flagTUESDAY, JULY 29, 2008- "If you are going through hell - keep going." Sir Winston Churchill

*********** Thought you might enjoy the following exchange...

Sent: Thu, 29 Nov 2007
Subject: Getting into coaching

Coach Wyatt, My name is ---- ----- and I live in Santa Barbara, CA. I have been wanting to get into football coaching at some level, probably youth. I am quite knowledgeable about the game and tend to "study" a lot of different things about hte game. The one disadvantage I have is that I have never actually played the game (I didn't grow up in the US and only came here when I was 17)! Do you have any suggestions as to how I might start preparing myself for getting into coaching, even at the youth level?

Thank you

Subject: Getting into coaching
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007

Dear ------,
The advice I always give people in a position such as yours is to get out and meet as many coaches as you can - PERSONALLY, FACE-TO- FACE - and ask them if there would be a way for you to work with them as a volunteer in return for the opportunity to learn from them. I would start out with high school coaches, and also be sure to ask them if they might know of any middle school or youth coaches that you could talk to.

If you land a position, do anything and everything that you're asked to do, and more. And do it right away and do it better than anyone would have expected you to do it. Look for things to do. And keep your eyes and ears open and - IMPORTANT- keep your mouth shut. You are a trainee, and you are going to learn by listening, not talking. Besides, they are not interested in tapping your brain.

This is called paying your dues. There's no other way.And once you have had a couple of years' experience, it really won't matter how much playing experience you've had.

I should tell you that most guys in your spot won't do this. They think that something should be handed to them. Best of luck. Let me know how you do.

Mar 4, 2008

Coach Wyatt,

Sorry for the later reply but I finally started things going on my coaching career. Following your advice I spoke to a high school head coach in my area and he was glad to have me on. I started today with observing the varsity team going through agility drills and the WRs practicing some route running techniques. I am pretty excited and the Head Coach has been more than willing to help me learn as much as I can. He has even offered for me to join his staff on some coaching clinics they will be attending in the near future. I am very excited for this opportunity and thanks to you for your good advice.

Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2008

Dear ------

Thank you for the note. I'm pleased that you showed the initiative to go speak to a coach, and very pleased that he was receptive. Over the past 11 years I have been asked roughly the same question by dozens of guys just like you. My advice has always been the same. In all that time, though, you are the FIRST one to take the time to get back to me and let me know how things have gone. On that basis alone, I predict that you will make a good coach.

Please feel free to write if I can be of help.

July 21, 2008
Coach Wyatt,
Hope you are doing well. Coaching so far has been an AWESOME experience. I have learned the offense to the point where the HC has made me a co-offensive co-ordinator of the JV team! It has been great. Right now we are in a dead period before the fall starts and I have a couple of questions for you regarding scouting the opponent.
1) As an OC what should I look for when scouting an opponent's defense, what sort of tendencies?
2) I believe like most coaches that scouting the opponent is extremely important and that a lot of coaches do it and there are a lot of software etc. to help you do it. My question is 2-fold. Firstly, at the High school level how many coaches actually scout the opponents, do you have a feel for that? Secondly, how many of them use these software systems that are available (given that they can be expensive and time consuming)? I know that you may not have accurate data but if you have a feel for a percentage that's would help.
Appreciate the help!

July 22, 2008

Very glad to hear how well things are progressing for you.

Answer #1 - This is very specific - it depends a lot on what you are trying to do offensively, and how you can exploit what they do.   It is useful to try to assess the quality of their defensive personnel - who their studs are and where they play them.  Also any apparent weaknesses.  I once heard a coach say, "Finding just one defensive back who comes up too fast to make the tackle on a running play is better than an entire scouting report.

If you are throwing the ball a lot, you certainly want to know about their coverages and the types of fronts you're liable to see, as well as any blitzes you might see and whether they might tip them off.

In our particular case, as a Double-Wing team, unless we see the opponents against an offense similar to ours (Wing-T), if we haven't played them before it's impossible to predict what we'll see, which is why we teach our players rules that will work against anything they'll see.

Answer #2 - With video exchange, "scouting" has pretty much become a thing of the past.  Scouting software is increasingly being used, and it can require an outlay of anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.  Without recommending any one product, I have tried TD Video, which is good, but only works with Macs, and Landro products, which are available as hardware or as software.  If you don't have the budget, a simple spread sheet (ExCel) can be used to break down a game - for each play, enter opponent, quarter, time remaining (if available), yard line, down, distance (L-M-S), hash, formation, motion (if any), run/pass, play type (blast, toss, etc) or pass route (slant, hitch, post, etc), direction or hole,  play result, etc. etc (Actually, you only have to enter "opponent" once, and you only have to enter "quarter" once for each quarter.)

It's a lot of data entry work, but once it's in the computer it's invaluable.  You can do a sort on any of the entries, and a combination of sorts will show what they are likely to do on third and long when they're on the left hash in pro right formation.  That's an extreme example, but when you have several games of the same team entered into your computer, you will sometimes find that certain things are dead giveaways. Then, of course, the trick is in the coaching - getting this information across to your kids in a way that helps them.

The big difference between the home-made approach and professional software is that the professional software also stores the video image of a play along with all the data you've entered for it (warning: make sure that you have plenty of storage capacity!), so that you can actually assemble - and show your team - a video of all the clips of all the times they've been in  third and long when they were on the left hash in pro right formation.

I should also point out that scouting software can also be extremely useful in assembling a highlights video of your team or of individual players.

*********** Coach Wyatt,
I would interested to hear your comments on the A-11 offense being pioneered by Piedmont High in Northern California.  Seems like kindred spirits taking High School football the other direction.  One quote from the creators struck me: "What if we had an offense of just trick plays?"  Have you ever asked the opposite: "What if I only ran power off-tackle?"

God Bless,
Tyler Sellhorn

Teacher, Assistant Football Coach
Fort Wayne South Side HS (IN)

(See below. HW)

*********** I came across this on YAHOO. http://highschool.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=825031 . The only thing worse than this offense for football is if they allowed a Black Lion award for it. You don’t have to worry about “smash mouth” being used to describe this style of football, but I don’t think this is the way you intended to stop its use. They should just put flags on their waists and run it the way the YMCA runs it. Right now it’s just ultimate football with pads. The adjustment to the rules  won’t come soon enough to eliminate this.
Bruce Fisher
Glen Ellyn Golden Eagles

The A-11 "story" is on the wires again, and the coach in California who took advantage of a rule written simply to allow coaches to get the big slow kids off the field on punt plays before they got hurt is breaking his arm patting himself on the back for "inventing" a "revolutionary new offense."

He calls it the "A-11" offense, but it's really just touch football with pads. What he's done is put eligible numbers on every player - yes, every player - and then, from play to play, move them back and forth, onto the line or off, so that opponents (and officials) have a hell of a time figuring out who's eligible.

The rules require five guys on the line to wear ineligible numbers, except in "kicking situations."   The exception was put in so coaches could relieve their big men on punts without having to put special ineligible jerseys on the smaller, faster guys who replaced them. Now, this guy creates an artificial "kicking situation" by positioning his tailback/QB at seven yards deep, the definition of a "kicking situation" being any time the man receiving the snap is at least seven yards deep (which happens to be the usual depth of the holder on a PAT/field goal).

It isn't exactly cheating, because it is not a violation of the letter of the rules, but it is certainly a violation of the spirit of the rules.

The so-called A-11 is unfair to opponents, but it's even more unfair to officials. I give him one more year and then he's a trivia question and he can go back to trying to coach real football.  I hope he knows how.

Coach Wyatt,

Do you agree that the Piedmont coaching staff is testing the outer limits of football the opposite direction of the Hugh Wyatt DW?  They are moving as many players away from the ball as possible: one, two, or at most three, players at the point of attack.  We are moving as many players as possible toward the ball: nine or ten players at the point of attack.

You may vigorously disagree with me, but I would see moving the TE inside the free blocking zone as a rules exploit similar to moving a "QB/TB" into scrimmage kick formation.  However, I think that moving the TE into the free blocking zone only toes the line of breaking the spirit of the rules while the A-11 guys leap across the line.


No offense taken.

I must say that if I didn't know the reason was  a lack of knowledge of the history of the game and its rules I would take serious offense at your insinuation that I was taking advantage of a loophole in the rules the same as this A-11 guy, so I must educate you.

Until about 25 years ago, it was legal to block low ANYWHERE on the field, and that's the way it had been since the beginning of the game.  When the rules were revised in the belief that it would make the game safer to prohibit blocking below the waist, doing so was still permitted - AS IT HAD BEEN FROM THE VERY FIRST - in the free blocking zone.

I see what these guys are doing as the same thing as people washing their clothes in the reservoir where we all get our drinking water.   There is no prohibition against what they are doing - yet - simply because  it never occured to the people who make the laws that someone might ever do such a thing.

*********** To illustrate the importance of never taking so much as a play off, to emphasize how even a seemingly secure position can be lost when you go on vacation or call in sick, I've always enjoyed telling my players the story of Wally Pipp, the Yankee first baseman who took a day off because he wasn't feeling good. He was replaced by a young guy named Lou Gehrig - who not only took Wally Pipp's position, but didn't miss a game for more than 14 years as he went on to become an all-time great.

Cole Shaffer, a former player and assistant who now runs his own NAPA store in Boulder, Colorado, sent me this the other day...

Coach, I was reading this article from a Chicago newspaper. I saw this quote and knew I had to send it to you. I can't remember how many times I've heard you tell it. I've even found myself using it as I get older.

Wide receivers coach Darryl Drake when asked if wide receiver Devin Hester could lose his spot by not being here: "Wally Pipp. You tell the guys, nobody every heard of Lou Gehrig until Wally Pipp got sick one day and he was held out. Next thing you know Miller Huggins said 'Hey, Gehrig, get in here.'" Lou Gehrig. 2,000 games later, who ever heard of Wally Pipp?''
I still love that story!

*********** In regards to the O-line coach who showed his boys the wedge...

The past few seasons, the school where I was coaching played a DW team every year. In my role as scout team OC, I taught the younger players how to run the wedge and they absolutely loved it. They loved the fact that they could usually move the ball against the varsity defense pretty well using the wedge.

It was a constant refrain: "Can we run the wedge again, coach?"

I convinced my head coach to allow us to run it in junior varsity games. The kids absolutely loved it.

Dan Polcyn
Gallipolis, Ohio

*********** Hugh, Big time congratulations on your new position at Ocean Shores. I went to the website that you linked with your message, what a great town! I wish you great success, you should shoot another video driving into town like the clip you had driving into LaCentre. Hopefully you did not find a bag of soccer balls in the locker room this time.
God Bless,
Richard Cropp, Tallahassee, Florida 

*********** Many thanks to all those who wrote with good wishes on my new position. And many thanks to Rick Anderson, of the Aberdeen, Washington Daily World, for the following article...


Longtime coach, Yalie takes helm at North Beach

By Rick Anderson - The Daily World

Friday, July 25, 2008 11:21 PM PDT

OYEHUT — Hugh Wyatt, a former Yale University player with extensive experience as a coach and clinician, has been named the head football coach at North Beach High School, athletic director Gary Stamper reported Friday.

Wyatt succeeds Vic Reykdal, who resigned last spring.

The 70-year-old Wyatt, a former head coach at Hudson’s Bay in Vancouver, Washougal and La Center, has been concentrating the past few years on operating clinics and summer camps and preparing videos on the double-wing offense.

“He’s got a lot of football knowledge and he knows how to handle situations,” said Stamper. “The kids are going to be in a football environment.”

“What appealed to be about North Beach was, No. 1, the community,” said Wyatt. “My wife and I came to Ocean Shores (recently) and fell in love with the area.”

Wyatt added that he was also impressed with the North Beach administration and had positive dealings with veteran Hyak boys basketball coach Larry Moore. He met with team members and parents last Tuesday.

“I guess that was the thing that swung it,” he said.

A native of the Philadelphia area, Wyatt played two ways at Yale in the 1950s and later played and coached semi-pro football in Maryland.

He was involved in the defunct World Football League as director of player personnel for the Philadelphia Bell in 1974. He moved west to join the Portland Thunder as an assistant general manager and public relations director when the league folded.

Wyatt then turned to high school coaching. He coached Hudson’s Bay from 1980 through 1987 and later guided La Center for three years and Washougal for a single season in 1999.

He was also an assistant coach for several schools in Oregon.

Wyatt has conducted his camps and clinics throughout the nation and, in fact, was bound for a clinic in Kansas this weekend. He also spent seven summers in Finland in the 1980s, coaching U.S. football for club teams there.

North Beach is still seeking high school assistant coaches and head coaches at the junior varsity and junior high levels, according to Stamper. Those interested may contact Patrice Timpson at the North Beach School District office, 360-289-2447.

flagFRIDAY, JULY 25, 2008- "When I think of vision, I have in mind the ability to see above and beyond the majority." Charles Swindoll

k state Black LionI have so much respect for Kansas State coach Ron Prince.

Get this - The Black Lion emblem - on the front page of the 2008 Kansas State football media guide!

Writes LTC Pat Frank, back at Ft. Riley, Kansas after a year in Iraq as Battalion Commander of the real Black Lions...

An unbelievable honor for the Black Lions to have a special place on the
Kansas State Football 2008 Media Guide - Ian Campbell was named the
Black Lion Football Award Recipient last year by Head Coach Ron Prince.
Ian is an exceptional defensive end for the Wildcats - this article just
came out of the latest Big-12 Press Conference in Kansas City:

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State defensive end Ian Campbell was one of
just five Big 12 defensive ends named to the 2008 Ted Hendricks Award
Watch List Monday as the Ted Hendricks Foundation announced its
preseason list of 36 candidates.

Campbell, the only returning two-time First Team All-Big 12 selection in
the league this season, enters his senior year as one of the top
defensive linemen in school history and currently has 16.0 sacks and
28.5 tackles for loss over the last two seasons.

Ian represents Coach Prince's Warrior Ethos and Leadership on the
gridiron - straight out of the pages of the Black Lion Football Award
Program, actually as Coach Wyatt designed the award.

We will be cheering K-State to the Big-12 Championship this year!!



********** You wrote: Can this be true? The press release said: "Oklahoma football signee Britt Mitchell, 6-8, 300-pound lineman from Roscoe, Texas has decided to skip the gridiron for the moment and enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps."

Yes it is. The sad thing is what should have been a feel good story about a kid who gave it all up to serve his country turned into a story where the IDIOT reporter pretty much downplayed the kids existence on the team. To coin an old ARMY phrase. The reporter really needs to “recheck his compass”.
Story Link: http://newsok.com/article/3258798?topten_check=yes
The part that burned my cookies was this : Mitchell's departure won't have a major impact on the Sooners. He was the least-recruited of OU's three offensive line signees in February and was one of the lowest rated players in the 21-man signing class, according to Internet recruiting services Rivals and Scout.
Why even say this crap but instead talk about what a great thing this kid is doing.
Mike Watts
Yukon Rangers
9U Football, Yukon, Oklahoma

*********** Scott Barnes, whose son, Austin was a Black Lion on his 8th grade team, writes to say, " our little Black Lion will be wearing a Big Red N on his wrestling singlet next year.  He decided to wrestle, and he’s been blessed with the opportunity to join a great program.  The thing that has impressed me the most about these guys is their continued emphasis on the educational aspect of the college experience.  From the very first time they called, their primary discussion centered around the academic side of college rather than the athletic side.  I get a sense that they are really sincere about this, and it’s not just a bunch of talk to get the parents on board.  When Austin finally made the decision last week, he called me and told me that they were immediately getting him connected with a scholastic “mentor” to make sure he was staying on top of his work.  I really think these Coaches want him to get an education and actually graduate from college!  What a refreshing group!!"

So Black Lion Austin Barnes will be wrestling for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Big 12, against the likes of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Iowa State. Wow.

*********** On Jul 23, 2008, at 6:37 PM, Mark Rice wrote:
Hello Coach Wyatt:
Just noticed this story on the AP wire. Something happen behind the scenes to change the policy, ie, complaints from West Point alumni?
Mark Rice
Beaver, Pa

DETROIT (AP)—Caleb Campbell will not get a chance to play for the Detroit Lions because of a change in military policy.
Campbell was a seventh-round draft pick for the Lions in April. At the time, Army policy would have allowed the West Point graduate to serve as a recruiter if he made the team.
But a subsequent Department of Defense policy has superseded the 2005 Army policy.
In a letter to Lions president Matt Millen dated Wednesday, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jonathan P. Liba wrote that Campbell has been ordered to give up professional football for “full-time traditional military duties.”
Liba wrote that 2nd Lt. Campbell may ask to be released from his active duty obligations in May 2010.
Liba said Campbell was allowed to enter the draft “in good faith.”

*********** On the same subject, St. Martin Torren writes e, from Philadelphia: Coach:
It's been a while since I've written, but my job has kept me out of football for the past two years.   I always read your "News" (I refuse to call it a blog...sorry).  I am writing to get your opinion on the whole Caleb Campbell situation.  First, I have never served in the military, but I am in 100% support of the troops and the job they do for us.  I know he signed a committment to serve in the Army as an officer, and I am sure he would be great at it.  Once I heard they were going to let him play in the NFL I thought that was a good move for the Army.  They may finally get people to get excited about playing in the Services Academies.  It would be a far better recruiting tool for all sorts of people.  They could see that the Services Academies would be a good option (provided they could get in). 

I just read an article where it says he has to report for active duty after the policy was revised.  I think they (the Defense Dept) shoudl have made the policy uniform for all of the Academies.  The chances of any of those soldiers making it in professional sports is still the same as any other university.  All I guess i'm saying is that it would be great if this country could be supportive of our Service Academies and actually know and follow them as a team.  Navy and Air Force do well in their own right, but it would be great to see them actually compete for televised bowl games and such.  I know Roger Staubach had to serve and so did David Robinson so i am not really arguing with the policy, just seems that they need to do a better job promoting themselves. 

My Take... The Army policy of allowing a player to play a professional sport while on active duty, with which I did not at any time agree, has been rescinded.

My suspicion is that the Secretary of Defense got a lot of heat from the other two D-I service academies, which had no such policy.

I think essentially giving priority to professional sports ahead of serving as an officer was a dreadful thing to do, especially in a time of war.

 In my opinion, the concept of serving active duty as a "recruiter" while playing a professional sport was simply a ruse to enable Army to recruit more kids with NFL ambitions (i.e., every talented kid in America).

Roger Staubach served his time as an officer first , using his leaves to practice with the Cowboys.  When he came out of the Navy and played football full-time, he was good enough to make the Pro Football hall of Fame.

What a lot of people don't realize is what a farce the old policy had the potential of turning into.  It could, technically, have applied to gymnasts or female basketball players or golfers.  At the present time, unless I am mistaken, there is a West Point graduate now in his second season of playing minor league baseball.

Perhaps somebody can tell me how much he's helping recruiting in Yakima or Sioux Falls or Binghamton or wherever he's playing.

However, having said all that, I think this sudden change of heart will hurt the Army, and I believe that Caleb Campbell should have been grandfathered.

The other real concern is those Army football players who made their decision to attend West Point based on the now-rescinded policy. Apart from the fact that they shouldn't have chosen a military academy based on the hope that they might be able to "serve" by turning pro, maybe the Secretary of Defense will allow them to get out of their commitment. If he can end one policy, he can end another one.

Another reader suggested that this will scare off young men --- But I say, "big deal." The concept of getting up early and taking orders already scares away most young men, so this is nothing new.  I don't see anything wrong with honesty upfront - "you may be good enough to play pro football, but you chose to come here, and you had your chance to leave the Academy after two years, and now as a graduate you are an officer in the United States Army and you have an obligation to the American people to repay them for giving you a world-class education by serving in whatever capacity the Army chooses.  Not the one you choose.

Help recruiting?  Gimme a break. It was an attempt to help the football team recruit NFL-minded athletes.

*********** To say the least, the decision to rescind Caleb Campbell's permission to pursue an NFL career has the Army Football Forum in an uproar... http://forums.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=239&f=2423

*********** Hey, you will get a kick out of this......last night we played in a 7X7 and after about four plays I looked over the defense and I notice they had a safety at 15 yards, two corners at 12 yards and then five backers across the field at 5 yards.  Well call me crazy but that is 8 players.  I called the head coach over and he told me that they are going to a 3-5-3 defense and his kids need to practice with all 8 guys in the mix.  I retorted by asking if we could then add another receiver but he did not think that was a good idea.  Imagine that.........we still hung in there and scored 4 or so touchdowns.   I wanted to punch the arrogant SOB in the teeth.  That is why I hate 7X7's.  (I was talking with another friend about this and he said he sees it all the time in 7 on 7. Normally, one of the "backers" is expected to take a knee, to simulate the rush end, but sometimes, when you're not paying attention, they just, uh, "rush three" and drop eight. Yeah, right. Those guys are a pain in the ass. HW)

*********** Sound like Coach John "JT" Torres?

Federal and local law enforcement officials arrested 38 gang members and confiscated dozens of weapons in South Los Angeles this week, culminating two separate investigations stemming from an upsurge in violence in the Baldwin Village neighborhood earlier this year, authorities said today.

The arrests of members of the Black P-Stone Bloods and Rollin' 20s Crips took place in early morning sweeps Wednesday and today, said John Torres, special agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The arrests were for various charges of narcotics and firearms sales and possession.

"Here's a message to the gangs: We're ready to take any gang, anywhere, any time," Torres said at a noon news conference.

Spoken like a true coach!

*********** I've been a Greyhound. I've been a Spudder. I've been a Senator. And now, I'm a Hyak.

I have accepted the position of head coach at North Beach High School , in Ocean Shores, Washington, home of the Hyaks. (There is a strong Native American presence in the area, and "Hyak" is a word in Chinook jargon, once widely fairly common in part of the Pacific Northwest, meaning "speedy," or "quick.")

Ocean Shores is on the coast (duh) about 3 hours from Portland and the same from Seattle. It's on a peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean to the west and Grays Harbor, an enormous bay, on the east. It's a quaint resort town that reminds me some of the New Jersey shore of 50 years ago. (That's meant as a compliment.) The streets are uncrowded, there are still plenty of wooded lots, and there are deer everywhere. You can drive or ride horseback on the beach. Forget about going in the ocean, though - there are severe rip currents, and it is c-o-l-l-l-l-ld. Not that you need to cool off. It is always cool in Ocean Shores, and often windy.

There are plenty of decent hotels and a fair number of good places to eat. There is an 18-hole golf course. Just north of town is the Quinault Beach Resort, a resort/casino run by the Quinault Indian Nation..

Considering that Ocean Shores is on the West Coast (and on the ocean to boot), housing is amazingly reasonable.

My wife and I found a nice apartment at the southern tip of the peninsula with a great view across the mouth of Grays Harbor, and that will be our home for the season.

The Hyaks (I'm sure we are the only football team in America called the Hyaks ) were 1-9 last year. I have only met a handful of the players, but I was impressed with their appearance and their determination to turn things around. It's possible, however, that the overall turnout may not be more than a handful , just one of the things you run into at a small school - North Beach has only 150 kids in the top three grades - that hasn't been winning.

That's the stadium below, very cleverly built as part of the gymnasium.


flagTUESDAY, JULY 22, 2008- "Lewis and Clark were lost most of the time. If your idea of exploration is to always know where you are and to be inside your zone of competence, you don't do wild new sh--. You have to be confused, upset, think you're stupid. If you're not willing to do that, you can't go outside the box." Nathan Myhrvold, close associate of William F. Gates

*********** A former Double-Winger who's now working as line coach in a Wing-T program writes,
Last week we had our annual football camp at ------- College.  This year's camp went well.  We have our Wing-T cranked up and ready to go, and with the strong possibility of adding a new play.  During a little "down" time on the field I had my O Line together and they wanted to know what the difference was between the DW and the Wing-T.  So I showed them.  We tightened our splits down - improvised by setting a couple of the younger O Line kids up in the "backfield" - and I showed them only one play - Wedge.  They went nuts.  Immediately they asked if we could run that play in a game and I told them I would ask the HC, and if he would allow it, then and only then would we practice it and run it.  I talked to our HC and he asked me to show him the play on the field at the next practice.  Needless to say all of the players loved it, and so did the HC.  He told me we could probably get away with it a few times this season.  

(Beware of showing the Wedge to linemen who've never run it. They will never stop asking, "When can we run the Wedge in a game?" HW)

*********** From Scott Barnes, a Texan who is TDY in London, comes a story about the English trying to beat us at our own game - for safety's sake, the sack race and the 3 legged race have been banned at a kids' outing - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4327263.ece

*********** You have GOT to see this ----- http://bostondynamics.com/content/sec.php?section=BigDog

*********** Coach Wyatt, I thought about whether or not I should send you this information to pass on to your readers, but the cause and people involved have ties to the Football community.  I think that if we can help spread word of this condition, we can help raise awareness and potentially help with funding for this terrible situation afflicting 4 year old Hannah Sames of upstate New York.
Matt Sames, (Hannah's Father) is a 1986 Graduate of (and former Quarterback at) Plattsburgh High School. Matt went on to play baseball (Pitch) at LeMoyne (in Syracuse, NY). Guys like me (growing up in our town in Northeast New York in the 1980's) that were younger than Matt in school really respected him both while he was playing and after he graduated because he took the time to talk and work with us both on and off the field. Since I took over the PHS Football program in 1999, Matt Sames has been one of the people I most look forward to seeing at our Homecoming games as I have tried to let the team know that people of his quality have worn our uniform and are in the stands watching them play. Running into Matt as we both brought our families to a Wiggles Concert in Albany a few years back was a funny moment for guys that usually ran into each other at a ball field.
As I think about it, Matt has gone from being a guy I looked up to, to a guy I considered a friend, to a guy I look up to once again for the strength he and his wife Lori have demonstrated in this situation.
News Story:
Video Link:
Local Commentary:
Coach Wyatt, Please consider adding this to your news & notes if you feel you it is appropriate. Thank you for your consideration.
 Mike Bordeau
Head Football Coach
Plattsburgh High School (NY)
On another topic, I have been able to hold a pretty good youth football program (a 90 minute clinic on Wednesday mornings) this summer using your "practice without pads" video as our blueprint so to speak. I had an interesting conversation with the head coach of our top neighboring rival and it seems we are all in the same boat when it comes to offering kids football opportunities at a younger age to offset the seemingly year round "sessions" they have to play soccer. We need to do what we can to promote the game.
Thanks again,


I do worry about soccer' influence on our culture - it grabs kids at an early age because it's the only sport available to them when they're too young to have the skills to play anything else, and then parents grow up with it,  comfortable with the social aspect, and secure in the knowledge that they don't have to worry about their kids' safety.

I also notice that most youth soccer coaches I see are very patient and mild-mannered - almost Mister Rogersish - with kids, and that's what kids get used to. I get the impression that kids are comfortable with them. I think it is very important that football be introduced to kids the same way.

Not that youth football is anywhere close to dying. I have been fortunate to deal with many very good youth coaches who I would be happy to have coaching one of my grandkids.  They are exceptionally good in dealing with kids.  But I have seen some who are pretty aggressive with youngsters, and I can't help thinking that that's the stereotype coach that keeps parents from letting their kids play football.

Of course there are guys who played football themselves whose kids are going to play regardless.  But for the rest of the kids, Mom has to be sold.

In this age, it is a rare household in which a father can say, "Tim's playing football - and that's that."  Where kids aren't being raised by a single mom, they are being raised more and more in households in which Mom has veto power over whether junior is going to play football.  I'm not going to get into the need for prescribing testosterone shots and that sort of stuff, because that's just the way many modern families are. Call it a byproduct of the sexual revolution, but it's a fact and football needs to address it.

That's one of the reasons why football coaches should stop trying to sound so macho with some of the terms they use.  For example, take "smash-mouth." As Henny Youngman would say, Please take "smash-mouth."

The  headline in an American Football Coaches Associaton manual reads,  

"'Smash Mouth' Football, Similar Terms,  Should Not Be in a Coach's Vocabulary." 

The article goes on to say...

"Hard-nosed, maybe, but 'smash-mouth' football is not how competent coaches refer to their game.   Football is a contact game, but terms that reflect brutality and violence do not belong in a coach's vocabulary.  Image is one reason to clean up slang terms like smash-mouth that have become popular in the media,  but a more compelling reason comes from a legal standpoint. In a courtroom, descriptive terms are used against coaches and the game. Don't hesitate to ask your fellow coaches, student-athletes and especially the media who cover your team to cooperate and refrain from using overly-descriptive terms that reflect poorly on the game and your profession."

Little boys - and the moms who let them play - are the future of our game. Somehow, I doubt that there are many moms who get overly excited at the prospect of their little boys getting involved in "smash-mouth" football.

*********** Can this be true? The press release said: "Oklahoma football signee Britt Mitchell, 6-8, 300-pound lineman from Roscoe, Texas has decided to skip the gridiron for the moment and enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps."


*********** Coach I appreciate the help! How much time do you spend in Indy vs. Team O. I thought I've read on your site where you do a lot more team, especially early on.
Coach, That's correct.  In the early stages, when the emphasis is on teaching the system, it is mostly team.

As we get to the point where we pretty much know what to do, the emphasis shifts more to teaching how to do it.

It varies, but I would say that if we had an hour to spend on offense, we would spend 20 minutes on individual/group and 40 minutes on team.

The group time with the backs and ends is when we do most of our passing work and look at new stuff we might want to try.  At the same time, the linemen, whose basic blocking rules don't change much from week to week, work on techniques and assignments vs various fronts.

One thing I do to maximize team time is to eliminate huddling by using the no-huddle system I got years ago from Bob Hepp, a coach in Wisconsin. (http://www.coachwyatt.com/playgrid1.html)  I don't go no-huddle much in games, but I never huddle in practice, and by eliminating huddles, I'd say I get anywhere from 50 per cent to 100 per cent more pracice reps in the same amount of time.

