FLAGFRIDAY, JULY 30, 2010 - "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." Hector Berlioz, French composer

*********** The MLS (major league soccer - talk about an oxymoron) All-Star Game consisted of the league all-star team playing a real major league soccer team -  Manchester United.

Other than the fact that they were playing soccer, it wasn’t a bad idea.  Like the International League All-Stars playing the New York Yankees.  The MLS has been doing this for a few years now, and what the hell - anything’s better than what the other sports dish out in their All-Star games.

Football? Players outdo each other in faking injuries just to avoid playing in the Pro Bowl.  Basketball?  There’smore defense in the slam dunk contest.  Baseball?  What was once a highlight of the summer is now the answer to the question “what goes on after the home run contest?”

Seriously, do they really think players (or the fans) give a sh—which league will be the home team in the World Series?

***********  A friend sent me an article about the University of Texas’ going after a Midwest high school for trademark infringement – essentially, copying the Longhorns’ logo. (Or coming close.)  He asked, quite sensibly, if that was all that Texas had to worry about…


I wrote, Texas is made to look silly here,  but they have a lot at stake. They have a lot invested in their trademark, and in order to retain the right to profit from it,  the law requires that they "defend" their mark against any unauthorized use whatsoever.  At least two schools that I know of have had similar issues with high schools - Pitt with its Panther and Wisconsin with its unique  "W."

I'm sure that for every small-town high school that UT goes after, there is a dozen Chinese tee-shirt manufacturers turning out Longhorn knockoffs.

Coca-Cola has fought for years to keep "Coke" from becoming a generic term for any soft drink.

I am small potatoes compared with Texas, but I would notify anyone using my "Stones" logo and "It Takes a Set" without my permission that they had to stop.  

On the other hand, I don't stand to lose what Texas does, so when people ask me for the right to use one or either on clothing or materials, I typically give my permission and request only that they include my Web site's address.

It seems to me that there ought to be some way that Texas, Pitt, Wisconsin, et al can do something similar, but then the next thing you know, that high school's booster club is selling sweat shirts, etc.

I have to admit that  the year I coached the Washougal Panthers I used  something awfully, awfully close to Kansas State's "Power Cat" on our helmets.  It didn't occur to me that I was doing anything wrong, because the decal manufacturer was offering them for sale.

Wonder what Texas would think about R. M. Williams, a very popular line of "bush wear" in Australia--

r m williams

*********** Hello coach Wyatt
Thank you for sharing your double wing offensive system. I do have a few questions and if you could give me some advise, I would appreciate it.

1. I will be coaching 7 year old boys that have not played football. Is it possible to teach this system to boys at this age or should I stick to more of a basic I formation for the first year?

Short answer- Yes. With all due respect, if I thought that I-formation was the best way to go, I would advocate I-formation.  But I don't.

2.If you think it is possible, what core of plays would you run for these boys?

Super Power Right and Left (88 and 99), Counter (47-C if you only do it one way), Roll-Out (88 Brown and 99 Black),  2 Wedge

3.would you change any blocking assignments for the O line? 1 lineman pulling instead of 2?  In our league,the rules are; only four def. linemen.  No blitzing.  No nose guards.

No change.  Teach the tackles to pull.  Don't give up.  They can do it.  It will make you a better team and it will make them better players.

4. What other set(s) would you recommend?

At that age, none - not, at least, until they are very good at the basic stuff.

If there is any other advice you could give me I would appreciate it!

Stick with it right out of the can and teach it.  Do NOT attempt to "tweak" it. And keep your ears closed. There are way too many people willing to advise you because something happens to work for them, but they don't know you and they don't know your team, and it's wisest to stick with something that has been proven to work, over and over.  Never let more than one guy give you advice on your golf swing (if you know what I mean).

Be patient and stay with it.

And get rid of any "helpful" assistants who do not support you one hundred per cent.

*********** The new Pac-10 Commissioner, fresh from a conference-expansion thumping at the hands of Texas and Texas A & M, has called on all the marketing kills that helped him make women’s tennis such an enormous part of the American sports scene, and taken his act to the Big Apple.

It shouldn’t take a genius to know that something as simple as a three-hour difference in starting (and ending) times can turn West Coast events into East Coast non-events, but somehow he seemed to think he could overcome that geographic fact by taking his posse – all the conference coaches and a couple of star quarterbacks – to New York to announce that, hey – we’re out there on the West Coast and, hey – we’d sure like you to watch our games more.

And then,  to entice Easterners to do so, he even showed off - the new conference logo! Cool.

More insidiously, though, he did indicate that the conference would be more than willing to accomodate TV by monkeying with the kickoff times of conference games.  Great.  That can only mean 10 AM Pacific starting times, so that easterners can tune in and watch, at 1 PM their time.  Oh - and 4 PM Pacific weeknight games, to catch easterners at 7 PM.  Those of you who work for a living – ever try making it to a 4 PM game?

The thought occurred to me that this suit, who prides himself on “thinking outside the box,” (a hackneyed phrase that will never cross my lips), might even have a 7 AM Saturday kickoff or two in mind, in order to catch the East Coast audience at 10 AM, when there’s no other football on the tube.

Personally, while we’re thinking outside the box, why worry about moving kickoff times when you can move the kickoffs themselves?  To, say, New York?

Who says that the Pac-10 has to play its game in the West?

Have you noticed the poaching that’s started to take place?  Syracuse arranges a game in New York, in what would normally be considered Rutgers’ territory… Penn State plays Indiana in Maryland’s home area… So does Virginia Tech. And Notre Dame? Notre Dame plays wherever the hell it wants to play, which this year means a “home game” in Yankee Stadium against Army.

So what’s to keep the Pac-10 from working out a deal with the Steinbrenners?  Everyone knows they’re desperate to bring more off-season events into that costly new Yankee Stadium they just inherited.

The Pac-10 East Coast Game of the Week!  The Eastern Pac-10 Game of the Week!  The Atlantic and Pacific-10 Game of the Week!  The Bi-Coastal Game of the Week!

And if the Steinbrenners don’t bite,  there’s still the Meadowlands.. or DC Dan Snyder.

The logistics I’ll leave to somebody else. The home fans, back on the West Coast? Screw them. We’re talking TV money here.

Playing in front of empty stands? Not a problem. Paper the house. Offer food and drink – especially drink - to the homeless...  citizenship to illegals... marriage to gays... in return for sitting and pretending to cheer for an entire game. What the hell? TV’s paying for it.

Main thing is, the commissioner will have what he so desperately craves – an East Coast presence and the TV money it brings. 

*********** Sent me by Adam Wesoloski, of Pulaski, Wisconsin – Survival in the U-P


*********** From a New Zealand news site…

Veteran Maori protester Te Ringa Mangu Nathan (Dun) Mihaka has lost his appeal against a sentence of 28 days imprisonment for calling a judge an "arsehole".

(Later in the same story) 

Mihaka has been involved in a number of campaigns regarding Maori rights, including the successful bid to make Maori an official language of New Zealand. He infamously bared his buttocks at Prince Charles and Princess Diana on their visit in 1983.

*********** I ran all your stuff from the I with two Tights and the receiver in motion last year.  It worked amazingly well. 

Sam Cole
Campobello Gramling School
Campobello, South Carolina

Coach- As you have discovered, you can do a lot with my system. The key to the offense is in the play of the line.

*********** Regarding an army, Napoleon said something like, "Morale is to the physical as three is to one."  He could have said the same thing about a football team.

For that matter, morale is important to the success of any organization.

I once worked in a school district where, aghast at the cost of photocopies, and seeing an opportunity to cut costs,  the Supe announced that henceforth, each teacher would be allocated a certain number of "free" copies per month. Beyond that figure, he/she would be charged.

The faculty saw this at the least as nickel-and-diming them, but at the most as a professional affront.

Long story short - it led to a faculty uprising, which got parents and school board members involved, which led to unfavorable publicity in the local paper, which led to other charges being brought up (the sort of thing that happens when you bring people together and they start to compare notes), which ultimately cost the Supe his job.

*********** The line coach at Army – a coaching veteran - told me that anytime the players begin to complain about having to do the same drill over and over again, and ask, "aren't we ever going to so another drill?" he tells them, "Yep.  As soon as we do this one perfect, I promise we'll do another drill."

*********** Only one American in five smokes.  But one in three is obese.

And now, as two noble causes – anti-smoking and anti-obesity – compete for dollars, the no-smoking folks are losing out.

Part of the problem is the involvement of Lady Obama in the “Let’s Move” program, and the enormous amount of money – more than a billion dollars - from stimulus and health care legislation that’s now going to fight obesity. Contrast that with $200 million for tobacco-use prevention -  a lot of money, to be sure, but a lot less than the no-smoking folks have been used to getting.

Nobody asked me, but I figure that if we would get obese kids to take up smoking, that would take care of the obesity problem, and then we could divert all the money back to the smoking-cessation programs. The best part: so long as we don't solve both problems, we won’t have to refund any of  the taxpayers’ money.

*********** Coach Mark Kaczmarek, of Davenport, Iowa, sent me this great wrap-up of a recent trip…

Coach while you were on the Great Plains, our family completed the “bucket list” of getting to all 48 lower states together…my 86 year young mother accompanied Kathy and I to Santa Rosa before the kids fly in to start a “Bataan Death March” of a vacation

DAY 1: travel from Davenport to Cheyenne, WY…I still get a thrill seeing Memorial Stadium from I-80 as we pass Lincoln

DAY 2: travel to Park City/Heber City, UT…we meet up with family that will be in Santa Rosa for the reunion to see their little “cabin” in the mountains…3,000 sq. ft.!!!...went to the Wasatch Brewing Co. and got some Polygamy Porter (“You can’t just have one”)

DAY 3: travel to Reno so we won’t arrive in Santa Rosa too early and see the sights…Is NV nothing but wasteland and casinos???

DAY 4: travel to Santa Rosa…I can see why Brigham Young said, “this is the place.”…he had a huge telescope and could see the “salt wastes” to the west…imagine the settlers, who passed the 1st set of “salt wastes” only to encounter the next set across the 1st set of mountains…what the heck is that strange art in the middle of the Salt Flats???...the Bonneville Salt Flats are fascinating, especially with the history of speed…wonderful scenery as we pass into CA through Sacramento and pass across the northern part “Great Valley” agricultural areas…Head into SF across the Golden Gate Bridge, awesome!!!...have lunch on Fisherman’s Wharf and pick up the kids flying into SFO…head N on 101 across the bridge and on to Santa Rosa

DAY 5: reunion begins with travel into Sonoma Valley …theme is Jack London, his failed Wolf’s Lodge and his ranch…tasted wine and discovered Kaz’s Winery…he’s a “Coach Kaz”… assists as a local football coach, though on the defensive side http://kazwinery.com   

DAY 6: venture into the Napa Valley…tasting wine and visiting Calistoga and Sonoma checking the histories of Spanish and Bear Flag influences

DAY 7: ventured into the Russian R. Valley and on to Ft. Ross…examined Russian historic influences…tasted wine and some Korbel

DAY 8: leave my mother in Santa Rosa…she will take the train home…the 4 of us commit to eating nothing but fresh seafood until we reach Seattle…take the kids and continue up the coast on a combination of CA-1 and 101…splendid scenery…saw Bodega Bay where The Birds was filmed had lunch in Mendocino which is a glorious setting where a large number of films were filmed…we all eat different things, but at each stop someone orders and we compare fish and chips and clam chowder at every meal…noodled our way up the coast to a motel in Eureka…Eureka really has developed an “Old Town” area that was really neat too

DAY 9: continue to noodle up the coast on 101…continued great scenery and ventured through “Redwood Country” which too was spectacular…lunch in Crescent City and travel north where we run into our 1st obstacle…on our way to Coos Bay, just N of Brookings, we are the 5th car turned around because 101 is closed due to a forest fire…we were wondering why the campfire smell was so apparent in this area…we reversed field to Crescent City and crossed over to I-5 at Grant’s Pass to Green and then over to Coos Bay so we missed some spectacular scenery, but when we got to Coos Bay we found out 101 was still closed…the fire was started by a car wreck

DAY 10: continue up the coast enjoying the scenery…stop at Sea Lion Caves…boy do they stink!!!...reach Newport for lunch and noodle through the tourist stuff and we have lunch at the original Mo’s…Newport is my favorite stop thus far…it is really a cool place!!!...as a Cheese-Head I enjoy going through Oregon’s dairy land and we stop at Tillamook for cheese snacks…we continued great scenery as we head to Astoria for my Lewis and Clark stuff as well as to visit the Goonies movie sites…a quick visit to Seaside to look at their tourist traps and boardwalk…Newport is still cooler!!!…stop at Cannon Beach the site of the Goonies finale with the famous Haystack Rocks in the background  

DAY 11: visit the Goonies sites, Astor sites and do the Lewis and Clark sites…I was saddened to find out that archeologists can’t confirm Ft. Clatsop’s real location…we cross over into WA and all 4 of us conclude that the CA, OR and WA roadside signs claiming we are on “scenic byways” are truth in advertising!!!...we head to Mt. St. Helens and are treated to breathtaking views and are impressed by the forces of nature…by the time we get to the top though it was pretty socked in…at the Visitor Center we are treated to a dramatic 20-min movie about the event and the movie screen is supposed to be lifted to expose a windowed vista of Mt. St. Helen…when it happened we were greeted to  a windowed blanket of white…quite a chuckle …we hope to get a room at Quinault Lodge, but we can’t get in and are rewarded with a wonderful surprise by getting a room, on the beach, at Ocean Shores…we drive on the beach, have another wonderful meal at a “crab pot” and enjoy a marvelous sunset from the balcony of the motel one day before the bikers get there…by the way, North Beach HS is an impressive facility…so far we have concluded that the temperature from leaving Santa Rosa resembles an Iowa October

DAY 12: our goal is to cover the Olympic Peninsula and hike a couple shorter trails in the Hoh River NP…the rain-forest climate is especially surprising, but I loved the other stuff we did earlier at the Redwoods…we start to circle the peninsula, but we have to stop in Forks to get our Twilight fix and continue to Port Angeles…pretty neat town…I still like Newport better…we then head to Bainbridge Island to take the ferry across the sound to Seattle…in the middle of the sound I find myself looking back to the Olympic Mts., to the south I see Mt. Rainier and to the east I see Seattle’s downtown…I find myself thinking, “Seattle is the most beautiful city in the US”…my children remind me that we are viewing Seattle on a “Chamber of Commerce” day because its 75 and sunny…we dine overlooking the sound from a restaurant in the Pike’s Market…we then take a room by the airport so the kids can shuttle out

DAY 13: another “Chamber of Commerce” day and the last true day of vacation because the kids are flying out on “red eyes” later…Saturday morning at he market is very entertaining…the fish market is really fun to observe…those guys really enjoy what they do…beautiful flowers, delicious fruit and stands that offer “whatnot”…we head down below to the wharf and stroll…hit the aquarium…the sea mammal displays were captivating, especially the sea otters…have lunch on the wharf…walk to the Space Needle and do the obligatory viewing…ride the monorail back to downtown and explore the shops…eat supper on the wharf and prepare the kids for the airport and us for the trip back to Iowa

DAYS 14-15-16: back to Iowa…I miss the October temps of most of our vacation…I can see why you have stayed in the Great Northwest!!!

Wow- Nice little travelogue!

We've been in the Northwest 35 years now and haven't been to Newport yet!

And you made it to Ocean Shores! Before the Biker Weekend (which ties up the whole town)!  And you saw North Beach High School!

I have seen a few beautiful places in Nevada.  I've had a picnic dinner at a place called Angel Lake, high above the desert floor in the Northeast corner of the state. But travelling on Interstates, you could definitely get the idea that it's largely wasteland and casinos.

Winery Kaz sounds like a real character.  Great Web sit.

And I love Polygamy Porter's slogan.  

Very glad you enjoyed the Northwest.  On "Chamber of Commerce Days" there is no better place on earth.  My first visit to the place, in 1968, that's what greeted me!

*********** Hey Coach!

I just read the news that Terrence Cody finally passed the Raven's conditioning drill and has been cleared to play.  It's nice to know that a guy drafted in the 2nd round is actually fit enough to play the game.  It's a good lesson to all those young aspiring NFL players out there that you can get to the big time eating all the cheeseburgers you want.  You really don't have to be too physically fit or athletic.  Well, Cody is apparently good for another year, so Terrence, get to Mickey Dee's right after practice and get your bulk back.  Twenty years of coaching football and I never discovered the secret to winning.  Cheeseburgers!

Al Andrus
Salt Lake City


kansas OZ
ball of twine
We're in Kansas, Toto... On a front lawn in Beloit, Kansas, there's the Yellow-Brick Road... and all the characters... and Auntie Em's House Millions (well, hundreds) flock to Cawker City, Kansas every year to see the World's Largest Ball of Twine. Started in 1953, it's over 40 feet in circumference and weighs 18,000 pounds.
post rock
barbed wire
That's a limestone fence post. You see 'em all over Kansas, in "Post Rock Country." The early settlers didn't have many trees, but they had limestone, right underground. And rock posts outlasted wood posts. They weighed upwards of 250 pounds! Barbed wire kept the Western cattlemen and the farmers from killing each other. There were hundreds of different kinds of barbed wire, some of them shown here.
pony express
neb 6-man
On the crest of a hill in northeastern Kansas, west of St. Joseph, Missouri where it started, a sculptor has captured in profile the daring young men of the Pony Express A few weeks ago, no one mentioned Nebraska when we were asking about 6-man football!
clarinda courthouse
vernon baker
The courthouse in Clarinda, Iowa. Like most small northern towns it has a monument honoring its men who died in the Civil War fighting to end slavery - Clarinda's reads, "IN MEMORY OF THE DEFENDERS OF THE UNION" Mr. Baker didn't receive his Medal of Honor until 1997 - more than 50 years after the end of World War II - when the government finally honored black soldiers. He was the only recipient living at the time. Sadly, he died during our recent visit.
glen miller home
street sign
You young guys may never have heard of Glenn Miller, but during World War II his band and his music were known everywhere - and he grew up here in Clarinda Two of Clarinda's best-known sons are honored at the courthouse square
omaha bridge
omaha skyline
Not far from downtown Omaha, the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge takes hikers and bicyclists across the Missouri River, between Nebraska and Iowa The view of downtown Omaha from the Bob Kerrey Bridge
omaha riverfront
omaha stadium
Looking downriver from the Bob Kerrey Bridge Seen from the bridge, Omaha's beautiful new baseball stadium - future home of the College World Series - nears completion

FLAGTUESDAY, JULY 27, 2010 - "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson

*********** For many reasons, General/President Dwight Eisenhower has long been a hero of mine, and a recent visit to his Library and Museum (and boyhood home) in Abilene, Kansas was very special for my wife and me.

It's a tribute to our country, and to the sort of people that built it, that from what we would call just plain hard-working people, in a small town in the Heartland, could come a man in whose hands, as the leader of the D-Day invasion, rested the fate of tens of thousands of American lives - not to mention the future of the free world; a man who as President of the United States would lead America to unprecedents prosperity and a position of world leadership; a man who was easily approachable, who never put on airs and never forsook the values and virtues of his small-town Kansas upbringing.

