory bell.|
|1958||Central||26-12||Central would end up Colorado class AAA runner-up.|
|1961||Central||28-14||Central would go on to win Colorado class AAA state championship.|
|1962||Central||13-0||Central wins six straight Bell Games; to date the longest streak of the rivalry.|
|1963||Centennial||14-7||Centennial would end up Colorado class AAA state runner-up.|
|1965||Central||46-0||Central would go on to win Colorado class AAA state championship.|
|1970||Central||21-20||Central would end up Colorado class AAA runner-up.|
|1987||Centennial||28-10||Centennial would go on to win Colorado class AAA state championship.|
|1992||Centennial||30-6||Centennial would go on to win Colorado class AAAAA state championship.|
|1999||Centennial||69-53||50th Bell Game played.|
|2000||Central||28-13||100th rivalry game played.|
|2008||Central||22-21 (OT)||First overtime game in series history.|
Decade-by-decade victories for each school:
As of the 2018 game, in the all-time series Central has 56 wins, Centennial has 53 wins, and the teams have tied 9 times.
In 1895 and 1896, Centennial and Central combined to form a single Pueblo high school team.
Centennial did not field a team in the 1901 or 1902 seasons, nor from 1913 to 1919.
The series was temporarily suspended after the 1907 game ended in a brawl between the two teams and their respective fan bases.
In many years the two teams would play twice each season: a regular season game, and then a special Thanksgiving Day game. The Thanksgiving Day games ended after the 1950 season.
- Jeff Letofsky (29 September 1992). "100 years of Cats, Dogs". Pueblo Chieftain. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- Frei, Terry (16 October 2010). Playing Piano in a Brothel. Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 67.
- Scott Stocker & Shane Fitzgerald (12 October 2000). "FOR 100TH TIME, PUEBLO'S BELL GAME TO RING IN". Rocky Mountain News. High Beam. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Lipsher, Steve (17 October 1993). "THE BELL GAME". Denver Post. p. 7C. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
- Socier, Dave (13 October 1995). "THE BELL GAME: The battle of the Bell". Pueblo Chieftain. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- Sweeny, Mike (1 October 2010). "It's Red Versus Blue: Central Hosts Centennial in the Annual Bell Game". Pueblo Chieftain. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
- Mihalick, David (1970). Steel City Football Almanac. self published.