*********** Just got back from DC. Did pay homage to Don Hollender.Got to share the Black Lion Award with some people who were impressed. Got to the Holocaust Museum and all tickets for main part were gone. Since I had done duty with the 8th out of Mainz and they were one of the units who liberated concentration camps it got me in. I always enjoy DC. When I go to Arlington I always send phone pictures to people just as a reminder that freedom is not free. Armando Castro, Roanoke, Virginia


David Streitfeld, New York Times

Catfish farmers across the South, unable to cope with the soaring cost of corn and soybean feed, are draining their ponds.
“It’s a dead business,” said John Dillard, who pioneered the commercial farming of catfish in the late 1960s. Last year Dillard & Company raised 11 million fish. Next year it will raise none. People can eat imported fish, Mr. Dillard said, just as they use imported oil.
As for his 55 employees? “Those jobs are gone.”
Corn and soybeans have nearly tripled in price in the last two years, for many reasons: harvest shortfalls, increasing demand by the Asian middle class, government mandates for corn to produce ethanol and, most recently, the flooding in the Midwest.
This is creating a bonanza for corn and soybean farmers but is wreaking havoc on consumers, who are seeing price spikes in the grocery store and in restaurants. Hog and chicken producers as well as cattle ranchers, all of whom depend on grain for feed, are being severely squeezed.
Perhaps nowhere has the rise in crop prices caused more convulsions than in the Mississippi Delta, the hub of the nation’s catfish industry. This is a hard-luck, poverty-plagued region, and raising catfish in artificial ponds was one of the few mainstays.
Then the economics went awry. Feed is now more than half the total cost of raising catfish, compared with a third of the cost of beef and pork production, according to a Mississippi State analysis. That makes catfish more vulnerable. But if the commodities continue to rocket up — and some analysts believe they will — other industries will fall victim as well.


flagFRIDAY, JULY 18, 2008- "An army is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of bullsh--." General George S. Patton, Jr.

*********** Not without good reason is Miami of Ohio called The Cradle of Coaches. John Pont, part of the Miami coaching tradition, died last week in Oxford, Ohio, home of Miami University, where he had both played and coached. Coach Pont was 80.

He grew up in Canton, Ohio where his father, a Spanish immigrant, worked in a steel mill.

At Miami from 1949-1951 he played under two different head coaches - first Woody Hayes and then Ara Parseghian. When he graduated, he was the leading rusher in school history.

He joined Parseghian's staff shortly after his playing career ended and succeeded him as Miami's head coach when Parseghian moved to Northwestern in 1956.

In 1962 he left for Yale, where among other things he had a hand in the recruiting of Calvin Hill ( who would go on to become an All-Pro as well as the father of basketballer Grant) and Brian Dowling (who would gain fame as ''B.D.'' in ''Doonesbury'').

After two years at Yale, he took over at Indiana. All he did there was take the Hoosiers to the only Rose Bowl appearance in IU history and earn national Coach of the Year honors.

Following Indiana, he spent five tough years at Northwestern before retiring to serve as athletic director there.

He left Northwestern in 1980 and went into business but, a true coaching lifer, he couldn't get coaching out of his system. So in 1984 he got back in - as a high school coach in Hamilton, Ohio. What an honor it had to have been for those kids to be coached by a man of his accomplishments who loved the game and loved coaching that much.

His final lasting achievement was starting the football program at College of Mount Saint Joseph near Cincinnati.

Coach Pont left quite a legacy at both Miami and Yale. When he left Miami to go to Yale, he was succeeded by his Miami teammate, Bo Schembechler. And when he left Yale to go to Indiana, he was succeeded by another old Miami teammate (and his college roommate and best man), Carm Cozza, who would go on to become one of the greatest coaches in the history of the Ivy League.

*********** Coach, Our varsity coach quit last week and i have been named the new coach.   I have almost hired the coaching staff, not a lot of experience, but good people.  I am blessed to have my offensive line coach still with me.  I have scheduled workouts and conditioning, the kids did not have any spring ball, and are out of shape.  The good news is that they are great kids and most of them know the DW system.  Am I doing all right?  What advice can you give me?
Thank you,

My congratulations to you.

You are indeed blessed to have an assistant you can count on.

You are already doing well by starting to get the kids in shape.   That is half the battle.

The other half is making sure that they understand your rules, whatever they are.    Let them know what your hang-ups are.  Let them know what pisses you off.  That will help you and them.  Make every effort to get this done as early as possible, but - this will save you a lot of headaches - be sure to clear all this with your administration first.

Then, whatever your method of communications, make sure the parents understand the rules, too.  Have them and the kids sign off on a "contract," and keep the contracts on file.

Be patient with the kids but be firm.  Be friendly but don't try to be their friend.  They need a leader, not a buddy.

Start with the basics - stance and  blocking, hit position and tackling.  I believe that you have "Practice Without Pads" and "Safer and Surer Tackling."  There are plenty of drills in those two DVDs.

Go very slow with the teaching. Take it one step at a time, making sure that what they do, they do very well. Make sure that whatever it is you are teaching, whether it is a drill or a play,  you first walk through it until they are very sure of what you want and very confident that they can do it, and only then should you pick up the tempo. That goes for blocking, tackling, running plays, playing defense. 

On defense, teach a base technique and make sure they can execute it, and then work hard on making sure they know how to line up against anything they might see.

On offense, teach a handful of plays, and make sure that they can run them against any defense.

Let them know that your idea of winning football is to eliminate the ways even good teams can beat themselves - ball handling, penalties, blown assignments, incorrect alignment on defense, poor pass defense, poor pursuit, poor tackling, poor special teams (especially getting off a punt, kickoff and punt coverage, and fielding an onside kick).

And make sure that you drill it into them from the start that you will never accept less than their best.  Tell them that in any drill, before you give up on anybody, they will always get a do-over, because you simply can't send them to the back of the line without both of you knowing that they are capable of doing what's expected of them.

Be organized.  Know what you have to teach and how you're going to teach it and how much time you have to teach it.  And know how you're going to measure whether they've learned what you've taught.  Teach to the mission - if it's not going to make the team better, maybe you shouldn't be doing it.

And always be their leader.  Always give the impression that you know what you're doing. Be the island of composure when all around you is chaos. Never let them see you sweat.  Be very careful about expressing openly what you're thinking.

That's it in a nutshell.

You've paid your dues.  You know your stuff.  You'll do fine.  

Best of luck to you!

*********** Coach, I hate to break it to you, but some denominations have phased out "He descended into Hell".  The Methodist Church has removed the line entirely, and others use "descended to the dead".  I tripped over my tongue when I resumed attending services after a lengthy absence as my mind slipped into repeating the Creed as learned 25 years ago...and I was the only one saying "descended into Hell".  Chad Beermann, Elgin, Iowa (Uh-oh.  One more sign of surrender to the forces of Nice. Just a couple of weeks ago I attended a Presbyterian service outside Seattle, and as I like to do, I thumbed through the hymnal, looking for what I consider to be the giveaway sign of weenie Christianity.  Sure enough, missing from the hymn book were two  old standards: "Onward Christian Soldiers," and "Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus (Ye Soldiers of the Cross)."  I read someplace recently where someone referred to the ultraliberal United Church of Christ as "United Church of Some Really Nice Guy Named Jesus Who Said Some Very Wise Things." HW)

*********** Hey Coach, Hope all is well with you. I am calling for a little help here. You and /or your faithful readers may be able to assist . A few years back I had a study on injuries in football vs. other youth sports. I think it may have been done by Johns Hopkins or some other major university. It basically showed that the injury rate in Youth football was no higher and in some cases less than other organized sports. I used to hand it out to worried moms when I coached on the younger levels and now I cant find it. I have a player who is the son of a single mother.She is currently in court battling the alchoholic drug addict father who's main claim against her is that she is abusing her son by allowing him to play football! What a Jack -ss !!!! Anyway , any information you or your readers may have on that or any other studies relating to injury or the benefits of playing would be appreciated. If anyone has anything they can email me at kmeltonsrobison@yahoo.com. This kid and his mom deserve our help! He is a straight A student ,Honor band, Leadership council and about everything you could ever ask of a kid. Hope some of you guys can help out, Thanks,    

Hi Coach-

For some time now, I've had this info about a Mayo Clinic study posted on my home page---


Hope it can be of use to you!  

Any person who calls allowing a boy to play football abuse is a demented a**hole who needs to be institutionalized.

*********** In Germany, the Hamburg Pioneers defeated the Lübeck Seals, 39-24 last weekend. The 15-point margin of victory means that a Hamburg win or even a loss by fewer than 15 points in this Saturday's rematch will give the Pioneers the league championship in their very first year at this level, after having won the title last year in a lower classification.

*********** ADs at Army and Navy are said to be exploring the possibility of potential corporate sponsorship for the Army-Navy game. Corporate sponsorship would allow a company to include its name in exchange for a large fee, possibly in the neighborhood of several million dollars. The Army-Navy Game Presented by Greenpeace

*********** Is it just me, or is Brett Favre squandering all the good will that he built up over the years, capping it with his great 2007 season and his emotional "retirement" announcement?

*********** Coach Wyatt,

We are getting ready for the upcoming season, we get started 2 weeks from Friday. I am going to be coaching the wing backs again this season. Last year we ran the wing t, and on the buck sweep we asked our Wing backs to make that down block on the DE. What I like about this offense is that the Wing Backs will have help on 88/99. I was wondering if you could share with me some coaching tips on 88/99. How do you practice/teach that block?

We have bought in 100% to this offense! We think it fits perfect with the personel that we have coming back.

Thanks for the help!


I keep my guys squared up, in 2-point stances.  I believe that it helps them in reach blocks and in pass-pattern releases.  It's not hard to jam a guy who's turned in and in a 3-point.

I make sure that they are one full man wider than the TE, which helps on pass releases and also helps on getting onto an inside LBer for wall-off blocks.

On power plays, he has one of two blocks to make, depending on the TE's call:

If he Doubles with the TE, it is a drive block - actually two drive blocks (TE and wingback). This is the same drive block we teach at every position. We are going to put a body (not just hands) on the defender and drive the feet. We teach "stay welded to him." And I teach the "12-step cure" - 12 steps AFTER making contact.

We want to drive the defender straight upfield, cutting off the scraping LBers.  We do not teach driving him down the line.

If the TE doubles with the tackle, the wingback walls off first LBer to the inside - again, a drive block on the run.

Only when we make a special call against certain defenses will the wingback ever block a man on the line by himself.

Hope that helps!

*********** For a guy who was too short to play in the NFL, you would think that he would have an understanding with the coaches who want to run an offense that makes his team a winning one. Looks like Coach Ladaceur, possibly the greatest high school football coach of all time, is not going to change his offense for Mighty Joe Montana, possibly the most benefited Quarter Back of the Walsh-West Coast offense. I kind of figured that this would have happened when I saw them on ESPN. Seriously, it took him two years to figure out that they ran Veer and pro sets, but not the Spread? Wow, did he even bother attending his son's games?
-Lloyd Kempson
Lake Worth, Texas  (There are many, many former athletes - and coaches -  who become total jerks once their kids become old enough to play a sport. I have even seen it happen to fellow high school coaches. Agreed that Joe himself could be said to be a "system quarterback," in the sense that he was the beneficiary of Walsh's system.  I suspect that he really thought that Bob Ladouceur would change his system for the Second Coming of Joe Montana. HW)

*********** We all know that Barack Obama keeps himself as thin as one of those metrosexual models in Vanity Fair by nibbling on scrambled egg whites and such at breakfast, and daintily sipping beer (when he's forced to drink it). That's his business, of course. But based on plans for the upcoming Democratic National Convention, it sure sounds as if he'd like us all to join him in his, uh, "moderation."

Brace yourself for the Health Food President.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the planners for Senators Obama’s coronation have hired an environmental activist named Andrea Robinson to serve as Director of Greening, and she in turn hired something called an Official Carbon Adviser to “measure the greenhouse-gas emissions of every placard, every plane trip, every appetizer prepared and every coffee cup tossed.”

According to The Journal, fried foods are out (my earlier comments about the party's inhospitability to southerners) and, “on the theory that nutritious food is more vibrant, each meal should include ‘at least three of the following colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple, and white.’ (Garnishes don’t count.) At least 70% of the ingredients should be organic or grown locally, to minimize emissions from fuel during transportation.”

What's next - little kids turning in their parents for going to McDonalds? In the Suburban?

*********** Twenty teenagers have been killed in London so far this year, and four people were killed in one 24-hour period last week.

And this is England, where very few people have access to guns. So what's a bloke to do, when he simply has to murder someone and he doesn't live in the gun-crazy USA?

Why, use a knife, of course. And so a rash of knife attacks has been occurring all over England, especially involving teenagers, and it's led to the same sort of thinking among English politicians as infects their counterparts in America - ban knives.

On Monday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced a series of measures to make it “completely unacceptable to carry a knife.” He called for automatic prosecution of anyone over the age of 16 caught with a knife and doubling the maximum sentence for knife possession, to four years. He also called for a $6 million advertising campaign to discourage young people from committing crimes with knives and a program to force perpetrators to confront their actions by, for instance, attending courses that describe what happens to stabbing victims.

The last part was no doubt to enlist the support of the do-gooders who really believe that "confront their actions" nonsense works.

Note that Mr. Brown's proposed law applies only to those over the age of 16. What - they don't have 13-, 14- and 15-year-olds in their street gangs?

Note also that just as in the US, English politicians see the problem as the weapon, not the criminal. It doesn't seem to occur to the pols that while they are arresting bakers, butchers and Boy Scouts for carrying knives, the street thugs will be using broken beer bottles.

*********** Remember when the NFL began fining players for outrageous celebrations? Remember when those fools and jackasses complained that NFL should stand for "No Fun League?" Imagine - multimillionaires, who populate their mansions - complete with indoor basketball courts - with harems and posses, who own stables of high-performance cars and frequent exclusive "gentleman's clubs," still satisfy their need for "fun." Hedonists all, they were so hopelessly addicted to having "fun," that they couldn't even get serious about their livelihoods for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoons.

Now, their ability to "have fun" during games restricted, and their lawyers unable to find any place in the Constitution guaranteeing a "Right to Have Fun," some of them apparently have turned to flashing gang signs.

All the way back in 1992, the Pac 10 Conference prohibited football players from wearing bandanas, and stipulated that any of those skullcaps they wore had to be either black or in the school's primary colors.
Major League baseball has cracked down on the sales of New York Yankees caps in colors other than navy blue, aimed primarily at gangstas.

And the NBA came down hard on the Celtics' Paul Pierce for allegedly flashing a sign. That, and the murder of a Denver Bronco by people with "gang ties," has apparently been enough to convince the NFL that it could have a problem on its hands if it doesn't do something.

I could suggest that they do a better job of weeding out the misfits, but for some reason they didn't get around to asking me.

So instead the NFL is going to hire experts on gangs to try to nail players who include gang signs as part of their celebrations. "Experts?" They probably mean some white sociologists from Harvard. Otherwise, I can see lines of applicants several blocks long all over inner-city America as young males try to jump on the NFL gravy train.

*********** Coach Wyatt, I am trying to cement in my head (made of cement too?) what defines the GAP that players will protect on various plays and defensive alignments.

For an 88 Power, the right guard has  Gap, On, Area Away responsibility.  Is his GAP the A-Gap or the B-Gap?  

In this scenario, his playside Gap is B-Gap, but his inside gap is A-Gap, or does playside define “inside”?

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed.

Whenever we refer to GAP we always mean INSIDE gap.  The lineman's inside gap is the number one threat he must deal with.  Nearly everything we do up front  - stance, splits, alignment - is predicated on protecting the inside gap.

Most offensive people are very poor at protecting their inside gaps - largely because they aren't willing to do the necessary things - which is why, especially at the youth level, a defense that attacks gaps is often very successful.

(On 88, the right guard's INSIDE gap is the A-Gap, and his PLAYSIDE game is the B-Gap.)

Hope that helps.

*********** Who could have foreseen, back when they began tampering with the rules of the game to tilt things in favor of the passing offense, the insidious effect that the elevation of the quarterback position would have on football at all levels?

Who could have foreseen the day when a college's signing of a top high school quarterback would mean that it wouldn't be able to recruit another top quarterback for two or three more years... when the loser in the spring quarterback competition would immediately transfer...
When a personal coach - the quarterback guru - could charge parents thousands of dollars for his services... when the parents of young quarterbacks would play musical chairs, moving them from high school to high school, trying to position them for future success?

Eric Sondheimer of the LA Times might be the best high school sports reporter in America. He understands better than anyone I've seen the sham and artifice and commercialization that is increasingly taking over high school sports, and isn't afraid to report on it and name names. Being located in the athletic hotbed of Southern California, he is at Ground Zero of everything that can go wrong in high school sports.

Last week, Sondheimer got on the subject of the vanishing backup high school quarterback. Instead of waiting for their turn to start, he writes, they are "bailing out faster than Wile E. Coyote."

He mentions Oaks Christian, of Westlake Village, where three quarterbacks have left, but four have moved in, including Nick Montana, who Sondheimer confirms transferred to play in Oak's Christian's wide-open offense, rather than in De La Salle's stodgy old veer attack.

At West Hills Chaminade, projected starter Nick Isham transferred last month to Oaks Christian. But not to worry - Anthony Vitto one of those quarterbacks who left Oaks Christian, transferred to Chaminade. And now, Sondheimer reports, Isham has apparently already left Oaks Christian and is looking for a new school, no doubt spurred on by the arrival of Joe Montana's son.

Sondheimer writes about Santa Ana Mater Dei, where Matt Barkley, headed to USC, is beginning his fourth year as the starting quarterback. Undoubtedly, the fear of having to play behind him has kept other quarterbacks from enrolling. "I'm not afraid to say that competition is not the leading factor anymore," Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson told Sondheimer. "Playing time is."

"It's frustrating," Sherman Oaks Notre Dame football Coach Kevin Rooney told Sondheimer after one of his quarterbacks quit once it became apparent he wasn't going to start. "In my mind, it's not what high school athletics is supposed to be about."

*********** Coach ,thanks for getting me straight on 55 and 44. I watched your DVD on A Season of double wing Versatility, and noticed you go for two on your extra point more than you kick, I have a two point play I have been using for 28 years very successful. WE ran the veer option in High school and we ran this play with great results,.. we also ran it from any ware on the field. I have run it from full house, wing-t and double. You may already have this in your plays. Have the Ref put the ball on the left hash mark (Right if you have a lefty QB ) Your line Just needs to pass block, A  side back needs to go in speed motion to get around to seal the right end, B back is going to swim thru left A or B  gap every which one he can get thru the best, C back goes to corner of end zone on his side, he steps to the right off of the ball ,do not let him take a step forward  and to go fast and be looking for ball or to come back and block for QB. The QB Is going to turn toward B back ,do not make fake just turn and run Bootleg right  He can run or throw. The right end runs to right side of the goal post and sets, there, the B back goes to left side of goal post and sets, the left end comes up and blocks left end for 2 count, and releases to left corner of end zone, The QE has four receivers or can run, the backside end is almost always open, the only failure we ever have is the QB over or under throws the ball. Most of the time he could have run it in. The funny thing about this play when I started running the double wing ,the C back is open most of the time too. I ran this in pop warner ball in junior midgets 12 -13, midgets 14-15  and middle school. This was our only two point play and no teams could seem to stop it, I do throw 2 wedge and 6 G in some to mix it up. I am just glad that I have not had to defend this play in all these years. George Honeycutt,  Myrtle Beach, South Carolina  

*********** Welcome Back Department...

Boy what a short retirement. We’ll I was very happy pursuing some other things like music and my ever growing family and grand kids and then this phone call threw a major wrench in my plans of leaving coaching. A very fine job offer at another Private school South of Atlanta about 30 minutes. Of course its over an hour for me but that is only right, right????

Hugh, I had to take it for it’s a great situation in a very fine school with football only being 2 years old. They were on of my previous victims in 06 when I was at NGA, but Coach Beaucham, a very fine coach there  recommended me for the job as he took a really good opportunity at a nearby public school. I’ve met the team, all 14 players. The school has 3 times the students I had at Nat. Greene but half the number of football players. Hopefully we can generate more interest for the big kids in the halls that can help us cause right now 14 just isn’t enough with one being an 80 pound ninth grader and the other strictly a kicker. weeeee. Sound like fun to you Hugh??????

Great School, Great Kids, Great support I hear…. Sounds like the job for me.

I’ll be getting my website back active somewhat so all you double winger nut cases (affectionately of course) can become a Heritage Hawk fan and we can get back to our DW business. We are in “AA” in the GISA and are “the Heritage School” in Newnan, Georgia.  I will be referring to us as the HERITAGE HAWKS.

I look forward to being back in contact with all the DW folks and sites etc. as well as you Mr. Wyatt. I’ve missed our talks and communications and your crafty wit.

Thanks for all you do!
 Coach Larry Harrison
  “Heritage Hawks”
  Newnan, Georgia

flagTUESDAY, JULY 15, 2008- "When someone tells you, "We're going in a different direction," what they really mean is, you're not going with them." Mike Gottfried, ESPN analyst and former coach at Murray State, Cincinnati and Pitt

*********** You would be hard-pressed to find a more privileged set of high schoolers than those that attend the two high schools in Lake Oswego, Oregon. But "appetite comes from eating," as the old French expression goes, and so kids who have everything still want more.

Take the case of the girl who is filing a Title IX suit against the school district because the boys at one of the schools have a football video room - totally paid for by their parents. Not a thin dime of taxpayer money went into it.

A few years ago, the Lake Oswego school district had to dig deep to provide luxurious facilities for the softball program at one of the schools following complaints about the great facility the boys' baseball team had had built for it. By parents. Didn't cost the taxpayers a cent.

Doesn't matter. Title IX doesn't make exceptions for where the money comes from. Facilities will be equal. In the best dog-in-the-manger tradition, if the boys have it, girls are damn sure going to have it, too - or the boys are going to have to give whatever it is up.

So almost certainly rthe girls will get the use of the football video room.

No sense even going to get into the question of what other sport - boys' or girls' - requires the video study that football does.

*********** Joe Torre, when he was managing Atlanta, once said of Dale Murphy, "If you're a coach, you want him as a player; If you're a father, you want him as a son; if you're a woman, you want him as a husband; If you're a kid, you want him as a father. What more can you say about the guy?"

*********** All summer in seven-on-seven passing competition, 6-foot, 185-pound Zach Tartabull has shown himself to be one of the top high school receivers in Southern California.

Zach's father, Danny, was an outfielder for the Yankees, and his grandfather, Jose, was a major league baseball player with Kansas City, Boston and Oakland.

But Zach does not play baseball, telling the LA Times' Eric Sondheimer, "It's a little too boring for me."

*********** You have to understand how big a deal bicycling is in Portland - and also how great the animosity is between drivers and bicyclists - but the story went like this.

A guy sitting at a red light in his car got pissed when a biker came up past him and blew right through the light. (Bikers will tend do that, because they think that in return for saving the planet, society should reward them by excusing them from the burden of obeying its laws.)

The driver caught up with the guy a few blocks later, and pointed out to the cyclist that, as he understood it, the city's traffic laws pertained to bicyclists, too. Or words to that effect.

Angered at the effrontery, the biker jumped off his ride and began swinging his bike as a weapon, flailing away at the car.

When the driver of the car got out to deal with matters, the guy turned on him, whacking him with the bike and knocking him to the ground.

The driver was saved from further injury by some good samaritan who walked up to the biker and knocked him cold with one punch, but meantime a crowd had gathered, and - this being Portland and the assumption being that it was just another in a long series of car-bike incidents in which the poor, innocent biker was harmed by the evil automobile driver - began to threaten the driver, whipping out cell phones and taking his picture as evidence of his brutality.

When police arrived at to the scene of what they were told was a car-hitting-a-bike incident and sorted things out, they discovered that things were not as they had been led to believe.

The driver, it turned out, was no enemy of bicyclists. In fact, he worked at a bike shop.

He managed to survive the attack, although he had chain marks on his arms.

And the the bicyclist, who was drunk (did I say this was late at night?), was booked for DUI among other things. He turned out to be a city employee, working in, of all places, the department of transportation (whose mission, it can sometimes seem, is to make drivers' lives so miserable that they'll simply give up, abandon their cars and take up bicycles).

Here it is, if you want to read the whole deal...http://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingnews/2008/07/bike_fight_has_some_commuters_1.html

*********** The Demos have announced that there will be no fried foods available at their August convention in Denver.

I am interested in how they plan on keeping southern delegates in the building.

*********** Red Smith's description of the decathlon: “A quadrennial chance for guys who can’t do anything very well to win interplanetary renown by doing many things in a great blaze of mediocrity.”

*********** In an age in which we have become so desensitized to vulgarity that 15-year-old school girls routinely drop f-bombs, a headline in Monday's USA Today read, "Buyers Go Through Heck and Back for iPhones."

Through "heck?" Forget that the expression is "To (not through) Hell and Back," and was the title of Audie Murphy's book; is USA Today so concerned about the tenderness of its readers sensibilities that it feels the need to rename a place whose existence - and name - have been a part of human existence for thousands of years?

Will churches now clean up the Apostles' Creed, so it reads, "He descended into heck?"

"Heck has no fury like a woman scorned" just sounds a bit wimpy. And what, exactly, is the "road to heck" paved with?

Considering the extent to which they tamper with today's history books, maybe now General Sherman will be quoted as saying, "War is heck."

No chance of that. Our modern history books scarcely even mention the Civil War, much less General William Tecumseh Sherman.

*********** Don't leave home without it...

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Matt Jones faces a felony drug charge in his former college town of Fayetteville, Arkansas, where police say he was inside a car cutting up cocaine with a credit card.

A police report said officers approached the car and one of them drew his handgun after Jones did not immediately show his hands.

Police said they searched the car and found a plastic bag filled with a white substance that tested positive for cocaine.

Police said they found 6 grams of cocaine, which is not good news for Mr. Jones: the level at which a person can be charged with possession with intent to deliver is 1 gram.

Jones was released on $2,500 bond, and his arraignment on a charge of felony possession of a controlled substance was set for August 11.

At least now Jags' coach Jack Del Rio understands - if he didn't before - why Jones' "work habits" had become a problem.

*********** When the parents of a 10-year-old girl took her to sign up for an Ohio youth football league last week, they were turned away, the league's president telling them that according to the league's bylaws, girls aren't allowed.

"It's not fair," her mother told MyFOX Cleveland. "It's 2008 and she still can't play because she's a girl."

The league seemed concerned that she might get injured, her mother said, but added, "She's pretty tough. If that's what they're worried about is her getting roughed up, she'll be fine."

The parents have since signed the girl up at another youth league that does accept girls.

Hey- I'm all for girls playing football - with girls. Let them show the interest, and then let their parents raise the funds, and find the fields, and find and train the coaches, and so forth. (It'll do 'em good to find out how much work is involved.)

But otherwise, time to set the little girls straight on the subject of football. As Mom herself pointed out, it's 2008 - and there are plenty of other sports for them.

I sure wish that league officials everywhere would ditch the "she might get injured" crap and simply say, "Just as there are people who think it's beneficial for girls to have activities for girls only, we believe it's beneficial for boys to have at least one activity that's for boys only."

*********** In updating my site a few years back, I failed to make space for this great article on how football (as opposed to soccer) explains America's greatness - http://www.coachwyatt.com/stanleyridgleyonsoccer.htm

*********** I always admired the Steelers because they were a family institution. And now they appear likely to come apart for the same reason.

"From shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations," goes the old expression, explaining the truism that a hard-working first generation does the hard work of building a company, but somewhere either in the next generation or the one after that, the ability to work hard is lost, and with it, the business.

The succeeding generations couldn't care less about the family business. They just want the money to keep rolling in, the more the better.

It's happening right now at Anheuser-Busch, and it has already happened at the Wall Street Journal.  In every large family-owned business, it seems, there are those who are quite content to sit on their asses and let other family members work to make them rich - and someone comes along and whispers in someone's ear that they could be even richer if they would sell the damn business.

Screw Budweiser, they say! Screw the Wall Street Journal! Screw the Steelers! Show me the money!

What Art Rooney - and later, his son Dan - achieved is about to be sold to satisfy the greed of other family members.

Envy more than likely plays a role, too , because since the 1970s Dan, now 76, has been the public face of the Steelers.

Damn shame. From shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations. Art Rooney would roll over in his grave.

*********** De La Salle, of Concord, California, is well-known among football people. All know that its program has been phenomenally successful. And almost all know what offense De La Salle runs.

But not Joe Montana, evidently. It took him two years to figure out that De La Salle runs the veer.

So now Montana's son Nicholas, another one of QB guru Steve Clarkson's proteges, will be transferring schools. And not just across town, either. Dad will be moving young Nicholas from the Bay Area, where he's been attending fabled De La Salle, to Southern California, where he'll attend the more pass-happy Oaks Christian, famous now as the last place where the great Jimmy Clausen ever got to play on a winning team.

Nicholas Montana is the fourth quarterback to transfer into Oaks Christian just since the end of last season. At least three others, on the other hand, have transferred out.
Despite his big name, it's not likely that Joe Montana will be bothered much by autograph seekers at Oaks Christian games. Also on the Oaks Christian roster are the sons of Wayne Gretzky and Will Smith.

*********** Rich Rodriguez and Michigan have agreed to pay West Virginia University $4 million to settle a lawsuit brought by WVU after Rodriguez broke his contract in December.

Rodriguez will pay $1.5 million in three annual payments beginning January 2010, and Michigan will pay $2.5 million by the end of July, as well as covering Rodriguez's legal fees.

Just what an American university should be doing - paying millions to steal another university's football coach.

Interestingly, Rodriguez based much of his argument on the claim that he was coerced into signing a contract with WVU calling for the $4 million buyout clause, yet he agreed to the same size buyout in his contract with Michigan. Unless he was coerced into agreeing to that.

*********** Coach I have been blessed this year with some awesome talent.  All my linemen are big and fast, however this year we played the 7 on 7 flag football league and now they all think they can run the ball.  Any suggestions on what I can tell them besides what they don’t want to here.  Is there any suggestion on rewarding the lineman, rather than the backs?  They think its all about the glory of running the ball………and most of them are quick enough.

From day one, it is important to make a big deal of the fact that on your team, the linemen are what make things go.  You need to have a good line coach who works really hard on establishing an esprit de corps among them.

And you need to make sure that your so-called "skill" players understand that without the linemen blocking for them, they would be very ordinary, and their experience running the ball could be very painful.  They need to be taught right from the start to appreciate the hard job that the linemen have, and to show their appreciation at every opportunity.

I refer you to my Newsletter #7, in which legendary coach Nick Hyder, of Valdosta, Georgia, made sure that the backs and ends did all sorts of favors for the linemen, including shining their shoes before every game. There are lots of ways that you can make the linemen feel special. Let them get their water break first.  Make the backs and ends carry the dummies. 

You seem not to want to tell the kids what they don't want to hear, but unfortunately, it's what they need to hear.

