Coach Wyatt's Offensive System
Coach Wyatt's Football Materials
Coach Wyatt's Clinics
Coach Wyatt
2008 clinics
Black Lion Award


american flagFRIDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2008- "Against stupidity the very gods
themselves contend in vain."
Friedrich Schiller


Coach Kevin Latham, on the left, graciously provided the field and several of his players graciously provided their time so that the coaches in attendance could see a well-run Double Wing up close and personal
Friday night dinner before the clinic has become an ann ual reunion at Malone's
Coaches Brooks Rawson, Boone Parlow and Richie Lowery, from Alamo, Tennessee Coach W and old friend Bryan Mackell, of Baltimore's Archbishop Curley HS
South Carolinians Jody Hagins and Leonard Johnson confer The guys from Viera, Florida - From left, Marvin Reece, Joe DeRenzi, Donnie Hayes, Lee Griesemer and Rande O'Halloran
Coach W and Doug Pettit, from Pierson, Florida Don Tyre, from Appling County, GA - and the Viera guys
Coach Jason Clarke, from Glen Burnie, Maryland, with whom I've had pre-clinic breakfast for the last six years Coach W and Coach Jody Hagins, from Charleston, South Carolina. 2007 was Coach Hagins' first year as a head coach.
The Maryland guys - Jason Clarke, from Glen Burnie, Maryland, and Bryan Mackell, from Baltimore Bobby Williams, from Atlanta, and Scott Maxwell, from Suwanee, Georgia
Coach Donnie Hayes, who started out as a highly successful youth coach in Michigan, and now heads a Florida HS program Kevin Latham, a dear old friend who came to my first Atlanta clinic in 2001 and has attended every one since
Two very important people in my life Coach Latham says good-bye to the guys from Viera
To give you some idea what a real rivalry is all about... At the far left is the parking permit that the Atlanta Holiday Inn requires, so that your car doesn't get towed. It's orange, as you can see. But wait - Jody Hagins is a huge South Carolina fan, and orange is the color of the Clemson Tigers, SC's archrival. No way was he going to put anything orange on the dashboard of his car, so he insisted on- and got - a white photocopy!

*********** You'd think, after all the Barry Bonds-Roger Clemens stuff going around, that the people in charge of baseball would begin to get it.

But you'd be wrong. Cardinals' manager Tony LaRussa actually went so far as to say he'd take Barry Bonds on his club: "I take these guys as guys who fit into what we're trying to do. If somebody looks at the bigger picture, that's their responsibility, not mine."

Fortunate for the greater good of baseball, Cardinals' ownership, already burned by Mark McGuire, put the kibosh on that idea.

Knowing Bonds' reputation as a surly "Me" guy, which even predates his drug-propelled assault on baseball's most sacred records, I can just hear the Cards' players thanking management.

*********** A sad good-bye to William F. Buckley, Jr., perhaps the most brilliant and eloquent man of my lifetime... to Myron Cope, long-time Steelers' color guy who also wrote a couple of very interesting football books including "The Game That Was," consisting of interviews with pro football old-timers... And to Grits Gresham, a fisherman so famous that he was signed to join other sports stars in the Miller Light "Tastes Great! Less Filling!" ad campaign.

*********** Happy Leap Year Day. One of my all-time favorite shows is Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta, "The Pirates pf Penzance," the story of a young man whose hard-of-hearing nanny was told to apprentice him to become a pilot, but misheard and instead apprenticed him to become a pirate. He looks forward to the day when he finally turns 21 and gains his freedom, but when they day comes, the pirates point out that because he was born on February 29, he's "only five - and a little bit over."

*********** Archie Manning for Father of the Year...

"I never thought about them even playing college ball, much less pro football, much less winning Super Bowls or MVPs. It wasn't in the plan. We tried to raise kids. We raised kids just like other parents raised their kids. I can't explain it."

Archie, you may not think you can explain it, but I think you just did.

*********** I get asked a lot about running option plays, and while I normally caution people not to get carried away to the point where they're running an option attack and not a Double-Wing, I understand that there are going to be conditions under which a little option package can augment a good Double-Wing attack.

There are a few things that I think are absolutes - (1) Unless your QB is a superior athlete, you are wasting your time trying to run any option; (2) Your QB has to be able to know where his pitch man is, and that means you must work really, really hard on pitch relationship. It is tough enough to get it right every time when runniing from the same formation, but it is even tougher when you begin changing formations, because the timing is different from every set; (3) Whatever his initial action, your QB should gain some depth, because he needs to attack the inside shoulder of his option key at an "uphill angle" so that the man has to make a definite move at the QB; (4) You need to make sure that the inside is walled off so that the QB doesn't get his doors blown off when he turns upfield; (5) When the QB pitches, he should look at the pitch man (no blind pitches) and step at the pitch man and "tumble" the ball, and the pitch man should never take his eye off the ball until he catches it or until the QB keeps it and turns upfield; (6) Your QB is going to get hit and he needs to be prepared - he needs to come under control and plant and step at the pitch man, and brace himself to be hit, and give with the hit.

*********** Coach, I know that you run the double wing and are an expert on the offense.  We do not run the offense, but 3 teams we play do.  Is there any information or places that I can get information to learn how to stop it.  I know that I study what people do to me, so I'm sure that you do the same.

Any information would be helpful.  Thanks

I think that over the years I've done a good enough job of generating interest in stopping my own offense that if I did have the poison pill, I would be selling it.   I think I'd do pretty well.

I won't lie to you.  There is no answer.  There will be people on the Internet who will tell you that they have had "great success" in defensing "the Double Wing," but you'll notice that I put it in quotes, because my suspicion is that they have played some poor Double-Wing teams.  I know an awful lot of good Double-Wing coaches - not so many bad ones, because they tend to either go their own way or take bad advice - and I don't know any of them who have trouble consistently with any one defense.

What I find funny is that so few defensive coaches really make the effort to find out more about us.  At the base level, there are those fools who simply dismiss what we do as a "Pop Warner" offense.  They don't know and don't know that they don't know.

Then there are those who have an idea of what we do, but no real knowledge of why we do it or how we do it.  They aren't willing to get their hands dirty.

To me, the essence of stopping an offense is knowing everything there is to know about it, and to that extent, I find most defensive guys to stop way short of what they need to know.

There are very few of them who respect what we do and know us well.  Those are the guys I respect.

In eleven years of putting on clinics all over the country,  I can count on one hand the number of defensive guys who have come to one of my clinics with the intention of learning all they can about what we're doing. 

Maybe you should come to one of my clinics.  In the process of trying to learn enough about the Double Wing to stop it, you might find yourself running it in your program.

I wish you well.

*********** A coaching friend wrote me on the topic of that abomination down in the Bay Area in which a team takes advantage of the punting rule and positions a guy in kick formation (7 yards deep) and then puts eligible numbers on all its players, moving them on and off the line and challenging the defense - and the officials - to figure out who is eligible on any play. I addressed this a few weeks ago, but here's how I answered my friend's question...

While   technically legal, it is borderline unethical and merely waiting for   the rulesmakers to realize that this is one of the unintended  consequences of their acting in good faith to save coaches the   trouble of putting on and taking off "pinnies" with ineligible   numbers on them.

To be blunt, I think it is a  chickensh--  attempt to deceive the   officials. I mean, the offense could have seven ineligibles downfield   on every play and the officials would have no way of being sure.

 I think the beauty of the game is that unlike the rest of our do-your-own-thing society,  there are rules firmly in place  and the real challenge is to beat people within the rules. 

It is not innovation. All it is is a violation of the intent of a rule generously - if questionably -  inserted merely to allow coaches to put faster kids on their punt teams.

By any standard what they are doing deceives officials, whose job of determining whether an ineligible man is downfield on a forward pass play is tough enough under ordinary circumstances.

These guys are no more to be applauded than the guys who discover a loophole in the law that allows them to drink and drive and manage to escape a DUI judgment by refusing to take the breath test.

While I applaud the cleverness of the coach for finding the loophole, I predict that before the game is turned into rough touch,  the rules will be amended within a year or two and then he will have to go back to coaching football again. And this travesty will go the way of the sleeper play and the hidden ball play and brown football-shaped patches sewn on jerseys.

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

Up here, in the Dakotas, we just recovered from a Historic event--- may I even say a "Weather Event of Biblical Proportions" --- with a historic blizzard of up to 44 inches of snow and winds to 90 MPH that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to tens of thousands.

George Bush did not come.

FEMA did nothing.

No one howled for the government.

No one blamed the government.

No one even uttered an expletive on TV .

Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit.

Our Mayor did not blame Bush or anyone else!

Our Governor did not blame Bush or anyone else, either.

CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC did not visit - or report on this category 5 snowstorm. Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards..

No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House.

No one looted.

Nobody - I mean Nobody - demanded the government do something.

Nobody expected the government to do anything, either.

No Larry King, No Bill O'Reilly, No Oprah, No Chris Mathews and No Geraldo Rivera.

No Shaun Penn, No Barbara Striesand, No Hollywood types to be found.

Nope, we just melted the snow for water.

Sent out caravans of SUV's to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars.

The truck drivers pulled people out of snow banks and didn't ask for a penny.

Local restaurants made food and the police and fire departments delivered it to the snowbound families.
Families took in the stranded people - total strangers.

We fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or Coleman lanterns.

We put on extra layers of clothes because up here it is "Work or Die".

We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes for 'sittin at home' checks.

Although we rarely get a Category "5" blizzard, we know it can happen and we know how to deal with it ourselves.

In my many travels, I have noticed that once one gets north of about 48 degrees North Latitude, 90% of the world's social problems evaporate.

Maybe SOME people will get the message. The world does Not owe you a living.

*********** To hear Hillary Clinton tell it, she can't go anywhere without someone coming up to her and telling her a hard-luck story. Barack Obama promises to give something a everyone who's suffering.

Now, this is not to say that there aren't people having a hard go of it, but...

If things are as bad as they say they are, where is the $35 million that Hillary Clinton raised in February - and the even greater sum that Obama is said to have raised - coming from?

*********** Several people I spoke to on the way south to Atlanta told me to be sure to look for the "Gaffney Peach." It's a water tank just outside Gaffney, South Carolina, an area famous for peaches. But what they told me to notice was that the "peach" also looked a bit like a bare human posterior. Now, I don't have that sort of filthy mind, but maybe you can see it...


american flagTUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2008- "We would be a lot safer if the government would take its money out of science and put it into astrology and the reading of palms. Only in superstition is there hope." Kurt Vonnegut

*********** I just finished re-reading Kurt Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions," which I first read in 1973. The guy is a heck of a writer but he is really a wack job, and I thought him worthy of today's quote, wacko as it is.

*********** The Atlanta Clinic on Saturday was a big success. Despite two days of heavy rains (that didn't even put a dent in the horrible drought that's plagued the South), the skies lightened long enough for us to go outside Saturday afternoon. After the morning clinic session, we adjourned and regathered at Columbia High School, in suburban Decatur. There, a group of Coach Kevin Latham's kids, ranging in age and experience from 8th graders to 11th graders, put on quite a demonstration of the latest wrinkles in our system, as well as the basics. Coaches came from six different states - PHOTOS ON FRIDAY

DATES TBA-------------->

*********** Driving through the rural South on a Sunday, I had to laugh, If you don't like motor sports or old-fashioned preachin', there's not a lot to listen to on the radio.

*********** Bo Pellini sounds like the anti-Callahan. While Bill Callahan gave Nebraskans the unavoidable impression that he really didn't give a rip about their tradition and what had gone on before him (I mean, all those National Championships - big deal), Pellini, the new Nebraska coach, seems to understand that Nebraskans don't exactly take to someone trashing their past.

Pellini told a sellout crowd of 1200 people at a luncheon in Grand Island that Nebraska's storied walk-on program, which Callahan had pretty much allowed to die, was being revived. Under former Coach Tom Osborne, the walk-on program tapped into the cradle-to-grave loyalty of Nebraskans - and incidentally, sent 28 kids on to the NFL This year, he told the audience, the Huskers were bringing in 44 walk-ons.

Pellini said he understands the value in having a lot of native Nebraskans on his roster.

"I've heard Coach Osborne talk about some of the players who came around here from different parts of the nation, and who were huge talents," Pellini said.

"When you surround them with kids who grew up living or dying whether Nebraska won or lost, those talented guys become more committed to the program. The more towns that are represented, the more ownership people feel in our program."

*********** This is a really cool stunt that a group of people in NYC pulled off: http://www.maniacworld.com/frozen-in-grand-central-station.html

*********** NASCAR's roots are in the rural South, where stock car racing got its start on the back roads, sometimes running moonshine to market. NASCAR grew up in the South, in places like Rockingham and North Wilkesboro. But then it took on airs. It became the kid from the mill town who went away to an Ivy League college and came back speaking like a Yankee, and can't figure out why people look at him funny.

Failing to learn from Coca-Cola's ill-fated fling with New Coke (or whatever it was called), when their most loyal drinkers raised bloody hell, NASCAR left its loyal home folks behind and headed off for the lights of the Big City (and big TV bucks).

You won't find NASCAR at Rockingham or North Wilkesboro any more. No, sir. They don't race as often at Darlington, South Carolina, either. Instead, you'll find the good ole boys racing in New Hampshir. And Illinois. And Arizona. And California.

Oh - and they're not good ole boys anymore, either. There aren't many guys left anymore with thick Carolina drawls and names like Junior and Buck. Now, a surprising number of them look like Barbie's Ken, and they talk, well, like guys from New Hampshire and Illinois and Arizona and California. Nothing wrong with that, except that to the folks in Nawth Ca'lina, they just don't sound right. They don't sound like drivers.

Don't act like 'em, either. Nowadays, when somebody cuts them off, they're careful what they say. (NASCAR thinks tough talk is bad for its image.) Needless to say, going after the guy with a tire iron is out of the question.

So, surprise! NASCAR's ratings are down, and those in the know attribute the problem to alienation of its hard-core base of followers. And without them, NASCAR is out by itself in the land of the fickle American public, in danger of one day flaming out like so many other fads.

“I think people thought to nationalize this thing it needed to be part of pop culture and not mid-American culture, and I think that’s where we went askew,” said Humpy Wheeler, president of Lowe’s Motor Speedway near Charlotte, and a longtime auto racing promoter in the sport. “We were playing a little too much rock music and we needed to get back to Hank Williams. We lost some of the Southern core race fans because the changes were made too fast, and I think we alienated a lot of them because they looked upon a lot of this growth as greed and not growth."

It's one thing to recognize that you have a problem, but it's another to do something about it. Some think the damage may be beyond repair.

“We left those people behind a long time ago,” said driver Kyle Petty, whose rural North Carolina roots, as the son of "King Richard" Petty and the grandson of racer Lee Petty, run deep. “So if you’re trying to go back and get them, sorry. You’re going to have to get on the bus and go back a lot of years to get that core fan."

*********** When the NCAA rules restricting the transfer of athletes are overturned - and we will live to see it happen - it's going to be the result a discrimination suit.

