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UPSIODE DOWN FLAGTUESDAY, MAY 11, 2021 - “Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.” John Adams


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Published continually since 1998, "NEWS YOU CAN USE" was a Blog before  "Blog"
was  even a word! Its intention has been to help inform the football coach and the interested football observer on a wide variety of topics, usually - but not always - related in some way to coaching or leadership.  It contains news and views often (trigger alert!) highly opinionated but intended to be  thought-provoking.  Subjects cover but aren't limited to coaching, leadership, character, football history and current football happenings, education, parenting, citizenship and patriotism, other sports, and even, sometimes, my offense.)


WASHINGTON PRAYING AT VALLEY FORGE

NOW, MORE THAN EVER - PRAY FOR OUR COUNTRY
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.



NEXT  ZOOM CLINIC - NUMBER 56 - ON TUESDAY MAY 11 at 5 PM PACIFIC, 8 PM EASTERN 

EMAIL ME TO GET ON THE INVITE LIST - coachhw@mac.com


black lion report*********** BLACK LION AWARD EXTENDED TO TEAMS THAT AREN’T PLAYING IN THE FALL!

A coach, whether or not his team is playing a fall season, may now nominate for the  Black Lion Award  a player who has been a demonstrated leader of his teammates in these tough times. That leadership could show itself in a number of different ways and we’re leaving it up to the coach to describe it.

We think that leadership in the work of preparation - made even tougher by virtual learning and assorted state restrictions - is as worthy of recognition as leadership in the actual game, so therefore,  even if his team doesn’t play football this fall, a player can qualify for the Black Lion Award  by demonstrating that he has been willing to lead from the front - to get his teammates to do the things that he knows need to be done.

We ask that the head coach contact us - blacklionaward@mac.com - to register his team by giving us (1) his name and (2) his team’s name and (3)  the address where the award should be sent.

And then we ask the head coach to write the nomination - to “write him up” as if he were recommending the player for a military medal.  We do insist that the letter (an e-mail is best) and what it says honors the player just as much as the Black Lion Award does.

There is never any cost to you or your school to take part in the Black Lion Award program. The Black Lion Award is privately funded and is not in any way a recruitment tool. (I am a football coach and I administer the award.)

(Your player will receive a certificate and a Black Lions "patch," and his name and his letter will become a part of the Annual Report to the patrons of the Black Lion Award. If you nominate a player for his leadership efforts during the preparation period, you may still present a second award for your



*********** The FCS football this weekend was good, of course. It would have been better, except that one team clearly was overmatched.

That team was Delaware, which I had been suspicious of for several weeks, after watching its lackluster performance against a much weaker Delaware State team.  On Saturday, Delaware was manhandled by a very strong South Dakota State Jackrabbits team, in front of what they said were 9,000 fans in Brookings, South Dakota.

It was all South Dakota State. Their freshman quarterback, Mark Gronowski, was outstanding, throwing for two touchdowns while running for one and catching a pass for another.

But they didn’t need much offense, because it was on defense where the Jackrabbits shone. They were fast and aggressive and eager to hit - I rarely saw a play where just one man made the tackle.

And their defensive line was absolutely amazing.  They played a lot of guys, but no matter who was in there, they used and abused Delaware’s offensive line, to the point where the Blue Hens’ only significant yardage came when their quarterback was flushed out of the pocket. Once that option was taken away from them -  after the QB  was slowed by injury - they were left with nothing.

At halftime, I changed my viewing strategy, deciding to concentrate on watching the Jackrabbits’ D-line.  As a result,  I’m not sure when I’ve enjoyed a blowout game as much. Those guys were that good.

One guy who really caught my eye was their #97, Reece Winkelman. He’s a junior from Marshall, Minnesota, and while he’s  listed at 6-4, 245, like all the Jackrabbits’ D-linemen, he was way too much for the  300-pounders assigned to block him.

This SDSU bunch is a really good team.

*********** The announcing of the Delaware SDSU game by Matt Barrie and Mike Golic, Jr. was absolutely the worst I’ve heard all year. Maybe ever.  As is common ESPN practice  now, neither one of them was within 1,000 miles of South Dakota, which is where the game was.  Maybe  a nation of people working from home is getting used to a broadcast done remote, but - perhaps to compensate for their not being in actual attendance - these two frat boys gave us a tag-team performance in non-stop  chatter.

Isn’t there someone in charge who can tell those fools that this is TELEVISION? That we can see it, too? That it's not radio, where they have to be our  eyes on the scene?  And that, with all that there is for us to see, it’s okay for them to STFU?


*********** We were watching South Dakota play Delaware on Saturday and as the Delaware oline was getting bullied by the Jackrabbits, the commentator stated,  "The Delaware quarterback goes down to a den of Jackrabbits.” My wife, Shandy, looked up from her book and said, “Its a warren, jackass, not a den.” I told her you would have loved that comment.

Tom Walls
Winnipeg, Manitoba

I do love it.


*********** This coming weekend’s FCS championship game looks like a pretty good matchup, because while Delaware didn’t belong in it, either James Madison or San Houston State would have been a worthy opponent for South Dakota State.  As it turns out, it will be Sam Houston State.

Talk about two different games in two different halves.  In the closing minutes of the first half, JMU struck twice through the air to take a 24-3 lead, and a casual viewer might have thought the game was as good as over.

Interviewed at halftime, Sam Houston coach Casey Keeler  didn’t sound at all worried. He noted that  his Bearkats  were a good team, there was plenty of time left to play, and the way to attack things was not to try to get 21, but to get seven, and then get to 14.  And then, he said, “we’re right back in it.”

Sure enough, in the second half things turned the Bearkats’ way. They outscored JMU 28-3 in the third  quarter, and took  a 31-27 lead into the final quarter.

Two of the Bearkats’ touchdowns were of the electric kind, and they came within less than two minutes of each other. Both of them -
a 69-yard pass reception and  an 80-yard punt return - were scored by Jequez Ezzard, a transfer from Howard.

Quarterback Eric Schmid scored from 20 yards out on the final play of the quarter to finally put Sam Houston on top, 31-27.

Sam Houston scored once more and so did James Madison, and  after a two-point JMU conversion it was a three point game at 38-35.  But JMU couldn’t get within reasonable  field goal range - their regular kicker was perfect on the season - and
with some two minutes to play their backup kicker, the kickoff man, missed a long attempt.

Thus ended one of the greatest flip-flop performances you’re likely to see anywhere.

The game was fun to watch, and it’s to the credit of  the announcing crew - Dave Pasch and  Andre Ware - that they didn’t get caught up in the excitement and just let us watch. Their work was much more calm, professional and - dare I say it? - mature-sounding than the clowns doing the earlier game.

*********** I was watching the North Carolina 2A State championship game between St. Paul’s and  Salisbury, and I have to say that the producers of the telecast could teach ESPN a thing or two.

At the start of the game - and every kickoff thereafter - we were privileged to watch the Smithfield Chicken and Barbecue Kickoff.

Any time a team gained ten yards or more in fewer than the four downs allotted, it was rewarded with a North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services First Down.

When it penetrated deep into  opponents’ territory, it entered The American Military University Red Zone.

And when it crossed the goal line, it scored a Blue Bell Touchdown.

This went on for the entire game, until finally we were shown clips of the Allegacy Federal Credit Union  Drive of the Game, and were told who was the  West Shore Homes Player of the Game.

(There actually was a football game sandwiched between all those obnoxious commercials. Salisbury, which we were told had started its season 2-2, won, 42-14.  They had a very nice looking QB named Vance Honeycutt, who’s going to North Carolina to play baseball, and a 6-3, 220-pound linebacker named Jalon Walker, who’s going to Georgia.)

*********** In the North Carolina Class 3A title game, Charlotte Catholic beat Havelock, 14-7, to win its fourth straight  state championship. You read that correctly.

Havelock came into the game averaging 52 points per game, but Charlotte Catholic stifled their offense, holding Havelock to just 201 yards (3.5 yards per play) while managing to generate just enough offense of their own to win.

Charlotte Catholic  runs a double-tight offense - the closest thing you’ll ever see to our Double Wing - although they take “normal” line splits. How much you wanna bet that despite winning four straight state titles, its coach, Mike Brodowicz, still has  parents asking him when he’s going to open things up?

*********** You think coaching’s tough? School superintendents may get paid a lot more, but their job is pretty tough, too. And there’s not a lot of job security:

According to the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, only about 14% of Pennsylvania school superintendents in Pennsylvania are in the same district they were in 10 years ago. Typical turnover among the state’s 500 school districts is about 100 superintendents a year.


*********** Just found another HUGE omission from Army’s Sports Hall of Fame: Bill Yeoman isn’t in there, either.

He was only captain and center on the 1948 Army team, and a second team All-American. In his three years at Army, the Cadets were 22-2-4.  Oh, and then there was that little business about inventing the Veer while he was head coach at Houston.

He’s been a member of the College Football Hall of Fame for 20 years now.

You'd think that would be good enough.

But not at the increasingly politically-correct United States Military Academy, where his presence in its Sports Hall of Fame wouldn’t do a thing to promote its goal of striving for  “balance in sport, ethnicity, gender and era.”

*********** There’s been a lot written about so-called “stand your ground” laws, and here's the basis for them:

In Brown v. United States (1921), the  United States Supreme Court held that a person being attacked, who reasonably believes himself to be in immediate danger of death or serious bodily injury, has no duty to retreat. He may stand his ground and, if he should kill his attacker, he has not gone beyond the limits of lawful self-defense.

How it started:


There had been bad blood between  two guys named Brown and Hermes.  Twice, Hermes had attacked  Brown with a knife, and after the second episode had told Brown that the next time they met,  one of them would be taken away in a “black box.” Determined not to be the one in the box,  Brown kept  a handgun with him and while on his construction job left  it nearby. When Brown saw Hermes approaching him with a knife, he retreated to where he had left the pistol - about 25 feet away - and as Hermes struck at him, he fired four shots, killing Hermes.

The Trial:

After the jury had been instructed that, in considering whether it was self-defense, the individual being assaulted has a duty to retreat as long as retreat is possible and would not put him in danger, Brown was convicted of second degree murder.

The Supreme Court’s decision:

In writing the opinion overturning Brown’s conviction, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote,  “Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife. Therefore, in this Court, at least, it is not a condition of immunity that one in that situation should pause to consider whether a reasonable man might not think it possible to fly with safety or to disable his assailant rather than to kill him.”

For those who immediately ask why the police had to go and shoot some guy who was "only" coming at them with a knife, it’s useful to consider the wisdom of Justice Holmes’ phrase summing up the right to defend one’s person without having to think twice about it  - “Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife.”


*********** For quite some time Kevin Kelley has been something of a media darling.

He’s been named National Coach of the Year by USA Today, and he’s been the feature of a number of TV specials.

He’s the Coach Who Never Punts.  Makes a great story, but he’s obviously a whole lot more than that.

In his 18 years at Little Rock’s Pulaski Academy, he has complied a record of 216-29-1, winning nine state championships - including one just last fall.

And now he’s taken on a real challenge.  He’s just been named the new head coach at Presbyterian College, in South Carolina.

I’m not qualified to suggest that he may have had certain, uh, “personnel advantages” coaching at a private high school in Arkansas, but at Presbyterian, while  he will be allowed to recruit, it will be tough sledding.

This fall will be Presbyterian’s first full season as a member of the Pioneer Football League, a coast-to-coast FCS conference of like-minded schools, which is to say, mostly private  colleges with fairly high academic standards:
 
Butler
Davidson
Drake
Morehead State
Presbyterian
San Diego
Stetson
Valparaiso

Where the recruiting gets tough is that its members  do not give athletic scholarships.  So at Presbyterian, he may have to punt occasionally.

(The Pioneer Football League is one of just two NCAA football-only conferences. The other is the Missouri Valley Football Conference.)


*********** Jim Young remembers…

 After one year as a student coach and one year as a graduate assistant coach I was ready for my first full time coaching job at Findlay College in 1958.  My title was Assistant Professor of Physical Education.  I was hired to be the second full time coach at Findlay.  My assignments were: assistant football coach, head wrestling coach, head track coach, and physical education teacher.  I was paid $4200 per year and was one of two coaches at Findlay College.  Jim Houdeshell was athletic director, head football coach, head basketball coach, and head baseball coach. 

     I was promised the head football job after I had been at Findlay one year, by then President Fox.   Findlay College consisted of three buildings in 1958, the gym, the dormitory, and the administration building.  All the classes were taught in the administration building.

     My first introduction to Findlay College was not very impressive.  I went over in May to a golf outing for the former Findlay athletes.  On the first tee, I swung and missed the ball three straight times, not exactly an impressive debut for the new coach.  Golf and golf outings were to continue to plague me throughout my coaching career.
    
Jane and I moved to Findlay early in the summer after she graduated from Bowling Green.  We rented an upstairs apartment at 709 ½ Franklin Ave. about three blocks from the college.  Jane was pregnant with Laura at that time.  We purchased our first furniture and were proud of it.  It was certainly not high class, although we thought our blonde furniture was first class at that time.  Joan still has one of our first chests in her home.

      Mrs. Mitchell was our landlord and lived below us.  Part of our agreement was that I would mow the yard for her.  She was very nice to us and later after Laura was born, babysat for us.  One of my many stupid moves occurred that winter.  Findlay had a big flood and water was standing in the basement of our house.  I waded through the water to unplug the washer and dryer.  I felt the current in the water as I went through, but it was not strong enough to electrocute me, thank heavens.

     Football was a very interesting challenge for me.  Jim Houdeshell was the head coach but was more into basketball and as a result let me do many of the head coaching duties.  I did the recruiting, devised the offense and defense, made the notebooks, called the plays, organized the practices, taught the student coach helpers, did all the film work, and gave the pep talks.  Our recruiting was not exactly first class, as I took the prospects to McDonald’s and paid for the meal myself.  I used Bowling Green’s reject list to try to get some players to come to Findlay.  One player that came to Findlay, Dave Lantz, later coached for me at Lima Shawnee.

     We played our games at the local high school stadium and finished with four wins, four losses, and a tie.  This was an improvement over the previous few years.  Muskingum College was a real power in football at that time and had a great fullback, Cannonball Cooper, who was leading the nation in scoring.  After our game and five TD’s, he was still leading the nation.  He went on to play with the San Francisco 49’ers.

     In 2000 I met him in the Chicago O’Hare Airport, when we both were on our way to South Bend for our induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.  Jane and I found out that he and his wife were good friends with Tom and Nan Hardin.  Tom and Nan were originally from Van Wert and now live in San Diego.  We visit with them each year when we go to Coronado.

     Coaching football at Findlay was always a challenge in many different ways.  Herm Alexander was a big offensive tackle from Cleveland and we had no helmet big enough for him.  I had my old Van Wert helmet sent to me and it became Herm’s helmet, and as a result I do not have my high school helmet anymore although I still have my junior high helmet.  I also loaned Herm $100 so he could play his fees.  This was an NCAA violation but I felt he needed it to stay in school.  He later paid me the $100 back.

    That winter I attended the National Coaches Convention in Cincinnati and ran into Woody Hayes in an elevator.  His only question to me was what was your record this year?
    
    Our first child, Laura Jayne, was born on October 26th.  It was early on a Sunday morning after a night game.  I happened to be in the bathroom when the doctor came in to tell me about the birth.  Jane had been carrying on that it had to be a boy and the doctor was apologizing to me because it was a girl.  Every time Jane went under the anesthetic she started talking and talking.  I can honestly say that I never pushed for either a boy or girl at anytime.  I did kid Jane a lot and say that if it was a boy we would name him Doak, after Doak Walker. 

      We were both excited about Laura’s birth and wondering about the challenges of being parents.  Jane had very unique birth announcements for Laura in the shape of a football.  I remember her baptism very clearly at The Presbyterian Church by Rev. Bigalow.   We had developed a friendship with a couple named Weber.  I played my only bridge with them and they sold us their baby bed, which we used for every one of our five kids.

     Our parents visited us quite often and we made several trips to Van Wert and Venedocia.  Visiting both parents’ homes on Thanksgiving and Christmas started at this time and would continue for several years.  I believe that my dad got a Thunderbird car in 1958 and was quite proud of it, as well as having Jane very envious of it.

     After the football season I went in to see the president about becoming the head football coach the next year.  The president that had hired me was killed in a car accident in the summer and Findlay had hired a new President Wilson.  I told the new president of my agreement with President Fox.  President Wilson asked me if I had it in writing and I said no.  He said we would wait one more year before making me the head coach.  I said that if that was the case I was resigning at the end of the school year.  I was 23 years old, with a new young child, and no job.

     Even though I knew I was leaving Findlay College in a few months it did not affect my coaching the wrestling and track team.  Wrestling was a big sport at Findlay, with most of the wrestlers coming from Western Pennsylvania.  I had wrestled a little at Ohio State, but was a rather inexperienced coach and I had a veteran team.  The two wrestling captains were both army veterans and two years older than I was.

     I used Bill Flanagan and Bill Shoshok to help me with the techniques and I really conditioned my wrestling team.  I worked them all very hard and I wrestled myself with them.  This caused me to separate my rib intercostals muscles, which resulted in a very painful injury.  I could not go from a standing to sitting position, or to a laying position without great pain.

     We had a great year and went 11-0; the first undefeated wrestling team in Findlay College history.  We wrestled the MAC schools like Miami University but our big win was over Notre Dame.  Notre Dame was not a great power in wrestling but was certainly much bigger than Findlay College.  We beat the Irish 18-15 when their heavyweight could not finish his match.  Jane became a real wrestling fan and told me she liked wrestling better than football.  We celebrated our undefeated season with a big party in our apartment for the wrestlers and their girl friends.

     The track team started to work out in February, so I had to coach both wrestling and track at the same time.  I had to work very hard to keep both practices going but I enjoyed the challenge.  Our track team went 8-2 and won the Mid-Ohio League for the first time.  Bluffton College had a great football and track star in Elbert Dubenion and had won the track championship for nine straight years until we defeated them in 1959.

     One of our meets was in Indianapolis,  and we had to go through Van Wert to get to Indy.  I told my mother that my track team would be stopping to eat at my parents’ house on the way to the track meet.  My mother prepared a fine meal but both of my parents were surprised when fifteen black trackmen came in their front door.

     Some of the players I will always remember from Findlay are Eddie Jordan, Ron Raye, Rich Lounder, Teddie Dudeck, Bob Harris, Bill Shoshok, Herm Alexander, Bill Flanagan, plus others.  In 1996 I was at the Dodger Adult Baseball Camp at Vero Beach, Fla. and played in the game against the former Dodgers.  I was sitting on the bench between innings when someone poked me in the back.  It was Bill Flanagan and he said, “You are too old to be playing baseball.” What a surprise to see him in that setting.  I had not seen him in over forty years.

     One night in the spring of 1959, I got a call from Doyt Perry asking me if I would be interested in coming back to Bowling Green as a coach.  You can bet that I said yes quickly.  He offered me the job of head freshmen football coach and head wrestling coach at a salary of $6,200.  This was a great break for me but it had one catch.  It was for one year only, as the wrestling coach was taking a one-year leave of absence to get an advanced degree and would be coming back the next year. 

     I had many great jobs over the years but I was never happier to get a job than the Bowling Green job in 1959.  I had stood by my principles in resigning from Findlay College with no prospect of a new job; and now I was excited about going to Bowling Green as a full time staff member.

These excerpts from the memoirs of Hall of Fame coach Jim Young (Arizona/Purdue/Army) are printed with the permission of Coach Young

*********** Your opening quotation brought to mind an ad I sometimes hear on Sirius touting a lib program. The woman says, in a voice that gags me, "I have two beautiful daughters, and I'm happy to tell tell you they're good citizens of the planet." Yeah, just be good citizens of the planet, and don't worry about being a good citizen of your country.

John Vermillion
St. Petersburg, Florida

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

Frankly, not much has changed with the democratic party since the Civil War.  They only do it a little differently today.

Won't surprise me if California follows suit with Pennsylvania's idea of "educational financing" by consolidating its state universities in the same manner.  After all both states seem headed in the same direction.  I can see it now...Humboldt State, Sacramento State, Chico State in the north; Sonoma State, CSU-Maritime, San Francisco State in the North Bay area; Cal State East Bay, San Jose State, CSU Monterey Bay in the South Bay area; Cal Poly SLO, CSU Channel Islands, CSU Northridge in the Central Coast; Stanislaus State, Fresno State, Cal State Bakersfield in the Central Valley; CSU-LA, CSU Dominguez Hills, Long Beach State in the West LA area; Cal Poly Pomona, Fullerton State, and CSU San Bernardino in the SoCal area; and CSU-San Marcos and San Diego State in the San Diego area.  By the way...only 5 of those schools play football.  Sac State, San Jose State, Fresno State, Cal Poly, and San Diego State.   At one time almost all of them did.

Enjoy your weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Fielding Yost  is one of the greatest of all football coaches, certainly of its early days, and he deserves full credit for establishing the great tradition of University of Michigan football.

A native of Fairview, West Virginia. He played college football at West Virginia for two years and at Lafayette for two years. After graduation, he coached at Ohio Wesleyan, Nebraska, Kansas and Stanford before being hired at Michigan.

To say he was a winner there, right from the start, is a great understatement.  His first five years at Michigan are probably the most successful five years in college football history.

His first team, in 1901, was undefeated, untied and unscored on, culminating in a 49-0 win over Stanford in the first-ever Rose Bowl game.

Not until his 13th game was Michigan even scored on, and not until his 30th game - a 6-6 tie with Minnesota - did the Blue fail to win.

In those five seasons, his teams won 55, tied one and lost one.  They played 56 straight games before they finally lost - by 2-0 to Chicago, in the final game of his fifth season.

The defensive statistics from that five-year stretch are amazing - 50 of the 55 wins were shutouts, including a run of 12 straight; only once did any opponent ever score more than six points in a game - Chicago scored 12 points while losing, 22-12.

His racehorse offensive style, years before today’s “play fast” offenses, and his constant exhortation in practice to "hurry, hurry, hurry!" earned him the nickname "Hurry-up,” and his teams' offensive stats reflected his approach: averaging  49.5 points per game over those five seasons, they came to be called the "Point-a-Minute" teams.

In his 25 years as football coach at Michigan (1901-23, 1925-26) his overall record was 165-29-10. Eight of his teams were unbeaten.

His championship teams inspired Michigan student Louis Elbel to compose  the  school’s famed fight song, “The Victors" ("Hail! Hail! to Michigan, the Champions of the West!")

That  6-6 tie with Minnesota is noteworthy because of its legacy. The Gophers were good then - they were 10-0 at the time - and a then-huge crowd of 20,000 showed up in Minneapolis to watch the clash of unbeatens. Wary of possible foul play by Minnesota,  the Michigan coach arranged to have his team manager buy a  jug and fill it with water himself.  Michigan led 6-0 late in the game,  but Minnesota tied it up with two minutes to play, and the Minnesota fans stormed the field, causing the officials to call the game. In their haste to get off the field, the Michigan water jug was left behind, and when the Michigan coach wrote Minnesota to ask for its return,  the reply was, "If you want it, you'll have to come up and win it." That he did, and thus did  the Little Brown Jug, given ever since to the winner of the Minnesota-Michigan game, become the oldest trophy in major college football,

He’s given credit for inventing the linebacker position, by backing up his great center, Germany Schaefer. And he’s given credit for helping start the tradition of post-season bowl games.

But perhaps as much as his great coaching record, he is remembered as the visionary who built the “Big House.”    In 1921 he was named athletic director, and in that capacity he oversaw the construction of Michigan Stadium - the "Big House.”  It cost $1 million to build, an astronomical amount at the time.  It was built to seat 84,000, but he was farsighted enough to provide for future expansion to as much as 300,000.

Astute enough to realize that it might take more than just football to fill such an enormous stadium, he is also responsible for the development of the Michigan band.

Fielding Yost  lives on today in a most unusual way. Many Michigan fans fondly say “Mee-shigan" without knowing why, but the quaint pronunciation  derives from long-time Michigan football broadcaster Bob Ufer’s insistence on pronouncing it the same way as their legendary coach once did, a West Virginian who never lost his mountain twang.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING FIELDING YOST

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
BRAD KNIGHT - CLARINDA, IOWA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

yost blocking sledyost's tackle back
ABOVE LEFT: YOSTS' BLOCKING SLED     ABOVE RIGHT: YOST'S "TACKLE BACK" FORMATION (NOTE THE 6-MAN LINE. (THE GUY STANDING IS A COACH)


***********  I have in my possession a book my father-in-law gave to me when I first started my coaching career.  His dad gave him the book when he started playing football as a teenager in Detroit, MI.  The book, titled "FOOT BALL for PLAYER and SPECTATOR" by Fielding H. Yost, Illustrated, and published by University Publishing Company, Ann Arbor, Michigan 1905.  Copyright 1905, and printed by the Ann Arbor Press).  It is a small hard-cover book, and is so old the binding is coming undone.  I'm curious if it's a first edition!  The illustrations (photographs) in the book are vintage, and include photos of games being played at some of the original football fields/stadiums in the Big 10 and in the East; Michigan's Ferry Field, Harvard's stadium, University of Chicago's Marshall Field, Princeton's field, Minnesota's Northrup Field, Penn's Franklin Field, Wisconsin's Randall Field, Cornell's Percy Field, and West Point's original field "The Parade Grounds."

In the book Yost discusses (among other things) the origin and development of the game, the importance of the game, its prestige and popularity, what it does for the player, individual position skills, rules, and "generalship".  It is written in Yost's own words many of which would be foreign to most today given the vernacular used by men at the turn of the 20th century.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

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

Great blog today. Lots of food for thought as well as some humor. I appreciate your writing.

The incredible coach in the quiz is Fielding Yost. He would be suspended for running up the score in today's world.

https://www.michigandaily.com/football/1901-04-fielding-yost-and-his-famed-point-minute-teams/

My best to you and Connie.

Greg Koenig
Falcon, Colorado

*********** Coach Wyatt-

Fielding Yost knew something about offensive production with his "point a minute" scoring.

Also knew something about defense.  In one season his team shut out all but one opponent.

Heard about him often, interesting to read some more facts about him.  Stanford likely felt stupid letting him go because he was not an alum.

Brad Knight
Clarinda, Iowa

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

I  am not a Michigan man, but I am very familiar with Fielding H. Yost. One could not go thru coach Jimmy Feix's coaching football class at Western Kentucky University and not know who coach Yost was. Coach Feix spent a great deal of time on the beginning of football in America and its great coaches. He made you learn them and the historical dates in football as it evolved. The test on it was not easy and I  was the only student that made 100% on the test. He asked me later how I remembered all the dates and coaches names. I  told him that I was majoring in math, history, geography and remembering dates  and sequence of order were easy for me. Coach Feix was impressed. I  was the only student at that time to ever make 100% on that particular test. He called me "Mister 100 Percent "for years afterward when we would run into each other.

See you Tuesday.

David Crump
Owensboro. Kentucky

*********** QUIZ:  A native of West Monroe, Louisiana, he was a running back, defensive back, kick returner and punter during his four years at LSU.

He was a two-time All-SEC selection, and in his senior year  he was a unanimous All-American, was named the SEC's Most Valuable Player and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting behind Oregon State’s Terry Baker (first Heisman winner from the West Coast).

The Number One draft choice of the Cardinals - second player taken overall - he played nine years in the NFL with St. Louis as a defensive back and punter, and played in three Pro Bowls.

After retirement, he got into coaching, and was on  the LSU staff of coach Charlie McClendon.  After  McClendon was fired and his successor, Bo Rein  died when his plane disappeared over the Atlantic, he was named LSU’s head coach on short notice.  One of the conditions of his hiring was that he retain Rein’s entire staff.

His four years were a roller coaster ride: his first team went 7-4, but then came a 3-7-1 season.  His third year was much better, and the Tigers received an Orange Bowl bid, but after accepting the invitation, they did the unthinkable: they lost to Tulane - something an LSU coach must never do - and they did so at home, their first home loss to the Green Wave since 1948. They ended the season with a close loss to Nebraska in the bowl game, finishing 8-3-1, and the contract extension he asked for was not granted.

The next year, the wheels came off.  LSU went 4-7, and he was fired. The firing was controversial, because he was an LSU man and very well-liked, and yet - this was, after all,  LSU, where losing football is not acceptable.

(He was replaced by Bill Arnsparger. In Arnsparger’s three years in Baton Rouge,  LSU went 8-3-1, 9-2-1, and 9-3, and all was forgiven.)

He never coached again.  For five years he was AD at Louisiana Tech, and then worked as CEO of the Baton Rouge Sports Foundation.

Of all the great players who have played at LSU, he is the only one who was  a unanimous All-American, a first-round NFL draft choice, a  Pro Bowl selection, and is now a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.



UPSIODE DOWN FLAGFRIDAY, MAY 7, 2021 - “Everyone wants to save the world but nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.” P.J. O’Rourke

************ Until Friday night, this link will let you take in Tuesday Night’s Zoom

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/bmE6JiyBlcDKZK8sxKG1IpGIMXLLrI9HCfcKVYwYkbtOcY_BWqmEDSCg-0ukAMQP.35eKYvrFIiThPSPr?startTime=1620171999000

*********** FCS SEMIFINAL GAMES THIS SATURDAY

I mistakenly said on my Zoom  that Delaware would be playing at Sam Houston State.  I WAS WRONG. OKAY?

THIS IS ACTUAL:

Delaware at South Dakota State
Noon Eastern  ESPN
Delaware +8

James Madison at Sam Houston State
2:30 Eastern  ABC
Sam Houston + 1.5

(Leave it to ESPN/ABC - same corporate owner -  to schedule the games so that the second game is kicking off while the first one in the still in the fourth quarter.)

Unnoticed in the to-do  about the dominance of the Missouri Valley Football Conference as it sent four teams into the quarterfinals was the fact that there are now two teams in the semifinals - Delaware and James Madison - from the Colonial Athletic Association.  Both are unbeaten (both 7-0) although Delaware was considered the conference champion because it was 4-0 in conference play while JMU was 3-0. Since they are on opposite sides of the bracket, there is a real chance that they could face each other in the final.

*********** The Delaware Blue Hen is deeply rooted in state history. 250 years ago, blood sports were common, and it’s said that during the Revolutionary War, Delaware soldiers carried with them fighting birds  - the offspring of a certain blue hen - known for their ferocity.


*********** IF DELAWARE SHOULD WIN  AND MAKE IT TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME - Think  Joe Biteme will be able to resist the urge to tell a few big ones about his days playing* for the Blue Hens?  

*He  didn’t

I’m pulling for the braggart in him to win out, because I’m pretty sure there are plenty of old Delaware football guys - real football guys - just waiting to swiftboat him.

*********** It sure is nice of liberals in government to look out for black people.  See, since they assume that black people aren’t capable of looking out for themselves, and since black smokers favor menthol cigarettes, and menthol cigarettes are bad for you, they will save the lives of untold millions of black  smokers by banning menthol cigarettes.  Damned if the people in the Kremlin aren’t planning to do just that.

Bye-bye, Kools. Sayonara, Salem. Night-night, Newport.

Bye-bye, freedom of black people to make decisions for themselves.

*********** On Tuesday I mentioned writing to the AD at Cloudcroft, New Mexico, to try to find out what I was watching last Saturday night - was it really a “Girls Varsity Football Game,” as the NFHS site said it was?

Shortly after writing, I heard from the AD, Sheri Wimsatt:

Good morning,

La Muerte De las Cruces, a pro-women's team has rented our field for 3 games. 

I'm not sure how this should be scheduled on NFHS.

https://www.facebook.com/LaMuerteFootball/


*********** An interesting fact that I came out of the Kentucky Derby with: the horse that has run the second fastest Derby ever run didn’t even win the race!

In 1973, Secretariat ran the mile-and-a-quarter in 1:59.4, a record that still stands.

Finishing second, two and a half lengths back of Secretariat, was Sham.

They don’t keep times for non-winners, but by applying the horse racing convention of one length = .2 seconds, Sham finished in 1:59.9, and although it’s unofficial, horse people generally accept it.

Only one other horse since then has run the Derby in under two minutes, and that was Monarchos, who won in 2001. His time was 1:59.97. (It was the first year they went to two decimal places - before that, his time would have been rounded up to two minutes flat.)

*********** In my lifetime I have belonged to the Hod Carriers  and Common Laborers Union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers (aka The Teamsters) and the National Education Association.

I have no problem with the first two, but as for the NEA, let’s just say that right after it takes care of all of its other priorities, you come first.

And then there’s the NFLPA, which like all unions is of course solely interested in the welfare of its members. To show its interest, it urged them to boycott “voluntary offseason workouts.”  In other words, to stay away from their teams’ facilities.

One of those members, Broncos’ tackle Ja’Wuan James, did just that, and working out in “an unofficial setting,” he hurt himself.

And now the NFL Management Council has informed all teams that the Broncos don’t have to pay James’ salary. Apparently it’s in the standard contract, which in his case they can tear up after they cut him.

It’s going to cost the dude $10 million.

Now, is that a union looking out for the welfare of its members or what?

*********** Deion Sanders, the noted head coach of Jackson State, is not happy.

Wrote Sanders on Instagram, “our kids are being NEGLECTED AND REJECTED.”  (His capitals.)

See, there wasn’t a single player from an HBCU taken in the recent NFL draft.

“I witnessed a multitude of kids that we played against that were more than qualified to be drafted,” he wrote. “My prayers are that This won’t EVER happen again.”

Hmmm.

“Neglected and rejected?”

It certainly couldn’t have been from lack of exposure. How many f—king times was Jackson State on ESPN, when other, far better FCS teams were buried on ESPN+?

“I witnessed a multitude of kids that we played against that were more than qualified to be drafted.”

Well, damn, man - with your record as a talent scout, and that big mouth of yours, why the hell didn’t you tell somebody?

For what it’s worth - the third overall pick in the draft was Trey Lance, from North Dakota State. NDSU, like the HBCUs, didn’t play in the fall - and he opted out of their spring schedule.  But somehow, the NFL guys knew about him, and you know what? I bet if Deion had coached or coached against any kids that the NFL thought were good enough, they’d have been drafted, too.


*********** In the 1920’s, during Prohibition, making and selling booze was illegal.  But in a lot of cities,  despite what the law said, if you knew the right people, you could find a place to sit down and have a drink. They called those places “speakeasies.”  How could they possible exist? You ask, when it was against the law?  Well, er, it’s those guys that enforce the law, see.  The wise guys knew that a little money spent on the right people could get law enforcement to look the other way.

But  that was almost 100 years ago,  and since people  today are much, much  more honest than they were back during Prohibition, that explains why there aren’t any maskeasies.

*********** I keep watching TV shows in which young couples talk about buying a house, or going on vacation, or doing something or other - and “making memories?”

Am I missing something? Is “making memories” like taking pictures.

What the hell was wrong with just having fun being someplace with somebody?

If we didn’t make memories, did it really happen?


*********** The US Military Academy at West Point, New York  offers more than 25 sports, and as you might expect, selecting inductees to the Army Sports Hall of Fame is not an easy task.

Of course, since Army has been playing college football since 1890 - and for much of its history as one of the top programs in the country -  football is well represented.

But not as well as you might think.

While people you and I have never heard of, from sports no one we even know has ever watched are admitted, I count at least 12 football players since 1941 who were first team All-Americans and are not in.  Three of them - Robin Olds, Barney Poole and Joe Steffy - are in the College Football Hall of Fame.

So why aren’t those guys, the very best in football in their time, in the Army Sports Hall of Fame?
Well.  You probably thought that, being the United States Military Academy, everything is based on merit. Silly you.

Maybe  this quote from a higher-up the USMA Athletic Department will clear things up:

“The Hall of Fame strives to keep a balance in sport, ethnicity, gender and era in its members.”

God help us all.  It’s everywhere.

*********** American births are at their lowest since the early 1970s, I read.  There are plenty of reasons, of course, but one that I submit for your  consideration is that fact that people see what brats so many youngsters are, and they say, “screw that.”

It started after World War II, and came to fruition as the babies born following the War reached puberty (in the early 1960s).

Dr. Spock and his ideas on child-rearing had a lot to do with this sea change, as we began to glorify children, giving  them and their opinions the same status we once accorded only to adults.

Prior to that time, if kids had said something about "wanting to make our voices heard," grownups, who had grown up in the Depression and were dealing  with  the stresses of War, would have said, “Huh?” Or worse.

There was an old expression still in use back then - "children should be seen, and not heard" - that pretty much summed up the place of children in our culture.

As those children grew, they hit puberty, and a strange new class was created - a group of people no longer little children, but not yet adults. Thus was born the “teenager," a term that dates back only as far as the post-war years. Never before in our history did we have the luxury of doting on children as something special.

That was still a time when people knew their neighbors and cared about what they thought, and it was considered a mark of shame to have disobedient kids. Since then, though, the goal had become to be “best friends” with our kids.

To maintain the friendship, we give them the things they want, and we avoid the things they don’t like. Things like rules.

And they're wondering why people aren’t having kids?

*********** Pennsylvania has been losing population, and it’s affecting its14 “state system universities.”   It’s a dog-chasing-its-tail sort of thing, as the schools,  finding their enrollments declining, have been jacking up tuition, with the predictable effect of further driving down enrollment.

And now, they’ve come up with a plan to consolidate several of the state universities.  Sort of.

pa state colleges

Three in the western part of the state - California, Clarion and Edinboro - would be merged into one larger school, as would three in the northeast - Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield.

But it doesn’t sound like cutting costs in the business sense of the word, where you close six inefficient  plants and move the production to two larger, more efficient ones. Less maintenance, fewer management types, and so forth.

Oh, no. Not in Pennsylvania. Instead, they say,  the six campuses would remain as is, keeping “their own identity and brand.”   And they’d still keep their sports programs.

Savings? Make me laugh. In fact,  I see the growth of  two new bureaucracies, heading up  the two new “consolidated” campuses, where business  goes on as ever.


https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/pa-moves-ahead-on-merger-of-6-universities-including-california-clarion-and-edinboro/


*********** Northwestern has a new AD, replacing its previous one who left to become Commissioner of the ACC. I was reading an article about it in The Athletic (which grows more liberal  by the day), and the writer, who seemed not to like the new guy, did admit that although he was qualified, “a woman getting the top job would’ve made a statement.”

God help us all. It’s everywhere.

*********** Jim Young remembers…

     In the spring of 1956 I had to make a big switch in football.  I had to go from being a coach on the field back to being a competitive football player.  It was a little different but not really a big deal.  The fullback that I had to compete with was Jack Giroux and he was very good, as well as being a great person.  He was definitely better than me and I became the second fullback in the fall.  We had a very good team, went undefeated, and won the MAC Championship.  I contributed to our season, playing quite a lot, and scoring a couple of touchdowns.

     Our opening game of the year was a home game in a driving rainstorm.  The ground crew had used the wrong type of lime to line the field.  The rain made the lime very abrasive.  I got tackled on one play and slid across the sidelines. The lime burned my leg and after the game I had a huge open burn on my hip.  It took several days for that burn to heal and a little longer before I could practice again.

    We played Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and took two very small planes to the game.  On the plane flight I got sick and threw-up, ruining my clothes.  Doyt gave me a pair of his pants to wear.  I was six foot tall and in shape and he was much rounder then I was and 5’ 7” tall.  When I got off the plane my pants were extremely short and I had to hold them up with my hands.

     The only time I got really down that year was not getting in the game against Miami.  I remember that night in my room feeling very disappointed and depressed.  All in all I feel I contributed to BG’s 1956 season and liked being at Bowling Green.

     One funny thing happened in practice one day to Floyd Lennox and me.  He played right halfback and one day I went the wrong way and ran into him, I started to the right and he started to the left and we immediately hit.  Later on we ran a double reverse with me faking to the right and Floyd carrying the ball to the left.  I carried out my fake and than hustled downfield to get a block. Floyd made a long run to the left and I ran into him 40 yards down the field.  He said, “No matter where I go you always hit me!”  I have to say that he was right that time.

     In 1957 I had one more year of eligibility but I decided to graduate and become a graduate assistant football coach.  I only played two years of varsity college football and I got to play on two undefeated championship teams at Ohio State University and Bowling Green State University.  Those two teams won 19 games and lost 0.

     I helped coach the freshman team in 1957.  Jim Ruehl was the head freshman coach and Bill Mallory was one of the graduate assistants.  We won four games and lost one.  I learned a big lesson in coaching in our game that year with the Toledo University freshmen.  Jim Ruehl asked me if I thought the Toledo freshmen would use a shotgun formation like their varsity had recently shown.  I said there is no way they will use the shotgun.  Boy was I wrong, they used it the whole game and this was the only game we lost. This was a great lesson for me and I never assumed anything in football coaching again.

     As a graduate assistant, we were totally involved in the program.  We coached, we spoke at clinics, I taught a football class, and we prepared the notebooks.  Doyt always treated us as an important part of his staff.  I was good with writing and organizing, so I had a lot of the notebook responsibility.  Bill Mallory told me last year that he really learned how to work in football that year and picked up a lot from me.

     Bill and I became great friends.  He was unmarried and so had a lot of his meals at our apartment.  We would argue and discuss football by the hours.  During spring break, Bill and I were asked if we wanted to be substitute teachers at Lima Shawnee High School.  It was a chance to make a little money so we said yes.  The night before we started teaching at Shawnee, Bill stayed with me at my parents’ house in Van Wert.  He was upstairs practicing his class talk and pounding his feet on the upstairs floor.  My parents were so impressed that anyone could be that intense about what they were doing.  Anyone who ever knew Bill Mallory  would know that his middle name was intensity.
     We taught at Shawnee for a week and I had no idea that in three years I would be teaching and coaching there as a full time teacher.  Some of the boys that I had in the sixth grade, like Bill Finch, later played for me when I starting coaching there in 1960.

     My grades were all “A’s” in my graduate courses except for one B.  Dr. Coffey, who is over 100 years old and still alive as I am writing this, gave Bill and I a “B” for not paying attention in class.  We were working on football plays and talked football, which Dr. Coffey did not appreciate.  My master’s degree thesis was titled Current Trends in Offensive Line Splits and I am sure that it sounds very exciting.

    That spring we had an alumni game against the varsity.  Jim Ruehl, Bill Mallory, and I were the player-coaches.  We had three pro receivers, but only Don Nehlen to throw it to them and he was not a very good passer.  I did score a TD in the game but came away with sore ribs.  Many schools formerly had alumni games but they have disappeared because squad sizes are smaller, and insurance-contract provisions keep many pros from playing.

     Bowling Green was a good choice for me when I decided to transfer from OSU.  Bowling Green gave me an excellent education and has been very kind to me, electing me to the Bowling Green State University Hall of Fame in 1989.  I probably was not as good an alumnus as I would have been if I had stayed at Ohio State or had been at Bowling Green for all four years.  Transferring maybe divided my loyalties a little bit.  I guess I do not always think of myself as a BG alumnus, as OSU also always pops into my mind.  However, one thing is clear - Doyt Perry had a great influence on my life and career.

     I consider him my college coach.  He recruited me to OSU when he was the backfield coach and then gave me the opportunity to come to Bowling Green, when he became the head coach there.  Doyt started late in college coaching,  as he spent many years as a high school coach.  He had a truly amazing career at Bowling Green.  He coached for 10 years and had the highest winning percentage of any major college coach of all time, including Knute Rockne of Notre Dame.  He won close to 90% of his games.  Doyt won 77 games and lost 11 for a winning percentage of .881. 

     Basketball totally dominated sports at Bowling Green when Doyt became the football coach.  Harold Anderson had produced many great basketball teams over the years and controlled the scholarships.  It’s hard to believe but when Doyt took the job there were 60 Grants-in-Aid for basketball and only 19 for football.  This was quickly changed but gives you some idea of what type of football program he took over.  His first year he lost one game and in his second year he was undefeated.  He truly was a great coach.

     He gave me my first chance to coach on the college level.  Coaching that first year as a student coach was a great break for me.  I was able to find out what coaching was like and I got to know Bo Schembechler.  Doyt always said that I would be a good coach but I should do something else, as I was too smart to just be a coach.  He had me do a lot of his paper work and write up his football notebooks.  I always thought that he would hire me as a full time coach and he might have if Bill Mallory had not been such a great coaching prospect as well.

     When I quit at Findlay and had no job, Doyt hired me at BG as freshmen football coach and head wrestling coach on a one-year basis.  This job meant more to me than any other job I ever got.  Being out of a job and getting hired at BG was just a great feeling in 1960.  He also helped me later when I had a problem with the job at Marion, Ohio.  I met him in Kenton, Ohio for advice on what to do.  I will describe these two situations in greater detail later in my writings.

     In the early seventies, Doyt wanted me to come back to Bowling Green as athletic director when he retired.  I was close to getting my own head football job at that time and was not interested. 

     Doyt was an outstanding coach, humorous and sarcastic at the same time.  He started late in the college coaching game but there was none better and none that produced as many outstanding head coaches as Doyt did in that short period of time at Bowling Green State University.  At one time in the late 1980’s nine of the top fifteen winning coaches in college football had played or coached under Doyt at Bowling Green from 1955-1964, quite a testimony to him.

      The spring of 1958 I was anxious to get a coaching job.  I had turned down Celina High School the year before but was now ready to be on my own.  Bill and I both went after every high school job and seemed to neutralize each other.  We finally decided to not compete on each job.  He went after the East Palestine job and I went after the St. Mary's job.   He got the East Palestine job but I lost out on the St. Mary’s job to Skip Baughman. 

     I was sure that I would get the St. Mary’s job as it was in the same league as Van Wert and I was well known by the St. Mary’s people.  I even had my summer workout ready to go for the St. Mary’s Roughriders but it did not work out.  They decided on Skip because he had three years of high school head coaching experience.  It was a good choice for St. Mary’s as Skip coached there for 38 years and 300 victories.
 
     When I became the Shawnee coach, we competed against each other, as we were in the same league.  Ultimately I got a job at Findlay College but a more important event happened to me in 1957 as Alyce-Jane Waltz of Wooster College, Ashland High School, and Venedocia,Ohio came waltzing into my life.

These excerpts from the memoirs of Hall of Fame coach Jim Young (Arizona/Purdue/Army) are printed with the permission of Coach Young


*********** QUIZ ANSWER: He won more than 100 career games while coaching for 15 seasons at the college level, earning numerous coach of the year awards along the way. But early in his college life, Dick Sheridan  actually thought that he was going to make a living as an engineer.

Dick Sheridan majored in engineering while he was an undergraduate student at South Carolina, and he spent one summer interning at the Savannah River Site.

Gradually, he realized that he wasn’t suited for office life, but through that job he learned the value of practical experience while in college, a lesson that he would always pass on to his players.

Dick says now that the process of elimination led him to coaching, but anyone familiar with his career knows that he is being modest. You don’t get inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame by pure happenstance, and (his) career embodies the bold undertakings that defined his success. He went on to spend 15 years as the head coach of Furman and NC State, posting .500 or better conference records in all but one of those seasons, while positively impacting countless lives along the way.
 
“Any individual honor like that, especially in the sport of football, is a group success; it’s not an individual success,” (he) said. “No one’s more aware of that than I am, that it needs to be shared, particularly with your assistant coaches and the players who made it happen.”

Dick Sheridan won six Southern Conference titles while at Furman, where he took over as head coach in 1978 after spending five years as an assistant. While coaching in Greenville, South Carolina, he twice beat NC State, which ended up hiring him ahead of the 1986 season. In Raleigh, Sheridan then led the Wolfpack to six bowls games in seven years before retiring in 1992.

Sheridan counts his debut seasons at both schools as his most memorable. He coached the Paladins to their first-ever conference championship in year one. When (he) arrived at NC State, the Wolfpack were coming off three straight 3-8 seasons. They went 8-3-1 under the first-year coach, a record that included a 35-34 win at rival North Carolina, snapping a seven-game losing streak to the Tar Heels. This proved to be the first of four NC State campaigns under (him)  that ended with eight or more wins. The Wolfpack went 6-1 against UNC during that time, too.
 
“He honored the players with the respect of high expectations, and the players bought into and excelled in that culture,” said retired former Vanderbilt and Furman head coach Bobby Johnson, who previously served as an assistant on Sheridan’s  Furman teams. “This is how he managed to defeat many teams with superior athletic talent. When I became a head coach, I modeled my leadership strategy from serving under and watching him.”

Sheridan now lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and still helps operate a sporting goods store in Orangeburg that he helped launch more than 50 years ago when he was a high school coach in the area. One of Sheridan’s sons coaches in his hometown of North Augusta, Georgia, and his other son works in pharmaceuticals in Greenville, where Sheridan  had raised his family.

In some ways, that stability may define him as much as his on-field success.

“One thing I’m very proud of: both of my sons went to first grade through 12th grade at the same high school,” Sheridan said, “which is unusual for a coach’s sons.”

(Dick Sheridan was recently elected a member of the 2020 College Football Hall of Fame Class and will be officially inducted during the 63rd National Football Foundation  Annual Awards Dinner in December.  The above tribute to him was written for the NFF  by Matt Fortuna)

***********  Hugh,

Betting has never been something I'm very good with.  I also went 1-3 last week.  As far as next week's semi-finals go suffice it to say I'm "pulling" for Sam Houston and South Dakota State.

The ESPN broadcasters covering the FCS games are the third team guys (and girl for the HBCU games).  Kinda like the officials we get to call our games here in Texas.  The top crews are sent to do UIL games while the TAPPS schools end up with the ones who need the work.

Jeff Monken is a victim of his football identity leading him to success.  In the eyes of all the know-it-alls Jeff Monken is a triple option guy, and the "know-it-alls" at the college level AREN'T necessarily the folks who call the shots for the school.  I'm certain there are many of us at the high school level in the DW fraternity who are viewed the same way.  I know that as a matter of fact.

And...staying with that thought...the "know-it-alls" see the triple option and the DW as throwback offenses.  Boring, no pass offenses, that don't rein in 5/4 star recruits, or promote the individual athlete's talent, the offense is unsafe, and will take football backward instead of forward.  What they obviously don't see is that many of these "modern" spread offenses are rooted in the very same principles used in those "outdated" throwback offenses.  What they don't know is that Football is still football.  In Kansas' case won't they be surprised when see Leipold's offense!  His Buffalo team led the nation in... RUSHING offense!!  

Megan Rapinoe...don't get me started.  

Actually, I did watch the NFL draft.  Only to see how many ND guys would go.  10!!  I was surprised at that many being selected.  But, I have to say I rather enjoyed watching the draftees celebrate their selections with their families and friends at home instead of backstage.


Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING DICK SHERIDAN

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
DAVE POTTER - CARY, NORTH CAROLINA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA

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

I had the pleasure of meeting Coach Sheridan several years ago at a NC State function.  A great coach and someone who has served as a model inspiration to me.

Sincerely,
Dave Potter
Cary, North Carolina

*********** QUIZ: He is one of the greatest of all football coaches, certainly of its early days, and he deserves full credit for establishing the great tradition of University of Michigan football.

A native of Fairview, West Virginia, he played college football at West Virginia for two years and at Lafayette for two years. After graduation, he coached at Ohio Wesleyan, Nebraska, Kansas and Stanford before being hired at Michigan.

To say he was a winner there, right from the start, is a great understatement.  His first five years at Michigan are probably the most successful five years in college football history.

His first team, in 1901, was undefeated, untied and unscored on, culminating in a 49-0 win over Stanford in the first-ever Rose Bowl game.

Not until his 13th game was Michigan even scored on, and not until his 30th game - a 6-6 tie with Minnesota - did the Blue fail to win.

In those five seasons, his teams won 55, tied one and lost one.  They played 56 straight games before they finally lost - by 2-0 to Chicago, in the final game of his fifth season.

The defensive statistics from that five-year stretch are amazing - 50 of the 55 wins were shutouts, including a run of 12 straight; only once did any opponent ever score more than six points in a game - Chicago scored 12 points while losing, 22-12.

His racehorse offensive style, years before today’s “play fast” offenses, and his constant exhortation in practice to "hurry, hurry, hurry!" earned him the nickname "Hurry-up,” and his teams' offensive stats reflected his approach: averaging  49.5 points per game over those five seasons, they came to be called the "Point-a-Minute" teams.

In his 25 years as football coach at Michigan (1901-23, 1925-26) his overall record was 165-29-10. Eight of his teams were unbeaten.

His championship teams inspired Michigan student Louis Elbel to compose  the  school’s famed fight song, “The Victors" ("Hail! Hail! to Michigan, the Champions of the West!")

That  6-6 tie with Minnesota is noteworthy because of its legacy. The Gophers were good then - they were 10-0 at the time - and a then-huge crowd of 20,000 showed up in Minneapolis to watch the clash of unbeatens. Wary of possible foul play by Minnesota,  the Michigan coach arranged to have his team manager buy a  jug and fill it with water himself.  Michigan led 6-0 late in the game,  but Minnesota tied it up with two minutes to play, and the Minnesota fans stormed the field, causing the officials to call the game. In their haste to get off the field, the Michigan water jug was left behind, and when the Michigan coach wrote Minnesota to ask for its return,  the reply was, "If you want it, you'll have to come up and win it." That he did, and thus did  the Little Brown Jug, given ever since to the winner of the Minnesota-Michigan game, become the oldest trophy in major college football,

He’s given credit for inventing the linebacker position, by backing up his great center, Germany Schaefer. And he’s given credit for helping start the tradition of post-season bowl games.

But perhaps as much as his great coaching record, he is remembered as the visionary who built the “Big House.”    In 1921 he was named athletic director, and in that capacity he oversaw the construction of Michigan Stadium - the "Big House.”  It cost $1 million to build, an astronomical amount at the time.  It was built to seat 84,000, but he was farsighted enough to provide for future expansion to as much as 300,000.

Astute enough to realize that it might take more than just football to fill such an enormous stadium, he is also responsible for the development of the Michigan band.

He lives on today in a most unusual way. Many Michigan fans fondly say “Mee-shigan" without knowing why, but the quaint pronunciation  derives from long-time Michigan football broadcaster Bob Ufer’s insistence on pronouncing it the same way as their legendary coach once did, a West Virginian who never lost his mountain twang.




UPSIODE DOWN FLAGTUESDAY, MAY 4, 2021 - "The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

*********** Nine hours of football - three FCS quarterfinal games going from noon (Pacific) to nine - was the most football I’ve watched on a Sunday in my memory (which is still pretty good). I can’t even comprehend watching nine hours of pro football.

*********** How to make a small fortune betting on my FCS picks: make sure you start out with a large fortune.

I was One-for-Four this weekend, picking wrong on Delaware-Jacksonville State, North Dakota State-Sam Houston State and James Madison-North Dakota. The only game I picked correctly was the one where I had a rooting interest - I wanted Southern Illinois to win, but I  figured (correctly, as it turned out) that South Dakota State was simply the better team.

The mighty Missouri Valley Football Conference, which went into the weekend with four of the eight teams still remaining in the playoff, came  out  of it with just one team - the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.

North Dakota State fell to Sam Houston State, 24-20, but it didn’t have to.  Not that Sam Houston State  didn’t deserve to win. The Bearkats finally scored with a little more than three minutes to play to lead the Bison, 24-20, but in truth, they had been handling North Dakota State. The Bison had scored every way imaginable  except offensively. They opened the scoring with a safety following a blocked punt, they scored on two long returns - first a kickoff and then a punt - they kicked an extra point and  later made a two-point conversion, and they kicked a field goal.  That’s getting 20 points the hard way. 

When they  got the ball following the Sam Houston State score, they had plenty of time.  As it turned out, they never did get that touchdown. They really mismanaged their final drive,  and as a fourth-down pass into the end zone fell incomplete, they still left time on the clock for a few more plays. It was the first time since 2010 that the Bison had failed to make at least the semifinals of the playoffs.

I didn’t watch the Delaware- Jacksonville State game, and for the third straight week Delaware surprised me.  Understand that Jacksonville State was playing a couple of quarterbacks short, but after seeing the dirty  shot that their #8 took on the Delaware QB as he was headed out of bounds - in front of the Delaware bench - I’m glad we’ve seen the last of them.

James Madison, which was ranked Number One for much of the season despite playing something of a cake schedule, was too good for North Dakota, which nonetheless had a great season in its first year after moving from the Big Sky to the Missouri Valley. The Dukes beat the Fighting Sioux (there - try and stop me!) 34-20, and on Saturday they’ll meet Sam Houston State.

The most exciting game for me was SIU against South Dakota State. SIU had become something of a Cinderella team after its dramatic last-second upset last week of Big Sky champion Weber State, and when they scored just before half to take a 20-7 lead, they looked capable of pulling off their second straight upset. (You’d have to call it an upset, since they’d lost to SDSU 44-3 earlier in the season.) They had employed a number of trick plays, while SDSU was stumbling on offense. But they scored too soon, and SDSU used the remaining 22 seconds in the half to drive close enough to kick a field  goal, making the score 20-10, and then they came out in the second half to outscore SIU, 21-6 in the final two periods and win, 31-26.   Watch this guy: Southern Illinois Javon Williams, a 6-2, 245 pound guy who runs, catches, returns punts, and throws.  Used mainly as their running QB in their Wildcat set, he threw two touchdown passes that any quarterback in America would be proud  of.

Highlights from the games on Tuesday’s Zoom Clinic

*********** The real downer of the SIU-SDSU game for me was the broadcast crew. Calling the game from the comfort of their homes (memo to ESPN: the pandemic is over, and there are plenty better ways to save money than to destroy your product with this remote broadcast sh—).

They talked nonstop, trying to hammer home a couple of points  they tried making early - South Dakota State’s freshman quarterback’s making “freshman mistakes” being the most prominent. The color guy, one Kirk Morrison, helpfully suggested maybe having the kid throw a screen pass to help him get his confidence.  He must have used the cliche “dial up” a dozen times, and once, after Southern Iliinois picked up a couple of first downs, he advised us to start looking for SDSU defenders with their hands on their hips (denoting tiredness) although they hadn’t been in the field on that series for more than ten plays. 

The play-by-play guy was a clown named John Schriffen, who gave us this bit on inside info before the game, as he talked about the SIU quarterback, Stone Labanowitz: “They call him ‘The Magician’ because he always seems to pull something out of his magic bag.” Gee, I never would have suspected.  Having filled us in, he used his “bag of tricks” line several times thereafter.

Never having seen the guy before, and being one to question anyone’s credentials, I looked the guy up, and this is what I got on Wikipedia: “John Schriffen (born October 3, 1984) is a biracial sports broadcaster for ESPN..." Are you shi—ing me?  A “biracial sports broadcaster?”  WTF is that supposed to mean? Does it make him better? Is it intended to say “hire me because  I’m not as white as I look?” Does it mean that he specializes in broadcasting biracial sports?  Actually, the guy is, indeed, biracial, if that matters, but since he went to an elite prep school and then an Ivy League college, I suspect he feels the need for some street cred. Imagine - the great Mel Allen, longtime voice of the Yankees, born Melvin Israel, touting himself as a “Jewish sports broadcaster.”

God help us all.

*********** As I expected, Canandaigua, New York High (its name is actually Canadaigua Academy, but it’s a public high school) won its  section’s championship, defeating Rochester East High, 32-7.

Interestingly, there it was April 30, and snow flurries flew throughout most of the game.

I think I would like Canandaigua.  It’s got be be a pretty place, because it’s located right at the head of one of New York’s famous Finger Lakes.  And it certainly appears to be a real football town.

*********** I watched  the Virginia 5A state final between Stone Bridge High, of Ashburn (metro DC) and Highland Springs (suburban Richmond). It was a hell of a game with an amazing finish. (On Zoom Tuesday night)

*********** Watched a game from Cloudcroft, New Mexico - check out the location on the map - and although I could never figure out who the home team was playing, I enjoyed watching - especially because the NFHS schedule read “GIRLS VARSITY FOOTBALL.” I did notice a lot of kids with pony tails hanging out from the backs of their helmets, but I noticed on the map that there was a reservation nearby, and from coaching on the Northwest Coast, I knew that the long hair could mean that a lot of the kids were natives (American Indians). There were a lot of kids on the team - more than 30, it seemed, which would be a lot for a very small school like Cloudcroft, so maybe there were some  girls on the team. My wife and daughter were watching with me, and they swore that some of the kids looked like girls - but not all of them. (I would have to say that if they were girls, they were pretty well coached.) We decided to wait until after the game, when the kids would take off their helmets, to figure the whole thing out, and sure enough, some of them did appear to be girls.  I finally decided to email the AD at Cloudcroft High to ask if she’d mind telling me what was going on, but so far, no answer.

*********** Caught a couple of high school games from Rhode Island:

Coventry vs North Smithfield, and  Tollgate (of Warwick) vs Narragansett.

Interesting games - Narragansett is a pretty decent club - but most interesting to me was the way the officials allowed the coaches on the  field.

It was customary for coaches to go as far out as the numbers to give the plays calls, and since in some cases they did so right in front of the officials, it was apparent that the state officials’ association had decided it wasn’t going to enforce the NFHS rules on that point.

I had to laugh, because like most coaches, I’ve had my share of dealing with overly officious officials, the kind that like to assert their power over you by telling you to get back - when you’re three feet onto the field.

In this case, there certainly didn’t seem to be a problem at all. The games went on as they usually do, and even though there were the customary controversial calls that you’d find in any game, there were no noticeable confrontations between officials and coaches, and, since the usual sideline protocol was observed once the ball was put in play, there were no problems keeping the sidelines clear for the officials.



*********** Lance Leipold, formerly of Buffalo and Whitewater State, got the Kansas job.  Good for him and lotsa luck. 

Army’s Jeff Monken  didn’t get the job, although he was one of the three finalists (Tulane’s Willie Fritz was the other). For me, that’s good news and bad news.

First, the bad news:  I won’t get to see Coach Monken run his offense at a Power Five school. I think he is a very solid coach and - assuming that the people in Kansas are finally so desperate to win that they’d STFU about his offense - I think he’d be successful there.

The good news, though - far better, actually - is that he will stay at Army, where he’s  done a super job and is likely to continue doing so. Army has not had a lot of success finding good football coaches.

Another bit of good news for me is that I won’t be at all conflicted when Kansas plays Kansas State. Coach Leipold might be a good guy and all that, but… EMAW! (Every Man a Wildcat!)

*********** As Jeff Monken’s name surfaced as one of the three finalists for the Kansas job…

Steven Godfrey writes,

No one wants the triple option. No one can explain why.

The first thing I heard about the Kansas football coaching search was, down to the specific words, exactly what I expected to hear:

“A lot of their influential people don’t want to run the triple option.”

The option in question belongs to Army head coach Jeff Monken, one of three names tied to the search since KU hired new athletic director Travis Goff. The other two are Tulane’s Willie Fritz and Buffalo’s Lance Leipold.

I’ve encountered this sentiment in the wilds of college football gossip before. Whenever I do, I ask a booster or A.D. or power broker to play a hypothetical game, wherein their school runs the triple, wins games, eventually wins more games, and is deemed a successful, winning program … that runs the triple.

“Nope. Still don’t want it,” is always the response.

This is my real issue with triple-option loathing: No one can explain exactly why they hate it in football terms. And when they’re unwilling to accept its success, even in a hypothetical, it means they’re preoccupied with outside perception, not with winning football games.

Raise your hand if you’re a Double Wing coach and they could have been saying pretty much the same things about your offense.

https://www.bannersociety.com/2021/4/8/22374803/kansas-jayhawks-football-2021-big-12-army-navy-georgia-southern-triple-option


*********** A contributor to Outkick who goes by the nom de plume (French for “pen name”) “pro football doc” (he actually did spend 17 seasons as the San Diego Chargers’ team physician) expressed shock at LeBron’s James’  assessment of his current high ankle sprain.  Said King James, “I don’t think I will ever get back to 100 percent in my career.”

Writes The Doc (actually, one Dr. David Chao),

“In my two-plus decades of professional sports and dealing with and treating high level superstars, I have never heard such a defeatist statement come from such a dominant athlete. To be clear, I have always been in awe of James and his on-court accomplishments, and my thoughts are not meant to be critical. My observation is that this statement runs counter to how other top athletes have handled injury and aging. They typically speak in terms of achieving the impossible.”

"In my experience, it is not in the DNA of top athletes to think anyway but positive. They are wired to think about the possible, not impossible. Impossible is not even in their vocabulary.

"Perhaps the quote was taken out of context. Maybe James will clarify what he meant. Perhaps his admission is the way he drives himself to work harder. Even if the reality is that one can’t go back to being 21, James at age 36 can get back to his immediate pre-injury form. I hope and expect him to return to 100%."

What the Doc seems not to realize  is that no other top athlete has ever had to recover from a serious injury while also fighting the effects of something called systemic racism.


*********** Seen in a parking lot in Camas, Washigton

I DRIVE THE LIMIT

I’ll bet this guy  is a charter member of the Million Middle Finger Club.


*********** Maybe you haven’t seen the Subway ads featuring Megan Rapinoe. Actually , maybe you don’t know who Megan Rapinoe is.  Maybe you’ve seen her but didn’t know who it was. She’s that grotesque shemale with the pink hair and a big mouth who plays a sport called soccer.  Other than being physically repulsive (my opinion), she has become a poster child for switch hitting, she was  one of the first female athletes to kneel, and she was rudely  disrespectful of President Trump.

Lots of other people have seen the ads and, like me, they’ve questioned the wisdom of a company that had just recovered from having a spokesman named Jared - who turned out to be a pedophile - jumping back into controversial waters by hiring someone so widely and intensely disliked.

But unlike me, many of them have written to Subway, making their feelings known…

https://www.complaintsdepartment.com/subway/

*********** Anyone doubting the power of the NFL juggernaut had only to tune in for a few minutes to the recent broadcast of its draft to realize that nothing - not Kaepernick and the national anthem issue, not even a “pandemic” - can do anything more than slow it down momentarily.

The mere suggestion  that something as basically  cut and dried as the selection by 32 teams of a handful of players each might be watched with such rapt attention by millions of viewers would once have been enough to have you institutionalized (that’s what they once did with the severely mentally ill, before some judge thought it would be better for everyone just to let them live on the streets in tents).

Now, the  draft has become such an attraction that it draws a large TV audience, and in addition draws a large live audience of mostly young males to wherever it’s held, to the point that cities now compete for the honor of hosting it.

In fact, given the way that the Pro Bowl has shrunken into irrelevance, the NFL Draft has become The League’s virtual All-Star game, with all the whoop-dee-doo surrounding one.  And better yet, unlike other leagues’ all star games, which are held during their sport’s season, the NFL draft is held smack in the middle of its off-season, the perfect time to stir the sports public and begin ginning up interest in the next pro football season.

As a TV production, the draft may have seemed a trifle - just a tad - over the top to football guys like you and me, but for its target audience, it was spot on.  And considering all the obstacles they had to deal with, it was near-spectacular.

And there’s even more to come.  The next big NFL event is coming up in just a couple of weeks. That’s when - hang onto your seats - they announce (gasp) the schedule!

*********** Good afternoon Coach Wyatt

I hope this email finds you well.

My name is Chris Genthner and I am the head football coach at Livonia High School in Livonia New York.

I took over the program in the fall of 2020 from John Gammon who stepped down after taking the principal's position.  I have been on the staff at Livonia as a varsity assistant since 1996.

We had a tremendous season winning our second straight section V championship while finishing 8-0.  We continued to run the double wing with our primary formations being Tulsa/Toronto and Open Wing.

Our offense rushed for 3,008 yds in 8 games for an average of 376 yds per game.  We led the section with 7.46 yds/carry.  We finished with 42 rushing tds.  With the open wing formation, my QB was my leading rusher with 1,242 yds and 16 tds.  In most of our games, I pulled him out after 3 quarters.  In one game he was a little banged up and had 0 rushing attempts. 

I would like to continue handing out the Black Lion Award here at Livonia.  I noticed on your website that our team is not registered, though I know we have handed out the award since John took over the varsity program several years ago.

Could you please register us?

Chris Genthner
Livonia High School
Livonia, New York

I happened to be aware of Livonia’s season, since I’d been following the progress of a couple of other teams in its region of the state, and I could see what a power they were. But I had to confess to Coach Genthner that I didn’t realize that Livonia was still “one of us,” or I’d have followed them more closely!

They outscored opponents 307-56.  They won their semifinal game 50-6 and their final game, 40-0.

Most impressive of all, to me, though, was how they accomplished  it: they not only had to adjust to a spring schedule, but also to having to play games on any day of the week: they played two of their eight games on Saturdays, two on Fridays, and one each on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.


*********** I’m not the biggest horse racing fan, although when I lived in Baltimore, at the time a real horse-racing  town, I got caught up in it like most people there. And I do sort of come awake  three times a year - when the Triple Crown races are run.

So I watched the Kentucky Derby this Saturday.  For the last time.

Holy  sh—!  There were  19 - or was it 20? - horses in the field.  Imagine 19 (or 20) horses bursting out of the starting gate at the same time, all of them intent on getting to the rail, or reasonably close to it, as soon as possible.

And then imagine yourself on a really good horse, with a chance to win, out there in the 19th spot.  You’re a good 30-40 yards from the rail, and you’re going to having to make your way  to the inside - and in your way are a dozen or more horses with almost zero chance of winning.  They’re the equine equivalent of the “must play” kids on a youth sports team, and these “kids” have parents who are millionaires and billionaires . In terms of a race like the Kentucky Derby, they are plowhorses, basically along for the ride - and impeding your chances of threading your way through them and into the race.

It actually happened Saturday.  Two of the best horses in the race started out there in the 14th and 15th positions. The heavy favorite, Essential Quality, was the #14 horse. Despite making a great run of it, the best he could do was fourth place, out of the money.  In the 15th position was the next favored horse, Rock Your World. He got cut off coming out of the gate and finished 17th.