So first, I'm going to have to tell you a few things that you may not want to hear...

I would say that it does sound as if maybe things were allowed to get a little out of control, ego-wise. There's certainly nothing wrong with linemen having fun running and catching, but  if playing a fantasy-feeding game like flag touch results in guys thinking that they're something other than what they really are, it's gotten out of control.  To try to keep things in proper perspective, I  always try to point out in advance of a 7 on 7 competition that it has only a faint resemblance to real football. 

I think that there is nothing more to tell these guys until you've first told them what they don't want to hear - that while they may very good, they're not, in your opinion as coach, the best people at the positions they'd like to play, and as the coach, it's your job to help the team be successful by putting the best players at every position.  (I'm assuming, by the way, that there are better people at the "skill" positions, because if that's not the case, then maybe those kids are right.)

I think that if you tell them anything other than the bare-faced truth (diplomatically, of course) they will see through you and you will lose credibility.

No, they don't want to hear it, but sometimes someone has to tell them: no, in your opinion they aren't good enough to play THAT position, but fortunately, football offers a lot of different opportunities to be successful, and in your opinion they ARE good enough to play THIS position.  God gives us all different talents.

My experience has been that those kids will get over it.   Most good linemen are frustrated running backs.  Many really good college and pro linemen were running backs at some point in their careers - until either someone else came along who was a better running back, or they had the good fortune of having a coach who convinced them that their ability would take them a lot further as a lineman than as an end or back.

None of us wants to hear that, of course.  But if we didn't have coaches with the fortitude to help us deal with the truth, there wouldn't be any football.   Kids would either play a glory position or quit.

Maybe a kid will quit your team at hearing the truth. Too bad for him. I think that if  a kid were to quit because you didn't let him play the position he wanted to play when there was someone better, there is a strong likelihood that he is a "me" guy with artificially-inflated self-esteem, and personality and attitude issues that could cause problems on your team at some point.

My observation is that,  with all good intentions, you have inadvertently helped to create a monster, and my recommendation is that, for the good of your team,  you have to slay it.

*********** Iowa's Hayden Fry once had the visitor's locker room painted pink, on the theory that it would make the Hawkeyes' opponents less aggressive.

Now, years later, several colleges have cut a deal with Victoria's Secret to go along with some marketing abomination called "Pink's Collegiate Collection," a series of pink shirts, pink accessories, and pink sports gear, on the theory that they can make money perverting their schools' colors.

Will Tennessee fans really welcome opponents to "Big Pink Country?" Will Alabama fans pull for the Pink Tide? Can Nebraska fans intimidate opponents with a "sea of pink," as they holler "Go Big Pink?" Will Syracuse teams be known as "The Pink?" Can 100,000+ Penn State fans be persuaded to change last season's white-out into a 2008 pink-out?

*********** Mike Souchak , who was an outstanding end for Duke in the post-World War II years when the Blue Devils were really good, and then went on to a long and successful career as a pro golfer, died last week in Clearwater, Florida at the age of 81.

flagTUESDAY, JULY 8, 2008- “Nothing positive happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, and nothing positive is likely to happen to America if our people succumb to the drumbeats of support for the homosexual lifestyle.” The late Senator Jesse Helms

*********** From Lincoln City, on the beautiful central Oregon coast, where three of our kids, their husbands, and our ten grandchildren have gathered with my wife and me for a brief family reunion...

*********** A self-described Redneck, North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, who died last week at the age of 86, was a strong voice of opposition to things that he considered attacks on the American taxpayer. He opposed affirmative action as reverse discrimination; he opposed funding for AIDS research because he said AIDS resulted from "disgusting, abnormal acts"; and he was one of the few people in government with the stones to speak out against the National Endowment for the Arts' using the dollars of American taxpayers to pay for such "art" as gay photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's picture of a bull whip thrust into a man's, uh, "orifice," or Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ," a painting of a crucifix soaking in urine.

Jesse Helms would definitely never have stood by and accepted the idiotic notion now being forced on us that protest is a form of patriotism. “Look carefully into the faces of the people participating,” he wrote in a 1968 editorial about anti-Vietnam War protests. “What you will see, for the most part, are dirty, unshaven, often crude young men and stringy-haired awkward young women who cannot attract attention any other way.”

*********** The Hamburg Pioneers defeated the Bremerhaven Seahawks, 33-21, to remain undefeated and set up a back-to-back series the next two weekends with the Lübeck Seals, also unbeaten.

Under the relegation system that prevails in European sports, the winner of that two-game series (which in the event of a split will be decided by total points differential) will in all likelihood move up to the next higher division next season.

*********** Want a peek at living in a system controlled by Greens? Imagine not being able to use a football field for the entire month of August.

That's the case in Germany, where after the Hamburg Pioneers play a game on July 26, they will not play again until August 24. I am told that it is a federal law that grass fields must remain idle for four consecutive weeks in the summer. (It is up to each individual city and town to determine which weeks.)

I am guessing that it's still legal to have a picnic in the park. With a permit, of course.

*********** I just received “Installing the System” and watched the first half of it and am looking forward to the rest. I have read a lot more about the double wing on the internet and would like to run it for my Pop Warner 8-10 year old team. I have a large roster without a lot of size, and of course have to play all, so I’m hoping to rely on a lot of double teams and misdirection to give us an edge.

My question – do you know if anyone with a team at this level has tried running it with the linemen in 2 point stances? My thought is that it will be easier for most linemen (who end up being less skilled athletes) to pull if they start out that way. It’s not what I would choose if I had more control over personnel, but do you think it could work?

Coach- I understand what you're thinking.

The problem, as I see it, is that pulling is just one part of their job. At least as important is their ability to "block solid" on the playside of a play, and I think that that would be difficult if they were high and defenders were coming in low. The old expression, "Low man wins," applies here.

The reason you see pros using a 2-point stance is that they are going to be pass blocking, against defenders who are also standing up (watch them some time).

I think that you would be better able to get by without even having pulling linemen than without solid blocking on the playside.

Not to say that it won't work for you, but I wouldn't advise it.

*********** In case you were laboring under the misconception that John Madden is not in bed with the NFL...

By ERIC FISHER - Sports Business Journal

EA Sports is expanding its two-year-old “Madden-oliday” marketing effort for the stalwart video game title “Madden NFL” into a full-blown “Maddenpalooza.”

After high-profile launch events for the game in rural Madden, Miss., in 2006 and in New York’s Times Square last year, EA Sports this year plans to hold an all-day music and gaming festival titled “Maddenpalooza” in California’s Rose Bowl on Aug. 11, the day before the retail release of “Madden NFL 09.”

The event will be highlighted by appearances by rock bands Good Charlotte — featuring brothers Joel and Benji Madden, unrelated to game namesake John Madden — as well as From First To Last. It will accompany launch-oriented, joint-marketing efforts with Donruss, Warner Bros. Home Video, 7-Eleven convenience stores, Pepsi and others.

This year’s installment of “Madden NFL” marks the game’s 20th anniversary. Beyond a collector’s version that will include legacy versions of the game and an array of bonus content, EA Sports plans to release a version of the game specifically designed for the increasingly popular Nintendo Wii under its new All-Play sub-brand.

While “Madden NFL” annually has been one of the industry’s top-selling titles, usually moving more than 6 million units each year, first-week sales of the game dipped last year to about 1.8 million units from more than 2 million in the initial week of release in 2006. Still, first-week revenue from the game easily exceeds $100 million, dovetailing with the comprehensive marketing efforts that cost EA in the low-eight figures each year.
“The first key for us is staying true initially to our core customer, continuing to appeal to them, and then laying in new audiences on top of that,” said Christopher Erb, EA director of marketing. “The game itself has a lot of avenues of entry this year, whether you’re a brand-new gamer or a hard-core player.”

EA is working with Warner Bros. Home Video on embedding Madden-related videos and playable game demos within NFL DVD releases such as “In Just One Play,” set for a July 22 release that will precede Madden by three weeks. A similar Madden demo will appear with the DVD set for the first season of the NBC show “Chuck,” due out Sept. 16. Warner Bros., which co-produces “Chuck,” plans to integrate Madden gameplay into the plot line of an episode of the show this fall, as well.

There is also an ancillary retail component to the Madden marketing. In August, EA will distribute through 7-Eleven free DVDs with the Madden demo along with an hour of NFL highlights to purchasers of a Madden meal deal. EA will participate in the chain’s promotional push for their signature Slurpees by aiding in the short-term release of a sports-themed version of the frozen drink flavored with Gatorade.

The extensive distribution of game demos is new for EA.

“We want to get Madden in the hands of people and let them see all the changes with the visuals and the gameplay,” Erb said. “We do a lot this time of year with Madden, but the game itself is still the biggest asset we have.”

*********** A great video on the Canadian Football League - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS1jCfg7Qxc

*********** "My first job is big sister." Venus Williams, winner at Wimbledon over younger sister Serena, on how difficult it is to play- and beat - Serena.

*********** Victor Davis Hansen - "Sociologists have correctly diagnosed the perfect storm that created the "me" generation - sudden postwar affluence, sacrificing parents who did not wish us to suffer as they had in the Great Depression and World War II, and the rise of therapeutic education that encouraged self-indulgence."

*********** How'd you like to manage a baseball team? According to an anonymous Mariners coach: "You''ve got players in that clubhouse who should be team leaders - guys like Richie Sexson, Adrian Beltre, Erik Bedard, even Ichiro - who care only about themselves. When your best players are hitting 50-60 points below their career averages and won't take extra batting practice, what message does that sound?"

Added another coach, "Then Bedard started setting his own pitch counts, and sitting in the clubhouse during games he didn't start. How do you make the highest-paid players on your team work harder if they decide not to?"

*********** A recent Seattle Times article went into some detail about the mess that new coach Paul Wulff has inherited, 300+ miles to the east at Washington State.

Coach Wulff is starting out with eight fewer scholarships than allowed, largely because of the school's abysmal graduation rate in recent years.

Part of that came about, ironically, as a result of the school's unprecedented run of success from 2001 to 2003.

When the Cougars upset Texas in the 2003 Holiday Bowl, they had completed an amazing three-year run in which they'd won 30 games.

And then, said former coach Bill Doba, "We may have gotten a little too big for our britches."

What they did was go after several high-profile recruits, the kind they wouldn't ordinarily have had a shot at - and they didn't land a one. In the meantime, they had lost valuable time needed to do the necessary background research on the fall-back guys, the kind of guys that WSU depends on.

Football success in the West means success in recruiting California kids, and it's not easy to recruit California kids to rural Pullman, Washington. But the alumni don't necessarily understand. "When the alumni see three 10-win seasons in a row, they think it's something that should just happen," said Leon Burtnett, a Doba assistant. "It's just not going to happen at Washington State." Noted Burtnett, "We never beat Washington on a kid in the state that Washington wanted in the time I was there."

To make up its geographic disadvantage, Washington State has traditionally depended on junior college recruits; but those kids can't be recruited in haste, because they need to be checked thoroughly. Said Ken Casavant, WSU faculty athletic representative, "When they're in junior college, they're there for a reason. I don't want to be rude, but you're potentially starting with damaged goods - or at least at-risk students."

As a result of their having to fill their needs at the last minute after failing to land high-profile recruits, they wound up taking some chances. Said Robb Akey, who was then the defensive coordinator and is now head coach at nearby Idaho, "There were some character risks we weren't able to completely turn over and maybe find out all about."

The sad irony of it all is that Coach Wulff has had to address some serious conduct issues since taking over, and yet he has had to be very careful about cleaning house, because every player he kicks off the team means one more player who won't graduate, which means the possible loss of even more scholarships.

I'm guessing one of those "character risks" that Robb Akey referred to was a DB from LA named Courtney Williams, who left school "with academic problems."

As Mr. Williams told the Seattle Times, "WSU is a hard school to go to, Man. You ain't go nothin' to do but get drunk and smoke weed, and not go to class because you're too tired from doing what you're doing."

Right. Nothin' to do but get drunk and smoke weed. I'm sure that back home in LA, he'd have been surfin'.

flagFRIDAY, JULY 4, 2008- We hold these truths to be self-evident - that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

*********** Happy July Fourth! Take a minute and read the above passage from the Declaration of Independence, especially the phrase in italics. Not to be a revolutionary or anything - but when was the last time you gave your consent to be governed by that collection of knaves and fools in Washington?

*********** Listen to Mark Russell, easily one of America's most politically savvy comedians, talking to an audience made up of people our age: "Most of you in here are of my vintage: we're ignored by the media. Born in the depression and made to feel guilty about it. Oh, sure, we had T-shirts, but what was written on them? Nothing! We didn't have enough imagination to put anything on a goddamn T-shirt!"

*********** I wrote earlier about West Point's careful preparations for R-Day (Reception Day), the new cadets' first day, and for those who are interested, I pass along this report.

The last day of June 2008 dawned warm and humid, with partly sunny skies that promised ever-rising temperatures as the day wore on.  By 6:00 am, hundreds of candidates for the Class of 2012, parents, family and friends gathered on the long flight of steps descending the northern side of Eisenhower Hall.  Reception Day 2008 had begun. 
The first to enter Eisenhower Hall auditorium for the initial briefing were members of the Prep School at Ft. Monmouth, NJ, quite distinctive in Army Greens with short-sleeved shirts and high and tight haircuts. Among them, a number of future football players. (It's common for Army football recruits to spend a year at US MIlitary Academy Prep School, all expenses paid, to get them up to academically for West Point, where football players are cut no slack.)

Behind them stretched an ever-increasing line of civilian candidates with family members who had arisen in the dark at motels miles away to drive to West Point, process through the security checkpoint at Stony Lonesome gate off Highway 9W, and arrive well ahead of time, just in case.  If a candidate’s Social Security number ended with zero through three, 6:30 am was the deadline.  Those with numbers from four through six had to be on site an hour later, while the rest were not to begin processing until 8:30 am.  Nobody arrived much later than 7:00 am.
The auditorium briefings proceeded apace, including the now-cliché “90 seconds to say your goodbyes.” Then, as the candidates filed to the front to form up for the bus ride to Thayer Hall under the watchful eyes of the first Beast detail (“Keep your head and eyes to the front; there is no talking on my bus!”), family and friends exited by the rear doors.  They now had the better part of a day until the Oath Ceremony at Trophy Point at 5:40 pm. 
The candidates navigated the various stations at Thayer Hall, including officially taking and signing their cadet oath and turning in cash in excess of $100 and any items on the “do not bring” list, and encountered for the first time the dreaded Cadet in the Red Sash (“Step up to my line.  Not behind my line, not on my line, not over my line.”)  After the candidates had been uniformed in short-sleeved white shirts, gray trousers and white gloves and were practicing the rudiments of marching and saluting while drinking lots of water, family and friends attended the Superintendent’s briefing back at Eisenhower Hall at 3:00 pm, prelude to the Oath Ceremony at Trophy Point at 5:40 pm.

And then, family and friend departed.
The new cadets would arise early the next day - and every day for the next several weeks at 5:00 am for Wake Up, and assemble at 5:30 am for Reveille, followed by physical training until 6:55 am. Training would consume the hours until Organized Athletics from 4:00 to 5:30 pm. After dinner, more training until Commander’s Time at 9:00 pm, followed by Taps at 10.

*********** Wait a minute - we ship wheat to starving North Korea and don't seem to be asking anything in return.

"We do not use food for diplomatic coercion," said a US government official.

Not being a professional diplomat, may I be so bold as to ask - then, just what the f--k do we use?

*********** From the Internet...


'Good morning. We want to apply for a marriage license.'


'Tim and Jim Jones.'

'Jones? Are you related? I see a resemblance.'

'Yes, we're brothers.'

'Brothers? You can't get married.'

'Why not? Aren't you giving marriage licenses to same gender couples?'

'Yes, thousands. But we haven't had any siblings. That's incest!'

'Incest?' No, we are not gay.'

'Not gay? Then why do you want to get married?'

'For the financial benefits, of course. And we do love each other. Besides, we don't have any other prospects.'

'But we're issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples who've been denied equal protection under the law. If you're not gay, you can get married to a woman.'

'Wait a minute. A gay man has the same right to marry a woman as I have. But just because I'm straight doesn't mean I want to marry a woman. I want to marry Jim.'

'And I want to marry Tim. Are you going to discriminate against us just because we're not gay?'

'All right, all right. I'll give you your license. Next.'

'Hi. We're here to get married.'


'John Smith, Jane James, Robert Green, and June Johnson.'

'Who wants to marry whom?'

'We all want to marry each other.'

'But there are four of you!'

'That's right. You see, we're all bisexual. I love Jane and Robert, Jane loves me and June, June loves Robert and Jane, and Robert loves June and me.. All of us getting married together is the only way that we can express our sexual preferences in a marital relationship.'

'But we've only been granting licenses to gay and lesbian couples.'

'So you're discriminating against bisexuals!'

'No, it's just that, well, the traditional idea of marriage is that it's just for couples.'

'Since when are you standing on tradition?'

'Well, I mean, you have to draw the line somewhere.'

'Who says? There's no logical reason to limit marriage to couples. The more the better. Besides, we demand our rights! The mayor says the constitution guarantees equal protection under the law. Give us a marriage license!'

'All right, all right. Next.'

'Hello, I'd like a marriage license.'

'In what names?'

'David Deets.'

'And the other man?'

'That's all. I want to marry myself.'

'Marry yourself? What do you mean?'

'Well, my psychiatrist says I have a dual personality, so I want to marry the two together. Maybe I can file a joint income-tax return.'

'That does it! I quit!! You people are making a mockery of marriage!!'

*********** If it ain't broke - break it.

Bud Light is the number one selling beer in the US, so you'd think that the people at Anheuser-Busch would realize they were onto something with Bud Light's humorous advertising.

You know - Spuds McKenzie.... frogs... "I love you, man"... "Whassup?" ... Cedric the Entertainer spraying his date.

But no-o-o-o-o-o-o.

A-B has asked the several advertising agencies that work for it to come up with ideas to put more of a "product benefit message" into Bud Light's advertising.

"Product benefits message." Other than "refreshing," what can they say? "Tastes Great" "Less Filling?" Been done.

My boss at the old National Brewing Company in Baltimore once joked that we ought to just cut to the chase and show some guy holding a can of our beer, looking at the screen and saying, "I like National Beer because it makes me drunk."

*********** You've known for some time that I have joked about favoring the execution of anyone who butchers our national anthem. Seriously, though, what took place in Denver this week convinced me that desecration of the national anthem is the next thing to flag burning.

What happened in Denver was that prior to the mayor's state of the city address, a woman engaged to sing the national anthem instead sang, to the tune of the Star Spangled Banner, a song known as the "Black National Anthem."

We won't get into what makes a nation.

Suffice it to say that not one of the stuffed shirts on the stage had the cojones to grab the mike from her.

She said she did it because she sometimes feels like a foreigner in the USA.

"When I decided to sing my version, what was going on in my head was: 'I want to express how I feel about living in the United States, as a black woman, as a black person,'" she told a Denver TV station.

The Mayor, who like most politicians has pea-sized gonads, said he discussed the situation with the woman following her performance. "She was very apologetic," he told the Denver Post. "She meant no disrespect, and she was singing an artistic expression she thought represented love and hope for her country."

Yeah, right. Love and hope for her country. Apologetic, maybe, but not by my definition of the word, because she then told station KUSA-TV she has no regrets.

*********** After hearing that in return for giving up the fight to keep the Sonics from moving, the Seattle government got $75 million to blow on homeless shelters and services for illegal immigrants, politicians all over the US have to be scrambling for ways to ship one of their teams out of town so they can get their hands on that sort of money.

*********** Coach Wyatt,
In reading the below,
"That's because things like that simply don't happen in well-managed programs where (1)  the coach has created an atmosphere of trust and respect (and a little fear) on his team; (2) the coaches have properly instructed their players on what does and does not go on on bus rides; (3) the bus driver looks in the mirror and tells kids to sit down (in many states, that's the law); (4) the coaches turn around and look back occasionally."

it reminded me of the number of times I've taken my team on the road and the boorish behavior I've seen from other teams in restaurants, hotels and the like.

Kids running amuck up and down the hallways, literally hollering at each other, hotel room doors slamming, loud music and TV from their rooms, etc. 

When we go on the road, I tell our players that ALL eyes will be on us.  More importantly, MY eyes will be on them.  IF there is ANY cutting-up (i.e., hijinks, tomfoolery, shenanigans), they will be going home.  Kids are grouped in rooms NOT with their "best friend" but with two "total opposites"  (one "mischevious character," one "Eagle Scout" and one "quiet kid" per room, with the parent of either the "Eagle Scout" or the "quiet kid" as the chaperone.)  The "mischevious character" is always bored out of his mind with the "quiet kid" and "Eagle Scout" in there.  More importantly, the dad of "quiet kid" or "Eagle Scout" has already been briefed by myself and told what time the players must be in bed and what time is lights out.  There is no "visiting with friends" in other rooms.  You have your room assignment and it stays that way.  Seats are assigned on the bus.  A "talker" is next to the window, while a "quiet kid" is on the aisle.  Parents are assigned every other row, so that a "talker" has a quiet kid next to him, and parents in front and behind him.  As for restaurants, I tell my players that if I were a customer in having dinner, the LAST thing I'd want to see is 30 ten-year-olds marching into the restaurant at the same time.  We will order our food, eat and leave.  IF I have to speak to ANY player, he will be removed immediately and will have to finish his meal on the bus.  Players are mandated to say "thank you" and "please" to the wait staff.  If I don't hear it, they are sent to the bus.  Oftentimes, I may not get to sit back and "relax with the coaches" as my head is "on a swivel" and I am constantly scoping the players.  In the hotel, I roam the hall, make bed checks and listen for any noise.  On more than one occassion, I've had adults remark to me about how well-behaved our kids are in these public areas.  I truly believe the self-discipline involved helps us on the field.  More importantly, it helps these young men become more aware of their surroundings and what is acceptable behavior.
--Dave Potter, Durham, North Carolina (As always, I appreciate Coach Potter's input.

And I appreciate his letting the great number of other coaches who may be doing somewhat the same thing as he know that they're not alone.

Being a coach who has standards while so many of their opponents are content to let theirs act like little barbarians has to be like being the only parent in the neighborhood who sets rules for his kids and enforces them.

*********** You may remember my writing about Oregon's imaginative use of comic books featuring their recruits as the hero, and updating the stories as the recruiting went on. Hell, if I were a recruit, I'd have stuck with Orehon right down to the end to see how my story was going to play out. Oregon used this unique approach to land premier running back Jonathan Stewart - check this out


*********** Hugh,

Thanks for the note in your News about the girl from Camas with perfect
attendance. When I taught middle school in Florida a few years back I
had a student who had perfect attendance. She was a hard worker, got good
grades, and was the star player on every team she played on. She was also
considered the best team player as well! She just finished her Freshman
year at Harvard where she was the leading Freshman scorer on the Varsity
Soccer team.

Who was it that said 90% of success is showing up?

Sam Keator, Litchfield, Connecticut (As a matter of fact, I think it was Woody Allen who said that! HW)

*********** COACH W: There's an interesting debate going on on one of the local chatboards about playing time for JV football players.
One camp says all JV kids should get time, provided they've earned through hard work, etc, etc.
The other camp says that JV football is supposed to prepare kids who have varsity potential, to compete at the varsity level. Therefore, playing time should be reserved mainly for those kids. The rest MAY get time, but it's not guaranteed.
Where do you come down on this?
Mike Brusko, Zionsville PA

(I wrote this some 20 years ago and I still subscribe to the thinking)


The J.V. program is analogous to a major league baseball team's minor-league program - it exists to strengthen our varsity team.

It provides us with a chance to observe potential varsity players under game conditions.

It provides players with a chance to improve their skills against outside competition.

It gives younger players a chance to mature.

It provides additional playing time for underclassmen currently on the varsity team, whose further development depends on getting more game experience.

At times, it may even provide playing opportunities for some players who have little chance of ever playing varsity football. This is a happy but unintended side effect, and not a major reason for running a J.V. program.

We do not subscribe to the idea of equal playing time. That concept is inconsistent with the competitive demands made on the varsity program, nor is it what competitive youngsters expect.

While we are committed to seeing that every J.V. player who has met his obligations to the program will play in every game, we can't make any guarantees as to when or how much he will play.

We are faced with rationing a scarce commodity - playing time. We accept the burden of deciding how to deal it out, well aware that it is never possible to make everyone happy. Just as with anything scarce, not everybody will get as much as they'd like.

We rely heavily on J.V. games to help us determine which youngsters are showing improvement and forecast which ones are likely to do so. We allocate scarce playing time according to one criterion - how it will benefit our program the most, now and in the future.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that nearly every athlete reaches the point where dreams collide with reality. In some high school sports, that can mean being cut from the squad. In football, it more often means not playing the position a player had in mind, or not playing as much as he'd like, or maybe not even playing at all.

Nothing hurts a coach more than having to disappoint a youngster who is a good person, but just isn't strong enough, fast enough, tough enough, or skilled enough, to play.

But the reality is that we are charged with preparing young men for high-level high school varsity competition, and we must hand out a scarce good - playing time - on the basis of whose participation will benefit our varsity program the most.

*********** After reading "Warrior King," former Army QB Nate Sassaman's story of his service in Iraq and what some might call his betrayal by his superiors, I recommend the book highly.

My review...

In another war, Nate Sassaman's aggressive leadership would have earned him a statue somewhere. Instead, as "the right warrior for the wrong war," his career was sacrificed to satisfy the needs of an army obsessed with appearances instead of winning. His is a story of brave men faced with hardship and hostility, having to make snap decisions in the heat of combat, often to be second-guessed by careerist officers sitting in the air-conditioned comfort of their offices. The parallel to big city police forces does not go unnoticed - "there is no war right now," he writes. "It's law enforcement, and we're losing ten, fifteen soldiers a week to law enforcement." If you oppose the war, you need to read the book to appreciate the sort of people we send over to fight it; if you support the war, you need to read it to understand why LTC Sassaman, a true warrior, writes, "Bring the soldiers home - now. Start today."

(Fair disclosure: I know Nate Sassaman. I have followed his career from the time he played high school football in Aloha, Oregon. I admit that my long-held feelings influenced my reading of the book, and my review. This is a controversial work, and there are sure to be those who disagree with LTC Sassaman and some who even see him as something of a villain.)

*********** Last Saturday night was the annual Big 33 game, between Pennsylvania and Ohio high school All-Stars.

My wife and actually actually saw the very first one, back in 1959. Then, as now, it was played in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Just in case you wondered whether my wife is hard core football... we spent our honeymoon in Hershey. Actually, we started out someplace else but it was bo-r-r-r-ring, so we headed to Hershey, one of my favorite places from the time I was a little kid.

What a cool place. We spent our mornings watching high schoolers prepare for the Big 33 game, and our afternoons watching the Eagles, who then trained at Hershey.

The first couple of Big 33 Games featured Pennsylvania's supposed best 33 players against a team billed as USA All-Stars or somesuch.

Pennsylvania won 'em both.

And then they decided to challenge Texas.

If I remember correctly, Pennsylvania won the first one, and got a lot of pub in places such as Sports Illustrated - much to the consternation of the folks in Texas, who claimed that many of their best players had been involved in an intra-state all-star game and weren't able to make it to Hershey.

And so the Texans got serious. With legendary pro QB Bobby Layne as their coach, and the first line players in uniform, they made a couple more trips to Hershey and proved to the Pennsylvanians that they could play football, too. I do remember watching a young guy from Bridgetown, Texas named Steve Worster, who would go on to Texas and gain fame as Woo-Woo Worster, the first wishbone fullback ever. Without a stud like him at fullback, Texas might never have successfully run the 'bone. The Texas team also had a great receiver named Cotton Speyrer, who would go on to distinction as a Longhorn.

Don't know why the game was discontinued - I suspect the Texans wanted some sort of home-and-home arrangement and the Pennsylvanians didn't, but in any event,The Big 33 Game turned into an East-West deal for several years. That wasn't such a bad idea, actually, because historically, Pennsylvania has long been split east-west by the Allegheny Mountains. Pittsburgh is more of a midwest city, while Philadelphia is definitely eastern. Western Pennsylvanians long considered Eastern Pennsylvanians to be effete. Western Pennsylvania's sports organization, called the WPIAL, had a state championship in football in its half of the state long before the guys in the east even considered such a thing.)

After several years of east-west, there was a stretch during which Pennsylvania played Maryland, and then for the last fifteen years, it has been Pennsylvania-Ohio.

Saturday night, it was televised on the NFL network. Damn shame. It was nice watching the game of course, but let's just say that the NFL ought to be a little more careful about what it identifies its brand with. The production was so amateurish it took me back to the early days of cable telecasts.

Right from the start, we met the Booth Bozos. They lost their credibility within the first couple of minutes when they told us that the players we were going to see were headed for "prestigious places."

And then they showed us a four of the players head for prestigious players.

Out of all the supposed stars we were about to see, they introduced us to two players from each team. One was going to Pitt. Okay. But the others were going to Richmond.... Bowling Green... Cincinnati. Uh, "prestigious?" Listen, nothing wrong with any of them. if one of my players were good enough to go to one of those places, I'd be happy as hell. But "prestigious?"

Then, after meeting just four kids, we went back to the booth. No more intros, even though I'd venture a guess that an awful lot of the audience were interested in where these kids were from - and where they were going. If the producers really think viewers want to see Bozos, how do they explain the enormous business that has grown up around college recruiting information?

By the way, have you noticed how TV types can't talk without exaggerated hand gestures? Don't ever let one of these people drive your your car.

You'd think the drama coaches who are telling these people to use their hands would also tell them never to use a phrase without knowing exactly what it means. The color guy wanted to use the phrase "mano a mano" (hand to hand) but instead, he said "mano y mano" (hand and hand), which certainly would have caused any Spaniards in the audience to say WTF? (or however that's said in Spanish).

If we needed any further proof that these people didn't have their sh-- together, the two quarterbacks that they intro'd turned out not even to be the starters on their teams. WTF?

I should note here that the best-known QB in both states - Terelle Pryor, from Jeannette, PA, who is headed to Ohio State - did not play. Gee, I wonder why? I'm sure he had Jim Tressel's blessing. (Suppose he had played. How'd you like to go back home to Ohio after hurting him?)

Pennsylvania jumped out to a big lead, thanks largely to the passing combination of QB Tino Sunseri and wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin, who are both headed to Pitt. Sunseri looks pretty good. Baldwin looks very, very good.