The NCAA loves to police recruiting so that prospective "student-athletes" don't get any inducements at attend that ordinary students wouldn't get.

Yeah - like they're going to be treated like ordinary students once they get there. First of all, there's the term "student-athlete" itself - a total falsehood concocted to deflect arguments for paying them.

I'm not even close to arguing for paying athletes, and I understand the counter argument that they really are being paid - that they're getting "a free education." I understand it, but I don't accept the argument that most of these kids are getting even a shot at a decent education. There are few enough major college football and basketball players who are even going to graduate in a meaningless major, let alone wind up as doctors, lawyers and engineers.

You think student-athletes aren't discriminated against? Forget the constraints on their choices of majors - just name me one other type of student who isn't free to change colleges and immediately resume his or her career path at the new schoool.

*********** Steve Lavin, realizing that he might be coaching at a Nike school someday, was careful to eb diplomatic in commenting on Oregon's black basketball uniforms: "With all due respect to Nike designers - and they've come up with a lot of great designs - I'm really not sold on this one."

Uh, Steve, have you seen some of their football uniforms?

*********** She may be every young slacker's fantasy, but Erin the sideline bimbo was at her ditziest on Saturday night when interviewing Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl after the Vols had beaten Memphis and the joyous Vols celebrated in the background.

Bet that'll be some bus ride home, she opined.

Replied Pearl, "Uh, we flew here."

*********** Don King says he loves boxing because...

"You can't call a timeout. You can't run out of bounds. If you're running out of gas, there is no pit stop. And if you don't want a panel of judges to determine your fate, you can settle it inside the ring with a knockout - even if you've lost every round."

*********** A couple of the major political candidates like to talk about how bad things are in America, and their proposed fixes put a taregt on anyone who pays taxes. Very simply, their plan is to raise taxes on the roughly 50 per cent of Americans who pay taxes, to give more unearned goodies to the 50 per cent who don't. (Special emphasis will be paid to the top 10 per cent or so who produce 90 per cent or so of tax revenue.)

Meanwhile, nobody, Democrat or Republican, is paying a whole lot of attention to the group of us described by Peggy Noonan in a Wall Street Journal column Friday:

"So many Americans right now fear they are losing their country, that the old America is slipping away and being replaced by something worse, something formless and hollowed out. They can see we are giving up our sovereignty, that our leaders will not control our borders, that we don't teach the yong the old-fashioned love of America, that the government has taken to itself such power, and made things so complex, and at the end of the day when they count up sales tax, property tax, state tax, federal tax, they are paying a lot of money to lose the place they loved."

*********** A nice tribute to option football...


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

Tom Schmulbach, assistant coach at Augustana College, spoke at the
Peoria Football Coaches Association meeting last night. Coach
Schmulbach started his career as an assistant to Bob Reade at Geneseo
High School in 1971. He stayed with Coach Reade through four state
championships before moving with him to Augustana College, where they
won four national championships. Coach Schmulbach then took over as
head coach for the Vikings and continued the success of that program.
He left due to health issues, but recently returned to the staff as the
running backs coach. It was an awesome presentation and mirrored much
of what you said about Coach Reade's philosophy.

To some in the room it must've seemed foreign when he responded to the
question of how much time did they devote to double dive (their base
play) on a daily basis. He said "all of our group time, every day, was
devoted to double dive when we were at Geneseo. We practiced our other
plays in scrimmage." He showed video of that play, being run to the
left (they only ran it to the left at Geneseo, they ran power to the
right) in four different decades. They were identical and they were
successful. Awesome.

Next on my list of speakers to secure for our monthly meetings - Coach
Bob Reade!

Todd Hollis
Head Football Coach
Elmwood-Brimfield Coop
Elmwood, Illinois

*********** I came across this observation by Dave St. Peter, President of the Minnesota Twins, in an interview in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

"So many of the kids I meet with today seem like they have a greater sense of entitlement. I try to remind them all that, one way or another, you're going to need to get your foot in the door, and it's very rare you're going to start out as a vice-president. So, whether it's volunteering or working part-time or becoming an intern, you've got to find a way to establish yourself. It's rarer and rarer that I find people who are willing to make the commitment and sacrifices it's going to take."

What he says makes the issue of illegal immigration all the more complex, because as we become a nation of idlers, it's harder and harder to condemn people who come here willing to work hard, or the people who hire them. I'd like to believe that if we'd just pay Americans more, we wouldn't need illegals, but I'm beginning to fear that even at three and four times the illegals' wages, the vast majority of Americans wouldn't last.

american flagFRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2008- "Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch; nay, you may kick it about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening." Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

DATES TBA-------------->


*********** Were you reading the papers, Mr. Ahmadinejad? No doubt your spies read our papers. Oh, I know, liberal-slanted as they are, that most of them buried the story on page 3 (USA Today put it on page 4), but, uh, in case you missed it, one of our Navy missiles shot a stray satellite from the sky.

Annie Oakley would have been proud to have taken that shot.

The satellite was no bigger than a school bus, it was 150 miles up in the sky, and it was traveling 17,000 miles per hour. And we hit the damn thing. Oh- and the point wasn't just to hit the bus - it was to hit the fuel tank, so that the highly toxic fuel inside it would explode. Bingo. Right on target.

I've heard Mr. Obama say that he would sit down and talk with people like you. (Mr. McCain, of course, has other plans for you.) But you know, chatting with thugs like you does begin to make a little more sense, now that you're aware that we still know WTF we're doing.

(Can you imagine the struggle that must have taken place in the Pentagon over which service would get to shoot the satellite down? Do you suppose the Army and Air Force guys are a little jealous that they weren't the ones?)

*********** I just finished reading a book by NFL Hall-of-Famer Frank Gifford, and the guy has to be clairvoyant. The book was written in 1989, and at the end, he wrote of a threat that the NFL could be facing - "The specter of a congressional crackdown on both television and sports."

*********** Hugh, I must have missed the headlines some how, and I am sure there was a big celebration that I missed as well.  Headlines and celebration for what, you ask?  For the experts who solved Global Warming here in Kansas!  It is freakin' cold today!

Greg Koenig, Beloit, Kansas

*********** A coach wrote me for information on the Lonesome Polecat, and I referred him to the logical place to look, Glenn "Tiger" Ellison's "Run and Shoot football." (Tiger Ellison is the guy who invented it, on his way to inventing the run and shoot.)


He did a search and found that used copies of the book now sell for $60-150.

This was the best I could do for him:

Here is the basic alignment and the original play. 

Note that the center is eligible, because he is the end man on the line.  (It is actually your right end). Make sure that your "center" wears an eligible number.

If there is no one in front of the receivers, they go deep.  But if there is, they hook up and then scramble in the direction of the QB's scramble. Those who are running "out" patterns turn up when the QB scrambles.

There are more adjustments to the routes, but that's it in its simplest form.

The QB lines up 10 yards deep and checks the number of men in front of the linemen. If the defense has less than 5 men over there, he should throw to the A Back on the screen.

If they commit a lot of men to the pass rush, somebody - or some zone - will be left unguarded.

Otherwise, the QB scrambles back there, since a couple of rushers can't possibly trap a good athlete who starts out that deep.

*********** Travelling back East, I am willing to accept the fact that there are people out of work, and businesses not dong all that well, but based on the number of trucks I've passed that had "Drivers Wanted" ads on the back, I have to think that there is work out there for people who really want to work.

*********** On the way from Philadlephia to Atlanta, we had the chance to spend a little time at two Civil War battlefields, Gettysburg and Antietam. This is the time of year to visit, when there are no crowds of tourists, and on a weekday you pretty much have the place to yourself. Unlike the highly-commercialized area around the Gettysburg battelfield, Antietam, in Western Maryland near our one-time home of Hagerstown, remains much as it was in September of 1862 when the Union and Confederate forces met in the bloodiest single day in the entire war. (All told, there were 22,700 casualties.)

The great significance of Antietam is that as the long hoped-for first Union victory, it gave President Lincoln the credibility and the political cover to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in Confederate territory as of January 1, 1863.

After Antietam , a war which had been originally fought to save the Union became officially a war to end slavery.

*********** Lincoln remains by far our most written-about President, and ranks fourth among all-time subjects of books behind Jesus Christ, William Shakespeare, and the Virgin Mary.

The late president of Random House books, Bennett Cerf, once said that if a guaranteed best-seller would be entitled, "Lincoln's Doctor's Dog."

*********** http://media.www.dailyemerald.com/media/storage/paper859/news/2008/02/19/Sports/Wrestling.Is.Being.Cut.But.Do.You.or.I.Really.Care-3218598.shtml

(To save you the trouble - it's an article in the U of Oregon student newspaper by some dweeb who has no sympathy for the wrestling program which UO is dropping. HW)

I know you can't reprint the article, but it's funny.

I really don't have any comments, except wow. If I see him on ESPN some day I'll know to cancel cable.

On the same note, Fresno St.'s wrestling program (which was cut last year) will not be replaced despite pretty significant community support; the old coach offered to do it pro bono.

Instead, they are adding... women's lacrosse.

This despite the fact that lacrosse isn't played anywhere within a two hundred mile radius. I have nothing against the sport, but it's kind of funny that they cut a sport that within 5 miles of Fresno St. has 3 of the best high school wrestling programs west of the Mississippi. That they also have to look outside the country to find tennis players makes you if they even realize the community they are based in.

I'm not going to blame football; I'm a football guy. Attendance alone makes them deserve the number of scholarships they have. But as long as the feminists demand the quotas add up (even though they can never hope to have the same attendance) my other sport is doomed at the college level (on this coast at least).

Michael Anthony Burchett, Jr.
Math Teacher, Head Wrestling Coach, Defensive Coordinator, Tulare Western High School
Tulare, California

(One of the things that disappointed me most about George W. Bush, whom I supported, was that he had a chance to bring some sense to Title IX and its stupid proportionality requirement, and he caved. Don't even get me started on the landlocked colleges that actually went out and dredged waterways so that they could add - women's crew! And then they walked the campus looking for tall girls and invited them to try out for crew. The incentive was a full ride scholarship. This is no lie, because I know a girl who got a four-year full ride this way! HW)

*********** I was talking recently with former Stanford QB Todd Husak, who took Stanford to the 2000 Rose Bowl then kicked around the NFL for a few years (including winning the World Bowl.)

I asked him what goes on during timeouts, and he described the protocol. Then I asked "is that where Troy Walters tells you he's wide open?"

[laughs] "It's almost impossible to find a wide receiver who won't tell you he's open. That's why they usually don't get to talk during the time out."

Christopher Anderson, Palo Alto, California


american flagTUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2008- "Truth must be the foundation stone, the cement to solidify the entire social edifice." Pope John Paul II

*********** On my way to Philly last week I had a brief layover in Minneapolis-St Paul, and of course I bought the two local papers to see what's going on.

You know you're in the Midwest when you open one (in this case, the St. Paul Pioneer Press) and see listed no fewer than 26 places offering all-you-can-eat Friday fish fries. All for an average price of about $10.95. And almost all serving fries and cole slaw on the side.

*********** "Whenever you observe bipartisan cooperation, hold on to your wallet and run for the basement." Economist Arthur Laffer

*********** It pays to be first...

With "Flavor Strips," Welch's Grape Juice is taking a giant step in reality advertising in this month's People magazine.

It's something on the order of scratch-n-sniff. The reader - the first one, anyhow - will be invited to peel off the "Flavor Strip" and then - lick.

Taste the Welch's Grape Juice? Yum.

Despite what some of you are expecting me to do, I refuse to take the low road and take advantage of all the opportunities for vulgar jokes related to certain male-oriented magazines. No, no. Not me. Instead, I prefer to use this space for a lesson in hygiene: to warn you that if you should happen to be sitting in a waiting room, and you should happen to open a People magazine and turn the page to a Welch's Grape Juice ad, and the flavor strip should happen to have been peeled off already... DON'T LICK!

*********** The wise asses on Philly talk radio were planning the victory parade down Broad Street once Senator Specter arranges for the 2005 Super Bowl trophy to be taken from the Patriots and given to the Iggles.

*********** I am waiting for the start of rumors that Uno the Beagle was on Prozac. (By the way, in Philly, he's a "Biggle." I am not kidding.)

*********** I heard Senator Specter being grilled by the guys on Sports Radio 610 (WIP) and I have to hand it to the guy - he wasn't afraid to go on the air with some very tough inquisitors, and he took their best shots. In the process, he answered all the questions I had.

1. On the subject of his "dropping a bomb" at the Super Bowl - he said that back in October, he wrote to Commissioner Goodell, asking him if he'd checked into whether Bill Belichick's love of films had affected the Patriots' win over the Eagles (Specter is an Eagles' fan) in 2005. Goodell did not answer him. Uh-oh. BIG mistake, Rog. Do NOT diss a United States Senator. Ever.

A month or so later, when he learned that Goodell had destroyed the incriminating tapes, Specter, a former prosecutor, wrote him again to ask why he had destroyed evidence. Again, Goodell did not answer him. C'mon, Rog. That's dumb. (Sounds as though the Commissioner may not be as astute as people have been giving him credit for.)

And then at the Super Bowl, a reporter from the New York Times asked him who he wanted to win the game, and from there drew out the story that Senator Specter would like to have a chat with the Commissioner.

2. Why, with all the other issues facing our Congress, is he spending time on this? Senators Specter assured us that after years in the Senate, he is quite competent to attend to many issues at the same time, and that he really isn't devoting that much time to Spygate, anyhow.

3. He indicated that he didn't really need to stay on the case, anyway, because nowit's got plenty of legs. He said that Senator Leahy, chairman of his committee, was interested enough to be willing to commit funds for investigators, and between that and that fact that the New York Times has three reporters on the story full-time, and that there is already one lawsuit underway which will require Belichick to testify under oath, he is confident that the truth will come out.

4. The Senator is smart enough to know that he represents the people of Pittsburgh, too, and he noted Heinz Ward's comments after a Steelers' playoff loss to the Pats that the Pats seemed to know what plays the Steelers had called.

5. Asked whether this is even the business of Congress and oughtn't to be handled as an internal matter by the NFL, he mentioned that the Industrial Espionage Act of 1996 makes stealing industrial secrets a federal offense. He seemed to think that a court of law might find that the law applied here.

*********** Writes Frank Fitzpatrick in the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Only in Philadelphia could a fan write to the Phillies wanting to know why the team has no plans to mark this year's 50th anniversary of ex-Phils first baseman Ed Bouchee's arrest on charges that he exposed himself to a child.

*********** These people in Philadelphia even care about baseball! One guy called in to WIP and said that he woke up on Valentine's Day and kissed his wife and told her he loved her.

And when she asked why he had such a big smile on his face he told her that it was a special day for him: "Pitchers and catchers report."

*********** For those of you who are worried that Congress should be dealing with more important things than investigating Roger Clemens and Bill Belichick...