Not to take anything away from the winner,

Think of the Olympic 400 meters  with no staggered  start, and no minimum qualifying standards, placing the favorite for the gold medal on the outside so he has to work his way to the inside through a pack of slower runners who wouldn’t even be in the race except that their countries paid enormous “entry fees” to the International Olympic Committee.

So with the sport of horse racing all but dead, there’s the Kentucky Derby, one of the last bastions of the sport, selling its soul  by allowing  wealthy owners to enter horses with no minimum qualifying standards.

*********** Jim Young remembers…

 In late September 1955 I arrived at Bowling Green State University knowing no one except the head football coach Doyt Perry.  He had been the backfield coach at Ohio State and was the coach that recruited me to Ohio State.  I had spent most of September at Ohio State going through two a days and was arriving at Bowling Green just as classes were starting.  I did not have a scholarship, a place to stay, a class schedule, and was ineligible to play football. 

     I moved into a barrack type building which we called the “chicken coop” on Wooster Street.  This was temporary housing until a permanent room opened up.  My first roommate was a freshman place kicker named Chuck Perry.  He later had a great career in business; headed up golfer Jack Nicklaus’s many financial ventures.  Chuck was very generous to Bowling Green over the years but died fairly young.

     It took a while but I was able to get a class schedule and Doyt got me a room in the athletic dorm, The Stadium Club.  All of the football and basketball players lived in rooms under the stadium.  I was to be a dorm counselor working under Jim Ruehl, the freshmen football coach.

     Jim Ruehl had played football at Ohio State and had just graduated from there.  He was someone who I had known before and I had great respect for him.  He and his wife lived in the Stadium Club and I would spend some time with them in their apartment.  Sometimes we would play Scrabble.  In one game I spelled the word –FIN-A-COG and Ann said that there was no such word.  I told her that it was a fin that was on a cog that went round and round.  She did not believe me but never let me forget that word over the years.  When Jane and I got married, Jim Ruehl was in our wedding.

     He also got me started on something that I have been doing for over 50 years.  We were out recruiting one day and he was doing neck isometrics.  I watched him tighten his neck up and hold it for a few seconds.  I decided to start doing neck and stomach Iso’s that day and have been doing them daily now for over 50 years.  I do believe they help although at my age now, it is hard to tell; but I still do them daily.

     I was too late to go on a Grant-in-Aid and so I got paid to help coach the scout team and be a dorm counselor.  The President of Bowling Green wrote me a letter specifying what I would receive and what I had to do, as an assistant student coach.

You can imagine, I was quite satisfied with my financial arrangement.  However, it was determined that if they paid me to coach, I would no longer be eligible to play the next year.  My agreement was changed to say nothing about coaching, only about being a counselor.  The money was the same and I could still coach but technically I was being paid to be a counselor.  All of this probably means nothing to the reader but it was interesting to me to be paid to coach on the college level at age 20. 

     Getting to be a student coach the fall of 1955 was the greatest thing as far as helping my future coaching career.  I did not know any of the players at first and I spent all of my time with the coaches.  The football coaching office was a large former classroom and all the desks were in that one big room. The line coach was Bo Schembechler and he was the coach that I spent the most time with.  He was young, aggressive, funny, and really related to the players.  He smoked a football pipe at that time; the bowl of the pipe was a half football.

      Bo’s job was to scout the next opponent and he always took me along with him.  One time we went to scout Kent State and stayed overnight at his mother’s house in Barberton, Ohio.  One trip was a trip to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan to scout Central Michigan.  We scouted that afternoon game and then drove fast to get back and see Bowling Green play at night under the lights.  Bo and I went up into the press box to watch the game.  Bowling Green’s stadium was not real big and the windows of the press box were open.  Bo started yelling at the linemen who were making mistakes during the game.  His language drew the attention of all the spectators sitting below the press box.  Everyone looked up to see who was using that “Bad” language.  I ducked down so they would not think it was me.  
    
    The fall of 1955 was a great experience for me and proved to me that coaching was what I wanted to do.  My main job on the field was to run the scout team against the varsity.  The job of being a scout team player is not much fun and I tried to put some fun into it.  I started giving points for whoever tagged the ball carrier first.  Players started competing and joking each other as they tried to get to the ball carrier first.  This did not go over well with Doyt and the other coaches.  They yelled at me that the players were not out there to have fun but to be the scout team.

     During the week of the Miami game we had an injury to our starting QB, Jim Bryant.  One of the scout team players, Rufus Sims from Lima Shawnee, fell into Bryant’s legs and knocked him out of the game.  I was in big trouble for letting it happen.  The second team quarterback, Don Nehlen, had to play the whole game.  Don would go on to be a head coach at BGSU and West Virginia, and is now in the College Football Hall of Fame.

     That Miami game for the MAC Championship was the greatest pre-game locker room talk that I had ever heard.  Miami at that time was the dominant power in the league under Ara Parseghian.  Miami was undefeated and had several players on their team that would later coach with me; Bill Mallory at BG, Jerry Hanlon, and Terrell Burton at Miami and Michigan were future coaching mates.  Bowling Green assistant coaches Bo Schembechler and Bill Gunlock, who were both Miami graduates, gave the pre-game talk.  They were yelling, crying, and just totally into Bowling Green beating Miami that day.  We lost that day 0 – 7, BG’s only loss in 1955, but I will always remember that locker room talk.

     As a student coach I had several duties, which I guess most down the line assistant coaches have had over the years.   After all these years the only one I remember is when Doyt asked me to clean out his locker one day.  Over the course of several months he had thrown practice schedules, papers, dirty socks, etc in the bottom of his tall metal locker.  I started to clean it out when I came across a mice nest and they came running out at me.

     If I was not in class, I was at the football office working on football.  Bo told me that when he got a head-coaching job, I would be on his staff.  Doyt once said that he knew two coaches who would never get married because they were too in love with coaching football, Bo Schembechler and Jim Young.

     I started to also get to know some of the players who would be my teammates the next spring and year.  Ed Ferkany was my first roommate in the Stadium Club but shortly I got a single room, which went along with being a counselor.  Ed was a quarterback but received an injury as a freshman and never played.  He became a good friend of mine and was a student coach during his remaining time at Bowling Green.  He later coached at Navy and Ohio State, he and I had a funny thing happen to us during the OSU-Michigan game in 1972.  I will cover that when I write about my time at Michigan.

     Two other players became my friends, Tom Kisselle and  Jack Hecker.  Several guys, including Jack, Tom, and me, would go around to the various high schools and scrimmage their basketball teams.  Tom got me interested in the Sigma Chi Fraternity and I pledged and became pledge class president.  I was a good “frat man” for about a year and then lost interest.  Our chapter got kicked off campus and the treasurer took off with my dues money, and as a result I have had very little to do with Sigma Chi since that time.  The fraternity has honored me by making me a “Significant Sig” but that was because of my coaching career.

     I dated a little more at Bowling Green than I had dated at Ohio State.  The first girl that I wanted to date was in my physical education folk dance class, Linda Teeman.  She was Homecoming Queen and unfortunately, from my standpoint, going with Jack Hecker.  We were to stay friends over the years, being together at Miami University and at West Point for many years.  As pledge class president I had some dates but have forgotten their names except for Alice McCloud and Don Shula’s sister.

     Two of my passions came into play at Bowling Green.  1955 is the year that the Brooklyn Dodgers won their only world championship and I was in a new university, knowing no one at first, and having no TV.  I saw very little of the 1955 World Series except for part of one game in a downtown bar.  That spring two basketball players from New York had an opening day pool to pick three hitters who would get a total of six hits on opening day.  The odds were 5-1 and most guys were betting a quarter or 50 cents; I bet five dollars.  I picked Roy Campanella, plus Junior Gilliam of the Dodgers and Ted Williams of the Red Sox.

     On the radio news that evening it was announced that Ted Williams got three hits and Campanella and Gilliam each had a homerun.  This added up to five hits but we still did not know if Campanella or Gilliam got any other hits.  Late that night they called the New York Times and found out that Gilliam also had a single.  They had to pay me 25 dollars and lost their shirts on that betting pool.

     My music passion was still very strong at BG and I played all the big band music in my room.  I listened to Glenn Miller all the time and when I saw that Ray Eberle, Miller’s male singer, was coming to BG for a dance, I was excited.  The weekend of the dance, Jim Baer was visiting me from Columbus so we both went over to the gym to hear the band.  We got up on the track above the bandstand and listened to the music.  There was a snowstorm that night and part of the band did not arrive on time and so they stayed late and played all the old Miller standbys.

     I did even better academically at Bowling Green and had a cumulative point average of around 3.70.  I had a very good history teacher, Mrs. Pratt.  She was the sister of Nile Kinnick, 1939 Heisman Trophy winner. He was killed in World War II  and Iowa’s football stadium is named after him.  She wanted me to major in history and thought that was the field that I should pursue.  I was set on coaching but I did do one great research paper for her on Bataan.

These excerpts from the memoirs of Hall of Fame coach Jim Young (Arizona/Purdue/Army) are printed with the permission of Coach Young

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

Glad to hear that Amadeo West was the Black Lion Award winner at Army.  

It is so depressing to read and hear about the failure of education in this country.  At the same time it is encouraging to hear the number of states trying their best to re-direct its heading.

When I read Jim Young's take on Woody Hayes he answered a question I have asked.  After living in Ohio for 7 years I could never understand why students at other Ohio universities were big Ohio State fans in football.  Sometimes, even if THEIR school was playing Ohio State!  Now I get it.  Woody Hayes.  Thank you Coach Young.

The NCAA Board of Governors has done what so many educational administrators do...take the easy way out.

At one time lacrosse was a great recreational sport for football players.  Jim Brown was a GREAT lacrosse player when he wasn't tearing up a football field.  In fact, when I spent time in New England, there were many high school football coaches who coached lacrosse in the spring.  As its popularity grew, unfortunately it took many would-be high school football players with it.

No comment on OTE.  Don't get me started on "those" sport groups.

Enjoy the games this weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

I actually saw Jim Brown play lacrosse against Yale my freshman year. Yes, he was good.  VERY good. He had played it from the time he was a kid growing up on Long Island - then as now a lacrosse hotbed - so he was much more than just a big, fast, athletic guy playing lacrosse. (But he sure was big and fast and athletic.  Our guys bounced off him.)

After college,  I spent several years living in the sport’s other big hotbed - Baltimore - and many of the people I spoke to, very knowledgeable in the sport, said that they considered Jim Brown to be the best lacrosse player they’d ever seen.  On the other hand, it pissed them off no end when Navy would take a bunch of football players, turn them into lacrosse players, and then beat  the kids from Johns Hopkins and Maryland who’d been playing the sport all their lives.


*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Lester Hayes came to Texas A & M as a defensive end, but wound up as a safety his last two seasons.

He was a fifth-round pick of the Oakland Raiders who turned him into a corner, where his size (6-2, 200) and aggressive style of coverage, which came to be known as “bump and run,” made him feared throughout the NFL.

He played in five Pro Bowls, was named second-team All-Pro five times and first-team All-Pro Once.  He was an NFL Defensive Player of the Year,  and he won two Super Bowl rings.

In ten seasons, he played in 149 games - all as a Raider - and his 39 interceptions are a franchise record shared with Willie Brown.

In a 2004 interview with the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron, he gave a lot of the credit for his successful career to two things: Raiders’ owner Al Davis, and stickum.

"When I came out of Texas A&M in 1977, I was a strong safety," he said. "I begged Al Davis, `Please don't put me at cornerback.' I cried. I shed tears. I said, `Mr. Davis, I'm a safety. Please don't put me at cornerback.' I knew I was going to get cut.

"But I trusted Al Davis' football vision. He saw something in me that I couldn't see.”

He had a difficult time catching the ball his rookie season.  "These hands were clubs and claws. I could not catch a cold buck naked in Antarctica," he told Barron.

And then, Raiders’ All-Pro receiver Fred Biletnikoff introduced him to stickum. "It was tremendous stuff,” he said.  “It psyched me up. It gave me a lot of needed confidence."

He needed that confidence, because the Raiders’ defensive philosophy was to go all-out to rush the  quarterback, leaving the secondary members to fend for themselves.

"Our scheme was that you don't rush four,” he told Barron. “You rush seven. And you bombard the passer. You make him see stars.  I’m saying, `Coach, don't send seven.' But he sends seven, and my heart starts to pound back there."

For his play in the 1980 season - which included a Raiders’ Super Bowl XV win over the Eagles -  the AP named him its Defensive Player of the Year. He led the NFL in interceptions with 13, one shy of Night Train Lane’s NFL  record of 14, set in 1952.

Perhaps his most lasting recognition, though,  may have come in the off-season, when a rule was passed banning the use of stickum - a rule that came to be named for him:

Rule 5.4.4.8: Adhesive, Slippery Substances. Adhesive or slippery substances on the body, equipment, or uniform of any player; provided, however, that players may wear gloves with a tackified surface if such tacky substance does not adhere to the football or otherwise cause handling problems for players."

Actually, the banning of the substance had no apparent effect on his performance: he was a Pro Bowler - and second-team All-Pro for the next four seasons - 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1984, and he was named to the All-1980s Second Team.

In the Raiders' 38-9 victory in Super Bowl XVIII,  he held Redskins’ future Hall-of-Fame receiver Art Monk to just one catch.

Perhaps the most impressive of all his achievements was his  overcoming , through years of speech therapy,   a stuttering problem that affected him throughout his NFL career.

Lester Hayes is not in the Hall of Fame, but he should be. Perhaps it’s because he was a Raider, and because  he played on some great teams, a lot of his teammates are already in.  Or perhaps it’s because he was a Raider and there’s still some anti-Raiders/anti/Al Davis prejudice affecting voters.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING LESTER HAYES

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY


*********** QUIZ: He won more than 100 career games while coaching for 15 seasons at the college level, earning numerous coach of the year awards along the way. But early in his college life, (he) actually thought that he was going to make a living as an engineer.

(He) majored in engineering while he was an undergraduate student at South Carolina, and he spent one summer interning at the Savannah River Site. Gradually, he realized that he wasn’t suited for office life, but through that job he learned the value of practical experience while in college, a lesson that he would always pass on to his players.

(He) says now that the process of elimination led him to coaching, but anyone familiar with his career knows that he is being modest. You don’t get inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame by pure happenstance, and (his) career embodies the bold undertakings that defined his success. He went on to spend 15 years as the head coach of Furman and NC State, posting .500 or better conference records in all but one of those seasons, while positively impacting countless lives along the way.
 
“Any individual honor like that, especially in the sport of football, is a group success; it’s not an individual success,” (he) said. “No one’s more aware of that than I am, that it needs to be shared, particularly with your assistant coaches and the players who made it happen.”

(He) won six Southern Conference titles while at Furman, where he took over as head coach in 1978 after spending five years as an assistant. While coaching in Greenville, South Carolina, he twice beat NC State, which ended up hiring him ahead of the 1986 season. In Raleigh, (he) then led the Wolfpack to six bowls games in seven years before retiring in 1992.

(He) counts his debut seasons at both schools as his most memorable. He coached the Paladins to their first-ever conference championship in year one. When (he) arrived at NC State, the Wolfpack were coming off three straight 3-8 seasons. They went 8-3-1 under the first-year coach, a record that included a 35-34 win at rival North Carolina, snapping a seven-game losing streak to the Tar Heels. This proved to be the first of four NC State campaigns under (him)  that ended with eight or more wins. The Wolfpack went 6-1 against UNC during that time, too.
 
“He honored the players with the respect of high expectations, and the players bought into and excelled in that culture,” said retired former Vanderbilt and Furman head coach Bobby Johnson, who previously served as an assistant on (his) Furman teams. “This is how he managed to defeat many teams with superior athletic talent. When I became a head coach, I modeled my leadership strategy from serving under and watching him.”

(He)  now lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and still helps operate a sporting goods store in Orangeburg that he helped launch more than 50 years ago when he was a high school coach in the area. One of (his) sons coaches in (his) hometown of North Augusta, Georgia, and his other son works in pharmaceuticals in Greenville, where (he)  had raised his family.

In some ways, that stability may define him as much as his on-field success.

“One thing I’m very proud of: both of my sons went to first grade through 12th grade at the same high school,” (he) said, “which is unusual for a coach’s sons.”

(He was recently elected a member of the 2020 College Football Hall of Fame Class and will be officially inducted during the 63rd National Football Foundation  Annual Awards Dinner in December.  The above tribute to him was written for the NFF  by Matt Fortuna)





UPSIODE DOWN FLAGFRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2021 - "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”  William A. Ward

*********** The Army Football Team held its annual Awards Banquet last week, and among the awards presented was the Black Lion Award.  Sponsored by the Army Football Club, the association of former Army football players, it has been presented every year since 2004.

Army Football’s Citation reads:

Black Lion Award: awarded for Leadership, Courage, Devotion, and Selfless Service. The award is presented to the football player who best exemplifies the character of Don Holleder. The award is sponsored by and established at West Point by the Army Football Club in conjunction with the Black Lions Association which provides this award to high school football players each year.

The 2020 team’s recipient was  Amadeo West, a senior linebacker/defensive end from Oceanside, California, who overcame three straight season-ending injuries to be named a captain  of  this past fall’s Army team.

amadeo west coin tossamadeo west on field

A four-year letter winner at Oceanside High School, as a defensive end he had 22 sacks in 2014 to lead all of San Diego County and earn him  first team All-CIF recognition. A team captain his senior year, he spent a year at the US Military Academy Prep School before West Point.

Said Army Coach Jeff Monken, “He’s just got an energy about him and a personality that people are attached to.  He’s not afraid to tell teammates and his classmates and his peers what’s right and what isn’t. He’ll confront people when there’s a need for leadership. He’s not self-conscious about, ‘This guy’s not gonna like me or think I’m a jerk.’ He does what needs to be done for the organization to succeed, yet everybody likes him. He has such a likable personality, and he’s a loving kid.

“He took complete control of the team and put them on his back. He’s been one of, if not the, most dynamic leaders I’ve ever encountered in my career. He just has a tremendous ability to get people motivated and inspired to play for something bigger than themselves.  It’s all because of his attitude and the effort that he put into getting healthy each time he was injured.”

(The Black Lion Award can be a part of your program, too. There’s no cost.  Write me  coachwyatt@aol.com for details.)


*** THIS WEEKEND’S FCS PLAYOFF GAMES - 3 OF THE 4 ARE ON EITHER ESPN OR ESPN2

BEFORE YOU THANK ESPN, NOT SO FAST —-
THERE’S THIS -

THE GAMES ARE ON SUNDAY* (MUST HAVE BEEN A CONFLICT WITH A CORNHOLE CHAMPIONSHIP)

3 PM EASTERN/NOON PACIFIC - ESPN
North Dakota State (7-2) at Sam Houston State (7-0)
MY PICK:  NDSU

3 PM EASTERN/NOON PACIFIC - ESPN 3
Delaware (6-0) at Jacksonville (10-2)
MY PICK: JACKSONVILLE  STATE

6 PM EASTERN/3 PM PACIFIC - ESPN2
North Dakota (5-1) at James Madison (6-0)
MY PICK: NORTH DAKOTA

9 PM EASTERN/6 PM PACIFIC - ESPN2
Southern Illinois (6-3) at South Dakota State (6-1)
MY PICK: SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

* NEXT THING YOU KNOW, BETH MOWINS WILL BE CALLING ONE OF THE GAMES


*********** I'm sure there are other high school games on, but if you're looking for a game Friday night (7 PM Eastern) here's one ----

Rochester East High at Canandaigua for the NY Class A Section championship.

I've seen Canandaigua couple of times and I've been impressed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpx35C5kamY


*********** Laura Hollis writes in Town Hall…

Author Shane Trotter describes a system where grades are no longer tied to actual achievement, where high school standards have been lowered so much that a college degree -- and absurd levels of debt -- now takes the place of a high school diploma, where self-esteem is more important than achievement and where the performance of American students relative to the rest of the world keeps dropping.

As an educator of 30 years, I've seen what Trotter describes and then some. We are a society whose political and cultural leaders -- including educators -- are abandoning truth and facts in favor of other, nicer-sounding objectives, like “equity."

https://townhall.com/columnists/laurahollis/2021/04/29/eliminating-educational-standards-only-ensures-failure-n2588702

*********** Jim Young remembers…

    The winter of 1955 I did quite well academically.  I was starting to get almost all “A’s” and spring semester I got a 4.00 grade average.  In the physical education department I was ranked the number one student.  We were ranked daily in anatomy class and I finished number one in a class of 126.  I knew every bone and muscle in the body back then but don’t know any of the names today.

     Woody asked me to tutor four football players in anatomy.  I tutored Jim Parker, Jimmy Roseboro, Lee Williams, and Aurilius Thomas.   We all had dead cats and one human remains to study in class, but in the rooming house we used each other to learn the various bones and muscles.  I got paid $5 an hour so it was a real good deal for me.

     Last year I read where Jim Parker had died.  This was very hard for me to imagine, as he was such a great athlete and football player.  We played against each other in high school basketball.  He was the biggest and strongest player on the OSU team.  He became an All-American and later was selected as one of the Top-50 Pro football players of all time, while playing for the Baltimore Colts.

     We both wrestled in the intramural wrestling championship.  He pinned everyone he wrestled in the first period.  In the championship bout I lasted against him until the second period before he pinned me.  Casey Fredericks, the wrestling coach, asked both of us to come out for wrestling the next year.  Woody had a fit and would not let Jim wrestle and I was gone from Ohio State the next year.

     In 2004 when I was elected to the Purdue Hall of Fame, I saw that Casey Fredericks was also elected.  I told Jane that he had to be dead by now as he was old when I knew him at Ohio State.  He was at the dinner and very much alive at the age of 91.  I asked him if he remembered when Jim Parker and I wrestled for the championship.  He said yes and that “Damn” Woody Hayes would not let Parker come out for wrestling.  Today Casey is still around and Jim Parker is gone.  Actually of the four players I tutored three have died: Jim Parker, Jimmy Roseboro, and Lee Williams. I don’t know what has happened to Reddy Thomas? You just never know in this life.

     One time I was really surprised in my economics class. I sat about halfway back in the lecture hall and I had never spoken to the professor.  There were about 100 students in the class and we had just taken a 60 points essay test.  The professor asked Jim Young to stand up.  I stood up not knowing what was going to happen.  The professor said that I had written a perfect paper, 60 out of 60 points.  He further said that he wanted everyone in the class to know that I was also a football player, as well as a student.  I was embarrassed but proud.

     There were two banquets that year, the yearly team banquet and the Pants Club banquet.  The Pants Club goes back to 1939.  During the 1930’s Ohio State had a hard time beating Michigan.  Francis Schmidt, the Ohio State coach, told his team that they could beat Michigan because Michigan players put their pants on “one leg at a time” just like the Ohio players did.  When Ohio State beat Michigan that year the Pants Club tradition started.  There still is a regular football banquet, but on years Ohio beats Michigan there is an added banquet.  Each player receives a little pair of gold pants and I still have mine.

     Things were going well for me academically in the winter of 1955 but I was really down, football wise.  I was really mad and did not feel a part of the football team.  At the start of the spring term and just before spring practice started, I decided to leave Ohio State.  I packed up all my things and took off for Van Wert.  My parents were surprised that I had come home but did not really say too much. 

     That first night my parents went to a meeting and I was watching the Academy Awards on TV when the phone rang.  It was Woody and he wanted to speak to Jim Young - I guess he did not recognize my voice.  I said that Jim Young was not there and hung up.  In about a half hour he called back again and I decided to face him.  He talked to me for about two hours and the next morning I packed my things and was on my way to Columbus.  He promised me a good chance to play in spring football and a job that would pay me more than my present job did.

     I got a good opportunity in the spring and I felt I did a good job.  The competition was Don Vicic and Joe Trivisonno,  both juniors like me, as well as Galen Cisco of St. Marys, a sophomore.  Hubert Bobo had flunked out of school.  I remember one day when Bill Hess stopped me and told me he now believed that I would play a lot of football at Ohio State in the future.  However, when I came back in the fall two players were moved ahead of me on the depth chart at fullback.  I went through most of the two-a-day practices and then I was asked to move to guard.  I could not see myself being an offensive lineman at my weight and starting to learn the position so late in my career.

     This time however, I acted like a man and went in and talked to Woody.  He was very good and called Doyt Perry at Bowling Green for me.  Doyt had been the coach that recruited me for Ohio State and was starting his first year as head coach at Bowling Green.  On my way home, my car broke down and it took a long time to get to Van Wert.  The next day I was on my way to BGSU and a different phase in my life.

     Before going on with my story, I would like to talk about Woody Hayes as a coach and as a person.  He was only my coach for two years before I transferred and therefore I am not one of his boys, as so many Ohio State football players have been over the years.  He was a truly great coach,  lasting at “the graveyard of coaches” for twenty-eight years.  For anyone who knows the sport of football and the mentality of Ohio State football followers, this is an unbelievable accomplishment.

     Woody lived football; there was no time for anything else in his life.  His family, his health, and his financial needs were secondary to football.  He would not function very well in today’s sports world.  He was a coach at just the right time for his coaching style.  He would be totally out of sync in today’s football culture, although I am sure he would make some adjustments,  but I do not believe it would be enough.  Woody was a two-facet coach in many ways.  Anyone meeting him would be impressed by his intelligence, speaking ability (English Major), and ability to converse on any subject.  He had a very pleasant voice and had great sincerity in his delivery.  By the same token he could be a very  tough individual if he wanted to be.   

     Every thought that Woody had was for his player’s success;  he cared about nothing for himself.  By the same token he did not hesitate to yell or humiliate a player if that player made a mistake on the football field or in the classroom.  The person he hit the hardest was himself.  He would hit his forehead again and again with his fist in practice when he got mad.  The ring on his fist would bring blood to his forehead.  He could not stand a mistake, and his ability to eliminate football mistakes in his players was one of his great strengths as a coach.

     The three college coaches that I was associated with - Woody, Doyt Perry, and Bo Schembechler - all had the special ability to praise an individual but also the ability to keep that same individual from getting the big head.  They could praise you and cut you down in the same sentence.

     As a player who left Woody’s program, I am still a believer in Woody as a person and coach.  Now here are a few of the things that I remember about him.  (My time with Woody was limited but the stories that others can tell about him are unlimited.)

    One Monday scouting report was Woody at his best.   Each Monday the whole football team would always hear a scouting report on our next opponent before we went out to practice.  Clive Rush was a new coach and was responsible for giving the scouting report on our next opponent – Illinois.  He started to give his report to the team and Woody told him to stop.  Woody said, “First I want to know if we can beat Illinois?”  Clive said, “I think so, Woody.”  Woody said, “That’s not the answer. The answer is Hell Yes, now get your ass out the door and come back in here and we’ll start again!”  When Clive came back in, Woody asked him if we could win the game.  Clive said, “Hell Yes!”  Woody said, “That’s better, now let’s hear the report.”

     I might say that the only people that worked harder than the players under Woody were his coaches.  Woody worked day and night on football and expected his coaches to do the same.  His coaches had two weeks vacation in the summer – period.  Christmas Day was the only day off the rest of the year.  Bo told the story of when he was an assistant under Woody and one of the coaches was standing at practice with his hands in his back pockets.   Woody came up and ripped the pockets out of his pants.  Woody said,  “You cannot coach with your hands in your pockets!”  The next day when the coaches came to practice all the pockets on all the pants were sewed shut.  Woody also hated golfers and said that if a coach was a good golfer that meant that he was not spending enough time on football.

     After I left Ohio State in 1955 my next contact with Woody Hayes was in 1957 when he called me at Bowling Green.   He wanted to know if I would take the head-coaching job at Celina High School.  His former roommate at Denison University,  Dr. Otis,  was looking for a new head coach and Woody recommended me.  It paid $7000, which at the time was a lot for a 22 year old just getting married and graduating from college.  How much was it?  The next year I took my first job at Findlay College for $4200 a year.  I did not take the Celina job, as I wanted to be a graduate assistant at BG and Jane and I were just starting our married life.  It was nice of Woody to think that much of me after I had left his program.

      Woody Hayes was one of a kind.  He proved beyond a shadow of a doubt what hard work and single-minded dedication can achieve.  He coached in a period where most of the leaders of the country had been through the Depression and had served in WW II.  Woody had been a Navy commander of a minesweeper during WW II.  Football was a tougher team game then and Woody Hayes was certainly a tough but fair coach.

       My football experience at Ohio State was a test that I did not succeed in.  As I look back now I see that I did not have the confidence in myself and perhaps was not yet worldly enough to succeed.  Football had always come easily to me in high school and all of a sudden I was not the star but just another player trying to win a position.  It was a combination of a physical lack of speed and a mental lack of self-confidence.  In my heart I have always been an Ohio State man and a Woody supporter.   It is hard, however, for me to feel sorry about transferring to Bowling Green because it opened up a career in coaching that might never have happened at Ohio State.
    
These excerpts from the memoirs of Hall of Fame coach Jim Young (Arizona/Purdue/Army) are printed with the permission of Coach Young

*********** Back in 2002, Lee Corso was breaking in as a sideline reporter, and he found himself  interviewing a former player, Darryl Hill, whom he had once recruited to play at Maryland.

Corso, who had been assistant on Tom Nugent's staff at Maryland in 1963 when Hill became the first black player to play on a Southern team, said, "Young man, I'm proud of you."

Replied Hill, "Coach - I'm 60 years old!"

In 1963, when Darryl Hill ("first Negro ever to wear Maryland's football colors," they wrote in that year's Street & Smith's) became eligible after transferring to Maryland from the US Naval Academy, he became a true football pioneer.

True,  there might be those who consider West Virginia to be southern, and WVU, then part of the Southern Conference, fielded guard Roger Alford and fullback Dick Leftridge, both black.

But West Virginia was  for the most part an “eastern independent,” and even though a member of the Southern Conference, the Mountaineers played very few southern teams. In 1963, their only game in the South was against William and Mary.

Maryland, on the other hand, was a member of the ACC, and played games that year at South Carolina, Wake Forest and Clemson.  They also  played Duke at a “neutral site” - Richmond, the old capital of the Confederacy.
 
Either way, wrote Jack Horner in Street & Smith's, "These Negro footballers are sure to be forerunners of others now that segregation barriers have been lifted in the two southern-dominated conferences. (Please, don't anybody  deface Mr. Horner's grave. Believe it or not, there was a time in the not-so-distant past when polite conversation  called for the term "negro." And nobody was offended.)

He got that right. Darryl Hill caught 43 passes that year, scoring eight touchdowns and kicking seven PAT's. Leftridge was West Virginia's leading rusher. The next year, there were more black players in the ACC.

"They became immediate stars, to pave the way for others," wrote Street & Smith's in 1964.

But in 1963, in places that had not yet integrated their own teams, Darryl  Hill was not exactly greeted warmly. He said he especially remembered the hard time the students at Wake Forest gave him when the Terps showed up to play in Winston-Salem.

But after seeing  the reception the home fans gave Hill,  the Wake Forest captain came over to him, shook his hand, and personally apologized, saying how embarrassed he was. "You could have heard a pin drop, " Mr. Hill remembered.

He said he never forget the captain's name. It was Brian Piccolo, whose early death from cancer, and whose cross-racial friendship with Gale Sayers, uncommon at the time, was the subject of "Brian's Song," a real tear-jerker of a movie.

"I cried when Brian Piccolo died," Mr. Hill said, "and I cried when I saw the movie.”

*********** The NCAA Board of Governors, unanimously displaying their ignorance of what’s been going on in college sports, just extended President Mark Emmert’s contract in early 2025.

Ignorant? Out of touch?

How about this: there are 22 members on the Board of Governors.

FBS schools have 8 representatives: 1 from each Power Five school, and 3 others from Group of Five schools.

FCS schools have 3 representatives; one of those is from the Ivy League, which for all intents and purposes no longer plays sports.

DII and DIII each have 3 representatives.

There are 3 “independents”, and 2 representatives of something called “DI”, from Georgetown and San Diego.

If you do a little math here, you will see that FBS and FCS, which produce ALL the revenue the NCAA receives, have just half of all the votes.

If you think that sounds like the United Nations, how about this one: the Power Five  conferences, which own the rights to The College Football Playoff - and take in at least 90 per cent of TV revenues from football, have only FIVE votes.

So how much longer, after all the money they lost this past year, will the people with all the money allow themselves to be dictated to by Third World Countries?

*********** I don’t know a thing other than what I’ve read - and that’s very little - but apparently a lacrosse player at Syracuse was suspended from the team, apparently in reaction to a domestic violence incident, and then, apparently, he was reinstated, upon which, apparently, team captains said that if he were to practice, they wouldn’t.
There’s a lot going on here.  The kid is evidently very good. Out of high school in western New York, he (apparently) committed to Syracuse, but then switched and chose Loyola instead, because (apparently) Syracuse’s “financial package” wasn’t good enough.

He has since transferred to Syracuse.

SIDE NOTE TO THOSE OF YOU PLANNING ON INVESTING YOUR EFFORTS AND MONEY - AND YOUR SON’S FUTURE - IN A LACROSSE SCHOLARSHIP: JUNIOR HAD BETTER BE ONE HELL OF A LACROSSE PLAYER TO WARRANT A FULL SCHOLARSHIP.   THAT’S BECAUSE IN DIVISION I, THE NCAA ALLOWS EACH MEN’S LACROSSE TEAMS A MAXIMUM OF  JUST 12.6 FULL SCHOLARSHIPS. 
(SOME SCHOOLS DON’T PROVIDE THAT MANY.)  TYPICALLY, THEY'RE DIVIDED UP AMONG THE SQUAD, AND SINCE A TEAM CAN CARRY AS MANY AS 40 OR 45 ON ITS ROSTER, BASIC MATH TELLS YOU THAT WHEN THE PIE IS SLICED, THE AVERAGE “SCHOLARSHIP” AWARDED IS ABOUT 1/3 OF A “FULL RIDE.”

Now, here’s  where it gets interesting to me. The kid only went to high school near home for two years.  For his last two years, he was at IMG Academy. In Florida. Where, (according to their Web page) “tuition ranges from “62,400 to $82,400 a year…”

Coupla questions.  Would you spend that kind of money to send your kid to a glorified high school - for two years - to play lacrosse, knowing the limits the NCAA places on scholarships?  And if you had that kind of money to spend on high school tuition,  would you then be quibbling about the "financial package" offered by the college of your kid's choice?
 

***********  I am not making this up…

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Each athlete will receive a guaranteed minimum salary of at least $100,000 per year, plus bonuses and shares of equity in Overtime. Players will be able to earn revenue from use of their name, image and likeness through sales of custom jerseys, trading cards, video games, NFTs and more.
Players retain the right to sign direct sponsorships with sneaker companies.


BENEFITS

Every player will receive full health care coverage as well as disability insurance coverage, providing financial protection should they receive an injury that hinders their ability to play professionally. For each athlete, Overtime will guarantee payment of up to $100,000 for college tuition should they decide not to pursue a professional basketball career.

EDUCATION

OTE will offer a direct-instruction model led by individual instructors who teach both 1:1 and in small group sessions featuring a 4:1 student-teacher ratio. OTE will supplement a traditional course offering with a focus on life skills –including financial literacy, media training, and social justice advocacy.

LEADERSHIP

OTE will be led by two former league execs:

    •    Commissioner and President Aaron Ryan, who worked for the NBA for 22 years in a variety of roles, and more recently served as Relevent Sports’ Chief Operating Officer.

    •    Head of Basketball Operations Brandon Williams, a former NBA player (turned NBA exec) who has also worked with the Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings.

In addition, OTE is hiring 80+ people to join the organization in education, basketball and grassroots.

LOCATION

OTE has narrowed the list to two cities. OTE will announce a final decision on the league’s location in the coming weeks.

FUNDING

Overtime raised an unannounced funding round this past year and is well-capitalized to finance OTE.

ABOUT OVERTIME

Overtime is the leading brand for the next generation of sports fans with a community of over 45 million followers that generates 1.7 billion video views each month.

Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have OTE (pronounced Oh-Tee-E) locate in your city! Oh - and by the way, WTF are "digitally native fans?"

https://www.overtimeelite.com/

*********** The drain continues to circle…It has to be because  the word “master” is now  out of favor (slavery connotations and all that) that  I now watch HGTV  and hear real estate sales people  referring to the “owner’s bedroom.”

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

Davidson ran into a very good FCS scholarship school in Jacksonville State.  Davidson is a member of the FCS Pioneer Football League. The schools in that group do not have scholarships in football.  Which begs me to ask why the IVY League (which prohibits members from offering athletic scholarships) chooses to have its schools not participate in football playoffs?  

Sam Houston State is tough to beat at home.  I think their win streak comes to an end this Saturday when North Dakota State shows up.

I think Jacksonville State is too athletic for Delaware.

North Dakota is good, but James Madison is an experienced playoff and championship program, and they're playing at home.

Playing a team twice in the same season is difficult, but South Dakota State is not a good second time around matchup for SIU.

The Big Sky is the only FCS football scholarship conference west of the Rockies.  They lose good athletes out of high school to the MWC and PAC 12, and when those guys decide they'd be better off playing in the Big Sky the numbers of "bounce-backs" aren't nearly the same as what FCS schools in the midwest, south, and east experience when you take into consideration some of their bounce backs are from BIG 10 schools, SEC schools, ACC schools, and Big 12 schools.  Add into the mix a few from AAC, C-USA, and Sun Belt schools and you can see the depth disparity become more clear.

Michelle Obama gave Uncle Joey his idea.

Competing in sports activities with masks on IS stupid, and while on that topic of stupid Senator John Kennedy (LA) came up with another of his gems, "People who want to defund the police must have tested positive for stupid."  I love that guy!

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Senator Kennedy of Louisiana is a keeper - one of the few people in Washington worth saving.

*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  So rough and edgy was his defensive play, particularly where hitting quarterbacks was concerned, that the NFL passed a  rule with him in mind - a rule that was named for him - the Ben Davidson Rule.

Ben Davidson grew up in Los Angeles, but never played football until he got to East Los Angeles Junior College, where he came to the attention of the Washington Huskies.  After two years at UW, in which he played on back-to-back Rose Bowl winning teams,  he was drafted fourth in 1961 by the New York Giants, who promptly traded him to Green Bay for a future draft pick.

At Green Bay in 1961, he achieved the distinction of playing on a winning NFL championship team on the last day of the year, after having played on a Rose Bowl champion on the first day of the year.

He spent two years with the Packers, mostly on special teams, before being traded to the Washington REDSKINS (sorry - that’s who they were) and spent a year there before being waived prior to  the 1964 season.

He wound up in the AFL,  picked up by the Oakland Raiders, and - as the cliche goes - the rest is history.  He would play eight years with the Raiders, during a time when they earned a reputation as pro football’s bad boys. and his  all-out,  push-the-rules-to-the-limit play, combined with his physical size - at 6-8, 280, he was one of the biggest men in the game - and his gruff demeanor  and trademark handlebar mustache made him the arch-villain among a team full of villains.

Several big hits on quarterbacks, including one on Joe Namath in 1967, gained him a reputation as a  dirty player,  and one hit on the Chiefs’ Len Dawson in 1970, delivered by the “crown of his helmet” as Dawson lay on the ground, actually resulted in the NFL’s finally passing - six years later! - the rule making illegal "running or diving into, or throwing his body against or on a ballcarrier who falls or slips to the ground untouched and makes no attempt to advance, before or after the ball is dead,"

The sports media named the rule in his honor.

He earned second-team All-AFL honors in 1965, and first-team honors in 1967.

In keeping with his image, he was a biker.  He and Raiders’ teammate Tom Keating once spent an off-season riding their motorcycles 14,000 miles around the United States.

After his retirement, he gained additional fame for his role in movies and commercials.  He had prominent roles in “Conan the Barbarian,” “M*A*S*H,” and “Necessary Roughness,” and appeared in a number of TV series, including Banacek, Police Woman, Happy Days, Fantasy Island, The Dukes of Hazzard and Charlie’s Angels.

Ben Davidson may have achieved his greatest fame by appearing in 27 different  commercials in the classic Lite Beer from Miller campaign from the late 1970s, which skirted the rule against allowing well-known athletes from endorsing beer by employing well-known retired athletes.



CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BEN DAVIDSON

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA

*********** I met Ben Davidson back in 1975, when he stopped by our practice field at the University of Portland. (He had played for Portland the year before.) With him was another former Washington Husky, who I was told was Fearless Freddy Forsberg.  They were both on motorsickles.  Only later did I learn that Fearless Freddy’s reputation as a wild man  was at least as great as Ben Davidson’s.

https://www.si.com/college/washington/legends/fred-forsberg-1944-2001-might-have-been-hardest-hitting-husky-ever

***********  Hugh,

Ben Davidson is the answer to today's quiz. Those Raiders teams definitely intimidated people.

https://youtu.be/GDwOtFwb_4s

Greg Koenig
Falcon, Colorado


*********** In this Lite Beer commercial - Ben Davidson is seated at the head table, just to the left of the MC, comedian Rodney (“I don’t get no respect”) Dangerfield. (Keep watching - there are several that follow this one.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI5P_unnW6Y


*********** QUIZ:   He came to Texas A & M as a defensive end, but wound up as a safety his last two seasons.

He was a fifth-round pick of the Oakland Raiders who turned him into a corner, where his size (6-2, 200) and aggressive style of coverage, which came to be known as “bump and run,” made him feared throughout the NFL.

He played in five Pro Bowls, was named second-team All-Pro five times and first-team All-Pro Once.  He was an NFL Defensive Player of the Year,  and he won two Super Bowl rings.

In ten seasons, he played in 149 games - all as a Raider - and his 39 interceptions are a franchise record shared with Willie Brown.

In a 2004 interview with the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron, he gave a lot of the credit for his successful career to two things: Raiders’ owner Al Davis, and stickum.

"When I came out of Texas A&M in 1977, I was a strong safety," he said. "I begged Al Davis, `Please don't put me at cornerback.' I cried. I shed tears. I said, `Mr. Davis, I'm a safety. Please don't put me at cornerback.' I knew I was going to get cut.

"But I trusted Al Davis' football vision. He saw something in me that I couldn't see.”

He had a difficult time catching the ball his rookie season.  "These hands were clubs and claws. I could not catch a cold buck naked in Antarctica," he told Barron.

And then, Raiders’ All-Pro receiver Fred Biletnikoff introduced him to stickum. "It was tremendous stuff,” he said.  “It psyched me up. It gave me a lot of needed confidence."

He needed that confidence, because the Raiders’ defensive philosophy was to go all-out to rush the  quarterback, leaving the secondary members to fend for themselves.

"Our scheme was that you don't rush four,” he told Barron. “You rush seven. And you bombard the passer. You make him see stars.  I’m saying, `Coach, don't send seven.' But he sends seven, and my heart starts to pound back there."

For his play in the 1980 season - which included a Raiders’ Super Bowl XV win over the Eagles -  the AP named him its Defensive Player of the Year. He led the NFL in interceptions with 13, one shy of Night Train Lane’s NFL  record of 14, set in 1952.

Perhaps his most lasting recognition, though,  may have come in the off-season, when a rule was passed banning the use of stickum - a rule that came to be named for him:

Rule 5.4.4.8: Adhesive, Slippery Substances. Adhesive or slippery substances on the body, equipment, or uniform of any player; provided, however, that players may wear gloves with a tackified surface if such tacky substance does not adhere to the football or otherwise cause handling problems for players."

Actually, the banning of the substance had no apparent effect on his performance: he was a Pro Bowler - and second-team All-Pro for the next four seasons - 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1984, and he was named to the All-1980s Second Team.

In the Raiders' 38-9 victory in Super Bowl XVIII,  he held Redskins’ future Hall-of-Fame receiver Art Monk to just one catch.

Perhaps the most impressive of all his achievements was his  overcoming , through years of speech therapy,   a stuttering problem that affected him throughout his NFL career.

He's not in the Hall of Fame, but he should be. Perhaps it’s because he was a Raider, and because  he played on some great teams, a lot of his teammates are already in.  Or perhaps it’s because he was a Raider and there’s still some anti-Raiders/anti/Al Davis prejudice affecting voters.

UPSIODE DOWN FLAGTUESDAY, APRIL 27, 2021 - “Government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.”  Thomas Paine

*********** FCS Football in Review…

*** Saturday’s Results:

#1 South Dakota State 31, Holy Cross 3
Southern Illinois 34, Weber State 31
- - - - - - - - - - - -
#4 Jacksonville State 49, Davidson 14
Delaware 19, Sacred Heart 10
- - - - - - - - - - - -
#3 James Madison 31, VMI 24
North Dakota 44, Missouri State 10
- - - - - - - - - - - -
#2 Sam Houston State 21, Monmouth 15
North Dakota State 42, Eastern Washington 20

*** The top four seeds - #1 South Dakota State, #2 Sam Houston State, #3 James Madison  and #4 Jacksonville State - all won

*** Weber State was the only home team to lose

*** My best pick: SIU over Weber State

*** Best play: Tie between 99-yard run from scrimmage by James Madison, and fake  field  goal for a TD by SIU.
(SEE BOTH PLAYS ON MY ZOOM CLINIC TUESDAY NIGHT.)

*** My worst pick: Missouri State to upset North Dakota

*** Best performances of the day: Southern Illinois, South Dakota State

*** Biggest flops:  Weber State, Missouri State

*** Punched above their weight:  VMI, Monmouth, Sacred Heart

*** Didn’t deserve a spot: Davidson

*** FOUR of the eight remaining teams are from the Missouri Valley Conference.  Only one of the  five MVC teams in the playoffs - Missouri State - lost last week, and that was to another MVC team - North Dakota.

*** Whew.  Where does ESPN find these announcers? In at least  five of the eight games, they hired motor mouths who just wouldn’t STFU.

*********** THIS SATURDAY’S GAMES - 3 OF THE 4 ARE ON EITHER ESPN OR ESPN2

3 PM EASTERN/NOON PACIFIC - ESPN
North Dakota State (7-2) at Sam Houston State (7-0)
     MY PICK:  NDSU

3 PM EASTERN/NOON PACIFIC - ESPN 3
Delaware (6-0) at Jacksonville (10-2)
     MY PICK: JACKSONVILLE  STATE

6 PM EASTERN/3 PM PACIFIC - ESPN2
North Dakota (5-1) at James Madison (6-0)
     MY PICK: NORTH DAKOTA

9 PM EASTERN/6 PM PACIFIC - ESPN2
Southern Illinois (6-3) at South Dakota State (6-1)
     MY PICK: SOUTH DAKOTA STATE


*********** A lot was made of the fact that for the first time ever, all four teams in basketball's Final Four were from west of the Mississippi.

In football, however… moving our line of demarcation just a bit farther west… all the action was to the east of it.  There wasn’t a single team in the FBS Top Twenty from west of the Rockies, and after Weber State and Eastern Washington of the Big Sky Conference were both eliminated in the first round of the FCS playoffs, there’s a real possibility that  there won’t be one in the FCS Top Ten.

*********** This ought to teach you to question statistics:

Montana led all FCS schools in points per game, with 53.

ER, UPON FURTHER INVESTIGATION… Montana, which elected not to play a Big Sky Conference schedule, played only two games: the Grizzlies beat D-II Central Washington, 59-3, and Portland State, 48-7. The game against Montana was Central Washington’s only game and Portland State’s only game, which means that Montana's opponents were a combined 0-2.

*********** Jarrett Guarantano is a New Jersey kid who played QB at Tennessee.  He started 32 games in his four years in Knoxville and now, thanks to the magic of the Transfer Portal, he’s at Washington State.

I think.

I hope.

He was competing for the starting spot at Wazzu, and he started  in last Saturday’s spring game. But on his very first play, he threw an interception, and then had to leave the game after he appeared to hit his hand on the back or helmet of his center - who was being bullrushed back into him.  (Note to WSU staff - better get a center with a little more ass under him.)

When last seen he was on the sidelines being treated by medical personnel for a possible hand or wrist injury, and since then, WSU has been very closemouthed about it.

(YOU CAN SEE A CLIP OF THE PLAY ON TUESDAY NIGHT’S ZOOM)


*********** I found this in an article in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal:

Nearly three out of 10 chil­dren have no in­ter­est in re­turn­ing to the pri­mary sport they played be­fore Covid-19, a Sep­tember sur­vey of par­ents by the As­pen In­sti­tute and Utah State found. The par­ent re­sponses in­di­cated their chil­dren pre­ferred un­struc­tured play—dri­ve­way hoops, bike rid­ing and pickup games they or­ga­nized—rather than ac­tiv­i­ties run by adults.


***********  So this is why he hid in that cellar and never came out.

If  he had said anything about this scheme during the campaign, they’d have had to  come up with 100 million more ballots to steal the election

biden meat

(If you voted for him, the least you can do is support him in this effort to save the planet - and leave the choice  cuts for me.)

*********** I watched a Virginia small school playoff game Friday night - Galax vs. Holston - and I have to say I wasn’t overly impressed by the officiating down there in the southwest corner of the state.  Example: I’ve noted before how lazy officials have become in their avoidance of measurements, but there was one play where a measurement was absolutely necessary, and what the officials did violated every possible rule of common sense: instead of letting the ball lie right where it was when it became dead and bringing out the chains out to the ball,  they picked the ball up and carried it over to the sidelines and did the "measuring" there.

*********** I'm almost as sick of hearing announcers say “young man” as I am of hearing them say “student athlete.”  The "young man" crap all began out of fear of causing offense by going back to the long bygone days when a black man of any age or station in life might be demaned by being  called “boy” by white people.

Originally, the intent of the broadcasters was understandable, but after years and years of using it, it’s become a dreary cliche, and it sometimes leads to some really silly-ass announcing.

I heard an announcer this past weekend say, “this is not a young man with a lot of experience.”

I wanted to ask the guy, “then is it an old man  with a lot of experience?”

*********** Oregon seems to take pride in being an outlier, and so it now stands as the only state requiring runners in high school track meets to wear masks.  PLEASE:  show me “the science” behind depriving a kid of oxygen when he/she’s running a long race.

*********** The new overtime rules for NCAA football will require teams to go for two points after scoring a touchdown in the second OT, and the third OT - and any subsequent OTs - will  consist simply of one play for each team from the three-yard line.

They say it’s in the interest of player safety.  Whenever I hear somebody say that, my antenna goes up and I ask, “what’s the real reason?”

I haven’t seen players dropping over from having to go to three or four overtimes, but maybe that’s because OT is not all that common.

Consider: Colleges have been playing the current overtime format  since 1996 (even though announcers, afraid that  their audience knows only pro football, feel compelled to explain to them). 

Consider: In that time, Oregon State has played 11 overtime games, or roughly one every two seasons. Only one of those games went to two OTs.

In that same time, Oregon has played 18 overtime games. Exactly half of them - nine - went to two OTs, and three went to triple OT.

That doesn’t sound like a safety issue to me.

On a practical note, I think that knowing that there will come a time when  they will have to gain short yardage in a tough situation is going to force spread, block-with-the-hands teams to  develop real honest-to-God power packages. (Tight splits ’n' shoulder blocking ’n’ everything.)

Quick - show me that wedge again, would you?

*********** A couple of other items from the NCAA rules committee interest me greatly, mainly because I think like so much of what comes out of there, it’s mostly lip service:

1. There will be a greater emphasis on enforcing rules against taunting. SURE THERE WILL.

2. There will be an emphasis on “flagrant uniform violations.” ISN’T THERE ALREADY A RULE THAT SAYS THAT THE KNEE PADS MUST COVER THE KNEE?

*********** Gronk was an honorary captain of the Red team in Arizona’s spring game. Another ‘Zona alum, Tedy Bruschi, coached the Blue team.

Friday, the day before the game, as the Wildcat team watched, Gronk stood in the middle of Wildcat Stadium, and caught a football dropped from a helicopter 630 feet in the air. Got in on the third try.

(YOU CAN SEE A CLIP ON TUESDAY NIGHT’S ZOOM)

*********** Watched some Western New York State football playoffs over the weekend on YouTube.

First of all, Canandaigua is really good. Combining a stout defense with a running back named Dom Comella who rushed for 272 yards on 43 carries,  they beat Spencerport 29-10.  They will play this weekend for the Class A section championship, and I would bet the farm on them.

I was really impressed with a running back from a school called Victor. The kid’s name is Rushawn Baker.  He’s big - 5-11, 215 - and fast, and he runs hard in traffic and shows some niftiness in the open field.  He is truly a man among boys. Victor will be playing this weekend against unbeaten McQuaid Jesuit of Rochester for the Class AA Section championship. McQuaid Jesuit throws the ball well, but I don’t know if they can contain Mr. Baker.

Both games, I believe, will be streamed.  Check YouTube.

(See a clip of Rushawn Baker in action on Tuesday night’s zoom)

*********** There aren’t many things in this world more stupid than requiring strong, healthy young athletes to pay tribute to their governor by wearing masks  in competition. 
Yeah, yeah, I know - saving lives and blah, blah, blah. 

So somebody, please - for the safety of our country, of humanity itself - tell those boys to pull those masks up over their noses before we all die.  Remember - we're all in this together.


BASKETBALL MASKS



*********** Jim Young remembers…

     That summer Woody had a football coaching class that we all took in the afternoon.  We first had a class on football coaching and then we put on our football pads, basically practicing on a limited basis.  There were about 40 football players in the class and we always finished up with 40-yard sprints.  Woody’s son Steve, who was nine years old at that time, would be out at practice and Woody would make him run the sprints with us.  He naturally finished last every time and Woody would chew him out for being last.  Steve grew up to be a lawyer and later a judge.

     Fall football practice in 1954 was the hardest I ever experienced.  We had “two-a-day” practices for almost a month.  We never left the stadium - we slept, ate, met, and practiced there all day long.  We slept in a dormitory room with bunks for 40 players and a coach always sleeping in the room with us.  My bunk was right above the backfield coach Clive Rush’s bunk.  It was his first year and he had a lot of pressure to perform his job correctly for Woody.  He would wake me up at night as he went through the plays out loud in his sleep.  We wondered if Woody ever slept as he was always looking at films when we had lights out and still looking at films when we got up in the morning. 

     The cafeteria was in the stadium, as was the locker room.  The practice fields were right at the open end of the stadium and the meeting rooms were in the stadium.  We were up at 6:00, ate breakfast, dressed, had meetings, practiced for two plus hours, and had more meetings all before lunch.  You had a one-hour rest period at 1:00 and then got dressed, had meetings, and practiced before dinner.  Right after dinner we had free time from 6:30 until 7:30. We then had a team meeting followed by individual meetings and lights out at 10:00. This went on for almost a month.

     1954 was the toughest two-a-day practices that I ever went through, but each and every year, two a days were always a challenge.  You were tired, physically beat up, mentally overloaded with plays and defenses, and competing for a position so that you could play in the games when the season started.  It really was a physical and mental challenge to each and every football player.  I can think of no other sport that can test an athlete more in a short period of time than two-a-day football practices.   

     When you completed two-a-day fall practice, you knew you had accomplished something.  I realize that there are many more challenging things in the world than two a day practices, but for a college football player it was a real challenge each year.  I don’t think that people who have not played football - and many of those who have played football - realize the challenges of football and what those challenges can do for an individual.  I hate to see two-a day-practices go by the wayside – we need that type of challenge for our youth.

     I think the maddest I ever got at a coach was at Ernie Godfrey, the linebacker coach one day.  He told me that I was not using my forearm blow correctly and that I needed extra work on it.  He told me to be dressed in my uniform ready to practice my forearm blow on the practice field during the 1:00 rest period.  This meant that I basically practiced all day.  He said that I needed the extra work - but I needed the rest!

     We worked very hard and had no water or breaks in our practices.  One Saturday scrimmage was the hardest day I ever went through.  We had a big scrimmage in the stadium and then rather than resting while the other teams scrimmaged, we went out to the practice field.  There we ran 100-yard “Stop and Goes” until it was our turn to scrimmage again.  You were on the go for over two hours.  At the end of the scrimmage, Woody called us together and said that everyone had to run a 440 around the track in the stadium.  He said the last two finishers had to run the 440 again.  You cannot imagine the pushing and tripping that went on in that 440 to try to keep from being last.  I was not one of the last two.

     Afterwards, there were four players who had heat and kidney problems so much so that they missed the entire season.  No one died but they were hurting, including one that later became an All-American.  People today would think this was nothing but brutality. However, we did not think anything about it.

     Each unit of the football team had a different colored jersey.  You could be purple, green, white, etc.  The goal was to get on Red 1 or Red 2.  In 1954 a football player had to play both offense and defense in a game - there was no free substitution. You were allowed to put a new unit in once each quarter.  Therefore, if you were on Red 1 or Red 2 you played in every quarter and were considered a starter.

     Two fullbacks were ahead of me, Hubert Bobo who held the Ohio High School scoring record, and Don Vicic, a big strong player from Euclid; both were sophomores like I was.  Don got hurt in the pre-season and I moved up to Red 2.  This was the high point of my playing career at Ohio State.  I was going to play in every game and letter as a sophomore.  We opened up with Indiana and I played in all four quarters;  I was on cloud nine.

     In practice the next week, I ran the ball into the line and broke into the secondary.  The safety came up to tackle me and I made a cut to avoid him.  Something popped in my knee and I had to leave practice.  The next day my knee was swelled, I could not walk, and had to be helped to the training room.  Ernie Biggs, the trainer, told me that I needed to walk it off and so I spent the morning supporting myself between two tables and trying to walk.

     This was the first time I had an injury that kept me from playing and I missed the next three weeks of practice.  Years later when I was coaching at Michigan, all the coaches had to have a physical exam after Bo had his heart attack.  The doctor told me I had a really loose knee and wondered when I had injured it.  I told him about that injury in 1954 and he said I was lucky that I had not had a lot of problems with my knee.

     When I did get back to practice, I was a forgotten player.  I was just a scout player the rest of the season and only got into two more games.  Before one game when I was still recovering, in the pre-game meeting Woody called out the opening kickoff team and I was on it.  I could hardly walk and was surprised when he called my name; he quickly changed it to Dick Young.

     We had a great team that year, going undefeated, beating USC in the Rose Bowl, and winning the National Championship.  In a small unusual way I contributed to the success of that team.  John Borton was starting his third year as the quarterback and was a great passer but not a real good runner.  In practice one day we were tackling partners.  When I tackled him, his thumb somehow got dislocated and put him out of action for a while.  Dave Leggett, a very good runner, became the quarterback and led us to an undefeated season.

     The big win of the year was over Michigan.  We stopped Michigan on the one-foot line and then the offense took the ball 99 2/3 yards for the winning touchdown.  This was a great OSU team led by Howard “Hopalong” Cassidy, Jim Parker, Dave Leggett and many others. 

     Last year I was reading a book on Woody Hayes when I came across a picture of the locker room celebration after that Michigan win and to my surprise, I was there cheering.  It was funny to see a picture of yourself that you had never seen before, over fifty years later.  Today I am proud to have been a member of that great championship team that beat Michigan, although I certainly did not contribute much.

     Football weekends that fall were very exciting for a kid from Van Wert.  The team would work out on Friday night and then go to dinner at the Scarlet and Grey golf course. We would then go to the State Capital and see a movie that had not yet been released to the public.  For example, we saw the movie White Christmas in October and it was not released until December.  We had our own private viewing theater.  Then it was off to the Seneca Hotel to stay overnight.  The next morning, we had the pre-game meal and then always a walk with Woody.

     Riding the bus to Ohio Stadium was very exciting for me.  I have been on many bus rides with football teams from Van Wert to Shawnee to various colleges and finally ending with West Point trips.  There are many different things that I remember about those trips: Everyone singing as you return from a victory, total silence after a loss, the driver getting lost, the intense pre-game ride, and the send off at West Point for the Army-Navy game.

     One bus ride has always stood out in my mind, the ride from downtown Columbus to Ohio Stadium on game day.  It was like a dream come true for me.  We loaded up in two buses at the hotel and headed for the stadium.  Motorcycle cops would be in front, on the sides of the bus, and behind the bus, with their sirens blaring.  It made you feel very important.  Everyone stopped as we roared down Neil Avenue past 1490 where I roomed, on the way to the stadium.  When we arrived at the stadium, the crowds would form a line for us to walk through, as they shouted words of encouragement.  The Ohio State Saturday morning bus ride meant a lot to a 19 year-old kid struggling to succeed at OSU in 1954.

     Everything about Ohio State football was first class.  We had the best equipment money could buy, free passes to the main movie theaters, and on Sunday we could go downtown to Keating’s Restaurant for an all you could eat free meal.  After practice we just threw our shirts, socks, etc. in the middle of the locker room and the next day you had a clean roll in your locker.

     I got a big supply of OSU T-shirts, which I used for years to come.  A friend of mine was Cleo Vaughn, a basketball player from Lima.  He was the first black to play at Ohio State and his job was bringing the clean clothes rolls over to the locker room.  He would give me T-shirts whenever I wanted them.  One night Galen Cisco and I decided to get some clothes from the locker room.  I backed my car up to the locker room window in the stadium and he threw out clothes to me.  Enough about our stealing T-shirts, let’s move on.

     After the victory over Michigan we started practicing for the Rose Bowl game.  It was very cold in December but this did not hold us back.  Woody always had a saying, “If you are going to fight in the North Atlantic, then you are going to train in the North Atlantic!”  We were going to Southern California not the North Atlantic but that did not seem to mean anything to Woody.  He never let the weather bother him and always wore a T-shirt to practice no matter how cold.  We sometimes thought that maybe he had two or three T-shirts on but were never able to prove it.  He never coached a game without a short sleeve shirt and tie but never a jacket.  He always showered in the same shower room as the players.  We called him “Triple belly” but of course not to his face.

     I practiced that December in Columbus as a scout team player but I really was hoping to be on the travel squad.  This was not to be as teams were only allowed a 44 men traveling squad in those days.  The rest of the team, including me, went out on a train and we did not get to dress for the Rose Bowl. 

    In mid December the travel squad flew to California and the rest of the squad took the train.  I remember driving down to Columbus to catch the train on the tenth anniversary of the death of Glenn Miller.  The train ride was a two-day trip.  The whole team attended the Bob Hope Show and we all made the trip to Tijuana.  (There was no Disneyland in 1954.)  We won the game in the rain and then the non-travel squad had a long train ride back to Columbus.

These excerpts from the memoirs of Hall of Fame coach Jim Young (Arizona/Purdue/Army) are printed with the permission of Coach Young

***********  There is so much football in the USA that perhaps there isn’t room or interest. Almost every day there are stories about the CFL and its talks with the XFL. They wouldn’t come together until 2022 but the chatter has begun up here.

Yussef Hawash
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Coach Hawash is referring to  talks of some sort of potential merger between the CFL and  the XFL,  and while it’s true that there’s almost nothing in the news here about it, I wouldn’t say that it’s because of a lack of interest - at least among football fans.  Among sports media  guys, probably.  Remember, it took until the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs to get even one game on ESPN.

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

Just galls me that the ESPN brass has decided on ESPN+ to "broadcast" the FCS spring football playoffs.  But rest assured the semi-finals and final will be on either ESPN or ESPN 2, and brought to us by a couple of their second tier broadcasters.  Oh God, here comes Beth.

MLB's overall batting average is about as low as their TV ratings.

I'm surprised that the WIAA didn't include an "E-Sports" team.  You know, that grueling "sport" that challenges mental focus, hand-eye dexterity, and coordination.

Fortunately I have worked mostly in Catholic schools so changing a school name on the resume due to the cancel culture is HIGHLY unlikely.

Anything coming out of the mouth of LeBron James is about as useless as teats on a bull.  But the Chinese love the guy, and it won't surprise me if they name him the first commissioner of the CNBA.  

Enjoy the games this weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Cornelius Green (it was  spelled  “Greene” before the family dropped the “e”)  was Archie Griffin’s roommate at Ohio State. The year that Archie Griffin won his second Heisman Trophy, it was he, not Archie, who was voted team MVP.

And in that same year, it was he,  not Archie Griffin, who was named  the Big Ten MVP.

Recruited out of inner city Washington, DC by OSU assistant Rudy Hubbard, he became the first black quarterback in Ohio State history.

Only 5-11, 175, he had to overcome coach Woody Hayes’ skepticism over his ability to take the hits of an option quarterback,  but after earning the starting position his sophomore year, he would wind up he would going 31-2-1 as the Buckeyes’ QB.

In his four years in Columbus, he played on four Big Ten championship teams, and in 24 straight home wins.

He played in four Rose Bowls and started in three of them.

He was Rose Bowl MVP in 1974 after starring in a 42-21 win over USC, and he was named the All-American quarterback in 1975.

Despite playing in an offense that relied heavily on the running of Archie Griffin, he still managed to throw for more yardage than any Ohio State quarterback up until that time. In all, he completed 138 of 251 passes for 2,255 yards and 17 touchdowns.  At the same time, running the option out of Ohio State’s new slot-I offense, he carried 409 times for 2,014 yards and 28 touchdowns. 

A number of outstanding football players  - Joey Galloway, Chris Gamble, Ted Ginn Jr., Joe Germane, Dwayne Haskins - have worn the number seven at Ohio State, but he was the first.

Overlooked by NFL teams because of his size, he was taken in the 11th round by the Cowboys, who looked at him as a wide receiver before cutting him. He spent the rest of that season with the Seahawks, and then spent a portion of the following season in Canada with the BC Lions before returning to his native DC.

After working for the city in its recreation department,  Cornelius Green made a career of working with young men as head of security and coach of various sports at elite all-boys St. Albans School.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING CORNELIUS GREEN

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
YUSSEF HAWASH - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

*********** That was a loaded backfield with Pete Johnson at fullback.

Greg Koenig
Falcon, Colorado

http://www.espn.com/colleges/osu/football/story/_/id/9048779/cornelius-greene-set-standard-ohio-state-quarterbacks

*********** QUIZ:  So rough and edgy was his defensive play, particularly where hitting quarterbacks was concerned, that the NFL passed a  rule with him in mind - a rule that was named for him.

He grew up in Los Angeles, but never played football until he got to East Los Angeles Junior College, where he came to the attention of the Washington Huskies.  After two years at UW, in which he played on back-to-back Rose Bowl winning teams,  he was drafted fourth in 1961 by the New York Giants, who promptly traded him to Green Bay for a future draft pick.

At Green Bay in 1961, he achieved the distinction of playing on a winning NFL championship team on the last day of the year, after having played on a Rose Bowl champion on the first day of the year.

He spent two years with the Packers, mostly on special teams, before being traded to the Washington REDSKINS (sorry - that’s who they were) and spent a year there before being waived prior to  the 1964 season.

He wound up in the AFL,  picked up by the Oakland Raiders, and - as the cliche goes - the rest is history.  He would play eight years with the Raiders, during a time when they earned a reputation as pro football’s bad boys. and his  all-out,  push-the-rules-to-the-limit play, combined with his physical size - at 6-8, 280, he was one of the biggest men in the game - and his gruff demeanor  and trademark handlebar mustache made him the arch-villain among a team full of villains.

Several big hits on quarterbacks, including one on Joe Namath in 1967, gained him a reputation as a  dirty player,  and one hit on the Chiefs’ Len Dawson in 1970, delivered by the “crown of his helmet” as Dawson lay on the ground, actually resulted in the NFL’s finally passing - six years later! - the rule making illegal "running or diving into, or throwing his body against or on a ballcarrier who falls or slips to the ground untouched and makes no attempt to advance, before or after the ball is dead,"

The sports media named the rule in his honor.

He earned second-team All-AFL honors in 1965, and first-team honors in 1967.

In keeping with his image, he was an enthusiastic  biker - motorcyclist, that is.  He and Raiders’ teammate Tom Keating once spent an off-season riding their motorcycles 14,000 miles around the United States.

After his retirement, he gained additional fame for his roles in movies and commercials.  He had prominent roles in “Conan the Barbarian,” “M*A*S*H,” and “Necessary Roughness,” and appeared in a number of TV series, including Banacek, Police Woman, Happy Days, Fantasy Island, The Dukes of Hazzard and Charlie’s Angels.

He may have achieved his greatest fame by appearing in 27 different  commercials in the classic Lite Beer from Miller campaign from the late 1970s, which skirted the rule against allowing well-known athletes from endorsing beer by employing well-known retired athletes.



UPSIODE DOWN FLAGFRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2021 - “Public confidence in the integrity of the Government is indispensable to faith in democracy; and when we lose faith in the system, we have lost faith in everything we fight and spend for.” Adlai Stevenson

*********** I can’t wait to read the article in the Wall Street Journal about the  short life of soccer’s  so-called Super League, one of the most blatant expressions ever of what sheer, unmitigated arrogance and greed can do to what we still like to think of as “sport.”

*********** There will be some good college football this weekend, when the FCS playoffs begin.

It’s a classic 16-team bracket, with no fewer than FIVE teams in it from the Missouri Valley Conference: Conference champion South Dakota State, plus at-large entries North Dakota State, North Dakota, Missouri State and Southern Illinois.

The only other conferences with at-large teams are  the Colonial, with champion Delaware joined by James Madison, and the Big Sky, whose champion, Weber State, is joined by Eastern Washington.

All other entrants are “automatics,” in the playoffs because they won their conference’s title, and to be frank, and not to insult any of them, a few of them are the FCS equivalent of the “minimum play” guys on a youth football team.

