FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2008- "I'm in great human shape. I'm in okay basketball shape." Shaquille O'Neal
NEWS FLASH - THE APRIL 12 "RALEIGH-DURHAM" CLINIC WILL HAVE TO BE RENAMED - THE CLINIC WILL BE HELD IN CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA AT SOUTH MECKLENBURG HIGH SCHOOL
*********** 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").
Jeff Murdock, Ware Shoals, South Carolina
*********** Dear Coach Wyatt,
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.
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:
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...
*********** You wrote... 7. IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW SOON BEFORE THE SNAP OUR MAN STARTS IN MOTION OR HOW LONG HE IS IN MOTION BEFORE THE SNAP. WE CAN SNAP THE BALL AS SOON AFTER MOTION STARTS AS WE WISH, SO LONG AS ONLY ONE MAN IS IN MOTION, AND HE IS NOT GOING IN MOTION TOWARD OUR OPPONENTS' GOAL
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.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2008- "A man should be upright, not be kept upright." Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor
*********** 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)
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2008- "The dirty little secret about freedom is you're on your own." Justice Clarence Thomas
*********** 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.
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.
*********** 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.
*********** (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.
*********** 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!
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
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.
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...
*********** MY STOCK STATEMENT FOR USE BY ANY COLLEGE COACH ON SIGNING DAY...
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?
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.
TUESDAY, 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
NEWS! THE 2008 CHICAGO COACH WYATT CLINIC WILL BE HELD SATURDAY, MARCH 15 IN PARK RIDGE, ILLINOIS (NEAR O'HARE AIRPORT) AT SOUTH PARK CHURCH. WE WILL HAVE A HIGH SCHOOL TEAM ON HAND IN THE AFTERNOON, RUNNING THE OFFENSE FOR THE FIRST TIME (EVERYTHING IS LEGAL). YOU WILL BE IMPRESSED WITH HOW FAST THEY PROGRESS FROM "DOUBLE WING 101" TO ADVANCED LEVEL WORK!
THE ATLANTA CLINIC ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23 WILL BE SIMILAR TO LAST YEAR'S: THE AM SESSION WILL BE CLASSROOM STYLE AT THE HOLIDAY INN AIRPORT NORTH, AND THE PM SESSION WILL BE HELD AT AN ATLANTA-AREA HIGH SCHOOL, WITH A DOUBLE-WING TEAM ON HAND TO DEMONSTRATE AND TO HELP ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS! (AS IS OUR LONG-STANDING CUSTOM, ANY COACHES WHO ARRIVE IN TIME ON FRIDAY ARE INVITED TO COME TO DINNER AT MALONE'S ON VIRGINIA AVENUE. WE'LL MEET IN THE LOUNGE/LOBBY AT 6 PM.)
THE SUPER BOWL - PRE-GAME SHOW SUBDIVISION...
***********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….
*********** 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?")
*********** 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:
(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
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...
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.
*********** 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.
FRIDAY, 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!
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
BEFORE YOU WATCH THE SUPER BOWL, YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN READING ABOUT THE LAST GIANTS' QB FROM OLE MISS TO TAKE NEW YORK TO AN NFL CHAMPIONSHIP - AND HIS NAME ISN'T MANNING!
TO GET ON THE OLD SCHOOL FOOTBALL NEWSLETTER MAIL LIST-
*********** 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.
*********** 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.
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)
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
Christopher Anderson, Palo Alto, California
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---
And remember the Wing Bowl slogan - "IF YOU HEAVE - YOU LEAVE"