Last week, the House of Representatives managed to find the time to pass a resolution congratulating the New York Giants on winning this year’s Super Bowl “and completing one of the most remarkable postseason runs in professional sports history.”

The vote was 412 to 1.

The lone vote against was cast by Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy, a diehard Eagles fan who once worked at Veterans Stadium as a security guard.

“As a former 700-level security guard and lifelong Eagles fan, I couldn’t, in good conscience, vote for the New York Giants,” Murphy said. “The only thing worse would have been a resolution honoring the Dallas Cowboys.”

(The "700 level" in old Veterans' Stadium was the location of the highest - and cheapest - seats, and was notorious for being the residence, on Autumn Sundays, of the rowdiest, most disorderly fans in all of Christendom. Remember when they had to install a mini-courtroom in the bowels of The Vet? It was necessitated by the guys in the 700 level. If Congressman Murphy was able to deal with those guys, I'd say he's tougher than the average Congressman.)

*********** Coach Wyatt - I am now in my 8th year coaching youth football.  

I'm getting ready for my third season with my current team.  We've run the Double Wing the last two seasons with tremendous success (20-0-2) and each year I'm adding new dimensions to the offense.

Several coaches/videos recommend that the offensive linemens' INSIDE hand be down in his stance, yet others recommend the OUTSIDE hand be down.  None seem to explain why.

Which do you recommend and why? Thanks,

Coach, This is a no-brainer.    I don't "recommend" inside hand down.  I insist on it.  There is no debate.  Smarter guys than I figured this out long before I did.

I'm  guessing that you didn't get your Double Wing info from me, because that is a basic  building block  of my system

I address this in Tip Number 8 - http://www.coachwyatt.com/tips1-25.html

You are free to take any advice you want, so I'll offer this - people who tell you "outside hand down" don't know WTF they are talking about. Pay no attention to anything they say. They  don't know and don't know that they don't know, but that doesn't stop them from passing along their ignorance to people who sincerely want to learn.

Good luck.

*********** I was listening to Mike Ditka, back around Super Bowl time, and in talking to him, someone mentioned that he had once given consideration to running for the Senate in Illinois, which might have meant running against Barack Obama.

Mr. Ditka was very complimentary of Mr. Obama, mentioning his run for the Presidency, but then went on to say, "You know, people get the wrong idea - that the President has all these powers," and then he went on to talk about "the Founding Fathers" and the "balance of powers" among the "Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches," and placing "Constitutional limits" on the powers of the President.

To say the least, I was blown away. I mean, dis was Ditka! Dis was da coach of da Bears! And he's telling us about the separation of powers as if he's James Madison.

I have to wonder whether there's another sports guy - news anchor, even - who could have delivered as concise an explanation.

*********** Those of you who've had young sons will understand this story told by Earl Morrall, who not everybody realizes was QB for part of the season the Miami Dolphins went 17-0.

Before the Dolphins, he'd played for the Colts, where one of his best friends was linebacker Ted Hendricks.

After Morrall was traded to the Dolphins, his son was on hand to watch him play against his former teammates, the Colts.

Morrall had a decent day, but he did throw an interception to Hendricks, of all people.

After the game, when Morall asked his son what he liked most about the game, he said. "I liked it best when you threw the ball to Uncle Ted."

*********** Coach Wyatt:
I noticed your comments about college recruiting and how early it starts.  I have some interesting statistics for you.
As of today, most D1-A schools have offered scholarships to 95% of their 2009 recruiting class.  Right now, the top 500 football players identified in this country have offers from at least 50 schools each.  The top 10 schools have not offered that great a percentage because they can wait longer because of their big names.  The big time programs identify 60% of their recruiting class by the end of their HS sophomore season.  The remainder are identified by the end of junior year.  You're absolutely right, the junior year is critical for the power conference programs (Pac10, Big 10, Big 12, ACC, SEC, Big East).  Senior year is too late.  (By the way, an interesting historical fact is that this trend was started by Joe Paterno at Penn State in 2002.  Other college coaches quickly followed Joe Pa's lead.)  It's a fact of life. 
The good news for high school football players who wish to play in college is that 681 colleges that play football are not D1-A schools.  If a junior is a late bloomer, then they have hope at those schools.  The better their grades are, the more money they'll get to play at those schools. 

Because the recruiting budgets are significantly smaller, those colleges can't go visiting kids in high schools all around the country.  For example, Georgia Tech's football recruiting budget in 2006 was $522,000.  Compare that to Truman State, a good D2 program, whose recruiting budget was $30,000 and Williams (D3) whose budget was $12,000.  So most of those coaches' recruiting is handled by telephone, email, and videos.  And they identify kids later in the process. 

Because of NCAA rules, college coaches are restricted on when they can call potential student athletes on the phone.  So, if a kid truly wants to play in college, he must market himself to a large number of college coaches.  He should build relationships with those coaches by proactively calling them on the phone.  That's his best chance to find a college where he can play.  College coaches at those 681 low budget schools don't have the resources to recruit like the big time programs.  So they'll probably never visit a potential recruit's home or high school. 

By the way, out of the 800 college football programs in these great United States, about 650 of them are located east of the Mississippi River.  There is a lot of athletic talent in CA, OR, WA, AZ, NV, UT, CO, ID, etc. who never get seen because of geography.  That is changing quickly, though, with the advances in the Internet. 
A high school coach has NEVER given a college scholarship to a player.  College coaches are not going to recruit a kid on the strength of the recommendation of his HS coach.  There are too many other factors to consider.  Should a HS coach help his players?  Absolutely.  Should he be responsible for marketing his players to college coaches?  Probably not.  A HS coach doesn't have the number of contacts in the college coaching community to provide enough quality introductions for his players.  Also, he doesn't have the time and resources to devote to writing 100's of letters to college coaches on a kid's behalf.  He also doesn't have the time to prep each of those kids on what questions to ask college coaches or how kids should answer the tough questions college coaches are going to ask them. 

So most high school coaches don't have the expertise to prepare their kids in what they should be doing.  There are 1.1 million high school football players in this country.  Only 70,000 get to play in college at any level.  In any one year, about 17,000 players will get the opportunity to play in college.  If that player is identified as a top 500 prospect, he probably doesn't have to do any marketing.  The other 16,500 kids probably should do some marketing to find the best fit.  After all, a college decision is a 50 year decision, not a 4 or 5 year decision.  It takes a lot of effort to find a place that is the right fit.  A lot of talented kids get overlooked because they don't know how to play the game. 
By the way, we recently completed a poll of coaches and the results are fascinating:  The number one reason a kid gets recruited is his attitude.  In other words, kids who play hard on every single play.  The second reason that kids get recruited, is they reached out to college coaches by calling them on the phone. 
If kids don't think this starts early, consider this.  There is a young man playing basketball in Aurora, IL who is starting on his HS varsity as a freshman.  He was offered a scholarship last August, before he even set foot in high school.  He accepted that offer.  College recruiting is over for this young man.  All he has to do is graduate with decent grades and hope that college coach doesn't get fired.  Who offered?  Tim Floyd, coach of the USC Trojans. 
If any of your HS coaches have any questions on the recruiting process, I do know a whole lot about the game.  I'd be happy to contribute any time.
Keith Babb
Senior National Scout- National Collegiate Scouting Association
Chicago, Illinois

I have known Keith Babb for some ten years now. Keith had a very good job with a major international bank, but he reached that point in life when a man's gotta do what his heart directs him to do, and for nearly three years now, he's been working as a college scout for the National Collegiate Scouting Association. Most of you know that the woods are full of so-called "Scouting Services," which charge parents an arm and a leg to provide very little service , and if that was what Keith was about, I wouldn't print his letter. And if he offered me money to run his ad, I'd turn him down (I don't take money from advertisers anyhow). But I've gotten to know Keith well over the years as a coach and as a person, and I think very highly of him. He visited us in the Northwest when one of his sons was looking at a college out here, and we spent a weekend with him and wife and their daughter, Melissa, when she was checking out West Point. Keith is very smart and very trustworthy, and seeing an opportunity to provide a service that's beyond my expertise, I asked him if he would be good enough to field any questions you might have regarding recruiting - of your athletes, of your own kids, or recruiting in general. All I asked of him in return is that he would let me print any correspondence on these pages.

So if you have a question for Keith, send it to me and I'll forward it to him.

*********** MEA CULPA (MY FAULT)--- I wrongly attributed a letter from South Carolinian Jody Hagins to fellow South Carolinian Jeff Murdock. Coach Hagins wrote that as a South Carolina fan, he wouldn't get on a plane painted in Clemson colors. But oops - I mistakenly signed Jeff Murdock's name - and Jeff Murdock is a Clemson fan, and I'm sure he'ed be happy to fly in a big orange jet. Apologies all around.


american flagFRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2008- "I'm in great human shape. I'm in okay basketball shape." Shaquille O'Neal


DATES TBA-------------->

*********** Here I was thinking that the Roger Clemens/Spygate hearings were all about Congressmen getting face time in an election year. Was I wrong - it's a lot worse than that.

It's all about jock sniffing.

Judging by the statements and actions of the Republican Congressmen, those stalwart defenders of all that's good and moral, it was all about gettin' Rog's autograph and havin' their pictures taken with that "Titan" of the game (as one of the lawmakers referred to him).

*********** Coach Wyatt, We just had our Ohio State Football Coaches Association clinic/meetings. One of our D-IA coaches stated, "You are not recruited until you get two phone calls and an official visit."

Mark Hundley, Dublin, Ohio

*********** Coach Wyatt,   I just saw your comment about the college planes.  I can guarantee you that there is no way in heck (Portland-speak) that I would get on an airplane painted in Clemson regalia.  As a few examples, I do not have a thread of orange in any of my clothing, I don't eat the orange mms (they get thrown on the ground), my teams do not drink orange gatorade, and under no circumstances will I put Exxon gasoline in my tank (old slogan - "put a tiger in your tank").
Also, I WILL be at the Atlanta clinic.  I wouldn't miss that event. 

Jeff Murdock, Ware Shoals, South Carolina

*********** Dear Coach Wyatt,
Poverty is a mindset.  It says "I don't have money.  Any money I do happen to ever get is never going to make a difference in my life.  I may as well blow it on some kick ass sneakers or a banging tat."  Extreme wealth is also a mindset.  It says "Money is scarce.  Any money I do get I should horde for myself.  I should invest it, make it grow, and that way I will create enough wealth for myself to be secure in my future and never be able to spend it all."  Money is the master of both mindsets, either the lack of money controls the person or the excess of money controls the person.  An ancient religious rebel once said that "you cannot serve both God and Money."  And he meant to capitalize that M.

Tyler Sellhorn, Chicago

*********** Go to this link... http://www.whotv.com/default.asp

On the menu on the right, click on "wrestling turnaround"

It's a great story about a young man at Iowa's Clarinda Academy, (where Brad Knight runs the Double Wing) and how the school - and wrestling - are helping him to turn his life around from being a self-confessed "stoner" to a state champion wrestler.
*********** Hugh,
As always, Great News.
I think I remember an article in which you mentioned, the percentage of Commissioned officers in WW II that had played football.
We were having our normal Happy Hour football discussion when the conversation came up, as to how football builds  leadership.
Frank Simonsen, Cape May, New Jersey

I don't recall, but it could be true, because those were the days when all physically-able men played football from the time they were little.

Of course, those were also the days when little kids played in vacant lots and got to choose the sports they played, instead of being driven to soccer practice.

Before every practice and every game, every Army football player taps a bronze plaque on the wall of the stadium that reads:

"I want an officer for a secret and dangerous mission. I want a West Point football player."

That was Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall, during World War II

*********** ESPN said that it will be "reducing" the role of the sideline reporters on Monday Night Football.

They will stay, apparently, but according to an ESPN spokesman, "Their precise roles are currently being determined."

We can only hope this is the start of something.

*********** Another shot at Old School Football...

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution- "Defensive back Lee Butler of Anderson, S.C., disappointed Tech on signing day by choosing Duke, which told him Tech’s option offense would make it harder for him to get better in practice."

*********** The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue arrived this week, but I'm not reading it. No, sirree. Not after hearing that Roger Clemens' wife got shots in the rear end to, uh, "enhance" her looks for a swimsuit issue appearance.

It's one thing to cheat millions of baseball fans, not to mention the game itself. That I can deal with.

But to set up all those 15-year-old boys for disappointment by giving them the idea that that's what their future wife has to look like, and to give all those 15-year-old girls out there the idea that if they don't look like that, there's something wrong with them... now that's something Congress ought to be investigating.

*********** ABC announced that the contracts of Tim Brant and Dan Fouts, who worked the West Coast games and did a great job, will not be renewed. Presumably, both being former major college football players, they simply knew too much football to be entrusted with calling a game.

*********** Brace yourself for the next ESPN venture into the world of half-truths about sports history. This time it's about the Pottsville Maroons, and the way they were rooked out of an NFL championship.

http://www.breakerboys1925.com/ --- Pottsville Maroons --- ESPN

I know a little bit about Pottsville, Pennsylvania, besides the fact that it's the home of Yuengling Beer. It's in the heart of the anthracite (hard coal) region in the Northeastern part of the state, and for several years, when I played and coached semi-pro ball, my teams paid annual visits to the Pottsville area to play in towns like St. Clair and Minersville against a team called the Schuylkill Coal Crackers. (Pottsville is the county seat of Schuylkill - SKOO-kul - County),

The Pottsville area is good football country; its people are still haunted by the thought that Pottsville could have been the Green Bay of the East.

Before ESPN gets done with it, you deserve to hear the story...

Although I am not a professional historian, I majored in history and I am something of a historian by avocation, so I know enough not to present something as fact in the absence of incontrovertible proof. I also do not have the time to do justice to the full story I am about to outline. There are numerous points that are in some dispute. Having said that, here, as best I was able to assemble them, are the indisputable facts:

In 1925, professional football was a marginal sport, barely considered legitimate, and not even close in popularity to the college game.

The NFL in 1925 consisted of 20 teams, mostly located in the Midwest; there were no divisions.

There was a basic league schedule, but beyond that, scheduling was catch-as-catch-can. Teams generally arranged their own games, many on short notice, whenever and wherever they saw a chance to make a buck. The league rules for 1925 stipulated merely that all teams were required to play at least eight other member teams by December 6, after which they were free to schedule as many other games as they chose, although no games could be played after December 20.

There was no provision for an NFL championship game. The NFL champion would be the team with the best win-loss percentage. (The December 20 season limit was imposed because without it, teams could theoretically continue playing into spring, trying to improve their percentage.)

By 1924, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, not a part of the NFL, had built a football team which was considered to be at least the equal of most NFL clubs, in part by signing players away from NFL teams. In 1925, Pottsville was awarded an NFL franchise.

Pottsville did well as a first-year NFL team. Despite an early loss to the Frankford Yellow Jackets, the Maroons (so-called because of the jerseys they wore) avenged themselves on their home field by trouncing the Yellow Jackets, 49-0. By December 1, they were 9-2.