*******
In one of the brackets, Holy Cross will be at #1 seed South Dakota State.  The winner will play next week against the winner of the Southern Illinois at Weber State game.  My prediction: next week, SDSU vs SIU

On the same side of the bracket, Davidson is at #4 seed Jacksonville State, and that winner will meet the winner of the Sacred Heart at Delaware game next weekend. My prediction: next week,  Jacksonville St vs Delaware

*******
On the other side, #3 seed (and number one ranked) James Madison will host VMI, and the winner will play next week against the winner of the Missouri State at North Dakota game.  My prediction: next week, JMU vs Missouri State (my upset pick)

And in the other bracket on that side, Monmouth will play at #2 seed Sam Houston State, the winner to play next week against the winner of the Eastern Washington and North Dakota State game. My prediction: next week, Sam Houston State vs North Dakota State

*******

Despite the way North Dakota State has dominated the field in recent years, there has been much more sharing of the wealth in FCS than in FBS: in the 43 years that they’ve been  conducting the FCS playoffs, there have been 21  different  champions.

Teams in this year’s playoff who’ve made the most appearances are Delaware and James Madison (17 appearances each), Eastern Washington (14), Sam Houston State (12) and North Dakota State (11).

And remember this, the next time ESPN tries to pose as a friend of our sport:

it appears that every one of this Saturday’s games will be on ESPN+


*********** There were 902 players on Major League Baseball’s opening-day rosters.  And - this may surprise you - “only” 485 of them had salaries of over $1 million.

The average salary , though, is another thing entirely.  It’s $4.17 million.

Nevertheless,  that’s down almost 5 per cent from opening day of 2019, which was  down almost the same amount from the previous year.

They’ve  suffered enough. Don’t be surprised if there’s something in Biden’s $3 trillion dollar “infrastructure” bill for impoverished baseball players.


*********** In football it’s the long bomb. But it’s not all they do..  In basketball it’s the three-pointer. But it’s not all they do. Well, not entirely.

In baseball it’s the home run.  And it is all they do - or try to do.  And it’s killing the game.

Swinging for the fences, of course,  produces home runs.  But not always.

For example, “as we go to press” (I love that old expression), home run mania has resulted in major leaguers batting a combined .232.  If that continues to season’s end, it will be five points lower than the lowest overall batting average in baseball history.

How about this, from Axios’ Jeff Tracy:  since 1900, of all the teams that have played the game, only 11 of them have ever batted .220 or less.  At this moment, NINE major league teams are currently doing so.

There have been 45 shutouts so far. Continuing on this pace, there will be 437 for the season - 78 more than the current high of 359, set in 1915, during the so-called dead ball era.

And  finally - this year, for the 14th straight season, pitchers are almost certain to set a record for strikeouts per nine innings (9.4).

*********** Leave it to our useless state high school athletic - sorry, “activities” - association.

They just announced March’s “Teams of the Month”

4A - Boys’ cross country team
3A - Girls’ soccer team
2A - Debate (!)
1A - Football team
2B - Volleyball team
1B - Cheerleading

(Trophies for Everybody)

*********** Guess I’ll have to change my resume to say that I once coached at  Leodis V. McDaniel, and not Madison.

Madison High, Portland, Oregon, is no more.

James Madison, for whom it as named, was the fourth president of the United States, and before that the Architect of  the Constitution, but, see - he owned slaves. So his name must be erased from our history books.

Now, after  considering what we are told was more than 400 different names - including Nifti Yangint (a native name for Mount Hood),  Nsayka (another native name for “ours”) and Wimalth (a native term meaning  “the great water”),  a “coalition of students, educators, alumni and community members settled on renaming the school after a gentleman who once was its principal.

But Leodis V. McDaniel was, in the words of one parent, “a hyper-local example of Black leadership with deep meaning for the community.”

Among the other seven finalists were Ella Baker, “a black activist who many credit for laying the groundwork of the Civil Rights movement of the ’60s”; Mercedes Deiz, the first Black woman to practice law in Oregon; and Minoru Yasui, the first Japanese American to graduate from the University of Oregon School of Law.

Portland earlier this year renamed Wilson High School (named  in honor of President Woodrow Wilson, who was a racist).  It’s now Ida B. Wells High.

*********** Charlie Wilson of Crystal River, Florida is my go-to guy on Belly, Wishbone and assorted option questions, and on my Tuesday night Zoom clinic he mentioned his “Blindfold Drill” - or, you prefer, his Visually Impaired Drill:

The Blindfold Drill was a success and I wish I had used it from the start.  If ever I do this again, it'll be incorporated from the first day and used frequently, maybe daily, after that.

It works best with a CLEAN T-Shirt.  Blindfolds loosen.  If you slip the head-hole over the forehead and throw the rest back over the head, you're good to go.

Purpose: For plays that are very repetitive in nature, grooving the steps so that they are the same EVERY TIME allows the QB and Backs to focus on the External World, not something in the heads.  It develops Body Awareness - The body does not have to "Looked At" to prevent Hit-or-Miss actions.  "You do the same thing that you did last time and the same thing that you will do next time."

The HS Option QB has a hunnert things that Flash "OMG!!!" in his head when he first attempts a Mesh.  The worst is that he feels he has to look the ball into the Back's hands since he is not sure that the Back will be there.  Halfway through the Mesh, the QB points his toes, knees and hips backside, in an attempt to PULL the ball and run away from the developing Scene in front of him.

The Blindfold forces the QB to do what he has been taught: You can't see the FB so you look at where Coach Wilson is (Off the OTs hip) and let the FB clear, take 2 steps (on average) and Pitch.

SIGHT is left out of the Mesh Mechanics!  Very quickly, the QB’s body begins to adjust and Groove the Body to Step - Look at Dive Key - Mesh - Let FB clear - Attack Pitch Key.  The QB is the most relaxed player on the field - until the FB clears - and then all hell breaks loose.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoiXxJdUQuY

QBs Mechanics are pretty OK here.

*********** Even in Oregon they can only take so much…

They’re up in arms at the news that former Attorney General Eric Holder will be investigating claims of sexual harassment against a doctor at the Oregon Health Sciences University. Nothing against him, but he doesn’t work cheap. His fee will be $2295 an hour - and that’s after a 10% discount - and while there appears to be no limit on the amount of time that he will spend on this, it’s expected to take up to three months.


*********** Retired Air Force General Perry Smith was Don Holleder’s roommate at West Point. At the time of their graduation, 1956, there was not yet an Air Force Academy, and a specified number of West Point graduates were slotted to join the Air Force, and Perry Smith went on to a long and distinguished career in the Air Force, with a variety of important positions from fighter pilot to Commandant of the National War College. After his retirement as a Major (two-star) General, he embarked on a second career as  an author, a motivational speaker, and military analyst for CNN (until, in the latter case, he resigned in protest over the network’s false - surprise - claim that American troops had used sarin gas in Laos.

In his memoirs. “Listen Up!,” he tells some very interesting stories from his career, and frequently  follows up with lessons he learned from them:

In 1978, I was flying an F-15 over Germany when I received a call from the controlling agency. An airliner was in trouble and I was asked if I could help. The controller explained that the pilot’s airspeed indicator was reading zero. This meant he had no way of knowing how fast he was going. This would be a problem on his descent and landing.

I located the airliner and joined up on his wing. After making radio contact, I suggested to the pilot that he fly on my wing all the way to touchdown at the Frankfurt airport. He said, “I can’t do that.”  He explained that he did not how to fly in formation with another aircraft. I then suggested Plan B, that I fly on his wing and read off my airspeed every second or two. Since we would be flying together, we would be flying at the same speed. The airline pilot liked the idea so we headed to the airport. I asked him what speed he wanted to maintain at each phase of the flight.

About every two seconds, I would radio to him our mutual air speeds. He informed the control agency that we would be coming down together. The airline pilot did all the navigating - all I had to do was fly a few feet off his wing and read off my airspeed.

When we got to the most important part of the flight, the final approach, he lowered his landing gear and flaps. He had told me that he wanted to maintain 125 knots all the way to touchdown I kept reading off the airspeed. 124.... 125... 126... 125, etc.

As he began to round out for his touchdown, I moved my throttles forward and flew back to my base at Bitburg, Germany. I have often wondered what the passengers thought when they saw a fighter jet flying off the wing of their airliner. Did the pilot let them know what was going on? If so, did it cause them any concern?

What lessons can be learned from this event?

1. When you are in trouble, ask for help. Too many people try to solve problems by themselves. Ego, insecurity, lack of the ability to trust others or lack of a robust braintrust are just a few reasons why people are unwilling or unable to reach out for assistance.

2.  When you are asked to help someone who is in need, drop what you were doing and move quickly to assist.

3. Be creative in looking for a solution to the problem.

4.  If your first answer doesn’t work, come up with another.


*********** Mel Hein, one of the NFL’s All-time great centers, wore number 7.

Marion Motley, one of the league’s greatest fullbacks, originally wore 76.

Once, quarterbacks’ numbers were all over the place - Sammy Baugh wore 33, Bobby Layne wore 22, and Charley Conerly wore 42.  Otto Graham, before he switched to 14, started out as 60.

More recently, you will recall that Jim Otto wore “00” (“AUGHT-OH” - get it?)

Ah, those were the days, before the NFL insisted that players conform to its rigid system of requiring players to wear numbers corresponding to the positions they play.

But these are narcissistic times. If you hadn’t noticed  the persistent reference players make to  their “brands,” you haven’t been paying attention, and part and parcel of a player’s brand is his number.

Gone are the days when a player took what the equipment guy handed him - In 1938, the Redskins (a team that once played in Washington, DC) didn’t have a number higher than the 40s, and in 1934 the Giants’ highest number was 50 - and he was a back!

Today’s  players have been fighting back, some pressing to be able to wear the numbers they wore in college, others, not unaware of what’s been going on in college, demanding single-digit numbers despite playing on the defensive line.

Compounding the problem is the fact that team rosters are getting larger - 53 on the active roster and 16 on the “practice squad” - and more and more numbers are unavailable because they’re been retired as a way of honoring special players.

So now the NFL in its infinite wisdom has announced that there will be more “flexibility” in issuing numbers.  Nike undoubtedly had a hand in the decision, since this will mean that every time a star changes his number, his adoring fans who insist on wearing his jersey (with his name on it, of course) will have to go out and buy the new edition.

 Could this mean triple digit numbers? Wouldn’t Marshawn Lynch,  Mr. Beast Mode, have wanted  “666?” Isn’t there at least one pothead on every team who’d love to wear “420?”  Think they wouldn’t sell a lot of those jerseys?

If anything is likely to discourage players from making a move, it could be the long-standing requirement that he buy up the remaining stock of the old jerseys.


*********** Jim Young remembers…

    Any kid playing football in the State of Ohio looked forward to someday playing football for the Ohio State Buckeyes.  I certainly was no exception as I was a big OSU fan and wanted to play someday for the Buckeyes.  I had been to a few games in Ohio Stadium as a youth and the hugeness of that stadium totally impressed me.

     Starting in my junior year OSU started recruiting me, as they did all the outstanding players in the state.  In the summer of both my junior and senior years I went to Columbus to a Frontliner recruiting picnic at Leo Yasenoff’s.  My dad and Danny Murphy went along with me.  The top players from all over the state, the Ohio State coaches, and the important alums were all there for the full day get-to-gather.  It certainly gave a young kid from Van Wert the feeling of importance.

     Ohio State was not the only school that recruited me, as I heard from over 70 schools.  I visited OSU, Michigan, Purdue, Cincinnati, Kent State, and North Carolina, although my visit to North Carolina was different.  Bob DeMoss recruited me for Purdue and was still there when I became the head coach.  Michigan was a school that really fit my football abilities better than OSU did, but my loyalty was with the Buckeyes.  I had been to several games at the University of Michigan and they ran the Single-Wing, which is what we played in high school.  I was a very experienced Single-Wing spinning fullback and would have been good in that type of attack.  Ohio State was a T-formation team and the fullback was mainly a blocker at that time.

     Cincinnati was a big time program in the fifties with a famous coach, Sid Gilman.  On my visit to the Bearcats my roommate was Len Dawson, who would become a great Purdue quarterback and All-Pro quarterback.  Try-outs were illegal but on Saturday morning we all had to play a game of football, only Len Dawson was excused.  It became a game of tackle football without pads, as the coaches all stood around and evaluated us.  Kent State required us all to run timed 40-yard dashes, which also was illegal at the time.  Frank Lauterbur was the coach that recruited me for Kent State and was the coach that my mother liked the best when he visited our home.   North Carolina had me visit the Notre Dame – North Carolina game in South Bend, but I later cancelled my recruiting trip to North Carolina.  It came down to three schools: North Carolina, Michigan, and OSU.

      One other school that I contacted on my own was Minnesota.  I liked Wes Fesler, a great Ohio State three-time All-American player, who had been the Ohio State coach.  He had just recently been fired at Ohio State and Woody Hayes had taken his place.   He wrote back and told me to go to my state school.  I am not sure this would happen in today’s recruiting. 

     I made an official visit to Columbus with my parents and we all had lunch at the Faculty Club with Woody Hayes.  After meeting and talking with Coach Hayes, my parents were completely sold on him and Ohio State. Woody was a great talker and recruiter with such a sincere voice and approach when he was selling you something.  Later in the visit, Woody had a meeting with me in his office to talk to me about coming to Ohio State.  He had me pull up my pants leg and felt my lower leg muscles.  He said you could always tell a good football player by the size of his calf muscle, I passed the test. 

     In the fifties there were no athletic scholarships, only Grant-in-Aids.  Every player had a job, to cover his tuition, room, and board.  Woody also got me an academic scholarship to help with the cost.  My job was in downtown Columbus in the State Capital Building and I worked for Mr. Diffenbaker, as a typist. Twice a week I would take a bus downtown and work for two hours.  I would go to the State Finance Office and they would give me a stack of old letters, which I would retype.  I never knew what happened to those letters but that was my job for two years at Ohio State.

     There was never any real doubt about where I was going to go to school and so on my visit to OSU, I told Woody that I was coming.  In early August I attended the Ohio All-Star game in Canton to watch Willie Hernandez play and was disappointed that I was only an alternate and not playing in the game myself.  A group of guys from Van Wert went to Canton in three cars and that night we had sixteen guys stay over night in one hotel room. 

    The next morning Jim Baer and I got up early and drove to Columbus for our campus orientation.  In those days parents were not included and the main event was to take the Ohio Psychological Test that all freshmen had to take before starting classes in the fall.  I did not get a very good score in this test, which was supposed to predict your probable college success.  I was in the 26th percentile and staying up the previous night in Canton, did not help.  Two years later I had to take the same test when I transferred to BGSU and I scored in the 98th percentile.

     Attending Ohio State in the fifties was different than it is today.  School did not start until the end of September and OSU was on the trimester yearly schedule.  Football practice started on September first and the first game was not until the end of September.  Freshmen were not eligible for varsity football and could not start football practice until the first day of school.  The enrollment at Ohio State in 1953 was 30,000+ and every male had to take ROTC for the first two years of school.

     In late September, Jim Baer and I packed up my car and we were off to college, no parents, just the two of us.  This was the first of many trips we made between Columbus and Van Wert over the next two years.  We developed a system so we could make good time and not get caught by the state patrol.  Jim watched out the back window for any police cars and I watched out the front.  We drove fast and never got caught; it usually took us less then two hours to cover the 120 miles on a two-lane road. 

    One time driving home alone I came very close to getting killed.  I was passing a big truck and another truck was coming at me.  There was a narrow two-lane bridge that I had to get through.  I gunned it around the one truck and just got back in my lane before the other truck passed me, I have never had a closer call.

     At this time at Ohio State there was only one dormitory for men on campus, the Stadium Club, and most students lived off campus.  Jim and I roomed at 1490 Neil Ave., about two blocks from campus.  The house belonged to Jim Reeder’s mother, who lived there with her very old mother.  Jim and I had one upstairs room, Carlton Tappan from Utah had one room, and Tom Wolff from Medina had the other room.  We ate all our meals at a drugstore around the corner or at Pomeriene Hall on campus.  I hardly ever drove my car as I either walked to campus or took the bus to downtown Columbus.

     I wanted to be a coach and so my major was Physical Education with a minor in History.  Jim Reeder worked out my schedule of classes for the next four years for me.  Getting an education so I could be a coach in the future was important, but playing football at Ohio State was what I was really excited about doing for the next four years.  I had played football for seven years and success had always come to me in a somewhat easy way.  I guess that I expected the same type of success at OSU.

     On the first day of school the freshmen football team met on the bleachers at the open end of the stadium.  There were 107 recruited players at that meeting.  I had never seen so many players together at one time and this was only one class.  Our freshman coach was Bill Hess.  Bill was one of the original Navy Seals in WW II and later the head coach at Ohio University.  Bill gave us a pep talk and had us all sing The Buckeye Battle Cry.  I was very surprised to find that there were 12 fullbacks in the class.  When I saw the depth chart and I was listed as the 6th team left halfback,  I knew I had my work cut out for me.  I was a hard running fullback but did not have the speed for a halfback.

     That first year we practiced every day but had no games.  We were used as scout team; we called it cannon fodder, for the varsity.  We had to wear kapoks to protect us from downfield blockers.  The varsity would run a play and block us full speed, but we were not allowed to hit them.  The kapoks were like a catcher protector in baseball, but covered your whole body and legs.  Woody said that since we had protection on it was OK to block us and knock us down.  We hated to wear those kapoks because you could not move with them on and you were like a standing dummy, which got knocked down on every play.

     Practices were hard going against the varsity but each Friday we had a scrimmage against each other.  One Friday Danny Murphy came down to spend the weekend with me.  After the scrimmage we went over to the gym and played pick-up basketball for about three hours.  I sprained my ankle and could hardly walk the next day.  I went to the trainer and he asked me if I had sprained my ankle in Friday’s football scrimmage, I lied and said yes.  I had a good full season as a freshman but had no way of knowing where I stood in the scheme of things football-wise.

     The first semester I did fairly well in my studies, I did get a “C” in English.  In a later semester I also got a  “C” in sociology and those were the only “C’s” I ever got in college at both Ohio State and BGSU.  Surprisingly some of the hardest courses I had were in physical education.  In high school I never had to take gym as I was always playing sports, so I had never had gymnastics, etc.   At Ohio State I had to demonstrate proficiency in each sport in order to pass the courses.  Gymnastics with the side horse, parallel bars, high bars, etc. was very hard for me to learn and to do.  Starting from scratch at age eighteen was a real challenge.  We also had to perform in boxing, fencing, trampoline, swimming, golf, wrestling, etc.

     I liked my classes in college and studied much more than I ever did in high school.  I did my studying early each night and reviewed the total course regularly so that I did not have to cram for finals. In the evening I was ready to go to bed after we watched the original The Tonight Show with Steve Allen.  Jim Baer on the other hand liked to start his studying after the show and this gave us both a problem.  I wanted to shut the light off between ours beds and he wanted it on to study.  Sometimes that light went on and off quite a few times.

     Every male took ROTC at OSU and most of the football players were in the Air Force ROTC.  I was in Air Force ROTC for the two years that I was at Ohio State.  We had classes twice a week and drill once a week in uniform.  I enjoyed these classes as we had WWII instructors who had many interesting stories to tell.  Each spring there was a big May Day parade with about 18,000 ROTC students marching in it.

     After football season my freshman year I went out for basketball and Fred Taylor, a future great basketball coach, was my freshman coach.  I was late starting because of football but was able to stay on the freshman team until February.

     Jim and I got along well and did a lot of things together.  We played both intramural basketball and softball, winning championships in both.  We attended a lot of movies and one weekend we decided to go for a record.  We started on Friday night and went until Sunday night, seeing how many movies we could view.  In those days there were a lot of neighborhood theaters and they always had double features. Our record was 24 movies in a 56-hour period.  When the Dodger’s farm team, Montreal, was in town we went out to Redbird Stadium to see the minor league baseball games.

     The same four roomers lived at 1490 Neil for the two years I was there.  We got along fairly well.  Tom Wolff was in the band and studying to be a lawyer.  Carlton was a graduate student in geology.  One time he would not turn off his TV when it was time to go to bed.  I got mad and stood in front of his TV with a blanket outstretched.  This caused a little conflict but it did not last long. 

     During my two years at Ohio State I did not date much as I was into football, my studies, and playing sports.  I did take a young lady to the Olentangy River one night to see the “submarine races” and I did have a few dates in Van Wert in the summer.

     Spring practice my freshman year was an exciting time.  It was very competitive and was my first chance to show that I could play football at OSU.  I worked up to third team fullback and decided to stay in Columbus and work on my football that summer.  Only five of the original twelve were still at fullback after spring practice, so I felt good about my situation. 

These excerpts from the memoirs of Hall of Fame coach Jim Young (Arizona/Purdue/Army) are printed with the permission of Coach Young

*********** Got to hand it to Outkick - they’re about the only people left who don’t march to the music of the mass of woke a$$holes who inhabit  sports media. And now they’re offering this CNBA tee shirt... (Please don't think you can go out now and beat up an 80-year-old Asian lady and then say that this is what drove you to it.)
CNBA SHIRT

(Speaking of the CNBA - remember the days when you could admire LeBron James’ basketball “talents” without constant reminders of what a jackass he is?)

*********** In response to my mention of Notre Dame’s Bengal Bouts, John Vermillion, a West Pointer, noted that boxing is a requirement for all cadets:

Boxing is big at USMA too, or was in my day. Boxing was required of everyone, so every last cadet could appreciate what it took to be good. Just about everyone turned out for the championship bouts. It was big in the Army too.

Muhammed Ali actually took part in a smoker at Camp Casey during my tour in Korea. Ali fought a huge Michigan Gold Glover from my company. The gym could seat about 10,000, and it was packed to the rafters, as they say...and would've been even if Ali hadn't been one of the boxers.

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

Unfortunately missed SDSU's upset of NDSU.  Did see the Holy Cross-Bucknell game.  HC was a much better team, older more experienced, while Bucknell has a very young team that looked like they were still in the middle of spring practices.

Saw the video of the AAU girls basketball incident.  If you slow the video down I could swear it appears that the guy filming the official pulled his mask down quickly to spit on the official.  Is that why the official swung his arm to knock the camera away?  And apparently the girl who decided to get in on the pummeling of the official "was" a 4 star recruit.  Likely she lost a few of those "stars" for that little incident.

That list of mascot names for Washington D.C. football missed one, "Swamp Rats."

Have a good week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  A native of West Palm Beach, Ottis Anderson broke Chuck Foreman’s rushing records at Miami, and became the first Hurricane running back to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season.

He set school career records with 3,331 yards rushing, 4,265 all-purpose yards, and most 100-yard rushing games (13).

In his senior season, he rushed for over 100 yards in eight games, and set a school record with 39 carries in one game.

He was named first-team All-American.

Drafted Number One - the eighth player taken - by the St. Louis Cardinals, in his rookie season, he rushed for 1,605 yards, an average of 100.3 yards per game.  Only Earl Campbell and Walter Payton outgained him.  He was not only the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year but he also made first team All Pro.

He rushed  for at least 1,000 yards in five of his first six NFL seasons, but injuries slow him down, and in mid-season 1986 he was traded to the Giants.

By the 1989 season, he was back to full form, and played the major role in Bill Parcells’ ball-control offense.  He  surpassed 1,000 yards for the sixth time.  It was  his 11th pro season, and  he was 32 years old.

He was named Comeback Player of the Year, and in the Giants’ Super Bowl win over the Bills,  he was named MVP of the Super Bowl, after rushing  for 102 yards and a TD on 21 carries.

In his career, he rushed for 10,273 yards and 86 touchdowns. 

Perhaps most impressive of all, in 6-2/3 seasons with the Giants, he handled the ball 739 times - and fumbled just three times.

Since retirement, Ottis Anderson has been involved in a number of ventures, including motivational speaking, and he has been active in a number of charitable organizations, including Boys and Girls Clubs of America, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Breast Cancer Research Foundation,   and the Deborah Hospital Foundation of Browns Mills, New Jersey.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING OTTIS ANDERSON

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY


*********** QUIZ:  He was Archie Griffin’s roommate at Ohio State. The year that Archie Griffin won his second Heisman Trophy, it was he, not Archie, who was voted team MVP.

And in that same year, it was he,  not Archie Griffin, who was named  the Big Ten MVP.

Recruited out of inner city Washington, DC by OSU assistant Rudy Hubbard, he became the first black quarterback in Ohio State history.

Only 5-11, 175, he had to overcome coach Woody Hayes’ skepticism over his ability to take the hits of an option quarterback,  but after earning the starting position his sophomore year, he would wind up  going 31-2-1 as the Buckeyes’ QB.

In his four years in Columbus, he played on four Big Ten championship teams, and in 24 straight home wins.

He played in four Rose Bowls and started in three of them.

He was Rose Bowl MVP in 1974 after starring in a 42-21 win over USC, and he was named the All-American quarterback in 1975.

Despite playing in an offense that relied heavily on the running of Archie Griffin, he still managed to throw for more yardage than any Ohio State quarterback up until that time. In all, he completed 138 of 251 passes for 2,255 yards and 17 touchdowns.  At the same time, running the option out of Ohio State’s new slot-I offense, he carried 409 times for 2,014 yards and 28 touchdowns. 

A number of outstanding football players  - Joey Galloway, Chris Gamble, Ted Ginn Jr., Joe Germane, Dwayne Haskins - have worn the number seven at Ohio State, but he was the first.

Overlooked by NFL teams because of his size, he was taken in the 11th round by the Cowboys, who looked at him as a wide receiver before cutting him. He spent the rest of that season with the Seahawks, and then spent a portion of the following season in Canada with the BC Lions before returning to his native DC.

After working for the city in its recreation department,  he made a career of working with young men as head of security and coach of various sports at elite all-boys St. Albans School.


UPSIODE DOWN FLAGTUESDAY, APRIL 20, 2021 - “If you have a government of good laws and bad men, you will have a bad government. For bad men will not be bound by good laws.”  Robert LeFevre

*********** Watched a high school game in Upstate New York Monday afternoon, and in the first quarter, I saw  four touchdowns scored on four straight plays - four touchdowns in 44 seconds of elapsed time.

Canandaigua was playing Greece-Athena, and  when Canandaigua - much the better team - punched one in to go ahead, 21-0, there was still 6:23 left in the period.

But Greece-Athena ran back the kick for a TD, making it 21-7 with 6:08 remaining.

Back came Canandaigua with a kick return of their own, scoring to make it 28-7, with 5:57 left.

And then, I’ll be damned if Greece-Athena didn’t have one more kick return in the barrel, scoring again.  They missed the PAT, leaving the score 28-13 with 5:39 showing on the clock.  27 points  in just 44 seconds!

The final was 48-21, with Greece-Athena finally managing an offensive TD late, against the Canandaigua backups.

*********** It was an interesting weekend of FCS football. I had to start out going back and forth between Southeastern Louisiana-Southern Illinois and Holy Cross Bucknell because I had connections.

Steve Jones, longtime friend and coach in Mississippi and Louisiana, is an analyst with Southeastern and Mike Pucko, another longtime friend and high school coach in Massachusetts, coaches the D-Line for Holy Cross.

They split.  Southeastern took SIU down to the wire before falling, 55-48. The win was considered impressive enough to earn Southern Illinois an at-large berth in the FCS playoff.

Holy Cross, playing only its second game of the spring, dominated Bucknell, winning 33-13.

Next was North Dakota State-South Dakota State, and lemme tell you - the SDSU Jackrabbits are really good.  I saw them earlier in the season when they were upset by North Dakota, but now, weeks later, there would be no upset. They beat the Bison, 27-17, ending NDSU’s 32-game home win streak as well as their nine-year run of Missouri Valley Conference titles.

Finally, it was Delaware State and South Carolina State, and I was pulling for Delaware State. They lost in OT, 31-28, but I have to say that they actually lost it at the end of regulation. With the score 28-28 and South Carolina State throwing out of their own end of the  field, Delaware State intercepted, and had the ball on the SC State 33 with 1:59 left. They drove until they had a first and 10 at the SC State 19, with 33 seconds to play, where they lost their guts.  Instead of trying to at least get closer, they let the clock run down to :02, putting all their chips on the kicker.  He missed.

*********** Saw a couple of interesting high school games Saturday. One was between two Illinois teams from the St. Louis area,  Triad and Highlands.  Triad, with a really good-looking running back named Sam Yager, came back from 21 points down to send the game into OT, then win, 35-29.

The other game, between San Ramon Valley and Monte Vista, featured the two schools in a town where I’d never want to coach - Danville, California,  one of the wealthiest towns in the nation.  San Ramon Valley won, 28-21, sending Monte Vista to 0-6 for the spring.  San Ramon Valley is 3-2. It was a decent game, and well-attended. If  Governor Newsom was watching, instead of powdering his nose, he’d have been alarmed at the lack of  social distancing in the stands.

*********** April in our part of the Northwest is usually a fairly rainy month. It’s down a bit from the rainier winter months, but in normal years we’ll have about 17 rainy days, and we’ll get close to three inches.  But this is not a normal year. So far we’ve had ONE rainy day, and we’ve had less than .1 inch of rain.  Clearly, Climate Change is the existential threat the environmentalists say it is. Pray for us.

*********** I’m glad I read  a recent article in USA Today about Cartersville, Georgia and the impact Trevor Lawrence has had on the town of some 20,000.

I was especially glad to see a photo of him as a seventh-grader,  when he was just a normal-looking kid, not at all the Alice-type we’re all used to seeing.

But I was also glad to hear  that despite people (including me) making  judgements about the hair - it doesn’t mean squat.

“It just became a thing at our school to let our hair grow,” a former teammate told USA Today “My hair is [still] just as long as Trevor’s. A bunch of us just started letting it grow out.”

The former head coach didn’t like long hair.

His defensive coordinator, now the head coach, took a  different approach:  “You got to pick your battles. We didn’t all want to be losing our jobs over a haircut. I wasn’t fixing to go down over that one.”

Another thing very interesting: in the football season following his high school graduation, season ticket sales to Cartersville High’s games were down 40 per cent. (Although in reality, at most high schools, a 40 per cent drop in season ticket sales would be 40 per cent of zero.)


https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2021/04/17/trevor-lawrence-nfl-draft-2021-small-town-georgia-home/4815876001/

*********** I read two articles back-to-back, and delighted in the irony.

First, there was Baylor’s basketball team, so offended by a local car dealer’s choice of words that they took the usual principled stand and decided to cancel him.

Actually, they turned down his offer of a free Jeep, custom wrapped, because, insensitive guy that he must be, he said he hoped the  coach would (gasp) “use it to recruit, pull some people out of the hood.”

Come on, man (as our “President” would say) -everybody knows that he needs to spend more time in northern Maine, or eastern Montana, or western Kansas.  THAT’S where the players are.

(Actually, a really insensitive comment would have been to tell him NOT to pull any people out of the hood.)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2021/04/14/baylor-refuses-title-jeep-after-dealers-insensitive-remark/43531079/

The very next article I read was headlined, “AAU Basketball Game Ends in Brawl.”

An AAU game in Westfield, Indiana came to a sudden end when a coach began arguing about a call and got a “T,” whereupon she picked up her travel bag and stalked off the floor, trailed by her players and staff.

As the referee stood at midcourt, an adult moved in close on him, filming with a camera, and when the referee swung at the camera, the  guy swung back, and the fight was on. A player from the aggrieved team joined in, swinging at the ref, and following a wrestling throw, the referee wound up on his back, where the “player” continued punching him.

Irony?  Purely coincidental, of course,  but the name of the team was Baylor.

https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/high-school/2021/04/15/aau-basketball-game-ends-brawl-involving-ref-spectator/7233512002/

*********** "People in any athletic endeavor talk about the will to win and that's supposed to be a very key factor, but the will to prepare is much more important than the will to win. When the game is on, whether it be a golf match, a football game, the NCAA basketball tournament or whatever, the athlete is in a highly charged emotional environment. The stands are full. The TV cameras may be there. The cheerleaders are there. The athlete's parents are there. The will to win a contest is not that dramatic, but you have no chance to win unless you have had the will to prepare. The will to prepare means you give your best effort and practices every time you practice. The example that I used was the two-a-day practices. On the eighth morning at 6:30 AM, everyone is stiff and tired and nobody really wants to be there. Football is not a fun game in practice, but if the athletes have the will to go out and try to improve as much as they can at that moment then they have the will to prepare. The will to prepare immediately translates into the ability to win and is a forerunner to it.

"The misunderstood thing about football is that the only people who really enjoy practice are the people who throw, catch, or kick the ball. The other players practice because it is required, which is why football is such a wonderful game, because it requires so much dedication on the part of people who don't get their share of the credit.

"Team dissension about who is getting the most publicity is something I never worried about. You talk to your team about this in spring practice or early in the fall practices. It's a foregone conclusion that the people who are going to get the lion's share of the publicity are the people who are going to be running with, catching, and throwing the ball.  Defensively, the linebackers and defensive halfbacks are going to get most of the credit. The people that are involved physically and every play, the lineman, rarely get the recognition they deserve. That's just a fact of life and the people who are playing must understand this.”

Bud Wilkinson
All-time Great Oklahoma Coach

*********** I have always thought that the Finnish people are the most honest people on  the planet, and I have numerous stories to tell to support my belief.

But I was watching a televised high school game between Mountain View High, of Stafford, Virginia (which, my map shows me, is maybe 50 miles from the nearest thing resembling any mountain - 2,900 foot Massanutten) and William Fleming High of Roanoke, and I swear I heard the William Fleming PA announcer ask someone to report to the press box because “your credit card was found in the parking lot.”

*********** I have to confess that I haven’t watched a single FBS spring “game.”  At one time, spring games were pretty cool - they’d actually bring alumni back to play against the varsity.  It was a great excuse for an alumni reunion, and I’m sure most of them partied well into the night after the game.

But those days are in the distant past, and so, too, are actual spring games.

In their place have come monstrosities in which offenses play defenses, and the defense scores by doing things for which players would normally receive helmet stickers.

So, no - I don’t give a sh-.  Spring football for me has been the FCS version - real games.

What I find interesting, though,  is that ESPN, which is so starved  for “content”  that it will televise FBS spring games - but not FCS REAL games - would lure in all those people who really do care about Alabama’s spring game, and then, at some point, abruptly cut away to a taped Kirk Herbstreit interview  with  former Bama QB Mac Jones.


*********** It can get depressing to have to sit and watch helplessly as bit by bit  the nation we’ve held dear - and the fabric that held it together - are  ripped to shreds by the leftists, but it does cheer me up a bit to think of what’s going to happen when all those pampered little snotnoses who’ve been raised to believe that they can change the world find out that nobody gives a sh— about them, either.

*********** We have a deaf kid who works as a bagger at our local Safeway, and  it bugs the crap out of my wife that this poor kid has  to learn  what he’s supposed to do without the benefit of being able to read people’s lips and facial expressions.

*********** FYI - last Friday in our win over Streator team, our players rushed for 473 yards- a Lisle HS record. Ran power, wedge, counter XX and reach.
It was a thing of beauty.

Thanks for all your help !!

Coach Paul Parpet
Lisle HS
Lisle, Illinois

*********** Jim Young remembers…

A few days after I graduated from high school I left for Camp Nelson Dodd.  This was my start of life away from Van Wert and home.  Camp Nelson Dodd was a YMCA camp located on the Mohican River near the small hamlet of Brinkhaven, in Southern Ohio.  We used to sing a song at Nelson Dodd that goes like this: “ In the old Mohican Valley there’s a camp for all our Y boys that really fills the bill, strong in spirit, mind, and body in the YMCA way.  Nelson Dodd is sure the place for our Y campers!”  This pretty much tells what the camp was all about.  I went there as a camper one summer and then served as a counselor two years.

     When I arrived there in 1953 to spend the summer I shall never forget the feeling I had.  The camp looked desolate, the grass was knee deep, the buildings all needed opening up and repaired, a bridge had to be put across the river, I knew no one, and I was going to spend the summer there without a car.  When we did put the bridge across the river I almost got swept away in the current as we assembled the sections of the pontoon bridge.  Twelve weeks sure seemed like a long time at first.

     I was in charge of the athletic program and had a lot of selling to do.  Most campers were interested in nature, crafts, canoeing, swimming, etc.  They played sports at home and were not planning on playing much at camp.  We promoted the sports the best way we could.  One time we had a boxing match between counselors.

 Bob Young and I were going to put on a boxing exhibition. We agreed that we could hit each other as hard as we wanted in the body but would not hit each other in the face.  The first round I pounded his body hard and he got mad.  In the second round I expected to get hit in the body but he hit me on my chin and almost knocked me out.

     We did a lot of hiking, canoeing, and camping out; these were things that I really enjoyed doing.  Canoeing was real fun, as we took the canoes up the river 15 miles and then canoed down to the camp.  One trip to Killbuck was a 15-mile hike and then we stayed overnight.  After we got the tents set-up, all the other counselors were so tired they just wanted to rest. However, the campers were still eager to do something.  I organized a huge game of “Capture the Flag” and everyone had a great time.

     The campers had to be in their cabins with lights out at 9:30. There were 10 campers with one counselor for each cabin.  Once the campers were asleep, the counselors got together to do various things.  One of the things we liked to do was to go out in a canoe and “Gig” frogs in the river.  I remember one night that we blew cigarette smoke into one cabin and all the campers woke up crying.  The counselor for that cabin had a real struggle getting the campers back to sleep.

     In order to get a haircut you had to go into Danville, Ohio a small town about 8 miles away.  The barber was Honus Wagner’s brother and he had pictures of Honus all over the walls.  The only time we left the camp was for haircuts or once a week we got to go to a movie in Mt. Vernon.  One of the other counselors was a great Glenn Miller fan and it furthered my interest in Miller music.
     Nelson Dodd contributed three important things to my future life.  First, it helped me mature and get used to being away from home.  I spent the whole summer there and was a little homesick at first but quickly got over it and never really spent much time in Van Wert again in my life.  Secondly, I learned all the songs that I sang with my kids as they were growing up.  Songs like: Patsy-Patsy-ore-a, John Jacob Jinglehimer Schmidt, Lloyd George, Little Red Caboose, The Ship Titanic, etc.

     Thirdly, I made friends with the camp doctor and his wife and he introduced me to Kahlil Gibran, which led to my interest in philosophy, Eastern thought, and “out of the box” thinking.

     What a great experience Nelson Dodd was for me at that time in my life.  Last year I was reading a biography of John Glenn, the astronaut, and he mentioned how important his experience at Nelson Dodd was for him as he was growing up.  The last two-weeks of the summer, girls would come to the camp and Ellie Mallory was there the same year I was, although we were not there at the same time.

     Nelson Dodd is no more and that is too bad.  Many boys and some girls got a great experience at Nelson Dodd and it certainly helped me in my maturing.

     Looking back on my early years I see many great and positive experiences.  My early experiences provided me with positive beliefs that have stayed with me for a lifetime.  I was constantly busy doing things that I liked to do and, in general, doing them successfully.  I had supportive parents, good teachers, and some very good friends.  I learned to be responsible, to lead, to get along by myself, and to decide what I wanted to do in life.  Van Wert was a great place for me to spend my youth.

      When I go back to Van Wert now and see Eggerss Stadium, it brings back many great memories.  I remember standing in Section A, as a little boy, hoping to play football on that stadium field some day.  What friends I made during those years!  50 years later they are still my friends even though we are all in different walks of life and different areas of the country.

     This was pointed out very clearly to me last Spring (2007) when in a three week period I heard from the following: Elaine Reeder called from Hawaii, Dan Murphy, who now has Parkinson’s, called from North Carolina, Jim Baer, my old roommate called from Utah, Red Jordan e-mailed me from Indiana, Jim Miller e-mailed me from California, Ron Bagley e-mailed me from Van Wert, Willie Hernandez’s wife sent me an article about Willie and me from Van Wert, and I went out to dinner with Larry Smith in Tucson.

     The first eighteen years were GREAT YEARS that I enjoyed, but I still had a lot to learn about the world.  My early experience as a kid was one of being a “grown-up acting kid” who got to stay a kid as a grown up, not a bad deal!  The next eighteen to twenty years I think of as the “striving for success years.”

These excerpts from the memoirs of Hall of Fame coach Jim Young (Arizona/Purdue/Army) are printed with the permission of Coach Young

*********** The list of names Washington (DC) football fans were asked to choose from (in alphabetical order):
Aces
Ambassadors
Anchors
Archers
Armada
Aviators
Beacons
Belters
Brigade
Commanders
Defenders
Demon Cats
First City Football Club (FCFC)
Griffins
Guardians
Icons
Majors
Monarchs
Pilots
Presidents
Razorbacks
Redtails
Redwolves
Red Hogs
Renegades
Riders
Rising
Royals
Rubies
Swifts
Warriors
Washington DC Football Club (DCFC)
Washington Capital City Football Club (CCFC)
Wayfarers
Wild Hogs
32FC (W32)
Football Team

Okay if I just write in “Redskins?”

*********** Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser  (there’s a great one) ruled - guided by science, no doubt - that two DC-area Catholic high schools, Gonzaga, of DC and St. John’s, of nearby Chevy Chase, Maryland could not play  their game in the District.

So they went across the Potomac and played the game there. Indoors. In a place called The St. James.

So indoors is “safer” than outdoors?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2018/09/12/massive-sports-complex-meant-game-changer/1271679002/


*********** High school students say: Police don't belong in schools. Here's how we forced them out.

Wow. Who ever thought “resource officers” in Los Angeles high schools was a good idea?

No one, according to a group of future AOC’s in LA.

https://apple.news/AG1asdcSmRsq4y3UGRI5kdg

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

I was dismayed to hear of West Point's efforts to consider themselves becoming more "woke."  That phrase from the English nobleman most definitely applies to them.

Speaking of "woke"...My cousin's husband posted a note on his Facebook page conveying his opinion on the Covid vax issue saying anyone wishing to get a vaccination should, and anyone choosing not to shouldn't.  He received a warning from the FB gods telling him his post was "inflammatory" and if he continues his account will be "cancelled."  He "woke-up", along with hundreds of his friends, who have since cancelled their subscriptions to FB.

Our HC played for, and then coached under Fisher DeBerry.  He has told us some great stories about him, including the one about the suspensions.

That NDSU and SDSU game has developed into quite a rivalry.  Hopefully it will be broadcast down here.

It wouldn't surprise me in today's America that the coach from PA was "railroaded" out of his job.  But it also wouldn't surprise me that "somebody did something."

I am rooting for Eddie George to have success as a coach for MANY reasons.


QUIZ: That would be "Jungle Jim" Martin.  Only die-hard ND football followers, and likely Detroit Lions fans, know of him.  He got his nickname from his years spent in the Marine Corps fighting in the Pacific.  Coach Leahy actually recruited Jim to Notre Dame while stationed there.  

Enjoy your weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** Jim Martin, the answer to today’s quiz, was once Notre Dame’s heavyweight boxing champion, and I think  that makes it  important to know a little something about boxing at Notre Dame. 

There’s obviously  something about men’s Catholic schools and boxing as a means of raising funds, because I’m aware of a number of Catholic high schools which at least at one  time had held annual “smokers” - boxing events to raise funds for one cause or another. (Don Holleder, the inspiration for the Black Lion Award, boxed in smokers  at his high school, Aquinas Institute, in Rochester, New York.)

Notre Dame is no different, and for years, boxing has been a big deal there. Knute Rockne started it in 1920, and since 1931 the Bengal Bouts have been held annually to raise funds to support Church missions in Bangladesh (one known as East Bengal).

The Bengal Bouts are BIG.  Crowds of  10,000 or more pay to watch as their fellow Notre Damers - many of them football players, of course - go at it in the ring. In fact, there have been years when, other than football games, the Bengal Bouts have been the best student-attended events on campus.

https://bengalbouts.nd.edu/

*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Wrote famed sportswriter Jim Murray, in 1988, “He was probably as good a football player as ever came out of Notre Dame. But he never got a nickname or even a headline. He wasn’t the Fifth Horseman, or the Springfield Rifle or the Golden Boy or Six-Yard Sitko or One-Play O’Brien or even Jumpin’ Joe…

“You probably never heard of Jim Martin. He’s not even the answer to a trivia question. But, a peculiarity of Martin’s career seems to be that, wherever he went, a national championship went with him.

At Cleveland's East Technical High, which also produced track greats Jesse Owens and Harrison Dillard, he captained the football and swimming teams.

At 19, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in the South Pacific during World War II as a member of an “amphibious reconnaissance battalion” whose extremely dangerous assignment was to swim through underwater mine fields,  under cover of darkness, investigating potential sites for Marine invasions.  For his actions leading up to the invasion of Tinian, he was awarded a Bronze Star for Valor.

After 30 months in the service, he entered Notre Dame as a 22-year-old freshman. There, he would join  an amazing group of athletes in forming some the finest football teams ever assembled.  In his four years there, the Irish would not lose a game: they went  36-0-2.  Only two ties - with Army (0-0 in 1946) and USC (14-14 in 1948) - marred  their otherwise perfect record. 

They won three national titles - in 1946, 1947 and 1949.  And they finished second in 1948.

After three years playing at end,  he volunteered to help solve a shortage of linemen by moving to tackle his senior season; playing a new position,  he still made several All-American teams, including the AP. 

During his Notre Dame career, no fewer than eight of his teammates would also earn All-American recognition: Leon Hart, George Connor, Ziggy Czarobski, Bill Fischer, Johnny Lujack, Emil Sitko, George Strohmeyer and Bobby Williams.

Two of those teammates - Lujack, in 1947, and Hart, in 1949, won the Heisman Trophy.

Jim Martin was co-captain of the 1949 Irish team.  In addition to football, he swam and boxed, and was the school's heavyweight boxing champion. In 1950 he named the winner of the George Gipp Award, presented to Notre Dame’s outstanding athlete.

Drafted in the second round by the Browns,  he played on their NFL championship team his rookie season.

He was traded to Detroit after one season, and in 11 seasons with the Lions, he played  on three NFL championship teams. After spending one year as an assistant coach of the AFL Denver Broncos, he returned as a player for one year each with the Redskins and then the (Baltimore) Colts.

In his 14 years in the NFL he played six different positions: Center, Guard, Offensive Tackle, Defensive End, Outside Linebacker and Middle Linebacker.

By today's standards, it would be seven different positions, since in addition to playing a regular position, he also place-kicked.  In his 14-year NFL career, he kicked 92 field goals and 158 extra points.  (In a  time before kicking specialists, he scored 434 points without ever scoring  a touchdown.)

After finishing his playing career,  he assisted  at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, California, under Dick Coury, who had assisted at Notre Dame while he was there.  When Coury was hired as an assistant at USC, our guy took an assistant job at Idaho State, but after just one year there he was hired by his old teammate, Joe Schmidt, who had been hired as head coach of the Lions. There, as defensive line coach,  he  coached  the legendary Alex Karras, of “Blazing Saddles” fame.

He was with the Lions for seven years, until Schmidt resigned and his staff was let go, and after spending a year in business, he was hired by Dick Coury, who had been named head coach of the World Football League’s Portland Storm, to coach the offensive line. He coached in Portland  for two seasons - in 1974 when the team played as the Storm and 1975 when it was the Thunder, but after the WFL folded for a second straight year, he left coaching for good.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JIM MARTIN

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOHN GREENBURG - DUNEDIN, FLORIDA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

*********** I had the great honor of knowing and working with Jim Martin.

He’d been offensive line coach of the Portland Storm in 1974, the World Football League’s first year of operation.

The Storm (along with most other WFL clubs), went out of business  after that first year, and in 1975, a new ownership group revived  the team for another go as the Portland Thunder.  Although most of the previous staff had moved on, Jim Martin was retained.

I was assistant general manager and PR director of the Thunder, but we were not exactly a top-heavy organization, so everyone worked pretty closely and we all got to know each other pretty well.   If I had to characterize Jim in a few words, I would say he was truly a Man's Man.  He’d done a lot, and seen a lot. He was good-looking in a rugged sort of way, and just in the way he carried himself he was impressive;  but not once did I hear anything from him to indicate that he thought he was something special.

The offensive linemen loved him. The amazing thing was that six of the players who had played for him on the Storm had hung around Portland after the Storm folded, in hopes of playing for him again. They were a tight bunch, and he had a nickname for every one of them. He called Alan Graf "Walrus," for his drooping mustache. (Graf, a former USC linemen, was even then getting started in the movies, playing bit parts. He has since done really well in Hollywood. You may have seen his name on movie credits, because  he has served as stunt coordinator for numerous big productions.)

My favorite memory of Jim Martin was the time in 1975 when we were returning  from an away game, and we had to stop someplace. I think it was Milwaukee. (No charter flights for us - we flew commercial everywhere. The one concession we made for the bigger guys was that we'd buy three seats for every two of them.)

Anyhow, a bunch of the guys got off  the plane (those being the days before post 9-11 security),  but after everyone had re-boarded, someone mentioned that J.J. was missing. "J.J." was a little running back named J.J. Hartstein, who supposedly played at Arizona State, although I could find no record of it. (When you've coached minor league football, as I had, you get used to players  "embellishing” their backgrounds, so you get to be pretty good at investigating.)

He was a bit of a character, so it was not surprising that if anyone should be missing, he’d be the one.   Being a character, he was also well-liked, and Jim Martin, evidently feeling a personal obligation to care  for the lost sheep, stood up and notified the flight attendants (actually, they were still called stewardesses back then) that J.J. was not on board, and we couldn't leave without him.

They asked him to sit down, but he refused to do so, saying, again, "We can't leave without J.J.”

The flight attendants turned and headed toward the front of the plane.

Soon enough,  someone a bit more official-looking boarded the plane and came back to our section and walked  up to Jim, who had continued to stand there in the aisle.   The guy started out with the, "Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to sit down" speech that I'm sure he’d learned by heart in training.

But in training, I doubt that he’d had to stand up to any  Jim Martins.

The guy was normal-sized, maybe 5-11 and 175 pounds or so. Jim Martin was at least 6-3, at least 250, and hard.   He was 51 at that time,  but I think we could easily have suited him up and sneaked him into a game without anyone noticing anything different. Jim stuck his jaw out and leaned closer to the guy, close enough that the guy could probably feel his breath on his forehead. His face grew red. His jaws were clenched  and the veins in his neck were bulging.  I looked down and noticed that his fists were clenched. "We're not going anywhere without J.J.," he said in his gravelly voice.

Oh, sh--, I thought. We're going to be spending the night here.

But as the guy turned to go get the air marshals or whatever the hell they called them back in those days, he bumped, face to face,  into someone headed  down the aisle toward us - none other than J.J. Hartstein.

"What's going on?" J.J. asked.

"Hey - where the hell have you been?" at least a dozen voices asked at the same time.

"Up front. Talking to a girl I met.”

The airline guy, spared the confrontation, shrugged his shoulders and left.  Gladly, I'm sure.

End of story.

Today, Jim would have been locked up (after the mother of all struggles), and probably several others of us along with him, all of us labelled domestic terrorists.

Ah, those were the days.  We didn't know it at the time, but they were.

Jim Martin, his duty to the  team over,  returned to his seat.  J. J. Hartstein returned  to the girl.  And we took off, as if nothing had happened.

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

You really know how to spoil a Cleveland Brown fan's day by reminding him about one of Paul Brown's bad trades. He made several of them over the years.

Jim "Jungle Jim" Martin was one of his mistakes. He was a definite NFL player who could do multiple things. He could kick field goals, but we had future hall of famer Lou "The Toe Groza" kicking for us.

He played defensive end on the right side usually, but we still had future hall of famer Len Ford who played that position plus offensive line.

I guess that coach Brown figured that he was set at these positions and that after one season Jim Martin was a player that he could trade for another position.

Jim showed Coach Brown that he made a big mistake trading him to the Detroit Lions. Jim played on the three Lions teams  that beat the Browns in the NFL championship games of 1952, 1953 and 1957.

Thanks for bring up bad memories from my youth. Those three loses still sting me almost 70 years later!

See you Tuesday.

David Crump
Owensboro, Kentucky

*********** QUIZ:  A native of West Palm Beach, he broke Chuck Foreman’s rushing records at Miami, and became the first Hurricane running back to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season.

He set school career records with 3,331 yards rushing, 4,265 all-purpose yards, and most 100-yard rushing games (13).

In his senior season, he rushed for over 100 yards in eight games, and set a school record with 39 carries in one game.

He was named first-team All-American.

Drafted Number One - the eighth player taken - by the St. Louis Cardinals, in his rookie season, he rushed for 1,605 yards, an average of 100.3 yards per game.  Only Earl Campbell and Walter Payton outgained him.  He was not only the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year but he also made first team All Pro.

He rushed  for at least 1,000 yards in five of his first six NFL seasons, but injuries slowed him down, and in mid-season 1986 he was traded to the Giants.

By the 1989 season, he was back to full form, and played the major role in Bill Parcells’ ball-control offense.  He  surpassed 1,000 yards for the sixth time.  It was  his 11th pro season, and  he was 32 years old.

He was named Comeback Player of the Year, and in the Giants’ Super Bowl win over the Bills,  he was named MVP of the Super Bowl, after rushing  for 102 yards and a TD on 21 carries.

In his career, he rushed for 10,273 yards and 86 touchdowns. 

Perhaps most impressive of all, in 6-2/3 seasons with the Giants, he handled the ball 739 times - and fumbled just three times.

Since retirement, he has been involved in a number of ventures, including motivational speaking, and he has been active in a number of charitable organizations, including Boys and Girls Clubs of America, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Breast Cancer Research Foundation,   and the Deborah Hospital Foundation of Browns Mills, New Jersey.




UPSIODE DOWN FLAGFRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2021 - “Most of us ask for advice when we know the answer but want a different one.” Ivern Ball

*********** Our service academies are going woke. God help us all.

America’s military service academies are using "anti-racist" and critical race theory teaching tools to train their faculty and future officers.

Administrators at West Point are embracing the radical racial politics that have taken hold over many American campuses, according to documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. The prestigious military institution will not only adapt critical race theory into its curriculum but will also use such practices in admissions. A West Point diversity and inclusion plan for 2020 to 2025 said that in order for the academy to remain competitive with the civilian sector among potential applicants, the school must appeal to the sensibilities of "America’s younger generation." Inclusivity will matter just as much as marksmanship, according to the documents.

"The Armed Forces represent the nation it defends, including reflecting our nation's diversity," the document reads. "It is imperative that we leverage all aspects of the nation’s diversity … to create and sustain an inclusive organization that attracts the best that the nation has to offer. We must create an environment that appeals to the aspirations of American’s younger generation. Only then will we be successful in competing with the civilian sector for the highest quality recruits.”

If you only read the last sentence - read it again. And then ask yourself: WTF is a service academy - whose mission is (or at least used to be) to train officers to lead troops into battle and win our wars - doing “competing with the civilian sector for their highest quality recruits?”  WTF should West Point - or the American people - care if Harvard, Yale, Princeton and MIT scarf up all the high-GPA pencil necks in every graduating class?  If all that our service academies aspire to now is to be Ivy League schools with uniforms and stricter rules, we might as well shut them down and save the taxpayers a lot of money. 

But where will we get our officers?  you ask. Ever heard of ROTC? 

https://freebeacon.com/national-security/military-service-academies-go-woke/


*********** It was only 20 years ago. Could it have happened today?

Late in the 2001 season, following a loss at Hawaii - their third straight - several Air Force players missed curfew.

When DeBerry got word of it, he called his players together, and demanded that those who’d violated the curfew identify themselves. Twelve players stood up, and all were suspended for the Falcons' next game, the season-ender against Utah.

It had not been a great season for Air Force. The Falcons’ record at that point was 5-6, and they’d lost five of their last six games.  Five of the players suspended were starters,  and with the team hard-hit by injuries, and  an 8-3  bowl-bound Utah team coming to town, it appeared that Air Force was facing its first losing season since 1993.

America by that time  had already begun its descent  into a  permissive society that can be convinced that even a murderer deserves a second chance if he’s “never been in trouble before," and to many,  the punishment  seemed unusually harsh.  To others, who placed winning ahead of anything else, deliberately costing the team any chance it had to win was insane.


To DeBerry, though, it was a matter of doing his duty to carry out the Academy’s mission - to prepare cadets to defend their country. And in keeping with that duty, he believed that the suspensions were necessary to help his  players understand the importance of accountability for their actions.

Amazingly, the following Saturday the Falcons managed a 38-37 upset win over Utah to finish the season 6-6.

"It was a great learning experience for our team,'' DeBerry said after the game. "I hope they learn from this experience that the team comes first. The lessons are a lot more important than the outcome of the game."

*********** There will be some interesting FCS games this Saturday.

Unfortunately, most of them are within an hour or so of the same start  time - 1 PM Eastern (or 10 AM Pacific)

Two that interest me, right off the top:

I’ve been following Southeastern Louisiana, which managed to pick up an extra game, at Southern Illinois. It has no playoff significance, but it’s a match between two decent teams from two good conferences whose teams seldom meet.

Of great interest to me is Portland State-Montana, two teams that opted out of  playing a Big Sky schedule. Montana has played one game - against D-II Central Washington. For Portland State, it’s a one-game season.  (It’s not as weird as it sounds - I’m sure their approach has been just the same as it would be if they were having spring practice - except now they get to play a real game at the end.

Then, there are some automatic spots in the Playoff still to be decided.

In the Colonial, top-ranked James Madison has the inside track.  JMU plays 14th-ranked Richmond at 2 PM Eastern, and a win by the Spiders could give Delaware the spot - except that Delaware, ranked Number seven, has to play 11th-ranked Villanova in  what for the two of them is a BIG rivalry game.

Amazingly, VMI, not exactly a powerhouse, can win the SoCon (inside  for “Southern Conference”) with a win over The Citadel, in a battle of military schools.

The Patriot League spot will go to the winner of Bucknell and Holy Cross, at 2 PM.

The Missouri Valley, which normally is wrapped up by North Dakota State before the end of the season, won’t be settled until NDSU meets South Dakota State at 2:30.   The conference is really top-heavy, though, with two or maybe even three teams besides the conference champion likely to get at-large playoff  spots. Besides NDSU and SDSU, North Dakota (the team  formerly known as the Fighting Sioux) is still in the running, along with - get this - Missouri State.  My humblest apologies for not following this one, but Missouri State, in its head coach’s first year there, won a piece of the conference title - its first in 30+ years.  That new coach is such a miracle worker that he’s sure to be in demand by bigger schools.  Oh, wait - it’s Bobby Petrino. Never mind.

***********  In one of the most mysterious public  firings you’ll ever read or hear about, a Western Pennsylvania coach named Eric Kasperowicz was fired Wednesday, just five months after his team won a state championship.

In eight years at Pine-Richland High, Kasperowicz compiled a record of 85-18, including  four WPIAL (Western Pennsylvania) championships, and two state  titles.

The words “Bullying” and “hazing” have come up in discussion of the firing, and players who have been interviewed by news reporters have said that they were asked about those things - in the case of some players, more than once - in Zoom interviews.

The coach denies any knowledge of any misconduct, and interviews with players seems to indicate quite a bit of support for him.  In fact, I have yet to see anything in support of the school district’s position.

And yet, it  must really be serious for them to (1) fire the coach, and (2) insinuate that he has enabled an atmosphere that tolerates bullying or hazing.

Surely the school district’s lawyers are aware of all the ramifications involved in making charges of this nature.

Obviously, if there’s been ugly conduct and the coach either knew of it and condoned it, or didn’t know of it and  should have, he’s got to go.  And he should never be allowed to coach kids again.

But on the other hand… I tend in cases like this to suspect that there could be another form of ugliness at work -  the resentment of another person’s success, and the power and prestige that it’s earned him (or her).

Never forget - not everyone in the school is happy when you’re successful - when the football team (or the basketball team or baseball team or, for that matter, the band or the dance team) is winning championships.

It’s human nature for life’s left-behinds to resent the success of others. Resentment and envy are at the very root of socialism.

https://tribhssn.triblive.com/pine-richland-fires-football-coach-eric-kasperowicz-5-months-after-piaa-championship-victory/

*********** Eddie George has been named the new head coach at Tennessee State.  My wife, reading an article about his hiring, looked up and said, “But he’s never been a coach!”

Well, no…

I’ve seen enough celebrity coaches to be extremely skeptical of any such hiring, but I think that this one might actually work.

Immediately put aside any comparisons to Deion Sanders, who in my opinion is a brash, loudmouth, narcissistic self promoter who never grew up.

Eddie George, to my knowledge, has no ugly or unseemly incidents in his background. He is an educated man: he went back and got his bachelor’s degree at Ohio State and then went on to earn an MBA at Northwestern.

He seems to have solid connections in the Nashville community, and by all accounts he has a  good reputation among people at all levels of football.

I have never heard anyone say anything bad about him.

Can he coach?  Who the hell knows? 

Can he get a face-to-face with a  good prospect?  You damn right.

Can he land enough of those kids to win?  I’ll be surprised if he can’t.  He has a good  name  and an impressive presence.

Can he hire - and oversee - good coaches who will make the most of the talent that his name will help recruit?  I believe so. Time will tell.

Will he put fans in the seats?  I believe so. I think Eddie George’s name in Nashville will help generate some excitement in a city full of newcomers willing to check out the program.  Tennessee State, although an HBCU, plays in the FCS Ohio Valley Conference.

I’ll put money  on this one.

(I have a dog in this hunt: Eddie George is from my wife’s hometown, Abington, Pennsylvania.  He played high school ball there for two years until, as I remember the story, his single mom, who worked as a flight attendant,  became concerned about the type of kids he was running with, and sent him off to Fork Union Military Academy, in rural Virginia. Obviously, it worked out.  Good for Mom.  Good for Eddie.  Not so good, though,  for my friend, Doug Moister, the coach of Abington High at the time. How would you like to miss out on the greatest athlete ever to come out of your town?)

*********** Jason Garshfield, in Town Hall, writing about how our nation’s culture has been transformed by politically-inspired and media-augmented terror (“we’re all gonna die”)

We have embraced a neurotically death-averse attitude that would have been utterly foreign to previous generations, demonstrating a willingness to choose the preservation of life at the expense of all other values. We have become a society of Zoomified communication, of petty rules and Karens minding other people’s business, of cult-like faith in a priestly caste of Experts. These social and philosophical trends will be even harder to dislodge than any legal precedent.

*********** Two of the best coaching hires in recent years have been at Ohio State and Oklahoma.  In neither case was there a widespread search. It was simply a matter of elevating someone on the current staff to replace a head coach who was  retiring.

In both cases, it was a matter of a program being in such great shape in all respects - strength and conditioning, recruiting, academic  support, staff relations and - yes - offense and defense, that there was no need to take the chance that a new guy would come in with his own ideas of how to run things.

In both cases, the transitions were absolutely seamless, and by the end of the new coaches’ first seasons, it would have been difficult to find more than a handful of fans who would  disagree with  their hiring.

An English nobleman said it best: “When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.”


*********** Our local middle school’s football team started practice on Monday.

On Wednesday (the third day of practice) they took the  team picture.

I walked by their practice today (Thursday) and I swear they had fewer players  than yesterday.

Hmmm.

*********** Jim Young remembers…

 Growing up, baseball was my favorite sport but it became the one that I had the least success in. I just could not hit the ball consistently.  I was always on the team,  played some, and lettered my senior year but never quite got the job done. I don’t know how much my eyesight hindered me in baseball but I sure was not much of a hitter.

     My senior year I received three trophy awards: Most Valuable Football player, Most Valuable Basketball player, and the Outstanding Athletic award.  Along with the junior high basketball trophy these were the only trophies I received.  Certainly, times have changed in this regard.  It seems you get a trophy today for just showing up.

     Sports were all important to me during my high school years.  Most boys develop an interest in sports but mine became a passion.  My interest in sports was strictly on my own accord.  My parents never encouraged me to play any sport.  Every sport I started to play was my own decision.  Once I was into a sport,  then my parents supported me and were there to watch all my games.

     In high school every day was filled with some sport.  Every noon I would hurry home and eat and then get right back to school for basketball.  On Saturdays it was basketball all day long at the YMCA and Sundays were either Fungo hitting or pick up football games on the stadium field.  Of course,  every night after school we practiced either football, basketball, or baseball. 

     I had an early leadership role in junior high school in both football and basketball.  I was big for my age and was able to dominate in basketball.  This changed a little bit in high school as I stayed the same size and my teammates grew taller.  In football my size allowed me to run over anyone who tried to tackle me.  I feel that most of the players looked up to me for leadership.

     Coach Smith showed great confidence in me when he chose me to direct our football team on the field starting in my sophomore year.  I loved the challenge of being the signal caller and I did a good job.  This probably helped me decide early in my high school years that I wanted to be a coach.  I used to sit in study hall and try to devise a new system of football.  I even had a name for my new system – The Split-Z.

     Thinking about those high school years brings back so many memories and thoughts of friends like: Willie Hernandez, Red Jordan, Danny Murphy, Dick Smith, and many others.  We had great fun on the bus coming back from the away games and always sang all the way home, if we won, which we usually did.  We would stop at Balyeat’s Restaurant for our after game meal.

     We had eleven football players in our senior class.  When we had our fifty-year reunion, ten of the former teammates returned and the eleventh had died.  I think that says something about the great team of 1952.

     Coaches and heroes certainly played a key role in my formative years.  I had my early heroes such as Jackie Robinson of the Dodgers in baseball, Doak Walker of Southern Methodist in football, and Bob Cousy of the Boston Celtics in basketball. My teams were the Dodgers, the Celtics, and the Cleveland Browns in football.  My college teams were Ohio State and, early on, Southern Methodist.  The most important heroes however were my coaches, starting with Jim Reeder.

     Jim Reeder came to Van Wert in 1950 to coach basketball, baseball, and assist in football.  He became my mentor, friend, coach, and hero.  We never called each other Jim.  I always called him Coach and he called me Brigham.  He was my basketball and baseball coach for three years.  He was so full of life, worked us very hard, had that charisma that attracted all of us who played for him, and had a young sharp wife.  He had played basketball, baseball, and football at Ohio State.  He had to give up football after he broke his leg.  He spent three years in the Marines during World War II.  I had an early interest in the Marines, in Ohio State, in sports, and in coaching; Coach Reeder just seemed to symbolize all of these things rolled up into one.

     I became very close to Jim Reeder much the same as Don Dwyer became very close to me later on in my life.  I helped him move, baby-sat some, and spent time with him other than just at practice.  One year he took me to Bowling Green to watch the Cleveland Browns in pre-season practice.  He had played with several of the Browns at Ohio State and so I got introduced to many of my Brown heroes like Otto Graham.  I even got up the nerve to ask his wife, Elaine, to dance with me at the Prom.  Nobody thought that I had the nerve to ask her and nobody thought that she would dance with me; but she did.

     He taught me how to shoot a fade away-banked hook shot and would play pick up basketball games with all of us.  I really enjoyed his health class as he talked about things that interested me.  When it came time to prepare for college, he worked out my class schedule and I roomed at his mother’s house at 1490 Neil Avenue in Columbus.
    
      After Van Wert I kept in contact with him and Elaine over the years.  Jim died at the early age of 49.  I always wished that he could have been alive when I became the head coach at Arizona, Purdue, and West Point.  I think of him often and find it hard to believe that he would be 84 years old now.  In my mind he is still that young, tough, aggressive coach that I loved.  I always tried to model my coach-player relationship in the same way as he did with me.  He was tough, fair, and was able to relate to you on a personal basis, even though you knew he was still your coach and in charge. 

     Coach Reeder contributed to my success over the years in many ways, but two stand out for me.  One of the strong points of my coaching was my ability to relate to my players in a personal way; I got that from Jim Reeder.  The second way he helped me was in the area of my own personal life.  I went steady with a girl though most of my high school years.  Jim and Elaine felt that I was limiting myself and that I had a future, which did not allow me to be tied down at an early age.  I broke up with my girl in my senior year and their influence helped me do it; it certainly was the right decision.  Jim Reeder came into my life at the right time and had a great influence on my entire life. While Jim has been gone for a long time I still stay in contact with Elaine Reeder.  She has visited us, as well as her daughter Becky, and she calls Jane and I quite often.

     In football all of the coaches I played for or worked for were Hall of Fame coaches.  My high school coach Gil Smith was one of the original Ohio High School Hall of Fame coaches.  My college coaches, Woody Hayes and Doyt Perry, are both in the National Football Hall of Fame.  I worked for Bo Schembechler, who also is a National Hall of Fame coach.  Each of these men helped mentor my coaching career.

     The first and probably the most important mentor was Coach Smith.  Gil Smith coached at Van Wert from 1941 until 1959.  He won 130 games and lost 30 with a winning percentage of 75%.  He won 12 WBL Championships and had a 46 game winning streak covering five years.  He was truly a great high school football coach.

     From the time that Coach Smith noticed me, when I was in the eighth grade, I was his boy.  I was big for my age and could really run over all tacklers in junior high football.  I guess this is the reason, even though I was only 13 years old, he brought me up to practice with the high school team.

     I started for him all four years in high school.  He had great confidence in me as a tough football player and as an intelligent one as well.  He had me calling the plays from my sophomore year on.

     Coach Smith was older when I played for him but loved to talk football strategy with me.  One of the courses that I had to take was Algebra and Coach Smith taught that class.  He would teach the first half of the period and then give everyone study time.  During study time he always called me up to his desk to discuss football.  I was not very good in Algebra but I liked the study part of the class.  When he had a free period and I had study hall, He would have me come down to his office and talk football.

      He had some great expressions that he would use during practice.  He would say, “You are not worth a wooden nickel.”  He always got upset that we were not fast runners and would say, “All I get on my team is the south Germans, who have no speed.”

      Today all the football programs have computer game viewing, using advanced technology.  We had 16 mm game film and viewed it with a screen and projector. After we played a game on Friday night the film was sent to Chicago to be developed and was returned 10 days later.  This meant that we had already played another game before we got to look at the film of our previous game.  You can see that studying game film was not a big thing for us in those days.  To top it all off, Coach Smith did not know how to string the film on the projector: he always had me do it.  My, how football has changed.

     I learned a lot playing football under Gil Smith.  He was a quiet, intelligent man, who had the ability to demand the best from his players.  He knew how to win.  He certainly gave me a great foundation for my future coaching career.