I believe that football coaches can benefit from knowing more about this great man, if only because of the ways in which our jobs mirror his.  In many ways, what General Eisenhower did during World War II - organizing, planning, managing staff conflicts and occasional disloyalty, answering critics, pleasing sometimes difficult superiors while having the courage to stand up to them, motivating soldiers and asking them to do the near-impossible, having to make difficult decisions and  accept ultimate responsibility for them - was what a football coach does.  (On a far smaller scale of course, given what was at stake in his case.)

ike plaque
statue base
Mrs. Eisenhower was once asked if she was proud of her son, the President, and she said, "I'm proud of all my sons." "I cannot let this day pass without telling the fighting men - that my fondest boats shall always be that I was their fellow-soldie ."
ike home
Ike Bible
It's small but comfortable, and in this home Mr. And Mrs. Eisenhower raised six boys Family Bibles were considered as good as birth certificates; recorded in the Eisenhower family Bible is the birth of D. Dwight Eisenhower in Denison, Texas, October 14, 1890
ike statue
ike diary
General Eisenhower wears the informal "Ike" jacket named for him Football coaches everywhere will understand this entry in hiswartime diary
Ike Lout Little
ike grave
After the War, he served as President of Columbia University, and he's shown here at practice talking with coach Lou Little, whom he persuaded not to leave Columbia for the more prestigious Yale job The inscription over the graves of General and Mrs. Eisenhower and their son who died at the age of three: "Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in blood of his followers and sacrifices of his friends."

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

Thought you might like this.


The Spirit of ’48

Nice goatee!

Adam Wesoloski
Pulaski, Wisconsin


It's a great article about a little-known fact of pro football - that despite all the passing and all the talk about high-powered offenses, they're not scoring any more points than they did in the 1950s - and I suspect that the NFL would like to suppress it.

Besides the fact that defensive players are so athletic, In my opinion, there are three major reasons why, despite all the things they've done to boost the passing game - legalized holding, the five-yard chuck rule, hook-sliding, legalized grounding, linemen lining up deeper than legal,  hash marks so close they're virtually nonexistent, quarterbacks wired up to the sideline (did I miss anything?) - there are three major reasons, in my opinion, why scoring has been kept down ---

1. Free agency - players move around so much, there is little roster carryover from year to year,  and as complicated as the offenses are, it's difficult to learn them, much less execute them consistently well.

2. Field goals - in 1948, with those small rosters, there was no such thing as a kicking specialist, and a field goal was considered a last resort. Now, not only are there specialists, but the hash marks are so close-together that all kicks are virtually head-on. 

3. The field - I have been arguing this one for some time now. Players today are much faster and bigger than they were in the 50s, yet they're playing on the same size field as they did 60 years ago.  In effect, there's less room to for the offense to operate, less field for the defense to defend. 

They could improve their game in a heartbeat by widening the field from its present size (160 feet) to Canadian-size (195 feet).  That would give the offense more room, and would allow for the widening of the hashmarks, reducing somewhat the sickening 80 per cent accuracy of field goal kickers. Altering the current stadia would take money, of course, but the NFL has already demonstrated a willingness to blow millions gambling on the future (can you say "NFL Europa?"). So they'll have to wipe out a few rows of seats. Big deal. They're the worst seats in the house, anyhow.

(Thanks for the compliment on the goatee.  Don't know how long I'll keep it!)

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

While reading todays NEWS I came across the reference to the outgoing (someday) doc in Pawnee City, NE. Kind of hit home with me as I was born in Pawnee City way back in 1953. The Doc then was "Doc Stewart" and the story as told to me by my mother (deceased now) was that she was delivering my twin brother "Ron" who they had planned to name "Sherman" after my mom's mom's family maiden name of Sherman. Well, old Doc Stewart kind of threw a curve into my parents’ thinking when, after my brother was born @ 9 a.m., he looked at mom and dad and mom and said, "Del & Tony, you're gonna have another boy in about twenty minutes".

I was born @ 9:20 a.m. Instead of calling me Herman to rhyme with Sherman, they came up with Ron & Don....

To make your story of young Doc Jackson (who most likely trained under my Doc Stewart) even more compelling...is the fact that the microbrewery owners, the "Schillings" are relation to me. Sharon's husband is a distant cousin....we've been to the Microbrewery a time two ourselves. They also have the coypwright to 'Git'R'Done beer which is also brewed there as "Larry the Cable Guy" is a Pawnee City native like me!

Finally, to let you know just how interesting this story is to me - my twin and I were the first twins to be been born in the (new at the time) old Pawnee City Hospital to have lived through birth. Maybe old Doc Stewart was a pretty good teacher of Doc Jackson! 

Here's the link to the Schilling Winery in Pawnee City....you and the missus might like to take it in between Beloit and Clarinda next summer!

It's close enough to be on the way from Beloit to Clarinda!

Mike and Sharon are great people....if you tell them I recommended the visit I'll bet you could get away from there with a small token of their appreciation....we've got "Get'R'Done" beer glasses to prove it!

Small world isn't it!

Don Capaldo
Keokuk, Iowa

ksu black lions*********** During my recent Midwest swing, I made sure to visit Manhattan, Kansas (known thereabouts as "The Little Apple") and stop by the football offices at Kansas State, the only other college besides Army (West Point) to participate in the Black Lion program. The Black Lions are a part of the First Infantry Division, and the First Infantry Division, "The Big Red One," is headquartered at nearby Fort Riley, and it ws while he was stationed there that Colonel Pat Frank, Battalion Commander of the Black Lions, worked to forge close ties between his unit and the K-State Wildcats. Colonel Frank is now in Fort Drum, New York, with the 10th Mountain Division, but his legacy lives on in the relationship between the Black Lions and K-State.

As you can see at left, the K-State/Black Lions relationship is prominently displayed in the Kansas State lockerroom.

Big Red One
k-state sign
Fort Riley is located in nearby Junction City, Kansas The entrance to the K-State locker room
old stadium
Aggieville, hard by the K-State campus, with restaurants and dives galore; I can only imagine what it's like on game day One of the K-State coaches' cars. No political correctness here: the front plate reads, EAT BEEF! They haven't played in the old stadium in years, but it still stands, a proud symbol of the Kansas State's unique campus architecture

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

I hope that all finds you and yours well. I have a question about the pitch on the Super Power. I was wondering where the pitch should go in relation to the offensive line? Should the pitch be about the “B” gap or over the backside guard? I have about the slot and that just confuses me. You help is greatly appreciated. Many Thanks and God Bless.

Ed Pfaff
Offensive Coordinator
Towson High School, Towson, Maryland


I couldn't say exactly where it's caught.  We run Super Power with NO motion and simply turn and toss.  The back is no more than a step or two out of his stance when he catches the ball and we coach him to get his inside hand on the back of the pulling tackle ASAP.

Here's a nice example of Super Power with no motion:

*********** John Canzano of the Portland Oregonian actually took up newspaper space this past Sunday listing the “25 most influential people in Oregon sports.”

I could have saved him the trouble. There are and have been only three influential people in Oregon sports, and two of them are dead.

1. Phil Knight (Nike founder and U of Oregon benefactor).

2. Bill Bowerman (Knight’s track coach at Oregon and co-founder of Nike).  RIP

3. Harry Glickman (the guy who brought the Trail Blazers to town and served as their first GM). RIP

One live guy in the top three!

And then,  unless you count Blazers’ owner Paul Allen, a Seattle billionaire who seldom shows his face in Oregon, you might as well stop, because in my 35 years in the Northwest, I haven’t seen anyone with influence and the willingness to use it for the good of Oregon’s sports. Which is why a metro area the size of Portland has ONE major sports franchise, NO major university sports program, and NO place to put on an outdoor sports event of any interest to anyone elsewhere in the country.  (And after they finish "reconfiguring" the former minor league ballpark for MLS soccer they still won't have one - and they’ll have destroyed a baseball park in the process.)

Imagine an area of 1-1/2 million that doesn't even have a place to play a f--king minor league baseball game!

Omaha, for God's sake, puts on the College World Series.  And Omaha is building a spectacular new ballpark to keep the CWS there.  Portland, meanwhile, fiddles around with something called the Portland Sports Authority, which every couple of years brings a tennis match to town.

Fact – Portland’s anti-business climate is to blame. Disparage and discourage big business all you like, which is a popular pastime in Portland, but you do so at the price of having no sports.   People will say that  Washington, DC is able to do it without big business, but they're forgetting that doing business with the government is very big business, and it's recession-proof.

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

I do not know if you remember me but I was coaching the Oulu Northern Lights in the summer of 1988 when you were also coaching in Finland. We played each other in a driving rainstorm in Oulu. I have been following you and your career for years.  I retired from college coaching in 2005.  My last college coaching stint was as the head coach at Avila University, in Kansas City, Missouri. I started coaching my son's 5th grade team the following year and decided to run your double wing offense. This will be my 6th year as a grade school coach. I go my hands on your video series (4 tapes) a long time ago and love the entire system.  The reason I am reaching out to you now is that our season is getting ready to start up and I usually go over the videos at this time of the year.  We have gotten a whole lot of rain this year and when I went to go pull the tapes out of storage I found the tapes were ruined by water.  I see that you no longer produce video tapes and probably have not done so for years.  I am in desperate need of tape 1 in that series of 4.  Do you have any old video tapes left in your inventory?  What do you think?  Can you help me?  I would appreciate any advice you can give me.  Please call or e-mail me and let me know what you suggest.  Thanks for coaching me up in the double wing! 

Tim Johnson
Kansas City, Missouri

“Don’t know if you remember me?”  Ha! That's a good one. My wife and I once slept on the floor of Tim’s apartment on a visit to Oulu, back in ‘88. 

Tim was a lot younger and less experienced than I was at the time, but it was obvious he was going to be a very good coach.  He played at William Jewell College, back when they were winning national championships, and at the time we coached against each other in Finland, he was serving back in the states as an assistant at St. Cloud State.  We hooked up a couple of times while in Finland, and the last time we saw each other was on a flight back to the US.  At that time, he was headed for an assistant’s job at Lambuth University in Tennesee. From there he went to Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, then wound up at Avila University in Kansas City as head coach, starting up the program from scratch and staying through 2005.  His 2003 record of 5-5 is still the best in the school’s history.

Tim is married to a Finnish girl, Essie, whom we first met years ago in Finland, and next year, they’ll celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary.  They have two sons, both with good Finnish names: Eero, 14 and an incoming sophomore offensive-defensive lineman at KC’s Archbishop O’Hara High School, and Teo, an 11-year-old (Double Wing) QB on Tim’s youth team.

*********** A great article in ESPN.com on what’s wrong with college basketball


*********** At General McChrystal’s retirement ceremony, he turned what could have been an awkward occasion into a time for laughter.

“I have stories on all of you, photos on many,” he said to friends in the crowd.

And then he added, “And I know a Rolling Stone reporter.”

*********** In this sports lull between the World Cup and the start of NFL training camps, I am embarrassed to admit that I haven’t been following women’s softball as closely as I might. Turns our there’s something called the World Cup going on, and boy, are we kicking ass (somehow, it doesn’t seem right to be using that phrase in talking about women). What a shot in the arm for our country! At a time when polls show that confidence in  our nation is at its lowest point in years, it does me good to see that our women haven’t even given up a run yet! 

*********** Good morning Coach Wyatt,

I enjoyed your pictures, etc. from your recent football camp. Like me, you seem to have gained a few more gray hairs lately. We get started tomorrow and will be running the Wildcat DW offense. I coach a 6th-7th grade team and have run the basic DW for the past 15 years or so with very good results even in those years when our talent left a bit to be desired. Last season we toyed around with the Wildcat variation at practice and in our “5th quarter” scrimmages and found that it has a lot of advantages over the basic DW for this age group, the foremost being that the kids love it. We moved our B-Back to the Tailback (K-back?) position and he did so well there the kids started calling him Tebow.  Based on our talent this year (we may have an honest-to-goodness “triple threat”), we decided to use the Wildcat direct snap as the basis of our offense and probably will not go back to the indirect snap, at least not this year.  I do appreciate all the work you have done to help us volunteer coaches with this wonderful system that is so enjoyable to coach.

While doing some football internet surfing a few months ago, I came across the attached PDF of an old playbook from the Colorado School of Mines. They used a version of the SW/DW offense that is similar to your Wildcat, although a bit more complicated since it was used at the college level. You probably already have this but, if not, I thought you might like to see it.

Good luck with the upcoming season, and keep up your good work. You are helping us build strong young men who will one day lead our country.


Eddie Hughes
Blessed Trinity Catholic High School
Football Feeder Program
Roswell, GA

Hi Coach-

That looks VERY much like Jerry Carle's single/double wing that he ran at Colorado College.

Undoubtedly whoever ran this at Colorado Mines got it from Coach Carle (pronounced CAR-lee), who may very well have been the last coach to run the single wing in college.

He was coach at Colorado College for 33 years, retiring in 1989.  He finished with an overall record of 137-150-5.  He had some very good teams in the 1970s, but given CC's high academic standards, winning was often a struggle.    I do believe that his offense was a major reason why his teams were able to compete at all.

Coach Carle is 86 years old. I have spoken with him and he has been kind enough to share some very useful information about his offense - such as, when you have the two men back there, side-by-side, don't ask the center to snap the ball to one or the other - tell him just to snap the ball straight back - between the two.   It's their job to know who's supposed to get the ball!

I have some video of Coach Carle's teams in action, taken from old 16mm film.   He was quite innovative and his teams executed well. 

One of his most famous players, by the way, is not known for his football talent, but he's nevertheless had a major impact on the game of football - Steve Sabol, who now runs NFL Films. His dad, Ed, got his start filming Steve's  games when he was a student at the Haverford School, outside Philadelphia.

Thanks for the note and the playbook and stay in touch.

When Colorado College decided to drop football in April of 2009, the president and the athletic director both went to Coach Carle’s home to break the news to him personally.

He told the Colorado Springs Gazette he was “crushed” by the decision.

"I thought maybe they were going to ask me to raise funds for the football team," he said.

(To listen to Coach Carle tell a great story about his early days at Colorado College -----    http://krccnetwork.org/news/category/citizen-report/jerry-carle/ )

*********** In “The flight of the century,” his book about Charles Lindbergh, author Thomas Kessner writes that it took a king to finally ask the question that was on everyone’s mind.

Meeting with Lindbergh a week after his historic trans-Atlantic solo flight, one that lasted 33-1/2 hours, King George V of England asked, “How do you pee?”

*********** That stupid bicycle-shorts look favored by NFL receivers and defensive backs?  Skin-tight pants that stop above the knees, with no knee pads, thigh pads or hip pads?

It’s as foolish and dangerous as it looks, and it’s costing the NFL money in time lost to injury. But unbelievably, there’s not a damn thing the NFL can do about it.

To require the players to wear any protective gear other than the bare minimum required by the rules is going to require negotiations with the NFLPA – the players’ union. 

Now, the only protective gear required by the rules are helmets and shoulder pads.

(The type of helmet worn has to be approved by the league, but the shoulder pads might just as well be folded-up newspapers, for all the league can do about it. In fact, if you’ve ever wondered why giant NFL offensive linemen look so unathletic, it’s because they’re wearing the smallest shoulder pads they can possibly find.  It's not as if they every use their shoulders to block, so what they're looking for is lightness. Combine Pop-Warner shoulder pads with beer-barrel waistlines, and you’re talking pear-shaped.)

*********** Wow, Coach!  Do you really think there's a chance that single platoon ball will make a comeback?  I think it would be an extremely positive development: not only would we get to see all-around athletes instead of specialists, but it would just about guarantee the disappearance of 300-pound sumos on the line and the return of skillful line play.  If implemented, it would clearly differentiate the college game from the corporate professional product.  Fans of "basketball on grass" could continue their misguided support of the "No Fun League", but I don't think it would have a negative effect on college revenues at all, since college fans are tradition-and-community based to a degree that pro fans are not.

On 9-3-90, Douglas Looney wrote a great article on this topic in Sports Illustrated, but I had to think it sounded like wishful thinking.  Now, of course, it makes more financial sense than ever...

If you have any more info on this subject, please keep us posted.  Imagine a game where quarterbacks also play defense (Tebow, Locker, and ?????) and there are no more soccer lads  to "keek a touchdown".


Shep Clarke
Puyallup, Washington

Hi Coach-

The man I was quoting on the subject is Mike Lude, former AD at the UW (also Kent State and Auburn).

It probably is a long time away, but Mike knows how scary the financial picture is at even the biggest of programs, and if sanity is to prevail, this has to happen at some point.

It will definitely hurt the pros in that colleges will no longer dedicate so much of their effort to grooming kids for careers in the NFL.

But as I say, this is mere speculation and probably many years away.

I have maintained for a long time that football simply has to do something about the ridiculous situtation in which non-football players (keekers) determine the outcomes of football games.  My proposal is simple: no player can kick a ball (kickoff, punt, extra point, field goal) more than once per game.  When everyone is a potential kicker,  football will become a bit - a small bit - like the rugby from which it evolved.

*********** You’ve probably all read by now about West Virginia basketball coach Bob “Huggie Bear” Huggins breaking four ribs in a fall in his Las Vegas hotel room.

You realize, don't you, how hard a hit you have to take to break a rib, much less four ribs?

Hey - if you’re like me, knowing what little we know about Bob Huggins and what little we know about Vegas, I’ll bet you’d love to know how he really did it.

***********  Coach Wyatt,

I received the DVD “Practice Without Pads” the day after I spoke with you.  I really appreciate you making the effort to get it in the mail so quickly.  It has already helped me in my practice preparation for the upcoming season.

I’m also looking into purchasing your Double Wing videos.  I currently run the Wing T and I’m intrigued by all I’ve read about your Double Wing system.  Please advise me on the progression of videos to purchase on your system.

Thanks again,
Coach Bill Garrett
Nashville, Tennessee

Hi Coach-

I must say I didn't expect the delivery to be that fast, but I'm glad it worked out that way.  (For those who would say that the Postal Service is not efficient, I have always had good results.)

If you want to get started with my Double Wing, you need these items, in this order...

(1) Dynamics of the Double Wing - a video and playbook.  In computer terms, this is the operating system

(2) Installing the System - a DVD that's a big help in teaching the system to your kids

(3) A Fine Line - 

(4) Troubleshooting - Things will go wrong from time to time, and 90 per cent of the time it's not what the defense is doing but what your own team is or is not doing.  It's nice to have some idea what's gone wrong and how to fix it.

I've recently adopted a policy for anyone buying my basic “Dynamics of the Double Wing” package of also including a free bonus highlights DVD of an age-appropriate  team (youth, middle school or high school)  running my system

Hope that helps!

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

Sorry to keep bugging you, BUT...

I am beginning to implement te WildCat into our scheme. My question revolves around how you utilize it in a game. I know you have previously used the WildCat and stayed in that formation for an entire game. My specific question is, will you use the formation in a one-off situation, where you jump into WildCat for one play? Or, do you like to only get into WildCat when you want to run a series/game from it?

My thought is, there may be some plays we run better from WildCat, than from our base DW formations. However, if from your experience, it is strategically ill-advised to use in one-off situations, I will bear that in mind as I implement it.


Ed Campbell
Land O Lakes, Florida


You are NOT bugging me.  This keeps me on my toes.

There are at least three compelling reasons  to get into Wildcat full-bore...

(1) When your QB goes down and getting another one ready is not an option;

(2) When your QB is a far better athlete than anyone else you've got

(3) When one of your wingbacks goes down and you don't have another one;

And there are at least three reasons for even a good Double Wing team, with the QB normally under center, to have the ability to get into Wildcat on certain occasions...

(1) When you need to pass and you want to get your QB a little deeper to begin with;

(2) When you want your QB to run the ball;

(3) When you want to wedge. As the old single-wing guys all knew,  getting the ball directly to the fullback, at a deeper point than when he takes the handoff, gives him an extra step or two to decide whether to (a) get right into the wedge; (b) run to daylight; (c) fly over the top

Hope that helps!