Around that time a game was arranged to be played in Chicago between the Maroons, billed as “Eastern Champions” and the Chicago Cardinals, 9-1-1 and dubbed “Western Champions.”

Chicago newspapers, to the extent that they even covered professional football, went along with the “championship” notion. The Chicago Tribune reported, on December 5, "Manager O'Brien scheduled the game as a post-season affair to settle without question the championship of the pro league. The Cardinals could hang up their moleskins (what they called football pants in those days) and quit as champions, but (Coach Paddy) Driscoll's men refuse to quit until they have had a chance at the eastern champions."

The NFL office did not contradict the claim that the game would be for the league championship.

Pottsville defeated Chicago, 21-7, and newspapers declared the Maroons to be the NFL champions.

A week later, on December 12, the Maroons played an exhibition game in Philadelphia’s Shibe Park against a college team, called the Notre Dame All-Stars, but in actuality the powerful 1925 Notre Dame eleven. One of the first games ever played between a professional team and a college team, it was seen as a means of measuring the quality of professional game

The Maroons won, 9-7, thanks to Charley Berry’s 30-yard field goal, but the game drew a disappointing 8,000 people.

Technically, the city of Philadelphia had an NFL team, the Frankford Yellow Jackets (and the predecessors of today’s Philadelphia Eagles). But Frankford, a bustling industrial area northeast of downtown Philadelphia, was actually more like a city of its own, and the Yellow Jackets with rare exceptions played all their home games at their own Yellow Jacket Stadium. They had little following outside their own neighborhood.

As a provincial, neighborhood team, they would seem to have had no more legitimate claim on the greater Philadelphia territory than the Rams would have on Los Angeles after they moved to Anaheim years later (a fact of which Al Davis made the NFL painfully aware). Nonetheless, the Yellow Jackets protested to the NFL office that the Maroons-Notre Dame game in Shibe Park was an invasion of their territory.

There seems to be some dispute over whether Commissioner Joe Carr had warned the Maroons not to play the game, but he upheld the Frankford protest and immedately revoked the Maroons’ NFL franchise.

On December 16, the Maroons were honored at a banquet in Pottsville attended by 300 people, and awarded small gold footballs emblematic of their championship.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, had hastily arranged to play two additional games, one on the Thursday following their loss to Pottsville, and another two days later. (The Pottsville people contended that this was either arranged by Commissioner Carr or done so at his instigation, to get the Cardinals two easy wins and justify his awarding the title to them on the basis of their win-loss percentage. Others claim, with some plausibility, that the Cardinals had done it on their own, either to try to contradict Pottsville’s claim, or to bolster their record in order to build up attendance at a game to be played against their crosstown rivals, the Bears, and their sensational new star, Red Grange, whom they had just signed following the end of his college season at Illinois.

Either way, the Cardinals played the two games, the first against the Milwaukee Badgers on Thursday, and the second against the Hammond Pros. Although both teams had disbanded for the season, Hammond managed to put a recognizable team on the field, but the Milwaukee team was made up largely of unknowns, four of whom turned out to be high school boys. The Cardinals won that one, 59-0. Nevertheless, both Cardinal wins were counted in the league standings, and on the basis of having the best winning percentage, the Cardinals were named NFL champions.

To his credit, t he Cardinals’ owner, Chris O’Brien refused to accept the title.

When Pottsville appealed Commisioner Carr’s ruling vacating their franchise, the commissioner's decision was upheld by a vote of the owners.

In 1926, Pottsville was re-admitted to the NFL, but with no mention of its “title.”

In 1929, Pottsville’s owner moved the franchise to Boston and renamed the team the Bulldogs, but the Bulldogs folded after that season. In 1932, Boston was awarded a new franchise, unrelated to the folded Maroons, named the Redskins, and in 1937 that team moved to Washington, to remain since then (if you consider Laurel, Maryland to be Washington) as the Redskins.

For years afterward, Pottsville people fought to have their title “reinstated.” Finally, in 1962, the NFL owners agreed to have a committee investigate the matter. When the Pottsville plea- along with the committee’s report - was submitted to a vote of the owners at their 1963 meeting, it failed by a vote of 12-2. Only George Halas of the Bears and Art Rooney of the Steelers supported Pottsville.



When you have time could you send me this.

I had one hell of an argument with an official about this.  What is the rule # article, etc.  He is also a basketball ref which just about explains the problem.

Rule 7 Section 2 Article 7 --- "Only one A player may be in motion at the snap and then only if such motion is not toward his opponent's goal."

That's all it says.  Simple as that.  Any attempt by an official to define what he thinks "motion" is is an attempt to play God - to try to be bigger than the game.


american flagTUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2008- "A man should be upright, not be kept upright." Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor

DATES TBA-------------->

*********** For some time now I've been working with the developers of a site called Landro Study Site - www.landrostudy.com

In the simplest possible terms, it is YouTube for big boys.  Actually, though, it is a lot more.

The Landro Study Site is the brainchild of IRIS Technology, a Greensburg, Pennsylvania firm which manufactures high-tech video equipment for the television industry, but is best known to football coaches for its Landro play analyzing hardware and software.

The Study Site is in the early stages of development and is constantly evolving and improving.

Company founder Jerry Salandro (which explains the name) is a former teacher and wrestling coach, who years ago he wrote his master's thesis on the very concept which the Landro Study Site now represents.

The site is quite easy to navigate and very intuitive for the first-time user.  There are no technical hurdles, which is as it should be for people who are more interested in the results than in the process, and you can be up and running in no time.

But I do think that before you start futzing around, you should go here and take a few minutes and let Jerry explain it better...


Hey!  That could be you in front of the camera, explaining something to your players - or, for you teachers out there, going over the key points of today's lesson for the kids who weren't there.  Think of it - no more excuses! Let those parents take their kids skiing. Let them go to Disneyland. But when they return, they're responsible for everything you covered while they were gone!  

When you browse the site, you'll begin to see enormous potential for sharing your videos with your players, their parents, and other coaches, and for you to learn from coaches who post their videos on the Landro Study Site.

Got a player you'd like to get colleges interested in?  No need to burn and mail out DVDs- just make the highlight video, upload it to the Landro Study Site (setting up an account and getting started is really easy), and then e-mail links to colleges.

Want to restrict the group you share the videos with?  You can protect access to them with a password.  I've done that with a couple of mine as I experiment with the site.

I can see the feasibility of a coach uploading his Friday night game so that a mentor could take a look at it first thing Saturday morning.  And with the password, only that mentor (and other trusted individuals) would be able to see it.

And download it.  At the present time, it is possible for visitors to download any video they have access to, although that may become an optional feature for those of you who don't mind someone looking at your video but don't want them downloading it.

I've posted a few videos myself, some password-protected, some not.  Do a search on  "Hugh Wyatt"  and you'll enter my "community."

I should point out that while at this stage of the game access to all the features of the Lando Study Site  is free,  it's likely that at some point  there will be some charges for various uses.  As you might imagine, the costs of building and maintaining the site are enormous, and the people at Landro are still researching the best and fairest ways of justifying their investment.

Take a look.  Tell your friends. Let me know what you think.

*********** Cal signed a QB named Beau Sweeney. Beau is the son of former Fresno State QB Kevin Sweeney (Fresno State) and the grandson of former Montana State/Washington State/Fresno State coach Jim Sweeney.

You know you're getting old when you remember watching Jim Sweeney's Washington State teams play.

What a great guy Jim Sweeney was. What a character. A big Irishman from Butte, Montana. The newspaper guys loved him. I can't think of a coach over the last 20 or 30 years who had his personality and sense of humor.

To give you an idea of his sense of humor - not to mention his farsightedness - I was at a clinic in the early 80s, and he had just so gotten up to speak. He made a few opening remarks (witty, of course), then turned as if to write something on the board. What he was actually doing was showing us the back of his tee-shirt, which read THE NUMBER ONE JOB OF A FOOTBALL COACH IS TO STAMP OUT SOCCER

*********** Don't know if you noticed the Burger King commercials where all the all the people get really upset when informed that the Whopper had been discontinued, but those folks were real.

Burger King actually set up the "deprivation" stunt at two of their outlets in the Las Vegas area, hired some real actors to play the cashiers, and let the cameras roll.

They say that the campaign has been an enormous success, with Whipper sales increases in the double figures.

Their biggest problem was obtaining releases from the customers so that they could use them in commercials, because they had to do so after the people had been on camera being given the bad news, and some of them were not happy.

One guy's reaction was dramatic to the point where they really wanted to use it on air, but angrily jumped into his pickup and sped off before they could stop him. They are still hoping to locate him.

He's probably at Wendy's.

*********** I saw you talking to a coach about the Delaware wing-t and splits in your news.  I have to ask: Can your splits get too tight in a run offense?

Can you clog up a Delaware wing-t with too tight of splits?  A inside belly offense?  Others?

The disclaimer is obviously a read option offense (veer, midline) that needs a natural lane for the fullback and to move the read key away.

Coach, First of all, they can get too tight if your players' stances begin to crowd each other.  But  policing this is nowhere near the hassle that maintaining correct splits used to be when we actually had splits.

We can get away with running the Double Wing with tight-to-nonexistent splits because we do not need to create seams for a veer option, or to widen the pitch key, or to widen the edge rusher against a drop-back passing attack.   We can and do run option, and we can and do drop-back, but those are simply adjuncts to what we really do.

People who run the Delaware Wing-T are not in it primarily to for option or drop-back passing, either.

I always tell people that in my mind, I am still running the Delaware Wing-T.  I ran it for seven years, in the US and Finland, and although the line  splits have vanished, I still think the same way I did when I coached it.

Although my terminology (which I've been using since 1982) is different from Delaware's, when I line up in Double-Tight, Double-Wing, I am simply running from Delaware's "500" formation.

For our purposes, the tight splits give us a lot of advantages over the conventional Wing-T, including: reduction of gap penetration and "run-throughs," elimination of blitzing, nearly automatic double-teaming,  easier cut-off blocking (because the defensive men are not so far away), easier pocket protection, less distance for pulling linemen to have to run - and, we're always tightened down to run a wedge.

Inside belly (what we would call 4 base lead/5 base lead and 4-x lead/5-x lead) is a staple play for many teams that run my system.

After years of doing it both ways, I wouldn't have any difficulty going back to the pure Delaware Wing-T, but I vastly prefer what the tight splits do for us.

*********** Regarding the kid in Nevada...

Coach the first thing that struck me was that the coach should have know EVERYTHING. I know any and every kid that was being recruited had the  college coaches go through ME first. Every college guy always comes to me first before they talk to any kid to find if the kid is , of good character, passed or scheduled to take the SAT/ACT, has grades and can play at the level the school competes in. This apparently did not happen at Fernley. This could have all been avoided if the coach, who has had athletes at previous schools go on scholarships, had asked some questions and done some digging. I still get calls and question about juniors I had the year I resigned at Natomas...it just didn't add up .  Joe Daniels, Sacramento, California (That was my thinking, and because I hadn't been in on this in a few years I wanted to hear from others who had.  I appreciate your insight.

In a way, this kid may have helped matters by pointing out how idiotic this whole "announcement" stuff is becoming.  

I know it'll never happen, but in the best of all possible worlds, the kid who enlists in the armed forces, or the kid who gets accepted at a good college, would get the same star treatment.

Or, better yet, NOBODY gets star treatment.  His/her accomplishments should speak for themselves. HW)

***********Chad Johnson admitted on the NFL Network that he has "gotten out of line every now and then." But then he added, "What great one doesn't? What great one is not emotional about what he does? What great one does not have passion about what he does? What great one hates losing? Find me a great one that doesn't do the same things that I've done in the past and I'll stop playing. Period."

Wow. With an incentive like that, I think I can.

UH---- Warrick Dunn... Marvin Harrison... Peyton Manning...

He's probably talking about current "great ones," because otherwise I'd say "Walter Payton," and Chad Johnson would disappear, along with his Hall of Fame coat.

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

I was upset by the Pats loss, but it was a great game and one decided without a lot of funny business.

In parsing the various blogs and newspaper web comments, I was surprised to read the number of people applying some kind of karmic lesson to the Patriots, whether it be sideline taping, bad sideline wardrobe, running up the score on Joe Gibbs, or the bogus story about the Pats taping the Rams walkthrough. (No one mentioned Brady's illegitimate child.)

Surely most of this was piling on, but it seemed that many fans (I saw it on the Giants side mostly) couldn't accept that the game story was as simple as it was - New York pounded the Pats' OL, controlled the clock, didn't commit many penalties, and took advantage of some uncharacteristically-squandered NE
opportunities. As I saw it, they played well enough to win and got a couple of breaks that put them over the edge.

The game couldn't stand as it was; there had to be some hidden secret explanation. We would have seen the other side of the coin had NE won, about how and why they were unbeatable even though they'd been inches from a loss several times.

I find it interesting that while the country is moving away from absolute morality, sports fans feel the need to have moral superiority over opponents by citing a bunch of stuff that's more or less irrelevant to the game at hand. (After the Mitchell Report we'll see plenty of it in springtime.)

Another thing - had the Pats lost in New Jersey in Week 17 and won Sunday, no one would be calling them losers or frauds. They were a great team that lost at the wrong time. Hard to fault any team for failing at the summit when no one had even sniffed it before

Christopher Anderson, Palo Alto, California (One game doesn't change the fact that the 2007 Patriots were one of the greatest teams ever. They are not losers. They are not frauds. It was not karma or fate or whatever. They lost a game to a another team of professionals. HW)

*********** A local kid who was considered to be a very good football player paid his recruiting five visits, three to D-IAA schools (notice how the lapdog media have finally fallen in line and started to say FBS and FCS?) and two to service academies. He finally chose Air Force.

Although he'd had a great season this past fall, his coach said that the reason he didn't get any big-time D-IA offers was that he had missed his entire junior season because of injuries.

Did you catch that? His junior season!

More and more, colleges are basing their recruiting on a kid's junior season!

It's as if the senior season doesn't matter - not unlike a kid's grades the spring semester of senior year, after he's already been accepted by colleges.

It really doesn't count, as long as he doesn't screw up.

It's been my experience, though, that a high school kid's greatest development occurs between junior and senior seasons. The kid who might have been a little unsure of himself, a little flaky, as a junior is a year bigger, and year faster, and a year more mature.

Everybody remember those stud 7th graders - the big ones with men's bodies, the ones who are already shaving, the ones running all over their skinny little opponents who don't even have pimples yet? Ever noticed how many of those early bloomers get passed up somewhere in high school?

Failure by the big schools to make allowance for a kid's development makes those kids available to lesser programs (such as Appalachian State), and might help explain why many of the so-called upsets we're seeing in college ball are not upsets at all.