     Mike Kish was my first high school basketball coach but left after my freshman year to go to Upper Arlington High School in Columbus.  He was a very fine person and a good coach.  He helped me early by teaching me how to shoot a basketball when I was 12 years old.  He also gave me the opportunity to play in my first varsity basketball game as a freshman.

     Over the years he always stayed in touch with me and was very good in visiting my parents during their later years.  He was very happy when his son, Tim, coached for me for several years both at Purdue and Army.  Even though Mike only coached me for a short time, I have always held him in high esteem.

     One other individual needs to be mentioned as a person who influenced my early football career.  Ken (Gene) Wable was a former Van Wert player who was eight years older than I was.  When he would come to his parent’s home in Van Wert on vacations, I would go over and we would discuss football and look at football films.

He later became a very successful coach at Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio.  Mt. Union College dominated Division III football today and Ken is the coach who first developed that great program.
    
These excerpts from the memoirs of Hall of Fame coach Jim Young (Arizona/Purdue/Army) are printed with the permission of Coach Young


***********  Hugh,

Speaking of the FCS...I'll be closely watching the progress of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.  The Tommies (formerly a Division III power, and a founding member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) were kicked out of the MIAC for being "too good" in football.  All sports dropped out of the MIAC, and they are the first D3 school to get the approval from the NCAA to make the jump to D1 in all sports.  They will compete in football at the FCS level in the non-scholarship Pioneer Conference, while the remaining sports will be members of the Summit League.

Pro sports are devouring themselves.

You make an astute observation regarding the tragic incident involving Phillip Adams.  Our "woke" culture will always find something to blame other than where the actual blame should lie.

On that subject...Stanford may need to reconsider its mascot again.  Indians didn't cut it so they changed it to a tree.  However...if we're basing our decisions on today's "wokeness" principles, the depiction of the tree on the Stanford logo would be deemed questionable.

Watching that Youtube video of Syracuse brought back some fond memories.  When I became a HC in NH back in 1994 I picked up the Syracuse freeze option from Paul Pasqualoni at a clinic.  I was hooked.  In three years of running it we went to the state semi-finals twice.

Yes, the UMass demolition of St. Cloud State in the Frozen Four Championship was quite a shock!  Beat the Huskies at their own game.

Have a good week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Terry Brennan was only 25 when he was named to succeed Frank Leahy as head coach of Notre Dame.

By the time he was 30, he was their ex-coach.

A native of Milwaukee, he played halfback under Leahy from 1945 through 1948, and immediately  got a job as head coach at Mount Carmel High School in Chicago.  Playing in the tough Chicago Catholic League, his teams won three  city championships,  and in 1953 he was named Notre Dame’s freshmen coach.

When Leahy left, the Irish were coming off a 9-1 season, and although he had health issues,  there had been some speculation that he might take a one-year sabbatical.  The circumstances of his leaving remain a mystery, but in any case our guy was the favorite of the young university president, father Theodore Hesburgh, and he was given the head job.

His first season, 1954,  was a success - 9-1, losing only to a good Purdue team with Len Dawson at QB.  The Irish shut out Texas, Pitt and Navy. They ended a three-game losing streak against Michigan State, beat USC, and ended the season on an eight-game winning streak.

HIs second season was a respectable 8-2, with losses to Michigan State and USC.

But then came 1956 and Notre Dame’s first losing season since 1933.  (933 was bad - 3-5-1. But 1956  was really, really bad - 2-8, with wins over only Indiana and North Carolina.)

Michigan State beat them, 47-14, and Iowa beat them, 48-8. Oklahoma beat them, 40-0 - on the nationally televised game of the Week.

The Irish were outscored, 130 to 289.

And yet somehow, out of  this mess, quarterback Paul Hornung emerged as the winner of that year’s Heisman Trophy - the only winner ever to come from a losing team.

The 1957 Irish team was an improvement, a 7-3 season whose biggest win was a 7-0 upset of Oklahoma - in Norman - bringing to an end the Sooners’ 47-game winning streak.

The Irish had high hopes for 1958. They had talent in Nick Pietrosante and Monty Stickles and a sophomore with a big arm named George Izo. But losses to Army, Purdue, Pitt and Iowa left them with a 6-4 record, and he and his staff were fired, just days before Christmas.

Terry Brennan was 30 years old, the father of four. He would go into business and never coach again.

After him, Notre Dame would embark on a disastrous five-year stretch  in which it would not have a winning season, going 5-5, 2-8, 5-5 and 5-5 under Joe Kuharich, then 2-8 under interim coach Hugh Devore, before deliverance finally came in the form of a “French-Armenian-Presbyterian” named Ara Parseghian.


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING TERRY BRENNAN

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
JOHN GREENBURG - DUNEDIN, FLORIDA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
BRAD KNIGHT - CLARINDA, IOWA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

*********** From Greg Koenig

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD6oBKBKmxg

*********** Terry Brennan...Loved following the Chicago Catholic League when we moved to Illinois in the mid 60s...Was blessed with many teammates and coaching friends from the League!

Coach Kaz
Mark Kaczmarek
Davenport, Iowa

*********** Many people probably don't know that Brennan succeeded Leahy after Leahy's SECOND stint as ND's head coach.  Brennan was 32-18 with the Irish,  but because Fr. Hesburgh placed more of an emphasis on academics Brennan didn't have the talent that Leahy had but still managed a winning record.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

“Second stint” - because Leahy  spent two years in the Navy in World War II. 

There doesn’t seem to be total agreement that the talent wasn’t there for Brennan. There is agreement that he was Father Hesburgh’s first choice, and as a result  ND launched a powerful PR campaign to sell him - perhaps oversell him -  to the public.

He was a very, very good HS coach at Mt.Carmel, and there were rumors that the Chicago Cardinals had offered him their head coaching job, but it appears that that’s all there was to it - rumors.

The general feeling around Notre Dame was that he should have been fired after that disastrous 1956 season, but Father Hesburgh prevailed. “It wasn’t just the record,” said a member of the athletic staff. “The worst thing is that we looked bad in the games that we won."

The summary of charges against him - the reasons why he was fired:

1. Considering the talent on hand, the 1958 season (his last) was not as good as it should have been.  (That, of course, is a matter of opinion.)

2. He did not properly utilize his assistant coaches. (Considering that he had several good experienced coaches on his staff, most of them more experienced than he was, the consensus was that he did not listen to them, and in some very conspicuous cases, did not give assistants credit where it was due.)

3. He did not do enough for Notre Dame spirit. (The student body had become apathetic, and when they would try to rally the forces, such as cheering at practice, he would discourage them. He was considered soft, and  lax with discipline, and he exhibited none of the pre-game fire that, starting with Rockne, Notre Dame people had come to expect of their coaches.)

In the estimation of renowned writer Dick Schaap, “it is reasonable to say that Terry Brennan was not a great coach. He was somewhere between average and good, and Notre Dame thought that it could do better.”

Schapp is probably right in his rating of Terry Brennan. But here’s  the killer: by “doing better,” practically the entire Notre Dame community thought that that meant hiring Joe Kuharich.

My sources are Notre Dame From Rockne to Parseghian, and The Glory of Notre Dame (a collection of articles from Sport Magazine).


*********** QUIZ: Wrote famed sportswriter Jim Murray, in 1988, “He was probably as good a football player as ever came out of Notre Dame. But he never got a nickname or even a headline. He wasn’t the Fifth Horseman, or the Springfield Rifle or the Golden Boy or Six-Yard Sitko or One-Play O’Brien or even Jumpin’ Joe…

“You probably never heard of (him). He’s not even the answer to a trivia question. But, a peculiarity of (his) career seems to be that, wherever he went, a national championship went with him.

At Cleveland's East Technical High, which also produced track greats Jesse Owens and Harrison Dillard, he captained the football and swimming teams.

At 19, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in the South Pacific during World War II as a member of an “amphibious reconnaissance battalion” whose extremely dangerous assignment was to swim through underwater mine fields,  under cover of darkness, investigating potential sites for Marine invasions.  For his actions leading up to the invasion of Tinian, he was awarded a Bronze Star for Valor.

After 30 months in the service, he entered Notre Dame as a 22-year-old freshman. There, he would join  an amazing group of athletes in forming some the finest football teams ever assembled.  In his four years there, the Irish would not lose a game: they went  36-0-2.  Only two ties - with Army (0-0 in 1946) and USC (14-14 in 1948) - marred  their otherwise perfect record. 

They won three national titles - in 1946, 1947 and 1949.  And they finished second in 1948.

After three years playing at end,  he volunteered to help solve a shortage of linemen by moving to tackle his senior season; playing a new position,  he still made several All-American teams, including the AP. 

During his Notre Dame career, no fewer than eight of his teammates would also earn All-American recognition: Leon Hart, George Connor, Ziggy Czarobski, Bill Fischer, Johnny Lujack, Emil Sitko, George Strohmeyer and Bobby Williams.

Two of those teammates - Lujack, in 1947, and Hart, in 1949, won the Heisman Trophy.

He was co-captain of the 1949 Irish team.  In addition to football, he swam and boxed, and was the school's heavyweight boxing champion. In 1950 he was named the winner of the George Gipp Award, presented to Notre Dame’s outstanding athlete.

Drafted in the second round by the Browns,  he played on their NFL championship team his rookie season.

He was traded to Detroit after one season, and in 11 seasons with the Lions, he played  on three NFL championship teams. After spending one year as an assistant coach of the AFL Denver Broncos, he returned as a player for one year each with the Redskins and then the (Baltimore) Colts.

In his 14 years in the NFL he played six different positions: Center, Guard, Offensive Tackle, Defensive End, Outside Linebacker and Middle Linebacker.

By today's standards, it would be seven different positions, since in addition to playing a regular position, he also place-kicked.  In his 14-year NFL career, he kicked 92 field goals and 158 extra points.  (In a  time before kicking specialists, he scored 434 points without ever scoring  a touchdown.)

After finishing his playing career,  he assisted  at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, California, under Dick Coury, who had assisted at Notre Dame while he was there.  When Coury was hired as an assistant at USC, our guy took an assistant job at Idaho State, but after just one year there he was hired by his old teammate, Joe Schmidt, who had been hired as head coach of the Lions. There, as defensive line coach,  he  coached  the legendary Alex Karras, of “Blazing Saddles” fame.

He was with the Lions for seven years, until Schmidt resigned and his staff was let go, and after spending a year in business, he was hired by Dick Coury, who had been named head coach of the World Football League’s Portland Storm, to coach the offensive line. He coached in Portland  for two seasons - in 1974 when the team played as the Storm and 1975 when it was the Thunder, but after the WFL folded for a second straight year, he left coaching for good.


UPSIODE DOWN FLAGTUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2021 - “By acting as though I wasn't afraid, I ceased to be afraid." Theodore Roosevelt

*********** With the  NFL already gone as far as I’m concerned, and big-time college football threatened to some degree by NIL and  free agency (the Transfer Portal), I saw enough college football Saturday to put me at ease - there will always be good football.

It was FCS football - theoretically a  cut below even the lesser members of the so-called “Group of Five” FBS teams. And what I watched wasn’t even the cream of the FCS crop.  But it was a lot of fun to watch.

Thanks to ESPN+, I was able to see two games from the Southland Conference - Southeastern Louisiana over Nicholls State and Northwest State over  Incarnate Word - and one game each from the Southern Conference - The Citadel over Furman - and  the Northeast Conference - Sacred Heart over  Duquesne.

They were all good games and they were all well-played. I know, I know - “the talent isn’t as  good.”  But if I didn’t know, for example, that Duquesne’s QB was 5-11, 185, I might not have been able to tell the difference.  The passers threw, the receivers caught, the runners ran, and the defenders tackled and played good pass defense.

And the teams were all well coached. You couldn’t have looked at any one of the eight teams I saw and said, “that’s a poorly-coached team.”

Southeastern seemed to have Nicholls put away, only to have Nicholls stage a ferocious comeback from two TDs down to  finally throw two incomplete Hail Marys on the final two plays.

Northwest, losers of all five of their previous games, played their asses off and upset Incarnate Word.

Running a  flexbone offense, The Citadel combined outstanding special teams play with ball-control offense and an aggressive  defense to beat Furman.

And Duquesne, down two scores in the fourth quarter, scored at the very end on a long pass to send their game into overtime. The Dukes, going on defense first, gave up a touchdown after getting Sacred Heart into a fourth-and-eleven, and then, with  first-and-goal from the three, their QB  fumbled into the end zone. Game over.

Can’t wait till next week. 

The FCS Championship game is May 16.  That means that for the final two teams, it’ll be a  six-week or so “offseason.”

*********** Several years ago, Washington State's Mike Price told a reporter from the Tacoma News-Tribune that all but one of his scholarship players had spent the summer in Pullman working out.  Only one player went home for the summer: punter Alan Cox.

Price  didn’t seem to be bothered by his absence, telling the reporter, "I told him to punt it real high and real far."


***********  The Baylor-Gonzaga NCAA Championship game drew 16.9 million viewers. That was down a bit from the last time there was an NCAA basketball tournament (2019), but - get this - it was almost 10 million viewers more than watched any game of last year’s NBA finals!

Comparative TV ratings from 2016-2019 (Therre was no NCAA tournament in 2020):

2019:
NCAA Championship (Virginia-Texas Tech), CBS, 19.6 million;
NBA Finals (Warriors-Raptors), ABC, 15.1 million.

2018:
NCAA Championship (Villanova-Michigan), Turner, 16 million;
NBA Finals (Warriors-Cavaliers), ABC, 17.6 million.

2017:
NCAA Championship (UNC-Gonzaga), CBS, 23 million;
NBA Finals (Warriors-Cavaliers), ABC, 20.4 million.

2016:
NCAA Championship (Villanova-UNC), Turner, 17.8 million;
NBA Finals (Warriors-Cavaliers), ABC, 20.3 million.

Wow. From 15.1 million in 2019, the NBA declined to 7.4 million last year.

Where did all those fans go?

(Good thing the NBA still has all those fans in China.)

https://www.outkick.com/baylor-gonzaga-obliterates-lebron-led-nba-finals-in-ratings/

*********** On April Fools Day, despite all the Covid-19 security and blah, blah, blah, a guy managed to fake his way into the USC football operations building.

From there, he got into a Jacuzzi with several other players…

Got a meal…

Got a jersey and helmet…

Got dressed for practice and made it onto the field…

Started fielding punts, until finally…

He was detected as an imposter.


https://www.outkick.com/theres-even-more-to-the-usc-football-imposter-story/

*********** Many years ago, I  did color - and occasionally play-by-play - for Portland State telecasts.

The producer was a guy named George Wash, a real pro who for his day job produced the Portland Trail Blazers’ telecasts.

He was a great help to me because he wasn’t at all reluctant to correct me.  He usually found a light and humorous way to make the corrections, but I understand perfectly what he meant.

And one of the first things he said was, “This is television.  You don’t have to tell people what they can see for themselves.”

In watching FCS football telecasts, where we’re dealing with a lower level of broadcast talent, it’s obvious that there are no George Wash’s on hand.

Maybe the play-by-play guys have come up the ladder doing radio broadcasts, but they talk non-stop, telling us things that we can see for ourselves - down and distance and time remaining, or course, but also the classic “he’s  to the forty… the thirty-five… the thirty…”


*********** The figures are in, and it appears that Auburn will wind up spending $73 million to make Gus Malzahn  and assorted assistants  go away.

https://www.outkick.com/public-records-peel-back-how-much-auburn-will-spend-on-coaching-change-its-astronomical/

*********** WOKE TOURNAMENT

Olberman.  Hands down.  in large part because he is white, and in love with the sound of his own voice, and because he genuinely carries himself, speaks to others, and acts as if he is just smarter, better, more qualified, and more entitled to everyone else. He's a pompous a$$

Hill would be my number 2.  Many of the same reasons....

How about both of them just go back to doing what they were actually okay at doing...reading sports scores and showing us highlights from games.  My 2 cents.

Brad Knight
Clarinda, Iowa

*********** Clay Travis answers the question: “Why don’t most organizations do what the Masters did? They stood their ground and said we are going to continue to play. It’s already a non-story. MLB bent the knee and will pay the price for years, if not longer.”

A.  I’ve been arguing this for years.

As someone who has found themselves at the center of media hurricanes quite a few times, I can tell you exactly how it goes: Twitter accounts yell about how awful you are, the bots join in, you trend everywhere and you feel like you’re being torn to shreds online.

And then as quickly as the Twitter mob arrives, it disappears.

Without fail. It’s like the smoke monster in Lost — there and then, poof, gone.

If you can withstand 24 or 48 hours of tempest and turmoil, it just vanishes.

The problem with many companies is they are too aware of what people online say. Far too aware. They have these massive PR departments who aggressively monitor everything said about their brands online, and they feel compelled to respond when a story trends or goes viral because they are afraid they themselves might end up the target and they don’t want to lose their jobs.

The answer almost always is to do less.

Just ignore these Twitter tempests, and they always go away. And you don’t end up alienating anyone because most people have no idea these stories ever existed in the first place. Or you can do what MLB did. Respond to a non-story by creating a massive conflagration. The end result? MLB gained zero fans and alienated their base in the process. It’s a textbook example of what not to do.

*********** The sight of a sideline reporter at a football game wearing a damn mask while interviewing a player or a coach has moved the needle on the aggravation dial from ridiculous to infuriating.

But then I remind myself that ESPN is owned by Disney, as is ABC.
 
*********** Apart from the fact that an apparently troubled former NFL football player named Phillip Adams murdered a South Carolina doctor and five other people - before killing himself - there are so many other disturbing aspects to the story that it’s hard to know where to begin.

First, I suppose, there's the proposition, almost universally promoted  by the news media - and consequently almost universally accepted by a gullible, self-loathing  American public -  that America itself, being systemically racist, is to blame. 

But wait - the murderer was black, and all of his victims were white.  And since blacks can’t be racist, we're told, there goes the racism explanation.  Time  to either drop the story entirely, since it doesn’t support the “systemic racism” narrative - or else find another angle.

Well, turns out there IS  another angle - didn’t I say he played professional football?  Why, there it is!  That means he suffered concussions!  And even if they weren’t full-blown concussions, there still were all those little everyday “mini-concussions” or whatever they call them, that don’t seem to bother a player at the time but, we are told, have a cumulative effect.

That’s it!  Football’s to blame! Send his brain to Boston University so they can confirm it!

Actually, I would interject a third angle: he was said to be a disturbed individual, possibly a predictable end result of our elevation of professional sports to the pinnacle of human achievement. A career in sports, rather than being seen as a transitory thing - a mere means to a happy and successful life - has come to be seen as an end in itself.

That can often mean that when that “career”  comes to an end, as it inevitably must, the athlete is left with no measure  of his worth - not as a man, a father, a husband, a worker, a student. For most of his life, he has been an athlete first and foremost and when his talents are no longer in demand, he realizes that in the area that has dominated his life, the way by which he self-indentifies, he no longer has any worth at all.

The murderer, we learn, earned $3,600,000 in his six-year, professional football career.  That  ain’t bad by anybody’s standards.  Stop and think about that for a minute - if a teacher were to start out making $100K a year (unlikely), and continue  to make that much over  a 30-year career, he or she would still be $600K short of $3,600,000. Yet, we are told, he was having  financial difficulties, including failure to pay child support. But despite his problems, he refused his agent’s offers to find him a good job.  Could that indicate that after experiencing the adulation that comes with being a professional athlete, a real “job” was beneath him?

Just my theory, you understand, but when all you know is football, and you’ve been making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year (even at the NFL’s minimum-pay level), to play football, it’s hard to accept  that it’s  now time, as Chuck Noll used to say, to get on with your "life’s work.”  How, exactly, do you do that, when from the time you were  ten or twelve years old, football has been your life’s work?

This, the washing up on the beaches of life of so many young men who pinned all their hopes on athletic success, is to me a far greater societal problem than concussion-caused dementia.

We persist with the glorification of the athlete and the devaluing of academics and real vocations, while promoting  the deceit that “you can be  anything  you want to be.”

Although we ignore the problem of what happens to academically unprepared young men when their irrational dreams come up against reality, at least we’re conscious of the problem of dementia.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/09/sports/football/phillip-adams-shooting-nfl-player.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/09/us/south-carolina-mass-shooting-phillip-adams-brain/index.html


*********** Perry Smith - Major General Perry Smith, USAF (Retired)  - has been a combat fighter pilot, Commandant of the National War College and the top Air Force planner.  He is author of several books and a renowned speaker, and for several years served as the chief military adviser to CNN.  He was also Don Holleder’s roommate at West Point, and was the best man in his wedding.  He was an “Army brat,” and because his father was stationed in Hawaii in 1941, as a seven-year-old, he witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  In his autobiography, “Listen Up!” he tells about being evacuated from the islands along with his mother, sister and grandmother…

Ahead of us was a trip across the North Pacific from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco. There were enough life preservers for everyone, but not enough lifeboats on the ship for 2000 passengers. Hence, my grandmother, who was in her sixties, was not assigned a seat on a lifeboat. She was issued a life preserver. If we had been sunk by a Japanese submarine, she would have gone down with the ship. In the cold water of the North Pacific, she would have perished quickly.

As I recall the rules, no one over the age of 40 was assigned a seat on a lifeboat. The policy was clear - older people did not count as much as children and young adults. At age 7 I learned about the rationing of life.

The lesson was not clear to me at the time. However when I reached adulthood I realized that there are some situations where there are no good answers, yet decisions need to be made. For instance, a combat medic who is dealing with many wounded soldiers sometimes has to leave someone who is unlikely to survive in order to treat others who, if given rapid treatment, have a better chance of survival.

*********** You couldn’t make this sh— up if you tried.

In Portland, whose schools  don’t let the fact that the city is disintegrating interfere with their mission to erase even the merest suggestion of  racism, a tree is not an acceptable mascot.

A  city high school, which for many, many years had been known as Woodrow Wilson High School, is now known as Ida B. Wells High School, Ida B. Wells being one of five “trailblazing black women” whose names had been submitted as finalists.

Evidently the school’s nickname - The Trojans - had to go, too.

So a mascot committee was empaneled, and its recommendation to the school board was “Evergreens.”

BIG ASS EVERGREENSSee, Evergreens are gender-neutral.  They’re not intimidating.

“Evergreens,” a representative of the committee told the school board,  “are characterized by the life-giving force of their foliage, the strength of their massive trunk, and the depth of their roots—in an individual tree and as a forest of trees. They provide shelter and sustenance. They have histories that preclude us and will continue in perpetuity after we are no more.”

And, I might add,  they’re not racist, either.

Oh, no? That’s what you think. One Michelle DePass, the director of the school board,  raised an objection to “Evergreen” because, she said, it  “could conjure up reminders of hanging people with ropes from branches.”

Now, maybe Ms. DePass - the only black member of the school board - hasn’t looked closely enough at the sort of evergreen trees that grow by the millions in the Pacific Northwest.  But lemme tell you - not that I’d ever be looking to hang someone, but if anyone else were, considering what kind of a climb it is just to get up to the first limb of one of these big ass evergreens, it’s the last type of tree they’d ever pick.

The board decided to postpone its decision.



***********  I consider Charlie Wilson to be my staff expert on option football, and a few days ago he sent me a link to highlights of the Hall of Fame Bowl at the end of the 1988 season between #17 Syracuse and  #16  LSU.

The Orangemen, coached by Dick MacPherson, defeated the Tigers 23-10.

They  finished the season 10-2, losing only to Ohio State and West Virginia, and  with Daryl “Moose” Johnston at fullback in their “I” formation, they ran their “freeze option” to near-perfection.

In fact, I told Charlie, if they were still running that offense I would buy season tickets and I’d fly to all their games, home and away.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tdkrn649n-8&t=52s


*********** Jim Young remembers...    

Starting my sophomore year I received a great honor from Coach Smith.  In those days a senior always called the plays in the game but he selected me to be the signal caller.  In my day coaches did not call the plays from the sidelines but a player on the field made all the calls.  For three years I made all the decisions and called all the plays on the field for both the offense and the defense.  This responsibility was of great help in preparing me to be a future coach.

    One call I made in the Bellefontaine game I shall never forget.  We were behind 13-0 in the fourth quarter with what I thought was a third and two on our own 32-yard line.  I called for a fullback buck into the line with me carrying the ball.  When I got to the line of scrimmage and looked at the game clock, I saw it was fourth and two.  I had no choice; I had to make a first down.  I hit into the line with my head down and finally ran over the safety 16 yards down the field.  In the fourth quarter, I scored two touchdowns and we won 14-13.  I passed out in the locker room from exhaustion after the game and had to go to the hospital, but I was soon all right.

     Van Wert changed basketball coaches in 1950 and I was not too happy at first.  Mike Kish had been our coach and I knew that I would be a starter as a sophomore; with a new coach I was not so sure.  Jim Reeder, the new coach, did not know me like Mike did and I thought I would have to prove myself all over again.  I did start that year but our best year in basketball was the next year when we went to the regional in Toledo.  Early that season I convinced Coach Reeder to give a little 140 lb. kid a chance.  Danny Murphy was his name and hustling basketball was his game.

     Danny and I would full court press the whole game as we both were in great shape.  We also always had a lot of fouls called on both of us.  One night against Lima South, Danny fouled out in the first quarter and I had to press by myself the whole game. Once again I passed out after the game over a water cooler and had to go to the hospital.

     The greatest competitor I ever played with was Danny Murphy and we became great friends.  The intensity level was quite high when we played basketball together.  Today we are both old men that may never see each other again, however, my respect for him as a competitor has no bounds.  I can still feel in my gut the intensity that we used to generate together when we were teammates.

     Whenever we played a pick-up game we always wanted to be on the same side.  We would take on six or eight other guys and feel we could beat them by ourselves.  I called him Marquis Haynes and he called me Goose Tatum.  Marquis and Goose were the stars of the Harlem Globetrotters at that time.  I hung out at his house, Murphy’s Grocery, and he always had the pre-game meal of grilled cheese at my house.

     Football my junior year was a little down year for us as we lost the championship to Celina 7-9 when they ran a punt back for a touchdown at the very end of a rain soaked game.  Jim Bagley got hit in the head early in one game and could not remember his plays.  In those days we called it “Getting your bell rung”; today it would probably be called a severe concussion.  He stayed in the game and I told him what to do on each play.  He played the whole game and the next morning did not recall anything about the game the night before.

     My senior year was our year in football.  We went undefeated and finished 9th in the state, which was the highest that Van Wert had ever finished.  I believe that I contributed some good leadership that year.  The Van Wert fair always went on during our pre-season practices and one Saturday morning only 17 players showed up for practice.  I went to each player who missed practice and got them to agree to not miss any more practices.  One game Lloyd Lee, a tackle from the Marsh, got hurt and was lying on the ground.  I bent over him and told him he was faking.  He tried to slug me but he got up and played the rest of the game.  He later became a preacher.  My philosophy was I did not care if they liked me, as long as they respected me.

     Three games stand out in the season of 1952.  First is the Bellefontaine game because I got a hip pointer the day before the game and could hardly run without great pain.  I played the whole game and scored the only touchdown of the game.  The second game was the biggest game ever played in Van Wert.  St. Mary’s had a great team with Galen Cisco as their leader and fullback.  We later played together at Ohio State and he went on to pitch in the major leagues for many years.

     Everyone expected St. Mary’s to win as they were just rolling over all opponents.  A huge crowd lined the field; the largest crowd in Van Wert history.  The week of that game I decided that if we got close to the goal line, I was going to score.  Every night after practice, I got on the twenty-yard line and then ran and dove into the end zone.  I practiced that dive 20 times after every practice that week.  While it may not seem true, in the first five minutes of the game I scored 2 TD's diving into the end zone.  Willie Hernandez also had a great game with several long runs and we won 33-7.

     In the 1940’s Army had two straight national championships and dominated college football.  A great pair of running backs, Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis, who the press called Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside, led the Cadets.  Around Northwestern Ohio they started calling Willie and I, Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside.  We considered that quite an honor.

    The last and most important game of 1952 was the Lima Central game.  We had not beaten Lima Central in three years and needed to beat them for an undefeated season.  The game was played at Lima Stadium and was scoreless in the first half.  I made up my mind that we were going to score the start of the third quarter.  I called my own plays and carried the ball for 13 straight plays until we were on the 4-yard line.  I then called “Buck-Lateral 26”.  On this play I took the ball and started into the line and then gave the ball to Jim Jordan who then pitched the ball to Willie around the end.  It worked perfectly as everyone tackled me and Willie went across the goal line for our first score.  We ultimately won the game 26-0.

     It was a great thrill to play on our undefeated football team.  Coach Smith was selected to coach in the High School All-Star game at Canton, Willie was selected to play in that game and I was selected as an alternate but did not get to play in the game.  We seniors gave Coach Smith a gold plated card for his billfold after the season.  He always said that the 1952 team was his greatest team. This is quite a statement because from 1954 until 1959 Van Wert never lost a game.   After his death, his wife gave me that gold plated card and said he always wanted me to have it.  I felt honored that he would select me out of the hundreds he had coached over the years.

     During my career I scored 49 touchdowns but the one thing I am most proud of is never missing a game or a quarter for four years.  I did receive some injuries but I always played.  My sophomore year I had a severely bruised shin bone and the bone started to soften.  I was not allowed to practice much, but with a special fiberglass pad I could play in the games.  This injury did get me out of Latin class and also resulted in a D in Latin.  Everyday for six weeks I had to go to the doctor’s office for treatment and I chose to go during Latin class.  This was both a good decision and a bad decision on my part.

     In my junior year I got a hip-pointer, which gave me great pain for about a week.  My senior year I received my worst injury.  I separated my shoulder in the second game of the year.   I had always done the passing and punting for our team but had to give up my passing responsibility, as I could not lift my arm up at all.  I wore an air pad on my shoulder and did not miss any games.  It took almost a year before I had good movement in my shoulder again. 

     All of this bragging on how tough I was simply brings me to the one record that I think is unusual and that I am proud of – 144 straight quarters of high school football in 36 straight games.


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

Watching College Game Day as often as I do there are times when you can truly see David Pollock's competitive intensity shine through those sharp suits and ties he wears.

Little League softball must have done something after that 2000 debacle because I haven't heard much about it since.  

We are witnessing the rebirth of Affirmative Action disguised as "woke" hiring practices.  Qualifications for the job, work ethic, cooperation, and character should be what truly matters.

It is a travesty that Tom Flores and Jim Plunkett have not yet been inducted into the Pro Football HOF.  Tom Flores was born and raised in Sanger, CA, a small town just southeast of Fresno where I grew up, so I have a soft spot in my heart for his induction.  

I think I'm going to the app store to grab one of those Pro Mouse apps regardless of that exorbitant price!  Sounds like just what I need.

While I agree 100% with Jake Gaither's statement, it is likely in today's day and age if a coach used it in a parent meeting he would find  himself in a lawsuit.

Jim Young must have been one tough dude as a freshman playing high school varsity ball in northwest Ohio.  Small towns in that part of the state like Van Wert, Coldwater, Minster, and St. Henry's are throwbacks to an era when just about every boy in town dreamed of playing for the high school team, and those teams were, and still are, some of the toughest and more successful in the state.  Heck, Lima is considered a Big Town!  When I was coaching in Toledo I took my guys (all 32 of them) to a historic little town on the Ohio/Indiana border (Fort Recovery).  When they came out of the locker room for warm-ups we saw this horde of big dudes dressed in purple, and there were about 60 of them!  Unafraid my boys gave them a good fight, but their numbers and size eventually wore us down.  I thought they were one of the better teams we played that year and they finished third in their league!  Glad we didn't choose to play number one and two!!  Oh yeah, BTW, Ft. Recovery's mascot is still the "Indians."

I'll be pulling for St. Cloud State vs. UMass in the Frozen Four Championship on Monday.  They're big, they're physical, and they can skate!  Interestingly enough they play more of an aggressive, physical eastern game, while UMass tends to play more like western teams with slick stick handling and speed.  Should be a good one.

Enjoy your weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

(Absolutely shocking Frozen Four final game score - UMass wins its first ever  title by 5-0!)


*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  A native of Columbus, Ohio, Archie Griffin was one of eight children - seven boys and one girl - all of whom went on to college and graduated.  In his senior year of high school he rushed for 1787 yards and 29 touchdowns, and  in the city championship gamete carried 31 times for 267 yards.

He attended Ohio State, and in 1972 - the first year freshmen were eligible to play varsity football - he earned a starting position in the backfield.  Playing in Woody Hayes’ full-house T formation, he gained 867 yards on 159 carries.

Recognizing the talent that he had, Hayes switched to the I-formation before his sophomore season, and  he confirmed the coach’s wisdom by running for 1577, 1695 and 1450 yards in each of his remaining three seasons.

In his college career, he rushed for 5176 yards. H
e rushed for 100 yards or more in 34 games, including a string of 31 straight - still an NCAA record.

During his four years at Ohio State, the Buckeyes went 40-5-1, won four Big Ten championships, and went to four straight Rose Bowls, making him the first player ever to start in four Rose Bowls.

He won the Heisman Trophy following his junior season, and when he won it again following his senior year he became the first - and so far only - player ever to be so honored.

He was the first Buckeye to have his number retired.

He was a first-round draft choice of the Cincinnati Bengals, and enjoyed a good, if not spectacular, seven-year NFL career. He rushed for 2808 yards and seven touchdowns, and caught 192 passes  for 1607 yards and six touchdowns.

After his retirement from football he joined the Ohio State athletic department, rising to the position of associate Athletic Director, and then spent 11 years as CEO of the Ohio State Alumni Association.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Football Foundation.

Woody Hayes called Archie Griffin "the greatest football player I've ever coached"


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING ARCHIE GRIFFIN

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
RALPH BALDUCCI - PORTLAND, OREGON
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
JOHN GREENBURG - DUNEDIN, FLORIDA
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY


*********** FROM AN ARCHIE GRIFFIN INTERVIEW IN THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION'S NEWSLETTER:

It was a good situation because Woody Hayes made it that way. He always used to quote Duke Ellington who said: 'You can't play good music on the piano if you don't play really well with the black and white keys.' And he said, it's the same with football, and our Black and White players are going to have to play extremely well together if we're going to have a successful team. I never forgot it.

***********
FROM THE SAME  ARCHIE GRIFFIN INTERVIEW IN THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION'S NEWSLETTER:

LET THIS BE A LESSON TO YOUR KIDS…

In all honesty, it was as much a surprise to me that I got to play as it was to anybody. When I was a freshman, we were fifth teamers. So, we practiced with freshmen and we were on the scout squad, the whole works. That year, our first game was against Iowa, and we were beating Iowa pretty bad in the fourth quarter. The coaches put in a few freshmen, and I was one of them. I got in the game. With about two minutes to go, my play was called. I got a pitch out, and I fumbled. Coach Hayes took me out of the game after that. I thought that was it, and I would never get a chance to play again that year.
 
We had a bye week the next week before playing North Carolina, the second game of the season. During those two weeks between games, I was again on the scout squad, running the opposing team plays and never expecting to get in the game. And the only reason we dressed for the game was because Coach Hayes allowed everybody to dress. He believed if you practiced for Ohio State you should be identified in an Ohio State uniform. I was happy about that because it showed at least I was part of the team. As a matter of fact, we had three No. 45's on the team at that time.
 
So, in the second game, when he called me off the bench in the middle of the first quarter to go into the game, I was so shocked that I ran onto the field and forgot to take my helmet – I couldn't believe it. When I got my helmet and went into the game, a lot of really good things started happening. And when I came out of the game in the fourth quarter, the fans at Ohio State Stadium stood up and gave me a standing ovation because I had rushed for 239 yards, which at that time was the Ohio State rushing record. So, you can just imagine how I felt, not believing I was going to get into the game and then coming out with 239 yards rushing. That was the springboard to my career. That was my big break because after that point, that's when I started the rest of the games in my career at Ohio State. I will always remember the congratulations and support I received from all my teammates.

*********** Coach I either read or saw an interview where he said the reason his NFL numbers weren't great was because he wasn't getting the 20 plus carries per game  and he had to be more proficient in a pro passing game. 

Tom Davis
San Carlos, California

*********** QUIZ: He was only 25 when he was named to succeed a legend - Frank Leahy - as head coach of Notre Dame.

And he was only 30 when he became their ex-coach.

A native of Milwaukee, he played halfback under Leahy from 1945 through 1948, and immediately  got a job as head coach at Mount Carmel High School in Chicago.  Playing in the tough Chicago Catholic League, his teams won three  city championships,  and in 1953 he was named Notre Dame’s freshmen coach.

When Leahy left, the Irish were coming off a 9-1 season, and although Leahy  had health issues,  there had been some speculation that he might take a one-year sabbatical.  The circumstances of his leaving remain a mystery, but in any case our guy was the favorite of the young university president, Father Theodore Hesburgh, and despite his youth and inexperience he was given the head job.

His first season, 1954,  was successful - 9-1, losing only to a good Purdue team with Len Dawson at QB.  The Irish shut out Texas, Pitt and Navy. They ended a three-game losing streak against Michigan State, beat USC, and ended the season on an eight-game winning streak.

HIs second season was a respectable 8-2, with losses to Michigan State and USC.

But then came 1956 and Notre Dame’s first losing season since 1933.  (1933 was bad  enough - 3-5-1. But 1956  was really, really bad - 2-8, with wins over only Indiana and North Carolina.)

Michigan State beat them, 47-14, and Iowa beat them, 48-8. Oklahoma beat them, 40-0,  on the nationally televised Game of the Week.

The Irish were outscored, 130 to 289.

And yet somehow, out of  this mess, quarterback Paul Hornung emerged as the winner of that year’s Heisman Trophy - the only winner ever to come from a losing team.

The 1957 Irish team was a definite  improvement, a 7-3 season whose biggest win was a 7-0 upset of Oklahoma - in Norman - bringing to an end the Sooners’ 47-game winning streak.

The Irish had high hopes for 1958. They had talent in Nick Pietrosante and Monty Stickles and a sophomore with a big arm named George Izo. But losses to Army, Purdue, Pitt and Iowa left them with a disappointing 6-4 record, and he and his staff were fired, just days before Christmas.

He was 30 years old, the father of four. He would go into business and never coach again.

After him, Notre Dame would suffer  a disastrous five-year stretch  in which it would not have a winning season, going 5-5, 2-8, 5-5 and 5-5 under Joe Kuharich, then 2-8 under interim coach Hugh Devore, before deliverance finally came in the form of a “French-Armenian-Presbyterian” named Ara Parseghian.


UPSIODE DOWN FLAGFRIDAY, APRIL 9, 2021 - “Liberalism is like a giant skyscraper that keeps adding higher floors without ever reinforcing the foundation.”  Eddie Campbell, the Sage of Land o’ Lakes, Florida

***********  Today's quote (above) is an original, used here in public for the first time ever, and typical of the wit and wisdom of Eddie Campbell, a longtime coaching friend.

***********  David Pollack, whom many of you know as a member of the crew on Saturday morning’s ESPN College GameDay, was an outstanding defensive end at Georgia, and he’s due to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December.

From the National Football Foundation’s newsletter came this story of his attitude:

His defensive end coach, Jon Fabris, recalled a time very early in Pollack’s career when a couple of older players told him to take it down a notch - his intensity and relentlessness was showing them up.

“I’ll never forget it as long as I live,” said Fabris. “He looked them right in the eye and said: ‘We’ll that’s your problem because that’s how I am going to play.’

“I had a big smile on my face. He was there to win and did not care if the older guys liked him or not.”

*********** The Spencerport, New York Rangers are now 4-0 after Wednesday night's 35-6 win over previously unbeaten Brockport. The playoff field this year is half what it normally  is, but with two very winnable games remaining, Spencerport has an excellent shot.

WOKE COMPETITION
ABOVE: A hilarious competition on Outkick to determine the Most Woke sports reporter/commentator.  (Makes you realize what a sad state we're in -  so many choices and you could only pick one!  Jemele Hill would definitely have been my pick. Obnoxious in so many ways. But on the other hand, there’s that sh--head Keith Olberman… and Mark Jones… and Super Feminist Christine Brennan.  (Love the names of the regions.)

*********** A true  sports story...

By Amy Franklin, The Associated Press

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Little League Softball World Series is in an uproar this year because boys who joined a girls team are playing in what has traditionally been an all-girls event.

Parents, teams and tournament officials say the five 16-year-old boys from Arizona have an unfair physical advantage, and may even pose a danger to girls. Some teams are threatening not to play the team, and the tournament director himself is protesting.

"It looks like they stacked the deck. Those boys are huge," said Val Maslauskas, a parent from a Massachusetts team whose players wore mouth guards to protect themselves in a 10-2 loss to the Arizona team Wednesday. "We're trying for equality for these girls and this is not equal."

The crowd erupted in cheers when one of the boys was thrown out at second base and booed at a collision between an Arizona boy and a Westfield girl at first base.
 

"They made catches in the outfield that no girl could have gotten to," said Kelly Popko, who played third base for Westfield, Mass.

Little League Baseball Inc. made its softball and hardball divisions nongender specific in 1974 after losing lawsuits filed by boys demanding to play softball, spokesman Lance Van Auken said Wednesday.

The first girl played in the Little League Baseball World Series in 1984. The Arizona boys are the first to play in the softball series.

"Little League's preference is that the softball division be for girls," Van Auken said. "It would be nice if there were a legal solution to it."

Richie Reyes and four other boys signed up for the girls team after their usual summer baseball league disbanded. He doesn't see what the fuss is about and says the girls' team needed more players.

"We were all brought up to believe that an athlete's an athlete," he said.

Four teams have indicated they won't play the team. A Philippines team had originally threatened not to play, but players changed their minds and wound up beating the boys-and-girls squad 3-2 Tuesday night.

Describing an "undercurrent of unhappiness," tournament director Bud Vanderberg said he will take the issue to the national Little League board of directors next week.

"I will do what's in my power to change this to make sure it's all girls playing in this tournament," he said.

That was not an April Fool’s story.  It was from August, 2000.  The girls (and boys) from Eloy, Arizona wound up winning. I’ll bet the town was really proud of them.  (The last two opponents forfeited.)

*********** Good morning Coach.

I have a question for you. What is your alignment rules for your WBs? What is the reasoning?

I noticed ours are tucking behind the outside tackle too much (unbalanced line with SE). I normally prefer something like 1 yard x 1 yard so they have room for blocking angles and can get into their pass routes easier. I think it can make the OLB / DE /  Force player uncomfortable.

Anything else I should consider?

Thanks

Coach,

Although we work with zero to 6-inch line splits along the line, I want my wings  to line up “one full man” (basically a yard) outside the tight end.

There are three main reasons:

1. It allows the wing to release quickly into the flat (we have our wings’ shoulders parallel to the LOS - I see no significant advantage to be gained by turning them in)

2. It allows room for an outside release by the tight end; without that split, it’s possible to jam the wingback  and in doing so, also jam the tight end.

3. It gives our wings a clearer path to the inside linebacker, without hitting someone on the line.

This has been my rule since 2008.  I haven’t found any negatives - no problems with regard to motion, counters, etc.

I don’t worry so much about their depth, so long as they are legally in the backfield.  As a rule of thumb I tell them that their down hand should be even  with the tight end’s heel.


*********** I’m not a big “diversity is our strength” type of guy. I think that unity is our strength, and I think that unity depends on being able to believe that the job should go to the best man - or woman.

I think you could say that I’m a results-oriented person. This can mean that I’m sometimes less patient with others than I ought to be, and sometimes a bit more direct in my dealings.

And it definitely means I’m very picky about the kind of people I want working for me, which means I couldn’t afford to pass up a good man simply because because we’re different racially.

What’s important to me is that he’s a football guy and that he meets the criteria that I outlined in Tuesday’s Zoom clinic.  If every person on the staff winds up being black, or Hispanic, or Asian, that’s okay - they’ve convinced me that they’re the kind of guys we can win with.

By the same token, though,  I would never go out and look specifically for a black guy or an Asian guy or a Hispanic guy to fill a position.  That could mean intentionally passing over somebody white who might have been a better assistant, but worse, it could  mean that I wasn’t being true to my own players and my responsibility to them to hire the best possible assistants.

It’s important for me to believe in my heart that I hired the best person, and I think it’s important to that person to be able to believe me when I tell him that.

In fact, although I’ve been using the masculine form of pronouns here, it’s not essential that “he” be a man. Many years ago I worked with a female coach. On the football  field.

Her name was Nancy Fowlkes, and she was coaching the running backs at Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach.

She was fresh off an amazing career as the school’s  field hockey coach - in 43 years, she had a record of 394-55-20 with 13 Virginia State Championships to her credit (seven in a row at one point) and was a  five time state Field Hockey Coach of the Year.

In other words, she was a coach, and I give a lot of credit to the head coach, Steve Allosso, for recognizing this.  She may have had some football to learn -although  that didn’t seem to be the case - but she had the complete respect of the players, and you could tell very quickly that she was a great teacher. 

Morale: take a look at my qualifications for assistants, and if someone meets them - hire him.  Or her.

https://longwoodlancers.com/sports/2017/12/6/hall-of-fame-nancy-fowlkes-field-hockey-hof-class-of-2018.aspx

*********** There are plenty of guys getting into the Pro Football Hall of Fame whose names make me  go “Really?” 

And then I think of all the guys I’ve written about over the years who ought to be in the the Hall but aren’t, and never will, because by now they’ve vanished from voters’ memories.

Which brings up two guys - Tom Flores and Jim Plunkett - who aren’t in the Hall, and ought to be. And they’re running out of time.

They’re both of Mexican-American heritage, and a recent article in The Athletic praises them for the inspiration they provided to young Hispanic guys, many of whom are now coaches themselves.

I think that’s great, and I appreciate the fact that they served as inspirations to guys who are proving to be pretty good coaches themselves.

What those two guys accomplished in their careers,  irrespective of their heritage, is enough  to qualify them.

Here’s the start of the article. I can’t, in fairness, give you any more…

By Chris Vannini Jan 29, 2021

Whenever Tom Flores showed up on TV, everything in the Aranda household stopped. It didn’t matter what they were doing. The family would gather around the screen.

Dave Aranda grew up in Southern California in the early 1980s. At that time, in that place, Flores was the king, as head coach of the Oakland and then Los Angeles Raiders, winning Super Bowls in 1980 and 1983. It wasn’t just that Flores coached a winner. He’s Mexican-American. So was Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett. Just like the Arandas.

Dave Aranda, whose parents came from Mexico, is now the head coach at Baylor. He vividly remembers that time as a child and what family members would say about Flores when he popped up on the TV.

“There’s one of us. That’s us, right there.”

Like Aranda, Miguel Reveles is also a second-generation Mexican-American from Southern California. He didn’t follow the NFL much as a kid, but his brother was a Raiders fan. Now the offensive coordinator at Division III La Verne, Reveles remembers hearing the same thing about Flores growing up.

“My brother would talk about him, ‘He’s like us,’” Reveles says. “Him explaining that to me pushed me as I went into coaching.”

At Boise State head coach Andy Avalos’ introductory news conference earlier this month, a reporter told the coach a Hispanic fan had said they already bought season tickets because their 9-year-old son was excited to see a coach who looked like them. Avalos, whose grandparents came from Mexico, needed a few seconds to collect himself.

“That’s why we do what we do,” Avalos replied. “You talk about pressure and expectations, we focus on doing right so we can provide an example to young people like that.”

Flores, now 83 years old, is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with a final announcement expected any day. Avalos’ hiring at Boise State made him the fourth Hispanic coach to land an FBS head coaching job in the past two years, and the sixth in the past four — along with Aranda, UNLV’s Marcus Arroyo, New Mexico’s Danny Gonzales, Miami’s Manny Diaz and Oregon’s Mario Cristobal. In the NFL, Ron Rivera took the Washington Football Team to the NFL playoffs this year and Brian Flores won 10 games with the Miami Dolphins.

At a time when a spotlight is on the lack of minority head coaching hires in football — just two in the NFL and two in college in this cycle —  Hispanic coaches hope their recent success landing jobs is a sign of things to come. They hope it can lead to not only more opportunities for other Hispanic coaches but also that the high-profile representation can persuade and inspire more Hispanic youth to get into football and get into coaching, just as people like Flores did for them.

It’s something Flores didn’t have when he came up in the sport. He was the first Hispanic starting quarterback in pro football history. But even he didn’t realize his own impact until after he won those Super Bowls as a coach. His success created immense pride in Hispanic communities.

“I just didn’t think about it until I was traveling the country later, and Hispanics would come out of their way to see me,” Flores says. “One person said, ‘When you won your Super Bowl, my dad cried.’ Why? ‘Because he was so happy and proud.’ I didn’t even know this guy. He said his father sat in front of the TV and cried. I thought, wow, this is bigger than I ever thought.

“I never thought about it when I was throwing a football as a kid with no shoes.”

Like Flores, a number of Hispanic coaches in college football are the sons or grandsons of immigrants. Flores worked in fields growing up. Reveles’ parents came from Mexico, and English was his second language when he was a kid. Same with Cristobal, the Oregon coach, whose parents left Cuba separately and met in Miami. Cristobal remembers his parents working two jobs and attending night school to attain citizenship and learn English. His father, Luis, died in the mid-1990s, and his mom still lives in his childhood home in Miami. They came from nothing, as he says, and they wouldn’t let him make excuses. Cristobal started his coaching career as a graduate assistant making no money as his parents dealt with health issues.

“They were always working hard, learning the language, doing everything humanly possible to educate my brother and I on the importance of working hard, doing things right, making zero excuses and finding a way,” Cristobal says.

At Oregon, Cristobal hired one of the most diverse staffs in the country. Two years ago, Arroyo was his offensive coordinator and Avalos was his defensive coordinator. Offensive line coach Alex Mirabal is Cuban-American as well, and the staff included four Black assistants and a Polynesian assistant. The Ducks athletic department received the NCAA/Minority Opportunities Athletic Association’s 2020 Award for Diversity and Inclusion.

One person who has worked with Cristobal said he believes a number of Hispanic coaches got their shot because Cristobal gave them a chance at FIU or Oregon when others wouldn’t. It took another Hispanic coach to believe in them.

*********** If you use a Mac  (I’ve been an Apple user going all the way back to  the Apple IIc) and you ever have to make any kind of presentation using your computer,  you ought to know about  the Pro Mouse app, available through the app store.

It enhances your regular mouse (or trackpad), turning that stupid arrow cursor into a circle, in the color and size of your choice - really great for highlighting. 

But in addition, it allows you to magnify the area  you’re highlighting,  to “spotlight” it by darkening the rest of the screen surrounding it, or to draw on the screen. 

It’s at least as good as what Hudl allows you to do, and you can use it on a lot more than Hudl: on any browser, and with other apps, including QuickTime, VLC, JustPlay, Power Point or Keynote.  I’ve found that it works really nicely when I’m screen sharing in Zoom.

Don’t let the price scare you. (It’s $3.99.)

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pro-mouse/id1505869474?ls=1

*********** ”You see the boy that Mama and Papa never see. You see him with his soul stripped naked. You can tell Mama and Papa whether their boy is a coward or whether he is a courageous man. You can tell them whether their boy is selfish or whether he is tolerant and understanding. You can tell them whether their son is dependable and reliable or whether he isn't. You can tell them whether their son obeys the rules or whether he is a violator of the law. You know that kid as nobody else knows him, because you have seen him with his soul stripped naked.”

Jake Gaither, Legendary Florida A & M coach, on what the coach sees!



*********** Jim Young remembers…

You could say my coaching career started in eighth-grade basketball.  Our coach’s wife was having a baby and he put me in charge of the game, so he could be with her at the hospital. After the season we all received a trophy, which I consider my most cherished award along with my Hall of Fame ring.  Awards were not given out very much in my day, certainly not like they are today.  For example, I did not receive another trophy until four years later.  I believe my dad had something to do with giving the money so that we all could get our basketball trophies.

     Football started for me in the sixth grade and I had a rather tough introduction to the game.  I told my dad that I needed a pair of football shoes but he thought that he could make me a pair and save a little money.  He took an old pair of my shoes and drilled holes in the bottom.  He then put cleats on the shoes and screwed the posts through the holes in the bottom of the shoes.  I wore those shoes exactly one day, the bottoms of my feet were all cut up and bleeding.  The next day I got a pair of real football shoes.  Putting on a football suit was a new experience for me and I did not know which way some of the pads went on at first.  Our helmets were made of leather and of course we had no face bars in those days.

     Practice, practice, practice is all we did in the sixth grade.  We did play pick-up games in the stadium on Saturday mornings.  Playing Fourth Ward one Saturday, I was able to run over most of the kids anytime I wanted to.  The only player that could tackle me was Dick Smith.  Dick and I later played together in high school and double dated a lot.

     We did get to play a few games in the seventh grade and by the time I was in eighth grade I was outstanding.  It may sound like bragging but no one could stop me, I could run over anyone my age.  That year we played Coldwater twice and the first game I scored almost every time I carried the ball.  The Coldwater coach said that they would cancel the second game if I played.  I did not get to play in the first half but my coach said that I could play in the second half if I did not score a touchdown.  Coldwater kicked off to us and I ran the ball back through everyone and then downed the ball on the 10 yard-line.  My coach was really mad at me, but he asked for it.

     In order for me to be able to see better, I got contact lenses.  They were very new at that time and I had to go to a doctor in Ft. Wayne weekly for about six weeks to get them fitted correctly.  The lenses covered the whole eye and you put them in and took them out with a suction cup.  Theses contacts really helped me see, particularly at night.  One time in high school I put both contacts in the same eye before a game and could not understand why everything was so blurred. 

     My introduction to high school football started in the eighth grade, as I was asked to practice with the high school team.  Gil Smith was our great high school football coach; respected by all, feared by some, and winner of many championships at Van Wert.  My introduction to him happened one noon lunch period when I was coming back to school with a bag of donuts.  I looked up ahead and saw Coach Smith walking and so I slowed down so that he would not see the donuts and me.  Sweets in those days were called “Pogey Bait” and were taboo with most coaches, the same as going with a girl was taboo.  To my chagrin, he stopped and waited for me to catch up to him, so I had no choice but to talk with him.  He said nothing about my donuts but asked me if I would like to start practicing with the high school team.

     Eighth graders just did not practice with the high school team; I was really excited but also very scared.  I might have been excited but the varsity players were not too happy to have a lowly eighth grader practicing with them and they gave me a tough time.  Our practice field was 10 blocks from the high school and you had to walk to get to it after school.  The upperclassmen rode their bikes and made me run all the way.  They would take my school clothes and put them in the locker room toilet, sometimes in practice they handed the ball to me the wrong way, so I would fumble it.  It was tough but something that also made me very proud to be with the high school team and it certainly made me a tougher person.  Coach Smith was getting me ready for four years of high school football and I believe that that practicing really helped me be ready to start as a freshman the next year.

     1949 was my freshman year in high school and we had a championship football team, only losing one game.  I started on defense at linebacker and played some on offense at fullback. I was able to score four touchdowns that year.

     The first few days of practice were a little different, as they had no helmet that would fit my big head.  Coach Smith said that when he played they did not use any helmets so I should just go ahead and practice until a new helmet arrived.  I practiced three days without a helmet; don’t think you could get away with that today.  There were no water breaks in those days and only “Candy Asses” would drink water during practice, however, we did get young kids to sometimes smuggle water to us on occasion.

     My first varsity experience was at Lima Stadium in the pre-season Jamboree, four teams played a rotating practice game against each other.  I was scared to death as I ran down on the opening kick-off.  I hit the ball carrier or he ran into me, but either way after that hit I was no longer scared.

     Our opening game was against Bryan.  I played defense in this game but got to play offense in the fourth quarter.  Bill Fellers, who I looked up to, called the plays and he let me carry the ball.  The first play I got 13 yards and then I scored my first touchdown from one yard out, what a thrill!  Here is an English class paper I wrote about that occasion:

THRILLS, THRILLS, THRILLS

           Most people have a thrill they think is the greatest they have ever 
     experienced.  

          It may be anything from being President of the United States to being run 
     over by a car.  I want to tell you about my thrill.

         To start with the beginning we must go back to 1949.  I was a freshman and
     just new in high school.  I went out for football and as all freshmen do, I got my
     share of initiation from the seniors.  I didn’t think I had a chance of playing.  As 
     it turned out, in our first practice game, I played a little defense but no offense.

         As always we played our first game with Bryan.  The game was here.  Since
    the game starts at 8 o’clock we were supposed to be dressed by 7 o’clock.  I got a 
    little nervous and was at the school by 4:30 ready to go.  Just a little sick on my 
    stomach, too!

         Now to get to my thrill.  When the game started I was in there on defense.  Was
    I scared!  After a while I got a good hard tackle and got over that.  Near about the
    fourth quarter coach decided to put me in on offense.  He sent Bill Fellers, my  
   idol, in with me.  As he was the only one of the regulars who talked to me, he 
   became my best football buddy.  Without him I don’t know how I could have 
   made it.

        The first time I ever carried the ball I got 13 yards, which built up my
   confidence.  Bill took the ball and ran for 19 yards and we moved down the field.
 
        Very soon we were on the one-yard line.  Don’t ask my why, but Bill called a
   signal to let me carry the ball.  The next play it happened.  I drove over the line for
   a touchdown.  You can’t imagine the thrill that filled me.  As the boys tackled me
   over the goal line I was so utterly shocked I didn’t even get up, I just lay there for
   a while.

         To top it all off, after the game in the showers, the fellows began talking to me. 
   I was one of the team now.
      
      I was the only freshman to earn a letter that year and Coach Smith honored  me in an unusual way.  He “allowed” me to hold the dummy for every one of the senior’s last tackle.  It was a tradition for each senior to take his last tackle the last practice.   Each senior would run full speed for about 15 yards and than tackle a dummy.  Someone had to hold the dummy and it was me.  All fifteen seniors went over the top of the dummy to get one last hit on me.   All in all my entire entire freshman year in football was a success as I played in every quarter of every game. 
These excerpts from the memoirs of Hall of Fame coach Jim Young (Arizona/Purdue/Army) are printed with the permission of Coach Young

***********  Hugh,

Baylor's basketball team is the real deal.  They were big, they were quick, they could score, but more importantly they could rebound and play defense.  Gonzaga wouldn't quit though, and they tried to close a couple of times, but Baylor was just the better team that night.

I'm waiting to see when some creative republican senators and congressmen will fly the flag upside down over the Capitol, and am almost certain we will all hear that same preface of willingness to stand for the anthem before just about any professional sporting event.

Notice how the MLB All-Star game was moved to...Colorado!  Not quite California, but certainly not Texas!  Also, have you noticed that most MLB teams are located in blue states?  MA, NY (2), PA (2), D.C. (not a state...yet), MD, MI, IL (2), WI, MN, AZ, CA (5), CO, WA. Toronto (may as well be a blue state).  Exceptions FL (2), GA (arguable), TX (2), MO (2), OH (2).  Little wonder why the Commish caved?

With the "brilliant" removal of the All-Star game it would be interesting to find out how the move financially affects the City of Atlanta (hotels, restaurants, retail stores, bars, travel, etc.) when all is said and done.  Betcha you won't be hearing that anytime soon on CNN.

I wonder if the PGA considers itself woke?  Could you imagine if the Master's was moved from Augusta??

Just read an article in the Oregonian that almost half of Portland's police department has either retired or resigned.  Many of whom resigned have hooked up with other local jurisdictions.  The reasons?  No support from the city, and tired of putting their lives on the line with their hands tied behind their backs fighting with Antifa rioters.  Similar issues are facing Seattle, Minneapolis, and other large blue cities calling for defunding the police.  Violent crime, and crime in general is rising in large percentages in those cities.  Gee, ya think!  I guess that old saying, "Careful what you wish for" has never held more meaning.


Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Joe,

You are so right on Baylor.

Apart from there fact that you can’t beat anybody that shoots 10-19 on threes while you’re only making two of ten yourself, they beat Gozaga in every aspect of the game.

I can’t help thinking that that Saturday game against UCLA took most of what Gonzaga had.

But to me  a huge  difference  was in the appearance of the players. Gonzaga’s kids looked like basketball players; Baylor’s looked like football players. 

Given comparable talent on both squads, and comparable good coaching, I’d venture to say that game may have been won in the weight room.

The Masters is owned by the Augusta National Golf Club, and it ain’t going anywhere.  It is a crown jewel of sports events - far more prestigious and far more valuable than baseball's All-Star game, which MLB has done its damnedest over the years to devalue.

There isn’t enough pressure in all of Washington DC to intimidate Augusta National, whose members comprise possibly the single most politically and economically influential group in America.

Portland - and Seattle and Minneapolis - are getting exactly the policing they once thought they wanted. 

In Portland, from a force with 916 sworn positions, 115 officers have left since July 1.  Combine that with a hiring freeze, and the force is  down by more than 10 per cent. And in exit reviews, some of the things the departing officers have written is frightening. Excerpts from the Portland Oregonian:   “The community shows zero support… the city council are raging idiots…command (lieutenant and above) is arrogantly incompetent and cowardly.”


***********  QUIZ ANSWER: Marlin McKeever and his twin brother Mike were born 10 minutes apart (Marlin was the older) on New Year’s Day, 1940, in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

They were highly recruited football players out of Crespi Carmelite High School in the LA area, and their signing with USC was a national story.

They were both All-Americans at USC.

They were married on the same day in 1960, in a joint ceremony, to their high school sweethearts.

Nearly 40 years apart, they both died of head injuries.

Marlin was a three-year letterman for the Trojans, playing fullback and punting. But where he really stood out was at linebacker. (Mike was a two-way lineman.)

Marlin earned All-Conference first team all three years and was a a first team All-American his last 2 two years at USC.

He also was a 1960 Academic All-American.

He was USC's Lineman of the Year his senior season, and its Player of the Game against UCLA that year.

In 1959 and 1960 he was USC’s leading receiver, and its punter in 1958 and 1960.

He lettered twice  in track,  in the shot put and discus.

In 1960, he and Mike became the first twins to be named All-Americans when they were chosen Playboy Pre-Season All-Americans.

Mike, who was 1960 USC team captain, missed the end of his senior season when he had to undergo surgery to remove a clot on his brain, and although he made a full recovery, he never played football again.  The twin brother died in 1967 from injuries suffered in an automobile accident.  He had spent 22 months in a coma.

Marlin was a first round selection in the 1961 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams and also was picked in the third round of the AFL draft by the Chargers.

In a 13-year NFL career, he played tight end and linebacker for the Rams (1961-66 and 1971-72), Minnesota Vikings (1967), Washington Redskins (1968-70) and Philadelphia Eagles (1973).

He was a Pro Bowler in 1966.

Marlin McKeever  is ranked among the Top 50 USC football players ever, and for some reason, although Mike is in the College Football Hall of Fame, he is not.

In 2006, he died of head injuries suffered in a fall at his home.


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING MARLIN MCKEEVER

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JOHN GREENBURG - DUNEDIN, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY


*********** QUIZ:  A native of Columbus, Ohio, he was one of eight children - seven boys and one girl - all of whom went on to college and graduated.  In his senior year of high school he rushed for 1787 yards and 29 touchdowns, and  in the city championship game he carried 31 times for 267 yards.

He attended Ohio State, and in 1972 - the first year freshmen were eligible to play varsity football - he earned a starting position in the backfield.  Playing in Woody Hayes’ full-house T formation, he gained 867 yards on 159 carries.

Recognizing the talent that he had, Hayes switched to the I-formation before his sophomore season, and  the coach’s wisdom was confirmed when he rushed for 1577, 1695 and 1450 yards in each of his remaining three seasons.

In his college career, he rushed for 5176 yards. He rushed for 100 yards or more in 34 games, including a string of 31 straight - still an NCAA record.

During his four years at Ohio State, the Buckeyes went 40-5-1, won four Big Ten championships, and went to four straight Rose Bowls, making him the first player ever to start in four Rose Bowls.

He won the Heisman Trophy following his junior season, and when he won it again following his senior year he became the first - and so far only - player ever to be so honored.

He was the first Buckeye to have his number retired.

He was a first-round draft choice of the Cincinnati Bengals, and enjoyed a good, if not spectacular, seven-year NFL career. He rushed for 2808 yards and seven touchdowns, and caught 192 passes  for 1607 yards and six touchdowns.

After his retirement from football he joined the Ohio State athletic department, rising to the position of associate Athletic Director, and then spent 11 years as CEO of the Ohio State Alumni Association.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Football Foundation.

Woody Hayes called him "the greatest football player I've ever coached"


UPSIODE DOWN FLAGTUESDAY, APRIL 6, 2021 - “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.“ Donald Trump

*********** Of course I will be rooting for Gonzaga, a Washington school, to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

I don’t particularly care for today’s basketball, corrupted as it has been by the three-point shot, dictated as it is by officials and the random way they make (or don’t make) calls, and peopled by strange-looking individuals.

But I find  that Gonzaga plays a brand of basketball that I enjoy watching.  Maybe it’s the coaching.  Maybe it’s the players.  It’s probably both.  But they play good enough defense to create turnovers, which means that they then do a lot of running, at the end of which they make a lot of shots.

When they don’t get the opportunistic breaks, they play exciting half-court offense. Their big man, a 6-10 kid from Texas named Drew Timme, is about as  good around the basket as I’ve seen in years.

Hope they win.  Baylor is good enough, certainly, to beat them.

I don’t think it’s possible for  a team to play any better than UCLA did on Saturday.  They had a good plan and they executed it extremely well. 

I was really impressed with what their coach, Mick Cronin, had to say after his team had played its ass off and come within a near-half-court shot at the buzzer of taking Gonzaga into overtime:

“I sit in Coach Wooden’s seat… he said, ‘True greatness is giving your best effort’… What else can I ask from these kids?… They gave me everything I could possibly have asked of them.”

*********** I thought that the women’s final between Arizona and Stanford was sloppily played by Stanford, and rather well-played by Arizona.  I said so on a family chat, and I was reminded by at least one of my daughters of something I have frequently said myself: it’s awfully hard to beat somebody three times in the same season (as Stanford had to do to Arizona to win the NCAA title).

*********** In Spencerport, New York, outside Rochester, longtime Double Wing coach John Dowd has his Rangers off to a great start.

They’re now  3-0, and they’ve outscored opponents 92-6.

Said Coach Dowd, “We are doing well.  Our defense has been great. One of my long time assistants took over the Defense last year and has done a great job. It has made all the difference. We still run a solid double wing and have great backs but are playing young kids on the line so we’re not as explosive as we could be.”

On Wednesday night, the Rangers play Brockport (2-0).

I’d love to see it. I really don’t know if the game’s on the NFHS Network, but I won’t spend any time looking it up so I could tell you how to get it.  That would make it seem as if I was recommending their service to you, and after an entire  spring season of anger and aggravation and let down, with one game after another consistently freezing on me, I couldn't in good conscience do that. In my experience it has been a colossal ripoff.

My two most recent examples: Friday night, in the second quarter of the game between Ellicott, Colorado and Denver Manual, the picture froze, and despite repeated efforts, I could never get the game back.  In the meantime, I switched to Camas (Washington) against Prairie. The Camas stadium is literally across the street from our house.  That game, too, froze on me and I never got it back.  I have watched numerous games on Facebook and Youtube and I’ve never run into any problems. 

They should have advertised it as the beta test that it was.
They should never have advertised and peddled a service they couldn’t deliver.

***********   Call it flagflation:  for 20 of the first 75  days of the “Biden administration” the American flag has flown at half staff…

02/22 to 02/26 - the (alleged) Covid death toll reached 500,000

03/16 to 03/22 - the Atlanta spa shootings

03/23 to 03/27 - the Boulder, Colorado supermarket shootings

04/02 to 04/06 - A follower of Louis Farrakhan crashes his car into the Capitol


*********** Funny how I used to hear sports-hating faculty members complain that “the jocks are running the school.”
But now, otherwise intelligent people - faculty member types - stand silently by,  as noted intellectual LeBron James blesses us with his wisdom on any number of matters.

*********** The guy who crashed his car into the capitol, killing a police officer in the process, appears to have had a lot of problems.

Bet you never saw this defense coming:

Some of his problems, his family would like us to believe, were the result of head injuries caused while playing football…

https://www.outkick.com/head-injuries-caused-former-college-football-player-to-attack-capitol-hill-officers/

*********** Before the Baylor-Houston NCAA semifinal game Saturday, the PA guy introduced the national anthem  with these words:  “We ask those willing and able…”

Yeah.  Get up off your asses and stand.  But only if you’re willing to.

*********** Now that it’s been established that nobody has to stand for the national anthem, is it finally okay for me to boo when some grammy-award winning “artist” performs it in a  way that renders it unrecognizable?


*********** So let’s see…

The NFL thinks that its employees have a  constitutional right to disrespect our national anthem on company time…

The NBA goes the same way, and also makes sure that no one connected with it does anything to anger the leaders of our great friends in China…

And Major League Baseball has decided to show the people in Georgia who would like to reduce the likelihood of election fraud a thing or two by moving this summer’s All-Star game out of the state.

It’s hard to believe that MLB really thinks that it’s influential enough to play a significant role in the issues of our society; ironically,  back in that distant age when it may actually have been that important, it wouldn’t have given a second thought to taking a  stand that would piss off a major part of its audience.

But these are different times, with change occuring at an unbelievable pace. Now, with its virtue-signaling decision to move the All-Star game from Atlanta, MLB has flipped a familiar adage until it now reads:

When you’re in a hole… keep digging.

*********** Maybe Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has found a way to get at these woke f—kers who think that because they run big companies and organizations they can leverage their power to swing political decisions.

The All-Star Game was pulled from Atlanta because - supposedly - the Georgia legislature passed a law  that “President” Biden referred to as “Jim Crow in the Twenty-first Century.”  Without taking the time to actually read the law, the CEOs of two Atlanta-based companies, Coke and Delta, opposed it, calling it “unacceptable.”