***********  Coach,

To start off, I just want to say that we just finished a 10 day mini camp and are going into 2-a-day's next week. This will be our first year in the double wing and running your system. We only have 40 kids and regularly play teams with double the amount of kids that we have, so looking at this system, it seems to be a equalizer. The kids seem to really like it. We installed tight, slot, wildcat, and tackles over. The kids seemed to really pick it up easy, the rules are very transferable. We had a 7 on 7 with a local powerhouse and they were very confused when we moved to slot formation. We are currently looking at shifting to this formation to see what the defense will do. We installed 88/99 power/superpower, wedge, 2/3 trap, 88/99 g reach, and 47 C.
When we go to 2-a-day's we are going to review and then install 6/7G, 2/3 base, and 44/55 base lead. I doubt we add any formations in camp. We are going to run the system with no motion. We were a wing-t team last year and motion got us eaten up at the point of attack.

I wanted to know, for a first year double wing team, is this too much?

I coach offensive lineman and we just worked on stance, start, base blocking, double teams, and running the circle. The center's I am working with seemed to understand the down call (for TNT fronts) and how to use it.

I am concerned about pad level, we have some big kids and may average 280 pounds or more across the board.

Are their any good drills you have to help lineman stay low?

How do I deal with kids who want to crab at my lineman?

HI Coach-

Sounds like you have enough in.  I don't think it's too much.

I would definitely want to run 44-55 lead with an X block.

You didn't mention pass, but I assume since you mentioned 7 on 7 that you have some passes.

I would definitely want to have the 88 Brown/99 Black package.

I would also want to throw Rip 58 Black-O to the left and Ripper 47 Brown to the right.

Note that those two involved motion.  I do NOT use motion on Super Power, but I wouldn't run the offense without motion.  I do think that your best chance for success with 88/99 G Reach is to have a step or two of motion, and you will find that once people know that your motion means something, it will help your trap, your G and your counter.

Make sure motion is fast.  I see an awful lot of Double Wing teams whose motion is so slow that they might as well not bother with it and just line up in I formation.

I don't worry a lot about pad level - of course we teach our linemen to keep "vees in the knees," and to "stay in their stance" with "number on the knee" after their first step.  Bird-dog drill is great for teching that. But mainly, I just want to make sure that we stay with our block and stay "welded to the man" and keep the feet moving.

If people crab and bear crawl, you need to be able to down block effectively, and to stay low when doing so against a crabber.  I'm assuming that your kids are back off the ball as much as allowed.  If not, you want to get on that immediately.  Crabbers may be able to take some of your inside game away, but they shouldn't be able to keep your linemen from pulling, they can't pass rush very well and they can't pursue.  Actually, we have had pretty good luck trapping guys who bear crawl.

Hope that helps. Let me know if I can help with motion.  I have worked with teams that do not tie their motion to their snap count but handle all motion with the QB's foot.

*********** Hugh,  Thanks so much for your call on Saturday morning.  You can't imagine how much I value your friendship.

I forgot to tell you about the kid who was playing full back for us on Saturday.  He is now in the custody of his Aunt and Uncle who attended our scrimmage on Saturday along with his grandfather..  They wanted him playing football and he had plenty of action in the practice game on Saturday. 

On a carry in the first series he was hit pretty hard (very fair tackle) by a linebacker and he got up pretty slow.  Being the sensitive coach I talked to him and had him sit down not wanting to "risk" having to fill out a 10 page report for a potential concussion.  He told me he was fine but that he needed to sit down.  I told him he was done for the rest of the practice.

His uncle and grandfather told him to "Get his helmet back on."  "Coach," the Grandfather yelled at me, "There's is nothing wrong with him.  He just got tackeled that's all.  It is the first time he's been hit.  This is football."  His uncle just said, "Get his "tail" back out there." 

The kid actually played great.  He made some tackles and ran some traps and G's very effectively.  He also made several nice kick out blocks on powers........

The grandfather pulled me aside and said, "If you had a concussion every time you get hit you could not play any sports - but that is what they put you coaches through.  He played just fine!!"

I always was a little bit tougher when my dad was around.  Nice to have people around who understand!

Just one more reason why every boy needs a man in his life. A real man. A father is best, but grandfathers, uncles and older brothers have served well, too, and of course, coaches aren't bad, either. HW.



FLAGFRIDAY, JULY 23, 2010 - "Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account." Oscar Wilde

*********** Mississippi State is considering expanding its stadium, the second-oldest among BCS teams (Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium is oldest) from its present 55,000 to 75,000.

It is going to be difficult to find a place for 20,000 new more seats - the stadium’s 47-foot-tall high-definition video board, second-biggest in the nation behind the one at at Texas, takes up the entire south end zone, and has proved to be tremendously popular - a "game-changer," in the words of the Mississippi State athletic department.

Last year, despite a 5-7 season, the excitement generated by new coach Dan Mullen contributed to an average attendance of 54,000; the increase of more than 10,000 over 2008 led the nation.

*********** So USC has had to forfeit its 2005 season. It's happened before.

Check out this record...

W Utah State 49-0
W Oregon 68-3
W Clemson 52-3
W Texas 27-0
L Colorado 14-20
W Kansas State 52-0
W Iowa State 20-6
W Missouri 17-6
W Kansas 31-7
W Nebraska 17-14
W Oklahoma State 38-15
W Penn State (Sugar Bowl) 14-0

Not bad, huh? That was Oklahoma's 1972 on-field record- before the Sooners were forced to forfeit nine of their wins for playing ineligible freshmen (their high school transcripts were found to have been altered).

Few opponents, though, took the forfeits very seriously.

The loss to Oklahoma was the only blemish on Texas' record, and the Longhorns wound up finishing second nationally (ironically, to undefeated USC), Texas coach Darrell Royal simply said, "We know who won."

Penn State finished 10-2, counting the Sugar Bowl loss to OU, but Joe Paterno refused to accept the forfeit. "Irrespective of what action Oklahoma or the Sugar Bowl takes in regard to the forfeit," he said, "our players and the Oklahoma players know who won." To this day, Penn State carries the game in its record book as a loss, for Penn State and for Joe Pa. (And meanwhile, there was Bobby Bowden, begging to have the NCAA restore wins taken from the Seminoles for academic fraud.)

Oregon lost to the Sooners, 68-3, and Oregon's Sports Information Director, tongue in cheek, called Oklahoma and asked them to send the Ducks the game ball.

brads girls*********** Brad Knight, head coach at Iowa's Clarinda Academy, is a UNI (Northern Iowa) guy himself, and he likes both the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Iowa State Cyclones. But there's no doubt who his daughters pull for. That's big sister Haylee, standing, and little sister Jerzee, scoring a Hawkeye touchdown.

*********** Pitt defensive end Jabaal Sheard, one of the best pass rushers in the Big East, has been suspended indefinitely from the team after an ugly brawl Saturday night (actually, early Sunday morning).  Despite police orders to stop, and despite their use of a nightstick on him, he refused to stop beating another man, finally throwing him through the window of an art studio.

Say, Art studio?  You mean, not a night club?

Sounds like Pitt is recruiting a better class of thug.


*********** I was reading about some travel team coach/street agent and he was actually quoted as saying, "It's about the kids."

Right. That's what they all say.  

As soon as you hear somebody say that, you can be sure of only one thing: it's not about the kids.

It’s like when a professional athlete says it’s not about the money. Or when a politician says it’s for the good of the country.

*********** It's been 10 years since Army coach Bob Sutton lost to Navy and was unceremoniously fired by new athletic director Rick Greenspan. He was replaced by Todd Berry, who'd been Greenspan's coach at Illinois State. Berry dropped Sutton's wishbone attack in favor of his pass-first approach, and Army, unable to recruit the skilled players needed to make a passing offense go, went into a tailspin - a 10-year tailspin in which five different coaches have produced a grand total of 24 wins.

Now, Army has come full crcle offensively, getting ready for its second season under Rich Ellerson and his flexbone offense. Bob Sutton, now Jets' linebackers coach, likes what he sees, telling the Middletown (NY) Times Herald Record,

“I'm a fan of the option, so I'm glad to see them go back to that. No matter what system you are going to run on offense it's got to be a system that is a little bit unique and provide your defense with the best opportunity to be successful. That's one thing that goes unnoticed with what happened to option football at the academy is that on offense you can always pick your battles. On defense, you are not afforded that opportunity. Traditionally here, we have a very aggressive defensive player. A guy who plays with great heart and great emotion and you need to limit his exposure. If you can do that over the course of a season, we always felt that would give us the best opportunity in the long run to be successful. I'm excited to see them back in that phase.”

On the Army wishbone offense that Army's 10-2 1996 team ran: “That was the offensive system, which is a true statement. To me, it was greater than an offensive system. It highlighted a mentality. It was team-driven based on toughness, execution, which are hallmarks of West Point. That was really critical.”

*********** After looking at your Wildcat: http://homepage.mac.com/coachhw/WILDCAT/iMovieTheater15.html

Coach, do you think you can pitch the ball in the wildcat to the wing backs while running the super powers, vs just hand offs, if so what adjustments must I make?

Coach- From Wildcat, you will not be able to pitch it and run Super Power correctly. 

I run the power three different ways from Wildcat - (1) hand off to the wingback (no motion); (2) Send the wingback in RIP (or LIZ) motion to the outside and run the power keep; (3) Run the power keep and lead the backside wingback through onto the playside corner (no motion).

We now make the power handoff in front of the QB (no motion), the sweep handoff behind the QB (RIP or LIZ motion)

I've never had a need to pitch it.

Hope that helps.

*********** While waiting in the Omaha airport Sunday, I read a great article in the Omaha paper about a small town doctor, a man who has been THE doctor in Pawnee City, Nebraska for 40-some years.

Talk about a common-sense approach, the kind you could only get away with in a community where everybody knows you - a female patient asked him about some rash she had and he told her it looked like an SDT - short for Some Damn Thing.

***********  The man is not a field soldier; he's more a CEO in uniform. Perhaps an efficient manager, but not a Patton-like leader. The troops call his sort "Perfumed Princes," brass known for their micromanagement bias and slavish focus on "show over go" and covering their tails with fancy footwork. Unfortunately, today's senior Army ranks are filled with such managers -- and these kind of dweebs are why the U.S. Army is in trouble. The troops and young leaders are great. But too often the senior brass are politically correct dilettantes, out of touch with their soldiers more interested in chin straps on the points of chin than in battle-drill being executed correctly. They don't understand that everything they need to learn about leadership and combat savvy doesn't come from management books or advanced degrees.

The CEO managers started taking over from the warrior leaders during the Korean War. Slowly, the Alexander Haigs and Bernard Rogers replaced the Hank Emersons and James Hollingsworths. The "slick and quick" replaced the warriors who knew how to win wars and inspire soldiers because they'd spent most of their careers down in the dirt learning their trade the hard, old- fashioned way. Instead, with the Perfumed Princes, connections and the right punches on the career ticket have become more important than troop leading skills and inspiring soldiers by example and tough love. Looks like somebody on high finally got Clark's number and sacked him. Let's hope -- for our country's security and for the welfare of our soldiers -- that the new Army leadership team that just took over gets rid of the "Perfumed Princes" and the culture that's created them. And returns warrior leaders to the top positions.

That was Colonel David Hackworth, an authentic war hero, writing in 1999, about the Little General, Wesley Clark.  The thought that Stanley McChrystal could be fired for telling it like it is while Wesley Clark, the “Perfumed Prince,  could have risen to the point where he was actually mentioned as a presidential candidate, tells you a lot about our military at the top.

But, whoa - now that General McChrystal has been replaced by General David Petraeus, who should be named to take Petraeus’ place but a hard-core Marine named James Mattis.

Brace yourselves, guys. General Mattis is no perfumed prince. He is one who, the New York Times says, “speaks bluntly rather than concerning himself with political correctness.”

Well, I guess he does.  Back in 2005, he received an official rebuke for speaking like a soldier: “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap around women for five years because they didn’t wear a veil.  You know guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway, so it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”

Haw, haw. He's probably learned to be more politically correct in his speech since then, but we all know what he's thinking, don't we?

There’s hope for us yet.

*********** Just ripped up my application for tickets to the Army-Notre Dame game in Yankee Stadium.


It’s Notre Dame’s home game. The Irish and the Steinbrenners conspire to enrich themselves in "neutral" territory, in a venue totally unsuitable for a big-time football game. But that's the Notre Dame fans' problem.  They're the ones who'll pay premium prices to watch a football game in a baseball stadium.

Oh, sure – there’ll be a few Army fans there. Damn few. Army is getting exactly 5,000 tickets, of which a mere 500 will go to the Corps of Cadets (which numbers 4000+).

All of this is thanks to the negotiating power of Army's schlub of an AD, who seems to devote the bulk of his time to scheduling attractive home games at Michie Stadium against the likes of North Texas, VMI, Eastern Michigan and Kent State.

No, wait - Army, once-mighty Army, the fabled Black Knights of the Hudson, will play AT Eastern Michigan and AT Kent State! WTF?

There.  Rant over.

As a football historian, I have considerable knowledge of and great respect for Notre Dame's tradition and its contribution to the game. But I detest modern-day Notre Dame and its overbearing selfishness, capitalizing on a brand built over the years by the likes of Rockne, Leahy, Parseghian and Devine and hundreds of great players.  The Irish of today remind me of spoiled rich kids who've never had to work a day in their lives, living off the family fortune built by their immigrant grandfather and their second-generation father.

*********** Good song - Kenny Chesney – Boys of Fall


*********** Marijuana culture is huge in the forests of Northern California, and much of the "agriculture" is conducted by our frinds from South of the Border. Officials there conducting a recent marijuana raid found the grow being tended by a guy named Gauldry Almonte-Hernandez, whom the US Forest Service described in a press release as a “Displaced foreign traveler from Mexico.” (More deceit from a government that refuses to use the words "Islamist" and "Terrorist" in the same sentence.)

A great editorial in the Redding, California Record-Searchlight does the story justice…

Just a typical foreign tourist visiting California, Gauldry Almonte-Hernandez must have spent a day at the San Diego Zoo and taken in the Venice Boardwalk, then driven up foggy, twisty and beautiful Highway 1 to take in the sights of San Francisco. After shopping in Chinatown, dining in North Beach and admiring the street theater around Pier 39, he headed north to see the world-famous coastal redwoods.

But something went horribly wrong.

On the road to the Lady Bird Johnson Grove, he must have taken a wrong turn on Highway 36. Once up in the rugged mountains of Trinity County, anyone can get lost. Cell coverage is spotty. Gas stations and supplies are scarce. The poor gentleman’s vacation went terribly wrong, and the next thing you know, he found himself camped out at a remote marijuana plantation south of Hayfork.

At least, that’s the impression a reader might get from a U.S. Forest Service news release, sent out to the media Tuesday morning, about a marijuana raid earlier this month. It describes Almonte-Hernandez as a “displaced foreign traveler from Michoacán, Mexico.”

Strangely, though, this poor displaced traveler - far from welcoming his rescue by the Forest Service, Trinity County Sheriff’s Department and Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement - instead reportedly tried to flee and hide as those agency’s officers arrived at the marijuana “garden,” which contained more than 7,000 plants.

A Forest Service law-enforcement dog team ran down Almonte-Hernandez, who, the Forest Service says, faces a federal charge of manufacturing a controlled substance that, if he is convicted, could carry a 10-year prison sentence.

Is that any way to treat a displaced foreign traveler? Good grief, our tourism-dependent economy is bad enough. How much further would it sink if the north state won a reputation for this kind of hospitality? Will Interstate 5 motorists dare even stop for a stroll on the Sundial Bridge? Will recreationists shun the struggling former timber towns in the north state mountains?

Look, there’s no doubt the Forest Service needs to clean up the woods and try to keep a lid on marijuana growing, but messing with travelers is asking for trouble.

We hate to encourage political correctness, but maybe the Forest Service could come up with a polite euphemism for “displaced foreign traveler” so as not to spook the tourist trade. Non-NEPA-compliant agriculturalist, perhaps?

*********** For the last five years, a small group of hard-core Double Wing coaches has been meeting every summer in North-Central Kansas, in the small town of Beloit, to hone our skills at teaching the Double Wing - to take a look at ways to teach it better and ways to stay ahead of defenses.

It all started in the summer of 2006, when old friend Greg Koenig took over at Beloit, a nice town with a nice football tradition that includes a couple of state titles.

Joining Greg and me that first year were Brad Knight, from Holstein, Iowa, and Gabe McCown, of Piedmont, Oklahoma, and we did a good enough job at installing the Double Wing and Greg did a good enough job of building an overall program that Beloit is now a perennial playoff team, and the Trojans, in my opinion, do as good a job of running my system as any high school team in the country.

This year, they look solid again. They have a very good-looking corps of backs and ends, and a line that's smaller than usual but quite quick and athletic. And a 6-2 freshman quarterback who is more than capable of running the team and could become a force in his own right.

They open the season at nearby Concordia, reviving a once-huge rivalry that's been dormant for several years, and down the line, they face legendary Kansas power Smith Center, so consistently good it inspired Joe Drape's book, "Our Boys."

Since we first started coming to Beloit, Brad has taken a new job at Clarinda Academy, in Iowa, and he's brought along his top assistant, PJ Hedrington, and our camps have become social events. Greg's wife, Rhonda, goes slightly overboard in feeding us, and although we normally stay in a hotel in town, this summer Greg and Rhonda hosted my wife and me.

beloit kids
Beloit head coach Greg Koenig reminds the Trojans of their proud tradition You can't see it, but on a 95 degree day - and humid - the kids can feel the cool mist!
trojan stadium
gene keady
Trojan Stadium was built in the 30s, and on Friday nights it's the center of town life Basketball Hall of Fame coach Gene Keady started here in Beloit- as a football coach!
beloit coaches
payton vetter
The combined camp staff of guest coaches and Beloit coaches Freshman QB Payton Vetter and Coach Wyatt - Payton is going to be a good one!

After the Beloit camp breaks, it's become the routine for all the coaches - Wyatt, Hedrington, Knight, Koenig and McCown - to head east to southwest Iowa and the town of Clarinda, where every year we introduce the offense all over again to the Clarinda Academy team. That's right - we start every year from scratch, because every year there's a brand new student body at Clarinda Academy.

Clarinda Academy, you see, is a "residential foster care facility" - a place where young people who've had brushes with the justice systems in their home towns come to get their lives squared away, staying for a year or so. That Clarinda Academy has a beneficial effect on these kids is apparent in the way they handle themselves on the field - they take coaching positively and comply with orders, which for many of them has to be a first.

They are good kids to work with, and many of them are quite athletic. But unfortunately from the standpoint of coaching, few of them have played football before, and fewer still (none, I'll wager) have ever seen the Double Wing.

brad & kids
Clarinda kids
Clarinda head coach Brad Knight praises the kids for making it through practice Coach Knight and one of the offensive units!
clarinda off
clarinda coaches
The other offensive unit - think they've been sweating? L to Rt- Coaches Wyatt, Hedrington, McCown, Knight, Koenig
clarinda demo
Using the Demo Deck to teach the QBs the pass routes Fellow Marylanders - Coach Wyatt and QB Gervontae Burgess, from Baltimore!

We taught the kids how to block, we taught the linemen how to "run the circle," we taught the backs and ends how to run 88 and 99 Super Power and we taught the QBs their mechanics and steps, and by the end of the first session, we were running those two plays acceptably.