*********** Good Morning Hugh,

It looks as if the snow will never stop  and the white stuff just keeps coming. We are projected to have snow right through next Wednesday. Anyway as it piles up I couldn't help but wonder why Senator Specter is conducting congressional hearings on "SpyGate" when people in New England are paying well over three dollars a gallon for heating oil and Exxon just announced 40 billion dollar quarterly profit. -- Heck that is the Gross National Product for some third world countries. We freeze and he couldn't find a better way to spend Congressional dollars.
Jack Tourtillotte, Boothbay Harbor, Maine


I think that the uproar would have been a lot greater if the Patriots had won. I think in a lot of peoples' minds (outside NE), Belichick got his comeuppance, and that's the end of that.  But if they had won the Super Bowl and gone 19-0, I think there would have been a lot of calls for an investigation.

The funny thing is that in the last year or two, the truth came out about the 1954 "Miracle Giants" (baseball version) who came from way back in the National League standings to force a one-game playoff with the Dodgers, a game that was decided by Bobby Thomson's game-winning home run (Russ Hodges' famous call, "THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!... THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!...  THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!... etc., etc." is still fresh in many peoples' minds).

The truth was that the Giants had cheated. Beginning at about the same time they began their great come-from-behind drive, a guy with binoculars was hidden inside the center field scoreboard, picking up the opposing catchers' signs and transmitting the info by telegraph to the Giants' dugout, from where it was passed along to the hitter.

Years later, Bobby Thomson admitted that he knew what sort of pitch was coming when he hit his "Shot Heard 'Round the World" (with apologies to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who first coined the phrase in describing the "embattled farmers" at Concord Bridge, firing on the British).

So the Giants cheated. That's clear.  The proof is incontrovertible. And what has baseball done about it?  The same thing they're doing about Barry Bonds, and the same thing they're going to do about Roger Clemens. Nothing.

The Patriots are a great team. They had a great season.  No other team has ever gone 18-0. But I think the fact that the Giants won, while bad for Pats' fans, was good for the NFL for a variety of reasons, including the fact that Senator Spector can go back to his business.

*********** Coach - First let me say I think these so-called Press conferences where a Kid announces on signing day are ridiculous !!!   Over the Top, Ridiculous !!  gives a kid a false sense of  importance, etc  one of the few things I hate about the College /High School game
But this situation out of Nevada is NUTS !!!  I was no blue-chip , D1-A major prospect  by no means, but even the Div III schools that I received  letters, communications from was via from my Head Coach/AD, with you're experience, isn't the Head coach the  First point and the Focal point of contact between the College and Kid ?  No matter if it's a D1-A,D1-AA, D II or D III, so my question to you, How the Hell can the Head Coach or anyone on the coaching staff not know that a Major D1 program Like CAL and OREGON is recruiting or not recruiting one of your players ?  I find this startling,  It's is even  hard to believe the parents  were so out of the loop. I can completely understand parents not being familiar with the recruiting process, but didn't they ask questions ?  This is one of the wackiest episodes I have ever seen. Granted a part of me feels bad for the kid,  but the coaches or parents or administrators could of stopped this thing a while ago, instead of making the kid look like a damn Fool 
 - John Muckian   Lynn, Massachusetts

The kid chose to make a fool of himself. No sympathy there.

But in the process, he made fools of lots of other people, not the least of whom are the fools in the media, who for years have been treating us to similar scenes of high school kids making similar decisions, decisions that the media elevate in the importance  to Eisenhower's deciding which day to invade Europe.

I'm trying to be as hard as a can to be kind to the kid's coach, but...

I can't imagine a kid being recruited without a recruiter paying a visit to a kid's school.

And I  find it impossible to believe that in a small town like Fernley, Nevada, a recruiter from a major college could visit the local high school without it being the talk of the town within minutes.   The instant he signed in at the office, it would be all over the school and, unless the school is able to do what no other school in American can do (successfully ban all cell phones) the word would get to the outside in, oh, a second or two.

I also can't believe that the coach would wake up on signing day to find that one of his kids had a choice between two Pac-10 schools if the kid hadn't been bragging about his being recruited.  I mean, nowadays, all a kid has to do is receive a questionnaire from a college and by the time it gets to his buddies, he's being "recruited."  So unless this kid kept quiet about the "Cal" and "Oregon" business - which is highly unusual - the coach would have had some idea of what was going on, and would at least have been surprised that he never got so much as a phone call from the colleges.

And if the coach had never heard a thing, and out of nowhere the kid announces that he has not just one but two major college offers,  it simply would not pass the test of reasonableness.

In other words, I have some oceanfront property in Arizona...

*********** We were barely over the story of the kid in Nevada, who provided us that great parody of the Signing Day antics we've gotten used to seeing, when as part of the unending hustle to make money from the glorification of barely-literate high school athletes, ESPN on Sunday served up something called the Burger King All American Varsity Skills challenge. At the Disney World of Sports Complex, of course (ESPN being owned by Disney).

Can there be any job more degrading to grown men in business suits than having to sit on stage and comment seriously about this high school star or that as they perform a variety of Super Stars-like competitions? Well, yes, there can - having to maintain an air of seriousness while interviewing the winners afterward.

All the kids were dressed the same - in UnderArmour gear. You don't suppose...?

David Norrie... Bob Davie... Mark May... ESPN had the Big Guns on hand. Isn't there ONE guy who's willing to stand up and say, "This is bullsh..?"

Is there NO Howard Cosell out there, willing to say that the emperor is bareass naked?

Well, no - not really. Not when speaking out against the excesses of ESPN assures the guy of an exile from the big-money world of sports announcing at least as severe as any excommunication Martin Luther faced.

Anyhow, I'd say that the kid from Nevada ought to be offered a scholarship to a major college. To study drama. If what he did ain't performance art, I don't know what is.

At the veryleast, he should get some academic credit for that production. I don't know if his school requires a senior project for graduation, but I sat on many a review panel, and his was as good as any I ever saw.

*********** Will somebody please explain how all those college basketball players who, we are told, come from the most improverished of backgrounds, can afford all those tattoos?

*********** Just when you'd hoped that our cultural decline had perhaps bottomed out and had nowhere to go but up, consider...

Every member of the winning Pro Bowl team was paid $40,000 - more than the average starting teacher earns for an entire year's work.

The loser's share of $20,000 is more than a worker making $10 an hour will earn in a year (allowing for two weeks of non-paid vacation).

*********** I just happened to be watching "Jeopardy", some sort of Teen Championship, and the three young geniuses struck out on the big question - "What's the only state whose name contains a diacritical mark?"

Theyd obviously been spending too much time with their noses in books. If they'd taken a little time out to watch college football, they'd have known it was Hawai'i.

*********** I liked Jim Zorn as a player, and I wish him well as new coach of the Redskins. He'd recently been hired as the Skins' offensive coordinator, but I'm not surprised that he wound up with the head job, as one by one, other candidates passed.

I mean, think of it - would you want to take over, with your offensive and defensive coordinators already hired for you?

*********** Next time I hear how tough someone today thinks he has it, I think of the sad but noble story of Henry O. Flipper, the first black Cadet at the United States Military Academy (West Point).

This from the West Point Association of Graduates...

In early 2008, LTG Lloyd J. Austin, III ’75, former commander of the XVIIIth Airborne Corps and, earlier, the 10th Mountain Division, was appointed second in command to GEN David H. Petraeus ’74 in Iraq.  During an interview, he mentioned that he was a distant relative of the first African-American graduate of West Point, Henry O. Flipper, Class of 1877.
Henry Ossian Flipper came to West Point to succeed, and he managed to do just that.  In a very segregated Academy, he was befriended by a few cadets, violently disliked by more, and ignored by most.  The faculty treated him well, within the limits of academia, and his accomplishment in becoming the first African-American graduate was celebrated by some and acknowledged by almost everyone. 

Serving with the 10th Cavalry, he was accepted by his white officer colleagues and respected for several acts of courage during campaigns. Nevertheless, he eventually ran afoul of a biased system, was found not guilty by a court martial of embezzlement (money held in his duties as quartermaster was taken from his trunk by a maid) but guilty of “conduct unbecoming an officer” and dismissed from the Army.

He nonetheless went on to be a successful civil engineer and author, attempting to clear his name by various means before dying on 3 May 1940. On 13 December 1976, the Army finally awarded him a retroactive honorable discharge; on 27 October 1977, Flipper’s Ditch, constructed by him at Ft. Sill, OK, to drain a marshy area and reduce the danger from malaria, was named a National Historic Site, and on 19 February 1999 he was pardoned posthumously. 

West Point now presents an annual Henry O. Flipper award, established in 1981 through the West Point Association of Graduates, to the member of each graduating who has displayed "the highest qualities of leadership, self-discipline, and perseverance in the face of unusual difficulties while a cadet."

*********** Speaking of West Point...

The military may be unpopular among some ungrateful, unpatriotic elements of our society, but the numbers show that our service academies have great appeal to high-quality young people. The Feb 11 issue of US News & World Report ranks the US Military Academy at West Point, New York Number One among prestige Universities in its "yield," that is, the per cent of students offered admission who ultimately attend.

In other words, kids are not applying to West Point on a lark, just to see if they get in, and then weighing the West Point offer against others.  They apply because they intend to go there.

It's also a tribute to the admissions force for choosing carefully.

Among prestige colleges,  West Point's yield is 83 per cent

followed by....
US Naval Academy 81 percent
Harvard 79
Yale 70
Princeton 69
Stanford 67
MIT 66

This is after an admittance rate of just 15 per cent of applicants, which is only slightly higher than those of Harvard-Yale-Princeton-Stanford-MIT.

american flagFRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2008- "The dirty little secret about freedom is you're on your own." Justice Clarence Thomas

DATES TBA-------------->

*********** "I wish to hell I’d never said the damned thing. I meant the effort. I meant having a goal. I sure as hell didn’t mean for people to crush human values and morality." Vince Lombardi, commenting on the much-quoted "Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing."

*********** Check out these scores...

Thursday, February 7. Palo Alto, California. Men: Stanford 72, Oregon 43.

Thursday, February 7. Eugene, Oregon. Women: Stanford 72, Oregon 43.

*********** Coach Wyatt,  I have a question for you and am looking for a little guidance if possible.  I have made it to the last round of an interview for a teaching coaching position that is out of state.  I am a finalist (only two of us left), and am interviewing this friday.  They have asked me to bring my offensive, defensive and special teams playbooks.  Its been a while since I have had to do this and am a little unsure of how to approach this.  I have been told that they will ask questions about "O" and "D" and I guess I am just wondering what is the best way to approach this situation.  I guess there is truly no clear cut answer but would like to hear what kind of knowledge or insight that you have to this.  Thank you in advance.

Hi Coach-

Not knowing a lot of the details, I'd say that you want to be as GENERAL as possible.

First, to convince them that while you have your own systems, you are flexible - you plan to run what's best for your players (whom I'm figuring you don't know all that well).

Second, because you may have someone on the committee who's going to wind up being on your staff (I assume you already know this) and you want to be able to say that while you have some pretty strong beliefs, you want to be able to allow for input from your staff members.

So be prepared to answer questions of a general nature, but I believe that you can dodge any specifics by showing them briefly "what I'd do if I had the best talent in the state," but otherwise keeping it general and convincing them that this is because you believe it is important for a coach to be able to be flexible enough to tailor what he does to his kids and his staff.

I think they'll like to hear that.

I hope that's of some help.  Please be so good as to let me know how it goes.

*********** Coach, Enjoyed your blog today as always.

I got a real chuckle at the one about the energy drink. When Ian was in high school, he used to gather up 10-15 of his buds for LAN parties (local area network) at our house. Basically, all the boys brought their desktop computers, and hooked them up in a network in our basement, and played online games for the better part of the night. While Beth and I thought that it was a bit ridiculous to get that sleep deprived, the bottom line was that they were all great kids and we knew exactly where our son was on a Saturday night. He sent away for a case of the drink that you mentioned. When Beth was taking him to a LAN party one night, in his haste to get into the party, he loaded himself with too much to carry, and one of the bottles dropped and broke. Being quite aggravated as only a 17-year-old boy can get, when Beth asked him what was wrong, his response was, "mom, I broke one of my BAWLS!".......Beth's reply was that that was "one of the last things that a mother wanted to hear from her teenage son." We still laugh about it today.

Rick Davis
Duxbury, Massachusetts (Great story. I can just see the advertising meetings at the BAWLS headquarters -  a dozen or so slackers with their feet up on the table swapping clever lines.  Nyuk, nyuk.  Straight out of Beavis and Butthead. ("He said 'BAWLS!' heh, heh, heh.")

*********** Coach Wyatt, With Michael Vick recently allowed to keep 16.25 million dollars of his most recent signing bonus, I suppose that will allow him to buy a lot of cigarettes in jail.
Mike Lane (Now when he gets out he'll have enough money to play golf with OJ and look for the real dog fighter. HW)

*********** (Regarding Shaq's monthly budget) My favorite was $26,500  per month for day care.

At $318,000 per year he could own a daycare.

Tim Brown
Jackson, Tennessee (Prayers to all the people in Jackson who were hit hard by this week's tornado! HW)

*********** Hugh, As we suffer another two-hour school delay (and the possibility of school being cancelled) today because of a winter storm, I realized how thankful we should be to Al Gore for the Global Warming issue.  I shudder to think of how bad this winter would be without the effects of Global Warming!
Greg Koenig, Beloit, Kansas

*********** Coach,
Is there such a thing as a portable DVD recorder that would allow you to make a master copy of a DVD on the bus ride home from a game? 
I don’t want to use a laptop but I would like to record the game master off of the digital camera onto a DVD while we ride home.


If you have power, you can do almost anything. Electrical power, that is.

1. Hook up your camera to a DVD recorder and copy.  It doesn't have to be portable - it just needs a power source. If that's not possible on the bus, you may have someone close to your team who can do this in their car.

Sorry- other than that, it's hard to get around a laptop for your purposes...

2. Hook up your camera to your laptop, then make a copy. (It would have to be a long bus ride, because it would take twice the time - first record it into your laptop, then burn the video.  

3. (Best of all)   Hook up your camera to a Landro play analyzer (or a laptop equipped with Landro software) and simultaneously record tape in the camera as well as into the device or onto your laptop; it's now in your computer, in digital form, as well as on tape. Then, on the bus ride, burn your  DVD (assuming that your laptop has the ability to do so).

Fair disclosure - I happen to know the people who make Landro equipment. They are not paying to endorse anything. But they have been very helpful to me in showing me  how to work with their new Landro Study Site, which is pretty cool. (I would be interested in your reaction.)


If you go to their home page


you will find a way to test their software free. (Requires a PC - no Macs yet).

Hope that helps!

*********** Hugh, How are you? I just finished reading your excellent article on Charlie Conerly. I had meant to read it before the Super Bowl, but I got bogged
down with things here at Forman. Actually, I'm now glad I read it after the Giants big win. How can you not be happy for Eli Manning... he has really taken some shots and had to play in NYC (of course, he could have played in San Diego, but let's not go there), in the shadow of his brother and now comes out on top big time!