Now, Senator Rubio is asking baseball commissioner Ron Manfred to take a personal stand, and resign as a member of Augusta National Golf Club (Augusta being in Georgia).

Believe me - membership in Augusta National (site every spring of the Masters Golf Tournament) is an honor prized  by highly accomplished people who have made it to the top of their  field and whose success is confirmed by membership.

It’s extremely exclusive - it has just 300 members.   Membership is by invitation only.  There’s almost no turnover, except  when a member dies.   It’s fair to say that  there are thousands of people with the means and desire to join, but none dares to come out and say so.  It’s just not done.

Why not? Because, it’s said,  if you have to ask about becoming a member, you’re probably not the kind they want in their club.

Although many of its members are billionaires, it’s not about wealth. Most of those who aren’t billionaires are still well to do - politicians, statesmen, and people who’ve distinguished themselves in one  field or another.

It is about golf, of course, so its members do play golf, and most play it well, but proficiency at the game is not a prerequisite of membership.

Other well-known people from all walks of life have  “playing a round of golf at Augusta National” at the top of their bucket list.

And how do you get to do that?  Your only chance is to know a member and get him (there are now one or two female members) to invite you.

“I write to ask you whether you intend to maintain your membership at Augusta National Golf Club. As you are well aware, the exclusive, members-only club is located in the State of Georgia,” Senator Rubio wrote in a letter to Manfred.

“I am under no illusion you intend to resign as a member from Augusta National Golf Club. To do so would require a personal sacrifice, as opposed to the woke corporate virtue signaling of moving the All Star Game from Atlanta.”

Talk about an absolutely beautiful chess move.

Now we get to  find out:  how strongly does Commissioner Manfred really feel - personally, that is - about boycotting the state of Georgia?


*********** They tell me that the tart who performed so provocatively between the semifinal games Saturday was named  Miley Cyrus.

What they couldn't tell me was what the connection was between her, her gyrations and the game of basketball.


*********** From the Babylon Bee…

ATLANTA, GA—Georgia has hung up signs at all entrances to the state reading "Welcome to Beijing," cleverly disguising the state as the capital of Communist China. The ploy was designed to trick liberal companies threatening to boycott into staying and doing business in the state.

"It's a brilliant plan, if I do say so myself," said Georgia Governor Brian Kemp as he nailed another Beijing sign atop a "Welcome to Georgia" sign along the interstate. "When these Hollywood companies, airlines, and baseball leagues see that we're actually just the capital of a country that throws its citizens into concentration camps, murders journalists, and oppresses women and children, they'll love doing business here."

https://babylonbee.com/news/georgia-hangs-up-welcome-to-beijing-signs-so-liberal-companies-will-stay

*********** Jim Young remembers…

By 1955 I had moved on to the challenges of college, thus my time of listening and watching the Dodgers was coming to a close.  I did go to Cincinnati in the summer and see Sandy Koufax pitch one of his first big league games.  In the fall of 1955 I had transferred to Bowling Green and was a new student who did not really know anyone who had a TV to watch the World Series.  I did see a little of it in Kaufman’s Bar but I really missed out on the only World Championship that the Brooklyn Dodgers ever won.  In 1956 Jackie Robinson retired and by 1958 there was no more Brooklyn Dodgers.

     It is hard to tell what type of Dodger fan I would have been if they had stayed in Brooklyn.  I was still a Dodger fan but not really an LA fan.  I cheered for the Dodgers but did not really follow baseball during my coaching career.  I did get to meet Jackie Robinson in 1962, Carl Erskine in 1977, PeeWee Reese in 1979, and Don Newcombe in 1983.  My interest decreased in the Dodgers as the old Brooklyn connection faded out.  Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale were the last Brooklyn Dodgers to hold my attention.   I did read a few books about the Dodgers but not many during this period.

     When the book Boys of Summer came out in the early eighties, it renewed my interest and from time to time I would run across old Dodger fans.  When I was coaching at West Point I ran into a janitor one day in an elevator.  He had a Brooklyn Dodger t-shirt on and I asked him if he was a Dodger fan.  I told him about the 1947 World Series game I attended.  He said, “Oh, you mean the game that Bevens pitched a no-hitter until Lavagetto got that double? I was there.”  It had been 40 years ago but we both had our memories of that game –the football coach and the janitor.

     In the 1990’s I was aware of the Dodger Adult Baseball camp at Vero Beach, Fla. but of course could do nothing as long as I was coaching.  After I retired I decided that I would go to Vero Beach and play baseball.  I had never been able to hit the ball very well and I had not played baseball in 40 years, so I knew my work was cut out for me.

     I worked hard for six weeks to get ready for the camp.  I had my son and son-in-law hit me fly balls.  I went to a bar 3 or 4 times a week to use their batting machine.  I started with the little league speed machine and worked up to the Nolan Ryan machine.   I ran a lot of sprints to get my legs in shape.

     In February I was ready for my spring training.  Camp was a little different than I expected.  There were 85 campers and about 55 were repeat campers.  The average age was 40 years of age and most of the campers played semi-pro ball the year around.  I was the ninth oldest camper and when I had to bat against a young left-handed pitcher with number 32 on (Sandy Koufax ‘s old number) I knew I was in for a challenge.

     The old Brooklyn Dodgers such as Duke Snider, Carl Erskine, Clem Labine, and
Ralph Branca were there and I really enjoyed talking with them.  The rookies, which I was one, had to try-out and the Vero Beach team, managed by Steve Garvey, selected me.

     We played or practiced baseball from early morning till evening.  We had batting practice, conditioning, lectures, and played 8 games in five days.  I played outfield and our team tied for the championship.  Jane tells how when she talked to me on the phone the first night, I was all fired up but by the third night my voice sounded really tired.  I worked hard to get my legs in shape but still pulled the muscles in my thighs.  It became a struggle to run fast.

     My roommate was the oldest camper at the age of 70.  He had played for the Dodgers in the minor leagues in 1947.  Seeing the two of us trying to get out of bed in the morning and go to practice must have appeared very funny.

     The big game of the week was a benefit game against the former Dodgers with Tommy Lasorda pitched the first few innings.  When I came to bat, I knew I was in trouble.  I was left-handed and so was he.  Jeff Torberg was the catcher and he went out to remind Tommy who was batting.  I had Tommy come to West Point and speak at one of our football banquets and Jeff used to come to our spring football practices in Tucson when he was the manager of the Cleveland Indians.  Tommy threw me nothing but curveballs and I struck out.

     The last day we played our last game in the morning.  I was proud of myself because I had played all the games and I had not made an error.  We were sitting in the locker room eating our lunch when someone came in and said for us to get back out on the field, as we had a play-off game to still play.  I thought, “Oh! Not another one.”  I did make it through the game without making an error but my hitting left a lot to be desired.

     During the camp at night we had various activities to do.  A lot of the old Brooklyn natives would play Dodger Trivia and one night I asked to play.  I have always known a lot about the Brooklyn Dodgers and their history but very little about the LA Dodgers.

     They were not too happy to have an outsider come into their game.  They thought they would ask me a tough question and see if I really knew anything about the Dodgers.  The first question that I was asked was who scored the winning run in Game Four of the 1947 World Series.  I said, “Eddie Miksis!”  They all looked at me and wondered how I could know that.  The best trivia player looked at me and said, “ If you know so much, who was he running for?”  I said, “Pete Reiser, who had just walked and had a bad ankle.”  After that I was accepted as a true Dodger fan!

     All in all it was a great experience, a lot of fun, and a lot of hard work.  I now have a Dodger uniform (#42) and a baseball card with my picture on it.

     I have a good memory and those old Dodger facts are still very strong in my mind.  One time Jerry Kindall was telling one of the coaches that he worked with in USA Baseball that I was a knowledgeable Dodger fan.  This coach had grown-up with the Dodgers and told Jerry to ask me a question, which he was sure I could not answer.  The question was to name the starting line-up for the Dodgers in the 1941 World Series.  Jerry was amazed when I named every one of them.

     Today most of those old Dodgers are dead or about eighty years old.  That is very hard for me to accept, for to me they will always be my “Boys of Summer.”  I have over 70 books on the Dodgers and I am still adding to my personal library, as I just read six new books on the Dodgers.  On the Internet the Brooklyn Dodgers appear to be very much alive even though they have not existed for over 50 years.  I will always be a fair weather Los Angeles Dodger fan but a true Brooklyn Dodger fan.  For a short 10 years they filled up a big part of my thoughts and will always be a strong passion with me.  Look around my office and the Brooklyn Dodgers still live.  The pictures, the autographed balls, and the 1947 World Series ticket stub above my computer.  Thoughts and videos of those old Dodgers can still bring tears to my eyes.  In my goal-setting class at the Gospel Rescue Mission I have one lesson on “What can we learn from Jackie Robinson?”

     I will close this section with a quote from the book, Double Play, by Robert Parker.  He is of my vintage and himself a Dodger fan from afar.  He writes:

          Normally on Sundays teams played a doubleheader, so all the slow summer
     afternoons I would hear Red Barber’s play-by-play with Connie Desmond, until
     the sound of it became the lullaby of summer, a song sung in unison with my
     father.  I saw Ebbets Field in my imagination long before I ever saw the bricks
     and mortar.  The rotunda, the right field screen with Bedford Avenue behind it.
     Shaefer Beer, Old Gold cigarettes, the scoreboard and Abe Stark's sign.
     Brooklyn itself became a place of exotic and excitement for me. . . .Years before
     my father took me there and I found, to my adolescent delight, that it was what
     I’d imagined.
    
     The Dodgers have not been in Brooklyn for over 50 years but the Brooklyn Dodgers are still my favorite team.  Today I am not very good as a sports fan but in my mind I will always be a “Brooklyn Dodger” fan.

***********  Hugh,

Cal Poly had a number of roster players decide to forego the spring season in order to have a full fall season in 2021.  They ended up with just over 55 on the roster but due to injuries that number shrunk to 49 (below the NCAA roster requirement) which led them to decide to scrap the spring season.  Under former HC Tim Walsh the Mustangs ran a very formidable triple option offense.  Today, with former Eastern Washington HC Beau Baldwin they are running a more wide open spread offense.

Howard Schnellenberger will always be remembered as a "revival" coach.  Often times those guys are the best coaches.

Three of the Frozen Four (college hockey's version of college basketball's "Final Four") are from the state of Minnesota.  University of Minnesota-Duluth (three time NCAA champs); Minnesota State (not the same Screaming Eagles of football coach Hayden Fox); and St. Cloud State.  The "outlier" is UMass who just may have the best team of the bunch.

Wishing you and Connie and very Blessed Easter weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER:   Virgil Carter played for some of the best coaches ever:  George Halas and Paul Brown were two of his head coaches, and Bill Walsh was his offensive coach.

He was BYU’s first All-America quarterback, the first in a long line of outstanding signal callers.

And he was the quarterback who inspired Walsh to devise the West Coast offense.

As a high school QB in Folsom, California, in 1962 he led his team to a 10-0 season and a Number one ranking in Northern California.

He attended BYU, but while he was recruited by Lavell Edwards, the head coach his three years in Provo was Tommy Hudspeth.

“LaVell Edwards was the assistant at BYU who recruited me out of Folsom,” he recalled in an interview with Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee. “He convinced me to be patient with football when BYU ran the single-wing, a running offense. I figured I’d just go to the library to study as a student, but he told me to stick with it. Then we started to throw it 30 to 50 times, unheard of then. Then Edwards did it all the time when he became head coach.”

In his senior year, he led  The NCAA in TD passes and total offense and set a then-record of 599 yards in total offense against UTEP.

Drafted sixth by the Chicago Bears, he was traded after two seasons to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Modest and self-effacing, he told Davidson,  “I ran George Halas out of coaching because my first year with the Bears was his last in coaching.”

At Cincinnati, the Bengals already had a sure-thing Hall of Fame quarterback in Greg Cook.   Said Walsh, then the Cincinnati offensive coordinator,  “Greg Cook was, I believe, the greatest talent to play the position.” 

But a serious shoulder injury ended Cook’s career in 1969,  leaving Walsh with only one option:  “The only choice we had in Cincinnati was to build our offense around what Virgil could do,” he said, years later.  “And believe me, the short pass was all he could do. He was a great competitor and a great team leader, so we just played into his strength.”

His strength was that he was very intelligent - he’d earned an MBA at Northwestern while playing with the Bears. “Halas financed that,” he recalled.

He was years ahead of today’s analytics: “I’d come into the Bears offices to study film and the playbook…I took classes in quantitative analysis, looking into the expected value of having the football on different spots on the field. I got play-by-play information from all the NFL teams, data-coded them on punch cards.”

While with Cincinnati, he taught courses at Xavier University. in mathematics and statistics.

And he was coachable.

Despite his weak arm  he made the most of this strengths in running the offense that Walsh devised - a ball-control passing game that would become known as the “West Coast Offense.”

In 1971 he led the NFL in pass completion percentage and was third in the League in overall passing statistics.

“Virgil Carter was a godsend to us,” wrote Cincinnati head coach Paul Brown in his autobiography, “PB.”

His run as Bengals’ quarterback lasted only until 1973 when was beaten out by Ken Anderson, but his impact on the game  and on Walsh’s career - was enormous.

In 1974, he played for the Chicago Fire in the World Football League, and led the WFL in passing.

In 1975 he returned to the NFL and spent a season each with the Chargers and Bears.

And then he retired from football.

Without Virgil Carter and his demonstration that the West Coast Offense would work, Bill Walsh might not have wound up coaching the  49ers.

And without Walsh, the 49ers might have  won three fewer Super Bowls.


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING VIRGIL CARTER

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
JOHN GREENBURG - DUNEDIN, FLORIDA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
JOHN GRIMSLEY - JEFFERSON, GEORGIA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

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

I was reading your news, and saw the Quiz this week was on BYU QB Virgil Carter. My father was at BYU as a student in 1966 to see Carters senior year. I grew up hearing and watching LaVell Edwards  BYU QB's from Virgil Carter, to Gifford Nielsen, Marc Wilson, Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Robbie Bosco , Ty Detmer. They had a great run at BYU under Coach Edwards, who I met once after he was retired, a class act. They changed football but that offense was a system, it worked and they got the players that could excel in the BYU system.

Hope all is good. My wife and daughters are good, we are just living the dream. Teaching and Coaching, I'm the boys golf coach and we are having a really good spring season Hope to make it to state this year, five seniors, it pays to have experience and leadership.

John Grimsley
Jefferson, Georgia


*********** QUIZ: He and his twin brother were born 10 minutes apart (he was the older) on New Year’s Day, 1940, in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

They were highly recruited football players out of Crespi Carmelite High School in the LA area, and their signing with USC was a national story.

They were both All-Americans at USC.

They were married on the same day in 1960, in a joint ceremony, to their high school sweethearts.

Nearly 40 years apart, they both died of head injuries.

He was a three-year letterman for the Trojans, playing fullback and punting. But where he really stood out was at linebacker. (His brother was a two-way lineman.)

He earned All-Conference first team all three years and was a a first team All-American his last 2 two years at USC.

He also was a 1960 Academic All-American.

He was USC's Lineman of the Year his senior season, and its Player of the Game against UCLA that year.

In 1959 and 1960 he was USC’s leading receiver, and its punter in 1958 and 1960.

He lettered twice  in track,  in the shot put and discus.

In 1960, he and his brother became the first twins to be named All-Americans when they were chosen Playboy Pre-Season All-Americans.

His twin brother, who was 1960 USC team captain, missed the end of his senior season when he had to undergo surgery to remove a clot on his brain, and although he made a full recovery, he never played football again.  The twin brother died in 1967 from injuries suffered in an automobile accident.  (He had spent 22 months in a coma.)

He was a first round selection in the 1961 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams and also was picked in the third round of the AFL draft by the Chargers.

In a 13-year NFL career, he played tight end and linebacker for the Rams (1961-66 and 1971-72), Minnesota Vikings (1967), Washington Redskins (1968-70) and Philadelphia Eagles (1973).

He was a Pro Bowler in 1966.

He is ranked among the Top 50 USC football players ever, and for some reason, although his bother is in the College Football Hall of Fame, he is not.

In 2006, he died of head injuries suffered in a fall at his home.




UPSIODE DOWN FLAGFRIDAY, APRIL 2, 2021 - “The combination of economic and political power in the same hands is a sure recipe for tyranny. " Rose Friedman.

*********** HAPPY EASTER

“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”

“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime."

*********** Coach Brian Mackell of Baltimore was kind enough to let me know about a game on TV from last weekend involving a Double Wing team.


Of course I watched it, and then he and I compared notes. You could tell how long we’ve been at this Double Wing thing, because our summaries were nearly identical. so I printed his. Sure would like to have him as my OC. (Or HC.)

Morning Coach Wyatt,

I watched the game live then woke this morning and watched the offense only again to break it down for me.  And never to take shots, it's just what I do to help myself be a better DW coach and learn from others, their good, their bad, their success, their failure.

Immediately what I noticed was the O-Line.

1. They were (or appeared) foot to foot, not six inches
2. The Guards had their helmets at or slightly past the Center’s shoulders
3. Right side, no one had their inside hand down
4. Left side, the line cascaded and the TE was almost always equal to the Center.  The LTE also had his outside hand down
5. The Center snapped the ball with the old style "lift & turn" method
6. Their pulls took too long, due to being too far up on the LOS...I saw too many opposing jerseys in the backfield
7. No 12 Step Cure, too many times I saw blocks that were the initial contact but no sustained weld

The QB, appears to be "Chest to Butt"...he's too close to the Center and doesn't have his hands extended.  That, too, affects timing.

I also am not a fan of rotating the QB every play.  Why wear Wrist Coaches if the QB has to be told the play, then sent in every play?  To me there's no continuity with your QB by rotating every play.

With regards to play calling, to me the defense stayed in a base 4-3 Cover 2 with the Corners rolled...the Sam was always closer to the LOS but the Mike and Will were mostly aligned toes 5 yards deep every play...unless it was a short yardage situation then the Backers all came up and crowded.

I have never coached against this type of 4-3, but I would have loved to because in my opinion the two easiest defenses to attack are a 4-3 and a 5-2.

The drive that should have been the Game Winning drive was the start of the 4th when the home team had the ball deep on their end and slowly drove the ball to inside the plus 20.

The 4th down pass play killed the drive and I said to myself "game over".  This was the closest they came to the end zone with the exception of their only scoring drive.

The run was dominating the defense on this drive, and on 4th and 3 with 6+ minutes I'm giving the D a hard count since they had 10 in the box.  If they don't jump I call time out then run Power.

The pass play called was ballsy, but the execution killed it.  The C Back was initially wide open and could have walked in untouched with a completion BUT the QB held the ball too long - should have thrown on his 3rd step of his roll out, instead he threw on his 7th - then lofted the ball which forced the Back out of bounds at the front pylon.

The C Back also ran a bad route, if that was supposed to be a Corner / Banana route the second he threw his "I'M OPEN" hand in the air it forced him to drift to the sideline, complete the route to the back pylon.

Turnovers killed them too.  Too many fumbles.

My take away from the game:  I'll use your quote "Winning Conceals - Losing Reveals". 

This Double Wing has great upside if the obvious errors and mistakes are corrected quickly.

(Sure  hope they read this - and aren’t too thin-skinned to take well-intentioned correction.)

*********** Two coaches at a Pittsburgh area Catholic high school were suspended Wednesday from coaching in any state-sanctioned
sport for one year by the Western Pennsylvania Athletic League (WPIAL).

The WPIAL’s action took place just one day after four competing school districts brought up allegations of recruiting violations against the first-year coaching staff.  It was considered highly unusual for so many rivals to bring such accusations.

In addition to the suspensions, the school’s athletic program has been placed on suspension until June 30, 2023, and school administrators are required to create a plan to familiarize all the school’s coaches with the state association’s bylaws.

Although the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh suggested that there might be an appeal,  in view of the veiled warning from the WPIAL  that it might not want to  go any further :

Additional penalties - including the suspension of some or all of the school’s programs - could result should further hearings bring to light additional recruiting violations.

While there were three  coaches initially charged, one of them seems to have escaped suspension, and oddly  enough, he’s the one who  “operates a 7-on-7 football program in Western Pennsylvania” and  coaches the school’s wide receivers and running backs.

https://tribhssn.triblive.com/seton-lasalle-coaches-mauro-monz-jason-pinkston-suspended-1-year-by-wpial/

*********** From SBJ Football, with Ben Fischer…

Some big, big news coming out of Los Angeles at this hour: Dea Spanos Berberian, sister to Chargers controlling owner Dean Spanos and a minority owner herself, has filed legal action seeking to force a sale of the franchise, per the L.A. Times. She says the team’s mounting debt is jeopardizing the family finances.

We’re still digesting this, but here are the urgent key points: Dean Spanos already promised his siblings in November 2019 that he would hire an investment bank to find a buyer after the 2024 season. Berberian wants to speed it up. The petition noted that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, worth an estimated $180 billion, is interested in becoming an NFL owner and said “the Chargers could be a perfect opportunity.” If he really said that, that’s the strongest indication yet that Bezos is an active shopper.

The complaint says the family trust -- of which the Chargers comprise 83% -- has an annual $11 million shortfall, with “little cashflow or reason to believe the numbers will improve.” The Trust has $164 million in debt “associated with the Trust’s interest in the Chargers.” Berberian is represented by Adam Streisand, who repped Steve Ballmer in his pursuit of the Clippers and Jeanie Buss in her effort to secure control of the Lakers.


*********** The Seahawks have given receiver Tyler Lockett a new four-year contract worth up to $69 million with  $37 million guaranteed.

He’s a good player and, I guess, a good guy.  But come on - where does this all end?

I’m about to show you where. And if  any NFL players happen to be watching,  not even they are so dumb that they can’t figure out that at some point team owners are going to take a cue from what businesses from General Motors to McDonalds have already been doing.

Boston Dynamincs is very close to producing  a robot football player.  They've already got the dance moves down.

https://youtu.be/fn3KWM1kuAw

*********** I really enjoyed watching the Oregon State Beavers’ deep run into the NCAA Tournament, and I also enjoyed the Portland Oregonian’s coverage, mostly the work of the beat man, Nick Daschel.

Nick and I go back at least 30 years, to when he was starting out, covering high school sports, and we  still stay in touch, so I had to write to tell him how much I appreciated his coverage.  I also mentioned that after reading his articles, I came away with additional respect for OSU coach Wayne Tinkle.

Nick wrote back,  “Wayne is the best when it comes to dealing with coaches. I can't recall any time when he didn't return a text, and usually within minutes. Can't say that about most coaches.”

(If there are any young coaches reading this… Just like you, reporters have a job to do, and if you don’t do your best to help them do their job, don’t bitch about the coverage you get. You will get the coverage you deserve.)


*********** One reason I’ve avoided having a Sarah Fuller fiasco is that  I’ve always had a hard-and-fast rule that no one on the team - male or female - would be "just a placekicker." There’s never been any such position on any team of mine. He (she) has to play a position on offense and/or defense, the same as everybody else. Same drills as everyone else.

I really liked some of the kickers we had on our WFL team in Philadelphia - they were good guys -  but my eyes were really opened by the open disrespect the other players had for them.  I know it bugged the other players  that while they were busting their butts in practice, the kickers were off on another field seemingly doing nothing more than kicking and punting balls back and forth. It’s always been essential to me that there be an atmosphere of mutual respect on a team,  and I don’t see how we can  have that so long as some guys are viewed as prima donnas or slackers.

Over the years I’ve had some good soccer players - good kids, too - come to me asking to be kickers and when I told them what the deal was, they declined. I’ll never know whether it cost us any games. If it did, it doesn't haunt me. I sleep well.


*********** THIS WEEK’S FCS SPRING  COACHES’ TOP 10

1. JAMES MADISON
2. WEBER  STATE
3. NORTH DAKOTA STATE
4. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
5. SAM HOUSTON STATE
6. NORTH DAKOTA
7. KENNESAW STATE
8. DELAWARE
9. EASTERN WASHINGTON
10. VMI

*********** A game to watch this weekend - you’ll need ESPN+ - is Lamar at Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday night.  Old friend Steve Jones has been serving as an analyst for Southeastern and he’s been keeping  those of us on my weekly Zoom clinics updated on the goings-on in the Southland Conference.

What makes this game especially worth watching is the Lamar offense.  Coach Jones say they’re running “Air Force stuff,” which makes sense, because Lamar’s first-year coach, Blane Morgan, was a QB at Air Force, running the ‘bone, and he was  Air Force’s offensive coordinator for eight years, first under Fisher DeBerry and then Troy Calhoun.

*********** Cal Poly and Chattanooga have both had to end their spring football seasons because of a lack of players.  Don’t know about Chattanooga, but Cal Poly was down to 49 players. Now, I can remember when NFL teams all played with 40-man rosters, but they did make sure that  they had the appropriate numbers  for every position.  In the case of Cal Poly, who knows?  Maybe they have 18  wide receivers and  four offensive linemen.

*********** I haven’t given Howard Schnellenberger the sendoff he deserved. He sure did  work with the people - players and coaches - in his long career.

An interesting  stat: He was 6-0 in bowl games as a head coach - two each at Miami, Louisville and Florida Atlantic.

No other coach in college football history has won that many bowl games without a loss.


*********** JIM YOUNG remembers…

  The Dodgers became my second great passion.   They of course are part of the sports passion but were different from the standpoint that I was a fan and not a participant.  The Dodgers have been a lifelong passion but that passion is centered in the period from 1947 thru 1956.

     I am not quite sure how I became a Dodger fan but I do have some ideas.  After World War Two was over, sports and particularly baseball became the neighborhood activity.  Baseball (softball) became the activity that we all played after school everyday and on the weekends.  In the neighborhood all the games took place at Gilliand’s lot on Elm Street.  These games were always pick-up games where we would choose up sides.  Sometimes they were all boys’ games and a lot of the time girls also played.

      At school we played baseball before school started, at recess time, and during noontime lunch hour.  In the 5th grade we had a baseball field that was behind the football stadium.  There was no outfield to speak of, as the back wall of the stadium was right there.  If you hit the ball high over the stadium wall it was a home run, if you hit the ball in the opening in the wall it was a double, and if you hit the wall (which happened almost every time) then the ball was in play.  If someone caught the bounce off the wall, you were out.

     In the sixth grade I was exposed to my first organized baseball, Ward League Baseball.  Now in the summer besides all our pick-up games I also had an organized game each week.  Most of these games were played at the Fairgrounds diamond.  The fairground was also where the Van Wert Burts, a semi-professional team played their games.  Every Sunday afternoon they played a double-header against another city’s team.  We would ride our bikes out to the fairgrounds to see the Burts play.  

      The fast pitch league was also in its heyday right after the Second World War and all the veterans played on the various factory teams.  Almost every night there were games being played at the fairgrounds.  I remember that the toughest pitcher was Larry Smith’s dad Leo, who seemed to have muscles all over his body.

     It is fairly evident that I was exposed to a lot of baseball in my pre and junior high years.  In 1946 I started listening to major league baseball on the radio.  The only team that I could pick-up was the Chicago White Sox.  Bob Ellison was their broadcaster and I learned the names of most of the White Sox, such as Luke Appling, Pat Serray, Ted Lyons, etc.  I got to see my first major league ball game at Detroit in 1946. 

     This really only tells you about how I got interested in baseball and not anything about my love of the Dodgers.  I think two things made me a Dodger fan by the summer of 1947.  One was the fact that almost every war movie of the period had someone from Brooklyn, who was always talking about the Dodgers.  The second thing was the arrival of Jackie Robinson in the big leagues.  He caught my attention early in 1947 and soon became my baseball hero.  I am not sure how much his being the first Negro in the major leagues had to do with it, probably something.  I do know that he was the most exciting base runner ever in my mind.
     Becoming a Brooklyn Dodger fan as a young boy living in Van Wert, Ohio in 1947 would seem to be an impossibility.  There was no television or ESPN to tell about the Dodger games. Also there was no way to get a radio broadcast from Brooklyn unless it was the World Series.  The only way to follow the Dodgers was in the sports page of the Van Wert Times Bulletin the next day.  This was hard as the only teams that the Bulletin really covered were the Reds and the Indians.

     I started to cut the baseball standings out of the paper each day and make a scrapbook, which I still have.  I also would read about the Dodgers in The Sporting News.  During the year of 1947 I started cutting out pictures of my favorite Dodgers and I also got a book, The Brooklyn Dodgers, which covered their history.  I basically memorized this book and this certainly helped me a little later in school.

     The greatest event of my life as a Dodger fan was being able to go to the 1947 Dodger-Yankee World Series at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.  Attending and seeing the World Series was something that very, very few people ever got to do in those days.  There was no TV coverage at this time, although this was the first World Series to be televised, but only to a small number of viewers in New York City.  Today with all the coverage of every type of sports event and the overexposure of sports, it’s hard to imagine just what a big event this was for a 12-year-old boy from Van Wert, Ohio.

     My dad worked for the Borden Cheese Company and their headquarters was in New York City.  He had to go to New York on business at various times and so I thought maybe he could get tickets for the World Series.  I never really thought it would happen but I asked him anyway.  A few days later my dad came home after work and said that we had tickets for the World Series.  I don’t think I was ever more excited than at that moment.  That night at the Boy Scout meeting I bet every scout a dollar that Brooklyn would win the game.

     We took the train to New York and stayed in New York City.  The day of the game my dad and I took the subway to Brooklyn.  We got off the subway and walked up Flatbush Avenue with the crowd of fans going to the game.  What a thrill to walk up to the entrance to Ebbets Field and see it for the first time.  I know that as a twelve year old I was in awe.   To actually see the Dodgers in person and then see one of the top games ever played in a World Series is a thrill that I shall never forget.

     Game Four of the 1947 World Series was one of the greatest games ever played in the World Series.  Floyd Bevens of the Yankees had a no-hitter going and only needed one more out in the bottom of the ninth to complete his no-hitter.  He had been wild and had walked a total of 10 batters but still had a 2-1 lead with one out to go.  The Dodgers had men on first and second when Cookie Lavagetto was sent up to pinch-hit.  He hit a double off the scoreboard in right field and the Dodgers scored two runs and won the game 3-2 on one hit. 

      The crowd erupted and I have never heard such noise as that day.  My dad said to me, “Why are you yelling so loud?”  I told him that I had just won 15 dollars from my fellow scouts back in Van Wert.  It was a good thing that I did not lose that bet because I did not have 15 dollars to pay all of them. 

      If I was a regular Dodger fan before that game, after that World Series game, I became a totally dedicated Brooklyn Dodger fan.  In 1948 I continued to collect pictures and articles on the Dodgers.  I knew just about everything that there was to know about the Dodgers. 

       In English class one time we were to read a book and then give an oral report on the book in class.   I had not read my book yet when the teacher called on me to give my report.  To make it worse,  the State Superintendent was visiting our school and just happened to be observing our English class when the teacher called on me to give my report.  I thought fast and said my report is on the book, The Brooklyn Dodgers.  I then proceeded to tell in detail the history of the Dodgers.  After class was over the State Superintendent came up to me and said that my report was one of the best he had ever heard.

     Another time that my knowledge of the Dodgers surprised someone was 1969 at The University of Michigan.  Don Lund was an associate athletic director at Michigan and had been their baseball coach.  He came up to the Dodgers briefly in 1948 and then played most of his big league career with the Tigers.  One day I told Don, “I remember when you hit your first big league home run against Cincinnati in 1948.”  I got my old scrapbook out and showed him the article about his home run; he was amazed that I had it and that I remembered it as well.

      About 1948 I started to paste a few pictures on the walls of my room.  Eventually I got carried away and had every inch of the four walls covered with Dodger baseball pictures.  I had a big picture of Jackie Robinson, from the cover of Life magazine, on the door to my room. 

     Today a lot of kids put up big posters on their bedroom walls but my walls were a little different. Every inch of all four walls was covered with pictures,  from floor to ceiling.  All the pictures were cut from magazines and put on the wall with glue.  I don’t remember my parents complaining about the walls.  Before I left for college in 1953, I tore all the pictures down and the walls were repainted.  There are still a few snap shots left showing my room with all the Dodger pictures on the walls.  I doubt if anyone has ever had a room decorated the way that mine was, but then I doubt if there were many parents as understanding as mine were about my love of the Dodgers.

(Hall of Fame coach Jim Young - Arizona, Purdue, Army  - has given me permission to share some of his never-published memoirs with you.)


***********  Coach:

The answer to today's quiz is Ace Parker. I must make one correction on your presentation.

Ace Parker's All-American senior year was 1936. 1938 was the year of Duke's "Iron Dukes" team which went unbeaten, untied and unscored upon until they played in the Rose Bowl and lost to USC, 7 to 3. The Iron Dukes featured George MacAfee and "Eric the Red" Tipton.

All the best.

John Greenburg      
Dunedin, Florida

You are, of course, correct.  I know all about the Iron Dukes, one of college football’s greatest teams.

Ace Parker was no longer at Duke in 1937; he was playing major league baseball with the A’s.

How do I know this?  He and my wife’s uncle Wayne Ambler were not only classmates and teammates on the baseball team at Duke (Class of 1937) but they were also teammates on the A’s in 1937 and 1938.

It was probably illegal even then, but “Mister Mack" (A’s owner/manager Connie Mack) paid Uncle Wayne's tuition to Duke, where  former A’s player Jack Coombs was the baseball coach.

From the Duke Sports Hall of Fame: "Ambler was named captain of the 1937 Blue Devils and he turned in his greatest year. During that season, he had a school record .472 batting average as Duke compiled a 22-2 overall record and 16-1 conference mark. That batting mark still stands as the number two average in Duke history."

https://goduke.com/honors/hall-of-fame/wayne-ambler/136

Good on you and shame on me.

Uncle Wayne died in 1998.  What a great person. And what I wouldn’t give to be able to sit down one more time and talk with him.


***********  Hugh,

I really enjoyed Tuesday nights clinic. You going thru the entire list and explaining what each question meant was priceless.

Going thru the questions reminded me of why I quit at Daviess County High back in the early 2000s. Coach Barnes was making the kids or himself live up to very few of those standards. I  reached the stage that it was making me ill. I confronted him about it during spring practice and he reminded me that he was the head coach and he didn't need my out dated attitude. That is when I told him to take my job and his half assed program and shove it where the sun does not shine.

As you can see your Tuesday night presentation brought back some strong memories for me.

See you Tuesday.

David Crump
Owensboro, Kentucky

Yeah, outdated. From back in a time when people didn’t burn cities.

*********** Josh Montgomery, who lives in Berwick, Louisiana - “Swamp People” country - sent me this photo, with the note: “Thought you might like this.  This is my buddy Smitty who I coach with and who does nuisance control for the parish, with an 11-footer.”

bigass gator

In Louisiana, a “parish” is  what the rest of us call a county. And a “nuisance” is what the rest of us call squirrels in the attic.


*********** For me, this is one of your all-time best pages. I got still as I read Jim Young's memories of early childhood. How I would've loved that little boy! He seems to have retained that patriotic pride throughout his life.

Your trick of sticking the 'Wo' to all those 'man' words was profound but funny.

I ain't falling for early April Fool's Day this year, so take it somewhere else, mister.

One of the things that popped up when I sought the quiz answer was that Eric Tipton is in the Duke Hall of Fame. I wondered if he was the same man who coached Sprint Football and baseball when I was a cadet. Yes, it was. Obviously a distinguished football career, but also had a 15-year MLB run. He was at West Point many years and was legendary. I even mentioned him in The Supe.

Great, great, great job today, Coachman.

John Vermillion
St. Petersburg, Florida


***********  Hugh,

Some of the tougher assignments our "new" football coaches will have to face with these "irregular arrivals" will be teaching things like sportsmanship (er, sportsWomanship); offense and defense maneuvers (er, Womaneuvers); team rules more like commandments (er, comWomandments);  they will be treated like humans (er, huWomans); on offense they will have to manufacture (er, Womanufacture) points; all of which will determine their performance (er, perforWomance).  Oh, almost forgot, some of them will end up as team managers (er, Womanagers).

I wonder if Mr. Cleaver would go so far as having us change the names of some great movies?  The Woman Who Shot Liberty Valance?
The Music Woman?  Woman For All Seasons?  Elephant Woman?  (that might strike a nerve).  Little Big Woman?  (too demeaning).  A Woman Called Horse? (the nerve!).

While on the topic of cancel culture I'm sure we've seen the last of "White" Christmas; Snow "White"; "White" Fang; "White" Men Can't Jump (there would be no opposite for that one).  But you get the picture.

In a previous News I mentioned I had the honor and privilege of meeting with Coach Gagliardi (he preferred John, and made it clear we called him that), while I was a HC in Minneapolis.  Everything you mentioned in your notes refers to his famous "Winning With No."  It's clear that John was one of a kind, and NO other coach will be like him.

Coach Jim Young was BORN to coach at West Point.  Amazing guy.

"Coach, hey, didn't you know?  Sports today is for kids, not you, and all about kids having a good time no matter what.  If they mess up, hey, they're kids!  They'll learn, and I'll be the one doing that.  Don't make such a big deal out of it!"  (excerpt from an "anonymous" parent letter I received years ago after disciplining their kid for unsportsmanlike behavior in a game that cost him playing time).


QUIZ:  Clarence "Ace" Parker (this was one of your harder quizzes, but Parker's life was certainly an interesting one!)

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** QUIZ ANSWER - Ace Parker has been called the “Accidental Hall of Famer” because he originally planned on playing major league baseball before deciding to play pro football.

He came out of Portsmouth, Virginia and attended Duke, where he played football, basketball and baseball.

A single  wing tailback, he was second team all American his junior year and was a unanimous first-team selection in his senior year, 1938. In his senior season the Blue Devils  finished 9-1 and ranked 11th nationally, and he was ranked sixth in the Heisman voting.

He was taken in the second round of the NFL draft by the Brooklyn Dodgers, but chose to play baseball with the Philadelphia A’s, and in his first at-bat, pinch hitting, he hit a home run, becoming the first player in the history of the American League to do so.

With A’s owner-manager Connie Mack’s permission, he decided to also play football, and with his running and passing he began to make the Dodgers respectable.

In 1938, his second year playing two major league sports, he led the league in passing as the Dodgers finished .500 for the first time ever.

In 1940, former Pitt coach Jock Sutherland took over the Dodgers, and when he led them to an 8-3 season, he was named league MVP.

He had another great year in 1941, but the War intervened, and he went into the Navy for two years.

On his return, he played one year in the NFL, then in 1946 jumped to the new AAFC and the New York Yankees. At the age of 34, he stepped up when star Frankie Sinkwich was injured, and helped take the Yankees to the AAFC East championship.  They lost in the championship game to the Cleveland Browns, and  he retired.

He retuned to Duke, where he served as assistant football coach from 1947 to 1965, and as head baseball coach from 1953 to 1966.

Before taking the Duke head baseball coaching job, he had been  serving as player-manager for the minor league Durham Bulls.

He is a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.

He died in 2013 at the age of 101, at the time the oldest former pro football player and the oldest member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

At the time of his death he was the only living former major league baseball player to have played on the same field as Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby, and one of only two living former major leaguers  to have played on the same field as baseball great Lou Gehrig.

Ace Parker remains to this day the only member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to live to his  100th birthday.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING ACE PARKER

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

*********** From Greg Koenig

https://youtu.be/4pw8Qn8JzxY

*********** QUIZ: He played for some of the best coaches ever:  George Halas and Paul Brown were two of his head coaches, and Bill Walsh was his offensive coach.

He was BYU’s first All-America quarterback, the first in a long line of outstanding signal callers.

And he was the quarterback who inspired Walsh to devise the West Coast offense.

As a high school QB in Folsom, California, in 1962 he led his team to a 10-0 season and a Number one ranking in Northern California.

He attended BYU, but while he was recruited by Lavell Edwards, the head coach his three years in Provo was Tommy Hudspeth.

“LaVell Edwards was the assistant at BYU who recruited me out of Folsom,” he recalled in an interview with Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee. “He convinced me to be patient with football when BYU ran the single-wing, a running offense. I figured I’d just go to the library to study as a student, but he told me to stick with it. Then we started to throw it 30 to 50 times, unheard of then. Then Edwards did it all the time when he became head coach.”

In his senior year, he led  The NCAA in TD passes and total offense and set a then-record of 599 yards in total offense against UTEP.

Drafted sixth by the Chicago Bears, he was traded after two seasons to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Modest and self-effacing, he told Davidson,  “I ran George Halas out of coaching because my first year with the Bears was his last in coaching.”

At Cincinnati, the Bengals already had a sure-thing Hall of Fame quarterback in Greg Cook.   Said Walsh, then the Cincinnati offensive coordinator,  “Greg Cook was, I believe, the greatest talent to play the position.” 

But a serious shoulder injury ended Cook’s career in 1969,  leaving Walsh with only one option:  “The only choice we had in Cincinnati was to build our offense around what (he) could do,” he said, years later.  “And believe me, the short pass was all he could do. He was a great competitor and a great team leader, so we just played into his strength.”

His strength was that he was very intelligent - he’d earned an MBA at Northwestern while playing with the Bears. “Halas financed that,” he recalled.

He was years ahead of today’s analytics: “I’d come into the Bears offices to study film and the playbook…I took classes in quantitative analysis, looking into the expected value of having the football on different spots on the field. I got play-by-play information from all the NFL teams, data-coded them on punch cards.”

While with Cincinnati, he taught courses at Xavier University. in mathematics and statistics.

And he was coachable.

Despite his weak arm  he made the most of this strengths in running the offense that Walsh devised - a ball-control passing game that would become known as the “West Coast Offense.”

In 1971 he led the NFL in pass completion percentage and was third in the League in overall passing statistics.

“(He) was a godsend to us,” wrote Cincinnati head coach Paul Brown in his autobiography, “PB.”

His run as Bengals’ quarterback lasted only until 1973 when was beaten out by Ken Anderson, but his impact on the game  and on Walsh’s career - was enormous.

In 1974, he played for the Chicago Fire in the World Football League, and led the WFL in passing.

In 1975 he returned to the NFL and spent a season each with the Chargers and Bears.

And then he retired from football.

Without him and his demonstration that the West Coast Offense would work, Bill Walsh might not have wound up coaching the  49ers.

And without Walsh, the 49ers might have  won three fewer Super Bowls.






UPSIODE DOWN FLAGTUESDAY, MARCH 30, 2021 - “Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it’s addressed to someone else.”  Ivern Ball

*********** It’s common knowledge by now that tens of thousands of “unaccompanied minors” are streaming across our border every day.  They’re “children,” we’re told in the news media, when in fact the majority of them are young men - in their late teens and even early twenties.

A White House task force has been assembled to deal with the enormous task of temporarily housing the huge number of illegals, while another has been  formed and charged with dispersing them into the American countryside.

Housing and feeding so many newly-arrived  “children” in America’s cities and small towns would seem daunting enough, but then there is the potentially explosive issue of cramming so many young men together in any one place, with way too much free time and so little to do.

One proposal, which according to the Washington Post met with the approval of President Biden, called for providing opportunities for the  young men to play  football.  Actually, what Xavier Becerra, his Hispanic Health and Human Services Secretary said in his proposal to the President was “futbol,” and on hearing it, the President replied, “Great! Football!  I played football at Delaware, as you know… the Fightin’ Bluebirds… er, Hens… er, whatever.”

With that, the President issued an executive order authorizing Operation Come On, Man to get the newcomers  playing football. He immediately got on the phone with the people at the National Federation of High Schools in Indianapolis, instructing them to inform every state’s association to notify all of its high school football coaches  to prepare to play a schedule of football games using only newly-arrived “irregular arrivals,” as the children are now to be called.

State eligibility rules, including any proof of age, are to  be waived, and to get past the language barrier, high school coaches will be required to take crash courses in Spanish as well as some indigenous languages spoken by many of their players.

In view of the fact that many of the young “football players” are not familiar with our culture and our customs, coaches will be provided with a list of “do’s” and “don’ts”, including not imposing strict “Yanqui” training rules on them.

Coaches will actually be “drafted” into  service as AmeriCorps volunteers.  They will not be relieved of their current classroom teaching duties, but will serve in their volunteer AmeriCorps capacities after normal school hours and on weekends. In the summer time they will spend full-time on their AmeriCorps assignment.

The coaches’ tour of duty will last for up to six months, by which time it is expected that they will once again be coaching their high school teams.

*********** I thought you might enjoy some old clinic notes

1977 - John Gagliardi - St Johns College, Minnesota


No whistles

Same practice plan from year to year

No Sunday practices

Only pre-practice rule: let the kickers and passers have the balls

Start practice with "Let's take a lap" or something – the lap gets smaller as the season goes along

What the hell do I care how fast they run the 40 yard dash in? (we just hope they'll run their hardest when they have to)

We can whip any team that spends so much time on their pre-game drills that they haven't had time to work on offense or defense

Stretching? A guy sits on the bench for 3 quarters, then he comes off the bench and intercepts a pass and goes 80 yards for a TD

You never see a tiger doing pushups - he stretches

After cals – the "guest master" - demonstrates a drill from his HS

We don't ask them if they're bored - we just do it

15 years from now the players on the teams that beat us will be bragging about it when they run into us

Everyone on our team helps coach - We ask our better players to help the younger players

Moses' people didn't say "hey, let's go downstream- it's shallower down there"

We don't play the games that other people play
We don't keep stats
We never count tackles
Our off-season program is very simple - we don't have one

Defense- we teach how to get to the position to make the tackle - we will get ten people there and they won't all miss the tackle

We don't give much hell but we do if they take a cheap shot or play dirty

If an assistant is coaching too much, he's got the wrong guy in the game

I don't like to be on someone during practice
   
        If I have to be after someone very long, I'll send him back to the 3rd or 4th team, where he can learn by osmosis

       You get with the 3rd or 4th team and no one notices your mistakes (they don't notice anything you do good, either)

If we lose, we may not show them the film - when our players are down, we're not going to kick them

If we win, we'll show the film and be tougher and more demanding - we remind them that everyone on our schedule is gunning for us

We let everyone go out for the position that they desire

We dress the offense in white, defense in red

We play a lot of people by calling for "Red 1,2,3,4" or "White 1,2,3,4"

********** Not so very long ago, a US Congressman from Missouri named Emmanuel Cleaver  delivered the opening prayer on the first day of the Congressional session and, thinking he might as well toss a  bone to feminists out there,  concluded by saying “Amen and A-woman.”

What the hell? Look at what we've done already: A fireman is now a  firefighter, a mailman is a postal worker, and a chairman is a chair.

Sometimes, though, in striving to be “inclusive,” we take words that simply contain a combination of letters, such as “man”  or “men,” “him” or “his” and we wind up with such foolishness as “A-woman” and “herstory.”

Such was the case when I found myself reading an article in which some obviously feminist writer referred to another woman as the “taliswoman.”

Now, a “talisman” is an object, such as a ring, that brings special luck or powers to the wearer.

The three letters m-a-n  in the word happen to form the word “man,” but they have nothing whatsoever to do with a person of the male sex.

No matter. Soon, we can expect to get lost in womangrove swamps, put candles on the womantle, try to save the womanatees, ask to speak to the womanager, womaneuver our way though traffic, get womanna from heaven, mind our womanners, look in the owner’s womanual to see what the womanufacturer suggests,  submit a womanuscript to the publisher in Womanitoba, and check to see if Womanchester United won its match.

Which, to me, is all a bunch of horse womanure.

*********** Jim Young Remembers…

My first great passion was the United States Marine Corps.  Pearl Harbor was the key moment in the development of my passion.   December 7th, 1941 turned all of our thoughts and actions to winning the war.  American society completely focused on the Second World War.  Radio, movies, school activities filled a young mind with winning the war.  The Marines caught my attention early. The Marines in the battles of Wake Island and Tarawa will always be number one with me.  The Pacific War, Bataan, and Corriegdor follow closely behind.  The Battle of Stalingrad also is very high with me and for some reason I have always focused on the German side of the battle.  I would have to say that my first passion has expanded over the years into everything about World War Two, others wars, and history in general.  

     I remember so many things about the Second World War.  It just seems like every thing that I heard, did, and thought was connected to World War Two.  Playing “Cowboys and Indians” immediately went by the wayside as playing “War” became number one.  We played it outside and we played it inside.  We played it every day of the year from 1941 till 1946.

    One time Gary Doxtater, a childhood friend, and I dug a huge foxhole under the steps of his back porch.  We wanted a foxhole just like the ones on Wake Island.  We defended Wake Island all day long until his dad came home.  We pretended we were the Marines on Wake Island and said as they had said, “Send us more J—-”  Let’s just say that Mr. Doxtater was not too happy with our foxhole and we had a hard time getting the ground back in shape.

    As I recall that period in my life from six years old until ten years old, my mind easily remembers the various happenings and events connected with World War Two.  Playing as a kid was certainly all about World War Two and the Marines.  I had a great block to play in, as the center of the block had been a Peony garden at one time.  This area was a large undeveloped area with a lot of bushes and small buildings.  We were able to play war over an extended area.  We hid in the bushes, climbed trees, climbed small buildings, and fought the Japanese all day long.

     Anytime that I played inside my toy soldiers were the center of my play.  I eventually had a trunk full of soldiers and equipment.  All I ever wanted for presents was more soldiers and military equipment.  I would have them all spread out in battle formation in the living room or on an old box piano that we had.  Sometime we would dig up our driveway, creating small foxholes and trenches.   This did not go over well with my dad when he came home from work at night.

    One thing that I really wanted was a real steel helmet and not the little plastic one that my parents got me.  My dad took me out to the junkyard and we dug through the junk for a real helmet.  We found an old WWI helmet, it was rusty, had no liner in it, but I thought that it was great.  I painted that helmet and wore it everyday.   The fact that the center rivet in the helmet cut the top of my head did not matter to me.  I still have that helmet out in the garage and will never part with it.

    There were several other Christmas presents and birthday gifts that my parents got me.  One year I got a (real) M-1 rifle stock with a wooden barrel.  I was the king of the neighborhood with that real looking rifle.  It also is out in the garage.  Dad brought back a standup wooden machine gun mounted on a tripod from a Chicago trip of his; this was something that no one else had.  We would use it to setup a hidden machine gun nest in the neighborhood.  Another special gift was a cardboard Learn to Fly Trainer.  You sat in this big box and pretended to fly a plane by using all the controls.  There were many other different types of gifts that I got as a child but all connected to the military; that’s all that I wanted. 

     Several of us decided to build a life sized plane that we could sit in and pretend to fly.  We took a lot of wood boards from the cheese factory and started to work on it in our basement.  We worked several days and really built a good-looking plane with wings etc.  When we finished the plane we only had one problem – it was too big to get out of the basement.  We had to tear it down to get it out the backdoor.  Recently, Ron Bagley sent me an e-mail about that plane we built many years before.  He asked the man who now lives in my parent’s old house to look at the basement and see if the nail hole outline of that plane we built was still on the basement floor, it was. 

     I do remember one idea that I am glad that I did not follow through and do.  I made a parachute out of some old sheets and was going to try to see if it worked by jumping out of a second story window, thank heavens common sense did prevail.

    As a young child, I was very interested in the news about the war.  I listened to the radio and heard about various battles, although I had no real idea of what was going on.  I remember hearing the name, Bougainville, and thinking what a strange name and wondering where it was and why the Marines were there.  I attended a lot of movies during the war and many were war pictures such as Bataan, Back to Bataan, Flying Tigers, Air Force, etc.  I can still see the Marines on Wake Island filling up the B-17’s on their way to the Philippines in the movie Air Force.

    Most of the movies were double features and they always had a Movietone newsreel in between the shows.  The news was always about the war.  I remember when 90,000 Germans surrendered at Stalingrad.  Thousands just marched slowly by the camera with snow all around.  I always think of that sight whenever I think of Stalingrad.

    The songs of that period were Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer, The Ballet of Private Rodger Young, Over There, and of course the songs of all the services.  I learned to play on the piano The Marines Hymn, Anchors Away, The Caisson Song, and U.S. Army Air Corps Song.

     Our school was very patriotic as I guess all schools were during this period.  We had paper drives, scrap drives, and each child bought Victory Bonds each week in school.  You paid 25 cents to get a stamp and put in your Bond book.  When you got 25 dollars worth of stamps, you got a Bond.

     In my grade school scrapbook that my mother kept are two very telling pages.  On the first page is a Pledge that I signed on May 22, 1942.  I was seven years old when I signed the following:

    TO EVERY SOLDIER, SAILOR, AND MARINE WHO IS FIGHTING FOR
                                             OUR COUNTRY
          For you there can be no rest. For me there should be no vacation from the
          part I can play to help win the war.  I therefore solemnly promise to continue
          to buy United States War Savings Stamps and Bonds to the limit of my
          ability, throughout my summer vacation and until our Victory is won.
                                                                                            Jimmy Young
                                               Witnessed by S.J. Young   Dated: May 22, 1942

*********** I wrote this… on November 29, 2008…

“Can you believe Tennessee hired a non-southerner with no head coaching experience? (Unless you count a half-season sparring with Al Davis.)”

The hiree was Lane Kiffin. It’s hard to believe it was this long ago that Tennessee made one of those  classic ones that doom a program for decades.

*********** It’s become so bad that even the cross country kids are acting like a$$holes.
This, from our local paper…

The Prairie boys and girls teams swept to team titles as Falcons’ Annie Anderson and Landon Gunter took individual titles, even though Gunter wasn’t the first boy to cross the finish line Thursday.

Kelso’s Drew Norman was disqualified for theatrics at the finish line in an incident stemming from Kelso and Prairie’s dual meet last month.

On Feb. 24, Gunter beat out Norman at the finish line, waving to the Kelso senior in the process, Prairie coach Curtis Crebar said.

What the kid from Kelso did, the “theatrics,” according to video shown in  social media,  was get out to a 40-yard lead over the guy who taunted him back in February, then backpedal the last ten yards or so while waving at his defeated opponent.

Now, then, if you call yourself a coach, how might you have prevented this?  Why, for starters, you could have chewed the ass of the first kid, back in February, for waving at his opponent.  And then you could have had him apologize - sincerely and humbly - to the other team, for what he did to the sport.  And if you were the other coach, you could have told your kid to accept the apology, then go out and whip the other kid’s ass - and do so graciously.

What, exactly, is the point of having high school sports if we’re not going to use them to teach kids to respect their sport, respect their opponents, respect their teammates, and respect themselves?

*********** Hasbro, the large toy-and-game company that now makes Monopoly, wants to “modernize” its Community Chest cards. You know, the ones that say

Advance to "Go". Collect $200
Bank error in your favor. Collect $200.
Doctor's fees. Pay $50.
From sale of stock you get $50.
Get Out of Jail Free. This card may be kept until needed or sold/traded.
Go to Jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go, Do not collect $200.
Grand Opera Night. Collect $50 from every player for opening night seats.
Holiday Fund matures. Receive $100.
Income tax refund. Collect $20.
It’s your birthday. Collect $10 from every player.
Life insurance matures – Collect $100
Hospital Fees. Pay $50.
School fees. Pay $50.
Receive $25 consultancy fee.
You are assessed for street repairs: Pay $40 per house and $115 per hotel you own.
You have won second prize in a beauty contest. Collect $10.


Just a few suggestions for updating, if I may…


Mayor declares your protest mostly peaceful. Get out of jail free.
Brown Out in your area. Pay $50 for each house and $100 for each hotel.
Section 8 Housing built on your block. Pay $50 for each house and $100 for each hotel.
Your neighborhood declared an autonomous zone: Give up all your houses and hotels.
You wear a mask even when you’re walking in the park. Pay $50.
Stimulus Check arrives. Collect $100.
Antifa protestors deface your storefronts. Pay $100 per hotel.
No cash bail law passes: Get out of jail free.
Homeless camp set up on your property. Pay $100 per house.
Spring breakers come to your town. Pay $100 per hotel
New non-eviction law: you don’t have to pay rent twice around the board
Child makes soccer travel team. Pay $100
Police in your town are defunded. Get out of jail free.
Your town switches to all-wind  and  solar power: Pay $50 per house and $100 per hotel
Governor declares your business non-essential: Give up all your hotels.

https://boston.cbslocal.com/2021/03/23/monopoly-community-chest-changes-hasbro/

*********** Something I wasn’t prepared for when we attended a football game last week was placing faces.  Faces of familiar people. We saw an awful lot of people we would ordinarily have recognized - should have recognized - but  didn’t,  because of those  g—damn face masks that Americans have been tricked and bullied into thinking we have to wear.

*********** They say there’s no such thing as an ex-Marine, but I don’t know what else to call Andrew Wagner.  Andrew played football for us at North Beach High in Ocean Shores, Washington for three years.  He became an outstanding wide receiver and defensive back for us, and in his last two years at North Beach, he played on teams whose only losses came in state playoffs.

There’s not a lot to keep kids in Ocean Shores, so Andrew joined the Marines.

Since he graduated, I kept up on his  comings and goings  on Facebook, but when I actually saw him last Saturday at a football game in Aberdeen, Washington, it was the first time in five years.

He’s still in the service, but he’s no longer in the Marines.  He’s in the Army now, stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. He told me that while still a Marine he went through Ranger training with the Army (got his Ranger tab)  and - I  don’t quite understand how this works - he’s now in the Army.  Same rank - sergeant - same pay.

Ex Marine?  I don’t know. Anyhow, it was great to see  him and  it gave me a great deal of pride to see  what a man he’s become.

********** Coach Wyatt-

Long ago...a wise man told me “smash mouth" football might be deemed not necessarily offensive...but with scrutiny…

Auschwitz?  Other anti-semitic terms?  A coach should know better....and if he was good enough to win state titles you can bank on the fact that he knew...and didn't do anything about it (which is basically saying it's okay)

Shame on him.  I'm not about cancelling anything....but you are correct in this case he should have known better and been better.

Hope you are well!  The girls and I send our love and well wishes.

By the way you actually attended a live high school football game?  In person? Better not let that liberal gov. find out!  HA HA HA

Brad Knight
Clarinda, Iowa

*********** Rapinoe wants equity?...Well since gender is a social construct she should identify as a male and compete for  slot on the male team...problem solved!

Coach Kaz
Mark Kaczmarek
Davenport, Iowa

***********  Hugh,

I admire your willingness and tenacity to take on new technology.  I'm still trying to figure out how to put together a nice looking power point presentation on my MacBook Pro that I have had for about 10 years!  

When a coach has two daughters who were very competitive in sports (gymnastics, softball, powerlifting, swimming), AND also were cheerleaders, I tended to be very careful in my responses when they said that cheerleading is as hard as football.  I finally invited them out to football practices to be team managers.  After that they would say cheerleading was fun, but "tiring."

My perspective on Jerry Jones just went up a few points.

Sometimes, when coaches use descriptive terms that don't quite add up, you just have to ask...WTF??

Don't get me started on Megan Rapinoe. I am reminded of the dog that bites the hand that feeds it

Loved your comparison of how bland football has become without a good running game.  Like going to an art museum to only see finger painting!!  Very good!!

Enjoy your weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Bennie Ooosterbaan was - and remains - one of the greatest college athletes of all time.  He wasn’t a bad coach, either.

In Muskegon, Michigan, he was an All-State end in football, an All-American basketball player on a state championship team, an All-State baseball player, and a state champion in the discus.

At the University of Michigan, at a time when freshmen were ineligible to play varsity sports, he won nine varsity letters - three each in football, basketball, and baseball - and played one six different Big Ten championship teams.
 
He was Michigan’s first three-time All-American in football. In his senior year he was captain and MVP of the football team, Big Ten Conference scoring leader and All-American in basketball (for the second year in a row), and Big Ten batting champion and All-Big Ten in baseball.

In that same year, 1928,  he received Michigan's Big Ten medal, awarded annually for combined excellence in scholarship and athletics.

For religious reasons - his church was opposed to playing on Sundays - he chose not to play professional sports, and instead became a coach at his alma mater.

He served as an assistant coach in both football and basketball, and after ten years became head basketball coach, while remaining as a football assistant.

In nine years as head basketball coach he had a record of 81-72, but he resigned in 1947 and a year later succeeded Fritz Crisler, whom he had assisted for 20 years, as head football coach.

Inheriting  a team that had just beaten USC in the Rose Bowl by 49-0, he won the national championship - and Coach of the Year honors - in his first year as head coach.

Unable to repeat in the Rose Bowl because of conference policy, he had them back again in 1951, and won again.

His first three teams won Big Ten Conference titles, but  then they ran into a buzz saw - in their own state.

In 1949 Michigan State was admitted to the Big Ten, to begin conference play in football in 1953.

By 1953, they were ready: from 1950 through 1952, they went 26-1.  They were undefeated in 1951 and 1952, and  national champions in 1952. In 1953, their first year competing for the Big Ten title, they tied for first place, went to the Rose Bowl (and won it) and finished third nationally.

Until 1950 - his third year - Michigan had beaten Michigan State ten straight times;  but from then until through the 1958 season, the Spartans were 6-2-1 against the Wolverines.

After losing seasons in 1957 and 1958 he resigned and took a position with the University in alumni relations.  His overall record was 63-33-4, a respectable .650.  At the time, he said, “The pressure finally got to me. Not the kind that comes from outside. Not from my bosses or the fans. I mean the pressure that builds up inside a head coach whether he wins or loses."

In 1954 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

His jersey number was the first one retired by Michigan.

Michigan’s indoor practice facility is named for him.

In 1969, Sports Illustrated named him to the 11-man Team of the Century, in observance of college football’s 100th anniversary.

Thirty years later, in 1999, SI placed him fourth on its list of Michigan’s 50 top athletes, behind only Joe Louis, Magic Johnson  and baseball Hall of Fame Charlie Gehringer.

In 2000, he was named to Michigan’s All-Century team.

Mild-mannered in his coaching,  he was considered a gentleman. Even as fierce a rival as Ohio State’s Woody Hayes once said of him, "If he weren't from Michigan, I'd like to have my own son play for him.”

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BENNIE OOSTERBAAN

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON -  RIDGEFIELD, WASHINGTON
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

*********** To anyone who knows names, “Oosterbann” (pronounced “OH-ster-bonn”) is unmistakably Dutch. Well, of course - he came from Muskegon, in Western Michigan, where the United States’ largest concentration of Dutch can be found:

Michigan has always attracted more Dutch than any other state. Most Dutch immigrants in the 19th century headed for Michigan. By 1900 Michigan counted one-third of the Dutch-born in the USA. Most Dutch lived in five counties—Allegan, Kent, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, and Ottawa. Southwestern Michigan was truly the Dutch center, centered in Grand Rapids. One-third of the Dutch in Michigan in 1900 lived in that city, where they totaled 40 percent of the population.

In 1990, nearly 300,000 residents of Dutch ancestry lived in the five-county region, making it the largest Dutch settlement area in the United States. The breakdown was 35 percent in Ottawa County, 22 percent in Allegan County, 19 percent in Kent County, 12 percent in Kalamazoo County, and 10 percent in Muskegon County. In brief, the Dutch like West Michigan.

https://www.swierenga.com/hgspap1204.html

***********  Many years ago, I taught and coached in the town of Banks, Oregon, west of Portland in the foothills of the Coast Range. There was a concentration of Dutch in the area, many of them in the little nearby village of Verboort, and an awful lot of kids in my roll book had names ending in “V.” There were kids named VanDomelen, VanDeHey, VanDerZanden, VanDeCoevering and VanDuyck.  And lots of them. They were good Catholics, and they had large families.

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

Bennie Oosterbaan is the Michigan great in today's quiz. I'm sure you also know about another Benny at Michigan.

Greg Koenig
Falcon, Colorado

https://syndication.bleacherreport.com/amp/143148-benny-to-bennie-the-connection-that-changed-college-football.amp.html

*********** QUIZ - He has been called the accidental Hall of Famer because he originally planned on playing major league baseball. He came out of Portsmouth, Virginia and attended Duke, where he played football, basketball and baseball.

A single  wing tailback, he was second team all American his junior year and was a unanimous first-team selection in his senior year, 1938. In his senior season the Blue Devils  finished 9-1 and ranked 11th nationally, and he was ranked sixth in the Heisman voting.

He was taken in the second round of the NFL draft by the Brooklyn Dodgers, but chose to play baseball with the Philadelphia A’s, and in his first at-bat, pinch hitting, he hit a home run, becoming the first player in the history of the American League to do so.

With A’s owner-manager Connie Mack’s permission, he decided to also play football, and with his running and passing he began to make the Dodgers respectable.

In 1938, his second year playing two major league sports, he led the league in passing as the Dodgers finished .500 for the first time ever.

In 1940, former Pitt coach Jock Sutherland took over the Dodgers, and when he led them to an 8-3 season, he was named league MVP.

He had another great year in 1941, but the War intervened, and he went into the Navy for two years.

On his return, he played one year in the NFL, then in 1946 jumped to the new AAFC and the New York Yankees. At the age of 34, he stepped up when star Frankie Sinkwich was injured, and helped take the Yankees to the AAFC East championship.  They lost in the championship game to the Cleveland Browns, and  he retired.

He returned to Duke, where he served as assistant football coach from 1947 to 1965, and as head baseball coach from 1953 to 1966.

Before taking the Duke head baseball coaching job, he had been  serving as player-manager for the minor league Durham Bulls.

He is a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.

He died in 2013 at the age of 101, at the time the oldest former pro football player and the oldest member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

At the time of his death he was the only living former major league baseball player to have played on the same field as Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby, and one of only two living former major leaguers  to have played on the same field as baseball great Lou Gehrig.

He remains to this day the only member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to live to his  100th birthday.
 


UPSIODE DOWN FLAGFRIDAY, MARCH 26, 2021 - “Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one's thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down.” Frederick Douglass

*********** A new computer is NOT like a new car.  You don’t just get in and drive off the lot.

Oh, no.  Not if you expect, in addition to all the good stuff the new computer will do, to  keep doing the stuff you’ve been doing right along with that old machine.

There is the matter of “migration.”  No, not sailing across the Atlantic and going through Ellis Island; not crossing the Rio Grande or the great desert of the Southwest.

“Migration” is the techies’ word for  somehow getting all the apps (when did they stop calling them programs)  and documents and photos and videos and music from the old computer to the new one, without losing anything?

I estimate that this was the 15th migration I’ve undergone since my first Apple IIc, and this was by far the most nerve-wracking.  One reason was that  this time,  with a 500g hard drive, I had so  much  to move.  But a major reason was that  the new machine runs the newest Mac operating system, called Big Sur (Apple likes to name its operating systems after California geographic features), and it represented such an update that it no longer “supported” (another techie term) many of the apps/programs that I had been relying on to do my work.

One of those apps/programs is one called Kompozer, which I had been using for maybe 10 years to update and manage my Web site.  I have to admit that it had begun to be  a pain in the ass, but you know how it is - better the devil you know…

Like almost anything I’ve ever had to do with computers, I’ve found that having to leave my comfort zone, usually reluctantly,  in order to learn a new way of doing something has invariably resulted in improved efficiency and better production.

And in the short time I’ve had this new computer, I’ve already done enough with it to  find it really exciting,  so I’m not going to let resistance to change get in the way.

What I’ll be having to do  for - I hope - a short time is plod along with Kompozer on my old Mac, while I learn to use a new app so that I can eventually switch over  completely.

The BIG obstacle in my path is  the size and complexity of my NEWS page, which I try to keep intact for 12 months - roughly 100 updates - at a time.

Bear with me as I crawl, then walk, then run.

*********** One of the strangest things about going back to Aberdeen for the first time in over a year was my inability to recognize an awful lot of people I should have known.  Until they took those goddamn masks off.

*********** From the memoirs of Jim Young…

     As I got older and moved on to college and then into coaching, my mother and father were always at my football games.  They might miss once in a great while but were there 99% of the time.  One time when I was coaching at Miami and we were playing Toledo for the championship on a cold day, I put on a jacket.  I had never worn any jacket on the sidelines before; in those days I always had a white shirt and tie on (like Woody Hayes.)  Toledo got ahead of us 17-0 at halftime.  As we were going into the locker room, my mother came up to me and said, “Jim, you have never worn a jacket on the sidelines before, it is bad luck, take it off!”  I took it off and we won the game 20-17.


*********** MORE WIAA WISDOM: 

Q: Are face coverings required during practices and competition for all sports?

A:Yes with exceptions. Cloth face coverings that contact the face and cover the mouth and nose are required for all sports participants and spectators, with the following exceptions:

●Face coverings are not required for swimmers and divers while in the water during practice and competition

●Low contact outdoor face coverings are not required when actively training or competing

●Moderate contact outdoor face coverings are not required when actively competing

●Low contact indoor face coverings are not required when actively competing. Additional exception for gymnasts training while on an apparatus or tumbling

●Competitive Cheer/Dance may remove face coverings when tumbling/stunting/flying

(Now get this)

Football face shields and/or masks that cover only the cage of the helmet are allowed, but cannot be the only covering - a cloth covering that touches the nose and chin area must be worn along with the face shield and/or mask covering the cage of a helmet if being used.

*********** It was halftime of the football game, and as the teams left the  field, the home team  cheerleaders came on. It was their time to shine.

As they went about their little routine, I heard the PA announcer say, “… and they (the cheerleaders) work harder than the boys!”

Now, maybe the guy had a daughter who was a cheerleader.  Or maybe he was one of the ever-growing number of men who feel it necessary to go out of their way to show  that they’re not male  chauvinist pigs. Or maybe he was just reading from a script handed him by the cheerleader adviser.

But no matter. It was pretty clear  that by “the boys,”  he meant the football players, and I’ve been hearing that “we work as hard as the boys do” crap from people  who have no idea how hard football players work for way too long to let it go unchallenged. So I said, in a fairly loud tone of voice, “That’s a crock!”