Interviewed on the sideline and asked the usual stock question about how difficult it was to adjust to receivers in just a week of practice, Sunseri was disarmingly frank - "We're Pitt guys, " said, referring to the fact that there were no fewer than six Pitt kids on the Pennsylvania team. "We've been throwing all summer," or words to that effect.

(Based solely on the standout performances of the Pitt kids in this game, I'd say to keep an eye on Pitt. Penn State had several kick-ass defensive players in the game.)

Whoever was in charge of the trivia questions thrown at us from time to time must have thought the audience was really into Big 33 stuff. Either that or he had a very unusual sense of humor. Get this one: what two guys played in the 2001 Big 33 Game and then played against each other when the Colts faced the Bears in Super Bowl ---- The answer, for which we waited breathlessly: Marlin Jackson and Robbie Gould. Huh?

It's always fun for me to note the point at which every show morphs. The format of every football broadcast, at any level, starts out pretty much the same - the usual play-by-play broadcast of a football game - but at some point, nearly every game morphs from play-by-play into Bullsh-- in the Booth. Guy talk, like I'm trapped in an airport waiting area and have to listen. Unfortunately for Big 33 viewers, Pennsylvania jumped out to a big early lead so you can figure for yourself how seldom what was said in the booth had any connection to what was happening on the field.

For the record: Of the kids on the two teams headed to BCS schools, Pennsylvania had 14 (Pitt 6, Penn State 6, Syracuse 2) and so did Ohio (Ohio State 6, Michigan 4, Michigan State 2, West Virginia 2)

*********** How appropriate that the NFL network carried promos for a new show called "Hurl." Classy. I won't say any more about it because my agent is on my case to hurry up with the script for "Defecate."

flagTUESDAY, JULY 1, 2008- "Holding onto power is like holding a wolf by the ears." Roman Emperor Tiberius

*********** Down 31-24 at halftime, the Hamburg Pioneers, probably the best Double-Wing team outside of North America, came back to defeat the Wilhelmshaven Buccaneers, 46-31 Sunday in a German Oberliga Nord contest. The Pioneers had 571 yards of total offense, 506 of them on the ground.

Now at the midpoint of their season, the Pioneers and their coach, Mathias Bonner, are 5-0, and tied for first in the league with the Lübeck Seals. They've rushed for 2563 yards, an average of 512.6 yards per game.

They've scored 211 points, which is very good; but they've also given up 141, which leaves room for improvement.

*********** My father has been dead going on 27 years this fall; my father-in-law died in the summer of 1994. They were hard-working guys who married and started families during the Depression, and never could fully shake the sense that times could turn tough again at any time. To put it mildly, they knew the value of a dollar, and they didn't squander what money had. I'd love for them to come back and see people paying more for a bottle of water than they paid for a bottle of beer ... teenagers with their own cell phones... personal seat licenses (I doubt that either one of them ever paid more than $5 to watch a major league baseball game).

*********** Lloyd Kempson of Lake Worth, Texas sent me a link to photos of what are purported to be Russian "cheerleaders." Wow. Russians, you see, like most Europeans, don't understand the supposed purpose of our cheerleaders, and having seen only the NFL version, think that they're at games primarily to furnish soft-core porn for those who don't like football.


*********** Back in the late 1960's, I worked part-time as a sports reporter for the Frederick (Md.) News-Post, and, travelling around Western Maryland doing the pre-season high school basketball forecast, I interviewed a successful coach who told me about his "pink panty" drill - the player who shot poorest from the free-throw line at the end of practice had to wear a pair of women's pink panties at the next day's practice.  ("Women's pink panties" does sound kind of redundant, actually.  I don't know- and don;t care to know - any men who wear pink panties!) 

I happened to remind my wife of this the other day, and we had a good laugh, thinking how that would go over in these days of (1) concern for everybody's "feelings" and (2) gender equity and sexual harassment and fear of the wrath of the feminists.

*********** I think steroids are awful and dangerous and all that, but I am slow to condemn users.
I mean, get serious - if I were 21 years old today and taking them could mean I might get a shot at pro football, I'd be standing in line to take them.

Yeah, yeah, I know - I could be dead by the time I'm 40. So who thinks about being 40 when they're 21?
I well remember the days when I was 21, and the American Football League was getting started. I was too small (and probably too slow) to play after college, so if someone had offered me the chance to "enhance" my body with steroids, I'd probably have been User Number One.

Not that I had that option. All that was available back then was stuff from Bob Hoffman, owner of the York Barbell Company, called Hoffman's Hi-Proteen. Did it work?

Yeah, right. And I got drafted by both the NFL and AFL.

*********** I suppose a true soccer fan might have found something exciting about Spain's 1-0 (that would be "one-nil") win over Germany in the European Championships. But then, I suppose a podiatrist might find Great Moments in Foot Surgery exciting. To each his own, with my apologies to podiatrists everywhere for comparing them with soccer fans.

Me, I had the Women's Open on the other set (Paula Creamer is a babe), and only occasionally looked over at the soccer. I mean, how much excitement can a football coach take?

*********** Check out my brief biog of Ernie Davis - December 8, 2000 ---- http://www.coachwyatt.com/dec00.html

Way back then, long-time reader Dave Potter, of Durham, North Carolina, wrote, "Why there has never been a movie made about his life, I have no idea."

Hey. Great idea. A movie about Ernie Davis.

A handsome, likeable young football player wins the Heisman Trophy but dies of leukemia before ever playing a pro football game.

Sad but true, that's the story of Ernie Davis, who as a running back at Syracuse came as close as any human being ever could to making people there forget about another Syracuse great, Jim Brown - who was only, in my humble estimation, the greatest runner in the history of the game.

Nicknamed the Elmira Express for the town in New York where he played his high school ball, Ernie Davis was loved by all who knew him - good looking, personable, humble, and a dapper dresser who favored the so-called Ivy League fashion of the time.

So the movie had to happen eventually, and now it's due out soon. It's going to be called "The Express."

My fear is that, like "Invinceable," it's going to be "based on a true story."

They're sure to try to sex it up a bit, but that won't be easy, since in those days cheerleaders wore sweaters and wool skirts.

But wait - Ernie Davis was black, so there's sure to be the black-kid-in-a-racist America slant.

Knowing Hollywood, that's my biggest fear and strongest suspicion.

Elmira is a mostly-white city in upstate New York, so there's some story potential in the growing-up-black-in-a-white-town stuff. Searching for his identity and all that. And then one day hehe stepped on a football field and people began to notice, etc., etc.

And then he went to a mostly-white university, where as a football star he was lionized until - uh-oh - he dated white women. Actually, I don't know, or care, whether he did or not, but it makes a great story. They can do wonders with the interracial dating angle and the local yokels' racist reaction to it. Probably Hollywood will show a few rednecks driving by "Ernie" and his (white) date, throwing beer cans and shouting racial epithets at him - and her. Not that it necessarily happened, you understand, but it is "based" on a true story.

Besides, that was a dead story at Syracuse, where years before a black player named Avatus Stone actually did cause a stir by dating white women at a time when those things just weren't done.

Then there's always Davis' coach, Ben Schwarzwalder, a gruff, no-nonsense type. It'll be easy for the Hollywood types to portray him as a crusty old racist. The real Ben Schwarzwalder was from West Virginia, which is all the moviemakers will need to know. I predict that when Hollywood gets finished with him, he'll be the reincarnation of Boss Hogg

And finally, there's the story of Davis' being taken first overall in the 1962 NFL draft.

The first pick in the draft belonged to the Washington Redskins, whose owner, George Preston Marshall - a real, honest-to-God crusty old racist - had once vowed that no black (he used another term) player would ever play for him.

But with congressional pressure on Marshall to integrate his team, it became apparent that it would be Ernie Davis' fate to become the first black Redskin.

Before the draft, though, Cleveland obtained the Redskins' first-round choice by giving up a first-round draft choice of their own, plus star running back Bobby Mitchell, to whom fell the honor of integrating the Redskins.

The Browns drafter and signed Davis, but not too long after that came the word that he had been diagnosed with leukemia.

The trade had been totally coach Paul Brown's idea, done without consulting owner Art Modell. It wasn't easy giving up Bobby Mitchell, one of the most dangerous runners in the game, but Brown must have salivated at the thought of Jim Brown and Ernie Davis, two big, strong speedsters, in the same backfield.

Modell wasn't happy about how much it had cost him to sign Davis (at the time, the WFL and NFL were at war, opening their checkbooks to sign rookies), and later, in his book "PB," coach Brown accused owner Modell of insisting that he play the dying Davis in an exhibition game in order to draw the kind of crowd that would help him recover some of the bonus money he'd had to pay out to Davis.

Modell denied the charge, and Brown, by then the owner of the Bengals, was fined $100,000 by NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle for publicly criticizing a fellow owner.

So yes, there's a lot of sociological stuff in there, and my suspicion is that what football there is will merely be the hook to get everyone to watch as the movie makers exploit the tragic story of an Athlete Dying Young to tell us once again what an evil, racist country this is.

*********** Sunday morning, General Wesley Clark (remember him?) was on one of the TV talk shows, taking shots at John McCain, probably because he is the only person the Democrats believe has sufficient military credentials to do so.

Funny... this is the same General Wesley Clark who lavishly praised the war experience of John Kerry (who, in case you never heard, served in Vietnam).

There were those who served with Kerry and disputed his claims of heroism, but there is no disputing what John happened to McCain. Shot down over North Vietnam, he spent five and half years - repeat that slowly: FIVE AND A HALF YEARS, longer than we've been in Iraq - of his young life in a North Vietnamese prison, not to be confused with the sort of place a Martha Stewart gets sent to.

Actually, radio snippets of Clark's performance lead me to believe that he's auditioning for the Vice-Presidential spot on the Demo ticket.

Oooo-boy. Would I love to see that. The Little General may be seen by Democrats as giving them credibility in matters of national security, but among those who know him he has a reputation as an egostical little pr--k, and is absolutely despised by a great many of his fellow officers.

He'll get picked to pieces.

*********** I make no secret of the fact that I disagree with the sort of feminism that argues that women are victims and need special advantages to close certain perceived "gaps" that exist between them and men. That includes Title IX.

But as the father of three daughters and the grandfather of four grand-daughters, it pisses me off to think that we've come as far as we've come, to where anyone watching the news knew that we nearly had a woman running for President on the Democratic ticket, yet still there are millions of young women who don't watch the news and are getting the message from our marketers and our mass media that if they don't push their bazooms up and together and show cleavage, if they don't shake their booties, if they don't, for God's sake, have some loser's baby out of wedlock... there's something wrong with them.

If you're a father of a daughter, you should want her to be treated seriously, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to have the same opportunities for success as any American, and you should fight the sort of swine who trivialize all women by promoting such grotesque stereotypes.

*********** Where do they get these people? The new Miss Oregon says her "platform" is something called The Children's Global Health Crisis. Very deep. Oh - and her talent is belly dancing.

*********** From old friend Chuck Ciehomski, in Buffalo, New York comes an article about yet another one of those gruesome incidents of high school athletes sodomizing younger teammates. This one evidently took place in the back of a baseball team bus while the varsity and JV coaches rode up front, and according to court documents, the perpetrators are accused of “(inserting) a foreign object into the rectum of a male while he was being held down on the floor of the school bus.”

This grotesque conduct certainly is not confined to upstate New York. We have had some ugly situations like that out here in the Northwest, one of them a year or so ago with a basketball team, and another maybe four years ago with a wrestling team.

I am having great difficulty understanding the fascinationwith doing vulgar things that venture on bestiality. They seem to happen frequently enough to justify some sort of research into the sort of sickness that occupies the minds of these perverts.

And as for the coaches... let me put it this way... assuming that there's proof that the assault did actually happen...  I'm sure I would be excused from jury duty should they be called to account.

That's because things like that simply don't happen in well-managed programs where (1)  the coach has created an atmosphere of trust and respect (and a little fear) on his team; (2) the coaches have properly instructed their players on what does and does not go on on bus rides; (3) the bus driver looks in the mirror and tells kids to sit down (in many states, that's the law); (4) the coaches turn around and look back occasionally.

It is certainly possible that the incident may not have happened as it appears to have,  but otherwise, if  this gross act  is, as a newspaper article suggests,  "dividing a community," that must be one f--ked up community - a little bit of Deliverance in Western New York.

flagFRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008- "How people treat those who cannot do them any good or any harm reveals a lot about their character." Dr. Thomas Sowell


Last weekend, I worked with some of the coaches of the Cedarcrest Red Wolves' organization, in Duvall, Washington, and as I mentioned earlier that I would do, I invited Mike Lude to join me. I was a little nervous as I went about teaching stuff that Mike, co-inventor of the Delaware Wing-T brought to our game back in the 50s, but if I said anything he disagreed with, Mike, ever the diplomat, never let on. Out on the field, it was as if Mike had never left coaching (and gone on to a career as an AD at Kent State, Washington and Auburn) - he worked with kids and worked with the coaches, who all remembered him from the days when we was AD at Washington, Don James was his coach, and the Huskies were the scourge of the Pac-10.

mike lude

*********** The Wall Street Journal, in one of the first signs of Rupert Murdoch's intentions of turning it into another USA Today, recently released what it called a list of the "Top 10 Athletes in the World."

God, I hate lists. They're like being duct-taped to a chair and having to listen to some fool spout his opinions.

The selection panel, heavily into exercize science and that sort of stuff, seemed to have a different idea from me of what an athlete is.

Some of their selections were questionable. Roger Federer, at Number Five, is a fantastic tennis player, but as good as he is, he simply can't beat Rafael Nadal on a clay court.

Lebron James, the only basketball player on the list, is Number Two. Maybe he is that great. But with all those great athletes in the NBA - in my opinion, pro basketball players, overall, are the best athletes in the world - is he so much better than all the others in the league that not one other basketball player could make the list?

Wait - I was wrong. There are three from track! Track! A sport where you might be able to do one f--king thing better than anyone else in the world? Okay, okay, if you're a decathlete (as the Number One guy on the WSJ list is), you can do 10 things really well - but not a damn one of them involves handling a ball. (More about that later.) Another track guy runs the 400 meters. He's 6 feet, 155. Gimme a break. He may be the greatest 400-meter runner in the world, but I'll bet he throws like a girl (Sorry. I'm hopelessly sexist about some things.) I doubt that he can catch a cold, or make more than one out of ten from the free-throw line. I won't even get into hittinga curve ball.

Track stars? Athletes? Sure - back in the days before the invention of the ball.

The ball created a very simple line of demarcation: played with a ball? It's a sport.

Not played with a ball? It's not a sport. Maybe its participants are athletes, which is to say they many be endowed with great athletic abilities, but they are non-ball athletes, and not to be compared with ball athletes.

The late, great George Carlin understood. He said that to be a sport, it had to be played with a ball. Hockey wasn't a sport, he said, because it wasn't played with a ball. (We disagree on that.)

What about soccer? you ask. Soccer is played with a ball. Hah. Carlin saw right through that one - "anything where you can't use your arms can't be a sport. Tap dancing isn't a sport. I rest my case." (A soccer player, if you can believe this, was Number Nine on the WSJ list - I'd like to see him play Kobe, who didn't make the list, in a game of one-on-one, first to 10, winners out. Better yet, I'd like to see him catch one coming across the middle..)

For me to consider you the best athlete in the world, you would have to excel in a sport that requires hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, stamina, speed, strength, agility, competitiveness and manly (sorry if that offends anybody) courage.

Carlin put it like this: "To my way of thinking, there are really only three sports: baseball, basketball and football. Everything else is either a game or an activity." (Again, I differ onhockey. If a football can be counted as a "ball" - try bouncing one sometime - so can a puck.)

Feel free to take your auto racers and boxers and bike racers and bobsledders and wrestlers and swimmers and decathletes and golfers and speed skaters and soccer players and skiers and list them as you like. I'm not going to argue that those people aren't athletes. But until they prove themselves in one of my Big Four, they'll never make my list of best athletes in the world.

Of course, I should add, neither will certain overweight baseball and football players.

*********** At West Point, today (Friday) is “Mock R-Day,” when volunteers from on post and the nearby communities come to Eisenhower Hall to help test the administrative and logistics aspects of "R-Day", or Reception Day, the first day of Cadet Basic Training, fondly known to all Cadets as "Beast Barracks" - a summer of hard physical training and indoctrination into what is expected of a new cadet. Some of the volunteers at MOck R-Day actually serve as surrogate new cadets so that the upper class cadets can practice teaching them basic skills, such as saluting and reporting.

Consider - these people have been doing this, in one way or another, for 200 years. You'd think by now they'd have it down pat. But they still find the need for a dress rehearsal.

Yet there are those football coaches who think they know better - they'll go out on the field the first day without ever having a dry run through the logistics of a practice with their staff.

*********** I enjoy talking on the phone with other coaches. There are times when I think that the telephone was invented by a football coach - certainly if not by a coach, then for coaches. Coaches have always been known for their use of the phone, whether for recruiting, for keeping up on job prospects (football coaches were "networking" before there was such a verb), and, for head coaches, talking with other head coaches, the only other people who truly understand what their job is like. Despite the fact that on the job we're usually surrounded by lots of people, when you're the head guy it's actually very lonely job.  There are some things it's just not possible to talk over with assistants, because they just wouldn't understand, the way another head coach would.

*********** A friend wrote to me about how to go about starting a youth football program in his town.

Based on some of the things I've learned from my associations with other coaches, here's what I wrote...

I think that the first step would be to find out if there is any interest in your area in having youth football.  The logical way to do that, I think, would be to contact a trusted parent or two who has a younger son.

Next, the ideal thing is for you to be involved and in on it, but not in charge, because you do not need the additional responsibility.  But it will be helpful to them to know that you will help train coaches, etc.

Once you've determined that there is interest, the next thing is finding people to play - finding out if there is a nearby league you can play in, or if you can somehow play an independent schedule while you're getting things started.

If there is interest and there is a place to play, the next thing is getting the equipment.  There are lots of ways to handle this, and again, there might be people in town who have some ideas.   (By the way, don't exclude people just because they don't have kids, don't want to coach, or don't even care about football - they could still help raise funds.)

Seems to me that this would be a great time to start, with the goal of playing in 2009.

You could start to build interest this year by organizing flag football games for younger kids every Saturday morning - maybe you could charge something minimal and get someone to provide tee-shirts.  (I like the idea of charging something, because parents seem to get more involved in something when they have something invested in it.)  First, you give them a little coaching - very little.   Maybe it's just running out for passes.  Then games -  choose up sides randomly.   Make sure it's fun. Everybody plays and everybody gets to pass and catch (you may have to set up some rules to see that that happens). And you get some of your players to help coach and officiate.  Maybe you get somebody to donate pizza and drinks afterward.

Anyone with experience in this area is certainly invited to chime in.

*********** That same coach is a really hard worker and a good student of the game, but he worries that he could be doing still more with his kids in the summer time...

I think he's already doing a great job, and I told him so.  He's putting a good team on the field, he's winning a lot of games, and his kids seem to be having a good experience.

Frankly, I think that unless there's really reason to worry, I'm not sure that I'd press my kids too hard to do more.   I wouldn't ask any less of them than they're doing, of course, because that could lead to a downhill skid, but the real trick with high school kids is to keep them loving football, and I think the key to that is to know when to press them and when to let go.

*********** Ever stood on a practice field and seen lightning off in the distance and wondered whether it was time to go in yet?

In Colorado Springs, two police officers were injured after being struck by lightning. They were in a parking lot and - get this - there was no sign of an approaching storm.

*********** I hope Annika Sorenstam wins the Women's Open. There she is, the best in the game, and yet she doesn't make as much money as a very ordinary golfer named Michelle Wie, who has never won a tournament but nevertheless has amassed a fortune acting in a freak show - in which a cute little teenage girl plays in men's tournaments.

*********** Here's a good one - on the same day that Carmelo ("Don't Be a Snitch") Anthony was named to the US Olympic Team, the Nuggets announced that he was being suspends for two games next season for his DUI conviction.

*********** The Republican candidate for governor of the state of Washington is a guy named Dino Rossi. Good man. Got cheated out of the win last time around by the current Governor, a woman who recently excused Indian tribes from having to pay the state tens of millions of dollars a year - and only received $600,000 from them in return.

Dino Rossi. Italian, right?

I don't know what the Demmies were thinking, but they recently ran a TV spot consisting of black-and-white photos of Rossi, to the accompaniment of the opening theme from The Sopranos. Cute.

After an Italian-American group complained, the Demos pulled the ad. (They're lucky it was Washington, and not New Jersey.)

Just thinking - can you imagine the sh-- that would hit the fan if some numbnuts were to put together a TV spot consisting of black-and-white shots of Barack Obama, to the strains of "F--k tha Police?"

*********** I know the lefties' script requires them to say, "We can't drill our way to lower prices, blah, blah, blah," but if, like me, you wonder where the oil's going to come from if we don't drill (and, trust me, long after there are windmills on every ridge in America and solar panels covering every square mile of Death Valley, we will be needing oil), you should sign the "DRILL NOW" petition...


*********** The Raleigh News & Observer reported that Duke was able to duck out of three games with Louisville without having to pay for doing so because - it hurts me to write this - Duke's football team sucks.

It's true. The contract had called for a penalty of $150,000 per game - $450,000 in all - if Duke were to cancel and Louisville was unable schedule another game with a "team of similar stature," but Duke's lawyers argued, in effect, that the Blue Devils were so bad (13-90 over the last nine years, and 1-11 last year) that Louisville could easily find another Division I opponent "of similar stature" to replace them.

The judge agreed.

*********** Regarding the disgraceful treatment given a coaching friend after just one year - in MAY, despite his principal's assurances that he was okay, his AD decided to evaluate him by calling in assistants and players - I wrote,

This is as bad as it gets. It's too bad that a good man had to resign - for the record, he did a pretty good job in his first season at a place that has had real trouble winning over the years. Now I'm beginning to see why. But what else can a good man do when he's faced with this kind of administrative treachery? Whatta buncha worms.All you guys reading this who hope to be head coaches some day - do you see why I say that you should never take a job where you do not have the power to hire and fire assistants? If they owe their jobs to someone other than you, they know that they will be around even if you get fired, and they're not going to do everything they can to help you keep your job. Not only that, but when you're the one they have to please, they're not going to run behind your back to bitch to the administration.

A coach from "somewhere in the Heartland" wrote, "Excellent, excellent advice"

"Hugh, It gets worse.  As you know, I was coaching at a school in (a Midwestern state).  I took on a rebuilding project that was a two hour drive from where I grew up because my Dad was dying from cancer.  I had all the alarm bells going off inside my head, not to take the job, but I wanted to be closer to my Dad.  It turns out, that during the two seasons that I was coaching, the AD (who was the previous head coach) had been working the whole time to get a coach from a rival school (His good friend).  And, when the coach finally said yes, well lets just say I had to do some scrambling to find another job.  To top everything off, I was told the same week that my Dad passed away. 

I am not going to even try to attempt to talk about the frustration, acts of disloyalty by assistants (good friends of the AD), and lack of support.  I would rather focus on the positives that have developed.  I was able to get a job back in (another state).  I am the defensive coordinator for a 5A school in (that state).  I am a member of a committed and caring staff that truly want to make a difference in the lives of young men.  I remember asking God during my final year at the school in (the original state) if there was a way out of my situation because I was getting very frustrated with everything.  It turns out, everything that was happening to me was a blessing.  I am in a much better situation that I am very thankful for.  Also, I was able to spend two years with my Dad that I would not trade for anything in the world. 

I am much wiser after my experience in (the original state).  Your advice posted above is gold!!  I hope there are young coaches out there who will read that post and take it to heart.  Your advice will save them a lot of agony!!

*********** A very highly thought-of high school head football coach in a Dallas suburb resigned quietly last week after it was revealed that he was the reason why electronic gear such as digital cameras and laptop computers and a projector began vanishing from the school, then mysteriously returning some time later. Turns out the coach had been pawning them and then later buying them back.

Maybe he saw it as "borrowing", but the law doesn't see it that way, and now he's probably out of a job anywhere in the state of Texas.

It's very sad. There seem to be no other smirches on the guy's record. He's making something on the order of $90,000 a year, and he's had the same job for 13 years - even won a state title - so it would seem to me that if he needed money that badly, he could have found someone to lend it to him.

Just in case there might be other coaches out there who might be contemplating "borrowing" school property with the same thought in mind... it's theft, fellas.

*********** It's no secret that parents in our inner cities, single mothers for the most part, struggle to raise their kids correctly. It's also no secret that few inner-city kids receive educations that will enable them to escape the streets.

Surely one of the major factors in a kid's success (or failure) at school is his attendance. And surely one of the most important factors in good attendance is parenting.

That's why a little article on a local high school graduate jumped right out at me.

In her 13 years of schooling, Hillary Knight, of Camas, Washington never missed a day of school. And, being a member of the LDS Church, she never missed a day of her 6 AM seminary classes, either.

Hillary is the oldest of five children, all of whom - kindergartner through sophomore - have perfect attendance records.

Hillary will be attending BYU and studying biochemistry.

Great job, Mom and Dad.

*********** As big a jerk as Pacman Jones is, who woulda thought that Don Imus would become one of his defenders?

Yet there was Imus, the master of unfortunate remarks, tap dancing his heart out as he attempted to defuse the latest charges of racism against him, saying, "I mean, there's no reason to arrest this kid six times. Maybe he did something once, but everyone does something once."

Did you catch that? He tries to explain away his earlier racist crack about Jones' difficulties obeying the law by presenting himself as an advocate for young black males in general.

I think there are at least three reasons to fire Imus' sorry ass, and none of them is because the comment he made originally.

1. "No reason to arrest this kid six times?" While some may argue that young black males are sometimes arrested for less-than-sufficient reasons, that one doesn't wash here. There was plenty of reason to arrest Jones - six times.

2. "This kid?" Pacman Jones is no "kid. " That's a college criminal (or at least that's what their coaches call them when they get arrested).

3. "Everyone does something once." Bullsh--, Don. Everybody does not do the things Pacman Jones does. Not even once. Maybe a lot of big-time football players do, but not the people I hang around with.

*********** So let me see if I understand... we don't want to talk with Iran, because that would give them "legitmacy." Okay. Makes sense to me.

But then we suddenly decide to deal with North Korea?

*********** Howie Carr, writing in the Boston Herald about the "rolling celebration" following the Celtics' win...

Mumbles Menino (that's what Carr calls Boston Mayor Tom Menino. HW) is calling Boston “Title Town.” What Boston has really become is Knucklehead Nation, to borrow another of Hizzoner’s favorite words.

Good God, another “rolling rally” yesterday. Isn’t one Hempfest per year more than enough? Hey, sports fans - nobody cares if you get drunk. But stay where you belong, in your mom’s basement. Please, don’t come to Boston to do number one in the street. Gary Zerola, this means you! (Gary Zerola is a high-living Boston defense attorney on trial for a couple of rapes. HW)

I love the idiots who throng into Boston for these parades. Duh, they say, I’m takin’ da day off. The day off from what? The methadone clinic?

*********** It was Wednesday, June 25 - 1:10 PM Pacific, 4:10 PM Eastern. Definitely daytime in America.

Around the US, most kids were out of school for the summer.

On the chance that some of them might have been watching women's tennis from Wimbledon, this is what they saw:

A promo for some upcoming show, with one attractive young slut saying to another, "How long have you been screwing my boyfriend?"

That was on ESPN2, a sports network owned by Disney. Disney is supposed to be family-oriented.

Did I say, "family-oriented." The response from another woman was, "Mom! You, too?"

How "family-oriented" can you get?

*********** Hi coach Don't know if you remember me, I attended your Chicago clinic this past March.
I had 52 boys that came out for spring football.  I installed your system and the boys picked it up so fast.
We only had 6 days of practice but we were ready. The other teams were caught off guard  and when
they picked up on what we were going to do we still  were successful.
Every boy had a great time.   We scored a lot - I bet we had an avg of 6 td a game, some days even more.
Every boy hated to see the season end - myself included. Your system was so easy to teach. Thank you very much.
Last night our high school football coach asked me to join the Jr High staff and install this system.  I did  accept and hope to persuade the rest of the staff to attend your clinic in Chicago next March. I owe all this to you. Thank you again. Oh, by the way - our new HS Coach will be bringing his version of the Dwing offense to our school this fall.


flagTUESDAY, JUNE 24, 2008- "My view of the presidency is, one, you're very fortunate to be elected president, and when you're finished, you ought to go - get out of Dodge and go." former President George H. W. Bush

*********** Coach,

Dave Potter beat me to it! I was going to complain about the Clorox ad and how the kid was holding the ball, but figured it might be a bit crotchity to complain about something that trivial (but it's annoying nonetheless).
Rick Davis, Duxbury, Massachusetts

*********** Big Football, with more tentacles than an octopus, reaches out for high school kids with something called the NFL 7 on 7 National Tournament...


You want a good laugh? The NFL says that in order to play in this so-called "national tournament," every player will first have to complete something called the NFL HSPD program, which, the NFL's site says, "includes the character development program."


The NFL, an organization that harbors drunks, drug addicts, whoremongers and thugs - as long as they can play - and players who skip workouts and jump from team to team in the pursuit of money, presumes to teach high school kids about "character development?"

*********** I had no sooner finished writing about the absurdity of the NFL teaching high school kids about character than I read about The Jason Garrett Starfish Charities Football Clinic, put on at Princeton University by the Cowboys' offensive coordinator for over 250 inner- city athletes. One of the clinicians was noted Character Development Expert Michael Irvin.

*********** There has been a fair amount of controversy over the Army's decision to give West Point athletes the opportunity to sign professional sports contracts and, in the event they make the team, to finesse their service obligation by acting as "recruiters" when they're not playing their sports.

The Navy and the Air Force have no such policy, and now they seem to be taking great delight in noting that on this issue, anyhow, they are "tougher" than their service rivals at West Point.

The argument in favor of allowing players to test the waters of pro sports is that it allows West Point to recruit better athletes.

Well, whoopee-do.

I stand with those on the other side, who argue that the mission of the United States Military Academy (West Point) remains the one stated by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 - to train officers to fight and win our nation's wars.

Football's very important to me, and I root hard for Army to win, but I think it would be a national disaster if we were to compromise the high standards of West Point in order to field a team that could compete with the knucklehead schools.

And I certainly think it's inappropriate to excuse a handful of athletically-gifted individuals from duty while their classmates are being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan to lead troops.