What would be a good resource for the Single-Wing? Coach Kueffel's book? Some of my players were asking me about it the other day. Thanks,

Sam Keator, Litchfield, Connecticut (There are many different types of "single wing," and although the best resources are (1) the books and clinics notes of the old-timers who actually ran various systems, and (2) some of the outstanding people who are running assorted single wing attacks today, I think that Ken Keuffel's "Simplified Single Wing Football" is as good as it gets in explaining the classic unbalanced-line single wing attack. HW)

*********** Nothing used to bug me more than hearing the late Howard Cosell refer to this game or that as a "meaningless game," as if the game itself wasn't enough - as if there had to be something huge and earth-shaking at stake.

So I really enjoyed a quote that I found in a recent Character Counts newsletter.

Chicago Tribune sportswriter Davis Surico got it last year when talking to Don Gillingham, baseball coach of Walther Lutheran High School in Melrose Park, Illinois. HIs team had just defeated Beardstown for third place in the state tournament.

"The third-place game is about character. The third-place game is about high school sports. There’s talk about maybe cutting it out because it takes too long and people sometimes don’t want to play it. If you don’t want to play in this game, then you shouldn’t play, period. And if you don’t want to do everything you can to win this game, then you don’t deserve to win any games.

"It’s easy to do it when everybody’s cheering for you and everybody’s behind you. I told them to look up in the stands. ‘You see how few people are here? Those are the people who really love you. Everybody else just wanted to be part of a championship. They went home. People who really wanted to see you play because of what they want you to grow up to be, they’re still here. So you’ve got to perform for them and yourselves.’"

How great is that???

*********** Hi Coach; I hope all is well with you and your family and your new year is off to a great start. I have been offered and have accepted a position as head freshman football coach at a local high school. I have always wanted to move to the high school ranks and this was a great opportunity I did not want to pass up. I have been at the Pop Warner Midget level running your DW, very successfully I might add. Of course the High School I am going to the varsity coach wants his freshmen team to run the same offense as his varsity, which certainly makes sense. The offense they run is the Delaware Wing-T, an offense I know you are very familiar with. I have studied your offense the past 2 years and would like to know what your thoughts are on the Wing-T. What reference material can I read to help get up to speed on the terminology, etc…I have the playbook they use and many of the plays are similar to what we did, and the blocking schemes seem to be comparable. I know there are differences and thought you may shed some light on this for me.  Thanks again.

Coach, First of all, congratulations.

Certainly, the freshman team should be running the varsity's offense, and you are to be commended for understanding that.

About all you will need to change is your terminology. And, of course, open things up a bit and deal with line splits..

Otherwise, you will find very little difference from what you've been doing, and your experience running the Double Wing will be of great use to you.

The best reference book I can recommend is "The Delaware Wing-T an Order of Football" by Raymond and Kempski. It's as good as it gets.

I'm happy for you! Best of luck!

*********** From my friend Armando Castro, who lives in Roanoke, Virginia, but whose heart has never left Miami...



All, in all, it was a great recruiting year for the (nicknames) . Maybe the best we've had since we've been here at (fill in the name of the school) . We're very excited about all the recruits we've signed. We were able to fill all our important needs with people who will be able to play for us right away and make a difference. True, there will be some bloggers who will point out that we didn't sign a single in-state player, but I think the number of kids we signed from California, Florida and Texas demonstrates that our big win in the (Fill in the name of an insignificant Bowl) and the numerous times we were shown on (small, insignificant cable-only network) have made us a household name in other parts of the country. Although we didn't get a chance to actually see a lot of the signees in person, they were all highly rated by the leading scouting services. So, Go (fill in the nickname)!!!

*********** GREAT TIP FOR ALL MAC USERS OUT THERE:  TO TAKE A "SCREEN SHOT": Hold down COMMAND+CTRL+SHIFT+4 and a special cursor will appear. Then drag that cursor  and then click and drag to outline an area on the screen that you want to copy - and then release. And the area that you have taken a "shot" of will automatically be copied to your desktop, creating a .jpg file.  You can copy that into Photoshop, into a Word document, or right into a TextEdit document.  (TextEdit is a great little program for a lot of your fairly simply word-processing jobs.)

*********** I wanted to comment on your post this week about coaches that fail to teach character and I must agree to the bottom of my cleats. You may remember in Ketchikan (Alaska) I kicked a kid off my team for kicking an opposing player in the head during a game. He was not even flagged, much less ejected, but I immediately removed him from the game and the team on the spot. I literally took his pads away on the sideline. Of course you know I never had more than 15 players that season and this kid was the strongest player I had. He ended ranked #9 in the nation for wrestling that year. The entire town, much less the other coaches and players told me I would have no chance of success without this player. I of course told them that the school had not won a game in 6 years and certainly was not having any success with him.

My players pray before every game, it is not mandatory and I hold nothing against a kid who chooses to abstain. Funny thing is I have never had a kid abstain. I have been threatened by other schools and other coaches that promised my demise if I did not cease and desist with pre-game prayer. I must say that my God is bigger than their school board. I once had a player on the ground after the whistle speared by another player in the ribs using his helmet. The officials refused to call a penalty. I marched on to the field and using all of my skills of diplomacy and tact insisted that a flag be thrown. They refused so I insisted that I be ejected from the game. I simply told them that I would force them to take the little yellow flag out of their pockets. I just wanted to see if they were capable of doing so. Incredibly for several minutes they refused to even do that. Finally one official, a man who used to be the head coach at KAYHI and actually brought me in to the school, pulled out his flag and ejected me. I actually got a standing ovation, which was not my intent. I was simply trying to insist, if not mandate, that we cannot allow a player from any team to take a cheap, and possibility serious, shot at a defenseless player who is on the ground after the whistle.

I personally take every opportunity to teach character, honesty, and integrity to my players. Ninety-nine percent of them will never play football after high school. I am not preparing my players to go on to play college ball. I am preparing them to go on to play the much harder game of life. Richard Cropp, Tallahassee, Florida

*********** Sorry to see Mitt Romney gone. Where was that Farewell Address when he was still a candidate?

"The nation that our forefathers had in mind cannot stand when there are not fathers in the home to raise kids."

"We will not be swayed by the snickers when we stand up for family values."

"American must not be held hostage by the likes of Putin, Chavez and Ahmadinejad."

"Can you imagine what happens to an economy when the best opportunities are for bureaucrats?"

I think that the shot that Mike Huckabee took in the New York Times Magazine at Gov. Romney's faith was one of the most unconscionable things one member of a party has done to another in my memory.

If Mitt Romney had been a Jew or a Muslim or a Roman Catholic - or a member of nearly any other faith - Mr. Huckabee would have been the target of heavy criticism, and rightly so. But evidently you get a pass on attacking Mormons.

We can all find puzzling things in religions other than ours.

Several years ago, in teaching a lesson on comparative religions, I mentioned almost off-handedly, figuring that everyone in my class already knew, that Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and (without getting into details of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection), that Jesus will return to earth again.

After class, a Japanese exchange student, a young lady, came up to me, and after everyone had left asked, "Mr. Wyatt, do Christians believe that Jesus will come back to life?"

"Yes, they do " I told her.

With a look of sheer wonderment, she said, "Really?"

She was not being disrespectful. She'd never heard that before, and was truly amazed to learn it.

It helped me to realize that the things I believe in may seem strange to other people, and at their core, my beliefs can only be explained as - my beliefs. We believe because we believe. That's faith.

Which brings us to Mitt Romney's faith.

I don't pretend to understand all the workings and beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) . But I do understand that, by and large, Mormons are good people. Very good people. Very good Americans. Their values are what we all used to agree were America's values. Now, of course, as America's values are up for grabs, those who hold tightest to the "old ways" - Mormons - are dismissed as wackos.

Living in the West, my wife and I have taught plenty of Mormon kids, and we both agree - if we could teach only one group of kids, deal with only one group of parents, we would choose to have classrooms full of Mormons.

*********** By now you've probably heard about the kid from Nevada and the hoax he put over on everybody - his town, his school, his coach. Sheesh - in the school gym, in front of the entire student body, the kid played that sillyass signing-day game of sitting at a table with two baseball caps on it and deciding which of the two to put on.

Ooooh - Will he put on the Cal cap, signifying his intentions to sign with the Bears? Or will he put on the green one with the yellow "O" on it, announcing that that he's going to be an Oregon Duck?

The suspense built until finally, to the cheers of his schoolmates, he chose... Cal!

But then somebody contacted the folks at Cal to find out a little more about the deal, and nobody there knew anything about him. Same thing at Oregon. Neither school had recruited the kid.

I do have to admit that I'm a trifle surprised that the kid's coach wasn't a little suspicious. I mean, if a small town kid's good enough to play for a Pac 10 school, and schools of that calibre like him well enough to offer, wouldn't you think his coach would have known? I guarantee you the old guys who meet for breakfast every morning at the town cafe would have.

I have to plead ignorance here - are college recruiters now so busy sending text messages to high school kids (i luv u) that it's now common practice for them to leave high school coaches out of the loop?

*********** Hugh, you gave some great answers to the guy that was interested in combining the spread zone with the DW.

It occurs to me that when one comes up with that Idea, they really don’t know what the DW is.

With such an unusually different concept that is the DW, I find that it would be hard to incorporate many if any conventional offensive ideas, because of its basic premise that you mentioned in your response.

The philosophy and physics that comprise the DW are within itself and totally unique.

I think if you really GET IT , that is the DW, you aren’t looking to incorporate other things but instead, looking to how to perfect it.
Hope to see you at your clinic in Atlanta,
Coach Larry Harrison, Atlanta, Georgia


american flagTUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2008- "Leadership is not getting a bunch of Boy Scouts to go to Pizza Hut. It's getting them to do their homework." George Will



DATES TBA-------------->

(more info on clinics)


***********If you're an old Waylon and Willie fan like me, you have to admit it was really sad having to listen to Willie, wasted from all those years of weed and God knows what else, trying to sing "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys."

*********** Hey- Is there any truth to the rumor that American Idol is on Fox?

*********** Anybody think it's kinda strange that that Fox robot that does the funky dance in the corner of the screen wears more pads than the actual players?

*********** I had two TV sets on, side-by-side, and Puppy Bowl, on Animal Planet, was far more entertaining, and the participants far more likable, than anything I saw on the pre-game show. Actually, I am not kidding. Puppy Bowl was hilarious.

*********** The way our national anthem is being "performed" before major sporting events, you could understand how our enemies in the Middle East might be sitting around roasting a goat and watching the Al Jazeera broadcast of the Super Bowl and thinking that any nation with so little respect for its national anthem is ripe for an ass-kicking.

*********** Considering what teams have had to accomplish in order to make it to the Super Bowl, and considering that the players (soon, I am guessing, to be called "performers") really are supposed to be the focus of things, those sure were cheesy "player introductions" that Fix gave us, tiny little postage-stamp-size pictures crawling across the bottom of our screen.

*********** In my mind, a two-way tie for best commercial... (1) The Budweiser Clydesdale who doesn't make the cut, but thanks to a personal trainer (in the form of a dalmatian) and a succession of football-type drills, all accompanied by the "Rocky" theme, he manages to make the grade the next year... (1A) The Bud Light commercial featuring Will Ferrell, playing Jackie Moon, the character from his latest movie, "Semi-Pro" (clever cross-promotion, eh?) attempting to do a Bud Light commercial and screwing up take after take with one outrageous line after another. Of course, I'm a big Will Ferrell fan

Right behind them, I liked the FedEx "carrier pigeon" spot.

But otherwise, I thought it was an overall lame-ass year for commercials, with several tied for next to last. Dead last was earned by an ad for something called careerbuilder: "Follow your heart." If you saw it without gagging, you are one strong dude.

*********** Are we becoming a nation addicted to energy drinks?

*********** "Leatherheads," eh? Looks like it's going to be a comedy loosely based on the days of old-time (leather-helmeted) football. Bet the farm that there'll be lotsa kick-in-the-crotch jokes. Nyuk, nyuk.

*********** Speaking of kick-in-the-crotch jokes, the cretins that make up such a huge part of the Super Bowl audience must have loved the Pepsi-Justin Timberlake commercial.

*********** Little kids and women probably thought that the dancing lizards were cute, and I do like the Geico Gecko and his cockney accent, but for the life of me I can't imagine who thought that a lizard could sell a beverage. What - the toads were already taken?

*********** Nobody is more critical than I of the NFL and what it has allowed to happen to football, but I'll be the first to admit that Sunday's Super Bowl was the NFL at its very best.

For me, it was like watching a game from the 1950s, except that it was in color and the players were bigger and faster. And the "cheerleaders" wore a lot less clothing. And the coaches were a lot poorer dressed. (Vince Lombardi in a cut-off sweatshirt? Tom Landry? Weeb Ewbank? Paul Brown?)

But minor things aside, it was a game that the NFL could be proud of.

I think a major reason was that it was almost totally devoid of the look-at-me celebrations and I'm-a-bad-ass trash talking that have become as much a part of NFL football as strippers masquerading as cheerleaders.

Instead of showboating, we got a hard-fought game between two good teams that clearly cared.

*********** The game was good for the NFL, dragged down as it is by stereotyped games and a large number of really bad teams.

Casual fans, the ones who would rather dispense with the games and simply watch highlights on SportsCenter, will complain about the lack of scoring, but that's precisely what contributed to the tension that made it such a great game.

And - get this - not only was the game not settled by a coup-de-grace field goal with no time left, but there was only one field goal attempt!

From the NFL's standpoint, a Patriots' win, while record-setting, would have served as further confirmation that the league had serious imbalance problem - that the Pats were on a level all their own, with a handful of also-rans one floor down, a group of mediocrities below them, and a large number of bottom feeders masquerading as NFL teams.

*********** I've never been a big fan of the way the game has been altered to prevent injuries to quarterbacks, and I can't help wondering how close we came to having one of the most exciting plays in Super Bowl history blown dead because Eli Manning was ruled "in the grasp."

*********** Speaking of no time left, although I really do feel compassion for the Patriots and, yes, that includes Bill Belichick, I do think that he could have kept his disappointment bottled up for one more second before leaving his team's sideline.

*********** I have no interest in persuading anyone who wants a college playoff to come over to my point of view, but in my opinion, any team that goes 16-0 in the regular season, as the Patriots did, is the National Champion, and shouldn't have to expose itself further to a playoff.

The Patriots were the class of the league. If people need a playoff, let them hold one to determine who was the next best.

Yes, the Giants are the Super Bowl champions, and I was happy to see them win. But the Patriots proved over the long haul that they were the best team in the NFL this year - by far - and it's a shame that in the mind of the public and the media, one game changes all that.