At that, a woman seated in front of me  turned around to look at me.  Uh-oh, I thought.  I’m about to get into it with the mother of a cheerleader.  I was ready.

But no.  She nodded her head and said, “You’re right!  My son’s  a freshman football player and I brought him in every day, and I know how hard those boys work!”

America needs mothers like that.

*********** Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones has been called many things, not all of them complimentary. 

But while  the NFL itself bankrolls organizations who under the guise of “social justice” work to tear at the very fabric of our country, Jones, the owner of one of the most famous sports franchises in America, has donated $20 million to an organization  which  honors America’s best and bravest - the National Medal of Honor Museum.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/cowboys/2021/03/25/cowboys-jerry-jones-national-medal-honor-museum-giving-20-million/6986461002/


*********** I have a hard time explaining to people that my first coaching job was a “minor league” pro team, when few people are aware that there ever was such a thing, so I simply say it was “semi pro.”

The problem with that, though, is that to most people, “semi pro” equates to “sandlot.”

And my team, the Hagerstown (Maryland) Bears, was definitely not sandlot, in its play or in its operation. While not in any way resembling an NFL franchise, we played in a league that stretched from Hartford, Connecticut on the north  to Portsmouth, Virginia on the south.

Some teams paid players and some didn’t.  We did.  We paid our players $50 a game (decent money in the 1970s) plus gas money for those guys who had to drive a  distance  to practice (many of our players came from the Baltimore- DC-Northern Virginia area).

A few of our players also received sub rosa payments from  the Redskins (an NFL team that once played in Washington, DC), whose coach, George Allen, found it convenient to have a stash of players fairly close by.  I had established a nice relationship with Tim Temerario, the ‘Skins’ player personnel director, and he would notify me anytime they were about to cut a player that they wanted to keep nearby - just in case. They sent us some very good players, and they were all good people. I never knew how much they were getting paid, and I didn’t want to know because what Allen was doing was against NFL  rules - and everyone else in the league knew what he was doing - but I was the guy who would pick up the envelopes (clearly marked “Washington Redskins”) at the Post Office and hand them out to the players at that night’s practice.

I was reminded of all this when my friend, Don Shipley, sent me a “where are they now” interview with former Jets (and Rams and Cowboys) punter Duane Carrell, who punted for me in 1972.

https://www.newyorkjets.com/news/where-are-they-now-duane-carrell?fbclid=IwAR3QcXiLZdPpIGbmB8OiBLF6fNaB7gYlX3E9sioDiCq2t0H7wi7pxkVvSLE


*********** If you like irony as much as I do, you can appreciate the fact that Deion Sanders of all people didn’t appreciate being trolled by the folks at Alabama A & M after they beat Jackson State last weekend. (Anybody else find it interesting  that  with all the really good FCS teams out there, ESPN’s been feeding us a steady diet of Jackson State?)

https://www.foxnews.com/sports/deion-sanders-alabama-state-trolling-jackson-state

*********** I can remember  our  coaches drilling us to yell “Geronimo!” after intercepting a pass, to inform our teammates of the interception so that they could start to block for us

I’m sure the word was used because of its  distinctive sound - I believe it was also used by paratroopers as they jumped - and there was no offense meant, but Geronimo being an Apache leader, I would imagine that in today’s world, our use of the name would be considered insulting by some native people.

Simply thinking about that, I strongly “urge to purge.”

I urge you to scrutinize words and terms and phrases used in your playbooks or in your coaching vocabulary - check carefully for hidden meanings, double definitions that could be seen as offensive.

(To be  honest, I doubt that many of us could really do this without submitting our words/terms/phrases to the judgement of some Diversity and Inclusion panel.)

I bring this up because a highly successful Massachusetts high school football coach was “relieved of his position” recently after it became known that his linemen were using blocking calls that could at least be interpreted as religiously insensitive and perhaps even anti-Semitic.

They were, evidently, using terms such as “Rabbi” (which I really see no problem with) and  “Dreidel” (likewise).
But they also used “Auschwitz,” which someone had to know  would be considered highly offensive. 

Presumably, the coach knew.  He had to.  And God knows there are all sorts of innocuous terms that they could have used without crossing any lines.

But  should he get fired for that?

Hmmm.

Yes, he certainly seems to be guilty of questionable  judgement, but not of anything so serious that it couldn’t have been used as a valuable lesson.  Is firing a football coach going to make kids and the community more respectful of others?

My  suspicion?  There has to be more.  He had to have had enemies.

This was a successful coach, and one thing  you will learn, if you haven’t already, is that  there are plenty of people who don’t enjoy your success. They resent it.

While you’re on top, they can’t say or do much. So they lurk in the  shadows, waiting for their chance to bring you down to their level. 

This is their chance.

https://boston.cbslocal.com/2021/03/24/dave-maimaron-duxbury-high-school-football-game-canceled/

*********** Megan Rapinoe to me is one of the world’s most repulsive persons, and it just seemed appropriate that  she should be at the White House doing her bitching and whining about the women’s soccer players not being paid as much as the men.

There are maybe a dozen reasons, including the fact that the women chose the form of payment  they now claim to be suffering under.

But there’s something even more - it’s a simple fact that if you’re playing for bigger stakes, you’re going to make more money.

And the fact is that the World Cup - by far the biggest source of income  for American men’s or women’s soccer teams - makes many times more money from the men’s tournament than it does from the women’s.

That’s where the money is, so if women really want equal pay, they should play the same sport that the men play.

That means,  Ms. Rapinoe, that if you want equal pay that badly, you probably should try out for the men’s team.

Or,  maybe the entire women’s team should challenge the men’s team for the right to represent the US in the next World Cup.

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/03/whiny-narcissist-meets-empty-suit.php


*********** From a coach in Upstate New York…

Hey Coach!  We're playing Spring football here in Upstate (I'm sure you've heard).  We had our first game last week (W 22-0) and planning for this week I'm adding more to the mix.

I'm installing your West End Lax Blue Mouse - Screen Right.  Any updates on that play from what's in your Open Wing DVD?  Looks simple enough from a blocking standpoint.  TG #1, TT #2 for 2 Mississippi then release right- what are their aiming points?  I'll be sure to have my QB look to the trips side before throwing.  I'm going to show the play without the screen early on, I like the quick read on #2.  I have a thick tough WB with great hands and my SB is a great athlete who I know they'll be keying Friday night (he had a great game last week), so thinking the arrow will be a nice quick hit.

I still have a basic DW package (12 plays) but I'm feeling more and more comfortable with this offense. The skill players love the different formations and the linemen are always happy that nothing changes on the blocking standpoint.  With the wristcoaches I'm able to install more plays- such a bonus given the fact we haven't been able to practice much leading up to the season.  Like you say, lots of labor on the coaches end but the investment is yielding heavy dividends!

Last night Installed WHACK, WIRE/WILD, SILAX/SIREX and the kids picked it up right away.  I was worried it would be too much but they are sponges.

Thanks for all you provide for us coaches.  It really means a lot.

(Name Withheld)

*********** This, from a major college’s sports hall of fame, may help explain why an All-American  football player has to wait, while a female gymnast gets in…

The Hall of Fame strives to keep a balance in sport, ethnicity, gender and era in its members

Perhaps someone seems not to understand the definition of “fame?”

*********** I hate to make this confession, but I am getting bored to death watching most high school football games.

The uniformity of offenses - nine teams out of ten run spread of some sort - is really depressing.

When you’re watching an offense whose QB rarely runs the ball and there’s only one running back, and the only  blocking scheme the line employs is zone, there’s not a lot of imagination or mystery to the running game.

People say that running is boring?  That’s because they seldom see any kind of running game.

Me, I feel as if I’ve gone to the art museum and all they have on display is finger painting.

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

Congrats to the Aberdeen Bobcats for their big win, and that you had the chance to see it.  A few questions:  Is Todd still the HC there?  If so, is the offense still the same?  Do you miss being there?

How about "March Mayhem" for the ladies??

Sounds like Alexander Fraser Tytler's observations of democracy certainly describes what this country has experienced over its 200+ years of history, and that unfortunately we are currently experiencing the start of the final three aspects of said description.

Have a great week!

Joe

Todd Bridge is still the head coach… the offense is not the same but it’s close… I miss the kids and I miss practice but logistically it  just wasn’t workable.
 

*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Clint Castleberry was a high school football star in Atlanta, and at Georgia Tech, with rosters depleted by World War II, he was able to play varsity football as a freshman in 1942.

He first came to the public’s attention when his running and passing led Georgia Tech to its first win over Notre Dame since 1928, and dealt the Irish their first loss in two years.

Three weeks later, against Navy, his 95-yard interception return as Navy was driving for a score clinched a 21-0 Georgia Tech win.

As Georgia Tech made it 9-0 with a win over Florida, he injured his knee.

He managed to finish the season and play for Tech against Texas in the Cotton Bowl.

He finished third in the Heisman balloting, the highest a freshman had ever placed up to that time.

Following the Cotton Bowl, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps (as the Air Force as then known), and had surgery to repair his knee. When he was examined by Army doctors, he was pronounced fit for service.

After earning his pilot’s wings, he was stationed in Africa  as co-pilot of a B-26, and in November, 1944, while flying up the West Coast of Africa, his plane and another accompanying it vanished without a trace.

After an extensive search, he and other crew members were classified as KNB (killed, no body).

Tech Hall of Fame coach Bobby Dodd, who was a Tech assistant at the time, said that if he had lived to finish his playing career “he’d have probably been an All-American for three years and been the greatest back in Georgia Tech history.”

Clint Castleberry’s number 19 is the only football jersey that Georgia Tech has ever retired.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING CLINT CASTLEBERRY

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON -  RIDGEFIELD, WASHINGTON
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

*********** I didn’t know Clint Castleberry until now. Completing flight training, even in thise days, called for intelligence, coordination, discipline, and persistence. How old was he then? 19 or 20?  Now, when I read--and I'll assume it's accurate--that he died at age 21, I think of the many media references to today's put-upon 'kids'. Clint's extremely brief life was eventful, both good and bad. I can't imagine he spent a lot of his time whining. Played half the season on a bad knee, then a bowl game, but he kept on chugging. Clint was probably a man before he enrolled at Tech.

Great that you got to connect in person with several former teams, and that football is being played at all.


John Vermillion            
St Petersburg, Florida

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

Clint Castleberry is another great quiz topic. I really enjoy learning about so many great men who have played a part in making football such an important part of the American fabric. Thank you for honoring our game and educating your readers.

http://www.southernpigskin.com/acc/a-true-all-american/

Greg Koenig
Falcon, Colorado

*********** QUIZ:  He was - and remains - one of the greatest college athletes of all time.  He wasn’t a bad coach, either.

In Muskegon, Michigan, he was an All-State end in football, an All-American basketball player on a state championship team, an All-State baseball player, and a state champion in the discus. 

At the University of Michigan, at a time when freshmen were ineligible to play varsity sports, he won nine varsity letters - three each in football, basketball, and baseball - and played on six different Big Ten championship teams.

He was Michigan’s first three-time All-American in football. In his senior year he was captain and MVP of the football team, Big Ten Conference scoring leader and All-American in basketball (for the second year in a row), and Big Ten batting champion and All-Big Ten in baseball.

In that same year, 1928,  he received Michigan's Big Ten medal, awarded annually for combined excellence in scholarship and athletics.

For religious reasons - his church was opposed to playing on Sundays - he chose not to play professional sports, and instead became a coach at his alma mater.

He served as an assistant coach in both football and basketball, and after ten years became head basketball coach, while remaining as a football assistant.

In nine years as head basketball coach he had a record of 81-72, but he resigned in 1947 and a year later succeeded Fritz Crisler, whom he had assisted for 20 years, as head football coach.

Inheriting  a team that had just beaten USC in the Rose Bowl by 49-0, he won the national championship - and Coach of the Year honors - in his first year as head coach.

Unable to repeat in the Rose Bowl because of conference policy, he had them back again in 1951, and won again.

His first three teams won Big Ten Conference titles, but  then they ran into a buzz saw - in their own state.

In 1949 Michigan state was admitted to the Big Ten, to begin conference play in football in 1953.

By 1953, they were ready: from 1950 through 1952, they went 26-1.  They were undefeated in 1951 and 1952, and  national champions in 1952. In 1953, their first year competing for the Big Ten title, they tied for first place, went to the Rose Bowl (and won it) and finished third nationally.

Until 1950 - his third year - Michigan had beaten Michigan State ten straight times;  but from then until through the 1958 season, the Spartans were 6-2-1 against the Wolverines.

After losing seasons in 1957 and 1958 he resigned and took a position with the University in alumni relations.  His overall record was 63-33-4, a respectable .650.  At the time, he said, “The pressure finally got to me. Not the kind that comes from outside. Not from my bosses or the fans. I mean the pressure that builds up inside a head coach whether he wins or loses."

In 1954 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

His jersey number was the first one retired by Michigan.

Michigan’s indoor practice facility is named for him.

In 1969, Sports Illustrated named him to the 11-man Team of the Century, in observance of college football’s 100th anniversary.

Thirty years later, in 1999, SI placed him fourth on its list of Michigan’s 50 top athletes, behind only Joe Louis, Magic Johnson  and baseball Hall of Fame Charlie Gehringer.

In 2000, he was named to Michigan’s All-Century team.

Mild-mannered in his coaching,  he was considered a gentleman. Even as fierce a rival as Ohio State’s Woody Hayes once said of him, "If he weren't from Michigan, I'd like to have my own son play for him."









UPSIODE DOWN FLAGTUESDAY, MARCH 23, 2021 - “If you think tough men are dangerous, wait until you see what weak men are capable of.”  Jordan Petersen

*********** We weren’t planning on going anywhere this past weekend.

We were planning on watching some college football on Saturday, and then settling in on Saturday night to watch - NFHS network willing - the annual Aberdeen-Hoquiam game.

It’s as big a rivalry as I’ve ever been a part of - two high schools from two towns roughly the same size, butting right up against each other. They’re separated only by the street that gave the Myrtle Street Rivalry its name.

For years, the game was played on Thanksgiving Day, although that tradition went by the wayside.

Going into this spring’s game. Aberdeen had lost to Hoquiam six times in a row. Not a kid on the Aberdeen team had ever beaten Hoquiam.

The last time the teams played, in 2019, I was on the Aberdeen sidelines - in the press box, actually.  It was our second game as a new staff, after taking over a team that had gone 1-9 the year before. We were coming off a 60-0 shellacking in our opening game, and were  still struggling to get kids into their best positions.  We showed flashes on offense, but we sucked on defense.

Hoquiam was too much for us, and we walked out of their place on the short end of a 59-3 score.

It was definitely the sort of beating you remember - one that you file away.  Either just before or just after halftime - I forget -  we had a running clock. But they continued to pour it on.  Well into the fourth quarter, they still had their starters in, and after they scored  to go over 50,  I’ll be damned if they didn’t try an onside kick.  It was no mistake, either.  It was, I was informed by long-time Aberdeen guys,  par for the course - just the way they were.

(For what it’s worth, we came out the next week and shocked everyone - including the coaching staff - by winning a game in two overtimes, and going 4-3 the rest of the way.)

This spring, Aberdeen’s season did not start well.  They didn’t score a point in their first three games, and didn’t score a touchdown until the fourth quarter of the  fourth game.

In fairness, the first three opponents were very tough, but still, the Aberdeen Bobcats weren’t playing well.  They did  show enough improvement in game number four to get a win in the final minute of play, and they shut out their next opponent in game five to make their record 2-3 going into the final game against the Hoquiam Grizzlies.

Hoquiam, meanwhile, came into the game 1-4, and their only win had come against a weak opponent.  This was Aberdeen’s best chance in years, but still, there was that rivalr thing…

Thanks to the great generosity of the Emperor - er, Governor - a crowd equal to 25 per cent of the capacity of Aberdeen’s old Stewart Field (800 tickets allotted for each school) was on hand as we settled in to watch.

But we weren’t in our living room and we weren’t watching on TV.  We were in the end zone grandstand at Stewart Field, three  hours from home and its comforts, but exactly where we were supposed to be.

We watched Aberdeen hand it to Hoquiam, good and hard.

The Bobcats kicked off - and recovered an onside kick.  And then they drove steadily  to score - ON A  QUARTERBACK SNEAK! - and got the two-point conversion to take an 8-0 lead.

Poetic justice: a key play came on a fourth-and-four, when Hoquiam, not known for being disciplined, jumped offside.

The Grizzlies drove inside the Aberdeen 10, but on fourth and one - discipline, anyone? - one of their linemen jumped. Now, faced with fourth and six, they failed to make the necessary yardage.

To me, that was it for Hoquiam.  I had expected them to throw more and better than they did, but instead, they seemed determined to show that a spread team could win by running the ball. No such luck.  Their leading rusher was their quarterback, mostly from scrambling to avoid the rush. Interestingly, although he scrambled enough to make me think that he’d had a lot of experience doing it this season, his receivers never responded to his scrambling by breaking off their routes.

Aberdeen, behind the strong running of sophomore tailback Jeremy Sawyer, put another score on the board midway through the second period to go up, 16-0.

Hoquiam put another drive together but once again, without much of a running game, came up short deep in Aberdeen territory, with just seconds left in the half.

But in two quick plays, one of them a long pass from Eli Brown to Isaiah Watson, the Bobcats were on the Hoquiam 10, with two seconds remaining.

A quick pass to the right corner was slightly long, but the Hoquiam defender was called for pass interference.

The clock now read 0:00 as Aberdeen lined up on the five for one untimed down when - what else? - a Hoquiam defender  jumped offside.

Now, from the one, Aberdeen punched it in, followed up with another two-point conversion, and went in at halftime with a 24-0 lead.

The game was as good as over.

Hoquiam did score once to pull to within 16 at 24-8, but there was no way they were going to catch the Bobcats and Aberdeen clinched it with one more score to make the final 30-8.

Jeremy Sawyer rushed for 214 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries.

On the field afterward, it was almost magical - so many happy hugs with kids  that I’d missed so much.

They were as happy as I’ve ever seen them.

It was so great to see. I was reminded  of a team I once coached many years ago that went 0-9, and how desperately I’d wanted to see those kids get to celebrate just one win.

We got to see so many people, young and old, current and former players, from Aberdeen and from nearby North Beach, where Aberdeen coach Todd Bridge and I had coached together for six years before we wound up at Aberdeen.

Why were  we there?  We hadn’t been to Aberdeen - or to our place in nearby Ocean Shores - since August.

But Saturday morning, I got a text from Todd Bridge: “Would you consider  driving up for the game?  Tydus wants to see you drink a beer from the trophy.”

That did it. 

Not the beer - the invitation from Tydus Morrow, one of the greatest young men I’ve ever worked with. And he was playing in his last high school game.

We hugged after the game and I told him how much I loved him and how special I thought he was.

And then, finally, they turned the stadium lights off, and we headed  for our place at the beach, very happy that we’d made the decision to attend.


*********** From the “It’s Always Something” Department comes the accusation, in a Wall Street Journal article, that those wicked men who  built the NCAA basketball tournament  into one of the nation’s great sports events, and made “March Madness” a part of the language, are selfishly refusing to share the wealth with the women.

It took three people to write the article - all of them  (no coincidence) women - and the gist of the complaint is that the NCAA has refused to permit the term “March Madness” to be applied also to the women’s tournament.

Why, sure.  That’s the only reason why there isn’t the same interest in the women’s tournamant as there is in the men’s.

What an opportunity for the NFL, which is always looking for ways to curry favor with women. I know that the NFL doesn’t like churches advertising “Super Bowl watch parties,” but maybe  Big Football could lighten up just a bit a let the women call their tournament “The Super Bowl of Basketball.”

*********** Alexander Fraser Tytler was Professor of Universal History, and Greek and Roman Antiquities at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland.  He was born in 1747 and died in 1813, which means he was a contemporary of our Founding Fathers, and he had some very pertinent observations on the riskiness of the government that the Americans had undertaken:


"The people flatter themselves that they have the sovereign power. These are, in fact, words without meaning. It is true they elected governors; but how are these elections brought about? In every instance of election by the mass of a people—through the influence of those governors themselves, and by means the most opposite to a free and disinterested choice, by the basest corruption and bribery. But those governors once selected, where is the boasted freedom of the people? They must submit to their rule and control, with the same abandonment of their natural liberty, the freedom of their will, and the command of their actions, as if they were under the rule of a monarch"

"Patriotism always exists in the greatest degree in rude nations, and in an early period of society. Like all other affections and passions, it operates with the greatest force where it meets with the greatest difficulties ... but in a state of ease and safety, as if wanting its appropriate nourishment, it languishes and decays". ... "It is a law of nature to which no experience has ever furnished an exception, that the rising grandeur and opulence of a nation must be balanced by the decline of its heroic virtues".

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage."


*********** In World War II, General Maxwell Taylor commanded the 82nd Airborne Division Artillery, and took part in combat in Sicily and Italy.

In 1944, as Commanding General of the 101st Airborne, he took part in the division's parachute jump into Normandy , making him the first Allied general to land in France on D-Day.

Asked why he enjoyed jumping out of airplanes, he replied, “I really don’t like it all that much. But I really like the people who do.”

*********** From the memoirs of Coach Jim Young…

     My parents were great parents for me.  They disciplined me, gave me love, companionship, let me have the freedom that a young person needs, introduced me to many things, and supported the things that I became interested in.

     I was never aware that I was an only child; the subject just never came up in our home.  We did many things as a family of three.  Some examples are: We went fishing at St Mary’s Lake, fished at various creeks in the area and the Maumee River, had great vacations to Northern Michigan, worked together in our Victory
Garden at the farm, ice skated on the town creek, went to Chicago to the Ice Escapades, went to see the Dodgers play, etc.

     As I look back on “being an only child” I feel that I had two great advantages over multiple children families.  First, I can enjoy myself alone.  I enjoy sitting and thinking.  Having time alone has always been very important to me and this perhaps comes from being an only child.  I spent many hours as a kid alone, playing with my soldiers, reading, listening to my music, and daydreaming.  I enjoy silence and I enjoy time alone thinking.  The second advantage came about after I left home.  My parents were able to help me financially because I was the only child; something they would not have been able to do with a large family.

     When my passions became the military, the Dodgers, and sports; they supported me even though these were not things they particularly liked at first.  They let me be my own boy and later my own man but were always there to give me support.  They were always there for support and advice but never there to push or control in anyway.

    I believe each of us develops to a greater or lesser degree from our parents’ influence.  My parents had a strong influence on me and many of my traits and beliefs can be traced back to them.  Some of the traits I have that are similar to my parents’ are:

1. Work hard at what you do.
2. Intensity.
3. Do the thing you dislike first so you can enjoy the good things.  Don’t procrastinate. (Eat your spinach before your ice cream)
4. Organized.  Don’t waste time.
5. Quiet – not outgoing in a social group.
6. Be responsible and follow through on what you start.
7. Stubborn and believe in your way.
8. Think, plan, and work through all options on paper before you decide.
9. Focus on one thing at a time.


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

I would like to sign up our team for the Black Lion Award.  My question is, can we have both a JV recipient and a Varsity recipient, or are we limited to one award only?  Thanks.

Dave Potter
Raleigh, North Carolina

Hi Coach-

The answer to your question is yes - you can nominate one player for each team in the program.


*********** This from the nobles who run high school sports in the Peoples Republic of Washington.

The WIAA sends its condolences and support to the Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities which have faced an increased number of attacks over the past year. Anti-Asian hate crimes have grown by 149% around the country last year and 33% in Seattle*. We condemn these racist actions and encourage individuals to both acknowledge this violence and support the people of color in their communities.

The WIAA will continue to take action focused on celebrating differences as strengths and dismantling systemic racism that disproportionately affect BIPOC communities. It is our goal to assist member schools in offering equitable opportunities and an inclusive space for all students, coaches and administrators.

*Statistics from the Center for Study of Hate & Extremism

Just do your job and let the kids play, okay?


*********** Tom Walls is an American  who’s married to a Canadian.  He lives and coaches  football - Canadian football - in Suburban Winnipeg, and while he now coaches a high school program that he started, he and his wife, Shandy, are also responsible for starting a junior football organization in their  town of Oakbank, Manitoba, that now has more than 200 kids participating in it.

Tom is also one of those coaches blessed with being able to coach their own sons, and Tom’s son, Tommy, whom I’ve known since he was 10, is developing into quite a nice high school quarterback.

Dad, Tom, and quarterback, Tommy, were recently interviewed on a Canadian podcast, and asked to talk about their favorite plays. (They run my Open Wing.)

Tom won rock-paper-scissors and got to talk first, about his favorite play - a run (criss-cross counter).

Tommy, the quarterback, talked about his favorite play - a pass (6 Green).


https://www.facebook.com/1021027873/posts/10223267196321127/?d=n

*********** 1. Absolutely would like to read more of the Coach Young memoirs.

2. I thought maybe I'd have 1 in 1,000 chance of catching you on a coach you left off your list, but, alas, thou didst come through. I was thinking of George Welsh, but you got him. No Art Guepe?

3. Team of the Month? These people really know how to lead.

4. Thanks for that Ridgeley essay. Brilliant. If his manner of expression and his ideas aren't perfect, they're just a smidge short of it.

John Vermillion
St. Petersburg, Florida

***********  Hugh,

Washington is not alone in claiming Baden as their "official" game football.  Hawaii, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska also use it.

That article you shared wriiten by Dr. Ridgely was awesome.  I know you mentioned you read it many years ago, but how long ago did he write it?  Because this country has changed so much today I wonder if it would have the same merit today as it did back then?

Enjoy the weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Burl Toler moved to San Francisco in the late 1940s, and played junior college football at City College of San Francisco, where he was a JC All-American as a linebacker.

That earned  him a scholarship to attend the University of San Francisco, where he played on one of the greatest college football teams of all times.

The Dons finished the 1951 season 9-0.  Despite the claim that the competition  was often weak (mainly because stronger West Coast teams refused to play them), the fact that eleven players from that team would go on to play in the NFL attests to the team’s quality..

Despite their record, the Dons were not invited to play in a post-season bowl game, and while it’s fashionable now for virtue-signalers to attribute the snub to racism - he and teammate Ollie Matson were black - one of the teams chosen ahead of USF was College of the Pacific, whose star running back, Eddie Macon, was a black man.
 
Although eleven of his teammates would go on to play in the NFL, and three of them -  Ollie Matson, Gino Marchetti and Bob St. Clair - are now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he was considered by many to be the best of them all.

Nevertheless, he never got to play a down of professional football.

Playing in the 1952 College All Star Game, he injured his knee severely to end his football career.

He became a middle school teacher in San Francisco and began  officiating Bay Area college football games.

In 1965, he became the first black NFL official.

Before retiring as an official after the 1991 season, he worked three Super Bowls.

Following his retirement as an active official, he continued to work with the NFL as a game observer, while in his “day job” becoming San Francisco’s first black secondary school principal.

His son and namesake , Burl Toler, Jr. played football for Cal, as did his grandson, Burl Toler, III.

In 2002 a San Francisco middle school was renamed in his honor.

Mr. Toler died in 2009.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BURL TOLER

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
OSSIE OSMUNDSON -  RIDGEFIELD, WASHINGTON
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

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

Burl Toler is a great choice for your quiz. I wasn't aware of him, so I learned something new.

https://www.footballzebras.com/2016/02/burl-toler-blazed-a-trail-50-years-ago/

Greg Koenig
Falcon, Colorado

*********** Burl Toler - I learned a great deal about that '51 Dons football team while serving as USF assistant to the Director of IM/Rec, and helped coach their club football team back in 1981-82.  I was fortunate enough to meet a few of them.  Ollie Matson, Ed Brown, and Bob St. Clair.  All three made it a point to tell me that Burl Toler was by far the best player on that team. 

One of the others I met I already knew, and met 10 years earlier.  Vince Tringali (who was the Dons' starting left tackle on that '51 team) eventually went on to be the most successful football coach at St. Ignatius Prep in SF.  Later he was convinced to restart the USF football program in 1969.  I was recruited by Vince out of JC to play at USF in 1971 only to be called that summer to find out the school decided to discontinue the program.  Sadly Vince passed in 2010.  There is a book and film titled, "Undefeated, Untied, and Uninvited" chronicling that '51 Dons football team.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** QUIZ:  He was a high school football star in Atlanta, and at Georgia Tech, with rosters depleted by World War II, he was able to play varsity football as a freshman in 1942.

He first came to the public’s attention when his running and passing led Georgia Tech to its first win over Notre Dame since 1928, and dealt the Irish their first loss in two years.

Three weeks later, against Navy, his 95-yard interception return as Navy was driving for a score clinched a 21-0 Georgia Tech win.

As Georgia Tech made it 9-0 with a win over Florida, he injured his knee.

He managed to finish the season and play for Tech against Texas in the Cotton Bowl.

He finished third in the Heisman balloting, the highest a freshman had ever placed up to that time.

Following the Cotton Bowl, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps (as the Air Force as then known), and had surgery to repair his knee. When he was examined by Army doctors, he was pronounced fit for service.

After earning his pilot’s wings, he was stationed in Africa  as co-pilot of a B-26, and in November, 1944, while flying up the West Coast of Africa, his plane and another accompanying it vanished without a trace.

After an extensive search, he and other crew members were classified as KNB (killed, no body).

Tech Hall of Fame coach Bobby Dodd, who was a Tech assistant at the time, said that if he had lived to finish his playing career “he’d have probably been an All-American for three years and been the greatest back in Georgia Tech history.”

His number 19 is the only football jersey that Georgia Tech has ever retired.


UPSIODE DOWN FLAGFRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2021 - “A politician is a person who can make waves and then make you think he’s the only one who can save the ship.”  Ivern Ball4


*********** Football coaches at the highest level of our game are notoriously one-dimensional creatures.  From their first day as a graduate assistant until the day they retire - or realize that there are no more job prospects - the demands of the job have required such an immersion in the work that they’ve had no time - even if they had had the interest - for any other sort of intellectual development. The old saying is that they continue to know more and more about less and less until eventually they know everything about nothing.  This sort of total absorption in one’s profession is not unique to coaching, of course, but in my opinion it’s more pronounced among coaches, because in their climb to the top of their profession, they managed to totally  avoid what one would normally go to college to get - an education.

So it is that as I read the memoirs of Hall of Fame coach Jim Young, I continue to be amazed and enthralled by how deep the man is.

An excerpt from the opening chapter…

If I were to pick one word to describe my life, I would pick passion.  I have been a person of passions.  A passion for me is something that you are totally dedicated to and is ingrained in the thought patterns of your mind.  A passion is always there and never leaves you completely, at least that is the way my passions have always been for me.  I have had five important passions in my life and they have continued to play a part in all phases of my life, as one passion has led to another passion. The key passions for me have always been: World War Two and the Marines, The Brooklyn Dodgers, Sports, Music, and most of all Alyce-Jane Waltz-Young. 

My life has been filled with these five very strong passions.  They never leave me completely and lie just below the surface of my thoughts.  What I so internalized as a kid remains strongly internalized in me as an adult.  These passions have dominated my thoughts, my emotions, and my beliefs for a very long time—my passions are who I am.

 When I was eighteen years old I was introduced to a book, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.  This was my first introduction to eastern philosophy and what today I guess would be called “thinking outside the box.”  Gibran expresses so well many of the thoughts that I have in writing this book.  Gibran states, “The things which the child loves remain in the domain of the heart until old age.  The most beautiful thing in life is that our souls remain hovering over the places where we once enjoyed ourselves.”

He further states, “An old man likes to return in memory to the days of his youth like a stranger who longs to go back to his own country.  He delights to tell stories of the past like a poet who takes pleasure in reciting his best poem.  He lives spiritually in the past because the present passes swiftly, and the future seems to him as an approach to the oblivion of the grave.”

I realize that we all become that old man or woman who likes to tell stories from their past.  I now know that while I may not have always listened with full attention to my parents’ stories, it did not matter too much because they were telling them mainly for their own delight and pleasure.  However, the only way to keep these memories alive is to put them down in writing, so they survive for future generations to read.  Perhaps more importantly, writing these stories down allows the individual who is telling the story to get a feeling that they will not die with him or her.

LET ME KNOW IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ MORE…

***********  A while back, The Sporting News published what it called its "Top 50 Coaches of All Time." 

Only 11 college football coaches made it - Bear Bryant (Alabama); Knute Rockne (Notre Dame); Joe Paterno (Penn State); Eddie Robinson (Grambling); Bobby Bowden (West Virginia, Florida State); Woody Hayes (Miami, Ohio State); Bud Wilkinson (Oklahoma); Tom Osborne (Nebraska); Bo Schembechler (Miami, Michigan); Amos Alonzo Stagg (Springfield College, Chicago and Pacific); Ara Parseghian (Miami, Northwestern, Notre Dame) - and a few pro coaches (Paul Brown, Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi,  Don Shula) as well.

Excuse me, I thought - of  All Time? No Pop Warner? No Earl Blaik? No Frank Leahy?  No Robert Neyland? 

Give… me… a… break.

Since no special expertise is required to publish such a list,  I figured that I'd seen or followed enough coaches in my lifetime to qualify me as well as any millennial genius  sitting in front of a computer screen at some sports weekly.

So here, then, is my Top 35 College Football Coaches in My Lifetime

First,  the ground rules.

(1) I’m a historian.  So for me, that  means no currently active coach is eligible. Bill Snyder was the most recent qualifier to become eligible.  Urban Meyer  (187-32 at  Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, Ohio State) was dropped from consideration because he remains active, although not at the college level.  I have to admit that I’m not at all comfortable about including him on a list of top coaches, but you can’t argue with his ability to win, wherever he’s been.  When Nick Saban finally hangs ‘em up, he’ll immediately move into my top group. He  won’t knock anyone out, though. As far as I’m concerned,  once they’re in, they’re in. It’s like a Hall of Fame in that regard.

(2) I took into account the number of wins,  the quality of the competition, and titles won - all of which are objective - and then their overall impact on the game, which is  subjective. I did, however,  require that a coach have an overall winning record.

(3) I required that a coach must have spent the greatest part of his career coaching at the highest level of college football. Unfortunately, this meant excluding some great coaches such as Eddie Robinson,  Jake Gaither,  John Merritt,  Dave Nelson,  John Gagliardi and Larry Kehres.  Paul Brown won a national championship at Ohio State but he didn't make it because I knew him only as a pro coach, and his college career,  although it did include a national title, was way too brief.  Bobby Bowden didn’t get credit for his early-career wins at little Samford.

(4) The major portion of the coach's work had to have taken place during my time  following football, which I date as starting in 1945. Purely coincidentally that was also  the start of the post-war era.  That means that I started my football-watching near the end of the careers of such coaching giants as Dana X Bible (Texas A & M, Nebraska, Texas), Bernie Biermann of Minnesota, Fritz Crisler of Michigan,  Dutch Meyer of TCU,  General Robert Neyland of Tennessee,  Carl Snavely of North Carolina and Wallace Wade of Alabama and Duke,  so I couldn't include them.

(5) It was tough enough for me to choose a first 11, a second 11 and a third 11,  so within each 11 I refused to choose one coach over another - I simply listed them alphabetically.  It's not difficult to make a strong argument that some coaches in one group deserve to be ranked higher,  or that some coaches were wrongly left off entirely.  

(6) Why groups of 11?  I don't know.  Why do we always have to make lists of 10? Or 25? Or 50? Or 100?  Are we simply slaves of base-10 mathematics?  Maybe I should simply say I did it because there are 11 men on a football team.  But I didn't.  Actually, my third group  contains 13 names.  I had a couple of late additions and I wasn’t about to drop anyone off the list.

(7) My list is simply that - my list.  It’s not intended to be definitive, or to be “better” than yours, or anyone else’s.

TOP COACHES IN MY LIFETIME AS A FOLLOWER OF FOOTBALL

(Coaches’ records at lesser programs are not included.  Only records from the colleges shown are listed.)


MY TOP ELEVEN (#1-11) - in alphabetical order

Earl Blaik - (166-48-14) Dartmouth, Army… (Dartmouth was big-time when he coached there.) Two national championships at Army,  two #2 finishers,  one #3… 6 unbeaten teams, 8 top-10 teams… Coached three Heisman Trophy winners…  20 former assistants went on to become head coaches - two of them (Paul Dietzel at LSU and Murray Warmath  at Minnesota) won national titles; Sid Gillman  at San Diego won an AFL championship; Vince Lombardi at Green Bay won five NFL titles and two Super Bowls…  Co-founded the National Football Foundation.

Bear Bryant - (323-85-17) Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A & M, Alabama… Built a winner at every place he coached… Had just one losing season in 38 years as a major college head coach… Six national titles and 13 SEC championships at Alabama… In 25 years at Alabama, after missing a bowl bid his first season, took the Tide to 24 straight bowl games… Was 60-23-5 with an SEC championship - at Kentucky(!)

Bobby Dodd - (165-64-8) Georgia Tech - Had a 31-game unbeaten streak from 1951-1953… pioneered the Belly Series and today’s “CEO” coaching structure… took teams to 13 major bowl games and had a string of eight straight bowl wins.

Woody Hayes - (219-66-10) Miami, Ohio State - Won five national titles, one MAC championship, 13 Big Ten championships. Won numerous Coach of the Year awards.  Had four unbeaten teams.  Took Buckeyes to eight Rose Bowls. From 1968-1976 had eight Top Ten  finishes.

Frank Leahy - (107-13-9) Boston College, Notre Dame… Was 20-2 at Boston College… Made the switch from Knute Rockne’s Box to the T-formation at Notre Dame and later popularized the I-formation… After two years in the Navy in WW II his ND teams  didn’t lose a game in four years (1946-1949)… In 11 years at ND, his teams won four national titles, and only three times did they finish ranked lower than third…   In 13 seasons as a head coach his teams lost just 13 games - and four of those losses came in one down year (1950)

John McKay - (127-40-8) USC…  In 16 years at USC won four national championships and  nine conference titles… Took teams to eight Rose Bowls, including four straight (1966-1969) … Nine of his teams  finished in the Top Ten nationally… Had three unbeaten teams, three one-loss teams.

Ara Parseghian - (170-58-6) Miami, Northwestern, Notre Dame… After a 39-6-1 term at Miami (Ohio), at Northwestern he got the Wildcats as high as third in the Big Ten in 1962, and a Number 16 ranking nationally… Left Northwestern with a winning record (36-35-1)… Took over when ND had had five straight non-winning seasons, and in his first year  took Irish to within one game - a loss in the last game against USC - of a national title.  He did win two (in 1973, running the Wing-T), and never had a losing season…

Joe Paterno -  (409-136-3) Penn State… All-time winningest major college coach… Built Penn State from eastern power to national power… Went to record 27 bowls… First coach to win in every major bowl game - Rose, Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Sugar… Teams won two national championships… Had five undefeated, untied seasons… 23 of his teams were ranked in the final Top Ten…

Darrell Royal - (184-60-5) Mississippi State, Washington, Texas…Took the Horns from 1-9 the year before he arrived to 6-4 his first year, and never had a losing season in 20 years there…  Won two national titles and  earned Top-Ten ranking ten times… Introduced the Wishbone, and then shared it with Alabama and Oklahoma (the latter case to his regret)…  Won 11 Southwest Conference titles,  six in a row after unveiling the Wishbone…

Bo Schembechler - (234-65-8) Miami, Michigan… 40-17-3 at Miami… At Michigan, finished in the Top Ten his first ten years straight, and 16 times overall… Finished first or tied for first in the Big Ten 13 times… Took teams to 10 Rose Bowls... Had three 10-win teams that didn’t go because of Big Ten’s “no-repeat” rule… 21 former assistants became FBS head coaches… Never won a national title, but in 23 years only one of his teams finished unranked... Had one unbeaten season and five one-loss seasons…

Bud Wilkinson - (145-29-4) Oklahoma… Took over at OU after Jim Tatum left for Maryland and led the Sooners on one of the great runs in college  football history… Between 1953 and 1957, the Sooners won 47 games, still a major college record… Sooners won three national titles and 14 conference titles… For 11 straight years - from 1948-1958 - his Sooners finished in the Top Ten… He had four unbeaten and untied teams, and six one-loss teams.



MY SECOND ELEVEN (#12-22) - in alphabetical order

Bobby Bowden - (346-123-4) West Virginia, Florida State… One of only three Power 5 coaches with 300+ wins…  two national  titles…  12 ACC championships… Two sons, Tommy and Terry,  became successful coaches

Frank Broyles - (149-62-6) Missouri, Arkansas… One national championship… Seven SWC Championships… Two losing seasons in 19 years at Arkansas… Nine major bowl appearances… 1964 AFCA Coach of the Year

Bob Devaney - (136-30-7) Wyoming, Nebraska… 35-10-5 at Wyoming… Built the Nebraska program into a national powerhouse… NU had seven straight losing seasons before his arrival… He went 9-2 his first year, which led to 40 straight winning seasons…Won consecutive national titles (1970-1971) and eight Big 8 championships

Vince Dooley - (201-77-10) Georgia - One national title, six SEC titles… Five times SEC Coach of the Year… 12 Top-20 and, seven Top-10 rankings… In 25 years at UGA missed going to bowls just five times… Ended a 3-game Georgia Tech win streak over UGA in his first season, went 19-6 against GT

Hayden Fry - (232-178-10) SMU, North Texas State, Iowa… Three Big Ten championships, I SWC championship, 1 Missouri Valley Conference championship… Took Iowa  to 14 bowl games - before his arrival they had been to only two… Three times Big Ten Coach of the Year… His coaching tree of 13 FBS coaches is exceeded in quality only by that of Army’s Earl Blaik…

Lou Holtz - (249-132-7) William & Mary, NC State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame, South Carolina…
No one else in the history of the game has taken six different schools to bowl games… Although he had losing records at W & M, Minnesota and South Carolina,  he won conference titles at NC State and Arkansas, and a national title at Notre Dame… 18 Top-20 finishes at four different schools… Four Top-5  finishes at ND… 12-8-1 in bowl games

Don James - (178-76-3) Kent State, Washington - 25-19-1 at Kent, took KSU  to first bowl game in school history, won 9 games for first time in school history… At UW,  one national title,  5 Top Ten finishes…  Six Rose Bowls (won four)…  10-4 in bowl games…  Finished first or tied for first in Pac-10 six times, second or tied for second seven times… Ended career with three straight Rose Bowl appearances

Shug Jordan - (176-83-7) Auburn - Still has more wins than any coach in Auburn history… His 1957 team was undefeated national champion… When he took over in 1951, Auburn’s Stadium held  21,000; when he retired in 1975,  it held 61,000 (It’s since been named for him)… Six top-ten finishes and 13 top-20 finishes

Tom Osborne -  (255-49-3) Nebraska - Succeeded the great Bob Devaney and didn’t miss a beat…Won 13 conference championships and three national titles… Pioneered modern-day strength training… Went 60-3 in his last five season  (three of his last four teams were unbeaten) and won his third national title in his final game… Went to a bowl game in every one of his 25 seasons, and to a major bowl in 21 of them... Never won fewer than nine games in a season!

Barry Switzer - (157-29-4)  Oklahoma - Won three national championships… Won or shared the Big Eight championship for eight straight years (1973-1980)… Took Sooners to 13 bowl games in his 16 years… 12 of his 16 teams finished in the  top ten… Nine of his teams were ranked third or higher.. In head-to-head competition against other coaching greats his record was remarkable: Against Tom Osborne?  12–5;  Jimmy Johnson? 5-3;  Bobby Bowden? 3-0; Darrell Royal? 2-0-1;   Joe Paterno, Bo Schembechler, and Woody Hayes? 1-0

Johnny Vaught - (190-61-2) Mississippi… Still the only coach in Ole Miss history to win an SEC title - he won FIVE… Had one losing season in 25 years… In a 19-year period (from 1952 to 1970) went to bowls 17 times (there were far fewer bowl games then… Ranked in final AP Top Ten five straight years (1959-1963)


MY THIRD THIRTEEN (#23-34) in alphabetical order

Last minute ruling:  I had to  come to the realization that in putting Rip Engle of Penn State in this third group, I was letting my heart rule my head, and despite my great respect and affection for Coach Engle, I couldn’t justify ranking him  ahead of any number of the  outstanding - many great - coaches who  didn’t quite make my first three lists.

Jerry Claiborne - (179-122-8) Virginia Tech, Maryland, Kentucky
Built the foundation of today's Virginia Tech program… Took over a down Maryland program and took Terps to first winning season in 11 years and then went on to play in six straight bowl games and  win 3 ACC titles… Led Kentucky to its first winning season in 6 years, took Wildcats to their only two bowl games between 1976 and 1993

Duffy Daugherty - (109-69-5) Michigan State
Seven top-10 teams, three #2 rankings in the AP Poll… Took Spartans to 2 Rose Bowls… Shared the 1965 National Title… Finished second in 1965, only because of a tie with Notre Dame - which wound up finishing first.

Dan Devine - (173-56-9) Arizona State, Missouri, Notre Dame… A big winner at all three places he coached… 15 top-20 finishes all told… Four top ten finishes at Mizzou and two at ND, including a national championship in 1977… 7-3 in bowl games… (Unfairly portrayed as the bad guy in “Rudy”)

Terry Donahue - (151-74-8) UCLA
Won 5 Pac-10 championships…  From 1981-1988 took Bruins to eight straight bowl games - three of them Rose Bowls… From 1982-1988 became the first coach to win seven straight bowl games…  During that time his teams earned seven straight top-15 finishes.

Lavell Edwards - (257-101-3) BYU
Threw the ball when nearly everyone else was running, and known for the QBs he developed… Built BYU into a national power… Cougars won the National title in 1984… 1984 AFCA Coach of the Year… Took BYU to 22 bowl games… 12 national rankings, three top-ten teams… Has 3 Super Bowl winners (Billick, Holmgren, Reid) on his coaching tree

Frank Kush - (176-54-1) Arizona State
Built the Sun Devils from a regional team to a national power - from Border Conference to WAC to  Pac-10… Won 6 of 7 bowl games… From 1970-1973, went 42-4, and 25-2 in conference play… 15-6 against Arizona… Sun Devil Stadium  opened his first year with  30,000 seats, more than doubled by the time he left

John Robinson- (132-77-4) USC (twice), UNLV
Took USC to five Pac-10 titles and three Rose Bowls…  Took USC and UNLV to a total of seven bowls, and won six of them, including all three Rose Bowls…  Split the 1978 National Title…Three AP Number two rankings…

Red Sanders - (102-41-3) Vanderbilt, UCLA
Built the Bruins into a national power with his single wing….  Won the Bruins’ only national title in their history in 1954… Credited with inventing the squib kick and the 4-4 defense… Four teams ranked in top ten… Three conference titles… 6-3 against USC

Ben Schwartzwalder - (153-91-3) Syracuse
His power game made the Number 44 synonymous with great Syracuse running backs - Jim Brown, Ernie Davis,  Floyd Little…  Won the national title in 1959… Led nation in both total offense and total defense… 1959 AFCA Coach of the Year… Teams won four Lambert Trophies (best in East)… Had eleven ranked teams, three  ranked in top ten.

Bill Snyder -  (215-117-1) Kansas State
It’s impossible to overstate what he accomplished in Manhattan.  From 1934 until his hiring in 1989, K-State had gone through 14 straight coaches and not one left with a winning record.  But in his 26 seasons (split into segments of 16 and 10 years) the Wildcats went to 19 bowl games and had 13 top-20 finishes.  He could maybe be in a higher group, but who do I demote?

Bob Stoops (190-48) Oklahoma
A late entry because it appeared he had returned to coaching… One of four Oklahoma coaches with more than 100 wins… One national title… Six Big-12 championships… Numerous  National Coach of the year Awards (partly because there are numerous such awards given)… Six times Big 12 Coach of the Year

Jim Tatum - (100-35-7) Oklahoma, Maryland, North Carolina
Started the split-T at Oklahoma and took Sooners to an 8-3 season and a bowl game in one season there, then moved on and won a national title at Maryland… His Oklahoma team and  six of his Maryland teams were nationally ranked, Maryland three times in the Top Three… Had  one losing season in 14- his first at North Carolina… Had turned UNC around in his third season before his death at 46 of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Pappy Waldorf - (157-89-19) Oklahoma A & M, Kansas State, Northwestern, Cal
Had winning records and won conference championships at every place he coached, none of them easy to win at…  In his one year there, took Kansas State to a 7-2-1 record… One of only two coaches in Northwestern History to win an outright Big Ten title… Took Cal to three straight Rose Bowls - 1948-49-50 (Cal has been to only one since (in 1959)… Cal was ranked nationally five straight years, three times in the Top Five. 

FINALLY…

Outstanding coaches, many of whom I just couldn't quite find room for in my Top Three Groups

 (Listed Alphabetically)
 
Fred Akers - (108–75–3) Wyoming, Texas, Purdue; Barry Alvarez - (118-73-4) Wisconsin;   Emory Bellard - (85-69) Texas A & M, Mississippi State;  Mike Bellotti - (116-55) Oregon;  Rich Brooks* (130-156-4) Oregon, Kentucky; Wally Butts - (140-86-9) Georgia;  Doug Dickey (104-58-6) Tennessee, Florida;  Paul Dietzel - (109-95-5) LSU, Army, South Carolina;   Charlie Caldwell - (70-41-3) Princeton;  Ray Eliot - (83-73-11) Illinois;  Rip Engle - (132-68-4) Penn State;  Dennis Erickson (179-96-1) Idaho, Wyoming, Washington State, Miami, Oregon State; Forest Evashevski  - (63-33-6) Washington State, Iowa;  Don Faurot - (101-79-10) Missouri;   Danny Ford - (122-59-5) Clemson,  Arkansas;   Philip Fullmer - (152-52) Tennessee; Ray Graves - (70-31-4) Florida;  Wayne Hardin - (188-74-5) Navy, Temple;   Ken Hatfield - (168-140-4) Air Force, Arkansas,  Clemson,  Rice;   Jess Hill - (45-17-1) USC;   Frank Howard - (165-118-2) Clemson;  Paul Johnson (127-90) Navy, Georgia Tech; Bill Mallory  (168-129-4) Miami (O), Colorado, Northern Illinois, Indiana; Johnny Majors - (185-137-10) Iowa State, Pitt, Tennessee;  Charlie McClendon - (137-59-7) LSU;  George Munger - (82-42-10) Penn;  Bill Murray - (93-51-9) Duke;  Jess Neely - (207-176-19) Clemson, Rice;   Don Nehlen - (202-128-8) Bowling Green, West Virginia;   Tom Nugent - (89-80-3) VMI, Florida State, Maryland;   Jordan Olivar - (111-63-8) Villanova, Loyola, Yale;   Doyt Perry - (77-11-5) Bowling Green;  Bill Peterson - (65-48-12) Florida State, Rice;   Gary Pinkel - (191-110-3) Toledo, Missouri; Tommy Prothro - (104-55-5) Oregon State, UCLA;  John Ralston (97-81-4) Utah State, Stanford, San Jose State;   Jackie Sherrill - (180-120-4) Washington State, Pitt, Texas A & M, Mississippi State;   R.C. Slocum (123-47-2) Texas A & M; Larry Smith (143-126-7) Tulane, Arizona, USC, Missouri;   Dick Tomey - (183–145–7)  Hawaii, Arizona, San Jose State;  Jim Tressel - (106-22) Ohio State; Murray Warmath - (97-84-10) Mississippi State, Minnesota;   George Welsh - (189-132-4) Navy, Virginia;  Bowden Wyatt - (99-56-5) Wyoming, Arkansas, Tennessee;   Bill Yeoman - (160-108-8) Houston; Jim Young (120-71-2) Arizona, Purdue, Army

* Rich Brooks is the only coach with a losing record overall, and he’s on the list because I saw first-hand what he was able to  do at Oregon, finally taking them the Rose Bowl in his last season before leaving for the Rams, and because I watched closely what he was able to do in rebuilding a Kentucky program that had been used and abused by previous coaches.

*********** The great Greek cynic Diogenes gained immortality for walking the streets of Athens carrying a lantern - in the daytime - claiming to be looking for an honest man.

I’m not Greek, and I don’t carry around a lantern, at least during the daytime.

But maybe it would help me, because, as a modern-day Diogenes, I keep looking in vain for a soldier - just one - who actually fought for someone’s right to protest in our streets.

*********** The Washington state association that oversees all school sports (the WIAA) hasn’t had the stones to stand up to “our” governor while his tyrannical decrees all but shut down school sports for the last year.  When he said “wear masks,” their response was to make it an offense for a football player to be caught playing our sport without a mask - worn properly.

In a JV-frosh game Tuesday night, four Aberdeen players had to leave the field because of improperly fitted face masks.  (At a time when they’re having to play games at strange times because of a shortage of officials, enforcing a face mask rule sure is a hell of a thing to dump onto the men in stripes. Thankfully, they weren’t asked to stick around afterward to make sure everyone buckled their seat belts.)

Meanwhile, having palmed off onto officials the duty of enforcing the mask orders,  the WIAA was busy closing a deal: selling out the state’s high school football coaches to the highest bidder.

In this case, the highest bidder was Baden, the ball manufacturer.

What the WIAA was selling was a coach’s right to choose what ball his team will use.  Well, not exactly - what it sold was the right to be the exclusive ball supplier for all state and district playoffs.

Think about that a minute:

Sure, coach - go ahead and use the same Nike or Wilson (or whatever) ball you’ve been using - the one your quarterbacks prefer - but if you make it into your district or state playoffs, you’re going to have to use the Baden ball.

If that isn’t pressure to make the switch to Baden as your team’s ball, I don’t know what is.

But as educators - and state athletic administrarors - love to say, “It’s all about the kids.”  (That’s the sure sign that it’s not.)

*********** To give you an idea of how useless and out of touch our state association is…

For months our high school football coaches have been on pins and needles, not knowing whether they’d have even an abbreviated season.

They’ve been having one - sort of - although they’ve had to deal with last-minute cancellations and last-minute game schedulings, games at strange times and places, conflicting advisories concerning how they could practice, how many people could attend their games, and when and how to wear masks.

The state association, rather than stand up and advocate for kids and sports, appeared instead to be the governor’s mouthpiece - to take whatever the Great Man dictates, and impose it on the schools and  coaches, with the admonition to be good little proles.

And now, with a farcical six-game (at most) football season coming to a conclusion this weekend, the WIAA expects everyone to get excited about - get ready for this - the Team of the Month Award!

Every month for the rest of the school year, they’ll choose a Team of the Month in each of the six classifications!

Calm down, now, and listen: Each winning team will receive a commemorative trophy, $100 toward their program, and local dairy products coupons courtesy of the Dairy Farmers of Washington

Nothing against the Dairy Farmers of Washington, certainly.  Good people who mean well and support the state’s athletes, and are paying for this, but please…

When you’ve just gone through what these people have gone through, the last thing they need is a beauty contest.


*********** When I read about Washington State having penalties for non-mask wearing in a game I couldn't believe it.  In PA the PIAA made wearing a mask mandatory for the fall season but only when on the sideline. Players did not need to wear the mask during the game, but had to put one on when coming out.  As an official I would hate to have to enforce this during a game.  I also officiate wrestling. The PIAA made wearing a mask  mandatory during a match, however there were athletes that had exemptions and  officials were told that it wasn't our job to enforce the wearing of a mask. It was up to the site game manager to take care of this.  If a wrestler came out without a mask I started the match.  If they came out with a mask and it came off or down during action I asked them to put it back up when there was a stop in the action.  It was a pain but at least there was no penalty.  If a wrestler started the match with a mask on and decided to take it off because they couldn't breathe, also not my problem.  An interesting and little known thing we were told was that if a wrestler took off his mask and his opponent then refused to wrestle him the one that took off his mask was the winner because the other guy was "refusing to wrestle".  Luckily that never came up, I can see some dishonest coaches trying to use that to win a match as some schools wouldn't let their athletes wrestle a kid that wasn't wearing a mask.

Dave Kemick

Mount Joy, Pennsylvania

*********** Here’s a fun fact: Tucker Carlson, over whom a bunch of senior military officers tossed 240 years of non-partisanship out the window in order to chide for pointing out their myriad failures, has won just as many wars as our generals have during the last twenty years. He has also lost fewer wars.

Kurt Schlichter

*********** A fact I found interesting: in some 120 years of football, the University of Arizona has had only two quarterbacks go on to start a game in the NFL: Fred Enke, 25 games from 1948-1954 (Lions, Colts); and Nick Foles, 55 games from 2012 to the present time (Eagles, Rams, Chiefs, Eagles, Jaguars, Bears)

*********** The LSU President back when it was decided not to fire Les Miles, despite the AD’s recommendation to do so, is now the President of Oregon State.

To say that there has been uproar on the OSU campus in Corvallis is a mild understatement, and on Wednesday, under pressure to take some sort of action, the OSU Board of Trustees  met.

I don’t know nearly enough about the situation to comment, other than to say that their decision - to put him on probation until June 1 - can’t possibly work out in any other way than his eventual termination.

I mean, what can the guy do in the next 10 weeks or so to clear his name? Unless the  women who accused Miles (of whatever it is he did that Kansas now believes was worth firing him over) decide to recant, how can he possibly remain on the job without his presence being an enormous liability to Oregon State?

John Canzano, chief sports columnist for the Portland Oregonian, is on the president’s ass. Canzano is a good sportswriter, and he is a bulldog. I credit him with ridding the Pac-12 of that leech of a commissioner, Larry Scott, and I just don’t see Oregon State coming out of this without having to fire the president.


https://www.oregonlive.com/sports/john_canzano/2021/03/canzano-oregon-state-trustees-wilted-and-kicked-decision-on-f-king-alexander-down-road.html


*********** Stanley Ridgely is an assistant professor of management at Drexel University’s School of Business.

He holds a doctorate in political science from Duke University and a bachelor's in journalism from the University of North Carolina, and he’s a former military intelligence officer.

Many years ago, I came across an incredible article that he had written, and I immediately contacted him for permission to reprint.

Here’s his reply:

Coach Wyatt: Please tell your colleagues to reprint the article, copy it as they like, post it, and pass it around. Email it to their friends. I've always been more concerned with the influence of my writing than with niggling details. I'm glad your constituents are enjoying it. I wrote it for them. Best, Stan

It is one of the greatest defenses of - and justifications for - the sport of football that I've ever read.

The Secret of American Foreign Affairs

By Stanley K. Ridgley, Ph.D.

During his administration, Bill Clinton cut the United States Army from 18 active divisions to 10 and presided over an aimless "Blackhawk Down" foreign policy. How, then, could the U.S. military remain so formidable as to conquer Iraq, a nation of 24 million people, in three weeks?

A larger question is how does our military continue to outstrip the rest of the world in every category, from soldier training to leadership to the will to win? The answer to that question is one of the great secrets of American foreign affairs.

There is one primary reason for the rise of U.S. military power over the past century and its overwhelming capability to fight and win wars: American football.

Decried by some as a simple-minded sport that "glorifies" violence and appeals to the blue-collar, beer-bellied crowd, football is a phenomenon woven into America's social fabric and into the psyche of her people.

The United States is a football nation - football players and football fans - and this sociological factor sets Americans apart from every other nation on earth.

American football is a brutal collision sport in which every player's mettle is tested on every play. At its supreme level, the mutual human violence done in football is greater than that of any other sport in the world.

The only other sport that approaches football in bone-crunching controlled mayhem is rugby, another Anglo-Saxon game played almost exclusively by the British and Australians.

Coincidentally, they were the two major powers providing ground troops for the war in Iraq.

Football is violent, but it is not aimless violence. Each individual collision is a tightly circumscribed competition that measures each man's heart, drive, intellect, skill and cunning.

On both sides of the ball, strategy and counterstrategy - the multiplicity of options on a single play - contrive to create an intricate and sophisticated contest. Football is as cerebral as it is violent.

The only people who cannot comprehend football's sophistication are snobs who would like nothing better than to believe that these slashing wide receivers and great gridiron behemoths smashing into each other are dumber than they are. What a devastating ego shock to realize that the average college professor would be incapable mentally, as well as physically, to play successfully the modern game of football.

Why incapable? Because a working intellect under intense psychological pressure and physical exhaustion is an entirely different quality than a working intellect languishing in the library.

Players must execute a sophisticated battle plan swiftly, decisively and flawlessly in extreme situations, while a similarly equipped and talented group of athletes is doing its best to stop them. Play after play, there is no room for error.

In football, there is no time for still more "resolutions." The threat must be perceived and evaluated and the correct decision made now or the consequences could be ignominious defeat. The ethos of football and its prerequisite talents, attitudes and qualities are inculcated in abundance in America's military leaders.

While the football ethos is reflected in America's national spirit and her military, the Europeans draw from a distinctly different sports tradition; one developed on the playing fields of Paris and Potsdam, Boulogne and Berlin.

The ethos of what Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called "Old Europe" is exemplified in the game of soccer.

Soccer is a beautiful and well-powdered sport, much like "diplomacy," bringing to mind men in top hats and striped pants walking herky-jerky, as in black-and-white silent newsreels. Soccer is French jeu d'esprit , and it is the sport of the United Nations.

Soccer rules are easily understood, and the sport is imbued with a comradely egalitarian aspect. Players run about. They wave their arms. Sometimes, they fall down. Sometimes, they can even be tripped, and it is in these moments that Europeans first learn to be either bad actors or diplomats; tumbling on the turf, clutching a "bruised" shin, then bounding up unhurt to take a free kick (or a post-war oil concession.)

Soccer matches can and frequently do end in a tie. This abundance of scoreless ties leads one to suspect that for soccer players, as for U.N. diplomats, the goal is to stall until ultimately nothing is resolved, and no one can really be blamed. Tie-breaking "shootouts" in international play ought to be eliminated altogether, since an egalitarian draw of no winner, no loser, and no hurt feelings is a U.N. dream come true.

The activity, in the end, is pointless. But fans will neither despair nor rejoice at the outcome; aficionados in smoky salons, sipping espresso, can debate endlessly who played the better game.
Is it any wonder that the Old European nations shrink from decisive action, taking only tentative, mincing steps, hoping they'll never have to fight for anything and unable to decide firmly whether there is anything at all worth fighting for?

Consider also what American football is not . It is not about passing the buck, walking while others carry the load or debating until you are overcome by events. Nor is it about ennui, languor and the c'est la vie attitude.

Football is about character and courage, might and mettle, decisiveness, strength and stamina. It is about men who sacrifice, who dare great things and who are not afraid to win great victories.

Hundreds of thousands of American boys and young men play football each year, forging a distinctly American character in the fire of competition. This character is reflected in the American military and its successes.

I am not the first to claim more from sport than might be deserved. Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, supposedly credited his victory over Napoleon at Waterloo to his having been schooled on the "playing fields of Eton," his famous alma mater. So mightn't there be substance here?

Perhaps. American football might not be the great secret of American foreign affairs success of the past 100 years, but it does capture much that is true about the United States and her mettle. And surely, it is one small part of why she is great.

Reprinted by permission of the author.
 
Stan (Dr. Ridgely, if you prefer) told me that actually he enjoys playing soccer, but, he said, ”Soccer's a 'jogging man's' sport and a sport for overprotective mothers who want to shield their young men from injury. I find soccer to be a robust metaphor for European foreign policy. "


*********** Before going into a new setting and upsetting the apple cart in your desire to “change the culture,” it’s helpful to keep in mind an old expression that goes, “When it’s not necessary to change - it’s necessary not to change.”

The late Roger Kahn wrote some great books about baseball, and one of them, "October Men," dealt with the 1978 Yankees.

Bob Lemon had just been fired by the White Sox in June, when in July he was hired by the Yankees after Billy Martin’s firing.

In his first speech to his new team, Lemon said,

"If I read the papers right, you fellas won the World Series last year. Do I have that straight?”

Several players answered in the affirmative.

“Well,” he said, “I guess you know how to play baseball. I'll try to stay out of your way."

The Yankees went on to repeat as world champions.

*********** The Oregon State Beavers men’s basketball team was predicted in the pre-season to finish last.  Instead, it won the Pac-12 Conference tournament.

Back in January, after the Beavers lost to Arizona, 98-64, an OSU fan from Beaverton, Oregon took a look at the odds against his team winning the Pac-12 tournament - 200 to 1 - and decided to bet $10 on it at the sports book at an Indian casino.

A little later, after thinking about it a bit more, he decided to bet another $100 on it.

As they made it to the final against Colorado and he had a chance to make $22,000 on his bets, he decided to hedge his bet and wagered $5,000 - money line - on the Buffs.

When Oregon State won  the game - and the tournament - he won $22,000 on the Beavs.  Subtracting the $5,000 he lost on the Buffs, he netted $17,000.

***********. Too bad about Geechee Girl. During my Army days I had several self-identified Geechees in my unit, and every one was well above-average as both soldiers and human beings. It's been a long time, but I'd like to meet those guys again.

John Vermillion
St. Petersburg, Florida

*********** Pulaski, WI is playing a 6-game schedule this spring with a 2-game post-season. Numbers are down a bit due to other sports being crammed into the spring, among other things. Our competition is a revised area collective of teams that decided to not play last fall. We're actually in the same conference (in a normal year) as Coach Framke (Green Bay Preble is one of the largest HS in Wisconsin) but it doesn't look they are going to playing in this according to Coach Framke (unless he moved onto a new school). I confess I haven't been paying to close attention to all this. I'm doing some consulting for Pulaski but told our HC that I didn't want to go through the hoops of protocols, masks, etc. to do any more than that.

We are in Fox Valley Classic - B and Preble is in A.

Adam Wesoloski
Pulaski, Wisconsin
 
https://www.wissports.net/page/show/6009903-teams-2020-spring-

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

Some of these so-called network "announcers" doing these FCS games have been brutal.  In fact, a few of them wouldn't get the nod to do a state tournament high school game in Texas.

What's really scary about the state of Washington's latest Covid mandates from Governor dips**t is the number of people who agree to make them the law.  I wonder if the numbers of families fleeing Washington are similar to the numbers fleeing California?

Unfortunately, those spread guys who stay in shotgun on short yardage are the same guys whose teams end up beating themselves.

My short yardage offense is the traditional DTDW "Tight" alignment, and periodically the "Nasty" alignment.  Like you've said, it's always good to have it just in case.

The chart of "arguing with a liberal" was hilarious!  Thanks for the good laugh.

Many schools have taken up that mantra Pappy Waldorf used for his Northwestern team, and they too use Notre Dame as their target.  It is why most every game for ND is a big game.


Have a good week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Unfortunately, Californians still keep pouring into Washington, driving our real estate prices sky-high and our politics even further to the left.

*********** QUIZ ANSWER : Phil King came out of Dyersburg, Tennessee, in the northwest corner of the state, across the Mississippi from the “boot heel” of Missouri.  In high school he was a standout in football, baseball and basketball, and made all-state in football.

At Vanderbilt his size (6-4, 215) and his Cherokee heritage earned him the nickname “Chief” from his teammates. The nickname, in no way derogatory, would stick.

A running back, he led his team at various times in rushing, receiving, punt returns and kicks returns, and helped  them to their first bowl game ever.

He earned All-SEC honors as well as being an Academic All-American.

He was drafted in the first round (12th pick overall) by the New York Giants, who had become an NFL power.

The Giants were loaded at running back, with Frank Gifford, Alex Webster and Mel Triplett, but, now playing at 225, he earned a regular spot in the  rotation, and wound up  rushing 83 times for 316 yards and catching 11 passes  for 134 yards. He also returned 13 kicks for 279 yards.

The Giants finished 9-3, losing in the NFL title game to the Baltimore Colts in the first sudden-death overtime game in NFL history.

In five of his  first six years with the Giants, they would make it to the NFL championship game.  (They would lose all five)

His best year was 1963, when he ran and received for nearly 1,000 yards, rushing 161 times for 613 yards and catching 32 passes for 377 yards and five touchdowns.  In the NFL championship game that year, Vanderbilt was unusually well represented, with him playing running back for the Giants and Bill Wade quarterbacking the (victorious) Bears/

Following that season he was traded to the Steeler, and after one season in Pittsburgh  he spent two seasons with the Vikings, before retiring.

In nine seasons in the NFL, he played in 103 games. He rushed 569 times for 2192 yards and 7 touchdowns, and caught 86 passes for 951 yards and 9 touchdowns.

At the age of 36, while traveling on business, Phil King was found dead in his hotel room, the victim of what was determined to be an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING PHIL KING

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
DAVE KEMMICK - MOUNT JOY, PENNSYLVANIA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
OSSIE OSMUNDSON -  RIDGEFIELD, WASHINGTON
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

***********. Hugh,

Phil King was apparently a great man as well as an outstanding football player.

https://vucommodores.com/phil-king-played-in-five-championship-games/

Greg Koenig
Falcon, Colorado

*********** QUIZ: A native of Memphis, Tennessee, he moved to San Francisco in the late 1940s, and played junior college football at City College of San Francisco, where he was a JC All-American as a linebacker.

That earned  him a scholarship to attend the University of San Francisco, where he played on one of the greatest college football teams of all times.

The Dons finished the 1951 season 9-0.  Despite the claim that the competition  was often weak (mainly because stronger West Coast teams refused to play them), the fact that eleven players from that team would go on to play in the NFL attests to the team’s quality..

Despite their record, the Dons were not invited to play in a post-season bowl game, and while it’s fashionable now for virtue-signalers to attribute the snub to racism - he and teammate Ollie Matson were black - one of the teams chosen ahead of USF was College of the Pacific, whose star running back, Eddie Macon, was a black man.
 
Although eleven of his teammates would go on to play in the NFL, and three of them -  Ollie Matson, Gino Marchetti and Bob St. Clair - are now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he was considered by many to be the best of them all.

Nevertheless, he never got to play a down of professional football.

Playing in the 1952 College All Star Game, he injured his knee severely to end his football career.

He became a middle school teacher in San Francisco and began  officiating Bay Area college football games.