HOWEVER... Although I don't care for the policy, I don't join with those who hold it against the young men who have chosen to take advantage of the policy.

*********** This will be my second year coaching and calling the offense for 7th and 8th graders.  I need advice on two issues.  
1. Do you have any advice on play calling for this level?  All teams are forced to run a 6-2 defense and most put the backers in the B gap.  From your tips and videos, I recall you saying 1st down "do no harm" and to run the unbalanced 25% of the time.    Do you script the first 10 plays?  If so, what would they look like?
I don’t script, because I won't commit myself beforehand to a plan of action. Scripting may be great for a 60-minute-long pro game in which you run 100 different plays and you're looking for which formations may give you the mismatches you want.

We are a series-and-sequence offense, and more like wishbone teams in our approach - if you can't stop the wishbone fullback, that's all you're going to see until you figure out a way.  And then, based on what the defenses do, the experienced wishbone coach already has an idea what to throw at them next.
In our case, I like to start with super power, focusing on what I see right there in the immediate vicinity of the playside tight end and wingback. If we are blocking it okay and making yardage, I'll likely keep running it - why bother running something else when I've already got something that works? And if it isn't working, then I need to know immediately whether the problem is what's happening right there at the corner – and whether it’s fixable - or whether it's something else.
I don't go into a game necessarily committing myself to running 25 per cent unbalanced. It just often seems to work out that way, and I do make sure that it is part of every game plan.

2. Last year we had a hard time passing. We are only allowed to have 1 WR in our league, so I took out a TE and split 1 WR out.  This year, I was thinking of using the same formation and putting the QB in shotgun with the B back along side of him behind 3.  What are your thoughts?
I wouldn't advise it.   I would say that if you can't pass the ball effectively from play action, when people are expecting the run, your problem probably lies someplace other than with the formation. Find a kid who can catch anything thrown to him, and throw to him.  And nobody else.  Be ruthless about this.
If you go to another formation, you are going to have to spend time on this at the expense of what you should be doing.  It's time you don't have. None of us do.  You need all the time you can get your hands on to run the Double Wing as well as you can. We all do.

*********** Bud Dudley died last week in Memphis at the age of 88.

All the stories, brief as they were, noted that he was the founder of the Liberty Bowl.

But there's more to the guy's life...

He was the AD at Villanova from 1953 to 1957, inheriting a football program which played a big-time schedule on a small-time budget. They had a small stadium way out in Philadelphia's western suburbs, and despite their attempts to play in the city, they were all but ignored by Philly sports fans. Rather than give up on big-time football, though, as all the other Catholic colleges except Notre Dame and Boston College had done within 10 years after World War II, Villanova had managed to stay alive financially by going on the road, traveling to any big-time opponent that wanted a game and would pay them to show up. The Wildcats never played more than three home games in a season, and often played only two.

But Dudley had an idea. About the same time he took the Villanova job, Penn had announced its intention to de-emphasize football, in preparation for joining the Ivy League. Penn had routinely been among the nation's leaders in attendance, and Dudley saw in Penn's de-emphasis an opportunity to move to center stage on the Philadelphia sports scene.

But where to play? Villanova's stadium was too small, and Shibe Park, home of the Phillies and A's (and Eagles) was less than adequate, and in a rough part of town at that. And there was no chance of using Penn's Franklin Field.

That left cavernous Municipal Stadium. The big old horseshoe seated 100,000 people, but it was used just one day a year - for the annual Army-Navy game.

Dudley committed to rent Municipal Stadium for one game a year, then went out and offered big-time opponents large enough guaranteesto entice them to come to Philadelphia.

But how to fill all those seats?

Ah! Dudley worked out a deal to sell huge blocks of tickets at enormous discounts to a local supermarket chain, Acme Markets, which then offered one free with every purchase of - this will tell you how old I am - FIVE DOLLARS worth of groceries. (But with gas at 19.9 cents a gallon, five dollars would more than fill your tank.)

I pestered my mother to shop at Acme, instead of Food Fair, which she preferred because it was much closer (she didn't drive and had to walk to the store), and damned if she didn't. My buddy George Tattersfield worked the same magic with his mother, and we both attended three of the five "Grocery Bowl" games, riding the S Bus, then transferring to the Broad Street Subway and rising that SOB its entire length, from Broad and Olney to the end of the line at Snyder Avenue, in South Philly. (The fine details are simply for those who might know the city.)

If that had been today, of course, no 15-year-old kids would ever have survived such a roundtrip (we had to come back late at night), but we oldtimers don't mind reminding you that was a different America.

We did that three years in a row, and we saw Georgia, Ole Miss and Baylor - team's we'd only read about. Pretty exotic stuff. Georgia was very good. Mississippi was outta sight. Baylor had a 6-2 running back with blazing speed named Del Shofner, who would become an All-Pro wide receiver.

The night we saw Mississippi play, there were 100,000 people in the stands - I recall thinking at the time that there wasn't a city in the whole state of Mississippi with 100,000 people in it! I would remember that scene 20 years later when I worked for a pro football team in Philadelphia, and we drew upwards of 60,000 people to that decrepit old stadium. Philadelphia fans will show up for a big-time football game.

Bud Dudley put on five Grocery Bowls, and altogether, they drew 460,000 people. Unfortunately, though, they did nothing to win over the fans of Philadelphia. The Wildcats lost all five of them, and the 1954 game against Ole Miss was a 52-0 blowout, in the second game of what would turn out to be the first of two back-to-back 1-9 seasons.

Dudley's next venture was the Liberty Bowl (Liberty Bell - get it?) which he started in 1959. No doubt, his success promoting Grocery Bowls led him to believe a bowl game in Philadelphia - in the dead of winter - could be successful, and he did his best to make it work, including playing the 1964 game in Atlantic City's Convention Hall.

In 1965, he moved the Liberty Bowl game to Memphis, where it took hold and prospered.

So, yes, Bud Dudley was, indeed, the founder of the Liberty Bowl. But I'll always remember him as the guy who made it possible for a kid like me to watch some of the best college teams in the country. In the Grocery Bowls.

*********** Coach Jim Crawley, of China Grove, North Carolina, sent me a great article by Ivan Maisel of espn.com in which former Navy football players talked about the way their football experience prepared them for military service.

Commander Kent Van Horn, the officer in charge of submarine operations for the U.S. Fifth Fleet stationed in the Middle East, told Maisel that the lessons he learned during his career as a defensive lineman for Navy in the mid-1980s benefit him even now.

"There's a mental toughness that you develop in sports," he said. "You do play after play. You get knocked down. You get right back up. There's another play in 30 seconds. I don't care what happened 30 seconds ago. I have to think about the next play."

Aboard the USS Nassau, Marine Major Tim Millen, who lettered as a linebacker for Navy in 1989, told Maisel that the teamwork required in football produced men who could work with others.

"Most of the players I've seen tend to get along with each other, not just football players, but with other folks," Millen said. "They interact well with others and play well as a team. I know that when I work with those guys, they've been through the same training I have. They're competent in what they do. It's sort of a litmus test, I guess, certainly for those of us that played."

*********** Hi Coach Wyatt. While reading your (must read) News, I came across your A/B article.

The Staten Island Advance article (6/20) states,

The beer of the Jets and Giants will remain Budweiser.A/B has signed a contract to become the secound major sponser of the "New Meadowlands" stadium for the Jets and Giants of the NFL.Terms of A/B and Metlife were not disclosed.Fans will be offered pre-game festivities and live music in the 25,000square foot Budweiser and Bud Light "PLAZA"on the new stadium north side.Inside the north east corner of the stadium fans will find a multitered,4,000-6,000 square foot sports bar.

Im in,LOL! will seat 82,500.Talk is you will have to by a license to own your seat.Dont get it.EVERY YEAR!

HD TV I just got will have Jets and Giants on.

Season starts for Youth team Aug 1 (12,13,14) and July 14 for Freshmen team. (OC) Both DW! Are you coaching this season? Wondering if your passing clinic notes can come out in your E-Mails to us? Keep up the great News,and Letters.

Hope all is well with your family.

Mike Rodsky, Staten Island, New York


*********** Coach,

I hope everything is going well for you.  I had quite a deal here in --------. It was very interesting.  Last spring when we were leaving --------- I interviewed here in ------- for a teaching and coaching job.  In the interview for the coaching I was very up front with the administration and everyone on what the expectations would be including support for a zero period sports conditioning for all students.  There were 3 football players in the class total for the whole year.  In February I sent an impassioned plea to the parents and players for the need of the players to be in the zero period class that began at 7:00AM.  There was still no improvement on enrollment.  The administration dropped the class next year after several discussions with me.

In December before I started trying to get the staff on board for clinics and planning for the next season I asked the principal if I would be the coach next year.  I explained to the principal all the things that need to be done work wise in the off season.  None of that has ever been done before in the recent past of --------- . He replied "yes, no worries".  I then had a discussion with the principal about not bringing back some assistant coaches and he told me I needed to get along with them and that one of them had even been a head coach before. I knew right away who was in the office whining.  Some of them were not very loyal in public and with the kids.  LAZY! 

Long story short, the outgoing AD who was not a fan of mine from the beginning starts going around to some of  my assistants and asking them questions about me trying to get find reasons to fire me - this is in May, mind you.  He gets pissed because the majority of the assistants are not giving him the answers he wants.  So then he starts calling in kids and parents investigating me.  I meet with the Principal on a Thursday and ask what the deal is?  "Jerry is just doing his evaluation process"  I list out what is going on and tell the principal that I can make this very easy for him and Jerry and resign.  He says "no just wait and see", this is the guy that in December said "no worries".  So I resigned the coaching on the Monday after that.  The well was so poisoned.  I knew it would be uphill coming in but with the parents and administration..... I guess I am just getting old.  I cannot work for people I cannot trust.  The principal comes in Tuesday morning and asks if I am sure about it and if I have anything to say?  I answer "NO".

I talked with my wife and I resigned the teaching job also.  They were so surprised and it came out of the blue.  What the hell do these people think?

Thanks for listening, ---------

(This is as bad as it gets. It's too bad that a good man had to resign - for the record, he did a pretty good job in his first season at a place that has had real trouble winning over the years. Now I'm beginning to see why. But what else can a good man do when he's faced with this kind of administrative treachery? Whatta buncha worms.All you guys reading this who hope to be head coaches some day - do you see why I say that you should never take a job where you do not have the power to hire and fire assistants? If they owe their jobs to someone other than you, they know that they will be around even if you get fired, and they're not going to do everything they can to help you keep your job. Not only that, but when you're the one they have to please, they're not going to run behind your back to bitch to the administration. HW)

*********** Hi Coach Wyatt,

I just finished reading an interesting story in a sports magazine about the Olympics not including girls softball after the 2008 Olympics. The article points out that softball has two strikes against it; 1-most of the world is not interested in watching girls softball and 2-the American team is so dominant that nobody else can compete against it (which also lowers interest in the game). Of course the Americans are upset and are trying to protest.

I have nothing against girls softball. But, internationally, it does not have a fan base. In America, people can use Title IX to force others to provide a sport that nobody wants to see. However, internationally, softball won't be included in the 2012 Olympics simply because nobody is interested in watching it.

Keep up your great work!
Marlowe Aldrich, Billings, Montana (Coach, I agree. I have nothing against girls' softball, either. And don't forget women's soccer and ice hockey, sports which we tend to dominate mainly because we're one of the few large nations that even have women's team sports. But the advocates of those sports seem not to know that Title IX ends at our shores. Kinda funny that the same people who worry so much about our image overseas as an international bully don't have any problem forcing their extreme ideas of "gender equity" on them. HW)

*********** Ben's first duty as a new pastor was to conduct a funeral service for Albert. Since he didn't know the deceased, Ben paused from his sermon to invite members of the congregation to say a few kind words about Albert.

No one budged.

"Many of you knew Albert for years," Ben politely nudged them. "Surely someone can say something nice."

After an uncomfortably long pause, a voice from the back of the room finally said, "Well, his brother was worse."

If you died tomorrow, what would people say about you? Would it make you proud of the way you lived and the choices you made?

There's an old saying: "If you want to know how to live your life, think about what you'd like people to say about you after you die – and live backwards."

Thinking about the legacy we want to leave can help us keep our priorities straight. When the end is near, it's not likely any of us will say, "I wish I'd spent more time at the office." Unfortunately, many of us only begin to realize the value of the time we have after we've frittered much of it away in shallow ruts going nowhere important.

It's hard to think now what will matter later. But doing so can dramatically improve our chances of living a full and meaningful life with few regrets.

Knowing how we want to be remembered allows us to make a strategic plan for our life. How much wiser would our choices be if we had the wisdom and discipline to regularly ask ourselves whether all the things we do and say are taking us where we want to be at the end?

We write our own eulogy by the choices we make every day.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts. http://josephsoninstitute.org/

flagFRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2008- "Shaq is rich...the guy who pays Shaq's salary is wealthy." Chris Rock

*********** We're all hearing about investors in futures - guys who agree to buy (or sell) goods in the future, betting that the prices will go up (or down).

It's no longer news that college basketball coaches are dealing in futures, too. They're signing eight-graders. Kids who don't even know where they're going to go to high school (they're still listening to the recruiters' offers) have already committed to colleges.

Don't think it can't happen in football, because It's already happening.  We've reached the point where big-time programs scarcely recruit seniors any more - they try to nail kids down before their senior season. 

To high school coaches, guy who make their livings working with teenagers, the whole concept is absurd. We know, if college recruiters don't, how much growth takes place between junior and senior seasons. We know that that final year is the year when kids grow the most, physically and mentally.

But college coaches are playing the futures game, committing scholarships to kids who may not turn out to be the players the colleges projected them to be.

The thing I fear most is that some unscrupulous college coaches might start subtly "suggesting" to kids that they might consider sitting out their senior sesons, pointing out they could jeopardize their scholarship offer if they were to get hurt playing high school ball.  

In the Portland area, there were rumors (unsubstantiated, I should point out) last year about a defensive lineman who was rated pre-season as one of the best in the country and who, with an offer from a big-time college in hand, sat out the season with some unspecified injury.

And then there's the growing trend of kids deserting their teammates and transferring high schools in mid-career, in hopes of being "showcased."

*********** Hugh, Didn't see the news about Bill Curry until I read your page. Good for him. He did a bowl game way back when that I watched several times on tape - every time I learned something new from him.

And if anyone has doubt that a "retread" coach can build a brand-new program into a winner, I've got two words - Florida Atlantic (Howard Schnellenberger).

Christopher Anderson, Palo Alto, California (I will miss Bill Curry on TV, but as you may have noticed, he was being assigned to more and more "JV" games on ESPNU, so that they could get the younger guys with bigger marquee value on the varsity channels. HW)

*********** (I wrote "Anybody see the Clorox ad where the youth football player, maybe 10 years old, is in the clear, headed for a touchdown, and the little f--ker, holding the ball way out in front of him, dives into the end zone?")
Yes, I have.  And it's an abomination.  I cringe everytime I see it.  I hate seeing what some TV ad-director thinks youth football is, or should be.  They screw it up every time.  As for the kid diving into the end-zone, I'd like to throttle his coach.  Shouldn't need to chew the kid out, though.  It's doubtful that he knew what his coach's policy was on acts like that (if his coach even HAD a policy).

(Regarding my approval of Georgia State's hiring of Bill Curry) Couldn't agree more. Having met Coach Curry and talked with him several times, he never failed to impress.  He is a man of impeccable character and a wealth of knowledge.  Georgia State has made the best hire possible.

The things I have heard from coaches about our young men; we've got "those kids from the streets,"  from "the hood," the "thugs,"  "gangbangers," etc.   And then there's the things I've heard from our own league officials--When I was talking about our academic emphasis, this person remarked, "people wouldn't know it, but it's surprising to find out how many smart kids there are in Durham."   Can you believe that?!  What's sad is to find out how many dumb adults there are everywhere else.
At our conditioning camp yesterday, I was talking to a parent whose son played in a different org, last year.  I asked the dad how well his son had done academically. 
Dad:  "Oh, he does very well.  He doesn't have a choice."
Me:  "Good to hear it.  Neither do our guys, if they're going to play."
Dad:  "That's good to hear."
Me:  "So, what kind of recognition did your son receive for his academics?"
Dad:  "What do you mean?"
Me:  "Did he get  "Academic Hall of Fame," "Academic Honors,"  "Regional Scholar,"  or "Academic All-American" recognition from his team?"
Dad:  "No, they don't do things like that."
Me: "They don't recognize success?"
Dad:  "No."
Me:  "So I take it they don't provide an academic game plan for your son."
Dad:  "Academic game plan?  What's that?"
It's amazing to me the number of youth sports orgs that offer no academic emphasis or support for THEIR OWN kids.
Dave Potter, Durham, North Carolina --Dave Potter, Durham, North Carolina (If only all coaches would use their influence the way Coach Potter does!  To think that he is able to do what he does,  successfully stressing discipline and manners and good sportsmanship and academics, with so-called "undisciplined" kids! Oh- and coaching winning teams, too. HW)

***********A new study claims that drivers of cars with bumper stickers on them tend to be more aggressive on the road. The biggest surprise is that it doesn't seem to matter what the pooint of the bumper sticker is.

Even if the stickers say "Mean People Suck," "Visualize World Peace," "Bush Lied, People Died" or "My Child is an Honored Student at Henry Cadwalader Elementary School " - look out.

*********** I've mentioned before that Anheuser-Busch, America's largest brewer, is the target of a buyout offer from Brazilian/Belgian brewing giant InBev. My bet is that the deal's going to go through. Here are 600 million reasons why: Warren Buffett, who is either the US's richest man or its second-richest, is the majority shareholder of Berkshire-Hathaway, and Berkshire-Hathaway, which owns 5 per cent of A-B's stock, is A-B's second-largest shareholder. Should the A-B shareholders choose to accept InBev's offer, Berkshire-Hathaway, owner of 35.5 million shares of Anheuser-Busch, stands to profit by more than $600 million. (Wonder how Berkshire-Hathaway will vote.)

Should it happen, the change will be noticeable. Oh, the Bud label will remain the same, but you'll notice differences pretty quickly. Within a year or so. See, A-B likes to spend a lot of money on marketing, and InBev does not. InBev believes in saving the money and cutting prices.

Among other things - if InBev takes over A-B, bye-bye Clydesdales.

But that's not all. The acquisition of A-B by InBev would change the face of sports, and if sports marketers and team owners from coast to coast aren't nervous, they simply haven't been reading the papers. A-B, brewer of Bud, Bud Light and Michelob (and, Pennsylvanians will note, murderer of Rolling Rock) is a notorious big spender on sports marketing and advertising. InBev is not.

Last year, A-B spent nearly $500 million on TV commercials alone - $20 million just on Super Bowl spots. Throw in another $300 million or so in sports sponsorships (Casey Kahne's Number Nine car on the Nascar circuit, to pick just one example) and A-B's impact on sports is enormous. The it can't be replaced.

Yes, I know A-B is an American company, red-white-and-blue label and all that. But so's the NFL. What difference would it make if a Saudi Prince or a Chinese brewing company bought Big Football? Would it be any worse?

*********** The owner of the Class AAA Portland Beavers is a young man of privilege named Merritt Paulsen. He's the son of Henry Paulsen, Secretary of the Treasury, and a millionaire many times over.

And like so many millionaires, he enjoys asking taxpayers to to subsidize him.

Mr. Paulsen also owns the local soccer team, and he has been making a lot of noise lately about going after a franchise in that oxymoronic league, Major League Soccer.

Trouble is, the city-owned stadium where the Beavers play is where his soccer team would also play, and turning the stadium into a soccer-only venue at a cost of many millions, would mean having to find another place for the Beavers, at a cost of many more millions.

Total cost? $100,000,000. And he expects the city to pay the bill. See, he actually wants people to buy his story that he's performing a public service by bringing MLS soccer to town.

In Portland, a city that celebrates gay pride, the homeless, protests, environazis and radical bicyclists. It could happen.

Asked by the Vancouver Columbian's Nick Daschel if the public should spend even a dime on a sports franchise, young Master Paulsen responded, "Do you think they shouldn't give a dime to libraries? Or parks and infrastructure that help plan a city?"

Permit me to answer that one...  Well, Merritt, if those libraries were owned by the son of a billionaire who hoped to make a profit by charging admission to readers, why, yes, I do.  I think they shouldn't give those libraries a f--king dime.

Have you tried bake sales and car washes yet?

Sheesh. If young Mr. Paulsen's ill-concealed sense of entitlement reflects the attitude of his father, it would explain a lot about our economy.

*********** Speaking of arrogance... NBC has extended its contract to televise Notre Dame football games through 2015.

*********** Speaking of Portland... Thursday, a guy assaulted a person waiting at a light-rail tram station - then escaped on a bicycle.

*********** Mark Bergen, of Keller, Texas, sent me a news article, along with the following note:

Hey, Coach Wyatt -

I trust this finds you well.  This article is unbelievable.  Not as bad, mind you, as the Gitmo enemy combatant terrorist scumbag detainees gaining access to American Courts, but in our world of shrinking sports without the media, we're running out of places to be left alone.  This is kind of like letting college frat boys attend a middle school dance.  Can't they just stay with their own kind?  I can't tell you the last time I watch ESPN other than a college football game.  Anyways... not all is bad - Fathers Day is coming up, so...

Take care - and a Happy Fathers Day to you and your family.

ESPN announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Student Sports, Inc., a premier high school-focused digital media and event production company based in Torrance, Calif.

Founded by grassroots sports marketing and media pioneer Andy Bark, the company’s president and CEO, Student Sports has been a leader in high school sports content for 22 years. Student Sports assets include StudentSports.com and DyeStat.com, and more than 160 events such as Elite 11, Area Code Baseball and Nike Combines/Nike SPARQ Mini Camps, all of which will be integrated into ESPN’s recently announced high school initiative ESPN RISE. In conjunction with the acquisition, ESPN will enter into a licensing and content sharing agreement with SPARQ, the dynamic athletic training and assessment company based in Portland, Ore.

If I read this correctly, it means that among other things ESPN/Disney may have acquired the rights to the results of the Nike SPARQ combines, giving them unparalleled control of recruiting information. Scary.

*********** Hello Coach,

It seems that the NFL is trying to subvert our Canadian game at the high school level. Since playing outside on December 7th is impractical, they have generously donated Rogers Centre (Skydome) for the use of our high school championship bowls, provided that the games be played on shorter (100yds instead of 110), narrower fields (45yds instead of 65yds) with 10 yard end zones instead of the usual 20 in Canada. Why not mandate complete compliance with NFL rules too?


Duncan Luciak
Haliburton, Ontario

Not only do I despise the NFL for its undue influence on our game at all levels, but I sympathize with any red-blooded Canadian who does not wish to see his culture overwhelmed by the Big Neighbor to the South, whether by music, movies, TV or consumer brands.

Anyone who thinks that the Buffalo Bills' plans to play in Toronto are simply a case of throwing Canadians a bone is nuts.  The Toronto market is two or three - maybe four - times the size of Buffalo, and the NFL is pretty good at math.

The influence of Big Football is felt in thousands of ways by US coaches outside the NFL, and there is a real danger that it could kill the Canadian game.

Canadian Football is not merely a quaint adaptation of our game, but  a game all its own, with its own direct line of descent all the way back to rugby.

Surely some Member of Parliament will see this for the attack on Canadian culture that it is!

PS - The really funny thing is that I can remember 50-some years ago when Toronto shut down on Sunday and  you couldn't do anything, much less play an NFL game!

Oh yes, Coach, there is a bill before the Senate trying to protect the CFL, but Toronto views itself as 'big-time' and anything less than the
'best' is not good enough. Why see a team from Regina when you can see a team from Miami? People there have a massive case of New York envy.

As coaches we often have to educate the players on the finer points of the kicking game (any live ball can be kicked). I even had an official deny my long snapper protection because he 'didn't make a football move' after snapping. That phrase does not appear in our amateur tackle football rule book -it's an NFL concoction.

Although I am too young to remember it, I have heard the tales of the morality laws of the past in Toronto. Hotels had separate "Ladies with Escorts" entrances. You couldn't buy a beer without buying food. Therefore, at the end of the night, bar tables would have heaps of uneaten, cheaply made sanwiches awaiting the garbage bin.

Lord help us - New York envy.

It's not enough to be Canadian.

And coaches everywhere suffer from the "NFL concoctions" - great terms - of officials whose "knowledge" of the rules comes from watching too much football on Sunday!

*********** Coach,
I just finished watching your 1999 highlights. That looked like a heckuva team!  I watched the others in order, Dynamics, Installing, and  A Fine Line. You have done an outstanding job of explaining this offense for a rookie like myself, of taking the basic concepts and building upon them. It was good to see how you implemented the passing game in the highlight video. I am excited to get to camp, and see how this works with our kids. 
Thanks for taking the time to put together such a thorough explanation.
Tim Companey, Downers Grove, Illinois (Yes, those kids were pretty good. The amazing thing was that was their first year running my system; they had been a wide-open passing team the year before. In fact, #11, the C-Back who was a terrific player, had played WR the year before and was considering not turning out for football when he heard they'd be running the Double Wing. HW)

*********** Hugh
Enjoyed your latest NEWS especially the part about countries, including the US, fast tracking foreigners for citizenship so they can compete for them in the Olympics.  This past Sunday, ESPN’s Outside the lines had a very interesting segment on an American gal who appears to be getting ready to play for the Russian Basketball team.
It appears that there are a couple of factors, including the US Women’s Team possibly snubbing her on the initial invitations, despite her being one of the top point guards in the WNBA.  Its an interesting story, but I’m struggling with supporting her as I still vividly remember the 1972 Munich games and the USA vs. Russia Men's Basketball game.  Everyone says it’s a different era now, but I don’t know.  Keep up the good work!
Jake von Scherrer
Margate, Florida

*********** I heard John McCain actually say that big oil companies should do more to explore "alternative sources of energy."

I wanted to say, "John... they're in the oil business. They're not in the wind business or the solar-panel business. Why aren't you after General Mills, or Kellogg's to explore alternative sources of energy? Or why not Ford and General Motors, since they're the ones whose products consume so much of the oil?"

But to twist the Senator's logic a bit, maybe Major League Soccer could perform a public service by exploring alternative sports. I'm thinking football.

*********** My friend Tom Hinger is a real baseball fan, and after watching the early rounds of the College World Series, he noted the irony of Bethune-Cookman's fielding an entire starting nine of kids from Puerto Rico. Checking the B-C team roster, I found that 14 of the 32 players were from Puerto Rico. WTF?

Nothing against kids from Puerto Rico playing baseball for an American college, you understand. After all, they're Americans, and, coming from the baseball-mad home of Roberto Clemente, they're probably good baseball players.

But in case you didn't know, Bethune-Cookman is a historically-black college. And, if you didn't know, we've been told from time to time that there's a supposed shortage of black players in the major leagues.

Now, this is not to debate whether there is actually a "shortage," or whether this is just the way things work out when black kids are free to choose the sport they wish to excel in, but there are those who claim that it's somehow Major League Baseball's fault, and MLB needs to do something about it.

But shouldn't a historically-black college be doing its part?

flagTUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2008-"A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth." Michael Kinsley

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SANTA CLARITA - Golden Valley HS - 27051 Robert C Lee Parkway
MAY 31
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA LATHROP - Holiday Inn Express (I-5 at Louise Exit)

*********** Four high school teams were represented at Saturday's First Annual Pacific Northwest Double Wing Passing Mini-Camp, three solid hours devoted to the intricacies - yes, intricacies - of the Double-Wing passing game. Under clear blue skies, in 75-degree weather, we had the luxury of being able to teach the routes and the quarterback setups in far greater detail than it's ever possible to do under normal practice conditions.

*********** Three full pitches were thrown in the ESPN broadcast of the Georgia-Stanford College World Series game and that BS artist Mike Patrick paid the game no attention. He was too busy engaging in banter with America's Sweetheart Erin Whatsherface. I wanted to holler, HEY A$$HOLE! STOP DROOLING! THERE'S A BASEBALL GAME GOING ON! Finally, he had to take a little time out to acknowledge a ground out, but then it was quickly back to Erin and three more unacknowledged pitches on the screen before the inning finally ended with a strikeout and we cut to commercial.

*********** Cedric Benson was put on waivers by the Bears and not a single team in the NFL was willing to take a chance on the "troubled" (notice how they always say that, rather than "troublesome?") running back. Not even the Bengals.

*********** Johnny Rauch died last week at the age of 80. The news stories ran a few lines, but few of them noted his numerous claims to fame. He deserves note as a great college player, as the man who succeeded Al Davis as coach of the Raiders, the man who really established the great Raiders' dynasty of the late 60s and early 70s, and as a member of the select fraternity of coaches who took a team to the Super Bowl.

Johnny Rauch was a native of Yeadon, Pennsylvania, and quite a QB at Georgia (1945-1948) where he became the first player in NCAA history to start in four consecutive bowl games, and established an NCAA record of 4,044 yards passing. He was the first player taken in the 1949 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions, but the Lions traded his rights to the New York Bulldogs for the rights to Doak Walker. Walker went on to have a Hall-of-Fame career, while Rauch spent three years in pro football in pretty much a back-up role. (Hope I won't get sued for saying this, but those were the days when the Lions actually knew what they were doing.)

He went into coaching in 1952, and after stops at Florida, Tulane, Georgia and West Point/Army/US Military Academy, he was hired in 1963 as an assistant with the Oakland Raiders of the AFL.

In 1966, he took over as head coach of the Raiders, succeeding owner/coach Al Davis when Davis became AFL commissioner. In his first year, he went 8-5-1, duplicating Davis' record of the year before, but in 1967, the Raiders went 13-1, and represented the AFL in the second AFL-NFL championship game (since christened the Super Bowl) against the Packers.

His 1968 team went 12-2, and he was at the top of the coaching profession. But after the AFL-NFL merger, Davis was no longer commissioner of anything, and he had plenty of time on his hands. Uh-oh. Rauch quickly grew tired of what he considered to be Davis' meddling (imagine Al Davis meddling!), and resigned his position as the successful head coach of one of the league's best teams, and took over the same spot at Buffalo, one of the league's worst. His successor at Oakland was a young assistant named John Madden, who continued the Raiders' run of success while having to deal with insinuations that he was little more than Davis' puppet.

Rauch spent two losing season at Buffalo, then left abruptly following a dispute with Bills' owner Ralph Wilson, and returned to the life of an NFL assistant. Other than a short spell as head coach of the CFL Toronto Argonauts, he was never a head coach again.