The two-hour sessions were totally devoted to offense. We started every session with 30 minutes of blocking. And we ended every session with 30 minutes of team offense vs air.

By the end of the second session, we were running the basic counter - 47-C and 56-C - and the passes that come off them - 47 Brown and 56 Black - as well as the motions required. (We found it easier, for these kids at least, to send the man in motion by having the QB lift his heel, and snapping the ball on "GO!" every time.)

By the end of the third session, we were running the basic roll-out - 88 Brown and 99 Black - as well as trap in one direction (3 trap 2) and "G" in one direction (6-G). And we were running most of the plays from spread formation as well as tight.

We concluded the final session by reviewing everything we'd taught, in addition to a base sweep - 88 G-Reach and 99 G-Reach.

For the most part, we believe that we've got of the kids in the positions where they'll be most successful, and we've introduced them to the basics, but in a school where kids come and go according to the desires of the courts, and where the possibility is ever-present of a kid simply deciding that he doesn't want the physical and mental demands of football any more, Brad and PJ and the rest of the Clarinda staff face challenges that few high school coaches can comprehend.

Clarinda Academy has never had a winning season. If this year should happen to be the year the Eagles break through, they'll all rejoice.

And next year, they'll start all over again.

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

I just finished reading your webpage for Tuesday. I had the chance to see Eagles Landing play againt Lincoln County in the state playoffs. They are one county over from where I live. Its about a 40 minute drive near Clark Hill Lake. That running back is one of the best in single A I have seen. Lincoln County has one of the best traditions of any public school in the state. Thier head coach Larry Cambell has won over 500 games and Lincoln county has won a dozen state championships. It seems these two schools will be seeing alot of each other in the playoffs in the future. I look forward to going to the game if they meet again.

Dan King Evans Ga




FLAGTUESDAY, JULY 20, 2010- “Man has never had a weapon he didn’t use.”  Ronald Reagan

*********** Just back from my annual visits to the Heartland – Beloit, Kansas and Clarinda, Iowa, and places in between. 

Lots to tell about, including some very interesting stops…  The town where George Washington Carver went to high school… General Eisenhower’s boyhood home and his presidential museum… Manhattan, Kansas, the home of the Kansas State Wildcats.

And, of course, a week with the Double Wing and some of the  best Double Wing coaches I know.

Photos and story on Friday

*********** From Sports Business Journal… 

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment’s new sports bar next to Air Canada Centre will sell plenty of beer and chicken wings on game days, but it’s on nights when the arena is full for concerts that the company hopes to cash in on a big food and drink payday. MLSE, owner of the Leafs, the Raptors and the arena, independently owns and operates the restaurant, Real Sports Bar & Grill. The venue opens today in 25,000 square feet that is part of downtown Toronto’s $455 million Maple Leaf Square mixed-use development, in which MLSE is a partner. The two-floor eatery operates 112 beer taps and serves 12 varieties of both wings and burgers in an effort to distinguish itself from a “million sports bars in this town,” said Bob Hunter, MLSE’s executive vice president of venues and entertainment. The clear-cut difference could come when touring shows play Air Canada Centre, and Real Sports’ 990-capacity room becomes an extension of the 19,800-seat arena. MLSE is looking at carrying exclusive live broadcasts of arena concerts on the sports bar’s 39-foot-tall high-definition television  and 199 smaller screens and charging at the door, maybe $15 to $20, Hunter said. 

But here’s the part I like …

On game nights, fans will have a great view gazing up at Maple Leafs and Raptors players hanging out at the VIP Player Lounge, a slightly elevated space in the middle of Real Sports Bar & Grill with roomy couches and a fireplace. It holds 20 people and MLSE restricts its access.

Wow. Imagine being able to sit there with the other proles, paying their ripoff prices for food and drink, and being able to look up and actually watch real millionaire athletes partying. Maybe if we're really good, they'll pour a drink on us or something.

*********** Coach-

I received your Troubleshooting the DW video today. I was able to watch some of it this morning and will watch the rest tonight. You touched on a concern I have regarding blocking.

In our league the defensive alignment must be a 6-man front(no nose) MLB and OLB’s with 2 safeties. My concern is that when we pull the guard and the center covers the DG that MLB will have a clear path on a blitz. In the video you had said the center should not fire out to the guard but wait a second or two and then decide on who to block. If the MLB blitzes then the center would pick up the backer but the DG would have a clear path or it could be the other way with the MLB having a clear path as the center picked up the guard.

Is the answer not to pull the tackle and have him block down on DG and center takes the MLB as we obviously don’t know when he will be blitzing but we will be covered if he does?

I would like to get your take on this.

Coach, First of all, I'm surprised that a league that stipulates what defense must be played (undoubtedly to give offenses a chance) would then allow blitzing.

To answer your question, this is not a problem. The defense will tell the center who(m) to block if the center will be patient and "stay in his stance.".

A backside defensive lineman can't hurt the play firing straight across. He can only hurt the play if by some chance he can chase the play down, which the DG can only do if he can  go through where the center is. If the center holds his spot and extends his near arm at the backside guard he will buy himself a little time.

On the other hand, if the LBer is up on the line threatening a blitz, we have to treat  him, even though he is standing up, and a nose man, meaning that it's an odd front, which we handle as a "TNT" look, as described in the playbook.

This situation is common when we play a 4-4, and the drill we use to prepare him is shown in "A Fine Line."

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

I just finished reading the July 12 News and I think that your posting of the critique that you gave the coach on his double wing was one of the most powerful and helpful posts I have ever seen on your site.  Thanks for putting it on.  Even though we do not run the double wing I am looking at our base play from the same perspective that you were dissecting the power as I prepare for our camp and preseason.

Great work.

John Bothe
Oregon, Illinois

*********** Coach Wyatt,  Just wanted to drop you a note and ask a question. First thanks for all your help.  We had a pretty good year last year. We went 7-3 and advanced to the playoffs for the third straight year.  We had a good year running the ball.  We rushed 510 times for over 3400 yds.

My question is about the passing game. I was wondering how much time you devote to it.  We struggled throwing the ball last year completing under 40% of our throws. I think I'm to blame we had a  qb with a good arm and a couple of kids who could catch.

I don't know that we spent enough time on it.  But I don't think we could have taken any time away from the running game and been as good as we were running the
ball.  It's a time crunch everyone faces - just wondering what you do.

Scott Whaley
Oskaloosa, Kansas


Here's the real issue: your passing game is built in the off-season, and depends on how much work the kids are willing to put into it.

Once the season starts, it's hard to spend a lot of time on the basics of a passing game.

The answer to your question is "as much time as we can afford."  I know that that's dodging the exact answer, because it varies according to how much time you much devote to your running game, and how much you'll get out of the time you devote to passing.

First of all, if your running game is not where it needs to be, the answer is not to devote more time to the passing game.

And second, unless you have the talent in the right places to produce an effective passing game, the time spent on passing is better spent on running.

From the sound of things, you could possibly have spent more time last year on passing.  Who knows at what point it would have begun to cut into those 3400 yards.

Hope that helps.

*********** No offense to my many friends and fellow coaches in California, but while you guys are coaching or working at your day jobs or spending time with your families, some of your fellow Californians stay busy making your state a national laughingstock.

In this case, it’s a bill in the state legislature to defrock the state rock – serpentine - because it contains (ohmigod) asbestos.

Right-thinking Californians say it the bill, if passed, could expose museums, where serpentine jewelry can be found, to lawsuits from the asbestos-is-radioactive crowd.

Geologists, who for the most part oppose the bill, say that the type of asbestos found in serpentine is less harmful than other forms of asbestos, and would only  be a danger if a person were to breathe its dust repeatedly.  Of course, they point out, this is true of most rocks.

“There is no way anyone is going to get bothered by casual exposure to that kind of rock,” Malcolm Ross, a retired geologist, told the New York Times.  “Unless they were breaking it up with a sledgehammer year after year.”

PNW fruit*********** There are no better summers than ours in the Pacific Northwest. Temperatures rarely get into the 90s, and it's never humid. Like most people out here, we don't have air conditioning, and we sleep most nights under a blanket. And although we are famous for our gray, rainy days, it doesn't rain a whole lot in the summers.

And then there's the fruit. The strawberries are the best anywhere, but they're about done now. What we still have, though, are cherries (Rainier cherries at top left, Bing cherries at bottom left), raspberries and blueberries. Yet to come are blackberries and their cousins, the marionberries and boysenberries.

*********** Dear Hugh,

I was born in 1982 and played hockey on a home-made lake rink with my friends for entire days imagining myself as Steve Yzerman or Chris Osgood (while my Nintendo lay fallow indoors).  Obviously I was just one kid, but it always gets me when people from an older generation riff on Aristotle's famous quote about the youth of today:

"The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, they show disrespect to their elders.... They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross theirlegs, and are tyrants over their teachers."

You are probably right anyways, but I had to stand up for myself and my worn out Bauer skates in my parents basement.

God Bless,

Tyler Sellhorn
Fort Wayne, Indiana

*********** Not too many people realize that long before he ever got involved in baseball, the late George Steinbrenner was a football guy. He played at Culver (Indiana) Military Academy and Williams College, and worked as an assistant coach at Northwestern and then at Purdue before his father pressured him to help with the then-struggling family shipbuilding business.

*********** Lots of mystery, it would seem, about the late-summer departure of Vanderbilt’s Bobby Johnson. But Tony Barnhart, writing in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, made some sense of it.

First of all, Barnhart wrote, Johnson did a great job:

Of the 66 games he lost  in his eight years at Vandy, twenty-six were by seven points or less.

He was only the third coach in school history to hold the job for eight years or more.

And he refused to use Vanderbilt’s high academic standards as an excuse. He said that in recruiting, between the SEC, an education worth about $240,000, and the city of Nashville, “That should be enough.”

As for his timing? Barnhart wrote, “My take is that after all of those tough years together, Johnson felt his staff deserved a chance to carry on without him.  If he had left last December that probably doesn’t happen.  Now Caldwell and this staff have a year to prove to Vanderbilt that they can get the job done. He owed them that. Some Vanderbilt fans won’t like that and it’s understandable. But my belief is that Bobby Johnson felt that his first loyalty after (his wife) Catherine was to the men who had slugged it out in the trenches with him for the past eight years.”

pac10 logo*********** When a league called the Pacific 10 Conference expands to 12 teams and can’t even come up with a more suitable name, you'd scarcely expect it to waste time coming up with a new logo, but that’s exactly what the Pac-10 did.

Yuk. It looks like it belongs on the hood of an old car or on the arm of a state trooper

*********** Anybody can plan - the important thing is to put those plans into action...

There are five birds on a telephone wire. Two decide to fly south. How many are left?

No, it’s not three; it’s five. Deciding to fly south and actually flying south are two different things. The life lesson is that you’ll never get where you want to go until you point yourself in the right direction, jump off the wire, and start flapping your wings.

From Character Counts…

*********** My son, Ed, in Australia, writes, “I hooked our radio station up with Pat Kelly, former Yankee 2nd baseman now living in Adelaide.  He told this story about Steinbrenner”:

Pat's father came in for a game and was waiting for him after the game in the parking lot under Yankee Stadium.  He was wearing a t-shirt and sneakers, sitting on the tailgate of his pickup having a beer.  Steinbrenner happened by, introduced himself and asked who he was.  When he found out it was Pat's old man, Steinbrenner sat down and had a beer with Pat's dad.  Afterward  he thanked him, then said,  "Next time you come in here, I want you to be driving a better vehicle.  Your son's making a lot of money, get him to buy you a car.  And wear a shirt with a collar and some nice shoes."  How great is that?

Great story.  Steinbrenner had his good points and his bad points, but overall, I put him, Jerry Jones and Donald Trump high on my list of people whose selfishness and lack of concern for their sport and their partners has ruined sports.  Hell, Trump took down an entire league ("small potatoes," as he referred to the USFL).  And of course, while George Steinbrenner had those bad points, I think we may think he was a saint in comparison with his moneygrubbing sons.

*********** Bet you never knew that the Constitution gave us a Right to Lie.

I have railed here many times about people who pad their resumes or inflate their reputations by claiming to have played pro football when they didn’t, or to have coached some place where they simply didn’t.  They are blowhards, and they are frauds, and they steal attention – sometimes jobs – from people of real accomplishments who don’t boast about them.

But they’re nothing compared with the guys who claim military honors that they simply haven’t earned.  In some cases, it’s just a little bit of exaggeration.  For example, a Black Lion of my acquaintance, a true hero of the Battle of Ong Thanh, volunteers at a veteran’s hospital, and he says that just about every old vet he helps tells him he was once an Army Ranger or a Navy Seal.


But what the hell.  They're not the worst. The real bastards are the ones who claim to be heroes. 

Real heroes perform unimaginable acts of heroism in combat; that heroism is witnessed and documented, and after a review process that determines their worthiness of honor, they are awarded a medal in recognition of their bravery.

Others don’t bother with the combat, or the bravery, or the review process.  Sometimes, they don’t even bother joining the service. They just go out and buy the same medals that heroes earn, and claim to have won them.  The length to which they carry out their deceits is often impressive.

So what’s the problem? So who’s hurt? 

Well, the persons who really did fight and die, that’s who. The persons who still bear the scars of battle, both physical and mental. The persons who laid it on the line while the imposters sat in the air-conditioned bar and boasted of their feats.

And, too,  a public that believes that true heroism should be rewarded.  Imposters can cause the public to question the authenticity of the  true heroes.

It was to put an end to such fraud that Congress passed what has come to be called the “Stolen Valor” Law, named for a book that documented numerous brazen false claims of service and heroism by people from all walks of life.

But last Friday, a guy named Robert Blackburn, another one of these f—king appointed-for-life federal judges – one man, unelected -  undid the work of an elected body – Congress – by deciding that the Stolen Valor Act violates the first amendment to the Constitution. It’s okay to lie.

The case involved a loser who falsely claimed to be a Marine, and to have won the Purple Heart and the Silver Star.

The ACLU argued that the law is unconstitutional because it doesn’t require the prosecution to show that anyone was harmed by the deceit.  And if no one was harmed, then no harm, no foul.

Nonsense, says Rep. John Salazar of Colorado, one of the sponsors of the Stolen Valor Law. “This is an issue of fraud, plain and simple.”

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

My first thought when I clicked the link to SI about the disqualified pole vaulter was, "Female athletes aren't supposed to be that pretty."  Aren't they supposed to look like young women who become Supreme Court nominees?

"Sportsmanship vs. Gamesmanship."  Throughout your career you've had to deal with opposing coaches, teachers, school boards, parents, and fans, as well as players with all kinds of personalities.  The other coaches think they are better than you. When you defeat them, they accuse you of running up the score.  The teachers resent your influence over the students and are jealous of the fact that you are a better teacher of football than they are of health, biology, or "family science."  The school board doesn't want to pay you and the superintendent tries to take credit for your success.  The parents hate you because their fair-haired boy isn't a starting wide receiver. In fact, you don't even HAVE wide receivers on your team!  The fans think they know more about football than you do.

After all, didn't John Madden train them?

And yet your players accept your authority and buy into your system of playing football. They endure camp, endless practice drills, pain, heat, mud, rain, and cold.  They rejoice when they win and cry when they lose. Over the years a few of them got to hoist the trophy.  They applaud loudly when you present the MVP to a good player.  And they cry like babies when a retired Army officer presents the Black Lion Award to their best teammate.

You are a sportsman in the true sense of the word.  As one who works with people for a living and tries to influence them to continually do better, it's all worth it.

Jim Franklin
Flora Indiana

********** Okay, all you guys out there who think that going away to team camp is such a wonderful idea… are you prepared to face the lawyers?

Are you absolutely sure that something ugly could never happen with your kids?  Do you really know them that well? 

Are you really sure that you want to spend a week away from home providing the kind of supervision that will guarantee that it won’t happen to you?  Are you really sure that you have the right to ask your assistants to join you in the supervision and the assumption of risks?

Are the unmeasurable benefits of such a camp – team building, blah, blah, blah – really worth the risk of allowing a handful of bad apples to destroy lives, careers and reputations? 

While you're pondering my questions, consider this, just the latest in a long line of outrages...

Charges have been filed in Pittsburg, Kansas against 11 Seneca, Missouri High School football players, and charges are pending against a 12th, in connection with accusations of hazing of freshman football players by upperclassmen at a team camp at Pittsburgh State last month.

The Crawford County (Kansas)  Attorney said last week that his office had filed a total of 39 felony charges and five misdemeanor charges. Eight of the players have been charged with multiple felonies, one of them with eight separate felony charges and another with seven.

I don't even want to know what really happened, but I can guess.

*********** From the New York Times…

In their book, “The Narcissism Epidemic,” Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell cite data to suggest that at least since the 1970s, we have suffered from national self-esteem inflation. They cite my favorite piece of sociological data: In 1950, thousands of teenagers were asked if they considered themselves an “important person.” Twelve percent said yes. In the late 1980s, another few thousand were asked. This time, 80 percent of girls and 77 percent of boys said yes.

So given the current epidemic of narcissism that infects all aspects of our society, given that way too many kids think that they are way too important, wouldn’t it seem that the last thing we need is school courses that encourage it?

Yet an article in the Portland Oregonian recently told about a middle-school teacher in Albany, Oregon who gave the seventh graders in his “leadership class” this assignment:
“Create a Project that will Change the World.”

*********** The schism came about when the participation-oriented Oregon Youth Soccer Association decided to make “U11” (don’t you just love that Euro-wannabe “U” crap?) competition 8-against-8, and the elite-oriented Oregon Premier League guys held fast for 11-against-11.

Their problem? Having eight players on a team, while admittedly good for young kids still learning the game, doesn’t adequately prepare them for the “competitive levels,” which start when they’re 12.

Hey - maybe we can learn from our soccer brethren.  Why waste time teaching kids how to play? Why waste time honing their skills and coaching them up? Why not just identify as early as possible the ones who are destined for stardom? Hey, it worked for the East Germans, right?

Why waste time letting first-graders play flag football, when starting them out playing tackle will prepare them better for the “competitive level” – for when they’re 10 or 11.

And why let youth quarterbacks throw a youth-sized ball, one that’s the right size for their hands, when they’re going to have to throw a full-sized football when they get to high school?

Why should you have the ten-year-olds playing a run-oriented single wing, or double wing, when they’re going to be throwing it from the spread once they get to be 12?

Basketball?  Why spoil first-graders by letting them shoot at eight-foot hoops? That won’t “adequately prepare them” for the ten-foot hoops they’ll be shooting at when they get to “competitive levels?”

Baseball? Why hold kids back by starting ‘em out with tee-ball, or even “coach-pitch?”  If they’re ever going to make an elite travel team, they’re going to have to learn to face heat at some point, so they might as well see what it looks like as soon as they’re able to hold a bat.   And get ‘em out there throwing curves right away, too – they’re going to have to need more than a fastball when they get to “competitive levels.” Pay no attention to those quack orthopedists who say kids shouldn’t throw curves – what the hell do they know?

Hey - should we be putting training wheels on bicycles? How is that going to get kids ready to ride Harleys?

*********** Coach Wyatt:

A few weeks ago, I read in Sports Illustrated an excerpt of a new book entitled "Blood, Sweat, and Chalk." The excerpt was a chapter on Don Coryell. I could hardly stop reading the piece and immediately ordered the book on Amazon. Well, I pre-ordered it. It wasn't supposed to arrive until well into August.

Much to my surprise, last week Amazon sent an update saying my book would arrive in just a few days. I got it over the weekend. The first three chapters cover the origins of, in order, the single wing, Wing-T, and the Wildcat. And there, on page 36, a true pioneer's name jumped out.