In 1965, he became the first black NFL official.

Before retiring as an official after the 1991 season, he worked three Super Bowls.

Following his retirement as an active official, he continued to work with the NFL as a game observer, while in his “day job” becoming San Francisco’s first black secondary school principal.

His son and namesake played football for Cal, as did his grandson, who also bore his name.

In 2002 a San Francisco middle school was renamed in his honor.

He died in 2009.

UPSIODE DOWN FLAGTUESDAY, MARCH 16, 2021 - “The government can’t measure equality of opportunity, but it can measure equality of result. If the results are not equal, they assume unequal opportunity.” Thomas Murphy, former Chairman of GM

*********** In my talk a while ago with coaching great Jim Young he graciously offered to send me his memoirs.  (If I’d be interested, he added.)

Who, me?  Want to read about a coach’s life, and how he got to where he did, and what influenced him as a coach, and whom he’d met and worked with - and against - along the way? And what lessons he learned?

Send them.  Please.

He did, and I’m now about halfway through. I know that when I’m done I’m going to ask Coach Young  for his permission to  share all or some of his memoirs with my readers.  (They weren’t written for publication, but I hope I can convince him that there’s an awful lot in what he writes that would be both interesting and useful to other coaches.)

Here’s one example of what I’m talking about, from when he was a player at Ohio State:

One Monday scouting report was Woody at his best. Each Monday the whole football team would always hear a scouting report on our next opponent before we went out to practice.  Clive Rush was a new coach and was responsible for giving the scouting report on our next opponent – Illinois.  He started to give his report to the team and Woody told him to stop.  

Woody said, “First I want to know if we can beat Illinois?”  

Clive said, “I think so, Woody.”  

Woody said, “That is not the answer. The answer is ‘Hell Yes.’ Now get your ass out the door and come back in here and we will start again!”  

When Clive came back in, Woody asked him if we could win the game?  

Clive said, “Hell Yes!”  

Woody said, “That’s better. Now let’s hear the report.”

And here’s another, from when he was offensive coordinator (for Bo Schembechler) at Miami of Ohio:

I learned a lesson that was very helpful to me in my future coaching career the week of the Bowling Green game.  Jerry Wampfler came up with a great pass on Wednesday night and we put it in during Thursday’s practice.  It was a great idea but our team only got to practice it for one practice before the game.  Our QB only had four interceptions for the entire year but three of them came on that new pass in the BG game.  The rest of my career I always put any new wrinkle in early in the week so our players had a chance for a lot of repetitions before they used it in a game.

***********  A while back, The Sporting News published what it called its "Top 50 Coaches of All Time." 

Only 11 college football coaches made it - Bear Bryant (Alabama); Knute Rockne (Notre Dame); Joe Paterno (Penn State); Eddie Robinson (Grambling); Bobby Bowden (West Virginia, Florida State); Woody Hayes (Miami, Ohio State); Bud Wilkinson (Oklahoma); Tom Osborne (Nebraska); Bo Schembechler (Miami, Michigan); Amos Alonzo Stagg (Springfield College, Chicago and Pacific); Ara Parseghian (Miami, Northwestern, Notre Dame) - and a few pro coaches (Paul Brown, Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi,  Don Shula) as well.

Excuse me, I thought - of  All Time? No Pop Warner? No Earl Blaik? No Frank Leahy?  No Robert Neyland? 

Give… me… a… break.

Since no special expertise is required to publish such a list,  I figured that I'd seen or followed enough coaches in my lifetime to qualify me as well as any millennial genius  sitting in front of a computer screen at some sports weekly.

So here, then, is my Top 35 College Football Coaches in My Lifetime

First,  the ground rules.

(1) I’m a historian.  So for me, that  means no currently active coach is eligible. Bill Snyder was the most recent qualifier to become eligible.  Urban Meyer  (187-32 at  Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, Ohio State) was dropped from consideration because he remains active, although not at the college level.  I have to admit that I’m not at all comfortable about including him on a list of top coaches, but you can’t argue with his ability to win, wherever he’s been.  When Nick Saban finally hangs ‘em up, he’ll immediately move into my top group. He  won’t knock anyone out, though. As far as I’m concerned,  once they’re in, they’re in. It’s like a Hall of Fame in that regard.

(2) I took into account the number of wins,  the quality of the competition, and titles won - all of which are objective - and then their overall impact on the game, which is  subjective. I did, however,  require that a coach have an overall winning record.

(3) I required that a coach must have spent the greatest part of his career coaching at the highest level of college football. Unfortunately, this meant excluding some great coaches such as Eddie Robinson,  Jake Gaither,  John Merritt,  Dave Nelson,  John Gagliardi and Larry Kehres.  Paul Brown won a national championship at Ohio State but he didn't make it because I knew him only as a pro coach, and his college career,  although it did include a national title, was way too brief.  Bobby Bowden didn’t get credit for his early-career wins at little Samford.

(4) The major portion of the coach's work had to have taken place during my time  following football, which I date as starting in 1945. Purely coincidentally that was also  the start of the post-war era.  That means that I started my football-watching near the end of the careers of such coaching giants as Dana X Bible (Texas A & M, Nebraska, Texas), Bernie Biermann of Minnesota, Fritz Crisler of Michigan,  Dutch Meyer of TCU,  General Robert Neyland of Tennessee,  Carl Snavely of North Carolina and Wallace Wade of Alabama and Duke,  so I couldn't include them.

(5) It was tough enough for me to choose a first 11, a second 11 and a third 11,  so within each 11 I refused to choose one coach over another - I simply listed them alphabetically.  It's not difficult to make a strong argument that some coaches in one group deserve to be ranked higher,  or that some coaches were wrongly left off entirely.  

(6) Why groups of 11?  I don't know.  Why do we always have to make lists of 10? Or 25? Or 50? Or 100?  Are we simply slaves of base-10 mathematics?  Maybe I should simply say I did it because there are 11 men on a football team.  But I didn't.  Actually, my third group  contains 13 names.  I had a couple of late additions and I wasn’t about to drop anyone off the list.

(7) My list is simply that - my list.  It’s not intended to be definitive, or to be “better” than yours, or anyone else’s.
 


TOP COACHES IN MY LIFETIME AS A FOLLOWER OF FOOTBALL


(Coaches’ records at lesser programs are not included.  Only records from the colleges shown are listed.)


MY TOP ELEVEN (#1-11) - in alphabetical order

Earl Blaik - (166-48-14) Dartmouth, Army… (Dartmouth was big-time when he coached there.) Two national championships at Army,  two #2 finishers,  one #3… 6 unbeaten teams, 8 top-10 teams… Coached three Heisman Trophy winners…  20 former assistants went on to become head coaches - two of them (Paul Dietzel at LSU and Murray Warmath  at Minnesota) won national titles; Sid Gillman  at San Diego won an AFL championship; Vince Lombardi at Green Bay won five NFL titles and two Super Bowls…  Co-founded the National Football Foundation.

Bear Bryant - (323-85-17) Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A & M, Alabama… Built a winner at every place he coached… Had just one losing season in 38 years as a major college head coach… Six national titles and 13 SEC championships at Alabama… In 25 years at Alabama, after missing a bowl bid his first season, took the Tide to 24 straight bowl games… Was 60-23-5 with an SEC championship - at Kentucky(!)

Bobby Dodd - (165-64-8) Georgia Tech - Had a 31-game unbeaten streak from 1951-1953… pioneered the Belly Series and today’s “CEO” coaching structure… took teams to 13 major bowl games and had a string of eight straight bowl wins.

Woody Hayes - (219-66-10) Miami, Ohio State - Won five national titles, one MAC championship, 13 Big Ten championships. Won numerous Coach of the Year awards.  Had four unbeaten teams.  Took Buckeyes to eight Rose Bowls. From 1968-1976 had eight Top Ten  finishes.

Frank Leahy - (107-13-9) Boston College, Notre Dame… Was 20-2 at Boston College… Made the switch from Knute Rockne’s Box to the T-formation at Notre Dame and later popularized the I-formation… After two years in the Navy in WW II his ND teams  didn’t lose a game in four years (1946-1949)… In 11 years at ND, his teams won four national titles, and only three times did they finish ranked lower than third…   In 13 seasons as a head coach his teams lost just 13 games - and four of those losses came in one down year (1950)

John McKay - (127-40-8) USC…  In 16 years at USC won four national championships and  nine conference titles… Took teams to eight Rose Bowls, including four straight (1966-1969) … Nine of his teams  finished in the Top Ten nationally… Had three unbeaten teams, three one-loss teams.

Ara Parseghian - (170-58-6) Miami, Northwestern, Notre Dame… After a 39-6-1 term at Miami (Ohio), at Northwestern he got the Wildcats as high as third in the Big Ten in 1962, and a Number 16 ranking nationally… Left Northwestern with a winning record (36-35-1)… Took over when ND had had five straight non-winning seasons, and in his first year  took Irish to within one game - a loss in the last game against USC - of a national title.  He did win two (in 1973, running the Wing-T), and never had a losing season…

Joe Paterno -  (409-136-3) Penn State… All-time winningest major college coach… Built Penn State from eastern power to national power… Went to record 27 bowls… First coach to win in every major bowl game - Rose, Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Sugar… Teams won two national championships… Had five undefeated, untied seasons… 23 of his teams were ranked in the final Top Ten…

Darrell Royal - (184-60-5) Mississippi State, Washington, Texas…Took the Horns from 1-9 the year before he arrived to 6-4 his first year, and never had a losing season in 20 years there…  Won two national titles and  earned Top-Ten ranking ten times… Introduced the Wishbone, and then shared it with Alabama and Oklahoma (the latter case to his regret)…  Won 11 Southwest Conference titles,  six in a row after unveiling the Wishbone…

Bo Schembechler - (234-65-8) Miami, Michigan… 40-17-3 at Miami… At Michigan, finished in the Top Ten his first ten years straight, and 16 times overall… Finished first or tied for first in the Big Ten 13 times… Took teams to 10 Rose Bowls... Had three 10-win teams that didn’t go because of Big Ten’s “no-repeat” rule… 21 former assistants became FBS head coaches… Never won a national title, but in 23 years only one of his teams finished unranked... Had one unbeaten season and five one-loss seasons…

Bud Wilkinson - (145-29-4) Oklahoma… Took over at OU after Jim Tatum left for Maryland and led the Sooners on one of the great runs in college  football history… Between 1953 and 1957, the Sooners won 47 games, still a major college record… Sooners won three national titles and 14 conference titles… For 11 straight years - from 1948-1958 - his Sooners finished in the Top Ten… He had four unbeaten and untied teams, and six one-loss teams.


MY SECOND ELEVEN (#12-22) - in alphabetical order

Bobby Bowden - (346-123-4) West Virginia, Florida State… One of only three Power 5 coaches with 300+ wins…  two national  titles…  12 ACC championships… Two sons, Tommy and Terry,  became successful coaches

Frank Broyles - (149-62-6) Missouri, Arkansas… One national championship… Seven SWC Championships… Two losing seasons in 19 years at Arkansas… Nine major bowl appearances… 1964 AFCA Coach of the Year

Bob Devaney - (136-30-7) Wyoming, Nebraska… 35-10-5 at Wyoming… Built the Nebraska program into a national powerhouse… NU had seven straight losing seasons before his arrival… He went 9-2 his first year, which led to 40 straight winning seasons…Won consecutive national titles (1970-1971) and eight Big 8 championships

Vince Dooley - (201-77-10) Georgia - One national title, six SEC titles… Five times SEC Coach of the Year… 12 Top-20 and, seven Top-10 rankings… In 25 years at UGA missed going to bowls just five times… Ended a 3-game Georgia Tech win streak over UGA in his first season, went 19-6 against GT

Hayden Fry - (232-178-10) SMU, North Texas State, Iowa… Three Big Ten championships, I SWC championship, 1 Missouri Valley Conference championship… Took Iowa  to 14 bowl games - before his arrival they had been to only two… Three times Big Ten Coach of the Year… His coaching tree of 13 FBS coaches is exceeded in quality only by that of Army’s Earl Blaik…

Lou Holtz - (249-132-7) William & Mary, NC State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame, South Carolina…
No one else in the history of the game has taken six different schools to bowl games… Although he had losing records at W & M, Minnesota and South Carolina,  he won conference titles at NC State and Arkansas, and a national title at Notre Dame… 18 Top-20 finishes at four different schools… Four Top-5  finishes at ND… 12-8-1 in bowl games

Don James - (178-76-3) Kent State, Washington - 25-19-1 at Kent, took KSU  to first bowl game in school history, won 9 games for first time in school history… At UW,  one national title,  5 Top Ten finishes…  Six Rose Bowls (won four)…  10-4 in bowl games…  Finished first or tied for first in Pac-10 six times, second or tied for second seven times… Ended career with three straight Rose Bowl appearances

Shug Jordan - (176-83-7) Auburn - Still has more wins than any coach in Auburn history… His 1957 team was undefeated national champion… When he took over in 1951, Auburn’s Stadium held  21,000; when he retired in 1975,  it held 61,000 (It’s since been named for him)… Six top-ten finishes and 13 top-20 finishes

Tom Osborne -  (255-49-3) Nebraska - Succeeded the great Bob Devaney and didn’t miss a beat…Won 13 conference championships and three national titles… Pioneered modern-day strength training… Went 60-3 in his last five season  (three of his last four teams were unbeaten) and won his third national title in his final game… Went to a bowl game in every one of his 25 seasons, and to a major bowl in 21 of them... Never won fewer than nine games in a season!

Barry Switzer - (157-29-4)  Oklahoma - Won three national championships… Won or shared the Big Eight championship for eight straight years (1973-1980)… Took Sooners to 13 bowl games in his 16 years… 12 of his 16 teams finished in the  top ten… Nine of his teams were ranked third or higher.. In head-to-head competition against other coaching greats his record was remarkable: Against Tom Osborne?  12–5;  Jimmy Johnson? 5-3;  Bobby Bowden? 3-0; Darrell Royal? 2-0-1;   Joe Paterno, Bo Schembechler, and Woody Hayes? 1-0

Johnny Vaught - (190-61-2) Mississippi… Still the only coach in Ole Miss history to win an SEC title - he won FIVE… Had one losing season in 25 years… In a 19-year period (from 1952 to 1970) went to bowls 17 times (there were far fewer bowl games then… Ranked in final AP Top Ten five straight years (1959-1963)


MY THIRD THIRTEEN (#23-35) in alphabetical order

Last minute ruling:  I had to  come to the disappointing realization that in putting Rip Engle of Penn State in this third group, I had been letting my heart rule my head, and despite my great respect and affection for Coach Engle, I couldn’t justify ranking him  ahead of any number of the  outstanding - many great - coaches who  didn’t quite make my first three lists.

Jerry Claiborne - (179-122-8) Virginia Tech, Maryland, Kentucky
Built the foundation of today's Virginia Tech program… Took over a down Maryland program and took Terps to first winning season in 11 years and then went on to play in six straight bowl games and  win 3 ACC titles… Led Kentucky to its first winning season in 6 years, took Wildcats to their only two bowl games between 1976 and 1993

Duffy Daugherty - (109-69-5) Michigan State
Seven top-10 teams, three #2 rankings in the AP Poll… Took Spartans to 2 Rose Bowls… Shared the 1965 National Title… Finished second in 1965, only because of a tie with Notre Dame - which wound up finishing first.

Dan Devine - (173-56-9) Arizona State, Missouri, Notre Dame… A big winner at all three places he coached… 15 top-20 finishes all told… Four top ten finishes at Mizzou and two at ND, including a national championship in 1977… 7-3 in bowl games… (Unfairly portrayed as the bad guy in “Rudy”)

Terry Donahue - (151-74-8) UCLA
Won 5 Pac-10 championships…  From 1981-1988 took Bruins to eight straight bowl games - three of them Rose Bowls… From 1982-1988 became the first coach to win seven straight bowl games…  During that time his teams earned seven straight top-15 finishes.

Lavell Edwards - (257-101-3) BYU
Threw the ball when nearly everyone else was running, and known for the QBs he developed… Built BYU into a national power… Cougars won the National title in 1984… 1984 AFCA Coach of the Year… Took BYU to 22 bowl games… 12 national rankings, three top-ten teams… Has 3 Super Bowl winners (Billick, Holmgren, Reid) on his coaching tree

Frank Kush - (176-54-1) Arizona State
Built the Sun Devils from a regional team to a national power - from Border Conference to WAC to  Pac-10… Won 6 of 7 bowl games… From 1970-1973, went 42-4, and 25-2 in conference play… 15-6 against Arizona… Sun Devil Stadium  opened his first year with  30,000 seats, more than doubled by the time he left

John Robinson- (132-77-4) USC (twice), UNLV
Took USC to five Pac-10 titles and three Rose Bowls…  Took USC and UNLV to a total of seven bowls, and won six of them, including all three Rose Bowls…  Split the 1978 National Title…Three AP Number two rankings…

Red Sanders - (102-41-3) Vanderbilt, UCLA
Built the Bruins into a national power with his single wing….  Won the Bruins’ only national title in their history in 1954… Credited with inventing the squib kick and the 4-4 defense… Four teams ranked in top ten… Three conference titles… 6-3 against USC

Ben Schwartzwalder - (153-91-3) Syracuse
His power game made the Number 44 synonymous with great Syracuse running backs - Jim Brown, Ernie Davis,  Floyd Little…  Won the national title in 1959… Led nation in both total offense and total defense… 1959 AFCA Coach of the Year… Teams won four Lambert Trophies (best in East)… Had eleven ranked teams, three  ranked in top ten.

Bill Snyder -  (215-117-1) Kansas State
It’s impossible to overstate what he accomplished in Manhattan.  From 1934 until  his hiring in 1989, K-State had gone through 14 straight coaches and not one left with a winning record.  But in his 26 seasons (split into segments of 16 and 10 years) the Wildcats went to 19 bowl games and had 13 top-20 finishes.  He could maybe be in a higher group, but who do I demote?

Bob Stoops (190-48) Oklahoma
A late entry because it appeared he had returned to coaching… One of four Oklahoma coaches with more than 100 wins… One national title… Six Big-12 championships… Numerous  National Coach of the year Awards (partly because there are numerous such awards given)… Six times Big 12 Coach of the Year

Jim Tatum - (100-35-7) Oklahoma, Maryland, North Carolina
Started the split-T at Oklahoma and took Sooners to an 8-3 season and a bowl game in one season there, then moved on and won a national title at Maryland… His Oklahoma team and  six of his Maryland teams were nationally ranked, Maryland three times in the Top Three… Had  one losing season in 14- his first at North Carolina… Had turned UNC around in his third season before his death at 46 of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Pappy Waldorf - (157-89-19) Oklahoma A & M, Kansas State, Northwestern, Cal
Had winning records and won conference championships at every place he coached, none of them easy to win at…  In his one year there, took Kansas State to a 7-2-1 record… One of only two coaches in Northwestern History to win an outright Big Ten title… Took Cal to three straight Rose Bowls - 1948-49-50 (Cal has been to only one since (in 1959)… Cal was ranked nationally five straight years, three times in the Top Five. 

FRIDAY: My list of outstanding, even great, coaches whom I just could not manage to fit into a higher group.

***********  Watching a college game this past weekend, I swore I heard the color guy, referring to the game, say, “This one is a bonnybrook.” 

I went back and replayed it, and, sure enough, that’s what I’d heard.

He meant, of course, “donnybrook.” It means a huge brawl. I have no idea  what he was trying to say, but “donnybrook” definitely wasn’t the case in this  game - or any other football game, for that matter.

While you might go to a hockey game and witness a donnybrook,  the  word just doesn’t work in describing what goes on in a football game.  (Afterwards? Maybe. If it was Mississippi State playing Tulsa.)

Or maybe the guy meant bonnybrook after all.


***********Isn’t it Great When We Trust The Science?

From Headquarters:

With the announcement from Governor Inslee on Thursday allowing for increased participation and increased spectator capacity in Phase 3 of the Healthy Washington Plan, the WIAA has compiled updated information in the Healthy Washington Guidelines Document.
 
A summary of major changes to K-12 activities guidelines are as follows:
 
Spectator Guidelines

Spectator restrictions for outdoor events will vary based on whether permanent seating is available and the amount of designated seats. Physical distancing requirements of six feet of separation between groups must be maintained in all seating arrangements which may limit the capacity number further than the guidelines listed.
 
For facilities with permanent seating up to 1,600 spectators, schools may operate at 50% capacity or a maximum of 400 people, whichever is fewer. For facilities with permanent seating for more than 1,600 spectators, schools may operate at 25% capacity. For outdoor activities, the Phase 3 guidelines indicate that participants, officials, coaches, and staff do not count toward the capacity restrictions as they did in Phases 1 and 2.
 
Indoor activities in Phase 3 may have up to 400 individuals at an event or at 50% capacity, whichever is fewer. For indoor activities, participants, coaches, officials, and staff do still count toward the capacity restrictions.
 
For activities where permanent seating is not available, spectators are limited to one seated group (1-6 people) per 100 square ft. Each group will be in a reserved space, only available to the group or pod who purchased a specific location.
 
The spectator guideline changes will go into effect on Thursday, March 18. This is before counties officially enter Phase 3 but will allow for more attendance in the final week(s) of Season 1 activities.

You got that?

*********** I don’t know why I give a sh—…

I mean, if guys need a yard or two on fourth down, and they insist on snapping it to a guy who's five yards deep, who then hands it to another guy so that he can run the ball past a point that’s about six or seven yards from where he is now...  and they don’t make it…

Why should I give a rat’s ass?

I guess because watching stupid coaching is like hearing someone sing your favorite song off-key.

It reminds me of  Shaq, a career 52.7 per cent free throw shooter,  stubbornly refusing to try shooting free throws the “granny way” - like Rick Barry - “because it’s boring.”

As he  told Business Insider, “I told Rick Barry I’d rather shoot 0% than shoot underhand. I'm too cool for that.”

That's some of today's football coaches, so enraptured by the  spread offense and the trendiness of the RPO that they’re way too cool for a quarterback sneak.

And granny stuff like blocking.

*********** Meanwhile, I was watching two local schools play Saturday, both of them unbeaten. One was Ridgefield, where I once taught and coached, the other was Hockinson, where a former player and assistant of mine, Ricky Steele, has built a powerhouse.

His Hawks have won a couple of state titles (back-to-back in 2017-2018).

They’ve done it mostly with a spread attack and a good passing game - and very good defense.

But on Saturday, going against a Ridgefield team that in three games hadn’t given up a touchdown, Hockinson ran close to 50 per cent of the time from what we Double Wingers would call “slot” formation - a Double Wing, with the ends  flexed a few yards and the wingbacks in the slot.

hockinson slot

They didn’t do badly, considering that it may have been  just a wrinkle they put in for this game, and they did manage to score twice. That was enough, combined with their usual stout defense,  to beat Ridgefield, 14-7.

When his season’s over, I’ll have to ask Rick what was going on.

(It's not as if he doesn't know it. He’s coached it. He worked for years with another former player and assistant,  John Lambert, at La Center, Washington.)
 

*********** Remiscences of the early days of pro football…

This was Dutch Clark, a member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame, talking about his days playing for the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans, predecessors of the Detroit Lions.

It’s from an interview in “Pro Football’s Rag Days,” by Bob Curran. Published in 1966, the book contains interviews with a lot of the all-time greats from the NFL’s early days

When I joined the team in Portsmouth (Ohio), I was a little disappointed because it was a small city and the club’s facilities weren’t much. But then I had come from a small town and a small college and I wasn’t used to much.

I already had learned something about the lack of money. The Spartans would, they told me, supply a helmet and a jersey for each player, but our pants shoulder pads and shoes had to be provided by us. So did the whites – our T-shirts, socks, and such.

We all lived in boarding houses in Portsmouth then and paid about two dollars a week for a room. Most of the fellows doubled up but I lived alone. We took our meals at whatever good place we could find in town. Naturally, we tried to keep the expenses down so that at the end of the season we could go home with a few dollars.

Our routine during the week was much like it was on most teams. We’d work in the morning and have a meeting at night. In the afternoon some of the boys would play cards in the local Elks club or try to find another way to pass time. There wasn’t much to do in Portsmouth and we couldn’t get part time jobs in a town where many of the people couldn’t find work.

We got a fast idea of the unemployment situation when we found that while about 4000 people came to our practice sessions, only about 2000 came to the games.  They had the enthusiasm but not the price.

The road trips that year were as rugged as the early scrimmages. We traveled by bus all the time and we made some long trips. One time we went to New York to play the Stapletons.  From there we went to St. Louis to play the Gunners. Then we travelled to Chicago to play the Bears before we returned to Portsmouth.

Potsy (head coach Potsy Clark - no relation) always made us carry our shoes with us when we went on a long trip like that. Then if he saw a cornfield that looked promising, he’d stop the bus. We’d get off and work out in the cornfield. After we finished, we’d get back on the bus, all sweaty and dirty.

Strangely enough, nobody caught  cold and I guess one reason for that was there was little room for the fellows who couldn’t play. We had only 15 men on the squad and often if a fellow was hurt, we didn’t bother to replace him. At the time, the player limit was only 20 anyway.

On these trips we’d eat at stands and restaurants along the road. We were all given an allowance, and if we went over it, the club’s  treasurer, an ex-player named Griffiths, would meet us at the door and collect the extra money from us.


*********** ARGUING WITH A LIBERAL…


argue with a liberal



*********** I’m watching “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” and the host. Guy Fieri, jumps out of a car in an urban setting and I’ll be damned if he doesn’t say, “I’m here in Mount Airy, Pennsylvania, about eight miles from downtown Philly…”   and with that, he’s got my attention.

Mount Airy?  I grew up in Mount Airy!

He’s at a place called Geechee Girl (briefly, the Geechee people are the descendants of slaves who settled on the barrier islands off the coast of South Carolina and in some of the “Low Country” near the  coast).  It’s on Germantown Avenue across from the fire house on Carpenter Lane - about five blocks from where I grew up!  Are you kidding me???

The owner/cook, it turns out, is a Princeton graduate who just wanted to open a restaurant, where  she could feature  dishes from the South Carolina Low Country,  many of them passed on to her by her parents.

Then came the let-down.

I hit INFO on the remote.  The show was filmed in 2013.

I googled “Geechee Girl.”  It closed for good in 2015.

https://whyy.org/articles/geechee-girl-closes-after-12-year-run-serving-southern-comfort-food-in-northwest-philly/


*********** In 1935, Northwestern went 2-3-1 in the Big Ten.   But they upset Notre Dame, 14-7. In South Bend.

It was Notre Dame’s  only loss of the season, and Nórthwestern’s first win over Notre Dame after 18 straight losses. It likely cost the Irish  a national title.

Behind the upset is an interesting lesson for coaches.

It was Pappy Waldorf’s first year as head coach at Northwestern.

The year before, the Wildcats had won only two games in the Big Ten, and there wasn’t a lot of talent on hand when he arrived.

Knowing they weren’t likely to be successful right away, Waldorf decided to take some advice he’d been given by Illinois’ renowned coach, Bob Zuppke:

“When you’re faced with one of those years,” Zuppke told him, “when your material is only fair and you’re not going to win many games, put all your eggs in one basket. Pick a tough team, and lay for it. Knock it off - and you’ve got yourself a season!”

“That’s exactly what I did, ” Waldorf recalled years later. “The target I chose was Notre Dame.”

*********** COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCORES FROM THE WEEKEND

https://collegefootballnews.com/2021/03/fcs-spring-football-game-scoreboard-sunday-schedule-lines-week-4

*********** Of course you had to roil my gut again. Too much of America is allowing itself to be ruled by smatchets, men and women with meager brains but lots of precious 'heart', or so they want us to believe. Actually, they're power-mad morons. I read the furor over the school names and just wonder who these people are who are so sick they can't see "Chieftans" as a sign of respect.

But I always thank you for showing the good with the bad. You have so many good people in that selection of top coaches.

Do I understand correctly that Washington state HS football must wear face diapers throughout a game? Oh, man.

John Vermillion
St. Petersburg, Florida

Not only the players but the cheerleaders and the band.  (I’m damned if I can figure out how that kid plays a trumpet through his mask.)
masked cheerleadersmasked band


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

Our football "season" is going to be very different.  It will basically be a 4-week training camp; no helmets/pads or games.  Players will practice in their cohorts (Cohort A will practice on Monday and Tuesday.  Cohort B will practice on Thursday and Friday).  Our staff still plans on installing our offense, defense and special teams.  So far, we have 15 players signed up.  I've been telling the students that some football is better than no football.

Mike Framke
Green Bay, Wisconsin

It’s either that or surrender.  And surrender = soccer.

***********  Hugh,

Sorry to say coach but the "family reunion" thing happened to me back in 2014.  The week before our first scrimmage a mom called me to let me know "My son will be at the scrimmage, but he will miss next week's scrimmage because we'll be in Montana for a family reunion."  Interestingly enough another young man had transferred in that same week who played the same position.  THAT kid couldn't play in the first scrimmage until his transfer was approved.  He became eligible on the following Monday, and it just so happened he played the same position as the family reunion kid, but was a much better player.  When the family reunion kid returned he found he lost his job, and was never able to get it back because the kid that replaced him wasn't about to give it up.  Parents raised hell of course, to no avail.  

On the topic of mascot names.  How clever of those school administrators that drop "Redskins" and change it to "Red Hawks", or Red Storm", or such.  Or, change "Warriors" from the fierce image of a Native American to some kind of Viking looking dude.

Watched the replay of the Ali-Frazier fight.  After all these years I still enjoy watching Ali getting pummeled by Smokin' Joe.

Is it a coincidence that many blue states colleges no longer play football?  For example; not long ago the following schools in California played football:  Pacific, San Francisco, St. Mary's, Santa Clara, SF State, Hayward State, Chico State, Sonoma State, Humboldt State, Menlo, UC Santa Barbara, Pepperdine, Loyola-Marymount, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Northridge, Cal State LA, UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, Cal Baptist, Cal Tech, UC San Diego, Occidental, US International, Vanguard.  That's just California!  

Take a look at Oregon, Washington, Illinois, New York and some others!  

Thanks for the link to the Army video!  I missed that one.  

Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** QUIZ ANSWER - One of many great  coaches who came out of the state of Ohio,  Bill Mallory was one in the long line who came out of “the cradle of coaches: - Miami  University, in Oxford, Ohio.

He learned at at the feet of masters.

At Miami, his coaches were John Pont and Ara Parseghian.

After graduation from Miami, his first job was under  another  master coach, Doyt Perry at Bowling Green.

He spent four years at Bowling Green before moving to Yale in 1965, to serve on Carm Cozza’s first staff, but Woody Hayes must have seen something in him because after just one year in New Haven, he was hired by Ohio State.

After three years in Columbus, he was hired back at his alma mater, Miami, as head coach, succeeding Bo Schembechler, who had been hired by Michigan.

After four straight 7-3 seasons, he was 11-0 in his fifth season at Miami, having twice earned MAC Coach of the Year honors, and he wound up being hired by Colorado. As at Miami, he was stepping into big shoes - those of Eddie Crowder - but again, he was more than up to the job.

The Big Eight at that time was owned by Nebraska and Oklahoma, but in his  five years in Boulder, he was 35-21-1 (.623), and took the Buffs to two bowl games.

And then he was found himself out of work the victim of internal politics.

The problem seemed to be that a wealthy CU alum thought the way to deal with  the domination of Nebraska and Oklahoma was to hire an NFL guy, so they threw a lot of money at Chuck Fairbanks - then coaching the Patriots. (Fairbanks would  go  7-26 in three years at CU.)

Meanwhile, after a year out of coaching, he was snapped up by Northern Illinois.  In four years as head coach of the Huskies, he was 25-19.  His fourth year there,  NIU was 10-2, and now Indiana came calling.

At Indiana, success in football is relative.  IU was 0-11 in his first season, but he built well, and by the time he was  gone, after 13 seasons, his overall 69-77-3 record made him the winningest coach in Hoosier history, with the best winning percentage (.473) of any Indiana coach since Bo McMillin left in 1947. (Current Hoosier coach Tom Allen, now at .486, is, by Indiana standards, smoking hot.)

From 1986 to 1994 he took the Hoosiers to six bowl games. Indiana had never before known that sort of consistent success.

He was twice named Big-Ten Coach of the Year - the only coach in conference history to be so  honored in back-to-back years. He is he only coach in Indiana history to beat Michigan and Ohio State in the same season, and in a game that really matters in the Hoosier State, he was 7-6 against Purdue.

His three sons followed him into coaching, and one is currently a college head coach.

He died in May, 2018 after suffering a fall.  Said current coach Tom Allen at hearing of his death, “Bill Mallory is not the greatest coach in the history of IU football because of all the games that he won.  It is because of the kind of man that he was and the kind of person that he was in the hearts of his players. He did a tremendous job molding them into men. In my mind, he is and will always be what Indiana University football is all about."


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BILL MALLORY

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - FALCON, COLORADO
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
OSSIE OSMUNDSON -  RIDGEFIELD, WASHINGTON
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MAT HEDGER - LANGDON, NORTH DAKOTA
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

*********** Hugh

I had the pleasure of meeting him and interacting with him when he was the head coach at IU.

I had a friend of mine who was an IU graduate that had season tickets to IU football and basketball games. I usually attended at least two IU football games each year.

I met him at an IU alumni gathering originally. Later I attended the IU spring football clinics.

I still have a tape of IU defensive drills that he sent to me when he was head coach.

He was not a CEO head coach. He coached the nose tackles on the defensive line. He was always proud to tell you that he coached that position personally.

They don't make them like him anymore.

See you Tuesday.

David Crump
Owensboro, Kentucky



*********** QUIZ: He came out of Dyersburg, Tennessee, in the northwest corner of the state, across the Mississippi from the “boot heel” of Missouri.  In high school he was a standout in football, baseball and basketball, and made all-state in football.

At Vanderbilt his size (6-4, 215) and his Cherokee heritage earned him the nickname “Chief” from his teammates. The nickname, highly complimentary, would stick.

A running back, he led Vandy at various times in rushing, receiving, punt returns and kicks returns, and helped  them to their first bowl game ever.

He earned All-SEC honors as well as being an Academic All-American.

He was drafted in the first round (12th pick overall) by the New York Giants, who had become an NFL power. (In the long history of Vanderbilt football, they have produced only nine first round draft picks.)

The Giants were loaded at running back, with Frank Gifford, Alex Webster and Mel Triplett, but, now playing at 225, he earned a regular spot in the  rotation, and wound up  rushing 83 times for 316 yards and catching 11 passes  for 134 yards. He also returned 13 kicks for 279 yards.

The Giants finished 9-3 his rookie season, losing in the NFL title game to the Baltimore Colts in the first sudden-death overtime game in NFL history.

They would make it to the NFL championship game
five of his  first six years with the Giants, but he would never play on a championship team  - they would lose all five  times.

His best year was 1963, when he ran and received for nearly 1,000 yards, rushing 161 times for 613 yards and catching 32 passes for 377 yards and five touchdowns.  In the NFL championship game that year, Vanderbilt was unusually well represented, with him at  running back for the Giants and Bill Wade quarterbacking the (victorious) Bears.

Following that season he was traded to the Steelers, and after one season in Pittsburgh  he spent two seasons with the Vikings, before retiring.

In nine seasons in the NFL, he played in 103 games. He rushed 569 times for 2192 yards and 7 touchdowns, and caught 86 passes for 951 yards and 9 touchdowns.

At the age of 36, while traveling on business, he was found dead in his hotel room, the victim of what was determined to be an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Giants quiz guy

THIS WAS AT GIANTS’ TRAINING CAMP… THAT’S OUR GUY ON THE RIGHT, NEXT TO Y. A. TITTLE.  ALEX WEBSTER’S THE GUY ON THE LEFT

UPSIODE DOWN FLAGFRIDAY, MARCH 12, 2021 - “There is no victory at bargain basement prices." Dwight D. Eisenhower

***********  I’ve been asked lately if I would publish this again, so here it is, with just a bit of updating…

A while back, The Sporting News published what it called its "Top 50 Coaches of All Time." 

Only 11 college football coaches made it - Bear Bryant (Alabama); Knute Rockne (Notre Dame); Joe Paterno (Penn State); Eddie Robinson (Grambling); Bobby Bowden (West Virginia, Florida State); Woody Hayes (Miami, Ohio State); Bud Wilkinson (Oklahoma); Tom Osborne (Nebraska); Bo Schembechler (Miami, Michigan); Amos Alonzo Stagg (Springfield College, Chicago and Pacific); Ara Parseghian (Miami, Northwestern, Notre Dame) - and a few pro coaches (Paul Brown, Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi,  Don Shula) as well.

Excuse me, I thought - of  All Time? No Pop Warner? No Earl Blaik? No Frank Leahy?  No Robert Neyland?

Give… me… a… break.

Since no special expertise is required to publish such a list,  I figured that I'd seen or followed enough coaches in my lifetime to qualify me as well as any millennial genius  sitting in front of a computer screen at some sports weekly.

So here, then, is my Top 35 College Football Coaches in My Lifetime

First,  the ground rules.

(1) I’m a historian.  So for me, that  means no currently active coach is eligible. Bill Snyder was the most recent qualifier to become eligible.  Urban Meyer  (187-32 at  Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, Ohio State) was dropped from consideration because he remains active, although not at the college level.  (I have to admit that I’m not at all comfortable about including him on a list of top coaches, but you can’t argue with his ability to win, wherever he’s been.)  When Nick Saban finally hangs ‘em up, he’ll immediately move into my top group.  He  won’t knock anyone out, though. As far as I’m concerned,  once they’re in, they’re in. It’s like a Hall of Fame in that regard.

(2) I took into account the number of wins,  the quality of the competition, and titles won - all of which are objective - and then their overall impact on the game, which is  subjective. I did, however,  require that a coach have an overall winning record. (Without one, he probably wouldn’t have lasted long enough to be considered, anyhow.)

(3) I required that a coach must have spent the greatest part of his career coaching at the highest level of college football. Unfortunately, this meant excluding some great coaches such as Eddie Robinson,  Jake Gaither,  John Merritt,  Dave Nelson,  John Gagliardi and Larry Kehres.  Paul Brown won a national championship at Ohio State but he didn't make it because I knew him only as a pro coach, and his college career,  although it did include a national title, was way too brief.  Bobby Bowden made the list, but he didn’t get credit for his early-career wins at little Samford.

(4) The major portion of the coach's work had to have taken place during my time  following football, which I date as starting in 1945. Purely coincidentally that was also  the start of the post-war era.  That means that I started my football-watching near the end of the careers of such coaching giants as Dana X Bible (Texas A & M, Nebraska, Texas), Bernie Biermann of Minnesota, Fritz Crisler of Michigan,  Dutch Meyer of TCU,  General Robert Neyland of Tennessee,  Carl Snavely of North Carolina and Wallace Wade of Alabama and Duke,  so I couldn't include them.

(5) It was tough enough for me to choose a first 11, a second 11 and a third 11,  so within each 11 I refused to choose one coach over another - I simply listed them alphabetically.  It's not difficult to make a strong argument that some coaches in one group deserve to be ranked higher,  or that some coaches were wrongly left off entirely.  

(6) Why groups of 11?  I don't know.  Why do we always have to make lists of 10? Or 25? Or 50? Or 100?  Are we slaves of base-10 mathematics?  Maybe I should simply say I did it because there are 11 men on a football team.  But I didn't.  Actually, my third group  now contains 14 names.  I had a few late additions and I wasn’t about to drop anyone down of off the list.

(7) My list is simply that - my list.  It’s not intended to be definitive, or to be “better” than yours, or anyone else’s.

 TOP COACHES IN MY LIFETIME AS A FOLLOWER OF FOOTBALL

(Coaches’ records at lesser programs are not included.  Only records from the colleges shown are listed.)

MY TOP ELEVEN (#1-11) - in alphabetical order

Earl Blaik - (166-48-14) Dartmouth, Army… (Dartmouth was big-time when he coached there.) Two national championships at Army,  two #2 finishers,  one #3… 6 unbeaten teams, 8 top-10 teams… Coached three Heisman Trophy winners…  20 former assistants went on to become head coaches - two of them (Paul Dietzel at LSU and Murray Warmath  at Minnesota) won national titles; Sid Gillman  at San Diego won an AFL championship; Vince Lombardi at Green Bay won five NFL titles and two Super Bowls…  Co-founded the National Football Foundation.

Bear Bryant - (323-85-17) Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A & M, Alabama… Built a winner at every place he coached… Had just one losing season in 38 years as a major college head coach… Six national titles and 13 SEC championships at Alabama… In 25 years at Alabama, after missing a bowl bid his first season, took the Tide to 24 straight bowl games… Was 60-23-5 with an SEC championship - at Kentucky(!)

Bobby Dodd - (165-64-8) Georgia Tech - Had a 31-game unbeaten streak from 1951-1953… pioneered the Belly Series and today’s “CEO” coaching structure… took teams to 13 major bowl games and had a string of eight straight bowl wins.

Woody Hayes - (219-66-10) Miami, Ohio State - Won five national titles, one MAC championship, 13 Big Ten championships. Won numerous Coach of the Year awards.  Had four unbeaten teams.  Took Buckeyes to eight Rose Bowls. From 1968-1976 had eight Top Ten  finishes.

Frank Leahy - (107-13-9) Boston College, Notre Dame… Was 20-2 at Boston College… Made the switch from Knute Rockne’s Box to the T-formation at Notre Dame and later popularized the I-formation… After two years in the Navy in WW II his ND teams  didn’t lose a game in four years (1946-1949)… In 11 years at ND, his teams won four national titles, and only three times did they finish ranked lower than third…   In 13 seasons as a head coach his teams lost just 13 games - and four of those losses came in one down year (1950)

John McKay - (127-40-8) USC…  In 16 years at USC won four national championships and  nine conference titles… Took teams to eight Rose Bowls, including four straight (1966-1969) … Nine of his teams  finished in the Top Ten nationally… Had three unbeaten teams, three one-loss teams.

Ara Parseghian - (170-58-6) Miami, Northwestern, Notre Dame… After a 39-6-1 term at Miami (Ohio), at Northwestern he got the Wildcats as high as third in the Big Ten in 1962, and a Number 16 ranking nationally… Left Northwestern with a winning record (36-35-1)… Took over when ND had had five straight non-winning seasons, and in his first year  took Irish to within one game - a loss in the last game against USC - of a national title.  He did win two (in 1973, running the Wing-T), and never had a losing season…

Joe Paterno -  (409-136-3) Penn State… All-time winningest major college coach… Built Penn State from eastern power to national power… Went to record 27 bowls… First coach to win in every major bowl game - Rose, Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Sugar… Teams won two national championships… Had five undefeated, untied seasons… 23 of his teams were ranked in the final Top Ten…

Darrell Royal - (184-60-5) Mississippi State, Washington, Texas…Took the Horns from 1-9 the year before he arrived to 6-4 his first year, and never had a losing season in 20 years there…  Won two national titles and  earned Top-Ten ranking ten times… Introduced the Wishbone, and then shared it with Alabama and Oklahoma (the latter case to his regret)…  Won 11 Southwest Conference titles,  six in a row after unveiling the Wishbone…

Bo Schembechler - (234-65-8) Miami, Michigan… 40-17-3 at Miami… At Michigan, finished in the Top Ten his first ten years straight, and 16 times overall… Finished first or tied for first in the Big Ten 13 times… Took teams to 10 Rose Bowls... Had three 10-win teams that didn’t go because of Big Ten’s “no-repeat” rule… 21 former assistants became FBS head coaches… Never won a national title, but in 23 years only one of his teams finished unranked... Had one unbeaten season and five one-loss seasons…

Bud Wilkinson - (145-29-4) Oklahoma… Took over at OU after Jim Tatum left for Maryland and led the Sooners on one of the great runs in college  football history… Between 1953 and 1957, the Sooners won 47 games, still a major college record… Sooners won three national titles and 14 conference titles… For 11 straight years - from 1948-1958 - his Sooners finished in the Top Ten… He had four unbeaten and untied teams, and six one-loss teams.

MY SECOND ELEVEN (#12-22) - in alphabetical order

Bobby Bowden - (346-123-4) West Virginia, Florida State… One of only three Power 5 coaches with 300+ wins…  two national  titles…  12 ACC championships… Two sons, Tommy and Terry,  became successful coaches

Frank Broyles - (149-62-6) Missouri, Arkansas… One national championship… Seven SWC Championships… Two losing seasons in 19 years at Arkansas… Nine major bowl appearances… 1964 AFCA Coach of the Year

Bob Devaney - (136-30-7) Wyoming, Nebraska… 35-10-5 at Wyoming… Built the Nebraska program into a national powerhouse… NU had seven straight losing seasons before his arrival… He went 9-2 his first year, which led to 40 straight winning seasons…Won consecutive national titles (1970-1971) and eight Big 8 championships

Vince Dooley - (201-77-10) Georgia - One national title, six SEC titles… Five times SEC Coach of the Year… 12 Top-20 and, seven Top-10 rankings… In 25 years at UGA missed going to bowls just five times… Ended a 3-game Georgia Tech win streak over UGA in his first season, went 19-6 against GT

Hayden Fry - (232-178-10) SMU, North Texas State, Iowa… Three Big Ten championships, I SWC championship, 1 Missouri Valley Conference championship… Took Iowa  to 14 bowl games - before his arrival they had been to only two… Three times Big Ten Coach of the Year… His coaching tree of 13 FBS coaches is exceeded in quality only by that of Army’s Earl Blaik…

Lou Holtz - (249-132-7) William & Mary, NC State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame, South Carolina…
No one else in the history of the game has taken six different schools to bowl games… Although he had losing records at W & M, Minnesota and South Carolina,  he won conference titles at NC State and Arkansas, and a national title at Notre Dame… 18 Top-20 finishes at four different schools… Four Top-5  finishes at ND… 12-8-1 in bowl games

Don James - (178-76-3) Kent State, Washington - 25-19-1 at Kent, took KSU  to first bowl game in school history, won 9 games for first time in school history… At UW,  one national title,  5 Top Ten finishes…  Six Rose Bowls (won four)…  10-4 in bowl games…  Finished first or tied for first in Pac-10 six times, second or tied for second seven times… Ended career with three straight Rose Bowl appearances

Shug Jordan - (176-83-7) Auburn - Still has more wins than any coach in Auburn history… His 1957 team was undefeated national champion… When he took over in 1951, Auburn’s Stadium held  21,000; when he retired in 1975,  it held 61,000 (It’s since been named for him)… Six top-ten finishes and 13 top-20 finishes

Tom Osborne -  (255-49-3) Nebraska - Succeeded the great Bob Devaney and didn’t miss a beat…Won 13 conference championships and three national titles… Pioneered modern-day strength training… Went 60-3 in his last five season  (three of his last four teams were unbeaten) and won his third national title in his final game… Went to a bowl game in every one of his 25 seasons, and to a major bowl in 21 of them... Never won fewer than nine games in a season!

Barry Switzer - (157-29-4)  Oklahoma - Won three national championships… Won or shared the Big Eight championship for eight straight years (1973-1980)… Took Sooners to 13 bowl games in his 16 years… 12 of his 16 teams finished in the  top ten… Nine of his teams were ranked third or higher.. In head-to-head competition against other coaching greats his record was remarkable: Against Tom Osborne?  12–5;  Jimmy Johnson? 5-3;  Bobby Bowden? 3-0; Darrell Royal? 2-0-1;   Joe Paterno, Bo Schembechler, and Woody Hayes? 1-0

Johnny Vaught - (190-61-2) Mississippi… Still the only coach in Ole Miss history to win an SEC title - he won FIVE… Had one losing season in 25 years… In a 19-year period (from 1952 to 1970) went to bowls 17 times (there were far fewer bowl games then)… Ranked in final AP Top Ten five straight years (1959-1963)

TUESDAY: MY THIRD ELEVEN FOURTEEN

*********** You’ll know commercialization has invaded every aspect of our lives when I tell you that Olivia Amato has just been signed by an agency to represent her in endorsements and commercial appearances.

Forget looking for her name in basketball box scores. And no, she doesn’t play hockey or volleyball.  She doesn’t even wrestle or box.

Olivia Amato is a “Peloton instructor.”

I am not making this up.  I read it in Sports Business Journal.


*********** Expect more of this, now that the ME generation is old enough to have children of their own:

With opening game coming up in another week, a coaching friend texted me to say that the mother of a two-way starter had just informed him that her son woild have to miss the first two games because he’d be attending a “family reunion” during their upcoming  spring break.

Now, based on my experience with family reunions, they’re not just slapped together overnight.  People have. to arrange for time off from their jobs, and I doubt that everybody’s spring break coincides. And the there’s lodging to be arranged. What I’m trying to say here is that I highly doubt that Mom just found out about this.

And to think that with selfish jpeople like her raising kids, we expect in a couple of hours a day to teach high school athletes about the importance of sacrifice and commitment…

*********** You have to live in a Blue State (how did we ever let the Commies take the color blue, anyhow?) in a land of cancel culture, to understand how enraging it can be.

For years,  in Vancouver, Washington, a town of some 150,000 just to the west of us, there were high schools: Fort Vancouver (“Fort” to the locals), home of the Trappers, Hudsons’ Bay (“Bay”), home of the Eagles, and Columbia River (“River”), home of the Chieftains.

That’s how it was for more than 50 years. 

In the meantime, they’ ve added a fourth high school, with a very generic, real-estate-development sort of name (“Skyview”) and a totally bland and inoffensive  nickname (“The Storm.”)

And then, in an age where everyone hopes to get to play the aggrieved victim, someone was offended.  Chieftains had to go.

I honestly thought, competing against River, that they honored their mascot, and their kids were quite respectful of it.

But what the hell do I know? I’m just a dumbass heterosexual (or is it cisgender? I forget) male and although I’m offended that two men can “marry” and refer to their partners as “husbands,” the general attitude from Headquarters seems to be, “suck it up, Wyatt.  It’s the Twenty-first Century and we’re a lot more enlightened than we were when you grew up.”

But let one kid say that she’s uncomfortable  with the nickname “Chieftains,” and the Indian rituals they celebrate, and - poof!  Until further notice, they’ll be playing as the Columbia River football team. So much for honoring America’s native people.

Meanwhile, it's not as if the drones who run the schools haven’t been working on a replacement.

At a school board meeting earlier this week, four nominations were submitted.

Two of them were rejected out of hand - “Sasquatches,” because evidently that might offend some tribe, God knows where;  and “Royals,” because - I am not kidding - it has connotations of colonization.

That left  them with two that are going to require some imagination when coming up with a logo or a mascot: One was “Rapids.”  Geographically, it’s totally inappropriate, because no one has seen rapids in the  Columbia River since the 1930s, when the last dam was built.  It’s a mighty river, all right, but rapids? Yes. it’s swift, but technically it’s now almost a thousand miles of one dam-created slackwater lake after another.  So good luck with that one.

The final  entry is - hang onto your hat - “River.” 

The Columbia River River.  Has a nice sound to it, doesn't it?

And we let people like this vote?

*********** I just failed to notice  the  50th anniversary of one of THE biggest  sports events of our time.  The so-called “Fight of the Century,” it was Frazier-Ali, in Madison Square Garden.

I don’t know how I let it slip past me, because I’m old enough to remember the time when  everything in sports - everything - came to a stop for a heavyweight championship bout

No one sat on the fence on this one.  I liked Frazier because he was from Philly. And he kept his mouth shut.  I didn’t like Ali at all because he was a loudmouth and a braggart.  In those  days, real men didn’t boast or call attention to themselves. (In that sense, those were better days.  No one back then could have imagined times like these, when the fields and courts are full of Ali-type behavior.)

There was also a racial aspect to the  fight. Or so they tell me now. Yes, all the black guys on my team that I spoke to were for Ali. For that reason, I suppose, looking back, it’s now being portrayed as a Civil Rights thing,  but at the time, the idea of white fans pulling for Frazier because he was “more white” than Ali would have been laughable.

Hell, I rooted for Sonny Liston.  Ever seen the guy? Ever read about him?  Bad dude. Ghetto all the way.  Spent half his life in prison. But I rooted for him, because he, too,  was (at the time) from Philly, and also because I thought he would finally put an end to Ali’s mouthiness.  Alas, the Mob made sure he understood what would be the best thing for him to do, and the Ali legend lived on.

*********** Several years ago, when I would do a clinic in the Philadelphia area, Villanova coach Brian Flinn would be kind enough to share some of his thoughts and ideas with the clinic attendees, and then to invite me to come watch some of Villlanova’s spring practices.  There, I had  the good fortune to meet the Wildcats’ coaches - great guys - and to spend a surprising amount of time  chatting with their head coach, Andy Talley. We must have talked for 20 minutes.  While practice was going on!

You didn’t need 20 minutes with the guy to realize that he was something special. There was not the slightest bit of pretense about him, and he had that gift that the great ones have of making it seem as though you were doing him a favor by interrupting whatever it was you were doing to find a little time for him.  And now, in recognition of the incredible job he did at Villanova, he is about to become the first Villanova player or coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

From the National Football Foundation's newsletter

By Dick Friedman

Shortly before he began his first season at Villanova, Andy Talley discovered a secret weapon: basketball. The year was 1985, and the Wildcat hoops team had just won the national championship under iconic coach Rollie Massimino.

“I went to Rollie and I said, ‘I want a championship ring,’” Talley recalled. “Because I wanted to go into schools and recruit with that ring on my finger. I would flash it to the kids and say, ‘This is for the national championship in basketball. We’re going to win one like this in football.’”

Talley made good on his football ring promise in 2009 with Villanova taking home the FCS title after a 23-21 victory over Montana. Retiring after the 2016 season, his 32nd on the Main Line, Talley had won a school-record 230 games, and his teams had appeared in the postseason 12 times. Now Talley becomes the first Wildcat player or coach to be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame, and he looks back on his career with fondness. “It’s been a labor of love, like it is with all football coaches,” Talley said.

In 1981, Villanova had abruptly dropped football, so when Talley arrived on campus in 1984 after a five-year stint and a 28-18-1 record at St. Lawrence (NY), he was charged with resurrecting the program. It was a return to his roots; he had grown up in nearby Haverford, where he was first bitten by the coaching bug.

“From a very early age, I always knew I wanted not only to play football but also to coach football,” he said. “I can remember putting teams together. I would get up 10 or 15 kids to play the local fifth-grade team.”

Talley matriculated at Southern Connecticut, where he played defensive back. He was an assistant at Simsbury (CT) High School. He then moved to the collegiate level at Springfield (MA), Middlebury (VT) and Brown before assuming the head job in 1979 at Division III St. Lawrence. His 1982 Saints team reached the national semifinals.

“I always wanted to be at an academic school and help my players use the education that they got,” he said, citing Villanova as a perfect fit. “This is an academic place that also will be one of the top football programs in the country—if you apply the work ethic that we have.”

Early on at Villanova, Talley zeroed in on the main skill he wanted. “In my fifth year we went to the playoffs,” he recalled. “We lost to Georgia Southern, but once we played a team of that caliber, I knew what we needed: speed. So, I started to recruit nationally.”

Mark Ferrante, who played for Talley at St. Lawrence and then was his longtime assistant and eventual successor at Villanova, credited his mentor for his brilliance at identifying and connecting with prospects from around the country. “He’s a phenomenal recruiter. He could talk about anything. He put people at ease.”

“Air Talley” became known for his high-octane attack that would yield three Walter Payton Award winners: receiver Brian Finneran (1997), running back Brian Westbrook (2001) and quarterback John Robertson (2014).

“If you played us, we were going to try to outscore you,” said Talley. Ferrante added: “He definitely wanted to open the offense up, to spread out the formations. It was getting linebackers to match up in space against people like Brian Westbrook, doing things to give the defensive people headaches.”

Some of Talley’s most significant triumphs have come off the field through his efforts to locate bone marrow donors. Since 2008, he has partnered with the Be The Match Foundation. “Today we have almost 150 college football teams that work with me and do bone marrow drives,” he said proudly. “We have 715 transplants that I know about. I’ve been able to use the strength of college football to save lives.”

*********** Our local high school team, the Camas High Papermakers, is the defending Washington state Class 4A (largest classification) football champion.

But that was way back in 2019.

They’re playing this spring, and to say they’re off to a rough start is an understatement.  Two weeks ago, they opened against their arch rival, Union High of Vancouver, and lost, 19-7.  Did I say “arch rival?” Union and Camas between them have won the last three state titles, and since the two schools’ boundaries abut, the kids all know each other, and in ordinary times, the game would have been  standing room only.

But these are not ordinary times.  In what ordinary season would Army open with Navy? Auburn with Alabama? Clemson with South Carolina? Ohio State with Michigan?

Knowing that there will be no playoffs this year, you might have thought that intelligent ADs would have scheduled a game between two teams  that have won the last three state championships - two teams that are bitter rivals as it is - at the end of the season, as a sort of “virtual” playoff, but no-o-o-o-o-o….

So there was Camas, 0-1 in an abbreviated season.

Oh, well.  There’s always next week.

That’s what you think.  Not this year.  True, it’s only a six-week season.  But still, for some reason, Camas had a bye.

And now, as a result of that bye, they’re going to be off this weekend, too.

Bear with me.

Camas High School had to shut down  today (Thursday, as I write) and tomorrow. This occured, according to our dirty little liberal rag of a newspaper, “following an off-site party attended by students who have since tested positive for Covid-19 or came in contact with someone who did.”

The party took place last Friday night, according to a “district spokeswoman” (have they created “forewoman” yet? “Craftswoman?” “Laywoman?”), and according to the paper, “was attended by (gasp) several of the high school’s football players.

Imagine that.  Friday night, no  football game, and there’s a party somewhere. If that had been me, I’d have been home, curled up with a good book.  Who else was there? I wondered.

Well, the story went on, so far, nine cases had been confirmed, and  26 others were considered “exposures/close contacts.” All of them, the paper said, were “Camas student-athletes.”

Oh.  But only “football players” got signaled out - not volleyball players or  girls’ soccer players or girls’ basketball players.

Oh, no.  Because in Camas, football’s the big dog.  Football wins state titles and gets a lot of recognition.  This, fellows, is no longer good.

First of all, football is masculine, and anything masculine becomes seen as bad. Many people in our society hate football for what it represents:  one of the last pillars of  old-fashioned “patriarchy” that feminists - both male and female - have not yet been able to destroy.

And second, mediocre people resent successful people.  It’s easier to attack someone else’s success than it is to get off your ass and be successful yourself. (Equity, anybody?)

Anyhow (out of an abundance of caution), all school activities this weekend have been postponed, which includes Friday night’s game against Battle Ground High.
 
I’ve known the Camas coach, Jon Eagle, for years.  I assisted him in 1988-89.  Jon is about as thorough a coach as I’ve known - detail-oriented and  super organized - and yet this had to hit him like a Mack Truck.

And now is the time for  those mediocre people, the ones who resent all the attention that football gets, to try to stick their  shivs in.

*********** The Baltimore Ravens claim to have done a study that found that the NFL’s current overtime rules heavily favor the team that wins the toss.

In an attempt to do something to remove the element of luck - the toss - the Ravens plan to submit a new overtime proposal for  consideration at the upcoming league meetings.

They call it “Spot and Choose,” and here’s how it would work:

One team would “Spot” - deciding  where to spot the ball.

The other would ”Choose” - deciding whether to  go on offense or defense from that spot.

A coin toss would give the team making the call the option of being the “Spotter” or the “Chooser.”

For example: The Ravens win the toss and decide to spot the ball on the 20-yard line. 

Their opponent, the Team From Washington Whose Name Must Not be Spoken, can then choose whether to go on offense or defense on their own 20.

Their timing proposals  include either a straight  10-minute sudden death period, or a 7-1/2 minute period (half a  quarter) with the higher score winning.

*********** Our Governor, the Honorable Jay Inslee, is such a prick.

Today, it came to his attention that we’ve been good little mask wearers, and he was pleased. So pleased that he had consented to give us back a few more  of our God-given liberties. After months of confining us in Phase Two, he said he would be moving us to Phase Three!

Phase Three! Oh, thank you, thank you, Your Worship.

What Phase Three means is that restaurants can serve indoors at 50 percent of capacity.  And  sports events  will be able  to allow spectators  at up to 25 per cent of venue capacity.

The edict will take effect March 18 - just in time for the final weekend of the state;s short high school football season.

Oh - mere coincidence, of course - also just in time for the start of the Major league baseball and "Major League" Soccer seasons.

*********** LIFE IN A BLUE STATE...

From Headquarters - aka the Washington State Activities Assn.

To encourage compliance with the Governor's order to wear facial coverings during all activities, the WIAA and WOA will be implementing facial covering procedures and penalties to be used in all football games beginning Friday, March 12.
 
The improper wearing of facial coverings will now be a pre-snap penalty with the progression of warnings and consequences to be enforced as follows:

The first offense by the team - The coach will be reminded that all players must properly wear their facial covering and, if the offending player is on the field, they will be sent off for one play.

The second offense by the team - The team will be penalized with a sideline warning and, if the offending player is on the field, they will be sent off for one play.

The third offense by the team - The team will receive a 5-yard penalty and, if the offending player is on the field, they will be sent off for one play.

The fourth offense by the team - The team will receive a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty charged to the head coach and, if the offending player is on the field, they will be sent off for one play.

The fifth offense by the team - The team will receive a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty charged to the head coach. The coach will be ejected from the contest for two unsportsmanlike penalties. If the offending player is on the field, they will be sent off for one play.

Any subsequent offenses by the team - The team will receive a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty charged to the head coach and, if the player is on the field, they will be sent off for one play.

If officials notice a player not wearing their facial covering properly during or after the play, the assumption will be made that the facial covering was worn properly at the snap and a reminder will be give to the player to replace it.
 
Proper wearing of a facial covering requires coverage of both the nose and mouth. Frequently asked questions and answers regarding facial coverings can be found in the summary of guidelines on the WIAA website.
 

***********  I heard a  coach once talking about the time he was listening to Joe Paterno talk at a clinic and  JoePa asked everyone in the room who had won a youth championship to stand up.

A hundred or so guys proudly stood up.

Coach Paterno, being the straight-spoken Brooklyn Italian that he was, said, “You ought to be fired, because the only way you’re winning a youth championship is if you’re not playing everybody.”

*********** I doubt that many of you have seen “Field of Honor: 100 Years of Army Football,” but it’s a treasure. I’d seen it a number of times over the years but not recently, and  my wife, it turns out, had never seen it. So having spoken last week with former Army Coach Jim Young, I thought it would be the perfect time to watch it again.

It’s really well done. It was an NFL Films production, played in the hour before kickoff of the Army-Navy game in - I think - 1989.

As the  subtitle suggests, it does deal with 100 years of Army football, but it does so by  showing selected slices of the time line, illustrating how at the military academy, football and service - often in wartime - are inevitably intertwined.

Among those slices are the story of Bill Carpenter, famous in football as the Lonesome End, who in combat in Vietnam earned the Distinguished Service Cross for risking death by calling in a napalm strike on his own company, as the only way to help it break free from the surrounding enemy; and Don Holleder, as an Army football player gave up sure All-American honors by switching to a position he’d never played before, and  who as an Army  officer in Vietnam risked his life - and lost it -  when he was gunned down by enemy while attempting to recover wounded American soldiers (Don Holleder’s story was the inspiration for the Black Lion Award).

Football coaches everywhere would appreciate one of the closing scenes - the conclusion of the final practice before the Army-Navy game, as Coach Young addresses the team and then  the seniors  walk between two lines of underclassmen.

If you’re paying really close attention, you’ll catch an Army linebacker name Greg Gadson. In the video, he’s “just” another Army football player (a term I would never use because I have so much respect for those guys) but in 2007, while serving in Baghdad, he lost both legs  when the vehicle he was riding in was blown up by a roadside bomb. (He has since gained some reknown for his impressive work in rehabbing, and his motivational speaking, and is known by some football fans for his serving as an inspiration to the New York Giants on their way to a Super Bowl win. As a tribute to him he was awarded a Super Bowl Ring.)

The most touching parts of the film, to me, were two interviews. One is of General (four  star) James Van Fleet, a former Army football player  who went on to serve his country - and earn decorations - in several of its wars.  He’s 99 years old in the interview, and holding up his letter sweater with the Army “A” on it, he says that of all his military medals and awards, this one means the most to him.

And then there’s Lieutenant General (three stars) Garrison “Gar” Davidson, former Army player and coach (35-11-1)  veteran of both World War II and Korea, and then Superintendent of the Military Academy. He’s about 85 at the time of the interview, and in his big, gnarled hands he hold a football, given him by one of his Army teams from the 1930s. “This,” he says, as a tear comes to his eye,”Is my most prized possession.”

Here it is on Youtube:   http://youtu.be/jyBIdjm_PPQ


***********  Hugh,

Watched the Jackson State-Grambling game.  "Prime" has his team playing well.  He went out and got some pretty good transfers from FBS schools (ironically Florida State comes to mind), and I really liked his RB.  JSU is the same school that one of the greatest RB's in the history of professional football played for...Walter Payton.

Like you and many of the guys who follow this blog, I prefer a sound running game first and foremost.  However, over the years I have tried to develop an effective pass offense to go with my running game in order to strike a better balance.  I'm afraid however with the advent of sports technology (Hudl and other like programs) not only do coaches and players utilize that technology to gain knowledge so do school administrators when conducting new head coach interviews.  It's not enough anymore to answer the "what offense will you run?" question with "I run a multiple look", or, "I run a balanced offense".   In today's spread offense crazy football world administrators doing their homework and watching a traditional DW video does not hold the "entertainment" value school administrators/board members are looking for.  Especially if one of two of the board members have their sons playing, and who both just happen to be a QB or WR.  Hopefully your Open Wing concept will change that for many of us.

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Earl Banks played high school ball in his native  Chicago, then played his college ball as a guard at Iowa.

After graduation,  he played a season with the New York Yankees of the AAFC before an injury cut his playing career short.

He then  landed  a job as assistant football coach and head baseball coach at Maryland State (now Maryland-Eastern Shore) and stayed there from 1951 through 1959.

In 1960, he was hired as head coach at Morgan State, in Baltimore.

In his 14 years there,  he never had a losing season.

He had three straight unbeaten seasons (1965-1967) and in a four-year span from 1965 through 1968 his Bears lost just one game.

Overall,  he was 96-31-2. He won eight conference titles, and in two Orange Blossom Classics - played for a mythical national black college championship - his Morgan team split with Florida A & M and their legendary coach, Jake Gaither.

In 1966, the undefeated Morgan State Bears integrated the Tangerine Bowl, and defeated West Chester (Pennsylvania), 14-6.

In 1968, Morgan met Grambling and its legendary coach, Eddie Robinson, in front of more than 60,000 people in Yankee Stadium - the first game ever in New York City between two historically black colleges -  and came out on top, 9-7.

He could land talent.  He sent 41 players to the pros, most notably Willie Lanier, Leroy Kelly, John Fuqua, Raymond Chester, Roger Brown and Sherman Plunkett.

In 1992, Earl Banks was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING EARL BANKS

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

*********** Good reading from Greg  Koenig, Colorado Springs…

https://morganstatebears.com/news/2018/10/3/football-celebrating-the-50th-anniversary-of-morgan-state-vs-grambling.aspx

*********** QUIZ - One of many great  coaches who came out of the state of Ohio,  he was one in the long line who came out of “the cradle of coaches: - Miami  University, in Oxford, Ohio.

He learned at at the feet of masters.

At Miami, his coaches were John Pont and Ara Parseghian.

After graduation from Miami, his first job was under  another  master coach, Doyt Perry at Bowling Green.

He spent four years at Bowling Green before moving to Yale in 1965, to serve on Carm Cozza’s first staff, but Woody Hayes must have seen something in him because after just one year in New Haven, he was hired by Ohio State.

After three years in Columbus, he was hired back at his alma mater, Miami, as head coach, succeeding Bo Schembechler, who had been hired by Michigan.

After four straight 7-3 seasons, he was 11-0 in his fifth season at Miami, having twice earned MAC Coach of the Year honors, and he wound up being hired by Colorado. As at Miami, he was stepping into big shoes - those of Eddie Crowder - but again, he was more than up to the job.

The Big Eight at that time was owned by Nebraska and Oklahoma, but in his  five years in Boulder, he was 35-21-1 (.623), and took the Buffs to two bowl games.

And then he found himself out of work,  the victim of internal politics.

The problem seemed to be that a wealthy CU alum thought the way to deal with  the domination of Nebraska and Oklahoma was to hire an NFL guy, so they threw a lot of money at Chuck Fairbanks - then coaching the Patriots. (Fairbanks would  go  7-26 in three years at CU.)

Meanwhile, after a year out of coaching, he was snapped up by Northern Illinois.  In four years as head coach of the Huskies, he was 25-19.  His fourth year there,  NIU was 10-2, and now Indiana came calling.

At Indiana, success in football is relative.  IU was 0-11 in his first season, but he built well, and by the time he was  gone, after 13 seasons, his overall 69-77-3 record made him the winningest coach in Hoosier history, with the best winning percentage (.473) of any Indiana coach since Bo McMillin left in 1947. (Current Hoosier coach Tom Allen, now at .486, is, by Indiana standards, smoking hot.)

From 1986 to 1994 he took the Hoosiers to six bowl games. Indiana had never before known that sort of consistent success.

He was twice named Big-Ten Coach of the Year - the only coach in conference history to be so  honored in back-to-back years. He is he only coach in Indiana history to beat Michigan and Ohio State in the same season, and in a game that really matters in the Hoosier State, he was 7-6 against Purdue.

His three sons followed him into coaching, and one is currently a college head coach.

