Quite a life he had. “Mr. Marchetti did not play much football until his final year of high school. He left school before graduating to join the Army and served as a machine-gunner during the Battle of the Bulge in the brutally cold winter of 1944-45.
Back in California, Mr. Marchetti worked as a bartender before joining a semipro football team. He then played at a junior college before going to the University of San Francisco, riding onto campus on his motorcycle, wearing a black leather jacket and long, flowing hair.
His coach, Joe Kuharich — who later led the Washington Redskins — didn’t know what to make of Mr. Marchetti until he saw him play. Mr. Marchetti was captain of the 1951 San Francisco Dons, forever known as “unbeaten, untied and uninvited.”
The team was offered a chance to appear in the Orange Bowl, but one of the conditions of playing against a segregated team from Georgia Tech was that San Francisco’s black players stay behind.
Mr. Marchetti and the rest of the team refused. “