*********** The photos and the letter that follow were sent to me BEFORE the Super Bowl...

Hugh, I guess you could say I am a Giants fan. I really enjoyed the Old School Newsletter article on Charlie Conerly…..I’ve been a fan of the New York Football Giants since I was a little boy….
I have no less than five Giants caps….and now sport the latest NFC Champions cap as well. Can’t wait to get a Superbowl Champions cap!
Check out the pix of my latest project….this is what we fans do when our team gets in the playoffs and does something! It started out as a simple refurbishing and grew into an overhaul…..thinking about sending pix into the Giants front office!
I’ve won no more than $5 per on bets with local Cowboy and Packer fans during the playoffs and right now I’m up half a hun! Plenty of takers on the Superbowl Sunday! With any luck the G-Men and Coughlin can best the Pat’s and that unethical bastard Belichek! I won those $$$ without taking a single point! Yeah, straight up head-to-head wagering….Call it stupidity or pride….but I’m laughing now! What a great time to come together! I guess I could say, I’d hate to bet against them again and loose! Most of my buddies that have paid off aren’t betting on the big game! They’ve become believers too! Don’t be surprised if the football gods decide this one….they surely don’t want a Cheater going unbeaten and sharing the mountain top with the ’72 Dolphins.
I think the Giants recent success of righting the ship is a result of a watered down playbook by Gilbride, a good running game and a cancer of a player, Jeremy Shockey on the sidelines…..now if we can keep Sam Madison off the field with his rib injury we actually have a chance.
Don Capaldo, Head Football Coach
West Hancock Football Co-op
Hamilton High School, Hamilton, Illinois


*********** The great Sage of Baltimore, H. L. Mencken, once said, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."

Scarcely a day goes by that we don't get hit in the face ("kicked in the crotch " is more like it) with more confirmation of his wisdom.

No doubt your local convenience store carries it - mine does. An energy drink called "BAWLS." (Get it? Rhymes with "BALLS?")

Whoa. Cle-ver!

*********** So I'm watching Santa Clara playing Gonzaga, and Santa Clara is in the process of upsetting the Zags. Some "Brody" guy from Santa Clara is their leading scorer, and the TV cameras show us a girl wearing a tee-shirt that says, "Marry Me, Brody."

So Santa Clara holds off a Gonzaga comeback. The Zags, down by two, have the ball way up court with just a couple of seconds to play, when out of nowhere comes - Brody! - who goes Kamikaze and dives for the ball but misses and dives into the Gonzaga kid instead. With .3 (3/10ths) of a second left!

The Zag makes two free throws, the game goes into OT, and Gonzaga wins.

Tee shirt for sale.

*********** Sonny Lubick, let go in November after 15 seasons as Colorado State's coach, said he will help raise money for charities, but he won't be helping raise money for the CSU athletic department.

His contract gave him the option of taking a university fund raising position at $75,000 a year when he retired, but when Lubick refused to retire, he was fired.

"I will not continue working in any capacity for the CSU athletic department," he told the Denver Post.

*********** Great article (on Charlie Conerly). I surely miss the the old school athletes and teams from back in the 60's & 70's. It's hard to follow NFL teams now. No one is loyal.

But we are keeping the old school way alive with the Double Wing!!

Coach Richard Scott, Lathrop, California

*********** I just read the newsletter issue #5.. SMALL world - Steve Tosches used to play basketball in HS for my Dad.. I played against Steve when he was a senior QB at Westhill HS in Stamford and I was a junior at Greenwich.. Steve's Dad was the principal at Westhill and was essentially my Dad's boss. WOW Lou Orlando, Sudbury, Massachusetts (Lou played center at Yale under the great Carm Cozza, and his son Jason is now a freshman lacrosse player at Duke. He added:

Duke plays Army in lacrosse this year down in Long Island as part of the Jimmy Regan Classic. Jimmy was a former Duke lacrosse player (2002?) that joined the military upon graduation and was killed over in the Middle East. Duke will play Army in his hometown of Manahasset, LI, then the two local HS boys and girls teams (Chaminade and Manhasset HS) will square off, freshmen, JV, and Varsity..hats off to Army's Coach Alberici for agreeing to give up a home game to participate.. it should be a great day and a great way to raise $ to help the families that have lost loved ones over in Iraq/Afghanistan.

(I know about Jimmy Regan - He was one great American. I wrote about him and included a great article about him last Memorial Day - June 1, 2007 - http://www.coachwyatt.com/jun07.htm )

*********** I can't possibly do justice to Wing Bowl - you're going to have to read about it yourself


*********** A representative of the NBA Players' Association addressing NBA teams recently on matters of financial prudence brought up a statistic that should have scared the crao out of the young wastrels in his audience: 60 per cent of NBA players are broke within five years after they retire.

"Sixty per cent is a ballpark," said Roy Hinson, a former NBA player who's now a representative for the players' association. "But we've seen a lot of guys who've really come into hard times five years after they leave the league. The problems are, for a lot of guys, they have a lot of cars, they have multiple houses, they're taking care of their parents. They're taking care of a whole host of issues. And the checks aren't coming in anymore."

Said Toronto Raptors' Jason Kapono, "I've seen (an NBA player) having two cars a day to drive. You know, 14 cars. Think about how absurd it is. You say 14 cars. All right, you may have some kids, a family of nine. But a single guy having 14 cars? It's one thing if Bill Gates wants to do that. But when you're 22 years old and you don't even have kids yet, it's not good."

*********** Speaking of excess... not that Shaq will ever go broke, but you and I might have trouble paying his monthly bills. He's currently going through a divorce, and he had to turn over a statement of his finances to the courts. The Palm Beach Post managed to get their hands on the statement, which reveal that Shaq spends some $875,015 per month, in the following way:

* $156,116 in mortgages on three homes (including his $20 million mansion on Miami Beach's Star Island), plus $31,299 in homeowners insurance
* $110,505 for vacations
* $26,500 a month for child care
* $24,300 for gas
* $17,220 for clothing
* $12,775 for food
* $10,065 for electricity
* $10,000 for temporary child support
* $10,000 for alimony
* $6,730 for dry cleaning
* $5,000 for car payments
* $3,345 for phone bills
* $2,305 for pets
* $1,610 for lawn and pool maintenance
* $1,495 for cable TV

You are free to make any jokes you wish about some of those items, such as $24,300 for gas. (You realize how much it costs to fill up a 747?) or $1,495 for cable TV. (How many frigging sets does he have, and does he have to pay for HBO for all of them?)

Some of these items may seem a bit extreme to you and me (I may have spent $110,505 on vacations - in my lifetime. But I doubt it.) and I could probably find some fat to cut out of an $875,015 monthly budget if I had to, but fortunately for Mr. O'Neill, he won't have to - he's paid $1.8 million a month, so what the hell.

Charles Barkley had a few things to say about Michael Jordan's divorce settlement, which was somewhat on the same scale as Shaq's is likely to be...

"You have to look at it two ways - 'Wow, that's a lot of money. ' Then the second way, 'Damn, Michael's got a lot of money.' Personally I would have to have somebody else write the check. You've got to be so pissed to write that check."

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

Hope all is great for you and yours. I would love to receive the Old School Football Newsletter.

Great column this week as always.

But we could cut it even finer still...
The ones who played with 36 man rosters and the ones who play now with 50+. The old guys didn't have kicking specialists, so they had to drive the ball farther before considering a field goal.
And then into the guys who played before linemen could hold, and now.
And the ones who played before you could step out of the pocket and throw the ball away without being called for intentional grounding, and the ones now.
And the ones who could run the ball and still avoid taking a hit by hook sliding. And the ones now.
And the ones who played before you could stop the clock by spiking the ball, and the ones of today.
And the ones who played when you could hit a receiver more than once, and hit him farther than 5 yards downfield, and the ones who play now.
It's my strong belief that a lot of today's quarterbacks wouldn't have been up to playing pro football 30 or 40 years ago...

May I add 1 to your list. 50 - 70 years ago, the best quarterbacks had to play defense as well. Slingin Sammy Baugh could also lay a whollup.

ESPN has been running their shows on how the 2007 Patriots would fare against some of the other great teams from NFL history, 1972 Dolphins, 1984 49ers, 1986 Bears . . . etc. They would have a tougher time with only 36 players, only being able to sub at the quarter breaks, no facemasks.

Yours in football.

Mick Yanke
DCHS, Cokato, Minnesota (One more factor that would thin out today's crop - how many of them would play for what those old-timers got paid? Also- take away the personal trainers in the off-season, too. Those old-timers all had off-season jobs. HW)

*********** Not to crowd in on the Giants' party, but LTC Greg Gadson, the former Army football player severely wounded in Iraq whom you first read about right here back in May, played an inspirational role in the Giants' success, from, the time he first addressed them before the Redskins' game.

In remembering that moment, he recalled,

"I'm not a professional speaker. I just didn't want to flop. I didn't want Coughlin jacking up Mike (former Army teammate Mike Sullivan, now a Giants' assistant) and saying, 'Man, why did you bring this guy in here?' I started out by telling them that they were professionals, and the very definition of a professional is someone who does his best at all times, and not just when you're on the clock. I talked about the fans, and then I told them about all the soldiers around the world who would get up in the middle of the night or switch their shifts just to be able to watch them and how much it meant to those guys, how it reminded them of home.

"I ultimately told them it was a game they played for themselves, and they shouldn't care what people thought as long as they could be satisfied with the effort they gave and could look their teammates in the eye and know they did everything they could to help them win that day. I told them when I got hurt, my own teammates came to my rescue. It was because of the bond we had. It had been forged through hard work and sacrifice, everyone on the same page for a common cause. I had trained my guys for the kind of situation I found myself in, and that training actually saved my own life that day."

*********** There's got to be more to the Bob Knight story than burnout, or whatever he's saying. I find it hard to believe that he would simply bail on his players and assistants. There's got to be more.

american flagFRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2008- "Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know." Daniel J. Boorstin, historian

*********** In doing research for an article for my Old School Football Newsletter on Charlie Conerly, the first Ole Miss quarterback to take the Giants to an NFL championship, I had the privilege to speak with the late quarterback's wife, Mrs. Perian Conerly.

When I was in college in Connecticut, we saw all the Giants' games on TV. Charlie Conerly was their quarterback, and Mrs. Conerly wrote a syndicated column that appeared weekly in the New York Times, giving us outsiders an inside look at the life of a pro football player, and giving women an introduction to the intricacies of the game.

I'd been doing a fair amount of research for my article on her husband, so when I called Mrs. Conerly at her home in Clarksdale, Mississippi to check on a few facts, it was almost as if I knew her.

To Mrs. Conerly, though, I was a complete stranger, someone calling out of the blue, and I couldn't be sure how I'd be received. I needn't have worried. Being a true southern lady - and "old school," if I may say so without offending her - she couldn't have been more gracious.

The word "class" kept coming to mind as we spoke. "Sharp," too. She was able to confirm many of the things I'd had questions about, to correct some of the others, and to add a few things of her own.

"Once a Giant, always a Giant," they used to say about those teams, and Mrs. Conerly's never stopped being a Giant.

"I have my Super Bowl tickets," she told me. "And my 'ELI' pin."

Naturally, she knows the Mannings ("Archie's from just 20 miles down the road," she reminded me).

Charlie Conerly died in 1996, but Mrs. Conerly stays in touch with his former teammates and their wives. She said she makes it to a couple of Giants' games every year, and this year even attended the one in London.

As we said our good-byes, she reminded me to "Root for the Giants."

That clinched it for me. I was already a Charlie Conerly fan. And now I'm a Perian Conerly fan as well. I guess that makes me a Giants' fan, doesn't it? Go Giants.

*********** Dear Coach Wyatt- I just wanted to thank you for your Old School Football news letter. The recent article about Charlie Conerly was terrific. My father and grandfather are both gone now, and looking back, I wish I would have asked them more about the early days of professional football. My father was a Bears fan, and his father was a Chicago Cardinals fan. As I get older, I realize how much different this game is now (both on and off the field!) than it was when I was a teenager (1970's), and how vastly different it is compared to when my dad and grandfather were young men. Reading your articles brings life to the early game and early players, and makes me wish I could travel back in time to experience that era! Thanks again for sharing your knowledge, passion, and love of the game!

Carl Kilburg
Hebron, IN

Thanks for writing. As a football coach with a degree in history - and being of sufficient age to remember some of the stuff I'm writing about (age is not without certain benefits) - I get a lot of pleasure out of revealing aspects of the game that many people who love the game as much as I do weren't aware of.

*********** Hugh, I was in about 6th grade and was on the subway with my Dad when we rode by Yankee Stadium and I could see the goal posts up on the field. I had never played or even seen a football game up until that point, but knew it was want I wanted to get involved in. The rest, as they say, is history. Charlie Conerly, Frank Gifford, the violent world of Sam Huff (as seen on Walter Cronkite) Pat Summerall, Andy Robustelli, you know the rest of the crew!

I'll give it one more try with the jr. comets and if I make no headway, I will take care of it myself. Sorry for this hassle. I guess that is what I get for trying to do these people a favor.

Eric Bernstein, Reed-Custer HS, Braindwood, Illinois


The Original Giants’ Quarterback From Ole Miss

By Hugh Wyatt

When Eli Manning steps on the field Sunday to play in his first Super Bowl, he’ll be walking, figuratively, in the shoes of another Ole Miss quarterback who took the Giants to an NFL title more than 50 years ago, before there was such a thing as a Super Bowl.

“Once a Giant, Always a Giant” was never truer of anyone than it was of Charlie Conerly, who quarterbacked the Giants from 1948 through 1961, and never played for anyone but the Giants.

For some reason, Charlie Conerly had wanted to play for the Giants from the time he was a little boy, a world away from New York in Clarksdale, Mississippi. His wife recalled his mother telling about the time he asked her to guess what he wanted to be when he grew up.

“A policeman?” she guessed. “A fireman?”

“No, Ma’am,” he replied, “A professional football player with the New York Giants.”

“You mean a baseball player,” she corrected him. (Baseball was a much bigger sport then than professional football, and the New York Giants’ baseball team was much better known - so much so that most people referred to the football team as the New York Football Giants.)

“No, Ma’am,” he said. “Football... but I might play baseball, too.”

“He never would tell me where he got the idea,” his mother told his wife, “but from then on, the Giants were his team.”

Like current Giant Eli Manning, Charlie Conerly was a quarterback from Ole Miss. And like Eli, Charlie Conerly was a man of few words.

But in contrast to Eli’s look of baby-faced innocence, Charlie Conerly had the weathered look of a man who’d seen a lot of life.


E-MAIL ME WITH YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS : oldschoolfootball@mac.com

*********** Coach, Hello again.  I hope you are doing well.  Well it is that time of year when I seem to be looking for coaches.  I was just wondering if you might have heard of any double wing coach who would like to run the offense.  I am looking for an offensive coordinator.  We are struggling at Robinson. I am running the offense right now, but I think we would be better off if I could call the defense.  Numbers are going to be up next year, I expect to have close to 80 kids.  My first year I had only 34 kids.  This year I had about 54 kids, only 5 seniors, almost half the team consisted of Freshman. 
So, it would be a very good situation for a coach wanting to be a head football coach.  The whole feeder system will be running the double wing next year.  We have an in-house league with 3 teams at each level, and the town next to us has a team at each level (not bad for a high school with 500 kids).  I just added the 5th grade last season.  So we now have a 5th and 6th grade level, and a 7th and 8th grade level.  All the teams play each other twice, so they get 6 games a year.  The league is free and we keep it an in house league because of the poverty rate, kids would have a hard time traveling.  I have been working with the kids and coaches for almost two years now.  It has been a struggle but I think we are ready to turn the corner.  A lot of talent and good numbers are coming up through the feeder system.  The weight room is getting busier and busier.
We will have an opening in Science, no PE openings.  There might be other openings, I have to talk with the administration.  If you know of anybody, please let me know.