*********** Send us your race walkers... your canoeists... your table tennis players...

I don't believe that we should award citizenship to people who cross our border illegally. But I'd as soon see a hard working Mexican family enjoy the benefits of America as a Chinese ping-pong player. (Okay, okay - "Table tennis".) Or a Chinese race walker. Or a Kenyan long distance runner. Or an Australian equestrian. Or an English canoeist.

But those are actual people who have managed to get into the United States using what are called EB-1 visas, for aliens of "extraordinary ability." The visas are intended for scientists and - if you can believe this - artists and athletes, and their holders move right to the front of the line for permanent residency.

Huh? Scientists I can understand. But artists? Are they really in such short supply? And athletes?

Evidently. And - get this - many of these athletes, it turns out, will compete on OUR Olympic team.

According to a study by the New York Times, since 1992, some 50 athletes who had competed in international events for their home countries became United States citizens and Olympians, and won eight medals for the Ole US of A.

(Can't you just feel your chest swelling with pride?)

Actually, this pisses off some Americans because these special aliens will be taking up places on OUR Olympic team, places that should belong to OUR athletes, whether or not they're the best table tennis players or race walkers in the world. It's not unlike fifth-year seniors transferring in to your kid's school and taking away the starting position he'd been working hard to win since freshman year.

And it pisses of foreign countries as well. For example, one of the nine newest Americans likely to earn a spot on this year's US team is distance runner Bernard Lagat, who won two medals for Kenya in the 2004 Olympics. Kenya, needless to say, is not happy.

But, hey - the Kenyans will just have to get over it. This is the United States of America, and if our best runners and walkers and table tennis players aren't good enough to win Olympic Gold, why, we'll just go out and get some who are.

If they want to come here and walk for us, who are we to keep them out? After all, we're a nation of immigrants.

*********** Kobe Bryant, asked how he planned on dealing with the disappointment of losing Game 4 to the Celtics, said, "Lotta wine, lotta beer, some shots... maybe 20 of 'em...."

Wait a minute, here.... this is the NBA? And he didn't say, "lotta weed?"

*********** Gimme a f--king break. It was Father's Day, and the TV people really thought we were going to buy Kobe Bryant heading to the locker room kissing his little girls and his wife - you know, the one he gave the million-dollar ring to after "allegedly" boinking the hotel employee (but not, technically, raping her).

*********** I emailed you last week about ------- , and you put it in the ----- "News You Can Use." I was just wondering if you could delete my name from the post, because I said a few things that some people wouldn't agree with. I know that the chances of it hurting me in the future are small, but anybody could find it just by Googleing my name. Am I just making a big deal out of nothing? Anyway, thanks.

I personally don't think it is a big deal, but I have no objections to removing your name. It is best to make that request first, though, and I will always honor it if I choose to print the letter. I will also honor a request not to print a letter, or to conceal evidence that might reveal the writer's identity.

This should be a useful lesson to you in the future, though: ANYTHING you send out via e-mail is in the public domain and can be published and - here is where an awful lot of people get in trouble - forwarded. Over and over and over.  You have no idea where it will wind up.

Be careful when you hit "send." The printed word is permanent.  

(Isn't it sad that we have been so initimdated by the forces of Political Correctness?)

*********** When he had problems ("repeated brushes with the law", goes the sports cliche) at Virginia Tech, Marcus Vick spent time with his brother, Michael, then an NFL quarterback. Being older and wiser, Michael, it was reported, would straighten little brother our.

Alas, it turned out that Michael needed straightening out every bit as much as Marcus, so now Big Brother is in jail, and Marcus is on his own.

But maybe not for long.

Friday ("early Friday," the AP reported), he was arrested in Norfolk, Virginia and charged with DUI, eluding police, reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road and driving on a suspended license.

It is not against the law to be a serial knucklehead.

*********** Score one for EA sports and Madden... Anybody see the Clorox ad where the youth football player, maybe 10 years old, is in the clear, headed for a touchdown, and the little f--ker, holding the ball way out in front of him, dives into the end zone?

*********** Coach Wyatt-
I hope things are going well for you.  I couldn't help but send you an email.  While I was reading through the June 2008 edition of American Football Monthly, the article entitled "Gashing the Odd Stack with the Gap Scheme" is nothing more than telling you how to run 88/99 power and 47/56 C against the "new" 3-5-3 defense.  I was smiling as the coaches were explaining how to get your line to back up as far as they can, so that their helmets are in line with the centers belt buckle (sounds familiar).  Then they talk about tightening the splits to 18 inches(still a little wide for me) to keep penetration down and getting hip to hip on double teams (again, familiar).  Then the coaches begin to talk about the kick out block by the fullback, but they have implemented an H back to add more muscle to the block (which is why you tell us to get a "glorified guard" at the fullback position).  And they keep referring to getting more blockers at the point of attack than defenders (rocket science, huh?).  Anyway, I don't know if you receive this magazine, but it pleased me to know that I am already running a system that is described as the thing that beats the "newest" defensive scheme.  Just another reason to thank you for a great and simple product!

We just finished our summer camp and look forward to improving on our 8-0 season from a year ago.  Camp went extremely well!  We put in the snap that you teach and had 0 fumbled snaps!  Which is awesome for a 5th and 6th grade team.  Looks to be another great season!  I will keep you informed. 

Keep Coaching-
Brooks Rawson
Alamo Red Devils
Alamo, Tennessee 

I'm glad you saw that.  I didn't want to make an issue of it because I was hoping a reader would notice.

The 3-5-3 is hailed by some as the newest and greatest, and it has proven very effective against the things that defenses see the most of nowadays - meaning spread teams with no tight ends and no threat of a power off-tackle.

But no defense is great against everything, and the 3-5-3 isn't really all that tough against a team that lines up with a tight end - much less two tight ends -  and runs off tackle.

I'm glad to hear that your camp went well, and especially glad to hear that the center snap worked so well!

*********** Congratulations to Bill Curry, chosen to build the brand-new football program at Georgia State. I think he is a man of great dignity and character, and a good football coach at that. Georgia State is set to play its first game in 2010, and if the people in charge wanted to let the citizens of Georgia know that they're serious about building a first-rate program, they couldn't have hired a better man.

flagFRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2008-"If you never have a great idea in your life, but become skilled in executing the great ideas of others, you can succeed beyond your wildest dreams." Felix Dennis, one of Britain's wealthiest men

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SANTA CLARITA - Golden Valley HS - 27051 Robert C Lee Parkway
MAY 31
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA LATHROP - Holiday Inn Express (I-5 at Louise Exit)


*********** The good news?

Former Oklahoma Sooners wishbone quarterback (and former Republican congressman from Oklahoma) J.C. Watts is heading up a group with plans to launch an all-news cable network in early 2009.

Tentatively called Black Television News Channel, the new network is off to a good start: Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, has already agreed to carry the network in such cities as Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.

Mr. Watts, a conservative Republican, has long contended that there that there is far greater diversity among American blacks than the usual so-called "black spokesmen" have led the general public to believe.

"I'm not so sure that you see anything on CNN or Fox News that specifically targets the African-American community," Mr. Watts told the New York Post. "Our community features millions of people with all kinds of backgrounds. There's a much broader segment of the population than what we see in mainstream news."

The bad news? I was hoping he'd be available as a vice-presidential candidate.

*********** Joe Brillante, the head of the West Point's Washington State admissions field force, is a former high school football player, and he believes that football players make good officers.

Result? This year, 14 of the 40 West Point cadets-to-be, male and female, from the State of Washington were varsity football players, and only two of them were actually recruited to play football for Army.

*********** My friend Christopher Anderson, who does sports broadcasts for Stanford sports, is in Omaha for the college baseball world series, and he told me he hoped to get over to Lincoln.

Me: I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by Lincoln. It is definitely not the bleak prairie town that the bicoastal media have led us to believe it is.

If it's anything like Iowa City, I would expect it to be well-built, sensible and amenable to college life.

I have noticed that farm and ranch people tend to make good common-sense people when transplanted to other fields - such as football, soldiering or Supreme Court justices (Sandra Day O'Connor.) Perhaps it's not growing up in the vicinity of unions - or maybe spending a lot of time around horse's arses makes it easy to spot them in society?

Me: Farm people understand that they are not masters of the universe. They do their best, but they understand that they are at the mercy of the forces of nature - being religious, they usually call it God's will - and when things go wrong they do not complain about the unfairness of it all. 

They get back up and try to salvage what they can.

And when things go right, they might take a vacation, but mostly they plow their earnings right back into the farm, knowing that somewhere down the line there will be hard times again.

They are a skeptical lot.  They know the value of a dollar and they know there is no free lunch.

I have a feeling that there were not too many no-money-down, interest-only home purchases among farm families.

*********** McCain was all over Big Oil Tuesday, asking them to give back some of his profits. Maybe it's because his wife owns an Anheuser-Busch distributorship that he didn't ask the same of Big Beer. But consider...

Back when gas was 30 cents a gallon (anybody else remember that song?), a small draft was only 10 cents and a large draft was a quarter.

Now, the newspapers are full of stories about the pain of $4-a-gallon gasoline, but the $4 beer has been with us for a long time.

*********** I've always said that I'd never want to coach at a place where the kids drive better cars than the teachers...

Such a place is Lake Oswego, Oregon, a stereotypical well-to-do suburb full of high achievers with unending love and high expectations for their little princes and princesses. Every major city has its own Lake Oswego.

The principal at a Lake Oswego elementary school recently felt the need to send a note home requesting that, in order not to clog the parking lot, parents refrain from sending limos to pick up their kids on the last day of school.

Explained the superintendent, in a bit of tap-dancing befitting a guy who works in a community like that, "This is a community of parents who really value education and really value those kinds of milestones."

Yeah, milestones. Finishing the school year at an elementary school. Of course, these are kids who are going to get BMWs simply for turning 16.

Yup- there's a lot of pain out there.

*********** The NFL gets a pass on drugs, DUIs and assorted criminal activity.

Baseball gets a pass on drug-enhanced performance.

And there is no proof that in a society concerned only with ends and not means NBA basketball will suffer from its latest scandal.

Of all the sports, though, NBA basketball is by far the one that has always seemed fishiest to me.  I have long contended that the average NBA game is a performance, not an athletic contest, more on the order of a pro wrestling match than a hard-contested game. Yes, the guys are athletic. And yes, they're the very best at what they do. But that ignores the key question - is it on the up-and-up?

Now come the accusations of Donaghey, the supposed rogue ref, that the NBA and certain key officials might have engaged in "manipulating" games.

Fixed games? I wouldn't know. But I've believed for years that the league has been engaged in "manipulating" - maybe "perverting" would be a better word - the game itself.

How else to explain NBA officials' inability to spot point guards who flagrantly palm the ball while "dribbling", or monster dunks preceded by four or five steps unaccompanied by a dribble?

But "manipulating" games? It's certainly plausible, with all the money at stake.

Is it that hard to believe that a league so cynical as to order its officials to ignore its own rules, the better to increase its fan appeal, is beyond attempting to influence the outcome of games in favor of major-market teams, the better to hype its ratings?

Only one problem - if there's anything to this guy Donaghey's story, wouldn't you think they'd have done more to help the Knicks?

Or, God forbid, are the Knicks so bad that not even crooked refs can help them?

*********** As one who appreciates the proper use of the English language, I always get a chuckle at the way certain pretentious types like to turn nouns into verbs. This latest one was the absolute best -

"Can I favorite your website: http://www.coachwyatt.com/ on my website?"

When I first started reading it, and came across "can I favorite?" I thought it was one of those fractured-English letters from deep inside Russia asking me to help retrieve the millions left in an American bank by a now-deceased relative.

*********** When you think you have problems - reflect on the floods and tornadoes that have dealt a double whammy to the hearland.

*********** GLOBAL WARMING UPDATE. Yes, yes, I know it's been ungodly hot in places like New York and Washington, where with the exception of those few who escaped to Los Angeles, everybody of any importance writes everything of importance.

I sympathize deeply. With every mention of those temperatures in the high 90s - and oh, yes, with commensurate humidity - I have been thanking the Lord for the circumstances that delivered me, more than 30 years ago, to the moderate climate of the Pacific Northwest.

And on the strong chance that the easterners' preoccupation with their heat wave may have caused them to overlook other, less enlightened places, and at risk of sounding to my East Coast readers as if I am rubbing it in, I am compelled to note that on Tuesday, June 10 the high temperature in Astoria, Oregon (on the coast) was a record-low 52 degrees. The high in Portland, 100 miles upriver, was 56, 15 degrees below normal. Another 30 miles farther to the east, up to six inches of snow fell in the Oregon-Washington cascades, and the early morning temperature in Government Camp, Oregon was 23 degrees. Oh- and up to 10 inches fell in Eastern Oregon, where in a 15-mile stretch of Interstate 84 between Pendleton and La Grande truckers were required to use chains.

*********** Nate Sassaman had an amazing career at West Point. A highly-recruited veer quarterback from Aloha, Oregon, he was headed into his senior year at Army as a two-year letter winner at defensive back, when Hall of Fame coach Jim Young made a daring decision: after a 2-9 first season at West Point, he was going to switch to the wishbone. And Nate Sassaman was going to be his quarterback.

To say the move was a success is a gross understatement. Running the brand-new offense, Army went 8-3-1. The tie was a 24-24 deadlock against Tennessee - in Knoxville. And the season concluded with a 10-6 Cherry Bowl win over Michigan State.

That was 1984. Only twice in the 23 seasons since has Army won that many games in a season.

Nate Sassaman, meanwhile, graduated from West Point and rose to Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army. Sent to Iraq, he impressed numerous observers with his ability to switch roles daily from warrior to governor. Writers marvelled at his ability to engage in house-to-house fighting at night, and help to rebuild broken towns and governments by day.

But the warrior got caught between two missons - fighting to win a war as the fierce warrior he was, yet having to do so in the sanitized, politically correct manner demanded by our political leaders.

Ultimately, it cost him his promising career in the military, and he retired from the service.

I have a great deal of admiration and respect for Nate Sassaman. I have followed his career from the time he was a high schooler until his retirement from the service, and I've visited with him at Classical Academy in Colorado Springs, where he's the AD and head football coach. (No, I wasn't able to convince him to run the Double Wing.)

Nate has written a book, and it's just been released.

It's called "Warrior King: The Triumph and Betrayal of an American Commander in Iraq," by Nathan Sassaman, and it's available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Needless to say, I've already ordered my copy.

Nate assures me that he will autograph a bookplate for any of my readers who requests one.

flagTUESDAY, JUNE 10, 2008- "Things should be made as simple as possible - but not any simpler." Albert Einstein

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SANTA CLARITA - Golden Valley HS - 27051 Robert C Lee Parkway
MAY 31
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA LATHROP - Holiday Inn Express (I-5 at Louise Exit)





*********** Every football coach knows that there aren't many things more exciting than introducing an offense to a team and then seeing them run it against an opponent for the first time. I am truly blessed, because I have gotten to do this so many times, and Saturday I got to do it again, watching a brand-new Double-Wing team unveil its offense for the first time in a spring jamboree.

Spring jamboree? Wow. When I first started coaching in Washington, your hands were tied - between the end of football in the fall and the official start of practice the next summer, you couldn't do anything that brought together the holy trinity: a coach, a kid and a football. Two of the three was okay, but all three could get you fired. That meant, for example, that in the off-season it was illegal for a coach to so much as show his quarterback how to grip a ball. What a crock.

Spring jamboree? Spring practice? Get serious.

Now, though, spring practice is the norm. And it's common for teams to conclude their spring practices with a jamboree, a glorified scrimmage against a couple of different opponents.

Saturday, it was the Toppenish Wildcats, of Toppenish, Washington, finally being tested just two weeks after learning my system. After watching them against two different opponents, I'd have to say that they are definitely on the right track. They have some talent, and new coach Coach Jason Smith and his staff have done a nice job on both sides of the ball.

Their repertoire was limited to 88/99 super power, 88/99 super power sweep, 47/56 counter and 2-3 base, as well as 47 Brown and 56 Black.

In all, they scored five touchdowns, two of them in the air, and would have scored a sixth on the final play except that the A back, after making a great cutback on 88 Super-Power, slipped and fell with maybe five yards remaining at the end of a 40-yard run. Needless to say, he was on the receiving end of several good-natured jabs from his teammates.

It was really exciting to see those kids realize that it works!

The JV was at least as impressive. Reflecting the positive vibes of Coach Smith, turnout is way up, and to make sure that every player played a significant amount, the coaches kept running fresh units in and out. No matter - each new unit kept moving the ball.

I should point out that these Toppenish kids are very tough, and it really shows on defense.

*********** It was nearing post time Saturday, and my wife and I wanted to see the running of the Belmont Stakes. Unfortunately, we were on the Interstate, about two hours east of Portland, out in what some less enlightened people might call the middle of nowhere. Hopeful of finding some place with a television, we pulled off the highway into tiny Arlington, Oregon (population 500), the only town of any size within at least a 30-mile radius.

There was only one place in town with any remote promise of having a TV, a restaurant called the Village Inn, but on entering and taking a quick look around - the place was empty except for one worker - we couldn't see a screen in the place. No harm in asking, though - and to our surprise, the worker told us there was one "in the lounge," and pointed to a door in the back of the dining room.

There was nothing above the door to indicate to an outsider that there was a "lounge" on the other side, but we entered all the same. Inside, it was dark and smoky (mystery of mystery, ultrananny Oregon still permits smoking in public places) and although there was no one sitting at the bar, we did hear voices from another part of the room, along with the unmistakable chimes of slot machines.

Now, it was about 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon. Outside, it was a beautiful, even by the standards of Eastern Oregon. The temperature was maybe 75, the sky the kind of deep blue that an Easterner who lives his life in humidity that produces skies the color of skim milk simply can't picture. Who in the world would want to sit in a dark, windowless lounge on a day like this?

Guys playing video poker, that's who. About six of them. Sitting in the back of a darkened lounge, staring at computer monitors, totally engrossed in the action on the screens. In another age, it could have been an opium den.

My wife and I sat on a couple of barstools while a young man behind the bar pointed a remote at the TV and asked us, "what channel?" as if we lived in Arlington, Oregon. No, wait - he knew better than that. He undoubtedly knew everybody in Arlington by their first name. On second thought, maybe wasn't from Arlington at all. Maybe he actually lived in Ione, or Cecil, or Olex, or some such really small nearby town, and just commuted to Arlington.

Anyway, I said, "I don't know - we're not from around here. We just stopped in to see the horse race," and he said, "What horse race?"

Uh, oh, I thought. "I think it's on one of the major networks," I said, but fortunately, before I had to explain what a network was, he had located the horse race.

For the next 30 minutes or so, we watched the pre-race activities, including the darling nine-year-old kid, most likely the son of a network executive, singing "New York, New York."

But then they started loading the horses in the starting gate and suddenly the din in the back of the room ceased and we found ourselves surrounded by the poker players, all eyes glued to the TV set.

And when the horses broke from the gate, the guys got into it. Really into it. They started shouting. And exchanging comments with us, as if we were regulars. And shouting. And asking us who we wanted. And shouting. These guys knew their horse racing. They shouted and shouted, and kept it up until it was clear that once again, there would be no Triple Crown winner.

And then, as quickly as they had materialized, they turned and returned to the darkness and their video poker.

*********** At the risk of sounding like a dumbass:

Did you know the articles you wrote from the 70s are in google archives?

Also, articles about your college days and semi pro days?

Dennis Cook, Roanoke, Virginia

Wow. Guess that makes me a dumbass, too.

Tell me where to find them---

Hugh Wyatt

Google.com - Go to news - Go to Archives - Go to all dates - search term = hugh wyatt football

Amazing.  What an extravagant use of servers. (Not to mention electricity.)

At least I can back up the things I said I did.

Damn glad I didn't commit any crimes along the way.

*********** Hello Coach, Thanks for the newsletter. Read the references about team nicknames, and having coached in Oklahoma, California and Texas, I have run across some unique ones.  Lord knows this could turn into an endless stream, but thought I would send along some of my all time favorites.   Enjoy....
Take care.
Head Football Coach
Martin High School
Laredo, Texas


EUFALA IRONHEADS (hometown of the Selmon brothers of OU/NFL fame)
SALLISAW BLACK DIAMONDS (type of watermelon)




ROBSTOWN COTTONPICKERS (hometown of former NFL star Gene Upshaw)

*********** Hey coach, I converted over to your system about three years ago and have had great success. Even though   the past two years I have been o-line and defensive coordinator under two different head coaches at two    different levels. I was able to convince both that your blocking system was the way to go. It really proved to me how versatile it can be. In the past three years we have had 30 wins and only 4 losses. With 3 local championships and one national runner up. So thanks for knowledge.. This  year I will be returning to head coaching. I am looking  forward to running the complete system. I am also thinking of running a no huddle. I saw on your web site a no huddle you had come across. I do have a few questions probably due to my ignorance or lack of experience with the no huddle or hurry up offense. How do you call in 1)your formation 2)any motion and 3)snap count. I have considered hand signals for 1&2  but am not certain on the snap. I'm afraid to many signals may get confusing . We have made separate arm bands for the offensive line with only blocking instructions such as power right power left counter right, counter left , etc.. Which would signaled in by the o-line coach. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.  And thanks again coach for all you do!!            thanks   

Here is the no-huddle system that I've used since 1997.  http://www.coachwyatt.com/playgrid1.html

Actually, I rarely go without huddling in a game, but I never huddle in practice (saves all sorts of time).

I simply call out  to the QB the coordinates of the play I want to run. It's his job after every play to get  close enough to hear, and then he gives them to the rest of the team.  Often the whole team has heard the call when I gave it to the QB, so it's no surprise when he tells them in the huddle.

To answer your questions about formation and motion

"Tight" is our default formation, and "Nomo" is our default motion. Suppose I want to call 2 Wedge,  with no motion. On the card you see on my site, "2 Wedge"  is found at the intersection of the coordinates "20" and "2", so I simply call "22" 

Anything other than that and I'll call it out when I give the QB the play:

From a different formation:  2 Wedge with a the left end split to the right and a split backfield would be "OVER SPLIT 22"

With motion: 2 Wedge with Rip Motion would be "RIP 22"

If a particular set and motion are always to be used when running a particular play, I print that on the card using abbreviations (and always making sure that the players know what the abbreviations mean).

The snap count is most frequently "FIRST HUT," but if there is no motion on the play the QB has the option of snapping the ball on "GO"

And if I want to insist on a particular snap count, I will convey that to the QB (in code).

I do not use hand signals.  It's one more thing to have to teach, and if you use them, you'll have to change them every week, because high school football has its Belichicks, too. 

I do not worry about opponents trying to hear our signals.  Remember, there are at least four different ways of calling the same play from our card:

"2 Wedge" can be "Twenty-Two" or "Two-Twenty" or (with the color arrangement on this card) "White-Twenty" or "Twenty-White"                                       

*********** Last December, 25 teenagers in a small Vermont town broke into the late poet Robert Frost’s old summer house, drinking and trashing it.

The unique sentence the judge gave the young partiers was to study the poetry of Frost, who happens to be one of my favorite poets.

The person who administered the "punishment," an instructor at Middlebury College, chose to deal with two poems - “The Road Not Taken,” Frost’s lesson on the way the choices we make affect our lives, and “Out, Out,” his tragic tale of the death of a young farm boy at the end of the work day.

“They seemed shaken to their foundations,” said the instructor. “A wake-up call: don’t waste your life.”
For those who've never read Robert Frost...

"Out, Out - " by Robert Frost, 1916
The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard
And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,
Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.
And from there those that lifted eyes could count
Five mountain ranges one behing the other
Under the sunset far into Vermont.
And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,
As it ran light, or had to bear a load.
And nothing happened: day was all but done.
Call it a day, I wish they might have said
To please the boy by giving him the half hour
That a boy counts so much when saved from work.
His sister stood beside him in her apron
To tell them "Supper." At the word, the saw,
As if it meant to prove saws know what supper meant,
Leaped out at the boy's hand, or seemed to leap -
He must have given the hand. However it was,
Neither refused the meeting. But the hand!
Half in appeal, but half as if to keep
The life from spilling. Then the boy saw all -
Since he was old enough to know, big boy
Doing a man's work, though a child at heart -
He saw all was spoiled. "Don't let him cut my hand off -
The doctor, when he comes. Don't let him, sister!"
So. The hand was gone already.
The doctor put him in the dark of ether.
He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath.
And then - the watcher at his pulse took a fright.
No one believed. They listened to his heart.
Little - less - nothing! - and that ended it.
No more to build on there. And they, since they
Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.

*********** Coach,
A slight mistake in your June 6 news.  You wrote about school nicknames and mentioned the War, WV Hillbillies.  The HS at War is the Big Creek Owls.  The Hillbillies are from Man, WV.  We (Oceana, WV) played them for years and they were tough.  I really enjoy the News and the Old Time Football.
John C. Harris
Martinsville, Virginia (I hope nobody in War is upset because I called them the "H" word! HW)


FLAGFRIDAY, JUNE 6, 2008- "Living in this country and not learning our language is like keeping your first wife's picture in your current wife's bedroom." Paul Harvey 

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SANTA CLARITA - Golden Valley HS - 27051 Robert C Lee Parkway
MAY 31
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA LATHROP - Holiday Inn Express (I-5 at Louise Exit)


*********** Do you remember...the "Play-off Bowl?"
I had no idea this took place until I found it surfing the net.  What I don't understand is that no stats of this game were included for the season.  I know of Tom Matte's performance at QB against Green Bay, but had no idea he then played QB against the Cowboys.
From the internet:
From 1960 through 1966, the memorial Bert Bell Playoff Bowl matched up the teams that finished in second place in the two conferences (Eastern and Western) that the league had at that time.  From 1967 to 1969, the losers of the Eastern and Western Conference championship games met (the conference title games having become necessary because in 1967 the conferences were further split up into two divisions each, the first-place finishers from which competed in these games).  All ten games in the series were contested at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida.

The game had no real meaning to the final season standings or statistically.  For that reason, Vince Lombardi called it "a rinky-dink game". At the time of the games, CBS-TV advertised them as "playoff games for third place in the NFL".  But, the actual purpose for the game was to serve as a postseason exhibition intended to draw fans and help coaches plan for the following season.  Today the NFL views them as exhibition games and does not include records of the game participants or results in league playoff statistics.  Interest in the game was slight in the early years with attendance averaging 32,000 the first three years.  Attendance peaked at 65,659 for the 1966 game between Baltimore and Dallas.  It waned in the latter years with a low of 22, 941 in 1969
January 7, 1961- Detroit Lions 17 Cleveland Browns 16 
January 6, 1962- Detroit Lions 38 Philadelphia Eagles 10
January 6, 1963- Detroit Lions 17 Pittsburgh Steelers 10
January 5, 1964- Green Bay Packers 43 Cleveland Browns 20
January 4, 1965- St. Louis Cardinals 24 Green Bay Packers 17
January 9, 1966- Baltimore Colts 35 Dallas Cowboys 3
January 8, 1967- Baltimore Colts 20 Philadelphia Eagles 14
January 7, 1968- Los Angeles Rams 30 Cleveland Browns 6
January 5, 1969- Dallas Cowboys 17 Minnesota Vikings 13
January 3, 1970- Los Angeles Rams 31 Dallas Cowboys 0

Dave Potter, Durham, North Carolina
Yes, I do remember it- Players and coaches grew to disparage it.

Once it acquired the name "Runner-Up Bowl," it was doomed, but it appears that the real problem was the AFL-NFL merger, and the introduction of what would become the Super Bowl, which made the Runner-Up Bowl even more irrelevant. HW

*********** (Vs a 5-3) On 88 SP, if their DE is crashing down so that my Fullback can't kick him, what adjustment would you make?  Have the playside Wingback block him?  Go "Wings On" and hopefully have their DE line up further outside?  Have the playside Wingback and Tight End combo him?  Run a sweep and reach block him?  Or something else?  Thanks.

Your proposed solutions are all valid.

Don't forget 6-G.  That is an automatic when I see anything like this.

In addition, there is "SLOT".  SLOT is tough against a 5-3, because if they leave that DE out there, they leave a huge gap between the DT and the DE.

Mainly, though, I don't see a problem - UNLESS you are weak at B-Back and they are strong at DE, which is exactly the sort of situation I advise people to avoid when I tell them that they must be stout at B-Back.

I especially don't see a problem the way it's drawn, with the wingback seemingly going in front of the DE.  If he has time to do that, the B-Back won't have any problem at all.

I do think, though, that the backside TE may not be able to make his cutoff - this is a TNT situation, and we either have to block down, or we have to make the "O" call and let the backside tackle cut off.

In any event, the double on the nose is wasted.  The double, if you;re not going to block down, is with the T and G.

The TE doesn't need to double with the T because that DT is already inside shoulder of your tackle.  The TE will in all likelihood continue on his track for the MLB

Hope that's clear.

*********** Coach, I wanted to let you know that I got the Freshman Head Coach job, and to thank you for all your help over the years.  I am still going to run the double wing even though the high school runs a spread option.  After watching my film the head coach was impressed with how tough the kids looked and how hard they played.  The double wing helped make them tough, they weren't before they started running it.  I am going to incorporate some of his formations and pass plays into the offense, but that is what makes the double wing so great, it is so flexible.  He also wants to put in some option,(single read) nothing near as complicated as what they are doing.  He also encouraged me to continue the Black Lion tradition.
If you have any advice I would certainly appreciate it.
Head Freshman Coach


First of all, congratulations!

You obviously have the confidence of the head coach, and it is essential that you do everything you can to justify his confidence in you.

Do whatever it takes to help the program.

I give the head coach credit for recognizing that there is far more to preparing freshmen for eventually playing on the varsity than simply running the varsity's plays.

Since you have his blessing to run the Double Wing, I'm sure that you will be able to do so and still prepare kids to move on and play the varsity coach's system.

One word of warning - should you have success, and should the varsity falter, be prepared to be asked why the varsity doesn't also run what you're running.  You don't want to handle this issue in a way that suggests even remotely that you do not fully support the varsity program.  Probably you could say something like, "It was Coach ------- 's decision to run this offense at the freshman level.  He thought that it might make the kids tougher and better prepare them for varsity ball, and I agree, but we won't really be seeing the results of it for a couple of years, when these kids are playing on the varsity."

Again, congratulations, and keep me posted.