Right there, on the same pages with names of legends like Pop Warner, Amos Alonzo Stagg, Dick Kazmaier, and Tubby Raymond was the familiar and deserving name of another fellow, a genius in his own right. The name Hugh Wyatt jumped off the page.

I stopped and re-read it again. And then it dawned on me. OF COURSE Hugh Wyatt would be in a book that included a chapter on the origin of the Wildcat. How could he not be?

While I'm sure you will pass off credit and say you picked up the idea from grainy film way back when--no good football idea has been unthunk before--it's good to see your name where it belongs. Kudos to Sports Illustrated writer Tim Layden for doing the work to get it right.

By the way, I stepped down as head coach here after the 2004 season because our program had grown to the point that I couldn't serve as a full-time pastor on the church side and still coach on the school side. With that move went the last vestiges of the Wyatt system at our school. Or so I thought. Before the 2007 season, we hired a guy who may one day appear in a book like "Blood, Sweat, and Chalk." He's the best football coach I've ever been around. Just don't tell anyone. His name is ------- -------, who played center at The Citadel and started three years after walking on. He had four different offensive coordinators during his time there, which meant his college career was the petri dish for a creative coaching career.

We're running the Wildcat better than anyone in Georgia. You ought to see what he's done with it. He's created a way to run it out of the spread with creative blocking schemes and outnumbering opponents with motion and receivers stepping on and off the line. Most of our opponents can't figure out who's eligible and therefore who's blocking and who's running routes. But the key is the kid in the backfield.

In the last paragraph of the chapter on the Wildcat, Layden writes: "Yet there are those who see the transition to a different kind of player, and a different kind of offense, as inevitable. "There are only so many plays in football; all we're doing is finding different ways to run them all," says (Chan) Gailey. "But there's no escaping the fact that high school and college football are developing a different type of athlete. Pretty soon--I don't know how long, but pretty soon--somebody is going to find an athlete who can run and throw and just take the conventional quarterback off the field."

His name is Keyante Green. We don't throw with him much yet, but we probably will. Last year, as a freshman in Class A of the Georgia High School Association, he rushed for over 1,400 yards and had 2,008 all-purpose yards. He's only 5-foot-8 but can run at 195 chiseled pounds. Click here to see the continued evolution of your genius:


Congratulations, Coach Wyatt. It was just awesome seeing justice served in the Wildcat chapter.

God bless
Tim Luke
Special Teams Coordinator
Eagle's Landing Christian Academy
McDonough, GA

Coach Luke,

Thanks so much for the note.  Needless to say, I am flattered that Tim Layden would include my name among the real giants of the game. I will not deny taking pride in that, but I am smart enough to know that I am in over my head with people like that.

I am sorry that you were not able to continue as head coach, but pleased that you continue to serve the Lord.

I'm also pleased that you've found a coach who can enable the young men of Eagle's Landing to achieve their utmost.  And I promise you I won't reveal his name.

As for Keyante - it's going to be hard to keep people from knowing his name.  He is special.

Thanks again for writing.

To my readers: I haven’t received my copy of “Blood, Sweat and Chalk” yet, but I strongly urge every one of you to buy many, many copies (I suggest several dozen) to give as gifts. It’s the least I can do for any author who casts me in the role of a genius.


FLAGTUESDAY, JULY 13, 2010- “Government’s role is to provide services, not jobs.” Dave Bing, Mayor of Detroit, successful businessman and former NBA All-Star

*********** P. J.O'Rourke writes in the Wall Street Journal that there are things soccer needs to do to be less boring.

He lists several things, such as allowing the use of the hands, and finishes like this...

"You're almost there. Just use your hands, introduce some full-body blocking, expand the goal area, break up the game a little so that people have time to go to the bathroom between plays and maybe change the shape of the ball slightly so it's easier to carry. Now you've got a sport."

*********** Tom Pagna, a former assistant Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian, died Tuesday. He was 78. Coach Pagna was the author of "Era of Ara," a great look back at Coach Parseghian's career, especially his tenure at Notre Dame.

*********** By Brett McMurphy, in FanHouse --- http://ncaafootball.fanhouse.com

Meanwhile, West Virginia has been the nation's most successful school when playing against teams with bigger budgets. The Mountaineers' success rate against schools with a greater financial commitment is unprecedented.

In the past five seasons, the Mountaineers played 17 games against schools that they were outspent by and West Virginia was an impressive 14-3 in those contests.

Following West Virginia as the most successful when playing against schools that spent more money were Florida (9-4, .692 percent), LSU (13-6, .684), Oregon (19-9, .678), Texas Tech (18-10, .642) and Oregon State (27-16, .627).

Of the 66 schools in the automatic qualifying BCS conferences – the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC plus Notre Dame – only six teams had a losing record over the past five seasons when playing schools that spent less money on their football programs.

The Not-So-Super Six are: Duke (4-16 record against schools that spent less money, .200 winning percentage); Syracuse (10-35, .222); Washington (13-33, .282); North Carolina (7-12, .386); Iowa State (13-19, .426) and N.C. State (4-5, .444).

*********** A coach sent me a DVD, asking for an appraisal, and this was my response. Maybe it will benefit some readers...


I was able to find a game in which the camera was high enough to give me a decent look, and I think I'm able to give you some help. (It was the game when your opponents wore all black, with white helmets).

First of all, you were relatively free of penalties and turnovers (other than the blind pass back into the middle).  That's always in your favor.

But as I suspected when I read your earlier e-mail, even though that opponent was not very good, it is not nearly so much a question of opposing defenses as it is the fact that you're not getting what you should out of the offense.

Here are a few observations:   (I always try to focus on the power play, because unless the base play is run to near perfection, nothing else will be.)

1. THE SYSTEM:  For several years, in all my writing and clinics, I have been strongly advising running SUPER POWER instead of power.

            A. Linemen need to back up as much as much as legal
            B. Wingbacks need to widen, until they are 1 yard outside their TE
                        By the way, my wingbacks are now squared up to the line, but that's a matter of individual preference

            A. On a couple of super powers, your center got whipped and the guard, who was uncovered,  didn't help him
            B. I always look at the playside wingbacks, because they are the guys most likely not to know their assignment.  Yours definitely do not.
                        Painstaking work on making sure that they always block someone to their inside is essential
                        They need to have a thorough understanding of the "6" or "9" call (page 21).   I actually say "ON" or "OFF," but that's not important

            A. The exchange is taking place way too deep in the backfield -
I figure the B-Back's heels (when he lines up) is the right depth.  Deeper than that invites edge rushers.
            B. The B-Back is not taking an inside-out path to the kick out.  He should be approaching the defender more like a guard than a back
            C. Backside linemen are not "running a circle" - turning up first chance they get and turned and looking inside as they run up field
                        That's because they turn their shoulders too much, and that's largely because of (2A)

            A. There is a general tendency to make contact and then stop - to fail to sustain blocks
                 I stress the "12-Step Cure" - making sure that on all blocks, in all blocking drills, blockers must take at least 12 steps while in contact with the defender

The wedge looked good a couple of times
I think I saw 6-G and 7-G, but if I did - the QB needs to reverse out
The counters were successful, but mainly because the defense was not very good and was fooled.
            Ball handling is not crisp.  The runner is not taking the drop step.  The QB is not stepping at 5 o clock (on 47-C_ and he s not hiding the ball

On Red-Red/Blue-Blue (88 Brown/99 Black) the backside linemen need to hinge

Although the concept of my system is relatively simple, I constantly stress that there is a lot of detail involved that you must be willing to tend to.

Overall, I think you have very good potential if you and your staff are willing to deal with all those fine points.

That should give you a few things to consider. Please feel free to ask me about anything that isn't clear, or anything else that might come up.  

*********** Hi, Coach!

Just thought I would give you an update on my situation.  I basically decided to take the year off.  I was actually considering getting my official's patch and seeing the game from that view.  Before I committed to that, I was offered the opportunity to coach a 6th/7th grade team at the school where I teach.

Around the same time, my son (he's going to be a 6th grader) was really bugging me to play football.

As we don't have a 5th/6th grade team in the town where I live, we decided to start one.  So, no high school coaching for me this year but I will be coaching two youth teams.  We are going to run the Double Wing on offense and the Wide Tackle 6 on defense.  We just finished up a minicamp this week and it really was a lot of fun.

I also had a question for you about the hockey stick technique.  This week, we worked on 88 Super Power.

Here's the steps we had the QB take:

1.  Bring ball to belly, pivot on right foot, open left foot to 6:00 and give a low, soft toss to the A

2.  After the toss, QB takes 3 quick steps (starting with the right foot) at about a 45 degree angle to
the line of scrimmage.

3.  On 3rd step (right foot), QB plants hard and sprints to the sideline, getting parallel to the line
of scrimmage

It looked really clean and smooth against bags.  What are your thoughts on this?

Nice to hear from you and nice to get an update.

Well, at least you're coaching away from that den of fools in ---.

You will be plenty busy, and I know that you'll quickly find - if you haven't already - that coaching is coaching!  And, of course, you have a chance to coach your own son.

You've pretty much got the hockey stick deal down except that (GOING TO THE RIGHT) after the punch step (not a pivot, exactly)  with the right foot,  the first step (with the left foot) has to be in the direction of FIVE o'clock, otherwise the QB won't get out of the way on the trap, he won't be able to get to the 6-G handoff, among other things.

That "punch step" is not exactly a pivot.  It's a "pivot in the air."  He actually picks the foot up (and puts it down again really quickly) so the cleats don't get caught in the grass.

The first step with the left foot may LAND on the center line, but the overall path is at FIVE (SEVEN if he's going to the left).  I want him to take FOUR steps along the stick handle before flattening out for the blade.

I wouldn't overcoach this if you are getting the results you want.

I would be careful, though, to make sure he does this on the counter, where some QB's try to swing a little wider on their first step, possibly because they want to make certain not to collide with the running back.

Hope that helps!

*********** The recent jury verdict of guilty of involuntary manslaughter enraged the civil-rights minded people of Oakland, who were so upset at the American justice system that, according to the AP, they  “looted an athletic footwear store and ransacked a jewelry shop.”

Athletic footwear and jewelry stores, eh?  Funny way to conduct a civil rights protest.

*********** When does it all stop?  Not saying that Portland is f—ked up, but their local transit agency, Tri-Met, has announced that in the interest of something called  “transit equity” it uses its least polluting equipment in poorer areas of town, because, it says, their air is more polluted than that of more affluent areas.

*********** Think players' remaining in college doesn't pay off for the NFL?  Tim Tebow’s is the NFL’s best-selling jersey – and he has yet to play a down in the NFL.  His fame is totally owing to what he’s done in college.

*********** Jason Whitlock on LeBron’s “Decision”...

Thursday night, his LeBrontourage and ESPN enablers dressed him in a clown suit, topped it with a black hat and turned him into a buffoonish laughingstock and villain.
Will he recover?

For seven years, James seemed to delight in, court and fuel himself with universal adoration and respect. It’s gone now, and it’s not coming back. He’s a hero in Miami, a coward in New York, a spoiled, narcissistic punk most everywhere else and Black Modell in Ohio.

Where was Nike? Why didn’t Phil Knight put a stop to this, get James to comprehend the risks?
No one cares about LeBron giving the advertising dollars from “The Decision” to the Boys and Girls Club. James would’ve been better served cutting a personal check to a Cleveland/Akron charity and informing the Cavs he was leaving immediately after the playoffs.

It appears Dan Gilbert is irate because he realizes LeBron made LeDecision long ago. This whole spectacle was a gigantic tease, a charade. The Cavs‘ offseason approach (draft, free agency, Mike Brown, Danny Ferry) might have been dramatically different had the organization known from the get-go James was leaving.

When James announced his decision, he didn’t say he was joining Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat. LeBron said he was going to South Beach.
He’s Tiger Woods, chasing a childhood celebrity stole. LeBrand, Maverick, Drama and Turtle are headed to South Beach to party with D.Wade and CB4.
There’ll be more new baby-mamas than championships.


*********** A friend writes,

A few years back, Bill Curry was interviewed by WFAN's Mike Francesca

Francesca asked him which was the better coaching job - college or pro

Curry said college, but not Division I. He explained that there's too much pressure to win and, as such, one has to recruit and keep bad people

Said when he was a pro coach, it bothered him to have to keep players he knew were jerks over a less talented player who was a good guy because he needed the jerks to win games

Can't say I disagree with him

Course I don't understand how D-II and III football teams can make enough profit to survive....

D-II teams still give scholarships. They only  make it with institutional support, but they still have pressure to make some money to try to defray some expenses.    Many of them have low academic standards, and some of them little more than glorified junior colleges.

D-III schools don't even try to justify their football programs as profit centers.  D-III football is a sport,  the way a sport is supposed to be treated by a college - as an opportunity for those of its students who wish to play to do so.  They are not expected to make money.  I know that some D-III schools don't even charge admission. And they do not give athletic scholarships.  Supposedly.

Of course there is ego and ambition and greed at that level, too, but the big difference is that players are playing for the right reason, and not as a stepping-stone to the NFL.

At the very least, major colleges at some point are going to have to go back to one-platoon football.  Using a word that's very popular nowadays, the current football model is "unsustainable."

It takes  serious lobbying dollars to get state legislators to look the other way and ignore the way state institutions pervert their missions - and jeopardize the safety and well-being of other students and local businesspeople - by bringing hired thugs onto their campuses for the sole purpose of playing games.

*********** Look, I actually tried watching soccer, but that broadcast team drove me nuts.

A Brit  who  sounds like he's a put-on by Monty Python ("and the crowd are loving it!") and makes NO concessions at all to his American audience, and a broadcast partner who thinks he it makes him sound worldly to say "OO-DOO-GWYE." If he's going to be consistent he should also say "Deutschland."

Soccer people: If you have any expectations at all of winning over casual US fans – which is where the growth of your audience is going to have to take place -  do NOT force us to listen to people who don’t care enough about a US audience to speak to us in our own language (which, based on listening to this guy, is not what he was speaking). 

Why not a guy with a German accent?  Or a Spanish accent?  Or a Dutch accent?

At least they’ll speak English.  “Shhedule?”  Gimme a break. 

It’s not the accent – it’s the non-American English.  Like listening to Dwyane Wade (“Me and Chris and ‘Bron - we ready”) for an entire game.

And the pontificating!  Nonstop chastising of the African fans for booing a guy who cheated Ghana with a handball.

They called the booing “disgraceful.”  Said it showed a lack of understanding of the game.

They were saying "what's the big deal? He paid his price. Any pro would have done it."

Like so many American sportscasters, they seem to think that the penalty for cheating is the same thing as a license to cheat.

I wanted to tell him to STFU and open his f—king grammar book and study the part about nouns agreeing with verbs.

***********  Coach, Yesterday I was out with a few of the players and we ran a few plays and I started to see an problem whenever we ran any of the following plays from Tight Formation: 88(99) Brown (Black) 3-1. For whatever reason the players would hit each other. Have you seen this before - how did you resolve it?

(1) They must be lined up 1 yard apart – if they are shoe-to-shoe, they are sure to hit each other.

(2) They both must take an outside release!  Step at 45 degrees with the outside foot.  Their inclination is to start straight upfield with the first step.

(3)  They both take FOUR steps (always counting the outside foot first) befire making their first break

(4) They both break toward the corner - but the "1" then breaks sharply to the sideline after two steps  (If he doesn't break sharply, and instead drifts upfield, he could cause problems)

This way, they will rub off, but they won't collide

You really have to work on their routes, though.  They have to be precise for this to work, and kids do tend to get sloppy.

Let me know how that looks!

***********  A friend of mine who is a retired college AD says that the college sports structure is not economically sustainable.  He concedes that a lot of the problems are Title IX-driven but “no one wants to go there.”  

He says there are four areas that must be addressed if the college sports bubble is to avoid a collapse:

(1) The size of today’s athletic departments ("they have associate executive assistant deputy athletic directors."

(2) The coaches' pay and the sheer number of coaches

(3) The never-ending arms race to build more and bigger and better facilities

(4) The number of scholarships (he is a strong proponent of one-platoon football)

FLAGFRIDAY, JULY 9, 2010- “All men are equal before fish.” Herbert Hoover 

*********** I doubt that I’m the only one who’s sick of the NBA free agency circus, who thinks that the constant barrage of news about giving megamillions to marginally deserving semiliterate louts at a time when teachers are being laid off and college graduates can’t get jobs is not the great publicity the league thinks it is.

Does anyone think that the coverage it has been getting really reflects the public’s interest in it, or is it being shoved down our throats?

The idea that LeBron James could actually commandeer an hour’s worth of prime time on ESPN to deliver a five-second message confirms once again the marketing genius of P.T. Barnum: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Yup. And there probably really were some people who tuned in thinking that King James would make his announcement in the first two minutes of the show so they could get on with their lives.

It seems every generation or so the American public gets taken in like this. The last time was Geraldo’s opening of Al Capone’s vault.  Before that it was Tiny Tim’s wedding.

I confess. I watched it. Sort of. In a half-assed way, with one eye on the screen. I nearly wretched when I saw all those little boys and girls, human props, sitting in the background, but it was worth it just to hear LeBron, a young man with an ego bigger than Donald Trump's, say that the whole experience has been "humbling."

*********** I am a BIG Duke fan, and have been since at least 1979, when my daughter first started there. That means, of course, that like all Dukies I dislike Carolina. But even before 1979, back in the 60s when we lived in Maryland and looked forward to the ACC Game of the Week (that's all we got - just one!), I've respected Tarheels' coach Dean Smith.

Now, out of Carolina comes the sad news that age is taking its toll, and coach Smith's memory is fading...


*********** Coach, For the coach that wanted information about 6 man football. You can visit a website called http://sixmanfootball.com . It has a great history and rules section on the game You can also Youtube some 6 man video.. I also believe they still play it in Nebraska and at one time it was played in Oklahoma at the class C level years ago but they have converted to 8 man ball.

I have seen 6 man played and it is really an exciting game to watch. You have a lot more passing but there is also a great running game that is played from it. I have seen quite a few “wing” formations played from it. If you like to see breakout runs it is a blast. Some things that are different is that they play on an 80 yard field. Much like the 8 man game and you have to gain 15 yards for a 1st down. They also have a mercy rule where if teams are up by 45 points after halftime the game is called. Think arena football at the High School level. I like the game and it gives those small rural school who do not have the student body size a chance to play the greatest sport known to mankind.

Mike Watts
Mission Texas
RGV Cowboys

*********** Coach, what is your view on pulling both guard and tackle for superpower? Have you ever tried just pulling the guard so the back side tackle can pick up blitzing linebackers or teams that teach linebackers to shoot gaps where the pulling guard and tackle were? Also on trap if the DT is outside shade of the playside guard do you give your offensive line the liberty to make it trap at 4? Thank you in advance,


We always have the ability to run "Super O" (Guard only) should we have reason not to pull our tackle - such as when we're running Super Power from slot or spread or unbalanced, when we don't have a backside TE to cut off a chaser.

But overall the pulling tackle is important to the play because he provides an extra escort for the runner, whom we teach to put his inside hand on the back of that pulling tackle and push him through the hole, looking for the cut back off the tackle's tail. It's not as if the tackle necessarily blocks anybody, but if we have the ball carrier and tackle in that close rrelationship, the defense has to get through the tackle to get to the ball carrier.