Take Care,
Bob Goebel 
Robinson, IL (Coach Goebel provided his e-mail: rgoebel91@yahoo.com)

*********** This year the NFL received 200 requests from college juniors for a "draft ranking" - basically, a frank assessment of their value in the upcoming draft should they decide to declare themselves available.

Hmmm. On the chance that they're not all math wizards, I'd like to offer a little free advice.

Fellas, there's 200 of you. Now, you know and I know that you're the best at your position. What do those pro scouts know, anyhow?

But let's do a little math: There are 7 rounds in the draft, 32 choices per round. That's a grand total of only 224 choices in the entire draft.

Figure it out for yourselves.

*********** A friend wrote me about Tom Brady, and comparisons with great quarterbacks of the past. I think Brady is really good. I just don't think, I told him, that it's reasonable to compare him with guys further back than maybe 10 years ago, because the rules have been altered to favor quarterbacks.

This is not to take anything away from Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or Brett Favre.  
At the very least, if we are going to compare QB's over the years, we have to separate them into at least two piles:  the guys who called their own signals and the ones who just run the plays the coaches send in.

But we could cut it even finer still...

The ones who played with 36 man rosters and the ones who play now with 50+.  The old guys didn't have kicking specialists, so they had to drive the ball farther before considering a field goal.

And then into the guys who played before linemen could hold, and now.

And the ones who played before you could step out of the pocket and throw the ball away without being called for intentional grounding, and the ones now.

And the ones who could run the ball and still avoid taking a hit by hook sliding.  And the ones now.

And the ones who played before you could stop the clock by spiking the ball, and the ones of today.

And the ones who played when you could hit  a receiver more than once, and hit him farther than 5 yards downfield, and the ones who play now.

It's my strong belief that a lot of today's quarterbacks wouldn't have been up to playing pro football 30 or 40 years ago...

*********** My contribution to the Great Green Teach-in...

Good morning, students! We all love polar bears, don't we? And we're all concerned about melting polar ice, up where they live, aren't we? So maybe we should consider relocating polar bears to Oregon. Or Washington. Or the High Sierras. Or Northern New England. Or the Upper Midwest.

See, I live in the Pacific Northwest. In a valley. In the winter, it rains a lot. But what's been falling as rain where we live has been falling as snow in the mountains and high plains to the east. In record amounts. Two and three feet at a time. In the Cascades, which start about 20 miles east of us, this year's snowpack is 340 per cent of normal.

From time to time, we have been essentially boxed in here, with no way out to the world outside. Not by road, anyhow. To the west is the Pacific Ocean. To the east of us, highway crews fight giant snowdrifts to keep I-84 open; To the south, I-5, the West Coast's only north-south freeway, is blocked through the Siskyous, the mountain range between between Oregon and California. We can go north, but none of the other ways east are open, either: avalanches have closed Interstate 90 at Stevens Pass, where it crosses the Cascades, burying some cars. Keeping one of the US highways plowed through the north Cascades is such a hopeless task that it simply closes until sometime in April. Snowmobilers and back-country skiiers have been lost in the cold and snow, some of them for good. Washington State University has had to close, but the blizzard was so bad that students couldn't even get to campus pubs.

Now, guys, I watch the news, and I've seen similar stories all over the northern states, from Maine to Montana. When I spoke to a coach from Chicago on Thursday, he said they were expecting a blizzard that would probably close the schools on Friday.

So here's what I'm getting at... why are any of us wasting our breath on this stupid "teach-in?" Consider: when was the last time we heard anything out of Al Gore? Can it be that all we had to do to whip this "Global Warming" thing was to get him to shut up?

*********** Speaking of green, Most of Duke's Cameron Crazies wore green tee-shirts to Thursday night's home game against NC State, in show of their support of - who knows? Anyhow, to show what a cheap, superficial gesture wearing a tee-shirt really is, with the Devils down by nine at the half, the vast majority of the greenies doffed their enviro-shirts and threw them onto the court. Relieved of their obligation to save the Planet, they concentrated on cheering for their basketball team - and Duke won by 20.

*********** A friend named MIke Brusko, from Zionsville, Pennsylvania, has a Web site - www.oldschoolsportsparenting.com - that contains all sorts of wise observations and useful pointers dealing with the ever-present tensions among players, parents and coaches. There's lots to explore on the site, but I especially liked the following "open letter," and got Mike's permission to reprint it here. Mike and his son, MIchael, have been through the recruiting mill themselves, and Michael is now a sophomore QB at Maine.

An open letter to rookie scholarship football players (from the football coaches that recruited you)
©2008 oldschoolsportsparenting.com

Dear football recruit:  Now that you’ve accepted my scholarship offer, there’s something I want you to know before you attend your first college football practice: I’m not your friend and fan, anymore. I’m just your football coach. The "friend and fan" part might emerge again, sometime in the future. But first and foremost, my job is to win football games.

That will cause some noticeable changes in our relationship.

For starters, I’m no longer going to spend my days showering you with praise and compliments. Instead, I’ll be testing your physical and mental toughness in ways you can’t even imagine. I need to see if you can live up to all the hype that I and others have thrown your way for the past year or so. I need to find out whether you’re worth all the time, effort, phone calls, emails, IMs and visits that I’ve invested in you.

Here’s another dose of reality: Remember when I told you that you were one of our top recruits? Well, my fellow coaches and I said the same thing to the 22 other new players in your recruiting class. In fact, we said the same thing to all 93 guys on our roster, when we were recruiting them. That’s why they’re here – because we convinced them that we wanted them. Do you really think they’d have come here if we had told them they were among roughly 2,500 high schoolers on our initial recruiting list?

We weren’t lying to them. They really were our "top recruits." They weren’t our only recruits, by any means.

But they definitely were our "top" ones. And if they had chosen to attend other schools, then some of our "other" recruits would have become "top" recruits. That’s how it works. We offer scholarships to the guys we want most, and if they say "No," we offer scholarships to the next guys we want most. And so on.

I want you to be clear on that. You’re here because we wanted you to be here. But we didn’t want you any more than we wanted any of your teammates. So don’t walk on the field thinking you’re some anointed star.

Which brings me to another important subject: playing time. When we met all those times at your high school and your house, I emphasized that we expected you to compete for a starting position right away as a freshman. I was sincere about that, but I’m starting to think that you and I interpret that statement a bit differently. You seem to be focusing on the words "starting position right away," but I was focusing on the word "compete." I wasn't making you a promise.  I was giving you an assignment.

Please don’t take any of this the wrong way. I’m glad you’re here and I really do think highly of you. But you’re on your own, now. Until you earn the respect of your coaches and teammates, my first loyalties belong to the upperclassmen ahead of you on the depth chart. What you’ve done in high school, close to home, against teenage competition -- they’ve done in college, often hundreds of miles from the security of family and friends, against grown men.

If you want what they’ve got, you have to earn it. Here’s how.

1. Respect everyone. Say "please" and "thank you" – not just to your coaches and teammates, but to the trainers, equipment managers, cafeteria workers … even to your classmates and professors.

2. Respect everything, too. Your playbook, equipment, locker and everything else that you wear and use during your athletic career were paid for with someone else’s money. They gave or loaned it to you out of the goodness of their heart, with total trust that you’d treat it like a gift. When you’re a rich professional sports star, you own what you buy, and you’re free to abuse it anyway you like. But right now, you only own what others buy for you.

3. Be on time. Better yet, be early -- for meetings, practice, workouts, even meals. Nothing frosts us coaches more than seeing a player strut his arrogant butt into a meeting six minutes late and act like nothing important could possibly happen until he got there. I have news for you: Something important did happen. You dropped off the depth chart.

4. Listen more than you talk. Even if rah-rah is your style (and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing), keep a lid on it until you’ve done something worthwhile to earn an audience. Every team needs a few mouthpieces, and you might just become one for this group. But there’s plenty of time for that. For the time being, concentrate on seeing, hearing, listening and learning. What you have to say isn’t nearly as important as what others have to say.

5. Questions and compliments count big. If you absolutely, positively must open your mouth and say something, make it a question or a compliment.  No one will complain if you're trying to learn or trying to make your teammates look good.

6. Finally, remember: You are what you do now, not what you did then. Nobody cares about your high school exploits. You’re living in the "now." Your reputation starts and ends with what you do on this field, with this team, at this school.

ounces of one or another spirit (gin, vodka, tequila, whiskey). No doubt many of you have seen them by now.

*********** Is there anything so immature, so unprofessional, that there isn't at least one NFL player who'll do it?

*********** How'd you like to be Wade Phillips with Super Owner Jerry Jones standing right next to you on the sidelines at crunch time?

*********** Here's one person who hopes Tony Dungy stays in. But if he doesn't, I understand.

*********** After watching teammates rally round the likes of Rasheed Wallace, Latrell Sprewell and Zach Randolph, I can only imagine what a total jerk Joakim Noah must be to have his teammates ask their coach to add to his suspension.

***********It must be hell being an NFL owner. Here they are, with all those jobs to fill, and not a single big name to fill them with. It must kill them to have to hire a guy merely because he might be a good coach. Here they are with big mansions, large yachts, many, many expensive vehicles, and trophy wives, and they're being asked to pay enormous sums of money to guys that nobody's heard of.

*********** Who would have thought that Eli would be the Manning left standing?

Wrote Woody Paige in the Denver Post, "When does Eli start doing all the commercials now?"

*********** Hugh, I spotted this on the NYT op-ed page or blog or some damn thing. It reminds me
of a Terry Bowden column a couple years back, where he said "when I was coaching we had one punt formation. Now there are a whole bunch, and I see more blocked punts than ever before.)

Christopher Anderson, Palo Alto, California

"It's much easier to write a screenplay on a computer than on a typewriter. Years ago, when you wrote a screenplay on a typewriter, you had to retype the entire page just to make the smallest change; now, on the computer, you can make large and small changes effortlessly, you can fiddle with dialogue, you can change names and places with a keystroke. And yet movies are nowhere near as good as they used to be. In 1939, when screenwriters were practically still using quill pens, the following movies were among those nominated for best picture: "Gone With the Wind," "The Wizard of Oz," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "Wuthering Heights" and "Stagecoach," and that's not even the whole list. So: is it possible that computers are responsible for the decline of movies?"

Paralysis by analysis. At some point you have to say, "Print it."

Makes sense. I would relate that to the idea of pro staffs having so many coaches. They brag about having playbooks four inches thick, yet free agency accounts for an average 33 per cent roster turnover every year, so is it any wonder that few pro offenses are effective?

And then with these no huddle offenses you see the entire team line up ready to run a play, then turn and look at the sidelines, then get ready to run a play, then turn and look at the sidelines, etc., and you find yourself saying, "JUST RUN THE G-D PLAY!"

*********** Coach, I hope all is well. I just wanted to let you know our junior RB made 3rd team All-state. Thx for your system and vidoes. Sean Keenan, Millbrook HS, Millbrook, New York

*********** Baseball says good-bye to Johnny Podres, who died Sunday in Queensbury, New York. Mr. Podres was the pitching star of the Brooklyn Dodgers' 1955 World Series win over the Yankees.

*********** VIZIO, which makes flat screen TVs, is sponsoring a contest to honor the NFL's "Top Value Performer" - in other words, the guy who gave the most in return for the least pay. (Example: the Broncos' Brandon Marshall, who was paid a "measly" $465,000 and had 102 receptions, for $4,559 per catch. That's "value." By comparison, the Eagles' Kevin Curtis was paid $6 million to make 77 catches - or $77,922 per catch. That's, uh, Highway Robbery.

Marshall happens to be one of the six finalists. The others are Jacksonville QB David Garrard, Cleveland QB Derek Anderson, Green Bay WR David Jennings, Chicago return man Devin Hester, and Giants' running back Brandon Jacobs.

Needless to say, none of those guys is likely to be a repeat winner next year.

*********** Q. We have been running the spread zone option. We feel that our  personnel for next year may best fit  the DW. What do you think  about combining both?  What fits together and what does not?

A. Just my opinion, but I think that it is going to be a rocky marriage.

You can certainly run the Double Wing from spread.  I have done it  plenty, as have numerous other Double Wing coaches.  But we're still  running the Double Wing - without compromising any of the  Double  Wing principles.

Running the Double Wing effectively requires doing things vastly  different from what a spread zone option requires.

For one thing, I think that without zero line splits, you aren't  going to run a very good Double-Wing, at least my system.

And for sure,  your linemen (and your line coach) are going to have a  difficult time accepting and employing our blocking.

Q. Coach: THANKS for your reply; it  supports what I thought. What plays have you been more successful using  combining the DW and the spread?

A. Coach, It's not "combining."  It's the same system.

We are able to run all of our plays from spread formation except our belly-off-tackle, which we call 6-G to the right and 7-G to the left.

But this is because no matter what we do with our backs and ends, our line play remains constant.

*********** It could have happened in Baltimore. Or Boston. Or Buffalo. Or Pittsburgh. Or Cleveland. You got the idea - in a town with plenty of hard-core guys, who like to eat. And eat. And eat.

But it's not going to happen in any of those places. It's going to happen in Philadelphia. Again.

Yes, it could be another down year in Philly for some of the most rabid all-round sports fans in all Christendom, but thankfully, deep in the darkness of winter, there's Wing Bowl, probably the biggest, wildest "Competitive Eating" event held anywhere in the world.

Called - accurately - an "annual carnival of gluttony, strippers, and early-morning boozing," Wing Bowl 16 gets under way February 1 in the Wachovia Center. Tickets went on sale December 12, and within 45 minutes, all 15,000 were gone.

The competition gets under way at 6 AM - that's right, 6 AM. The early start, to accomodate the morning talk show of radio station WIP host Angelo Cataldi, who first dreamed up the event 15 years ago, doesn't seem to faze Philly guys and girls, many of whom stay at their favorite tappie (short for tap room, an old Philly term) until closing, then head to the Wachovia Center to party until the doors open.

Last year, the Wachovia Center ran out of beer at 8:30 in the morning.

In order to compete, you must first qualify - in the WIP studios, on air - by eating a prodigious amount - of something. Creativity is a plus.

There also is competition among some rather lovely and voluptuous females to qualify as "Wingettes."

I won't go any further with this - I'll let you check out the contestants - men and women - and what they did to qualify (or what they failed at), go here---


or here


And remember the Wing Bowl slogan - "IF YOU HEAVE - YOU LEAVE"