*********** Bill Battle, founder of Collegiate Licensing Company, is going to be honored by the National Football Foundation as an individual who has made "significant contributions to the game of football, either to the manner in which it is played and coached or to the manner in which it is enjoyed by spectators."

Lemme tell ya - before he became a great marketing success - try buying some article with a college's name or logo on it that does bear the seal of the Collegiate Licensing Company - Bill Battle was one hell of a coach.

Here's the news release...

A legend in the world of collegiate marketing, Bill Battle leveraged his experiences as a player for Bear Bryant at Alabama and as a head coach at Tennessee to build the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) into a major force in the $4 billion collegiate merchandise market, earning more than $800 million in royalties for his clients over the years.

His passion for the collegiate athletics and a strong interest in marketing led him to launch Golden Eagle Enterprises in 1981, and he landed his coach, Bear Bryant, and alma mater, Alabama, as his first licensing client. By 1983, Battle had signed eight other schools and moved the renamed Collegiate Licensing Company to Atlanta, Georgia from Selma, Alabama. With a unrelenting focus on providing his clients greater exposure and the broadest range of licensing services, Battle built CLC into a national leader in the $4 billion annual market for collegiate licensed merchandise. Now, the nation's oldest and largest collegiate licensing company, the company boasts more than 200 colleges, universities, bowls and conferences as clients, representing more than 75 percent of the current annual market. In 2007, Battle sold the company to IMG, and he remains active in the company, serving as its chairman with his son Pat overseeing the day-to-day operations as president.

A member of Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's first national championship team in 1961, Bryant followed his playing days by entering the coaching profession as an assistant at the University of Oklahoma. From 1964-1965, he served at the U.S. Military Academy, including work as an assistant football coach. He arrived at the University of Tennessee in 1966 as an assistant to Hall of Fame Coach Doug Dickey, and in 1970, when Dickey left for Florida, Battle, 28 years-old, assumed the head coaching position, becoming the youngest coach at the time, tallying a 59-22-2 record and five straight bowl appearances with three squads finishing in the top ten.

A native of Birmingham, Ala., Battle was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of fame in 1982 and was the first member inducted into the National Collegiate Licensing Association Hall of Fame in 2000. He has been named one of Street & Smith's 20 Most Influential People in College Athletics. He currently serves on the boards of Collegiate Images and Birmingham Southern College. He holds a master's degree from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama.

*********** The United States Military Academy (USMA) - er, West Point - er, Army - is trying to deal with the confusion in the public's mind caused by the fact that the team called "Army" represents the United States Military Academy, which is located at West Point, New York. Still with me?

There is no such confusion with the other two main service academies. The Air Force Academy's teams are known as "Air Force," and the Naval Academy's teams are known as "Navy."

It's that damn word "Military" that gets in the way.

So the USMA - oops, West Point - has announced that henceforth, it will expend all its efforts to being referred to, at least athletically, as "West Point." That's what you'll see on its athletic fields and on the uniforms of its teams. How much effect that will actually have, I don't know, because although Army - sorry, West Point - fields teams in more sports than almost any other college, I can't remember the last time I saw any of them other than the football team (known as "Army") on TV. And considering that the football jersey's retro design dates back to the glory years of the 1940s, it is unlikely that alumni would happily accept any lettering on it, West Point or not. They're so into the concept of "team," they don't even want player's names on the back.

Yes, this is a start, but I spent some time in marketing, and I know a little about branding, and in my opinion, switching to "West Point" is  mostly going to be noticed by people on the inside.  To actually educate the public would require the marketing dollars of an Anheuser-Busch or a Proctor and Gamble.

It will have minimal effect on the vast majority of  people who only hear of the USMA - sorry, West Point - on ESPN, when they see  the scores of the ARMY football team crawl across the bottom of the screen.  I sure don't think the news media is going to buy into the change. I rather doubt we'll see "West Point" any time soon. This is not as simple as dropping the "State" from Troy State.

Besides, even after the switch, there will still be "On, Brave Old Army Team," (the fight song) and the Army Football Club. And goarmysports.com

And the "rocket yell" long known to all West Pointers will still refer to USMA and Army, not West Point.

Oh - and I don't think that  they'll be calling it the West Point-Navy game any time soon.

*********** I love the drive from my home to the Northern California clinic. It's got everything - mountains, valleys, forests, alpine meadows, lakes, rivers and dry stream beds.

(Lake Shasta, in Northern California, is getting to be more and more of the latter. A man-made marvel high in the mountains, it's at least 15 feet down now, revealing red-clay banks and shoals I'd never seen before in all my trips. Lots of people depend for their livings on the rental of houseboats on Lake Shasta, and I have to wonder if they're going to make it this summer.)

It's 650 miles each way, from Camas, Washington to Lathrop, California, most of it on Interstate 5 ("I-FIVE" in the Northwest, "THE I-FIVE" in California, probably because, in Southern California at least, it's just another freeway.)

Provided you don't get caught in rush-hour traffic in Sacramento, it's about a 10-hour trip, allowing for a stop for gas.

Roughly 2/3 of the trip is between mountain ranges, 1/3 over them over and through. The first 200 miles is through Oregon's Willamette (that would be "will-AM-it") Valley, the next 200 miles winds over and through the wooded, rugged Siskyou Mountains of Southern Oregon and Northern California.

Wooded? There's almost anough trees to hang every ecoterrorist in the Pacific Northwest. Let me put it this way - ever hear somebody whining about having to "kill trees" in order to make paper? Tell 'em to stuff it. Believe me, one drive from Oregon to California, one look at all those millions and millions of trees, and no one will ever again make you feel guilty about blowing your nose or wiping your arse.

The final 200 miles is through the vast Central Valley of California perhaps the most fertile place in God's creation.

gas signThe California-Oregon border is about the halfway point between Portland and Sacramento, and the only town of any size thereabouts is Yreka ("why-REE-ka"). Which is probably why so many people stop there for gas. And why gas in Yreka was $4.499 a gallon last week. God knows what it is this week.

*********** The Northern California clinic was a lot of fun for me and - I hope - very helpful for the coaches.

It was hosted by the Lathrop Titans organization, whose president, Jaime Hernandez, has been in charge since I first started going there in 2000 or so, when John Torres handled the clinic details. Ably handling the details this year was Mark Rangel, in his first year as AD of the organization.

We spent the morning in the classroom, then spent the afternoon on the field with a group of current and former Lathrop Titans players, and coaches had a chance to get right into the middle of things.

lathrop titanstitans staff

john nigromike norlock


*********** For me, one of the highlights of the Northern California clinic was seeing Mike Norlock again. He was one of the finer Double Wing youth coaches I've known; his 2003 Atascadero (California) Raiders team, which won the Central Coast Super Bowl, was one of the best displays ever of a youth team running my system. Mike had a few health issues that are now behind him, and although no longer coaching - he wants to watch his son, a freshman at Cal Lutheran, play - he said he "needed a Double-Wing fix."

waterloo*********** Another highlight was dinner at the Waterloo Club, in Waterloo, California. You easterners - forget all you thought you knew about California - surfers, gays, movie stars and gay movie star surfers. There's a lot of workingman's California, too, and they frequent places like the Waterloo Club. It's a country bar and restaurant, out in the farmland east of Stockton, and it's always packed.

My wife and I went there as the guests of Richard Scott and his wife Shirley. Coach Scott, a longtime member of the Lathrop Titans organization, said he kept reading about all the places I'd visited, and wanted to make sure we saw a truly unique California restaurant.

As we walked up to the restaurant, I asked if it was part of a chain or one of a kind. Shirley said, "After you see it, you'll see why it's one of a kind."

That it was. There was nothing fancy about it. Just a lot of people enjoying the food and drink. The cuisine is Italian, but it is also country. It boasts "America's only Italian BBQ sauce."

People come to the Waterloo Club from as far away as the Bay Area, a drive of a couple of hours. It's worth the drive.

It was one of the few times I've ever gone to dinner - except for Obrycki's in Baltimore, where nobody orders anything other than steamed crabs - that all four of us ordered the same thing. Ribs. Mmmm-mmmm.

*********** A coach wrote to say that his HS head coach is willing to consider letting him run the Double Wing, and he asked me if I had any tips for him before he makes his presentation to the coach.

I wrote - I guess the biggest thing would be to oversimplify and underpromise.

Oversimplify in explaining to the head coach how you will teach the offense, so that he feels comfortable understanding it.  I think showing him a little of Dynamics of the Double Wing will help you a lot.

And underpromise - don't make extravagant claims about what you expect to do.  I don't get the impression that that's your style anyhow, but some guys can inadvertently convey the idea that there is something magical about the Double Wing, when it still takes lots of hard work - plenty of close attention to detail and lots of successful repetitions.

*********** I don't watch a lot of hockey, until the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Fortunately, living on the West Coast, we were able to see Pittsburgh's overtime win over Detroit without having too stay up too late, and Wednesday night, we saw the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup.

Hockey may be derided by the fools who think that TV ratings are everything, but there is no prize in sports comparable to the Stanley Cup, and no victory celebration even close to that put on by the team that wins it.

The beauty of it all is that it's all about team! One by one, the players of the winning team hoist the cup high and skate around with it. Actually, most of them plant a kiss on it, too.

I loved some of the things the victorious Red Wings said. The goalie, Chris Osgood, attributed his stellar play to the fact that, "I've got a bigger heart than most people think... I never quit."

The Wings' captain, Niklas Lidstrom, a Swede and the first European to captain a Stanley Cup winner, listened as the interviewer said something about the old saw that Swedes aren't tough and said, "Now that we've got that out of the way..."

*********** Great News out of Connecticut. Following the sad news of the retirement of Bill Mignault, state's winningest coach, comes the news of the return of Mike Emery, who in a four-year span from 1991-2002 took Fitch High School of Groton to four straight title games, winning two of them. Mike's been out of the game for five years - he got out because his son was playing at a rival school - but I predict he will soon have Fitch contending for a state title. Mike's Double-Wing was a thing of beauty, and his return is a great thing for me, a great thing for the Double-Wing, a great thing for Connecticut high school football, and a great thing for the kids of Fitch High.

I'll let old friend Ned Griffen of the New London Day tell the story...

By Ned Griffen


Mike Emery enjoys being an assistant principal at Fitch High School, but he's found himself looking back fondly at the hands-on teaching he used to do as both a math teacher and football coach at the school.

Emery won't miss teaching - or coaching - any longer. OnTuesday, he was named head football coach at Fitch, athletic director Rich Kosta said.

”I enjoy what I'm doing now and I get a lot out of it,” Emery said. “I think I'm teaching the kids and counseling them to do the right thing and so forth, but I miss the teaching part. The teaching math and the coaching. Both are teaching.

”I have an opportunity to teach one way or the other, on the field or in the classroom. I just wanted to try for the opportunity to coach again.”

Emery, one of four assistant principals on the Fitch staff, will continue in that capacity, but convinced school administrators that he could handle both duties, Kosta said.

”Fitch is a big school with a lot of responsiblities,” Kosta said. “But Mike presented a plan to the superintendent, principal and myself, and we feel it's going to work.

”He'll be great for our kids.”

Emery said that practice will start later than he has in the past while he fulfills his daily principal duties. He'll rely on his assistants to help him with the coaching.

”If I was, say, the golf coach, I don't think I'd be able to do it because I'd be by myself,” Emery said. “The key to this is that I have people on my staff that are stepping up. Our plan is to have the kids in either study hall or weightlifting on alternate days from the end of school to a particular time, about an hour or so. My assistants are going to run that.

”The good part is by the time the kids start practice, they're either done with lifting or done with their homework. We hope by putting an emphasis on study hall that grades will show that.”

The Falcons will begin spring practice Monday. Emery will get a full 10 days of spring practice with the team, too, since the school year runs late due to construction at the school. Graduation is June 27.

”We're meeting with the kids (today),” Emery said. “It's going to be fast and furious now.”

The Falcons' head coaching position opened up when Jim Buonocore Jr., who took over the program in 2003, resigned this offseason to take the same position at Ledyard.

Fitch was a state powerhouse under Emery, who coached them from 1992-2002. The Falcons won 98 games and had five postseason appearances, including four berths in the CIAC Class L final. Fitch won the state title in 2000 and 2001.

Emery's teams became synonymous with the double wing, a smashmouth rushing offense, and the 1999 Falcons set a state record with 695 points. They averaged 57.9 points in 12 games, fourth best in state history.

black lion*********** Coach Wyatt, Here is a picture of Keith Amundson (Valley's Black Lion) and yours truly.  I presented the Award to Keith at the Valley All-Sports Banquet this spring.  Also worth noting, the other coaches in all Valley's sports also selected Keith as our Bernie Saggau Award winner (Mr. Saggau was the long-time Executive Director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association).  Keith plans to study engineering in college.  He would also like to give football a shot, if his knees hold up.  He has been accepted at Rose-Hulman in Terre Haute, IN.  He is still on the waiting list for Washington University in St Louis, MO.  Thanks for all you do for football, and especially for the excellent Memorial Day information.
Chad Beermann
Head Football Coach
Valley Community HS
Elgin, Iowa
*********** Hello Coach Wyatt. I just graduated high school here in St. Louis, MO, and I will now be going to college to get a degree in mathematics so that I can become a high school math teacher and a football coach. Anyway, the other day, I discovered your "News You Can Use," and I instantly became a fan. I remember reading a post about a school having to change its mascot because it was "politically incorrect." It reminded me of the same thing happening to a school here. Last fall, my sister started her first year at the University of Missouri-Saint Louis. Their mascot had always been the Rivermen, referencing the great port city that St. Louis once was, as well as the Lewis and Clark expedition because it started here. So one day, I saw her wearing a UMSL sweatshirt, and I noticed it had a pitchfork on it. I asked her what the heck it was, and she said that it was a triton, because "Rivermen" was offensive to women (even though the women sports teams were called Riverwomen),so they changed the mascot to the Tritons. WHAT? The UMSL Tritons? It sounds like a youth soccer team. If anybody should be offended, it should be Thomas Jefferson and Lewis and Clark! Anyway, this got me thinking, what other mascots, regardless of the history and tradition associated with them, could PC nuts with too much time on their hands find to complain about? Here are the top five I came up with, ranked in order of absurdness. Enjoy, and feel free to add any of your own.
5. The Brown University Bears. Brown Bears? What about all the black bears and polar bears out there that are being excluded?
4. Indiana Hoosiers. I know plenty of Hoosiers that are not from Indiana.
3. Delaware Fighting Blue Hens. The only female mascot I'm aware of (even though the name technically applies to both genders). Are there any men out there making a big deal about it? Then again, the Fighting Blue Cocks doesn't sound very good.
2. UMass Minutemen. What about all the brave minutewomen that fought the British in the American Revolution? Wait, there weren't any.
1. George Washington University. Not so much a mascot thing, but the name doesn't mention any women. So, forget the fact that Washington alone was the greatest leader in American history, in order to make it politically correct, rename it "George and Martha Washington University."
Hopefully, PC-ness will never go this far, especially to the extent of numbers 1 & 2, but I'm sure there are some people out there who would agree with these incredibly sarcastic suggestions.
On a side note, speaking of mascots, a 6A football program here in Missouri has the strangest mascot I have ever heard of: the Columbia-Hickman Kewpies. Just do a Google Image search for "Kewpie" and you'll see what I mean.

Nice to hear from you.

I write this after just reading a letter from the Superintendent of the US Military Academy, informing graduates and those close to the Academy of his decision to change the lyrics of the Alma Mater and another revered song "The Corps" - neutering words such as "sons" - to acknowledge that for some years now West Point's cadet corps also includes women.

Delaware?  Not likely to change - the nickname dates back to a Revolutionary War fighting unit and the feathers they wore in their hats.  South Carolina already seems to have a lock on "Cocks."

You should be reassured to know that the forces of political correctness are not letting "Minutemen" alone, as I was told a few years ago when I sat next to some UMass fans at a football game.  Ironically, it wasn't so very long ago that UMass were the Redmen (gasp).

George Washington may seem sexist, but the nickname "Colonials" is appropriately neutral.

My very favorite mascot is the Orofino (Idaho) Maniacs.  It's not only odd, but it's totally politically incorrect - the state mental institution is located in Orofino.

There are the War, West Virginia Hillbillies

I also am amazed at the Indiana School for the Deaf: "Deaf Hoosiers"

Female nickname?  How about the Vincennes Alices.

Probably the most politically incorrect nickname - since changed - is the Pekin Chinks (Pekin, Ill)

In Ridgefield, Washington, I coached the Spudders. I have coached against the Tillamook Cheesemakers and the Camas Papermakers.

*********** Hugh,
I enjoyed reading your newsletter this a.m. I too have a few notes of when Coach Fry would speak to coaches at clinics.
A few things I remember most were:
1)       His one liner quotes that come straight out of the old school….as a Texan, he had a drawl of course….good ole southern gentlemen. He was also a philosopher of sorts. When ask one time in a press conference to explain why he had so many trick plays…..he called them EXOTICS! He replied to the reporter, “We just scratch where it itches.”

2)       He was always big on the mental part of the game…..even during pregame. Once when playing at Michigan he purposely had one of his kickers purposely shank, squib or just muff his kicks in pregame while the real kicker didn’t come out on the field. Of course the kicker in pregame was wearing the real kickers’ number. His comment to Bo was …..”we are terrible, just look at our kicker!” Iowa won on a last second field goal 12-10. The kicker was 4 for 4…..which goes with his philosophy of keeping it close enough to win in the end. Seldom did his teams lose the close game.

3)       Finally, once when Michigan came to town he had the visitor’s locker room painted all pink. He stated that the color pink would soften the opponent and make them less aggressive. Michigan kicked Iowa’s ass that day but that locker room never changed color after that. Of course, Schembechler was incensed by the gesture…..Iowa went on to fair well vs. Bo. The two had great respect for one another……

4)       He turned Iowa into a winner after 20 years of losing…..and he always had time to visit…..he let his coaches do all the talking at clinics like most do and you could see the business like class act through them. Just look at the list of coaches under him that have gone on to be successful head coaches, Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin), Bill Snyder (Kansas State), Chuck Long (San Jose State), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Mike Stoops (Arizona), Kirk Ferentz (Iowa).

5)       Ferentz is a lot like him without the drawl!

6)       Finally, he recruited the Iowa kid as hard as any other……many walk-ons became starters and some rose to all Big Ten status under Fry! I coached a kid once while at Mt. Pleasant, IA. He was an average kid by Big Ten standards but he bled Hawkeye Gold all his life. During his senior year he had been invited to visit Iowa but wasn’t offered a scholarship until he won the Drake Relays and the State Title in the shot put with 60+ foot efforts. Fry said anyone who could do that had to have the stuff it took to play Big Ten football. His name was Steve English, he was offered a full ride, played sparingly for four seasons, made a lot of starters in the D Line better by practicing against him and was a born leader! This is still the reason why Ferentz is revered today. Neither he nor Fry ever forgot the Iowa kid. Every kid in Iowa grows up wanting to be a, as Fry would say “a HAAAAWKEYE.”
Don Capaldo
Head Coach of Football
West Hancock Football Co-op
Hamilton High School
110 Keokuk Street
Hamilton, IL62342

*********** best quote I ever heard came from Coach hayden in my first ever coaching clinic. These words have remained with me......."You can't start winning, until you stop losing"

He talked about all the things that you as a coach CAN control that will prevent you from getting beat!
Larry Getts
Wayne HS, Fort Wayne, Indiana (All these years, I've unknowingly been paraphrasing Coach Fry when I've said, "If you take over a team that sucks, before you can do anything else, you first have to stop sucking."HW)

*********** Hugh -  Thanks for another great blast from the past with the Hayden Fry clinic notes.  As a much younger coach I got to see Coach Fry at the Portland, OR Nike Clinic in 1985 (I still have the notes!).  Great stuff!  I also want to sign up my NEW school for the 2008 Black Lion Award.  After 7 years at Coral Springs Christian I am leaving to become the Athletic Director  at Palmer Trinity School in Palmetto Bay, FL – just south of Miami.   I’m very excited about the move – it’s a great school with a beautiful campus and fantastic people.  They are also just starting a big expansion including new athletic facilities.  I’ll be “helping” with football this fall and we’ll see what happens for next year.  I want to thank you for helping us these past 7 years at CSCA as the Black Lion Award has been a huge part of our success.  One of my regrets is that even though we’ve had Jim Shelton and Steve Goodman as presenters each year, I’ve never had YOU down to present (maybe we can get you down this year?).  Anyway, thanks again and definitely sign up the Palmer Trinity FALCONS for the 2008 Black Lion.  Take care!
Jake von Scherrer (Jake von Scherrer and I go back to 1979, when I was offensive coordinator of a semi-pro team called the Van-Port (Vancouver-Portland) Thunderbirds, and he was a wide receiver (yes, I had them!) fresh out of Pacific University. It was quite a thrill to discover that he has made a career of working with young men. HW)

*********** Hugh,

Once again, your NEWSLETTER is full of coaching wisdom.  Thank you for sharing it.

Greg Koenig, Beloit, Kansas

*********** Coach Wyatt
Sorry I missed you at the atlanta clinic. Just wanted to drop you a few lines to tell you that was a great newsletter. I'm doing well . Took a job with my friend at Russell County High in East Alabama about a hundred miles from Atlanta. We're in the top classification in Alabama . You know the one with Hoover High School. It was tough last year we went 2-8 but not to worry we are and have worked very hard in the offseason . Hope to be at next years Clinic.
Yours truly
Coach James Rutherford
Phenix City, Alabama

*********** Wow my Hawkeyeness is puffing out it's chest right now.  Some of the notes on Hayden are PRICELESS.

Brad Knight
Athletic Director/Head FB Coach
Clarinda Academy
Clarinda, Iowa

*********** (Hayden Fry quote)

When something doesn’t work, it’s one of two things:
1. You can’t coach it
2. He can’t do it
Either way, what it comes down to is – IT’S YOUR FAULT!


I would add:

3. You don't want to coach it

As complicated as things seem when someone new begins the journey of learning the blocking rules of the DW, eventually you get it and things can get mundane. Many coaches simply don't want to work on the minute details that are required of the offense. It's not that they don't know how, it's just boring.

I sometimes grow weary of telling the tight end to leave "man on" alone on 6G. But, it's one of those details that can't be ignored.

It's a good life lesson.

Dennis Cook
Roanoke, Virginia (Good point-

Boredom - especially in today's  climate of overstimulation - is the great enemy of achievement in many areas of our lives.  Boredom is to a great degree responsible for the sorry state of public education, as teachers prefer to teach things that  please them, to students who insist on lessons they  can "relate to" rather than bore teachers or students with real education. It's a major reason why kids don't learn times tables, or spelling, punctuation or grammar.

In education, "Thou Shalt Not Be Boring" is often looked on as the Eleventh Commandment.  Why, if we forced them to learn the things required of an educated person, the little darlings might drop out. And then we'd lose state funding for everyone who drops out.  And then we'd have to close classrooms and lay off teachers.   So hang onto those kids at all costs, even if it means not educating them. You get the idea.

Gordon Wood, of Brownwood, Texas, one of the great high school football coaches of all time, once said (I don't have his exact words)  that the secret of his success was that he didn't get tired of watching the same play being run over and over - successfully. HW)

*********** If you didn't receive my latest newsletter, you're either not on the mailing list or your spam filter is refusing the mail (it contains an attachment). Either way, if you want to receive it, let me know - oldschoolfootball@mac.com

*********** Coach, do you run the option out of the double wing? If so can you pull the guard and/or tackle as you do on super power?

It seems to me it would be a great way of handling a stud at the DE position, while having the fullback lead block on a corner.

We have a number of different ways of running option and they're all good.  One of those involves use of power blocking.

But unless you run an option mainly as a gadget, and not as a core play, I don't think it's a good idea.  It can eat up a lot of your practice time, and none of us has enough of that.

I  think that if you're going to run a really good double wing (I have never seen one, and that includes my own, that is as good as it could be) you're not going to have the time you need to do that and run much option, too.

I think that there are lots better ways of handing a stud DE than letting him hit your QB.  And believe me, you may pick up yards, but your QB will get hit.  Hard.  With our tight splits, that option key - the DE - is almost two yards closer to your QB.  Your QB isn't going to have a lot of decision time.

If you run option on a fairly regular basis, nailing the QB is a major - and a valid - way of defending against an option team.

Not to discourage you, but I will repeat what a Texas coach said at one of my clinics years ago - "If you're going to run option - run option."

*********** In once sense, the Greenies could help football coaches by getting more people to drive Priuses.  It probably hasn't occured to a whole lot of the greens that we're not building any more power plants, so once everybody's driving hybrid cars, electricity is going to become every bit as expensive, relatively speaking, as gas is now, so that it'll be too expensive for kids to sit in their rooms and play videogames. (At least until the Emergency  Relief for Video Gamers legislation passes Congress.)


flagTUESDAY, JUNE 3, 2008-"The appearance of a single great genius is more than equivalent to the birth of a hundred mediocrities." Cesare Lombroso

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SANTA CLARITA - Golden Valley HS - 27051 Robert C Lee Parkway
MAY 31
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA LATHROP - Holiday Inn Express (I-5 at Louise Exit)


*********** In Germany, the Hamburg Pioneers, promoted to the third division after winning the championship of their fourth-division league last season, improved to 3-0 with a 56-24 win over the Braunschweig Lions' second team. (The Braunschweig Lions are a perennial power in the GFL, Germany's top division.) The Pioneers are tied for the lead in the Oberliga Nord with the Lubeck Seals.

*********** Coach, Again reading your news page and the part where you are talking about the Minor League Soccer coach having to scour the earth struck me as funny.

Here is why I think they have a hard time finding players for all the semi-pro soccer teams.
At around the age of 10 when most areas offer tackle football,  soccer begins to die. At least here in Oklahoma you can find on any given Saturday the soccer complexes full of players from ages 3 to 9. Especially in the winter and spring. Come mid summer and fall the soccer complexes seem to fall deathly quiet. For ages older than 10 Soccer teams are scarce and you pretty much have to travel a great deal to play games.
Why??? Tackle Football is why. After about 20 years of coaching kids and having 5 of my own (All boys) I have learned that soccer is ok for teaching fundamental footwork and learning to run. The age of 9 or 10 seems to be the magic number for little boys. At that age boys are starting to develop those aggressive hormones and thrive on making contact and playing physical. I truly believe this is why you see most football leagues start at 4th grade or 9-10 years of age.  (Now here in Oklahoma we have been starting at 1st grade or ages 6 and 7 years for several years now). For some reason when most little boys get their first taste of REAL Football they don’t want to have anything else to do with soccer.
I have lost track of how many parents have come up to me after the season and tell me that  little Johnny used to love soccer but doesn’t want to play anymore because he wants to concentrate on getting better at Football. I just smile and tell them GREAT!, go Wrestle this winter  (Little League Wrestling is huge in Oklahoma). If they liked football they will love Wrestling. I also tell them to go ahead and play soccer or baseball in the spring, that will keep at least keep them active. Come June/July we start conditioning for football.
All I do year round is hear from kids and parents asking, when can we start football? Funny how you never hear that about other sports.
Mike Watts Head Coach
Yukon Rangers 9 under football

Yukon, Oklahoma

Oh, Coach- Don't I wish.

I don't think you realize how blessed you are to live in  Oklahoma. Oklahoma may have its faults, just like everyplace else, but not loving football enough isn't one of them!  Wrestling, too.

I wish that the case you describe were the case everywhere.  Not that you can't find people in every part of the US who are passionate about football, and can't wait for it to start, but Oklahoma, along with the rest of what I'd call  Southern states, is in a world all its own.

But  in urban areas all over the country, even in places like Dallas and Atlanta and Birmingham - especially in the suburbs, especially in private schools - soccer is big at the high school level.  Okay - make that semi-big. It's not big in the sense that anyone other than the players or their families gives a sh-- about it. 

It does seem to me from my travels that there are two general areas in the country where high school soccer doesn't amount to much: (1) rural and small-town America (except where there are  large numbers of recently-arrived immigrants)  and (2) predominately-black areas of big cities.  

I call it the Starbucks Effect -  Those are the few places left where kids aren't late to practice because Mommy had to stand in line at Starbucks.   Where there is Starbucks, there is soccer.

To that extent, you might say that those two disparate regions represent what's left of "real America."    I think it is absolutely hilarious that blacks, who generally love sports and for one reason or another have proved quite capable of excelling in most any sport they decide to pursue, overwhelmingly reject soccer.

I do wish that the great switch over to football that you describe were taking place everywhere. I have seen it happening in other places.

I did some work with the Santa Clarita Wildcats, in Southern California,  a three-year-old organization that is growing fast and would like to keep growing. But they have an overflow of applications, to the point where parents now camp out the night before registration.

They are managing to find and train enough coaches, and they can come up with the equipment.

But the bottleneck, as it is for youth programs everywhere, is finding fields to practice on.

Somewhere in America, there may be a  complex being built primarily for youth football, but I haven't heard of it.  Typically, youth football programs have to scrounge to find places to practice -  and play, too. I  heard this weekend of a town whose high school very shortsightedly charges its youth program to use the high school field for its games.

The soccer people don't have that problem.

Soccer people tend to be well-to-do and well-connected and politically savvy, so they  wield a lot of political clout and they make a lot of noise, and their sport can be played by little boys and girls both (I must confess it's often difficult to tell the boys and girls apart) and as a result, whenever architects design new athletic complexes, they automatically print "SOCCER FIELD" all over the plans.  (To save time, they probably just use a rubber stamp.  Or maybe even  a special keystroke  that prints SOCCER FIELD whenever they hit it. )

I'm not ecstatic about any of the presidential candidates, nor am I all that big on government sticking its nose into things, but I'll get on the phone and make calls for the candidate who promises that he (or she) will require replacing "SOCCER FIELD" on those plans with  "FOOTBALL FIELD"

Be glad you live where you do!

I agree coach, we are lucky here in Oklahoma as far as football is concerned. At least for the passion of the sport. Now, we do have an affluent town here in north OKC area, Edmond, They are known as a soccer town and have one of the best facilities I have ever seen. I am jealous because I look at those fields and just wish I could have just 2 football fields on them. Edmond  is trying their darndest to get a MLS or Semi pro team to come and plant roots here. So far it has been met with little fanfare other than from the local Soccer clubs. Folks in OKC just don’t care about the sports to that level. I predict that once the new wears off the NBA, that will also take a backseat and flounder here also.
I also have the same problems with the Soccer organizations in our small community. Yukon is about 20 miles west of OKC. We are trying to build a new sports complex and the first plan I looked at had 4 baseball diamonds, 1 football field and 10 - YES 10 - full size soccer fields. Currently we don’t even have 1 team that would even play on a full size field. We have one (1) 12U team, two (2) 10u teams, several 8us and below. Those fields are played on areas less than 60 yards.