On your second question: If the man we are trapping is in a "3" technique (outside shoulder of guard) we will usually trap him. Sounds as if you're referring to a 5-3 or a "Bear," and most often those guys are coached to get upfield. Normally, a trap at 4 is not an adjustment made at the line. It's either part of our game plan (based on what we expect to see) or it's an in-game adjustment. Only when our linemen are REALLY good and REALLY knowledgeable do I give them this option. That's because we don't just call a trap just because it seems like a good call. A trap is not an "anytime" play. We don't call a trap until they've given us reason to believe it's going to be there.

Hope that helps.

*********** Dear Christ. Will the outrages never cease?

From the San Francisco Examiner...

You'd be hard-pressed to find an American who doesn't know that the "S" in NASA stands for "Space." Since the race to the moon in the 1960s, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been one of the most storied agencies in the U.S. government. Now, under President Obama, its mission is changing -- and space isn't part of the story.

"When I became the NASA administrator, [Obama] charged me with three things," NASA head Charles Bolden said in a recent interview with the Middle Eastern news network al-Jazeera. "One, he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering."

Read more: http://www.sfexaminer.com/politics/NASA_s-new-mission_-Building-ties-to-Muslim-world-97817909.html#ixzz0svE7xlUC

Maybe, as big a farce as the self esteem movement has proved to be with our kids, the idea is to trick the "Muslim world" into believing that we really do care how they feel about themselves and their "historic contribution to science, math and engineering - and then they'll leave us alone.

*********** On 44/55-x Lead, what front do you X block vs. base block?

Unless we can overpower opponents we usually x block against any front we see.

I especially like this from slot or spread, when we almost always have a man in a "5" technique.

*********** Coach, … with superpower you teach the pulling guard and tackle to stay square to the line of scrimmage and then become bricks in the wall, we have the issue with the tackle constantly pulling like counter and leading up through the hole and leaving scraping linebackers to make tackles, also the tackle seems to be congesting the hole and making running backs bounce outside. I watched your fine line video but I still have concerns with the tackle not being a brick in the wall. Thank you again in advance,

You need the circle drill. It is indispensable to teaching them this very important point. You have to do this every day in camp, and AT LEAST once a week in season, preferably more.


Then, all we have to do is tell him "run the circle." And when we ask him what is assignment is, he'd better tell us, "Run the circle."

*********** Did you know that rugby is going to be an Olympic sport in 2016? Cool! Todd Bross, Union, Maine

Yes, I did- Unfortunately, It's going to be Rugby Sevens (7 man) which is to real rugby as Arena Football is to the 11-man game.

Bizarre game – seven to a side with seven minute halves. SEVEN MINUTES. Game’s over in a flash.

Makes no sense, because it’s not even close in popularity to Rugby Union (15 men a side) or Rugby League (13 a side).

But what the hell. It beats rhythmic gymnastics.

*********** Kellen Winslow is in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame, and it’s probably because he played for Don Coryell, who died recently. Coryell used Winslow more as a receiver than a blocker, frequently splitting him out wide, where defenses did not know how to cope with a wide receiver – with a wide receiver’s speed - in the tight end’s body

Recalled former Chargers’ running back Hank Bauer, "Don once said, 'If we're asking Kellen to block a defensive end and not catch passes, I'm not a very good coach.’”

*********** Haw, haw, haw. You ready for this one?

USC has just had to apologize to several schools, including Alabama, Florida, Fresno State and Washington, because it seems Lanie-Boy Kiffin was falsely accusing them of illegally contacting USC players.

Can you imagine anything so sleazy as contacting another team’s players? Can you, Lanie-Boy?

*********** No charges in the Michael Vick birthday party shooting. Seems they can’t get the victim to “cooperate.” To talk. Well, gee. What a shock. You’d think that despite all Michael Vick’s fame and money, despite the fact that this could cost Vick what remains of his NFL career, the victim would still want to come forward and see justice done, wouldn't you? Right.

Not that Vick is totally out of the woods yet.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is looking into the shooting because there’s no question that - only minutes before the shooting - Vick was present at an event that characters from his shady past might reasonably be expected to attend, and where trouble – such as a shooting – might conceivably break out.

And Vick's federal probation officer is said to be investigating to determine if Vick violated the terms of his probation.

Meantime, the NBA free agent game plays on, but another “controversial” son of Tidewater Virginia, Allen “Bubba Chuck” Iverson, finds himself looking for a place to play.

Maybe China.

*********** Thanks to Alan Goodwin, a relocated Connecticut Yankee in Charlotte, North Carolina…

From the New Haven Register - A Middletown (Connecticut) High School student collapsed from the heat during football practice Tuesday, and two assistant coaches were issued misdemeanor summons for reckless endangerment, police said. The two assistant football coaches, Christopher Kelly Ellis, 26, and Joshua Hamilton, 29, conducted a strength and conditioning session that consisted of weight training and running during the two-hour football practice, police said. The running segment began at approximately 7:10 p.m. consisted of sprinting up a hill several times. Shortly thereafter, one Middletown High School student collapsed. No water had been provided during this training, police said. The approximate temperature at this time was 93 degrees with a heat index of approximately 100, according to the National Weather Service. The student was taken by ambulance to Middlesex Hospital for evaluation and treatment. The two assistant coaches were each issued a misdemeanor summons for second-degree reckless endangerment. Police also found that Hamilton had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for failure to respond to an infraction.

I'll be honest - when I first read "collapses" in the headline, I just assumed that the player had collapsed and died.

So I’m thankful for the young man, for the assistants, for the head coach, for the Middletown program, and for the game of football.

Two words for those two young assistant coaches: Thank God (the kid could have died). No, make that two more words: Get smart.

They are very lucky that (at this point) it's only reckless endangerment.

Based on what's allowed in the off-season in Connecticut, i t's going to be interesting to learn how close the coaches came to "suggesting" that these "optional" workouts were actually mandatory. I’m sure a good plaintiff’s attorney knows how to get to the bottom of that one.

While it’s possible (but not excusable) that these assistants are clueless, it’s hard to believe that there’s a head coach left in America who doesn’t understand the concept – and constant threat - of liability.

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

Some bad news this morning. I am sure you remember Danny Kaler ("if they made punting illegal they would play harder") and who was the commentator for our local cable channel during the glory years of our program. Danny is very ill with cancer and the prognosis is not good. Danny also runs the Kaler Lobsta House here in Town during the tourist season. He is one of the good guys and I was fortunate to coach all three of his boys. His wife, Mary, was on the School Board during many of those years and always a very strong supporter of the program. You may remember the time he put his hands into the boiling water to pull out the Lobsta for us -- besides being a good guy he was tough as nails. He did a trick with Lobsta where he put them to sleep for the tourists and was often taking visitors out in his lobsta boat to pull a few traps.

He is going to be missed and many will share a tear in his honor.

Jack Tourtillotte
Boothbay, Maine
Very sad news. Danny is an amazing guy.

Back in 1999 I wrote this…

Jack Tourtillotte, in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, noticed Bill Davis' comment about going for it on fourth down, and says his kids did the same thing three times last Friday night - and went three-for-three. Of course, as Jack points out, it is politically safe to do so in his town: Dan Kaler, a lobsterman and restaurant owner who serves as the color analyst on the local cable system's telecasts of the Seahawks' games, absolutely hates punting. "Oughta make puntin' illegal," he once told me. "If the kids knew you weren't gonna punt, they'd try harder!" (For those of you who have never met the friendly folks in the beautiful state of Maine, that last word, spelled phonetically, would be "hahduh.")

I really did see him reach into boiling water and pull out some lobsters for our dinner. Here’s some video I shot in spring of 1998 to prove it..

Danny Kaler 1998

At that time, Danny’s restaurant was still a vision

As you can see, his vision bore fruit: http://www.kalers.com/

*********** So JaMarcus Russell was found in possession of cough syrup, was he? So what’s the big deal? Well, the big deal is the guy’s almost certainly got a drug problem, which might explain why he left Oakland with $30 million of Al Davis’ money and nothing of substance to show for the time he spent there. (Well, actually, one thing of "substance.")

His drug of choice, I’m suspecting, would be “Purple Drank,” aka “Sizzurp.”

Let’s check out “Purple Drank” in Wikipedia…

Purple drank is a slang term for a recreational drug popular in the hip hop community in the southern United States. Its main ingredient is prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine.[1] Cough syrup is typically mixed with ingredients such as 7Up soft drink and pieces of Jolly Rancher candy. The purplish hue of purple drank comes from dyes in the cough syrup.

Now let’s check out “Sizzurp” in Urban Dictionary

The original formula: Promethazine w/Codeine syrup Any fruit flavored soda A jolly rancher Put it all in a styrofoam cup and enjoy. The codeine is mainly responsible for the euphoria felt after drinking sizzurp. Promethazine causes motor skill impairment, lethargy, and extreme drowsiness. If it doesn't have promethazine, it ain't real sizzurp. DXM is not a component of sizzurp, although it may produce vaguely similar effects to the above recipe in doses ranging from 150 - 250 mg.

Apparently, real men also mix some form of alcohol with their cough syrup and 7 Up/Sprite (and, of course, Jolly Ranchers).

As with other forms of thrill-seeking, drinking Purple Drank is not without its risks. In my research, I learned that several rappers who glorified it have had their careers brought to an abrupt end. By death.

Really sorry to hear about the deaths of all those rappers. Of course, the effects of codeine, promethazine and alcohol in combination are known to be lethal, but that doesn’t seem to have deterred them from “singing” about the wonders of that stuff in their Styrofoam cups.

Meanwhile, my hat’s off to that clever Jolly Rancher marketing guy who managed to slip his candy into the formula.

*********** My wife used to teach with a woman who said that every time we fed a student free lunch or breakfast, we should say, “Isn’t it nice of American taxpayers to pay so that you can have lunch/breakfast until your parents can get jobs?”

Never happen, of course, because that would interfere with the plan to convince those kids and their families (in other words, single mothers) that as certified victims they are entitled to such things as free meals. It’s why they’re called entitlements, and why so many Americans grow up believing they are entitled to lots more than the basic life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

So they broke ground Wednesday in Northeast Portland for a “gathering spot for recovering addicts.” Cost? $12 million. In American taxpayers’ money.

So let’s thank the American taxpayers, right?

Wrong. The board chairman of the organization that will run the place told the “recovering addicts” that they should “thank the federal government.” Looking on were life-size cardboard cutouts of President and Mrs. Obama.

*********** Hi Coach, Thank you so much for all your help this past spring. The head coach selection committee decided to "go in a different direction". Due to all the turmoil of the last 2 years they decided it may not be a good idea to hire a head coach from the present coaching staff. Hence I did not even get interviewed for the job. I was very upset by this move and felt very disregarded, disrespected and unappreciated as I had to find all this out after the fact.

Having been one of the original coaches 8 yrs ago when this program started, I felt at the very least I should be given the opportunity to present the program I had developed; but that never happened. It has truly been a learning experience.

It took me a while to recover from this emotional turmoil as the only place I really wanted to be a head coach was this school in my home town, a football program I had been in on since its inception.

I had not applied anywhere else but my good friend ----- ----- who was the original HC at this school and had given me my opportunity to coach at the high school level needed an O-line coach at his new school in --------. So I'm back with -----, and running the double wing again. It is a one hour drive to the school, but at least I'm coaching, AND I'm coaching the double wing.

I hope you’re having a great summer, and wish you good luck in the upcoming


Thanks for the update.

I'm sorry that you didn't get the job you wanted. Yes, you have been through a learning experience. I have no idea what goes through the minds of people when selecting a head coach, but experience shows me that more and more, the last thing they think about is giving their kids a winning program.

More often, it's to avoid stress, or simply to provide a program, as if a healthy football program is no more important to the school than a so-so minor sport program in which they might as well not even keep score.

An hour each way is a tough deal, but I did that very thing last year, and if that's what you have to do to work with a good coach whom you respect and who respects you, it's not that high a price.

For sure, the deeper you get into the ----- program, the more at peace you will be with the way things have worked out. It simply wasn't meant to be at this point, and my feeling has always been that if people don't think that I'm the best man for the job, I wouldn't enjoy working for them anyhow.

You watch - you will very soon find yourself attached to those kids, if you haven't already. I've never known it to fail.

And a year in another place will only help your credentials for when the John Stark job comes open. (Notice I said "when.")

Best wishes for a great summer.

*********** According to Brett McMurphy, in FanHouse --- http://ncaafootball.fanhouse.com

Of the 66 BCS conference schools, only five football programs failed to make a profit for the 2008-09 school year, according to Equity in Athletics data. One school, Rutgers, which spent a Big East-high $19.73 million, broke even. Four other programs, however, lost money: UConn (-$270,000), Syracuse (-$840,000), Wake Forest (-$3.07 million) and Duke (-$6.72 million).

On the other hand, non-BCS conference schools weren't nearly so profitable. Excluding Army, Navy and Air Force, whose figures were unavailable, only 17 of the 51 made a profit.

Utah’s net profit of $6.54 million, highest among all the non-BCS schools, ranked no higher than 49th among all 120 FBS schools.

*********** In the Northwest, natives are incapable of distinguishing in speech between “awe” and “ah,” “raw” and “rah.” And that’s how we wound up with this, in a story about a couple of stolen kayaks:

“The secondary market for kayaks is really limited. You can't take them to a hawk shop.”

I wrote the reporter and informed him that it is illegal to keep or sell birds of prey.

*********** It was a record 97 degrees in Portland Thursday – a REAL scorcher for this area, where we’ve only had three days over 80 this year – and traffic was tied up in all directions in the vicinity of the airport because Joe Bite Me was in town and everything had to make way for the vice-president’s caravan.

*********** The 10 worst-performing schools in Oregon are getting $32 million of YOUR money.

Portland’s Roosevelt High graduates less than 40 per cent of its students. By any standards, it’s been a loser for the last couple of decades, and It’s getting $7.7 million. Some of the money will go for – ready for this? – laptops.

What – you mean all this time we’ve been telling kids to stay in school when we should have been telling them to drop out?

Welcome to the America of the Future, where winners are chumps, and losers are rewarded.

********** Jack Cloud died a few weeks ago in Annapolis, Maryland. He was 85.

He was a coach for more than 30 years at the US Naval Academy, and for several years after that a part of the Navy football radio broadcast team.

Mr. Cloud was part Cherokee Indian. He was born in Britton, Oklahoma but at the age of 10 moved to Norfolk, Virginia, where he would become an outstanding high school football player.

After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served as a waist gunner on B-17 bombers in Europe. On his 10th mission, his plane was shot down over Italy. Forced to bail out, he and his fellow crew members were able to avoid capture and make it safely back to Allied lines.

After the war, he attended William & Mary, where as a 5-11, 220 pound fullback he was a three-time All-American, setting a school record in 1947 by scoring 102 points, including five touchdowns in a single game. His 45 career touchdowns are still an all-time Southern Conference record. In 1948, he was the cover boy of Street and Smith's football annual.

In 1990 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, and at his induction, The Baltimore Evening Sun reported that Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner, "ran clear across the room" to congratulate him.

"You were my hero when I was a kid," he told Mr. Cloud.

He was the Green Bay Packers' sixth-round pick in the 1950 National Football League draft, and played for the Packers in 1950 and 1951 and the Redskins in 1952 and 1953, before a knee injury ended his NFL career.

He spent a year as an assistant coach at William & Mary and then was named head football coach and athletic director at Norfolk Naval Station. In 1959, he went to Annapolis, and spent the next 32 years as an associate professor of physical education and assistant to the director of athletics, and serving at various times as plebe football coach, lightweight coach and assistant varsity football coach.

Mr. Cloud was a next-door neighbor to Wayne Hardin, Navy head coach from 1959 to 1964. "You can't say enough good things about Jack Cloud. He was a real trouper," Mr. Hardin told the Baltimore Sun. "Jack was a great athlete and a hard-nosed guy who did a wonderful job as a coach. He freely passed on his knowledge and never touched a kid that he didn't try to help. He was also a master at keeping kids loose. They loved it when he'd tell them if a 'game gets tough, quit,' "

From 1984 to 1991, Mr. Cloud served as pregame and postgame football commentator on Navy radio broadcasts.

"He was a Navy guy, a lifer all the way," said broadcast partner Ted Patterson. "He didn't pretend to be the greatest analyst of the game. He just commented on the plays."

Mr. Cloud's hobbies included fishing, crabbing and building custom-made fishing rods. And here’s the best - he was also an accomplished needleworker, specializing in tatting and macramé.

FLAGTUESDAY, JULY 6, 2010- “A long habit of not thinking a thing is wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.”  Thomas Paine

*********** Football fans,  brace yourselves …

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, a couple of enterprising guys in Birmingham, Alabama saw an opportunity and bought a large quantity of vuvuzelas before anybody else in the world had heard them.

And they claim to have sold some quarter-million of the damn things online.

My bet – you will see/hear them at football games because I doubt that the people bought them just to display them on their mantles.

*********** Soccer goalies wear some weirdass looking outfits, but the Brazilian goalie took it a step too far in the game against the Netherlands.  He was wearing something that looked an awful lot like a green Oregon Ducks football jersey.

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

My name is --------- and I teach at --------- Ontario , Canada. I have used the Double Wing Offense for the last two years for my Youth Football team and Junior Varsity High School team. In both leagues we have experience success using this offense and I will continue to do so. But I am trying to improve my knowledge and understanding of it so that we will be even more effect in the fall with the DW.

Just so I have this right, if I order the Wildcat DVD's plus the Dynamics of the DW and playbook the total cost is $116.95 U.S.

I will be ordering it very soon so that I have time to prepare for Sept.

One more question, last season our team had a very successful year , but in the semi-finals we were beat soundly. (from a team we beat in the regular season). They seemed to be the first team to shut down the DW . We had nothing that we could switch to that might have changed the momentum in that game.

Have any of your teams ever experienced a game like that , and what did you do to counter ?

We use the ----------- blocking system and the core DW plays. We are also toying with the Cox Box DW set that Terry Cox runs out west.

Any suggestions would be very appreciated.

Thanks for your time,

Colin McCue


You are correct on the items and the cost.

In answer to your question...

There is not one "Double Wing."  I'm sorry that you've chosen to use the "system" that you have.  To be frank, the person who markets the "system" you are using has had only two seasons as a high school head coach himself, and so has not had a lot of personal experience in the sort of situation you describe.

It is hard to say why that team "shut down" your Double Wing.

But I do have to make one point here -  I've been at this since 1996, and no one has yet stopped "the Double Wing."   If that were so, we'd all be looking for work, or for other offenses.  There is no poison pill.  

But they may stop a particular team running a particular form of the Double Wing (as in your case).  

Yes, I have seen some really poorly-coached teams attempting to run something that they seem to believe is a "Double Wing." Those for the most part are coaches who got a playbook online and then began trying to run some of the plays they saw diagrammed.   They are just running plays from a Double Wing formation.   They don't understand the fine points such as the interrelationship of stance, alignment, technique, and they don't understand the concept of a series offense. Those guys really aren't much of a challenge for a well-coached defense. 

But I have yet to see the defensive scheme that will work consistently against one of my guys' teams that is well coached and fully armed.   That means, despite what the people who use a regrettable term like "smashmouth" to market their products suggest, that you do have to be able to do more than pound people. Yes, you run with power and misdirection, but you also have to be able to pass effectively. And you must be able to run your offense from more sets than just Double Tight, Double Wing.  I'm told that one of those "smashmouth" people, after years of saying otherwise, has now announced that he, too, is advocating being "multiple."  (Of course, now, before he can tell others how to do it,  he's going to have to go out and acquire personal experience at running his new-found multiple offense for several years to prove that he can coach it.) 

My experience has been that unless the other team is just plain better - which doesn't seem to be the case here, since you'd beaten this team earlier - a well-coached, fully-armed Double Wing team stops itself more than an opponent stops it.

Maybe it was your players'  thinking that since they'd already beaten your opponents once before, the second game would be easier than it turned out to be.

Maybe it was a case of making the sort of dumb mistakes that will beat even the best of teams.

Maybe it was just players' failure to execute the plays as well as they could.

Maybe it was a minor flaw in the way you'd been doing something that hadn't made any difference during the regular season against lesser opponents.

Maybe it was a key that your opponents picked up and you didn't.  I have found that it is far more important to spend time reviewing video of your own offense rather than previewing opposing defenses.

Maybe they did something you hadn't seen before and you just haven't had enough experience running your offense to know how to respond.  This is something that only comes with time and a lot of analysis of video

Maybe you weren't "fully armed."  For example: can you run a power play at every hole?  Can your fullback hit at every point along the front? Can you trap or counter at every hole?  Can you run an effective sweep?  Do you have a play-action pass off of every running play?   Are you able to run your offense from an unbalanced line?  With split ends?   From a variety of backfield sets or motions?  Do you have a play-calling system that enables you to design a play on the spot, if you have to? Can you run all your plays from the line of scrimmage, without huddling?

(Amazingly, this past season I saw two very good California high school teams that never ran a Wedge and never ran a counter.) 

Maybe - we all have to be tough on ourselves if we're going to get better - some of it was in the play calling.  When you're throwing the ball, you can throw two straight incompletions and then pick up a first-down on one play. But when you're a ball-control team, you have to stay on schedule. Third-and-long is not easily overcome (in Canada, third-and-long means punting), and a wasted play - a bad call - can put you there.

If I may make a suggestion... Time constraints being what they are, you can only run so much and do it well.  Terry Cox's offense is a good one, but he does not "toy" with it and neither should you.  It is a system, and  if you're going to run it, I think you should it do so exclusively, and not look at it as a source of plays to augment your current package.

This is undoubtedly more than you asked for, but you asked the right question.

Best wishes!

*********** Brett McMurphy, in FanHouse --- http://ncaafootball.fanhouse.com ----- notes

Although Texas' football program is way out in front of the pack in the amount of revenue it generates, four of the top six and six of the top ten are SEC programs.

The $87.5 million in gross revenue Texas brings in from its football program is nearly $20 million more than the next highest school, Ohio State ($68.19 million). Ohio State spent $32.3 million on its football program, about $10 million more than Texas did.

Following Texas and Ohio State are four SEC schools -- Florida ($66.15 million), Georgia ($65.21 million), Alabama ($64.6 million) and LSU ($61.86 million).

The rest of the Top Ten was Penn State ($61.76 million) at seventh, followed by Auburn ($58.61 million), South Carolina($57.11 million) and Notre Dame ($56.92 million)

The leaders in the other BCS conferences were

ACC: Clemson (20th nationally, $35.205 million)

Pac-10: USC (21st, $35.203 million)

Big East: West Virginia (26th, $28.95 million).

*********** Coach I have reviewed and studied your tackling, DVD ( I had the vhs) you line DVD and your practice DVD. I just wanted to tell you that they are all outstanding.

J. Michael Ranson
Kanawha City Colts
Charleston, West Virginia

*********** Interesting stats from the incoming West Point Class of 2014---

Number: 1,386 (selected from more than 12,200 applicants)
Women: 250 (18%)
Asian-American: 131 (9.5%)
African-American: 126 (9.1%)
Hispanic-American: 125 (9%)
Native-American: 13 (1%)

*********** My son, who writes on sports in Australia, felt compelled to defend his second home recently after a prominent Australian journalist took his countrymen to task for going overboard in support of “dead end” sports.

By that, he mainly meant “Footy” (Australian Rules Football), which he called a “dead end” sport because it isn’t played outside Australia. He blames interest in Footy for Australia’s failure to win Olympic gold or progress in the recent World Cup, and argues that kids should be steered into Olympic sports and soccer (which in Australia is mainly big among recent arrivals from southern and eastern Europe.

Ed’s rebuttal hit on the point that kids will play what they want to play - witness black American kids' disdain for soccer and growing lack of interest in baseball.

Kids aren't stupid. They want results now, and their definition of a "dead-end sport" is one in which meaningful competition only takes place once every four years. (Soccer?)

Here in the states, we've just finished our once-every-four-years ordeal of listening to the “why we don't get with the rest of the world and play soccer” BS.

I say to hell with the rest of the world, and evidently a sizeable number of Aussies do, too.

Hey- half the reason that soccer is the world's number one sport is that most nations in the world don't even have another sport.

Take a look at the nations besides us, in which soccer is not even the Number One type of football played, nations that all found soccer wanting, and now play a form of "football" which they consider a conscious advancement on soccer: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland - all of them favorate destinations of Americans.

I'll give England a pass because at least they speak English, and they do play rugby.

*********** I admit to enjoying some of the World Cup matches, probably because it IS a big world event, and those people DO care, but as a result I have become infuriated by FIFA's attitude. I liked the guys from Ghana, and I wanted Ghana to beat Uruguay, and the idea that Uruguay could cheat and win is anathema to any American.

It bugs me that the officiating is so bad, and there is no redress, so the people in the stadia not permitted to watch replays.

And just today I learned for the first time that there are not even scoreboard clocks to show running time.

*********** While we were busy blowing our vuvuzelas and waking up early to catch the first World Cup game of the day, quietly and without fanfare the National Soccer Hall of Fame, in Oneonta, New York, closed its doors, unable to cover its $1 million a year operating expenses.

The mayor of Oneonta, who served on the board of the Hall of Fame, suggested to the Wall Street Journal one reason why it – and soccer, for that matter - lacked support: “Parents get enough of it watching their kids play.”

The Soccer Hall of Fame is just 25 miles down the road from Cooperstown, where baseball’s Hall of Fame is located, but while most hard-core baseball fans harbor a desire to someday make  pilgrimage tp Cooperstown, the largest number to visit the soccer hall in any single year was a mere 17,000 visitors.

A local resident who for 44 years owned a minor league baseball team in town offered the Journal his opinion on why that’s so: “At the baseball hall, you got Babe Ruth’s glove, his bat.  At the soccer hall, what do you got? Mia Hamm’s sneakers?”

*********** And then along comes Allen Barra in the Wall Street Journal to say it all…

U.S. soccer fans can find this consolation in last Saturday's still-stinging 2-1 loss to Ghana in the World Cup: There are 1.3 billion Chinese who don't give a damn. Well, actually, not all of them don't care. Americans are frequently accused of being parochial for not loving soccer as much as some countries do, but we're in good company. In China, soccer is popular, but no more so than ping-pong and basketball are.

Soccer isn't the most popular sport in the world's second, sixth and seventh most populated countries—India, Pakistan and Bangladesh—where, believe it or not, cricket reigns supreme. (Talk about parochialism!) In Indonesia, No. 4 on the population list, racquet sports, particularly badminton, are the most popular. In fact, in seven of the top 10 countries ranked by world population, representing well over 50% of all the warm bodies on earth, soccer is not the most popular sport. And it isn't the most popular sport in Australia, Canada, Cuba, Japan, Taiwan or Venezuela, to name just a few countries where the majority of the citizens prefer to play something else.

To be sure, soccer is the world's most popular sport, but rather in the same way that one might call rice the world's most popular food. In many places, it's all that's available or that most people can afford. In fact, in terms of soccer supremacy, we may as well call the World Cup the Western Europe-South American Cup, since the only seven countries ever to win it have been from those two continents. (Say, how do you like Argentina vs. Germany in this year's final?)

Soccer really is the world's most popular compromise sport. By eliminating so many talents and skills essential to other sports—the throwing and hand-eye coordination of baseball; the vertical leap of basketball; the sheer power and speed of football; the quick, sure hands needed for all three—soccer makes it possible for all countries, no matter what their size and population, to be relatively competitive. That, combined with rules and conditions absurdly slanted in favor of defense, means that nearly every game looks close even though the winning team in a 1-0 match can be perceived as "dominant."

Will Americans ever truly embrace a sport like this? Will our best athletes ever choose soccer over other sports? Soccer is the only sport that raises the question of U.S. athletic inferiority. Consider that in the most comprehensive tests of athletic abilities, the Summer Olympics, our athletes brought home 110 medals in 2008, 56 more than all the countries that Team USA recently faced in World Cup competition combined. If you're counting, the U.S. outmedaled Ghana 110-0.

Yet our inability to advance to the finals for the World Cup drives at least a handful of soccer enthusiasts nuts. The 1994 World Cup, in which Team USA lost "just" 0-1 to mighty Brazil, was supposed to be the turning point for American soccer. But for all the optimism, in the four World Cups since then, the U.S. has won three games, lost eight and tied four, while being outgoaled 15-23. Think of Sisyphus pushing an enormous soccer ball up a steep hill only to see it roll back down every four years, and you have the perfect metaphor for the U.S. in World Cup competition.

Among soccer pundits, what we must do to upgrade the national team by 2014 is as big a topic as who will win the World Cup a week from Sunday in Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium. All of them seem to agree that one thing we must do is stop getting behind in matches and being forced to play catch-up—as if this were simply a question of reversing a chosen strategy. That having to play catch-up might be the result of having inferior athletes is simply dismissed out of hand.

But it's time stateside soccer fans face the facts. In countries where soccer rules, the game has few competitors. In the U.S., it is precisely the opposite: there is almost no incentive for the best talent to choose soccer either as a showcase for their talent or a lucrative career. For more than 30 years, youth-soccer advocates have been telling us that things would change when all those kids out there in knee socks grew up and became confirmed soccer fans; well, some did, but now we know that most of them stopped playing and drifted into video games when mom stopped dropping them off for practice.

The Sisyphus reference is great! In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a king who was taught humility by the gods by being made to roll a huge rock up a steep hill, only to have it roll back down again, whereupon the process was repeated. For eternity.

*********** A friend writes... "What can you tell me about 6 man football? Where can I get information (rules, playbook - is there even such a thing? Do they actually run PLAYS?, etc.) about it? What I do know about the 6 man game is that it is basically basketball on grass, and that teams can combine to score over 100 points per game, and when a team has a 45 point lead the game is called."

I wrote back... "I don't know a thing about six-man. I do believe it's only played in Texas. We have 8-man football out here, and it's not unusual for a team to be up by 45 at halftime. One team in Oregon won a state title a few years ago without ever finishing a game."

Anyone who can offer information is invited to please do so!

*********** I caught myself on July 4th watching the NFL Netwrok's "Hard Knocks" Marathon - a series of shows shot at NFL training camps - and not only did I enjoy getting to know the Cowboys, to give you an idea of how carefully crafted those shows were, I actually found myself liking Jerry Jones.

I was reminded once again about what a bitch it is to have to cut kids, and impressed by how professionally and sensitively the pros let kids go.

My boss in Philadelphia, Ron Waller, was so cold and heartless that once he cut eight guys in once stroke, bringing them all into his office at once and dismissing them, firing-squad fashion.

Another thing I noticed about the pros was how few guys were actually tuned in when a coach spoke. Shame on those coaches, who for all their large salaries aren't the equal in instructional ability of a good high school teacher. Watching guys looking away, messing with tape, hiding under hoodies, I was reminded of a bunch of squirrelly middle-school kids, who haven't yet learned the academic skill called "paying attention." I know it's a small thing, and I know these guys are grown men, but considering what they're being paid, and considering how everyone is looking for the slightest edge, you'd think someone would have noticed.

It just goes to show how far ahead of everyone Paul Brown was - and, 50 years later, still is.

*********** Don Coryell, who gave us the term “Air Coryell,” died last week. He probably did as much as any single man – Paul Brown, Sid Gillman, Bill Walsh included -  to give us the pass-happy NFL we watch today.

But he was passed over in the last Hall of Fame election, a fact lamented by his Hall of Fame quarterback, Dan Fouts.

"I realize Don didn't win a Super Bowl,'' Fouts told SI’s Peter King. "Super Bowls are important, obviously. But I ask you this: Is it more important in football history to win one Super Bowl, or to influence the way the game is played for decades to come as much as any man?''

*********** Two of the most powerful men in the history of sports slipped one year further into the twilight this past weekend, as Al Davis turned 81 on Saturday and George Steinbrenner turned 80 on Sunday.

*********** We may not be the best in the world at soccer, but when it comes to competitive eating, we kick ass.

Granted, being a wealthy nation gives us certain advantages in this area.

And as with any sport in which it helps to start young, we do a great job of teaching our kids to overeat at an early age.

And then, as we demonstrated on July 4 at Coney Island, it helps to have security eject any foreign contenders from our eating contests.


*********** Troy, New York - Porcelli's Double Wing Helps Semi-Pro Troy Fighting Irish to 3-0 Start

By Matt Bathrick –

Troy’s Fighting Irish improved to 3-0 this season after beating the Jamestown Chiefs 27-18 on Saturday night at Schenectady High School. Troy controlled much of the first half, possessing a 24-point lead in the second quarter. However, Jamestown made a push in the second half that challenged the Irish late in the game.

“Tonight was a fight,” said Troy RB Andre McCauley. “We did some great things and we also did some not so great things.”

The Fighting Irish first scored on a touchdown run by RB Brian Sheldon in the first quarter. Sheldon rushed for 38 yards on 6 carries for the night. After a Jamestown field goal in the second quarter, Troy answered with a touchdown run by Andre McCauley. McCauley totaled 91 yards on 9 carries Saturday, and is averaging 107 yards rushing per game.

Troy scored later in the quarter on a touchdown pass from QB Ryan Job to WR Brandon Hill, who totaled 3 catches for 45 yards. Job, who completed 2 of 4 passes for 27 yards, also ran in a touchdown from 4 yards out on the next possession.

Down 27-3, the Chiefs scored a much needed touchdown before halftime. Jamestown returned in the third quarter looking to strike again, with a time-consuming drive that ended in a missed field goal try.

In a fourth quarter drive by the Chiefs, the Fighting Irish had a difficult time defending the pass as Jamestown marched down the field through the air to score a touchdown with a little over 8 minutes left in the game. The Chiefs went for the two-point conversion and succeeded on a completed pass into the end zone, cutting Troy’s lead to 9 points.

On the ensuing kickoff, Troy’s Jahmel Tarver responded with a return all the way to inside the Chiefs 10 yard line – but was called back because of a holding penalty. However, with the ball back at Troy’s 30 yard line, a strong rushing attack was all the Irish needed to run down the clock and hold on to a win in their home opener.

“We played hard and kept our heads up and pulled in the win for our city,” said Andre McCauley. “As we've said from day one, anything less than October 2nd is not an option.”

October 2, 2010 is the date of the Northeastern Football Alliance championship game.

Troy’s defense forced four turnovers in the game, as Jared Blais and Josh Brown each had an interception and James Rigney and Ken Jones each forced a fumble. Jeremy Rodgers and Justin Chudlinski each recovered a fumble. Tom Mazzierello led the team with 7 tackles and 3 assists, while Josiah Quinn had 4 tackles and 4 assists.

This game featured another great rushing performance behind an offensive line that has been exceptional this season. Running backs AJ Faraci, Neil Keels, and Jahmel Tarver each contributed with 50, 63, and 34 rushing yards respectively. QB Matt Weber also ran for 6 yards.

“The O-line came in the off-season this year, looking to work hard. We were in off-season workouts all winter,” said OL Tony Buchanan. “We had a pretty good turnout by the lineman every time. We did some running. Which I think helped us get a lot closer, to know each other coming into the season. When the season started, we all knew each other, knew what each other was capable of.”

The Irish totaled 286 yards on the ground, and have averaged over 284 yards per game this season.

“I think [offensive coordinator Pete] Porcelli, with his offensive line knowledge, came in and helped us out and has been huge to run the offense that he’s teaching, to teach us the way to succeed,” Buchanan added. “And so far it’s worked. We’re 3-0, we’re on the right path. We have to keep it going though, and it all starts with the O-line.”

FLAGFRIDAY, JULY 2, 2010- “The reward of  a thing well done is to have done it.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson 

***********HAPPY JULY 4! And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. That's the final sentence of the Declaration of Independence, right before the signers put their names to the document. Contrast the courage of those men, who were putting it all on the line, with today's craven political leaders, dedicated 24/7 to keeping their cushy jobs - and enriching themselves.

*********** Sounds almost  like taking over as head coach at a new school, doesn’t it?

When General Stanley McChrystal was fired last Wednesday by President Obama, it was a sign to General McChrystal’s aides to start packing - certainly those who made derogatory cracks about the President, the Vice-President, the US Ambassador to Afghanistan, the President’s special envoy to Afghanistan, and assorted foreign dignitaries.

A commanding general’s aides, most of them generals and colonels,  serve at his request, and when a new commander comes on the scene, he is expected to put together his own team. 

A change of command, of course, is just a trifle more complicated than changing coaches, and even more so here, taking place as it is in the middle of the ballgame, so to speak.

For that reason, General David Petraeus will likely retain a number of General McChrystal’s aides to help make as smooth a transition as possible.

But then, as a NATO officer told the New York Times, “you’ll see them gradually pack up.”

*********** Guys on the Army football forum were debating how all-time great Army back Felix “Doc” Blanchard or other stars of his time would do in today’s game. 
My contribution to the discussion… 

Do you mean bringing back those guys at the size they were then, or as they would be if they had grown up in today's conditions, with today's advances in training and nutrition, and presuming that they would be in the same size and weight percentile as they were 65 years ago? 

Blanchard at 6 foot, 205 would not be especially big now, but at that time he was a very big back, easily in the 95th percentile of men his age.  And considering his frame, if Colonel Blaik, the Army coach, had placed a premium on size, Blanchard could easily have played at 20 pounds heavier.  

For the sake of argument, let's say Blanchard's young again and,  just as he was in 1945, bigger and faster than most men at his position.  Now, of course, we have to add black players into the mix.  Giving them access to big-time college football has greatly changed the picture, and the big running back with good speed is no longer the rarity that he was then. 

But today's Doc Blanchard in the same size percentile - we are fantasizing here, remember - would be at least 6-2, and he'd weigh upwards of 240.  No doubt speed training would have him down around 4.5 or even 4.4. 

Given that he'd only play one way, he would probably be an outside linebacker or strong safety. In today's pro game they'd play him on defense, and he'd become a Hall-of-Famer. 

On offense, in today's one-back offenses, I think he'd be a "tweener,"  probably not quite fast enough or quick enough to be a featured running back,  but way too talented to be wasted at fullback.  

Think Toby Gerhart. I think that Gerhart - if he had had a Glenn Davis alongside him in the backfield - would have been the closest we've come yet to the reincarnation of Mister Inside.      

*********** Ever sent a kid to a celebrity’s sports camp and then wondered where the celebrity was? Guess who was a surprise visitor at a youth football camp Ben Roethlisberger runs near Pittsburgh?  Ben Roethlisberger

*********** Sounds as if Albert Haynesworth might not have much time to play football, no matter what defense whatever team he plays for runs. 
He’s being sued by: 

A Nashville bank, claiming he’s stiffed them on a $2+ million loan; 

His ex-wife, claiming he hasn’t paid her medical insurance or their children’s bills;

A New York stripper who claims he got her pregnant. 

Guy’s a one-man Full Employment Act for Lawyers.