The football organization had 20 teams in ages 7 thru 11 in our small community. We play in a league that has over 70 teams and they refuse to play games on the weekends because they don’t want to miss OU or OSU football games. Lol.  We are basically out of field space and are becoming dangerously close to turning away kids because we don’t have the room to accommodate any more teams. So we struggle along with the rest of the country to get space to play what in my opinion is the fasted growing sport in America.
Not to take away from what soccer can do for a kid though. It teaches those fundamentals kids just don’t seem to learn like we once did when we were young - running, jumping, playing. Today, kids sit on their butts at home and play X-Box instead of being outside and running and jumping or playing sandlot or whatever like we did as kids. So soccer has taken that place for the younger kids.
I have 7 kids on my football team that used to play elite level soccer – they still do when football season is over- every year their coach gripes at them about not playing fall soccer and threatens them with being booted from the elite team. Funny thing is, these boys when given the choice always seem to choose football. He (Soccer coach) doesn’t understand, but I sure do.

*********** Some of you may remember the pickle juice craze of a few years ago - drinking the brine appeared to help certain teams prevent heat-related cramps.

it was only a matter of time before someone came up with this idea:


*********** I'm told that there's a shocking story about Bill Clinton in the newest issue of Vanity Fair. The author not only claims that Clinton is narcissistic, but also that while he's been out traveling the world, he's been, uh, messing around.

Wow. Who knew?

*********** I'm giving you the setup. You furnish your own punch line...

The Chinese government has announced that it will not grant visas, whether or not the applicant has tickets to Olympic events, to the mentally ill or those with sexually-transmitted diseases.

*********** Kevin White, who had been Notre Dame's AD since 2000, has just been named Duke's AD.

As a Duke dad, I think I am excited.

I know that Duke's football has been bad, and I know that Kevin White has been blamed for Notre Dame's football futility of late, but consider...

Yes, he erred in giving Bob Davie a contract extension before having to let him go, and yes, he did hire George O'Leary, who had to be fired after only five days on the job.

But in the latter case, I think that apart from the revelations about O'Leary's unearned graduate degree, it was a great hire, and I think that if O'Leary had only taken a few minutes to clean up his resume, he'd still be at Notre Dame and he'd have coached the Irish to a couple of national titles.

White did make a good recovery under trying circumstances in hiring Tyrone Willingham, but three years into his contract, Willingham was abruptly let go, the first ND coach in 46 years not to be allowed to finish his initial contract. This compromise of its principles by an institution professing to have higher values than the simple pursuit of winning was not Kevin White's doing; it was the decision of a board of trustees and administrators, one that undercut its athletic director.

Consequently, White can't be blamed for the botched pursuit of Urban Meyer or the (so far) misguided hiring of self-anointed genius Charlie Weis, not to mention the indefensible act of granting Weis a 10-year contract extension before he'd even finished his first season. Interestingly, after three years in South Bend, the fabled Weis has only one more win than Willingham did.

It's to White's credit that he didn't make a public stink of the way he was overruled.

Two of the people involved in White's hiring at Duke had Notre Dame connections: current ND basketball coach Mike Brey, a former Duke assistant, and former ACC commissioner Gene Corrigan, a Duke alumnus and a former Notre Dame athletic director himself.

At Duke, White will not have the worry of having to hire a football coach any time soon. Newly-hired David Cutcliffe is on the job, and he appears to have been a great hire. Ironically, Coach Cutcliffe was a Notre Dame assistant briefly until health issues ensued.

Somewhere down the line, though, White will have to hire the successor to a legend - Mike Krzyzewski. Actually, this won't be as tough an assignment for the AD as you might think, because my suspicion is that the guy making the call will be none other than Coach K himself.

According to the Chicago Tribune, before he accepted Duke's offer, White contacted Father Theodore Hesburgh, the legendary former Notre Dame President, for advice. Father Hesburgh's response, according to White, was, "That's the only place I'd give you a blessing."

*********** My friend Tom Hinger, a master of the cynical observation, says that Kevin White left Notre Dame for Duke because he wanted to go someplace with a better chance of having a winning football team.

Mike Lude*********** If you've read this page of attended one of my clinics, you're aware of Mike Lude. Last Thursday, my wife and I had lunch in Vancouver, Washington with Mike and his wife, Rena. I've "known" Mike for six or seven years now, but only via phone and Internet, and this was our first face-to-face meeting.

Mike and Rena are a great couple. They met in the 1940s at Hillsdale College - Rena was a local girl attending Hillsdale, and Mike had just been discharged from the Marines - and they've been together ever since. They live in Tucson, Arizona part of the year, and spend their summers in Bellevue, Washington.

Mike has been around the game - it's fair to call him a co-inventor of the Delaware Wing-T because he's the one primarily reponsible for many of the blocking rules I use today, and after his coaching career, he went on to be athletic director at Kent State, Washington and Auburn.

Mike's book, "Walking the Line," is a marvelous summary of his long and varied career as a coach and an administrator. Along the way, Mike was on the inside of a lot of political intrigue at the big-time college level, and he doesn't pull his punches. There's plenty in the book for anyone who's a coach or an athletic administrator or aspires to be one. (It sells for $30 - but Mike has agreed to let my readers purchase it through me for $25)

We spoke at some length about the conduct of today's major college athletes, a subject Mike feels very strongly about. He said that at Washington, before every season, he met personally with every team. He said that while some ADs may delegate that assignment to subordinates, he believed that if athletes realized that the athletic director thought it was important enough for him to address them himself, they would be more likely to take what he said to heart.

And what he said focused on the point that when you choose to be an athlete at the University of Washington, you are a Husky 24/7, year-round, and you will be held accountable no matter where you are or what time it is.

He said he'd ask them to consider what would happen if he, Mike Lude, were to go on vacation someplace far away... and get drunk... and get behind the wheel of a car... and kill a child.

Did they really think, he would ask them, that the headlines in the Seattle papers would read, "UW Athletic Director Drinks, Drives, Kills Child - But It Was On His Own Time?"

Now, Mike may be my senior, but he sure looks as if he could go out on the field this very afternoon and take the linemen while I take the backs (or vice-versa), and in fact I've asked Mike if he'd care to join me at a camp/clinic I'm putting on in the Seattle area in a couple of weeks. Get this - he didn't say No.

*********** More about the Northern California clinic on Friday, but...

Driving up California's Sacramento Valley Sunday morning, I had the choice of listening either to the Giants' pre-game show or a black preacher.

I chose the preacher.

Actually, I wound up listening to two of them, one right after the other.

The first one was named Reverend Tony Evans, the second Pastor Ricky Nutt.

Jeez, those guys were good.

And unlike certain highly-publicized preachers in the news recently, they stuck to preaching the Gospel. They did not use their pulpits to inflame, or to advance a cause. There was no mistaking anything they said. Their messages were insightful and instructive, not bitter and resentful.

Like true men of the cloth, they were telling their listeners things they needed to hear, not things they wanted to hear.

Reverend Evans spoke of salvation - how there's not a single thing you can do to save yourself.

Forget about comparing yourself with others, he said. So you're better than others? What difference does it make if you're the best person in your neighborhood? You're not being measured against them. What difference does it make, he asked, if you're 40 minutes late for your flight, or four minutes late for your flight? YOU BOTH MISSED THE FLIGHT!

No, you're not being measured against others. You're being measured against God's standard.

The problem for us, of course, is that God's standard is perfection - and there's not one of us who can achieve that.

Fortunately, he noted, God already forgives us for falling short - provided we accept His offer of forgiveness.

He used a great analogy - I love analogies - when he said it's like those credit card offers we receive - you know the kind, the ones that tell us we're "pre-approved." All we have to do is tell God we want it!

Pastor Nutt gave his listeners a very simple way of paying God back for His forgiveness - once you're on board, you see, you're now God's representative. That means watching what you say and do... and sometimes it even means humbling yourself - apologizing, even when you thought you were right.

I'm giving you a briefest of synopses, you understand. I can't possibly give you the energy, the enthusiasm, the genuineness of these men.

Wow. To think I could have wasted all that time listening to a baseball pre-game show.

*********** I've taught and coached at a Catholic school, and I got to know a fair number of priests. I have a great deal of respect for them, and I've never met one I didn't like and respect, so it grieves me to read stories about rogue priests and sexual abuse.

But I have to say, after listening to this creep Father Pfleger spew racial his animosity, that if the Church will tolerate his likes, anything is possible.

*********** A local police officer was charged with exposing himself to children. His lawyer said it was because he was depressed.

*********** At Seattle's Safecoo Field last week, a mother attending a Mariners-Red Sox game saw two women kissing and notified stadium security, which told them to stop.

One of the women later told KOMO radio, "I said. 'Well, I'm not going to stop, so you'll have to kick me out.'"

Which they did.

And now we know why the Mariners and Safeco Field have a code of conduct that states, "displays of affection are not appropriate in a public family setting."

Not that heterosexual couples aren't equally capable of offensive public displays.

*********** Nicole Cochran, a senior at Tacoma's Bellarmine Prep, finished first in the 3,200 at the Washington State Class 4A (largest class) Saturday, more than three seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.

But ten minutes after the race, she was notified that she was disqualified, based ona meet official's claimed that she had stepped on the inside line lane.

No matter that a video shot by a reputable track Web site, www.flotrack.com , shows that she didn't commit the foul.

No matter that only one of the two officials watching that particular part of the track signed off on the disqualification form.

No matter that the disqualification form reports that the infraction occured on lap 7, even though the video shows the official raising his yellow flag on lap 6.

No matter that many of the girls running near Ms. Cochran at the time reported that they saw nothing amiss.

No matter. She's still disqualified.

See, according to the head administrator, a guy named Mike Colbrese, executive director of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Associaton (WIAA), Washington must follow the directives of the NFHS, which prohibits use of unauthorized video to reverse decisions. Besides, an official's judgment call is not reviewable. The decision stands, said Colbrese.

I suppose guys like Colbrese are good at what they do, whatever that is, when things are running smoothly. But they're not worth a damn when there's a mess. You can almost picture Colbrese excusing himself to go wash his hands of this one.

Now, I'm as much a rules guy as anyone you'll ever meet this side of an official's convention, but rules or not, there is such a thing as a clear injustice, and when the people in auhority have an opportunity to right an injustice and they fail to do so, they reveal themselves for the rubber stamps that they are.

Meantime, a group of high school girls rose above their elders. Way above them.

Spokane Shadle Park High School's Andrea Nelson, who originally finished second, was declared the winner. But after the awards presentation, she stepped down from the awards stand, walked over to Cochran and, removing the first-place medal from around her neck, placed it around Cochran's.

"It's your medal," Nelson said to Cochran, according to the Tri-City Herald. "You're the state champion."

The rest of the top eight finishers then held their own award presentation, exchanging medals place-by-place, with Nelson receiving the second-place medal from Sarah Lord of Redmond High School, and Lord taking the third-place medal, on down to the eighth place finisher, who relinquished her place at state.

"That's not how you win state," Nelson said. "She totally deserves it. She crushed everybody."

*********** Five college football coaches who made a special tour of the Middle East to visit U.S. troops were the guests of President Bush on Memorial Day. They were Notre Dame's Charlie Weis, Auburn's Tommy Tuberville, Yale's Jack Siedlecki, Georgia's Mark Richt and Miami's Randy Shannon.

No jokes, please, about the fact that there would have been three more coaches on the trip but they had to be bumped from the flight to make room for Charlie Weis.

*********** Major League baseball and the NFL could profit from the sad lesson that there has been so much cheating in track and field that a guy from Jamaica can run a 9.72 100 meters, breaking the world record in one of track's most glamorous events, and we can't help being suspicious.

*********** At the recent forum hosted jointly by the National Football Foundation and the Football Writers Association of America, TCU's Gary Patterson spoke on the topic of hiring assistants, especially minority assistants:

GARY PATTERSON: I think two of the problems that we have that goes on that kind of we butt heads with, we're now making good enough money that we have pro players plus some pro assistants that come back to the college ranks, which not necessarily just because they come from that level are they qualified to be great college assistants, and there's a little bit of a difference.

It was said here before from Kevin (Kevin White, Notre Dame - now Duke - AD), that not necessarily do coaches want to come back to the college ranks. One of those is the work ethic because you're just not a full time coach; you've got to go on the road for three or four months and recruit, and you're not going to be around your family. You deal with the politics, you've got rules, you've got to take a test to pass it.

The last thing that I have is kids come up in a work ethic, and I think it's not just a football problem. And I'm not talking about any race, I'm just talking about the younger generation. You've got to work what some of us grew up doing, I came from Sonoma State. You washed the clothes, you cooked three meals during two a days. You did all those things that a lot of kids in this day and age don't want to do.

They don't want to get paid $9,000 for the year. They want to make more money. I slept out of the back of my car for about 30 days at Tennessee Tech when I was at a 1AA school. We're fighting more than just the one problem. There's a lot of things that go into it with just the generational growing up. They want instant gratification. I want the $70,000 full time position, not just with African Americans, but with Caucasians and anybody else. They want that full time position. I want to go on the road recruiting, I don't want to break down the film, I don't want to do that part of it.

You know, so for me, when I go in to look for it, it wouldn't matter to me if all my staff was all Caucasian or all African American. If they were good football coaches and good recruiters and I thought they represented me on a great level, then that's the way my staff would be.

But I do think because of the amount of money that we get paid that we do, as was said before, we do hire people that we trust because we know our job is in jeopardy. If one of those guys doesn't represent me in the right manner, then I'm going to get fired if they screw up. Because in my contract it says, institutional control of one of your members of your staff or one of your student athletes doesn't act the right way, then this is going to happen.

So I think there's a lot of problems out there, there's a lot of walls that we have to break through, and we have to have a little patience. I agree with Tyrone (Willingham). I think we have a problem, and I think it's more than just that problem. I think we have a problem with our professionals.

We have 119 schools. I've got probably out of nine full time assistants, seven of them that want to be the head coach at TCU if they could be and then a couple graduate assistants. You have to have a little luck with all of that, also. It's just not one of those situations where you sit and you have it.

You know, I think there definitely is a problem, but I think the problem stems from both sides. The money is good enough that the pros now a lot of the pros, some of them do want to come back because of it, but also you have those, they see it but they don't really want to pay the price like a lot of us sitting at the table.
































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































american flagTUESDAY, MARCH 4, 2008- "Never suppose that in any possible situation or under any circumstances that it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing however slightly so it may appear to you." Thomas Jefferson

*********** The Arena Football League is going to be experimenting with a special helmet containing a light that will turn red in the event its wearer suffers a concussion.

It gives new meaning to the term "Light 'em up," and considering how many young male fans are already used to watching the mountains on the Coors labels turn blue, I can envision promotions based on the number of red lights the home team can turn on.

*********** If ever there were an incongruous matchup of city and sport, it has to be the decision of Major League Soccer (otherwise known as the Oxymoron League) to locate a franchise in Chester, Pennsylvania. Chester, Pennsylvania, for God's sake! Ever been there? Rough town, to say the least. Rough as they come.

Once the home of major industries long since shuttered, Chester was a hardscrabble town even when I was in high school. And it has gone downhill since.

Now they plan to spend government funds (aka taxpayers' money) to build a soccer stadium there. On the Chester waterfront, no less. I laugh to think of all the effete suburbanites in their Priuses and Volvos driving past all the run-down projects and boarded-up buildings on their way to watch a game of futbol.

*********** Joe Daniels, wrote from Sacramento... ah yes the A-11, from Piedmont HS, in Oakland . lets just say these guys couldn't compete any other way HAHAHAHA...sad part is there are a couple of school in our area thinking about going to it..

My answer to the abomination-11 would be to assign my very best athlete to the QB, and have everyone else tackle an opponent at the line.  (Except the center, who gets protection.)

It really goes against everything I believe in to advocate deliberate violations, but if they are going to make a travesty of the game, they don't give a guy much choice.

At the very least, I will make them play tackle football. After a week of practicing against that stuff, I doubt that a defense is going to be ready for real football.


*********** Coach Wyatt, I went to News You Can Use today (Friday 2/29/08) to be vain and see my mom & dad’s greatest creation, me.  (smile)  In all seriousness, I wanted to thank you and Kevin for the Atlanta Clinic.  I kicked myself because I didn’t think to bring MY video camera to the afternoon session but I took lots of notes so I have new wrinkles to explore with the knowledge of new plays that I walked away from the clinic with.  But I will love to put my order in first for the DVD version of the plays.
Kevin has a very athletic team and being that I work with the QBs I couldn’t help but to admire the silky smooth composure that his starter has.  I watched his mechanics and was thoroughly impressed.  The kid has been taught well.
As I scrolled down and read “NEWS” I couldn’t help but read the insert from yet another coach asking you “HOW TO STOP THE DOUBLE WING”.  I think that you are getting softer as you age gracefully, that or in this election year you are being politically correct because I remember you frying coaches previously that dared ask you that asinine question.  (smile)
I do have one clear cut answer to the fools that ask me (us) what defense gives us the most trouble or what info can I (we) give them to stop us.  I ask them have they ever heard of the STUD 11 defense.  They usually reply “stud 11, I never heard of it.  Who runs it and how can I get info on it?  Do you know about it?”  To which I reply sure I know about it, because it will take eleven studs at every defensive position to stop the Double Wing!  I have yet to face the STUD 11.  (smile)
What stops most DWers is lack of execution, poor play calling, lack of defensive recognition, tinkering, lack of attention to detail, piss poor coaching, personnel in the wrong position(s) and I could go on but one that I will end on is lack of faith in the abilities of our players.  These are the things that stop the Double Wing and not one Cure All Double Wing Stopping Defensive. 
Respectfully & Keep Coaching,
Brian Mackell
Archbishop Curley & AAYFA, Baltimore, Maryland
*********** For a great article about Greg Gadson, former Army football captain whose bravery in battle and courage in dealing with his combat injuries was an inspiration to the Giants in their Super Bowl run (they awarded him a Super Bowl ring)---

*********** Back in 2006, Andy Smith, Director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, conducted a poll for the Boston Globe, asking people who'd moved from Massachusetts to New Hampshire within the last year why they'd done so. Reason Number One: cost of living. Reason Number Two: lower taxes. Reason Number Three: Too many liberals in Massachusetts.

*********** Hugh: I just read your latest column(good color pictures) and something struck me about how we worked at Delaware in the fall of 1953 as a freshman team to prepare the varsity for their opening game against Glenn Killinger's West Chester team which had beaten Delaware in 1952 primarily by putting defensive lineman on the inside shoulder of the Delaware offensive guards and at the snap of the ball literally dived and pinched in between the guards and the center, sometimes turning sideways to penetrate. If those defensive lineman were quick and made a powerful thrust they could penetrate enough to screw up the pulling game. I was one of the guys who successfully could beat the center's check block on some occasions. It drove those varsity guys(guards and center) crazy and it really screwed up the offense until we did it so much that they tightened up and became quicker and more aggressive in their blocking.Mike Lude was behind this, and he drove myself and several other quick defensive linemen to give the varsity offensive linemen a lot of trouble. They hated us. That year we beat West Chester 45 to 7 (or something like that.) That type of defense against a DW team that isn't ready for those type tactics can be beaten.You probably already know about these tactics but we practiced it so much before that West Chester game that those varsity linemen were really ready to defeat the pinch and penetrate defense.  Black Lions.  Jim Shelton, Englewood, Florida (Jim- General James - Shelton, USA retired - and Honorary Colonel of the Black Lions, was a two-way guard at Delaware under legendary coach Dave Nelson and legendary line coach Mike Lude. HW)

*********** Coach - That was a fascinating  breakdown, by Mr. Babb, but when he states  1.1 Million kids play in High School, is that Just  Kids in there Senior season or kids in all 4 classes Fr,SO,JR,SR  ?
 Coach - one thing that has always cracked me up,  and I have I heard this for years, in almost every community and every type of community, is something along these lines  -  " Johnny Jones the Head Coach of  XYZ  High School that my  son played for didn't help my Kid  ( or didn't do Enough ) get in to College and play ball ( or Not play )  " but there main beef is  that the coach didn't do enough to  help there  Kid
   A )  Isn't that what the Guidance Councilors  get paid for ?  &  B )  If you're Kids is a Good enough athlete and student  the correct college  be it D1 D1-AA, D II or DIII will find the kid ? for athletics, academics or both ?
 Coach do you remember  Sports Illustrated  did a breakdown similar to Mr. Babb, Like 10-15 years ago, it was an estimated breakdown  I thought it went something like this, 300,000  Sr.  boys dress up for the Fall to play High School Football,  only 30,000 will move on to play college Football at all levels - D1-A,D1-AA, D II, D III, NAIA, JUCO,   3000 will play at the 1- A level,   300 will get drafted by the NFL,  90 will make  an NFL roster  and  play  at least  1 year in the  NFL,  30 will play at least   3 years ,   10 will play  5 years or more  ?  My numbers could be way off but it was a fascinating  breakdown by S.I.  that I thought every parent  with kids in High School Football should see it, with the basic message  You're kid will only come down this road once playing High School Football  ENJOY the experience  , IF you're Kid is one of the fortunate  30,000 to play at the next level  Enjoy that , but don't get caught up in it ,  I Think that SI article should be posted by every High School Football program in America  to give the parents a dose of reality  -  see ya Friday Coach  -  John  Muckian   Lynn, Massachusetts

That's 1 million kids is all kids in all grades.  So in any one year there are some 200,000 coming out (allowing for some dropouts along the way).

If there are 30,000 playing college football, that means that some 7,500 openings will be created by graduation and dropping out.

You are so right - parents put too much responsibility on the coach.  But by the same token, I see all sorts of garbage about this coach or that one "sending" players to major colleges, or "sending" them to the pros, as if the coach did it, when you and I know good and well that God and good fortune (and far too often, good recruiting) sent those kids to those high school coaches in the first place, and that's the primary reason they're at a major college or in the pros.

As for guidance counselors... they should be doing what you suggest, but in most high schools they're  tied up with making sure that the ever-growing number of  knuckleheads get the credits they need to graduate (so that the school doesn't get a failing grade from the Feds).

I sure wish that we weren't so hung up on the Big Time.  I realize that it is impossible for any kid to resist the lure of  today's big NFL money, but going back to a different time, when I was in college, I believe that football-wise I would have gotten more out of playing in a good D-III program than I did from the Big-Time Ivy program that I chose.  

And for those who dispute the "Big Time" label, and don't realize how much the power structure of the game has changed since I was in school,  I offer this:

In 1957, my freshman year, the Yale Bowl seated 71,000. Only seven other colleges had larger stadiums. (Those of such odern-day giants Alabama, Florida, Penn State and Tennessee were smaller.) That year, Yale averaged 217,000 in six games. That's an average of more than 36,000 a game.

That was more than the average attendance at such modern-day giants as (get ready for this)

Washington (35,000), Tennessee (34,000), Auburn (34,000), Texas A & M (33,000), Florida (32,000), Nebraska (31,000), Penn State (28,000), Kentucky (28,000), Georgia (25,000), South Carolina (21,600), Clemson (19,000)

Here's some good ones for you --- Florida State, which wasn't all that many years removed from being a women's school, (16,000); BYU, still a small church school somewhere out West (9,000); Virginia Tech, at that time an aggie school hidden away in the mountains of Appalachia (9,000)

And - get this -  Holy Cross (16,000) outdrew BC (14,000)

How things have changed!!!!

*********** Speaking of the Ivy League...

Coach Wyatt....Just fyi. I am a big Ivy League FB fan and thought you might enjoy this. Hope all is well and I look forward to seeing you in RI. For what it's worth Brian Dennehy lives about a 1/4 mile from me in Woodstock CT. Interestingly enough there are several "celebs" that live here and in neighboring Pomfret CT. One of the two nicest towns in New England in my opininon.

Take care, Scott Wendel

The following notice is from the National Football Foundation...

Former Ivy League Standouts Featured in New Documentary

For Love & Honor Productions has completed the documentary, "Eight: Ivy League Football and America," an original feature-length documentary film (TRT 96 minutes). A world premiere, hosted by the Ivy Football Association, will be held on Thursday, Apr. 24, 2008, at the Yale Club in New York City.

"Eight," which tells the history of Ivy League football from its earliest days to the present, is narrated by two- time Tony Award-winning actor Brian Dennehy (Columbia '60). It also features interviews with Academy Award-winning actor Tommy Lee Jones (Harvard '69), College Football Hall of Fame coach from Penn State Joe Paterno (Brown '50), ESPN anchor Chris Berman (Brown '77), General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt (Dartmouth '78), former Secretary of State George Shultz (Princeton '42), College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik (Penn '49), four-time Pro Bowl running back Calvin Hill (Yale '69), Chicago Bears' star Dan Jiggetts (Harvard '76), College Football Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy winner Dick Kazmaier (Princeton '52), College Football Hall of Famer Ed Marinaro (Cornell '72), Intuit chair and NFF Board member Bill Campbell (Columbia

*********** I have to say that I am glad to have you helping me out.  Coaching is a funny thing - we learn it in so many places.   There is a University or College where you can sign up for double wing 101 or west coast passing game 101 etc.  And it can be difficult at times to find a mentor - as it is unlike many other professions.  I have tried to find crumbs of knowledge, philosophy etc. here and there.  It is funny how you take this from one guy and that from another, how you can work with a guy who you don't agree with on philosophy, but you learn x's and o's from him, and then how you can go work for a guy who you don't agree with x's and o's but you like his philosophy etc.  It is a great service that you offer those who are willing to buy in, because we get the whole deal, philosophy and x's and o's.  Maybe you should get some accreditation (spelling?)  For Wyatt University of Football Coaching (ha ha).  I'd like to think Im finishing up my Masters Degree with you and getting ready to begin my PHD in the double wing and coaching young men, but just when it seems to think you've got the answers - there is much more to learn.  John Dowd, Oakfield-Alabama, New York

Interesting that you mention it, because the idea of a "Wyatt University" (I would certainly use a less self-promoting name) is something that has occured to me many times, simply because (1) so many guys have no place to turn to for help, and (2) although there are ways such as ASEP to give guys certification in the "human relations" aspects of coaching, there is no way of certifying that a guy might know what to coach or how to teach it.

In any case, I would say that you have earned your Master's in the Double Wing and are on your way to earning your doctorate.

*********** Gabe McCown, an Oklahoman whom I've grown to know through coaching, knows of my beer business background, and was kind enough to send me a bottle of something called Choc Beer.

The name comes from its having been brewed in what is now Krebs, Oklahoma, in the "Choctaw Nation" of Indian territory, since the early days of the 20th century. It was the product of an Italian immigrant named Pete Prichard, who first came to Oklahoma to work in the coal mines, but after being injured on the job, turned to making and selling beer ("home brew," to be truthful), and eventually opening a restaurant called Pete's Place.

As the story goes, Pete continued selling his beer even after Prohibition (perhaps the news hadn't yet reached Krebs, Oklahoma), until 1932 when - according to the label on the bottle - "Pete was arrested for the illegal brew and had to spend a little time in a federal jail at Muskogee."

Afterward, when the rest of the country repealed Prohibition but Oklahoma chose to remain dry, Pete continued to produce his beer anyhow. Eventually, this got him in trouble again, but fortunately for beer drinkers, things are more up to date in Oklahoma these days, and now, under the supervision of Pete's son, Bill, Pete's Place is as popular as ever, and the beer is back in production.

My son's birthday was yesterday and he happens to be visiting us here in the states, so we decided to start the celebration off by popping open the Choc Beer.  Great stuff!


*********** From the Internet...

The Ant & the Grasshopper - 2008

OLD VERSION (Aesop's Fable): The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays
the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so ?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green.'

Nancy Pelosi & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

The EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary Clinton gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges appointed by Bill Clinton.

The ant loses the case.

The story ends with the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is living in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he hasn't maintained it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident. The house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

*********** Uh-oh. One of the things that really suck about growing old is that the deaths of players you remember from your boyhood, and even some contemporaries, begin to happen with increasing frequency...

Former stars Buddy Dial of Rice and Jerry Groom of Notre Dame died on February 29.

Buddy Dial was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma, and went to Magnolia (Texas) High School. From 1956-he was an All-America and All-Southwest Conference end at Rice, leading coach Jess Neely's Owls to the 1957 SWC title and an appearance in the Cotton Bowl, and being named to the bowl's all-star team. In 1958, he was named team co-captain and MVP. In the NFL, he was twice selected to play in the Pro Bowl.

Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Jerry Groom was a standout football and baseball player at Dowling High School. At Notre Dame he was a three-year starter at center and linebacker for Frank Leahy from 1948-50. He led the Irish to a national title in 1949 and was named team captain en route to becoming aconsensus All-American in 1950. Mr. Groom was named to the Pro Bowl in 1954 while playing for the Chicago Cardinals.

*********** NFL Players' Association executive director Gene Upshaw has been criticized in some quarters as being "cozy with management," and he is under attack by old-timers as being stingy with financial support for them, but it would be hard for any current player to build much of a case against him.

Since 2006, the percentage of league revenue paid to NFL players has jumped from 54 percent to 59 percent.

That's higher than for any other sport. Baseball's percentage now varies between 51 and 55 per cent; NBA players are guaranteed 57 per cent of league revenue, and NHL players 55.6 per cent.

*********** Hey coach, hope all is well with you. I have a question for you when and if you have time. Is there any place you can go to get a history of Double wing success as far as high school play off appearances, scoring and yardage records etc. I would love to have something printable I can just hand to the constant parade of idiots and naysayers I have to talk to about the offense. We went to the Junior division championship last year with a team that has never had any success until we switched to the double wing and came within a whisker of winning it. You would think that would shut some of these people up but it does not seem to help. You are something of a historian , help us out coach ! I bet theres a bunch of guys like me that would love an updated hand out with some info like that ! Thanks, Kirk Melton , Burlington Tigers, Burlington, Washington

Coach, Take a look here...


This page is dated, but it will show you that FIVE YEARS AGO my system was kicking butt and it hasn't let up since. If people are not yet aware of that fact, I'd have to say that it's more a reflection on them than on the Double Wing!

Hugh Wyatt