*********** Time to give credit where it's due... considering what jerks so many high school soccer kids are, considering the whining and complaining we're used to seeing in the average baseball game, considering the trash-talking we see in the average NBA or NFL game, considering the risks of sending some of our thuggish professional athletes overseas to represent us, my hat's off to the US soccer team for the overall classy, sportsmanlike way they conducted themselves. Better hope soccer never becomes a major sport in the US or they'll be jerks, too.

*********** Ron Cook,writing in the  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Is it me? Am I wrong? Am I un-American for not coming down with a serious case of good ol' US of A red-white-and-blue World Cup soccer fever? Am I unpatriotic because I can't work up a good dose of hate for Ghana?

When President Barack Obama placed the obligatory congratulations call to US of A coach Bob Bradley after what everyone says was a stunning win against Algeria, he mentioned that he had an Oval Office meeting with Gen. David Petraeus interrupted by loud cheering from the West Wing when Donovan scored. This is a good thing? That an important sit-down with the new man in charge of our war efforts in Afghanistan is disturbed by a soccer game? Shouldn't they, maybe, you know, have had the door closed?

It's the way the players take more dives than Greg Louganis ever did. At mere contact, they go down as if they were shot, which, sadly, in some of the losing countries, just might happen when they get back home. When I flip the television to ESPN out of habit and forget that it's showing soccer wall-to-wall, I invariably see a soccer player faking a serious injury. I can't help but think of a couple of hockey players from this spring's Stanley Cup playoffs, Washington's Eric Belanger and Chicago's Duncan Keith. Belanger took a stick to the face and ended up pulling out teeth on the bench during a game. Keith lost seven teeth after getting hit with a puck in the mouth and played on. No dives for those fellows. Real men, not soccer players. (Thanks for the tip to Pope Franjo) 

*********** Now that the incredible excitement of the 1-0 US World Cup win over Algeria has subsided, let's see what effect it's had on you...  

(1) Tell me what MLS means 

(2) Name me two teams in the MLS. 

(3) BONUS: Name me ONE team in the Women’s Professional Soccer League.  

*********** America is out of FIFA.What to do? What to do?  


Armando Castro Roanoke, Virginia 

*********** Hugh,   Thank God we can all move ahead to more important things now that the US has been eliminated from the world cup. The reason why soccer WILL NEVER take hold in America is because it is a sport of affluence.

In the NFL and the NBA, you have mentally tough kids from rough backgrounds. You have players from the inner city and the farmlands, where they had to scrape and fight for an existence. Soccer kids are from affluent and stable homes, where in many cases the mom is the dominant personality in the household. After reading books such as “The Right Kind of Heroes” or “We Own This Game”, do you really think a pampered soccer player could survive in this environment. Sports is about violence of effort, that is bred into players that are pushed and expected to go all out in practice and games.

After watching thousands of youth and high school practices of many sports, I conclude that soccer kids are never pushed to the degree kids are pushed in other sports; their parents wouldn’t stand for it. Post game treats and the constant yells of “nice try” or “good try” creates an environment of soft kids playing a soft sport at the youth level. This lingers into their high school years - there is no foundation of mental toughness in men’s soccer in the United States.  

Coaching, are there any Bear Byrants or John Woodens running around the “Soccer pitch?" Are there any coaching legends? Do we have a American Soccer coach who can take an average player and make him better? Herb Brooks did that in 1980, beating a great Russian team, for the gold medal. Hockey is not our top sport, yet we beat countries who’s top sport was hockey. Can USA Soccer produce a real coach, again soft people coaching soft players. American soccer will never be competitive until they get of their backsides and get some grit.               

Ralph Balducci, Portland, Oregon 

Nowadays, in America, it's either a affluent, suburban-kid sport or it's a newly-arrived immigrants' sport.  On the one hand, it's elitist. On the other hand, it's a way of resisting assimilation.  Soccer has always been popular among people from the Old Country, but throughout our history, immigrants have found playing American sports to be the best path  to Americanizing, whether it was Irish guys boxing, Italians playing baseball, Polish playing football.  In the process, they impressed on the rest of America that they were Americans, too.    And then there were men such as Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis. I doubt that they'd have made much of a contribution to our lives if they'd played soccer. 

*********** While in Canada and, yes, while watching soccer,  I saw a commercial for a Canadian brewer. 

Check out its website -  http://www.sleeman.com 

Go to OUR BEERS/BRAND SHOWCASE  and "pour yourself a pint." 


*********** A dose of reality for those who believe that Obamacare would lead to health care for very American…  Canada has the sort of health care system we all aspire to having, right?  That’s what we’ve been told. 

Oh, sure, we hear about a few wealthy Canadians who don’t want to wait their turn to see a doctor, who have this sneaking suspicion that waiting isn’t necessarily the best idea when you’ve got something wrong with you – they come to the states, where they pay out of pocket for the kind of care we take for granted. 

Well, yeah, they tell us – but their everyday medical care is free, and it’s available to everyone. 

Hmmm.  I just got back from a visit to Victoria, British Columbia (that’s Canada, guys) where my daughter and son-in-law and their kids live.  Wonderful place. Nice people.   

But I digress.  I was talking about health care.  Here in the US, women routinely go to their OB-GYN for checkups.  In Canada, the women’s checkups are performed by the family doctor.  Don't want to waste a specialist's valuable time on... routine checkups.

And there are waits to see specialists. Long, long waits. Every Canadian knows that. But Canadians - generalization here - tend not to be contentious sorts, like us, and so they seem to go along, accepting this as their lot.

Oh – and while I was there, I read in the Victoria paper that the British Columbia's goal was for every resident to have a family doctor by 2015.  In other words, it's 2010, yeras into Canada's wonderful health care program, and not every BC resident has one. 

WTF?  This is the system that we were sold on? 

Brace yourselves for Obamacare.  

*********** Gas in Victoria, BC: $1.109. Per litre.

Conversion: A litre is approximately a quart.  Four litres, then, are approximately a gallon.  Four times $1.109 = $4.40+ per gallon

That'll be us soon. Got to pay for free health care somehow.

*********** Noticed on the ferry to Canada – when did it cease to be US Border Patrol and become, instead, Border Protection?

***********  Pope Franjo, longtime journalist, writes…  Hugh,   I am unable to defend soccer or the World Cup but I love both.  In the US and Canada, we are blessed with many sports.  Most of the world has just one. 

In flight, one can see thousands of baseball fields across the US but, most often .... they are empty.  Most football fields are empty too as are basketball courts. 

Our youth have been giving up sport ... little by little.  Our youth have jettisoned the imagination it takes to play pick up. Stickball? Never heard of it. 
I suppose we are responsible as we always are but times do change. It seems to be computers and underage sex and boozing now.  But, the other day I did see a kid and his father passing a baseball. That was the rarest of scenes ... at least around here. It didn't give me hope but I loved to see that.   

Boy, you said it there.  Everywhere you look - baseball fields,  with green grass and cut infields, the kind that we would have died for,  lying fallow.  Until, that is,  dads get home from work and drag the kids, uniformed of course, to organized games.  And, of course, coach their sons, who, being coaches' sons, are a lock to make their league's all-star team. (Baseball being a dad-driven game.) 

But up until Dad told them to hurry up and get ready, the kids couldn't be bothered doing things on their own.  I can't remember the last time I saw two kids playing catch.  Occasionally I see some playing touch.  I would be deeply disappointed to learn that Canadian kids (or New England kids, or Michigan kids, or Minnesota kids, or North Dakota kids) don't still play pickup games of hockey)   

***********Coach Wyatt, I am a 5th/6th grade youth football coach and I recently purchased your "A Fine Line" DVD. I run another offense, but it sounded like some of your techniques might apply to what we do. I must say I loved a few of your ideas and coaching points, and I plan to use them this season. I just have a few questions about your o-line techniques as they apply to my 5th & 6th graders.  

1) When your pulling linemen are blocking corners and linebackers out in space, do you still recommend using a shoulder block? And if so, how do you coach them to come into their blocks under control and not overrun a shifty defender. I had a tough time last year with kids running full speed into their blocks trying to go for the "kill-shot" and hitting nothing but air as the defender made a move.  
Coach-  In my schemes I rarely ask an interior lineman to block a defensive back out in space because it is sending the poor kid on a fool's errand. The trick in blocking a man in space is having the runner as close behind the blocker as possible to reduce the chances of the defenders' ducking the block or defeating the block and getting back into the play, and since that requires exquisite timing (not to mention an athletic lineman who can really run), we usually give these assignments to backs or ends.  

2) Other than your "down block" section, it seemed like you teach all of your blockers to put their facemask right in the center of the defender. Does this also go for blocks out in space, trap blocks, kickout blocks, etc.? Or do you advocate, as other coaches do, teaching the players to put their helmet on the "touchdown side" of the defender to cut off his path to the ball carrier?  
We don't teach putting facemasks into any part of a defender, and we never use the word "facemask" in teaching blocking.  We do teach making sure that the blocker is blocking with the correct leverage on the defender and we teach "helmet in the hole."  

3) How do you drive the point home with your pulling linemen/lead blockers to "run the funnel" or "wrap" when they are running through a hole or around the end and trying to seal linebackers inside. I had a fair amount of trouble with this. My pullers/lead blockers would come through the hole or around the end, then run straight up the field and block nobody, never having turned their eyes inside.  
We tell them to "run the circle." I developed the Circle Drill after releasing A Fine Line, and it has become one of our most important drills.  The coaches who have seen it at my clinics all agree.  Here it is, before a certain person who fancies himself a Double Wing "innovator" can claim it as another one of his "inventions" :  http://www.coachwyatt.com/circledrill.mov

4) A constant problem with our youth players is "pad level". From your DVD, it didn't seem like your players are all that low when performing their blocks. In fact, most of were almost face to face with the defender. Was this just your demonstrators getting lazy, or do you coach them do be at this level? We're always taught that the lowest man wins, and we coach the heck out of it with our kids. But when it comes game time, it seems like they always try to block standing straight up.  

The key to blocking in our scheme is not how low we hit a man but how well we can sustain  our block after contact.  Of course we want to stress keeping the knees bent, but think a major failing of blockers - at least pulling linemen - is "get low" by bending at the waist, rather than at the knees.  Bending at the waist tends to make it difficult for the blocker to change direction, and makes it easy for him to drop his head and look at the ground, which almost assures taking his eyes off the target, and we work hard on keeping the eyes up, off the ground and on the target.  

Thank you for producing a great product and thank you in advance for your time.  

***********  Could you please email me your tight punt set up.  I have seen it run before, however I cannot locate it anywhere on my dvd’s or in your double wing play book.  Thank you.  PS, I will be the head football coach next year and we will be a double wing team. 

It's not in the playbook.  Our center will block man on, or if there isn't a man on him he'll block left A-Gap. B Back has right A-gap in that case.  With the rest it is man on, outside gap.  The beauty of the tight splits is that there will never be a man on AND men in the A gaps, too.  Linemen block for two full counts after the snap, then release - fan out, find the ball, squeeze in  Ends go with for the ball  The wingbacks line up foot to foot with the tight ends - their release is wide as a fade until they locate the ball.  They will always be widest man ON EITHER TEAM on their side  B Back is at usual depth - about 3 yards. He will play safety on the Left side, kicker on the right.  Kicker is at exactly 10 yards and after catching the ball he takes one step and kicks.  Speed of operation is of utmost importance.  The ball is not snapped on a count.  When everything is ready, the punter will shout "READY."  We do mot snap it ON ready.  We snap it  AFTER ready -any time the center wishes to snap it after he hears "READY"  This will piss off the punter and his dad, but I'd prefer to have my QB back there punting.  I could care less about whether some other guy can kick it ten yards farther.  I want someone I absolutely trust back there, and I want to be able to run a "Wildcat" package from there - Power, G, Trap, Wedge, Counter, Sweep, Roll Out, Bootleg.  

*********** VH1 is set to premier a new TV show featuring "Ocho Sinco" and 85 women competing for his umm...love.  Nice.  Line up your daughters.    The only good I can see coming from this is that it might cause a few young muslim males to decide not to blow themselves up.  Why kill yourself for 72 virgins when America and VH1 will give you 85 whores now?   Gabe McCown Piedmont, Oklahoma  

*********** It’s obvious that the recent NCAA sanctions against USC have allowed crosstown rival UCLA to make recruiting inroads on the Trojans, with the news that three incoming Bruin freshmen were arrested for felony theft. To UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel’s credit, he has already withdrawn their scholarships.

***********  Next time someone throws Title IX in your face, ask them where the money’s coming from to pay for their “gender equity” fantasies. And then tell them this: an article about Washington athletic director Scott Woodward in the June 17 Seattle Times reveals that football produces 85 per cent of the UW athletic department revenue, a figure typical of most major colleges. 

*********** A millionaire speaks to young people about the importance of staying in school and getting a good education: “You don’t want to be a draft pick that should have did something but never did nothing.” 

That was John Wall, the NBA’s top draft pick and noted English scholar from the University of Kentucky,  quoted in the Washington Post. 

*********** Want to run faster? Try what a soccer writer did. He told of his experience blowing vuvuzelas… “I tooted my horn till I was horse…”

*********** COACH:  Ever done any drill work designed specifically to help your team recover from a turnover or bad play ... any kind of unfavorable swing in momentum?   I'd like to work on that with our freshman team this year during or "informal" summer workouts.  Have heard about different kinds of drills and games that teach the concept, but can't find 'em anywhere on the 'net.   One idea I had was just dividing the team and letting them play Ultimate Football ... then artificially changing the momentum back and forth -- say, by disallowing a touchdown or by having a key player on one team get "hurt" at an inopportune time (simply by telling him he's hurt and getting him off the field).   Musings ... links ... whatever ya got, I'd be interested.   Mike Brusko Zionsville PA   

Interesting question.  I don't see it as "drill work" so much as creating assorted competitive situations that force kids to deal with coming from behind, holding onto a lead, etc.  I think that kids benefit from playing games that create those situations.   

But I'm not so sure that you can create artificial practice conditions that will really prepare them for the sort of game-time pressure that leads to mass changes in morale.  I think that they can only learn this from being in actual game conditions.  The Army knows that no amount of training, no matter how realistic, can prepare a soldier for actual combat. 

At one time, when we could coach that way, I would tell the kids to simply say "f--k it!"  They loved it, of course.   And it worked.  

But that was almost 30 years ago.  On the whole, I  think that talking (preaching, lecturing, whatever you might call it) serves as well as drills.    I believe in spending a lot of time talking with kids about my "Three R's," especially the third,  which is Resilience. (The others are Respect and Responsibility.) 

I tell them about a guy I used to work with named Jim Hagen.  Jim spent some time managing boxers in Seattle, and he used to say that as good as a guy might look, you never knew what you had until you found if he could take a punch.  

And then come the teaching moments.  In practice, I don't allow kids to pout or sulk or whine or pound their fists into the ground or display anger, frustration - whatever - when they screw up.  Nor are they allowed to get on a teammate when he screws up. They are learning (without the use of vulgarity) to adopt the "f--k it" attitude. 

But the best teaching moments come in games.  There’s no other way to learn certain things.  There's nothing like calling a timeout at one of these potential changes in momentum and saying "Okay, guys -  this is one of those moments we've been talking about.  We've just taken a punch.  Are we just gonna lie there on the canvas?"

Another boxing analogy I believe in is putting things in terms of a 15-round match (like they used to have) and when something goes wrong, I'll say, "Okay - we just lost a round. Even the best of them lose rounds.  Muhammad Ali lost rounds.  So what?   This is a fight to the finish. Just keep punching.  Let's see if they can stay with us for 15 rounds."  

For some reason, kids who've never seen a boxing match can understand when it's put in those terms.  Eventually, you will have a corps of guys who've been through hard spots and know how to fight through them and their example will pull the less experienced ones through. 

And, finally, speaking of examples, there's the example of the coach himself.  Kids look to him for guidance as to how to react. He has to maintain his composure and keep a firm hand on the rudder. A coach who acts as if a kid's mistake or a bad break is the end of the world has no reason to expect his kids to shrug it off as just part of the game.  

***********  Hello,  I am a mom of a Black Lion awardee from the Irvine Chargers youth football organization in Irvine, California. My son wore his patch last season proudly on his jersey and asked if he can wear it again or if it was to only be worn last year? Our football season is getting ready to start and I wanted to make sure he followed the proper protocol when in regards to wearing his patch. If you could let us know that would be appreciated :) 

Dear -------,  Thank you for writing.  First of all, accept our congratulations for the role you must have played in raising a son who merited the Black Lion Award.  The answer to your question is a definite YES.  We are proud that DJ would like to continue to wear the patch.  So far as we are concerned, he is a Black Lion for life. He earned the award and so long as it is okay with his coaches and your league (sometimes there are rules against it to discourage commercial advertising on uniforms),  we believe he has earned the right to wear it in games.    In schools, it's typical to give the award to a senior, which unfortunately means he'll never get a chance to wear it in a game.  The US Military Academy at West Point has been presenting the Black Lion Award since 2003, and in 2005 it presented the Award to a second-classman (junior) on the Army team named Mike Viti, and as a result he wore the emblem for the entire next season.  DJ has our permission and our blessing.  Best,  Hugh Wyatt Administrator Black Lion Award 

*********** According to an article in today's Oregonian, Portland has "45-and-counting" breweries.  More than 100 in Oregon.  For the first time ever, more than 1,000,000 barrels were brewed in Oregon, and there's not a single "industrial" brewery in the state.  "What makes beer culture unique in Portland is the fact that craft beer is ubiquitous. Every convenience store, small restaurant and dive bar has craft beer.  The craft beer drunk in our market far exceeds anywhere else in the country.  It's not just a few beer nerds, either. Craft beer is mainstream in Portland; in other cities, it's still a novelty." 

*********** The Double Wing wins in Semi-Pro ball…  The Troy Fighting Irish traveled to Oneida Vounty to take on the Titans.   We won 38-10 and the game was called because of lightning with a minute left in the 3rd quarter   I am getting pretty comfortable calling this spread formation double wing( I tried installing slot but whats the use)    It seems this team was hell bent on slowing down traps and 4 and 5x plays and they had success doing that but we had a lot of success throwing the ball, running power and running reach plays   Our quarterback Ryan Job was 4 for 4 passing for 155 yards  while we gained 221 yards rushing averaging 6.1 yards per carry   Next week we are finally home and Take on Jamestown     Pete Porcelli (offensive coordinator Troy Fighting Irish)  Update- We are now 3-0  The guys love the double wing. They have embraced it. Last year they were not scoring many points and we are averaging 34 a game now.   The center wanted to buy a back plate in the beginning of season because of the wedge play but now says screw it and doesn’t wear it and loves the wedge. The lineman are actually asking for the play! 

*********** After the revelation that Chris Henry had suffered brain damage, probably from blows to the head suffered playng football, and that at least some of his anti-social conduct might have resulted from the brain trauma,  Lots of random thoughts come to mind... 

Yes, this could kill football, but I doubt it.  We still have boxing. Mixed Martial Arts, even.

Surely they could have found a more sympathetic case than Chris "One Man Crime Wave" Henry. Paul Martha, for example.  Former Steeler who once served as President of the Pittsburgh Penguins and now suffers from dementia, possibly concussion-induced. Sad, indeed. 

In the end, in my humble (and admittedly cynical) opinion this “football caused my problems” sing-song will be  traced in some way to the NFLPA.  Even matters of life and death turn out to be about money. 

Hey -  guys like Chris Henry?  I’m suggesting performing autopsies on them before allowing them to play in the NFL. 

*********** And then there's Michael Vick. After charging a bunch of fools $50 to attend his birthday party, I guess he felt singing "Happy Birthday" wasn't excitement enough for them.