He died in May, 2018 after suffering a fall.  Said current Indiana coach Tom Allen at hearing of his death, “(He)is not the greatest coach in the history of IU football because of all the games that he won.  It is because of the kind of man that he was and the kind of person that he was in the hearts of his players. He did a tremendous job molding them into men. In my mind, he is and will always be what Indiana University football is all about."





UPSIODE DOWN FLAGTUESDAY, MARCH 9, 2021 - “The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their common sense.” G. K. Chesterton


************  I’ve been asked lately if I would publish this again, so here it is, with just a bit of updating…

A while back, The Sporting News published what it called its "Top 50 Coaches of All Time." 

Only 11 college football coaches made it - Bear Bryant (Alabama); Knute Rockne (Notre Dame); Joe Paterno (Penn State); Eddie Robinson (Grambling); Bobby Bowden (West Virginia, Florida State); Woody Hayes (Miami, Ohio State); Bud Wilkinson (Oklahoma); Tom Osborne (Nebraska); Bo Schembechler (Miami, Michigan); Amos Alonzo Stagg (Springfield College, Chicago and Pacific); Ara Parseghian (Miami, Northwestern, Notre Dame) - and a few pro coaches (Paul Brown, Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi,  Don Shula) as well.

Excuse me, I thought - of  All Time? No Pop Warner? No Earl Blaik? No Frank Leahy?  No Robert Neyland? 

Give… me… a… break.

Since no special expertise is required to publish such a list,  I figured that I'd seen or followed enough coaches in my lifetime to qualify me as well as any millennial genius  sitting in front of a computer screen at some sports weekly.

So here, then, is my Top 35 College Football Coaches in My Lifetime

First,  the ground rules.

(1) I’m a historian.  So for me, that  means no currently active coach is eligible. Bill Snyder was the most recent qualifier to become eligible.  Urban Meyer  (187-32 at  Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, Ohio State) was dropped from consideration because he remains active, although not at the college level.  (I have to admit that I’m not at all comfortable about including him on a list of top coaches, but you can’t argue with his ability to win, wherever he’s been.)  When Nick Saban finally hangs ‘em up, he’ll immediately move into my top group.  He  won’t knock anyone out, though. As far as I’m concerned,  once they’re in, they’re in. It’s like a Hall of Fame in that regard.

(2) I took into account the number of wins,  the quality of the competition, and titles won - all of which are objective - and then their overall impact on the game, which is  subjective. I did, however,  require that a coach have an overall winning record. (Without one, he probably wouldn’t have lasted long enough to be considered, anyhow.)

(3) I required that a coach must have spent the greatest part of his career coaching at the highest level of college football. Unfortunately, this meant excluding some great coaches such as Eddie Robinson,  Jake Gaither,  John Merritt,  Dave Nelson,  John Gagliardi and Larry Kehres.  Paul Brown won a national championship at Ohio State but he didn't make it because I knew him only as a pro coach, and his college career,  although it did include a national title, was way too brief.  Bobby Bowden made the list, but he didn’t get credit for his early-career wins at little Samford.

(4) The major portion of the coach's work had to have taken place during my time  following football, which I date as starting in 1945. Purely coincidentally that was also  the start of the post-war era.  That means that I started my football-watching near the end of the careers of such coaching giants as Dana X Bible (Texas A & M, Nebraska, Texas), Bernie Biermann of Minnesota, Fritz Crisler of Michigan,  Dutch Meyer of TCU,  General Robert Neyland of Tennessee,  Carl Snavely of North Carolina and Wallace Wade of Alabama and Duke,  so I couldn't include them.

(5) It was tough enough for me to choose a first 11, a second 11 and a third 11,  so within each 11 I refused to choose one coach over another - I simply listed them alphabetically.  It's not difficult to make a strong argument that some coaches in one group deserve to be ranked higher,  or that some coaches were wrongly left off entirely.  

(6) Why groups of 11?  I don't know.  Why do we always have to make lists of 10? Or 25? Or 50? Or 100?  Are we slaves of base-10 mathematics?  Maybe I should simply say I did it because there are 11 men on a football team.  But I didn't.  Actually, my third group  now contains 14 names.  I had a few late additions and I wasn’t about to drop anyone down of off the list.

(7) My list is simply that - my list.  It’s not intended to be definitive, or to be “better” than yours, or anyone else’s.

 TOP COACHES IN MY LIFETIME AS A FOLLOWER OF FOOTBALL

(Coaches’ records at lesser programs are not included.  Only records from the colleges shown are listed.)

MY TOP ELEVEN (#1-11) - in alphabetical order

Earl Blaik - (166-48-14) Dartmouth, Army… (Dartmouth was big-time when he coached there.) Two national championships at Army,  two #2 finishers,  one #3… 6 unbeaten teams, 8 top-10 teams… Coached three Heisman Trophy winners…  20 former assistants went on to become head coaches - two of them (Paul Dietzel at LSU and Murray Warmath  at Minnesota) won national titles; Sid Gillman  at San Diego won an AFL championship; Vince Lombardi at Green Bay won five NFL titles and two Super Bowls…  Co-founded the National Football Foundation.

Bear Bryant - (323-85-17) Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A & M, Alabama… Built a winner at every place he coached… Had just one losing season in 38 years as a major college head coach… Six national titles and 13 SEC championships at Alabama… In 25 years at Alabama, after missing a bowl bid his first season, took the Tide to 24 straight bowl games… Was 60-23-5 with an SEC championship - at Kentucky(!)

Bobby Dodd - (165-64-8) Georgia Tech - Had a 31-game unbeaten streak from 1951-1953… pioneered the Belly Series and introduced today’s “CEO” coaching structure… took teams to 13 major bowl games and had a string of eight straight bowl wins.

Woody Hayes - (219-66-10) Miami, Ohio State - Won five national titles, one MAC championship, 13 Big Ten championships. Won numerous Coach of the Year awards.  Had four unbeaten teams.  Took Buckeyes to eight Rose Bowls. From 1968-1976 had eight Top Ten  finishes.

Frank Leahy - (107-13-9) Boston College, Notre Dame… Was 20-2 at Boston College… Made the switch from Knute Rockne’s Box to the T-formation at Notre Dame and later popularized the I-formation… After he returned from two years in the Navy in WW II,  his ND teams  didn’t lose a game in four years (1946-1949)… In 11 years at ND, his teams won four national titles, and only three times did they finish ranked lower than third…   In 13 seasons as a head coach his teams lost just 13 games - and four of those losses came in one down year (1950)

John McKay - (127-40-8) USC…  In 16 years at USC won four national championships and  nine conference titles… Took teams to eight Rose Bowls, including four straight (1966-1969) … Nine of his teams  finished in the Top Ten nationally… Had three unbeaten teams, three one-loss teams.

Ara Parseghian - (170-58-6) Miami, Northwestern, Notre Dame… After a 39-6-1 term at Miami (Ohio), at Northwestern he got the Wildcats as high as third in the Big Ten in 1962, and a Number 16 ranking nationally… Left Northwestern with a winning record (36-35-1)… Took over when ND had had five straight non-winning seasons, and in his first year  took Irish to within one game - a loss in the last game against USC - of a national title.  He did win two national titles (in 1973, running the Wing-T), and never had a losing season…

Joe Paterno -  (409-136-3) Penn State… All-time winningest major college coach… Built Penn State from eastern power to national power… Went to record 27 bowls… First coach to win in every major bowl game - Rose, Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Sugar… Took State to Rose Bowl in their first year in Big Ten. Teams won two national championships… Had five undefeated, untied seasons… 23 of his teams were ranked in the final Top Ten…

Darrell Royal - (184-60-5) Mississippi State, Washington, Texas…Took the Horns from 1-9 the year before he arrived to 6-4 his first year, and never had a losing season in 20 years there…  Won two national titles and  earned Top-Ten ranking ten times… Introduced the Wishbone, and then shared it with Alabama and Oklahoma (in the latter case, to his regret)…  Won 11 Southwest Conference titles -  six in a row after unveiling the Wishbone…

Bo Schembechler - (234-65-8) Miami, Michigan… 40-17-3 at Miami… At Michigan, finished in the Top Ten his first ten years straight, and 16 times overall… Finished first or tied for first in the Big Ten 13 times… Took teams to 10 Rose Bowls... Had three 10-win teams that couldn’t go because of Big Ten’s “no-repeat” rule… 21 former assistants became FBS head coaches… Never won a national title, but in 23 years only one of his teams finished unranked... Had one unbeaten season and five one-loss seasons…

Bud Wilkinson - (145-29-4) Oklahoma… Took over at OU after Jim Tatum left for Maryland and led the Sooners on one of the great runs in college  football history… Between 1953 and 1957, the Sooners won 47 games, still a major college record… His Sooners won three national titles and 14 conference titles… For 11 straight years - from 1948-1958 - the Sooners finished in the Top Ten… He had four unbeaten and untied teams, and six one-loss teams.

 FRIDAY: MY SECOND ELEVEN

*********** I came across a great Web page explaining how so many idioms and expressions originated from a process thousands of years old - the milling, or grinding,  of grain into flour.

The one that stuck out the most for me was “wait your turn,” or “take your turn.”

Originally, it simply meant to wait until it was time for your grain to be “turned” - to be ground by the turning of the huge millstone.

https://blog.bakewithzing.com/popular-stone-milling-idioms/

***********  Deion Sanders and his Jackson State Tigers defeated Grambling State Saturday, 33-28.  It was their first win over  Grambling since 2012.

Just goes to show what a difference great coaching can make…

*********** One of Groucho Marx’s most famous quotes was, "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member."

The late Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona had an even better response for a country club that refused him as a member because, although an Episcopalian, he was born half-Jewish.

He asked, "How about if I just play nine holes?”

*********** I’ve been asked more than once if I would rather do one thing very well - say, running or passing - or try to do them both reasonably well.

Obviously, I would like to be able to do a number of things very well, but if I had to choose, I always say, I would much prefer to do one thing as well as humanly possible than to do more than one thing but do it half-assed.


*********** FROM THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION’S NEWSLETTER:

2021 College Football Hall of Fame electee Coach Bob Stoops is joining FOX Sports' BIG NOON KICKOFF college football pregame show beginning this fall, joining analysts Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart (College Football Hall of Famer), Brady Quinn and host Rob Stone.

Can somebody please tell me why they need FIVE people on a pregame show?

(Also - sarcasm warning - why one of them isn’t a female?)

*********** You know it's time to move on when...

Several years ago, in the early days of my high school coaching career, I was at a small, rural school, and a dad took his son, a starting lineman, hunting - right in the middle of football season. The kid missed two football games.  I don’t know whether he got his elk, but I can tell you what he didn't get - his starting spot back when he returned.

Mom and Dad were really pissed about that.  They thought their kid’s missing the two games was "punishment enough.”

I suppose I was guilty of not trying hard enough to see things their way, because I don't have a lot of use for people who want to have everything at others' expense, without having to make any sacrifices of their own. I guess either we were supposed to leave his spot open for him, playing with only 10 kids for those two games, or tell some other poor chump, "thanks for filling in for the last two weeks - you can go back to the bench now."
 
Anyhow, the principal came to me and told me that he had set up a meeting with Mom and Dad. What for? I asked. They were angry, he told me, and from the things he said it appeared as if he was making every effort to see their point of view.

I was somewhat taken aback, because back in those early days in my career in public education, I naively thought that administrators were expected to support their teachers and coaches, and shield  them from unreasonable parents. Stupid me.

"Whoa! " I said to him. "Whose side are you on, anyway?"

There was a smirk on his face, and his answer took me aback with its cynical frankness: "The Principal’s."

*********** A coach who is getting ready for spring football in his state wrote me:

I am a dinosaur.  I need help with the play cards. Covid and protocols are absolutely nuts so I need to use wrist coaches quickly

Can I get away with writing the wrist cards with a pen for each position. I have the newest playbook that shows you how to use it.

What kind of paper works best? Will the sweat or water get into the wrist coach?

I wrote him back:

You can write but you probably can’t write small enough or legibly enough.

I have to laminate the cards. Between the lamination and the fact that the cards are slipped in between two clear plastic sheets in the wristbands, that’s usually good enough to keep the ink from smearing.

The cards won’t smear at all if you have a lazer printer but most of us use inkjet printers.

If you want to, I would be glad to send you the blanks on an excel file and then you could type them in.

It will take some time to do, but it is worth it. Once you find out how useful the playcards are you will never go back.

 
*********** "After the War it was a rougher game. The attitude of the 1940s was so much different than it is today. We were part of the American tradition in the old-fashioned meaning. We were raised to love your God, respect your elders, and fear no son of a bitch that walks. That's why we won World War II. In the 1940s, right into the middle of the 1950s, you couldn't be an athlete and not have been in the service. Those guys who came out of World War II were different kinds of people. I knew them and played with them and they were fearless. After all, most of them didn't have easy duty. They were in the infantry, something like that. A lot of our players didn't come back, and you can check the list of pro football players who died in the War. A lot came back wounded and lame and were never able to play again."

Frank  "Bucko" Kilroy, former NFL player, scout and personnel executive

*********** Last Friday, I had the opportunity to speak on the phone at some length with Hall of Fame coach Jim Young.  Maybe because I was a fellow coach, maybe because I was introduced by a trusted former assistant of his, I found him to be easy to talk to and quite willing (and able) to talk on a number of topics.

Without getting deeply into what we discussed, I can say that I was impressed by how succinctly he explained why, after one year at Army, he made the decision to switch from the pro-style passing game that had served him well at Purdue, and go to the Wishbone.

Besides the obvious explanation of being able to control the ball - and the game - there was this:

FIRST:  “We didn’t have the skill people to get us out of third-and-long.”

SECOND: “I felt that it (the Wishbone) gave us our best chance to get to third-and-two.”

I’ve never heard a better. more concise  explanation of why a coach thinks it’s wise for his team to play a ball-control offense.

*********** Last week, for the second time this “season,” top-rated Tumwater, Washington High, defending state 2A champion, lost a game.  No, they weren’t beaten - they’ve now had two opponents cancel out. Once it was because of ineligible players, and Saturday it was because of the Chinese Virus.

How they managed to put together a game on short notice against seventh-ranked Prosser is pretty interesting.  Prosser already had a game scheduled, but they didn’t want to pass up a chance to measure themselves against the top team in the state. (The two teams met in 2018 for the state title, with Prosser winning, 22-15.)

The problem was Prosser already had a game scheduled, and state rules prohibit a player from playing more than four quarters in a week.

Prosser is usually pretty good - Kellen Moore came out of there - and they must have been scheduled to play a weaker opponent, because their solution was to play that opponent on Friday night, using mostly JVs, then play Tumwater on Saturday night.

I don’t know how they did on Friday, but on Saturday they lost to Tumwater, 48-10.

Like Prosser, Tumwater seems to like a challenge. There won't be any playoffs this spring, but two weeks from now, in the concluding game of the “season,” they’ve scheduled a game with number-two ranked Steilacoom (“STILL-a-cum”).

https://scorebooklive.com/washington/2021/03/04/how-prosser-and-tumwater-put-together-a-cross-state-last-minute-washington-high-school-2a-showdown-in-a-pandemic-condensed-football-season/

*********** Another humdinger page. Filled with delicious nuggets like the Bradshaw alias. I'm interested in what name(s) you use when traveling. What? You didn't like Mitt's?

Re Inslee: I'm thankful every day we have a good Gov where I live. Most of these Blue State guvs are, as you assert, small people, reveling in their ability to inflict misery on their serfs.

Loved the "Rest of the Story". I knew about Doug Black having been cut, then playing intramurals, and the Tac recommendation...but I never knew that Tac was Bob Caslen.

Great letter to The Athletic. You made the right points in the right way.

Looking forward to your list of top coaches.

John Vermillion
St. Petersburg, Florida

packfire
(John Vermillion’s “Packfire” - his ninth in a series of Simon Pack adventure novels - is out. I haven’t read it yet but my wife has and she  thoroughly endorses it.)

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

I like Clay Travis. I listen to him for an hour every day on radio and I also watch him on YouTube in the afternoon.
He is a breath of fresh air in the sports talk radio arena.

See you Tuesday.

David Crump
Owensboro, Kentucky

*********** Your clinics on the belly have been very good. The wedge and G blocking are very good ways to run the series.

It gives average or below average OL a chance that the man blocking schemes don’t give them.

I’m disappointed in myself that I never gave these schemes a try with the inside belly series.

The only warning I have to add is that it is a high maintenance play in my experience. It takes a lot of reps to time up the motion to get the off tackle play to hit the way you want it.

I don’t say this to discourage anyone at all. It is just a fair warning to anyone looking at the series.

Thanks again for all the clinics. I really look forward to them.

John Bothe
Oregon, Illinois

(Coach Bothe played in a belly system under Coach Bob Reade at Augusta, and he has coached it at the high school level in Illinois. I value his input. HW)

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

Like him or not, it will be interesting to see where Lou Holtz falls in your greatest college coaches list.  249 wins - 132 losses - 7 ties; 23 bowl games (won 12); 1 national championship; played for 2 others; and includes Barry Alvarez, Urban Meyer, and Charlie Strong (among others) as part of his coaching tree.

Quite a difference between the governor of Washington and the governor of Alabama.

I'm convinced common sense is no longer common in this country.

Coach Strong was in over his head.  It had nothing to do with the color of his skin.  Red McCombs didn't become a billionaire for not knowing what it takes to be an effective and successful leader.  My daughter worked as a football manager at Notre Dame, and she enjoyed working under Coach Strong who always treated her well.  He even remembered who she was 12 years later when we visited a UT spring practice.  He's a really good person but really good persons don't always make really good leaders.  Not only was McCombs right about Strong's hiring at UT, McCombs' comment was reinforced after Coach Strong's stint (11-13 conference record) at South Florida (hardly confused with UT) led him out their door.

Enjoy the weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  John Brodie was a consensus All-American quarterback at Stanford.

He was the 49ers’ first round pick out of Stanford (number  three overall) and played  with them for 17 years.

He backed up Y.A. Tittle for four seasons, then took over the starting job when Tittle was traded to the Giants, and remained the starter until his retirement following the 1973 season.

Along the way, he led the NFL in passing yards on three occasions,  twice led it in touchdown passes and completion percentage, and once led it in passer rating.

He played in two Pro Bowls. He was First Team All-Pro once, and Second Team All-Pro once.

In 1970, he was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player.

In the mid-60s, he was one of the NFL quarterbacks targeted by the AFL, a strategy that helped bring about the merger between the two leagues,  while also helping him get a new and larger contract with the 49ers.

At the time of his retirement,  his 31,548 yards passing were third All-Time behind only John Unitas and Fran Tarkenton.

He had always been a  good golfer - when he was at Stanford he missed spring ball so he could  play on the school’s  golf team,  and after graduation he actually  gave pro golf a try before realizing  he had a better chance of making it in football. 

After he retired from football,  he played on the Senior PGA Tour, and  worked as a TV announcer, doing both football and  golf  for NBC Sports.

John Brodie is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, but he is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which is a travesty when you consider some of the lesser achievers  they’ve been letting in.

Brodie’s Number 12 was retired by the 49ers, but with his permission, in 2006  49er QB Trent Dilfer, a close friend, wore the number in an effort to bring attention to his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JOHN BRODIE

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
BRAD KNIGHT - CLARINDA, IOWA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
VICKY TIMBERS - ENGLEWOOD, COLORADO
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

*********** Oddly enough I had heard of him when he won a Senior PGA event...didn't realize he had also played golf at Stanford.

I had a student once named after him (Brodie John).  This kids grandpa had been a fan.  How cool that I remember that!  Kid is probably in his early 30's now.

Brad Knight
Clarinda, Iowa

*********** When we moved to California from Chicago as a 12 year old I was crushed I wouldn't see my beloved Chicago Bears anymore.  However, once in California I found there weren't many (if any) Bears fans.  But where I lived there were a ton of 49er fans.  I eventually became a 49er fan, and a fan of John Brodie.  You're absolutely right.  It IS a travesty that Brodie is not in the pro football HOF.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ: He played high school ball in his native  Chicago, then played his college ball as a guard at Iowa.

After graduation,  he played a season with the New York Yankees of the AAFC before an injury cut his playing career short.

He then  landed  a job as assistant football coach and head baseball coach at Maryland State (now Maryland-Eastern Shore) and stayed there from 1951 through 1959.

In 1960, he was hired as head coach at Morgan State, in Baltimore.

In his 14 years there,  he never had a losing season.

He had three straight unbeaten seasons (1965-1967) and in a four-year span from 1965 through 1968 his Bears lost just one game.

Overall,  he was 96-31-2. He won eight conference titles, and in two Orange Blossom Classics - played for a mythical national black college championship - his Morgan team split with Florida A & M and their legendary coach, Jake Gaither.

In 1966, the undefeated Morgan State Bears integrated the Tangerine Bowl, and defeated West Chester (Pennsylvania), 14-6.

In 1968, Morgan met Grambling and its legendary coach, Eddie Robinson, in front of more than 60,000 people in Yankee Stadium - the first game ever in New York City between two historically black colleges -  and came out on top, 9-7.

He could land talent.  He sent 41 players to the pros, most notably Willie Lanier, Leroy Kelly, John Fuqua, Raymond Chester, Roger Brown and Sherman Plunkett.

In 1992, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.



UPSIODE DOWN FLAGFRIDAY, MARCH 5, 2021 - “You can't just call somebody essential without implicitly suggesting that half the workforce is not essential.” Mike Rowe
 
*********** SOMEBODY OUT THERE - you know who you are - sent me something very nice from St. Petersburg, Florida. Unfortunately, there was nothing in the packaging to indicate who sent it, and I am desperate to know so that I can thank him or - highly unlikely - her.  If you happen to be reading this, won't you please own up to it, so I can express my gratitude?

*********** Listening to the radio, I heard the executive director of the OSAA - Oregon’s high school sports governing body, talking about his state’s attempts to begin playing football in the spring.

One problem he faces - and one  that everyone saw coming before the “pandemic” came along to exacerbate it - is a shortage of football officials.

When Oregon last played high school football in 2019, there were  650 qualified officials in the state.

When he spoke this week, he said that that number is now 445.

That might explain why your kid’s game has to be played at some time other than Friday night.

If you live in Oregon and   you’d like to help the game of football, one way you can is to officiate:   https://www.osaa.org/new-officials/index.html

*********** Longtime friend Armando Castro told us on my Tuesday night Zoom clinic that in Roanoke, Virginia, where he lives, the high schools just concluded a TWO-GAME season.  He said that was the case in the Richmond area as well.


*********** Shep Clarke, of Puyallup, Washington, was kind enough to send me this link to a great interview with former Army All-American and Heisman Trophy winner Pete Dawkins.

https://www.historynet.com/ten-questions-pete-dawkins.htm

*********** Shep also came across this  newspaper article from 1983… WTF?  Some alias.  Did Terry Bradshaw know something?

bradshaw-brady

***********  I’ve been asked lately if I would publish this again, so here it is, with just a bit of updating…

A while back, The Sporting News published what it called its "Top 50 Coaches of All Time." 

Only 11 college football coaches made it - Bear Bryant (Alabama); Knute Rockne (Notre Dame); Joe Paterno (Penn State); Eddie Robinson (Grambling); Bobby Bowden (West Virginia, Florida State); Woody Hayes (Miami, Ohio State); Bud Wilkinson (Oklahoma); Tom Osborne (Nebraska); Bo Schembechler (Miami, Michigan); Amos Alonzo Stagg (Springfield College, Chicago and Pacific); Ara Parseghian (Miami, Northwestern, Notre Dame) - and a few pro coaches (Paul Brown, Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi,  Don Shula) as well.

Excuse me, I thought - of  All Time? No Pop Warner? No Earl Blaik? No Frank Leahy?  No Robert Neyland? 

Give… me… a… break.

Since no special expertise is required to publish such a list,  I figured that I'd seen or followed enough coaches in my lifetime to qualify me as well as any millennial genius  sitting in front of a computer screen at some sports weekly.

So here, then, is my Top 35 College Football Coaches in My Lifetime

First,  the ground rules.

(1) I’m a historian.  So for me, that  means no currently active coach is eligible. Bill Snyder was the most recent qualifier to become eligible.  Urban Meyer  (187-32 at  Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, Ohio State) was dropped from consideration because he remains active, although not at the college level.  I have to admit that I’m not at all comfortable about including him on a list of top coaches, but you can’t argue with his ability to win, wherever he’s been.  When Nick Saban finally hangs ‘em up, he’ll immediately move into my top group. He  won’t knock anyone out, though. As far as I’m concerned,  once they’re in, they’re in. It’s like a Hall of Fame in that regard.

(2) I took into account the number of wins,  the quality of the competition, and titles won - all of which are objective - and then their overall impact on the game, which is  subjective. I did, however,  require that a coach have an overall winning record.

(3) I required that a coach must have spent the greatest part of his career coaching at the highest level of college football. Unfortunately, this meant excluding some great coaches such as Eddie Robinson,  Jake Gaither,  John Merritt,  Dave Nelson,  John Gagliardi and Larry Kehres.  Paul Brown won a national championship at Ohio State but he didn't make it because I knew him only as a pro coach, and his college career,  although it did include a national title, was way too brief.  Bobby Bowden didn’t get credit for his early-career wins at little Samford.

(4) The major portion of the coach's work had to have taken place during my time  following football, which I date as starting in 1945. Purely coincidentally that was also  the start of the post-war era.  That means that I started my football-watching near the end of the careers of such coaching giants as Dana X Bible (Texas A & M, Nebraska, Texas), Bernie Biermann of Minnesota, Fritz Crisler of Michigan,  Dutch Meyer of TCU,  General Robert Neyland of Tennessee,  Carl Snavely of North Carolina and Wallace Wade of Alabama and Duke,  so I couldn't include them.

(5) It was tough enough for me to choose a first 11, a second 11 and a third 11,  so within each 11 I refused to choose one coach over another - I simply listed them alphabetically.  It's not difficult to make a strong argument that some coaches in one group deserve to be ranked higher,  or that some coaches were wrongly left off entirely.  

(6) Why groups of 11?  I don't know.  Why do we always have to make lists of 10? Or 25? Or 50? Or 100?  Are we simply slaves of base-10 mathematics?  Maybe I should simply say I did it because there are 11 men on a football team.  But I didn't.  Actually, my third group  contains 13 names.  I had a couple of late additions and I wasn’t about to drop anyone off the list.

(7) My list is simply that - my list.  It’s not intended to be definitive, or to be “better” than yours, or anyone else’s.

COMING ON TUESDAY:

The  first Eleven

*********** Our esteemed Governor Dipshit, aka Jay Inslee, reminds me of the kind of social nerd  who wanted desperately to be accepted by the dudes and the ladies but just couldn’t figure out a way.  And then, he found politics, and  eventually he got himself in a position of power, and ever since  he’s been exacting revenge on the rest of us - starting with athletes and their parents.

When he finally issued a ukase (an edict by a Tsar) allowing the peasants’ children to play  their games, he hastened to let their parents - many of whom were no doubt the ones who excluded him from their parties and dances and games when they were all younger, that now it was their turn to know what it was like to be excluded.

He and the members of his  royal court of advisers announced that  no more than 200 people would be permitted to be on scene at any athletic event, counting participants, coaches, officials and game administrators.  It didn’t matter what sport he was talking about - soccer, with maybe 16 kids on a team, or football with upwards of 40.  And it didn’t matter whether the game was played in a gym or out on a football field.  The effect of the ruling was  to virtually exclude parents from  their sons’ football games.4

Last weekend, responding to a chorus of complaints from parents unable to watch their kids play their games, he  consented to the point of saying he’d “look into it.” That was nice of him.  At the time he said it, there were three games remaining in the already-shortened football season, and he didn’t seem to be in a hurry to start looking.

And then this week, in a sickening display of sycophancy, the executive director of the state high school athletic association sent out a video message to all state schools and their coaches - it’s called “Two Minute Drill,” but “Two Minute Warning” would be more appropriate: 

Please, he implored us all  - PLEASE comply with the governor’s masking orders.

And if  you show that you can be good, who knows? There’s always a chance that our Fearless Leader might even allow a few  parents to watch their kids play games - in OUTDOOR F—KING STADIUMS!!!

So please, he pleads - “Don’t be the reason we lose a season!”

https://vimeo.com/519202002

*********** When I heard the news that Irv Cross had died last week, I was ready with an obituary - one I’d written a few months earlier.  It wasn’t intentional, but it could have been.

Years ago, I was amazed to learn that the NY Times had people assigned to writing obituaries - while the subjects were still alive.

My immediate reaction was that it was sort of ghoulish.  But then I realized that it wasn’t that at all.  It made perfect sense.  It simply wouldn’t be possible to wait until a famous person had died and then try to cobble together a fitting obituary.

For an aspiring historian/biographer, as I was at the time, it sounded like a heck of a job.

To a certain extent, I often find myself doing that job now  - writing an advance obituary -  and I enjoy it.   Unlike writers for the NYT, though, I  don’t have  their access to the subjects.  And they’re paid better.

*********** I’m a fan of Clay Travis and The Outkick, and I had to reprint  this exchange he had with a “teacher in GA.”

“I’m a teacher in GA. One of my fellow teachers was doing a lesson today reading Huckleberry Finn. One of our virtual student’s parents (our district is doing in person and virtual at the same time) called to complain because the book has the N word in it. I get the culture we are living in, but the whole premise of the book is Twain actually talking AGAINST slavery and discrimination. I should probably also say that 95% of our district is made up of minorities. So it’s not as if it’s a bunch of white kids sitting around reading this book. Also, what is with the fake outrage? Every single one of my students can sing every word to WAP and not a single parent says anything, but they can’t read Huckleberry Finn? What is this world coming to Clay?”

Everyone is so afraid of losing their job that they’ve decided the safest thing to do is accept every single complaint that anyone raises without fighting back.

That’s why cancel culture is running rampant.

Not because people actually agree with it, but because they are so terrified of disagreeing with whatever the ascendant mob online is attacking because that mob may turn on them next.

We’ve also bought into the idea that children should never be uncomfortable in their learning at all. In other words, anything that makes any kid the slightest bit uncomfortable has to be eliminated. That’s how we’re raising the most coddled generation ever to exist.

Many parents now believe that by shielding their kids from any discomfort at all, they are helping their kids. Parents have bought into the idea that kids are fragile and in permanent danger of breaking. I believe the exact opposite. I think kids are tough, and we need to work on making them tougher. Kids need to fail — and overcome obstacles — in order to grow.

Last night, my ten-year-old son’s basketball team lost in the county tournament. All of the kids were crushed and crying after the game. Now, personally, I’d prefer that kids lose games without crying. But the bigger issue here is sports teach kids how to cope with failure in a world that increasingly tells them they never fail.

The world is full of high-end competition everywhere. You don’t succeed in life by shrinking from competition. Just as there are winners and losers in every game, there are winners and losers in every competitive field as well.

So are you going to compete or not?

You have to learn how to try your hardest and understand that even when that happens, you still might fail. You don’t ever want to get comfortable with losing, but you have to understand what giving your all and still coming up short feels like.

Because that’s going to happen a ton in life.

You have to learn to cope with that feeling of failure.

We’ve created a world where kids aren’t ever supposed to feel the least bit uncomfortable and that isn’t a world that I want to live in because it stifles all growth and, again, presumes that kids are fragile and delicate when the reality is they aren’t at all.

Great works of art often make those who are exposed to them uncomfortable. THAT’S WHY THEY ARE GREAT WORKS OF ART! Art is supposed to challenge your way of thinking and make you see the world in a way you otherwise wouldn’t.

What’s awful about parents like these, as you mentioned, is they are perfectly fine with their kids being exposed to modern culture, which is often far more sordid and without most of the artistic merit, but they are not fine with works of art from the past. How can you be fine with playing “WAP” or any other modern day rap song in your car, but not okay with your kid reading Huckleberry Finn?

It’s totally illogical.

The saddest part of this is these parent think they are helping their kids, but in reality they are harming them. Parents have to stop reacting to words like they are incredibly harmful. We just do. One thing my generation’s parents got right was the old school “sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you” aphorism. This isn’t true, of course. Words can hurt, as any kid who has ever had another kid say something mean about them knows. But the lesson is an important one: you shouldn’t let words hurt you. And you should teach your kids, like I teach my own kids, that they shouldn’t let words hurt them either.

We spend far more time, it seems to me, judging words in modern day society than we do actions. And that’s absurd because our focus should be on actions, not words. Today’s modern cancel culture is almost always about word choice of one type or another. It’s almost never about actions. In fact, many people absurdly excuse criminal actions and argue for lesser punishment while insisting maximum punishment for word choice. It’s bonkers.

So if I were the teacher in this situation, I’d respond to the parent by saying, “I understand your concerns, but great literature isn’t about making kids comfortable. It’s sometimes about making them uncomfortable. Because when you’re uncomfortable is often when your horizons grow the most.” Then I’d explain what the book is actually about and why it matters today as much, maybe even more, than when it was written over a hundred years ago.

That may or may not work, but it’s the direction I’d go here.

I also assume, as has been the case for decades, that if a parent is uncomfortable with a particular book assigned in class that there is an alternate book that can be assigned instead. So that offer should be made. But I’d make the case that this is an important book for all kids in school to read.

Good luck with that conversation.

And good luck with continuing to exist in the absurd universe we’ve created, where even Dr. Seuss is being canceled.

https://www.outkick.com/anonymous-mailbag-191/?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=The+Daily+OutKick&utm_campaign=Daily+Outkick+3+3+2021

*********** Alabama is planning on playing in front of a full house next fall. 101,821. Every game.

*********** They’re not the Redskins Cheerleaders anymore, okay?

Not only are they not the Redskins,  but those women that the guys in the front office supposedly used to hit on? They’re no longer cheerleaders. 

They’re a dance team.  Much more professional.

Actually, in the organization’s words, they're “a more modern entertainment team.”

“Ladies… and… Gentlemen… Let’s turn our attention to midfield… and YOUR Washington Football Team Modern Entertainment Team!!!”

As for anyone hitting on them:  The new “modern entertainment team” will be (two words guaranteed to turn a lot of people off):  “inclusive and diverse.” 


***********  In general, I have been impressed with the solid  sports coverage in The Athletic, which is why I was so taken aback by a recent article whose aim was to push a social justice message on its readers.

To give a brief idea…

In ‘Eyes of Texas’ debate, Texas chooses donors over doing what’s best for players

By David Ubben

Steve Sarkisian was clear in his opening statement at the January news conference introducing him as the new head coach of Texas, the college football program that produces more revenue than any other.

“Everything we’re going to do in this program is going to be centered around what is best for our players,” Sarkisian said. “Our goal is to put our players in the best position to be successful, whether that’s in life, whether it’s on the football field or in the classroom. They will be the priority of our program, and we will make sure we have everything in place surrounding them to put them in the best position to do that.”

A few minutes later in the same media session, he was asked about the team singing “The Eyes of Texas” after games. Sarkisian chose to echo the words of athletic director Chris Del Conte, who encouraged players to stand and sing the song in October after an image of quarterback Sam Ehlinger standing alone and singing enraged some fans.

“I know this much: ‘The Eyes of Texas’ is our school song,” Sarkisian said. “We’re going to sing that song. We’re going to sing that proudly.”
*****

George Floyd’s death at the hands of police last summer ignited protests across the globe and a nationwide re-examination of Black people’s experience in America on a variety of fronts. At Texas, that meant players produced a list of changes they wanted to see on their campus, or else they would no longer participate in recruiting activities. Among them: Renaming buildings named after people who stood in the way of integration, donating money to Black organizations and, most controversially, discontinuing “The Eyes of Texas” as the school song.

***** (Author Ubben’s “example” of  “racism” on the part of Texas’ donors):

It’s hardly Texas’ first run-in with racism from donors. The same day Texas introduced Charlie Strong as head coach after Strong had gone 23-3 in two seasons at Louisville, longtime booster Red McCombs called the hire a “kick in the face” in a radio interview.

“I don’t have any doubt that Charlie is a fine coach. I think he would make a great position coach, maybe a coordinator,” McCombs said. “But I don’t believe (he belongs at) what should be one of the  three most powerful university programs in the world right now at UT-Austin. I don’t think it adds up.”

***** In Summary

At Texas, the choice to continue playing “The Eyes of Texas” has been dismaying to players with a lot of complaints and little power. An actual, organized player boycott would be far more effective at enacting change than a handful of donors threatening to pull donations. But that’s not happening, and so far, donors have pushed and won.

Some players are surely disappointed to see their concerns ignored, but it’s unlikely all of them feel passionate enough about the issue to escalate the controversy. The university already pressed on players in October and got its way. Under a new coach, will players’ desire to not sing a song initially performed to denigrate and humiliate people that look like them be ignored?

Texas has locked arms with racist donors who see protesting players as little more than jerseys and helmets with little purpose beyond beating Oklahoma and winning more games than Texas A&M so they have a little more ammo to rib their rivals in the boardroom and at the country club.
The Athletic's readers are hard core sports people and definitely what you would call opinionated, so I eagerly anticipated reading their reactions.  Alas, showing that it could dish it out but not take it, The Athletic concluded the article with this most uncharacteristic note:

Editor’s Note: Comments on this story are disabled. Please visit the Code of Conduct page for additional information. If you wish to contact the editor, send a note to editor@theathletic.com.

https://theathletic.com/2420474/2021/03/01/in-eyes-of-texas-debate-texas-chooses-donors-over-doing-whats-best-for-players/?source=dailyemail

I did, in fact, write to the editor, and here’s what I wrote:

A tirade like Ubben's is not why I gave out a number of gift subscriptions to The Athletic for Christmas.

I could, if I chose, read articles like that in any number of other media outlets, but I would never foist them on friends and relatives.

I actually thought that I was giving them access to the sort of great sports journalism that I had come to expect from The Athletic.

How pathetic of this Ubben to  use Red McCombs’ opposition to Charlie Strong’s hiring as an example of racism.

True, Strong's record at Louisville was quite good.  But as McCombs said, quite clearly, it is a big jump from coaching football at Louisville to coaching football at Texas.

I said the same thing at the time, so go ahead and call me a racist.

(Actually, I was pulling for Charlie Strong to succeed, but in his three years at Texas, he was 16-21. Red McCombs was right.)

That was a pathetic article, intended to stir up  trouble. Shame on Ubben and shame on you. Your shutting off comments indicates that you knew what your readers would think, and for that show of cowardice, double shame on you.

The Athletic? How about The Advocate.
Hugh Wyatt
Camas, Washington

*********** Now that I’ve taken my shot at The Athletic, I’ve got to give credit where it’s due to a writer named Ted Nguyen, for his excellent analysis of Coastal Carolina’s offense.  It’s almost worth the cost of a subscription.

https://theathletic.com/2410223/2021/03/02/how-coastal-carolina-took-college-football-by-storm-analyzing-the-chanticleers-offense/

*********** This absolute gem was sent to me by Charlie Wilson, of Crystal River, Florida…

“There was once where John Croyle was talking to him about what he should do after football, and Coach Bryant received three phone calls. One was the President of the United States. One was Bob Hope. I can’t remember the other guy, but each time he’d tell his secretary to take a message, he was talking to one of his players and he’d call the guy back. He was that type of person.”

https://www.tuscaloosanews.com/sports/20190928/game-day-alabamas-1979-team-among-best-ever

*********** I correctly predicted you would have a good bit to say about Irv Cross. How could you not? He was a good man who conducted his life admirably.

Interesting rundown on the current state of the Ivies. I'm just a cis-hetero white male who don't unnerstan these elite institutions, so tanks, as the Army man said.

I was shocked when I found out SIU beat NDSU. Also, I admit, a little sad. Once I made the pilgrimage to see the FargoDome, I adopted the Bison as a favorite team.

John Vermillion
St. Petersburg, Florida

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

A few thoughts from last night’s zoom:

Thank you for the opinion about offensive linemen’s base on impact when blocking. I have always felt that we were losing explosiveness and followthrough by insisting on a wide base or using the board. I never heard another coach express the same thing.

Love the idea of having the weak side guard and tackle pull the other way on Reach plays. That will really screw with some defenders.

Finally, I actually think the criss-cross from the pitch is less likely to cause a fumble than with a handoff (47/56C). There are less hands involved. When we would run it, I would tell the receiving wing to go very slowly, not only to ensure a catch, but because I wanted the defence to see him catching the ball.

My wife Shandy walked by as you were presenting and said, “What can there possibly be to still talk about?” She is a great coaches wife, but unless you have coached this offence, you don’t realize how much there is to talk about.

Tom Walls
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Tom,

You might be surprised at how many coaches think there isn’t anything more to learn!


***********  Hugh,

We've lost many great football people in 2020-21.  But Irv Cross was one of the finest.  Here is just a short list:
Don Shula
Gale Sayers
Paul Hornung
George Perles
Pat Dye
Johnny Majors
Willie Davis
Ray Perkins
Pepper Rodgers

This is the same Madison HS in Portland where you and Tracy coached?  However, San Francisco may be the leader in that category of the absurd by renaming Washington High School and Lincoln High School.

OK, that Washington covid bus rule tops ALL of them!

Wow!  Had no idea that North Dakota State was beaten for the first time in 39 tries.

If I'm one of those Ivy League football players I'd be seriously looking to transfer to Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Duke, Stanford, and other academic FBS schools.  I imagine a degree with those names on it would help me with my future regardless if I played a lot, or not.

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Jim Young coached at Arizona, Purdue and Army, and left all three places much better than he found them.

After four years as a high school head coach in Shawnee, Ohio, he joined Bo Schembechler’s  staff at Miami of Ohio, and later moved with Schembechler to Michigan. After nine years assisting  Schembechler, the last several years as his top assistant, he took the head coaching job at Arizona.

Before his arrival in Tucson, the Wildcats had had four straight losing seasons and just one winning season in their previous eight.   He turned things around immediately, going 8-3 in his first season. In four years at U of A, he went 31-13 - leading them to their first nine-win season -  before leaving for Purdue.

Purdue had suffered  four straight losing seasons, and just one winning season in their previous seven. But with a high-powered passing game featuring QB Mark Hermann, his Boilermakers went 38-19-1 in five seasons, and won three straight bowl games.

He resigned to spend a year in administration, but was coaxed back into coaching at Army. The Cadets were coming off five straight losing seasons, and had had just one winning season in the last ten years.

After finishing  a disappointing 2-9 in his first season at West Point, he made one of the gutsier decisions in modern football history: he decided to junk everything he had been doing and go to the wishbone. 

For his quarterback, he chose Nate Sassaman, a senior defensive back who hadn’t played the position  since running a veer option offense at his  high school in suburban Portland, Oregon.  With Sassaman running the ‘bone to near-perfection, Army went 8-3-1, and beat Michigan State in the Cherry Bowl. (The one tie on the  record was a 24-24  thriller against Tennessee in Knoxville.)
 
With fullback Doug Black rushing for 1148 yards and Sassaman rushing for 1002, the 1984 Cadets led the nation in rushing, and staying with the wishbone the rest of Coach Young’s time there, Army never finished lower than fifth in the nation in rushing.

1984 would be the first of seven straight winning seasons for him at Army before he retired in 1990.  He was  51-39-1 overall, with two nine-win seasons, tying the  school record.  He was 2-1 in bowl games at Army,  upsetting first Michigan State and then Illinois,  and narrowly losing  (29-28) to Alabama.

Jim Young’s overall record was 114-66-2.  And he was 5-1 in bowl games. (It’s not fair to count Michigan’s 10-3 1970 Rose Bowl loss to USC against him: he was called on to serve as interim head coach after Bo Schembechler was hospitalized the morning of the game.)

He is in the College Football Hall of Fame.


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JIM YOUNG

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

*********** I came across an amazing story in a Chicago Tribune article about Doug Black, the Army fullback  on the great wishbone team of 1984,  and I immediately got on the phone to John Simar.

John, whom I first got to know as the President of the Army football club, the association of former Army football players, played ball at West Point and later served as an assistant under four different Army coaches - including Jim Young.

John verified that the story as told in the Tribune article was correct - that Doug Black, a kid from a small town in Texas who was given a brief look as a West Point plebe (freshman) and then cut, would reappear two years later and as Army’s starting fullback in their first season of running the wishbone, set a single-season Army rushing record.

He remembered Coach Young saying on the plane coming back from a 41-20 loss to Air Force - Army’s third straight loss, dropping the Cadets to 2-6 - “we’re going to do what Air Force is doing.”

That meant going to the Wishbone. That spring, Coach Young sent assistants out in pairs to observe various wishbone teams - Auburn and Wyoming were two that John Simar remembered.  (Also John said, they relied heavily on what he called  “Homer’s book” - “Installing Football’s Wishbone T Attack,” by Homer Smith and Pepper Rodgers.)

Installing the wishbone cold meant doing it with players who had not been recruited to run that offense.  It meant turning the offense over to Nate Sassaman, a former high school quarterback who  the year before had been a backup safety at Army. As a wishbone quarterback, John recalled, he was “ballsy.”

And it meant finding a fullback.  That’s where Doug Black came in.

After being cut as a plebe (he wasn’t recruited, but Army has a policy of “screening” incoming freshmen who want to try out) he played intramural football.  His company’s Tactical Officer (and his intramural coach) was a former Army center and later an assistant, and he recommended Black to Coach Young.

Coach Young gave him a shot, and Black, who by now was a solid 215, worked his way up from number eight on the depth chart, primarily because coaches admired the way he went all-out on every play.

Army’s  first game as a wishbone team was a decisive 41-15 win, but to keep things in perspective, it was against D-IAA Colgate.

The next week, though, after Army played Tennessee to a 24-24 tie in Knoxville, John said the Army coaches looked at each other and said, “Hmmm.”

John said that for most of the coaches and players on that team, that  1984 season was their greatest football experience.

And he couldn’t say enough good things about Coach Young.

“Jim Young,” John said, “is a very special person.”

Now then, as the late, great radio commentator Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story:

The Tactical Officer who recommended Doug Black to Jim Young? The former Army center and assistant coach?  He would go on to become a three-star general in the US Army, and would retire as Superintendent of the United States Military Academy. While in that post, he was primarily responsible for the hiring of Jeff Monken, Army’s very successful current football coach.

Today, that man, General Bob Caslen, US Army Retired, is the President of the University of South Carolina.

And now, you know “The Rest of the Story.”

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1985-10-18-8503110314-story.html

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

Check out this article from 2007. Coach Young handled this interview with class.

Greg Koenig
Colorado Springs

https://www.recordonline.com/article/20070723/Sports/707230338

***********  It was Coach Young's Army teams that caught my attention, and showed his remarkable ability of highlighting his players' strengths rather than expose their weaknesses by effectively utilizing the offensive system he chose to use.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ:  He was a consensus All-American quarterback at Stanford.

He was the 49ers’ first round pick  (number  three overall) and he wound up playing with them for 17 years.

He backed up Y.A. Tittle for four seasons, then took over the starting job when Tittle was traded to the Giants, and he remained the starter until his retirement following the 1973 season.

Along the way, he led the NFL in passing yards on three occasions,  twice led it in touchdown passes and completion percentage, and once led it in passer rating.

He played in two Pro Bowls. He was First Team All-Pro once, and Second Team All-Pro once.

In 1970, he was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player.

In the mid-60s, he was one of the NFL quarterbacks targeted by the AFL, a strategy that helped bring about the merger between the two leagues,  while also helping  get a new and larger contract with the 49ers.

At the time of his retirement,  his 31,548 yards passing were third All-Time behind only John Unitas and Fran Tarkenton.

He had always been a  good golfer - when he was at Stanford he missed spring ball so he could  play on the school’s  golf team,  and after graduation he actually  gave pro golf a try before realizing  he had a better chance of making it in football. 

After he retired from football,  he played on the Senior PGA Tour, and  worked as a TV announcer, doing both football and  golf  for NBC Sports.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, but he is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a travesty when you consider some of the lesser achievers  they’ve been letting in.

His Number 12 was retired by the 49ers, but with his permission, in 2006  49er QB Trent Dilfer, a close friend, wore the number in an effort to bring attention to his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.




UPSIODE DOWN FLAGTUESDAY, MARCH 2, 2021 - “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”  George Orwell, 1984

***********  Happy Birthday to our son, Ed. My wife, Connie, and I were just kids ourselves when he was born. It was a few years ago, but  I can still see the sunrise over Long Island Sound that morning as we drove to the hospital in New Haven to have the first of our four wonderful children.

*********** IRV CROSS DIED -

I WROTE THIS LAST SEPTEMBER...

The eighth of 15 children of a Hammond, Indiana steelworker and his wife, Irv Cross would go to a prestigious college, he would  play for nine seasons in the NFL (and in two Pro Bowls) and then become a broadcasting pioneer.

He attended Northwestern as part of Ara Parseghian’s first group of recruits. As he said years later in an interview with Northwestern,

I was the Class of 1957, the first class Parseghian recruited. The group included Dick Thornton who should have been All-American but wound up breaking his leg his senior year. Elbert and Albert Kimbrough were outstanding, but the thing we liked was that Ara was very careful to get people he thought were well qualified to get through Northwestern in four years. Physically we weren’t as big as other teams, but we would not make mental errors, and we played both offense and defense so we knew both sides of the football. But the greatest thing about Northwestern is that we knew we were prepared for the next chapter in life.

At Northwestern, he was a three-year starter in football. He also starred in track, and in his senior year was named Northwestern’s Male Athlete of the Year.

He was the seventh-round pick of the NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles,  but as a devout Christian, he almost passed up the Eagles to sign instead with the AFL's New York Titans, because the AFL then played on Saturdays.  (A Northwestern teammate, running back Ron Burton, had done just that the year before, signing with the Boston Patriots instead of the Eagles.)

But Eagles’ scout Bucko Kilroy told him that the team was going to hold chapel services on Sundays and asked if that would work for him. “I told him it would," said Cross.

He became one of the Eagles’ first black starters eight games into his rookie season when veteran safety Tom Brookshier broke his leg.  But he was ready, as he said in the Northwestern interview:

I was a rookie (with the Philadelphia Eagles), and we had a written test to see if we knew our assignments. I was the last guy finished; coach thought I was having problems. But when I turned in my paper, he said, ‘What’s this?’ Instead of putting down my individual defensive assignment I wrote the assignments for all 22 players. I said, “Coach, that’s how we did it at Northwestern. That was our biggest edge.” So as a rookie, I became one of the Eagles’ signal-callers. It gave me another element I could bring to the team.

In the meantime, he was already preparing for life after football.

During my rookie year in Philadelphia, I agreed to speak at events for nothing, and I got a lot of jobs. The key was that I took a number of public speaking courses for teachers at Northwestern; my diction and approach to presenting really started there. When I was younger, I could be in a room for two hours, and you wouldn’t know I was there. I wouldn’t say a word. Even now I’d rather be home than in public.

And that led to his becoming the first black person on Philadelphia TV.

It was after hearing him speak at a banquet that  Jim Leaming, sports director of Philadelphia’s KYW-TV, offered him a job.

"I think he was impressed that a football player could speak English," Cross told the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Frank Fitzpatrick. "I began to do the sports reports on the weekends and, when Jim was on vacation, during the week.”

In 1966, he was traded to the Rams, whose coach, George Allen, had remembered him from the days when Allen had coached the Bears’ defense and the Bears would practice at Northwestern.  In Los Angeles, he was a key cog in a formidable defense highlighted by their Fearsome Foursome defensive line.

He returned to the Eagles and spent a year as player-coach before retiring in 1970 to become a full-time coach.

(He and I have strong Philly ties. He also taught briefly at my wife’s high school - Abington - and then took a job as a stockbroker, while living in my old neighborhood - Mount Airy.)

He did so well as a stockbroker that he became the first black vice-president of a major Wall  Street Firm.

But the Dallas Cowboys called, with an offer of a key position in team management.

"There is no doubt in my mind Irv would have become the NFL's first black general manager," former Cowboys’ personnel director  Gil Brandt wrote in the foreword to his book.”

He was ready to accept the Cowboys' job when an even more attractive offer came, from CBS.

The network was putting together a ground-breaking show, a pregame show called The NFL Today. He would be a co-host along with Phyllis George, Jimmy the Greek, and Brent Musburger, who coincidentally was a classmate at Northwestern (although they did  not know each other in college). He was about to become the first black person to co-host a network pregame show.

CBS had their own idea of what role their “black host” was going to play.  They wanted him go the Superfly route: "This guy took me to a department store,” he told Frank Fitzpatrick,  “and bought me a light-blue leisure suit, a loud, flowered shirt and a big gold chain. I told him, `I don't dress this way.' That wasn't my personality."

He was already a broadcast pro.  He’d worked on TV.  He also had the highest-rated radio show in Philadelphia, and he held firm.

Fortunately, he prevailed.  The show was a great success, and he stayed with CBS as a studio host and network analyst - the first black man to handle that assignment - until 1994.

He was athletic director at Idaho State for three years, and then for six years at MacAlester College in St. Paul.
 
Until his retirement in 2010, he was CEO of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Minnesota.

In “The Game Before the Money,” he told author Jackson Michael, “All my life I’ve been a devout Christian, and sometimes I’ve been on the right side of that and sometimes not, but I’ve always tried to stay on the right side of it.”

In the Northwestern interview, he recalled meeting Jackie Robinson as a youngster: "I remember it like it was yesterday. Jackie had that white hair. He had that great smile. And my heart was pounding. When he shook hands with me, he looked at me and said, 'Son, whatever you do in life, make your parents proud.' It stuck with me. I've come to realize how important it was for Jackie to do what he did that night -- talking to young people, inspiring dreams. That's why Jackie Robinson remains a hero to me. It's one thing to be a great player. It's another thing to be a great person. Jackie was both.”

He dedicated his book, ”Bearing the Cross,” published in 2018, to his fifth-grade teacher, Ruth Ewing.  Years later, he would  still recall the day when she stopped at his desk and said to him, in a whisper, “You’re the kind of young man who can go to college.”

He said,  “Miss Ewing planted the seed for a new way of thinking, and that was a key turning point in my life.  I knew if I could get to college, it would open doors for me that reached far beyond Hammond - doors that would be closed without education.”

Rest in Peace, Mr. Cross.

*********** James Madison was the fourth  President of the United States, and he’s been called the Father of the Constitution for his role in constructing it and promoting its adoption.

Leodis McDaniel was a high school principal.

But in Portland, Oregon, where liberals are busy tearing down monuments and erasing history while the rest of us go about our business, James Madison high school will henceforth be known as Leodis McDaniel High School.

Woodrow Wilson, like James Madison, was a President of the United States.

And like James Madison, he had a Portland  high school named after him. You may disagree with Wilson's politics and his policies, but you must beware of measuring people or events of the past by the standards of today.

No matter.  Woodrow Wilson High School is now Ida B. Wells High School, in honor of a woman who I am told was a founder of the NAACP.

The  flaming libs who run things over on the Oregon side of the river couldn’t  have cared less that by changing Madison to McDaniel (both M’s) and Wilson to Wells (both W’s)  they wouldn’t have to change the logos on the football  fields. Pure happenstance.

*********** Mock, if you will, the have-nots of major college football.  But my experience has been that that’s where you find the true fans - the ones who’ll be there  for their team even when things are down, as they so often are.

Example: After offering refunds on football season ticket purchases (like most  colleges), Oregon State had just FOUR PER CENT of its season ticket purchasers request refunds.

*********** After all that the kids in our state (Washington) have had to go through just to be able to compete, and after all the “we’re in this together” crap that the maskers and closer-downers have put everyone through, why in the world would our state association go along with a stupid “athlete of the week” promotion?

*********** I mentioned recently a few stupid Covid regulations that various states impose on athletes - a ban on handshakes by wrestlers, a ban on huddling by football teams - and I heard another great one this past weekend, from right here in the Evergreen State:  Buses that transport Washington high school football teams (socially  distanced, of course) to and from games must have all windows open, the entire trip.  So, knowing that kids are highly unlikely to get the Killer Chinese Virus,  maybe “the science” can tell us how it can be good for them, after more than likely not being permitted to shower after the game, to sit on a bus, 40-degree air blowing in the windows,  for an hour and a half.

*********** For the great many of you who may not follow tennis…

There are four so-called  “majors” - major tournaments - played every year: the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.

The Australian Open just ended a week ago, and the fact that the Aussies were able to bring it off as well as they did - they actually chartered airliners to bring the players in, and they even had spectators (imagine!) at several matches - ought to make the hand-wringers in the rest of the world ashamed.

What it has to do with football, though, is that an American woman named Jessica Pegula made it to the  quarterfinals - her best performance ever  in a major.

Her parents are Terry and Kim Pegula, owners of the Buffalo Bills.

*********** Is there a high school football game in the United States this spring that isn’t being streamed/telecast in some manner?

Many of them are shown without sound.  Consider yourself lucky if that’s the game you’re watching.  Otherwise, you might want to keep the Mute button close at hand.

The “talent”  behind the microphones is lower than abysmal.

One guy insisted on mumbling through a mask, and apologized for having to go off-air at halftime to change his mask.

One thing all these rank amateurs have in common is a total failure to do their homework - which at the very base of broadcasting an athletic event consists of knowing who made the play - and telling us.

That usually means having a spotter to point out players’ numbers on a large board, but sometimes it can mean having to do it all yourself. No matter.  Just tell us.

As I was  told early in my television career (such as it was), “This isn’t radio. You don’t have to tell the people what they can see for themselves.” 

Got that, you bozos? We can see WHAT happened.  We can SEE that  the passer dropped back and threw the ball and it was caught and the receiver was tackled.  But we don’t have a f—king program, and with the camera usually zoomed way out, it’s usually hard to see the numbers anyway,   so TELL US!

*********** Saw a fair number of games this past weekend on ESPN+, and I have to say that the guys broadcasting the FCS games are overall fair good.

And I especially like the local commercials that you see  for businesses in places like Huntsville, Texas and Thibodeaux, Louisiana. 

*********** Just browsing the ESPN+ offerings:

Wow. Southern Illinois knocked the stuffing out of North Dakota State, 38-14, ending the Bisons’ 39-game win streak.  For a program that’s been turning out QBs, NDSU seemed to have no offense at all. A sign that the pandemic isn’t all bad: no TV cameras were allowed on the  field, which meant, alas, no sideline reporters.  Never missed  them.

North Dakota, down 14-7 to Number 3-ranked South Dakota State, beat the Jackrabbits, 28-17.  It was really good football and fun to watch.  South Dakota State has a freshman QB named Mark Gronowski who looked very impressive.  Could this be the year North Dakota beats North Dakota State?

Just came in at the very end to see that Sam Houston State had beaten Southeast Louisiana, 43-38.  REALLY sorry I missed it.

Nicholls State showed great speed, and really put it on Lamar. I left with 5:00 left in the half and Nicholls leading, 26-0.  I see the final was 55-0.  The Nicholls field looks really nice.  Reader Josh Montgomery, a Nicholls alum, told me it was a gift from the Manning  family, which holds the Manning Quarterback Camp there every summer.

A week ago, Tarleton State beat New Mexico State (a putative FBS program) 43-17; on Saturday, the Tarleton State Texans (very imaginative name) lost to Dixie State, 26-14. This was Dixie State’s first game.  (Dixie State is in St. George, Utah, in what was once known as “Utah’s Dixie,” the southwesternmost part of the state where at one time cotton was grown.  This past December, the school’s Board of Trustees recommended striking “Dixie” from the school’s name.  No telling whether that will happen.  This is Utah, where they don’t necessarily cave to the cancel culture clan.)


*********** Just in case you wondered about the major difference between a Power Five school  and a Group of Five school: it’s money. (Duh.)  More than anything, it’s the “conference contribution” - the money parceled out to the members of a conference as their share of its TV revenues.

Sports Business Journal this week did a quick look at the finances of the athletic departments at various FBS colleges, and the difference is striking.

POWER FIVE CONFERENCE SCHOOLS
Michigan:    $49.8 million
Clemson:    $32.6 million
Iowa State: $31 million
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
GROUP OF FIVE CONFERENCE SCHOOLS
East Carolina   $4.9 million
Georgia State  $2.5 million

***********Besides being starting QBs at BFS schools, what do Brock Purdy of Iowa State, Brian Lewerke of Michigan State, Kedon Slovis of USC, Tyler Shough of Oregon (and now Texas Tech), Bryce Perkins of Virginia, and Spencer Rattler of Oklahoma have in common?

Answer: they’re all products of Arizona high school ball.

In 2019, there were 17 Arizona kids playing ball at Division I schools.

In the two most recent recruiting classes, at least a half dozen Arizona QBs were signed by FBS programs.

*********** From an article in the Akron Beacon-Journal…

The Ohio High School Athletic Association has punished Walsh Jesuit High School for recruiting violations involving donor-funded sports scholarships for 11 athletes.

The violations were tied to the girls soccer and wrestling programs.
Hmmm.  Doesn’t it read as though Walsh Jesuit has a girls’ wrestling team?

According to their Web site, they do not.  They offer only boys’ wrestling.

Talk about bad writing.

https://www.beaconjournal.com/story/sports/high-school/2021/02/18/ohsaa-punishes-walsh-jesuit-recruiting-violations/6798903002/

***********  Back when the Ivy League was screwing around, deciding  what to do (“out of  an abundance of caution,” of course) about spring sports, some very influential and well-to-do Ivy alumni stepped up with offers to help them make their decision.

A guy named Joe Tsai, who played lacrosse at Yale back in the 80s, was one such alumnus. He’s worth billions.  He owns the Brooklyn Nets. He offered to pay what was estimated to be $5 million so that the league could build a “bubble” where the Ivy lacrosse teams - men’s and women’s - could compete.  He pitched the idea to the Yale AD and the Ivy commissioner, who then pitched it to the league presidents. Who took less than a week to shoot it down. And the rest of spring sports with it.

So for the second spring in a row, there will be no Ivy sports. And we’re talking about a lot of sports, because the Ivy schools have the dough to provide a lot of them.

The biggest objection to playing sports during the “pandemic” seems to be the Ivies’ commitment not to single out any athletes or groups of athletes for “special treatment.”  That means  they are unwilling to create what they call a “bifurcated college experience,” in which most (non-athlete) students take virtual classes in their dorm rooms, while athletes, getting tested several times a week, are able to play sports, and travel to do so.

Why the cancellation of sports makes it especially tough for Ivy athletes is the league’s “use it or lose it” protocol, which essentially bans redshirting and graduate eligibility, and limiting eligibility to four years from the time of enrollment.  The decision to drop spring sports means  that Ivy athletes, especially seniors, are faced with a difficult choice: (1) remain in school and on course to graduate, and foregoing any further competition; (2) transfer, and play right away, but give up the Ivy diploma; (3) “unenroll” - withdraw from school and return next year, still with undergraduate eligibility. (I had no idea they could do the latter, which seems to be the course most athletes are taking.)

Cynical me - I can see where this might be headed.  I can see the presidents, now that they’ve found out what they can get away with, taking some dire action. Their schools have f—k you money. They’ve got so much of it that they’re impervious to pressure from any alumni, no matter how wealthy.

The next step for the Ivies?

Not having played football for more than a year now, the time is right: I don’t think the presidents would mind at all going the way of the University of Chicago (once a football power and once a member of the Big Ten), and dropping football entirely. 

Financially, Ivy League football, at best, is a wash.  I doubt that there is an Ivy school, even Yale, with its 70,000-seat Yale Bowl, a white elephant that in recent years has rarely seen a crowd of 20,000, that makes a dime playing football.  Not that the money matters, anyhow.

And just think - if they were to drop football, all that testosterone and all the problems it causes on campus would be some other school’s problem.


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

Maybe those band members can persuade the band director to allow them to cut two holes in the bottom of those "tents" so they could march??  

Coach, while pickle ball has become a popular recreational activity lately it isn't a relatively new sport.  My PE classes were playing pickle ball back in 1999 when I was working in MN.  In fact it was easily set up using lowered badminton nets played on badminton courts on bad weather days (and as you know we had plenty of those).

From one coach to another I would ask Coach Propst if he was aware of Albert Einstein's statement, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Even in Texas where most schools were able to play football in the fall one of the more inane Covid protocols that were placed on us said we could not shake hands with the opponents after a game.  ????

Addendum.  I have been using Super O as an answer to facing a 3 or 4 technique for awhile now because of utilizing open end formations more often.  Also, not sure where I picked it up from (hmmm) but I number the defensive technique alignments over the OT's as 4-5-6, and over the TE's as 7-8-9 for ease of teaching and learning.  

Enjoy your weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Bear Bryant called John David Crow “the finest player I ever coached. Watching film on him was like watching a grown man play with boys.”

He was heavily recruited out of Spring Hill, Louisiana, and signed to play at Texas A & M in Bear Bryant’s first recruiting class. Bryant was about to become famous for his brutal pre-season camp in Junction, Texas, but our guy was lucky -  a freshman, he wasn’t eligible for varsity ball, so he missed out on the fun.

He was big and strong and fast. In the days of two-way ball, he was as good on defense - Bryant said he never saw him miss a tackle in his three years at safety, and he intercepted five passes as a senior - as he was on offense, where he was a great runner but also a standout receiver and blocker.

He won the 1957 Heisman Trophy, and will remain forever the only one of Bryant’s players to win the award. Bryant had famously said, "If  John David Crow doesn’t win the Heisman Trophy, they ought to stop giving it." (How times have changed: He was at home in Springhill, not in New York City,  when he got the news that he’d won.)

Taken as the second pick in the 1958 draft by the Chicago Cardinals, he played 11 seasons in the NFL - seven with the Cardinals and four with the  49ers. So respected was he that he served as captain with both teams.

In his third year,  1960, he ran  for 1,071 yards, averaging 5.9 yards a carry,  and led the NFL in total yards from scrimmage with 1,533 yards (when the NFL played a 12-game season).

Five times he was in the NFL's top 10 in yards per touch, and twice (1960 and 1965) he was in the top three.

Unusual for a running back, he twice placed in the league's top 10 in yards per catch (18.5 in 1960 and 17.6 in 1965).

He could be a halfback. He could be a fullback. He could be a tight end. He was that versatile.

Over his career, he rushed for 4,963 yards and 38 touchdowns. He caught 258 passes for 3,699 yards and 35 touchdowns. And he completed 33 passes for five touchdowns. 

After retiring as a player, he held a number of assistant coaching jobs,  first under Coach Bryant at Alabama for three years, then with the Browns as offensive backfield coach and the Chargers as offensive coordinator. In 1975 he was hired as AD at Northeast Louisiana  (now Louisiana Monroe) and a year later he took on the additional job of head football coach.

He was 20-34-1 in  five seasons at Monroe, but after finally getting his 1980 team  to 7-4, he stepped aside as coach.  As AD, he had been able to drop the program to D-IAA, and the coach he hired to succeed him, Pat Collins, would wind up taking  Louisiana-Monroe to the 1987 NCAA national title.

Meanwhile, in 1983 he returned to Texas A & M as assistant Athletic Director, and from 1988 to 1993 he served as  the Aggies’ AD.

He died in 2015, leaving his wife of 61 years - his high school sweetheart whom he’d married right after high school -  and two children.  A third child, his son and namesake John David Crow, Junior,  who was born while dad was at A & M and who played football under Coach Bryant at Alabama,  was killed in a traffic accident in 1994.

For some reason he’s not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  He was named to four Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams and  was on the NFL’s 1960s’ all-decade team.

At one  time it was actually rumored that the Cleveland Browns had offered to trade Jim Brown, perhaps the greatest runner in the game, for John David Crow - straight-up! 

Philadelphia Eagles’ great Chuck Bednarik, asked at the time what he thought about the deal, told the Wilmington (Delaware) News Journal,

“They’re almost equally hard to tackle. He can run almost … and I say, ‘almost’ … as hard as Brown. He’s a terrific passer and a better blocker. I like Crow more because of his versatility.”


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JOHN DAVID CROW

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

***********His son, RIP, played for Bear Bryant at Alabama

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2ZNaKB4w50&t=1035s
Go to 17:08

Charlie Wilson
Crystal River, Florida

*********** Easy one for Strat-O-Matic veterans...Great 49ers' card......John David Crow…(For the Heisman) Beat out Alex Karras, who almost went to classes at Iowa!

Coach Kaz
Mark Kaczmarek
Davenport, Iowa

*********** Alex Karas came second to him in the Heisman, Can you name the last defensive lineman who finished second in the Heisman? Hint, he has been featured in your quiz.

Tom Walls
Winnipeg, Manitoba

(Tom Brown, Minnesota)

*********** QUIZ:  He coached at Arizona, Purdue and Army, leaving all three places much better than he found them.

After four years as a high school head coach in Shawnee, Ohio, he joined Bo Schembechler’s  staff at Miami of Ohio, and later moved with Schembechler to Michigan. After nine years assisting  Schembechler, the last several years as his top assistant, he took the head coaching job at Arizona.

Before his arrival in Tucson, the Wildcats had had four straight losing seasons and just one winning season in their previous eight.   He turned things around immediately, going 8-3 in his first season. In four years at U of A, he went 31-13 - leading them to their first nine-win season -  before leaving for Purdue.

Purdue had suffered  four straight losing seasons, and just one winning season in their previous seven. But with a high-powered passing game featuring QB Mark Hermann, his Boilermakers went 38-19-1 in five seasons, and won three straight bowl games.

He resigned to spend a year in administration, but was coaxed back into coaching at Army. The Cadets were coming off five straight losing seasons, and had had just one winning season in the last ten years.

After finishing  a disappointing 2-9 in his first season at West Point, he made one of the gutsier decisions in modern football history: he decided to junk everything he had been doing and go to the wishbone. 

For his quarterback, he chose Nate Sassaman, a senior defensive back who hadn’t played the position  since running a veer option offense at his  high school in suburban Portland, Oregon.  With Sassaman running the ‘bone to near-perfection, Army went 8-3-1, and beat Michigan State in the Cherry Bowl. (The one tie on the  record was a 24-24  thriller against Tennessee in Knoxville.)
 
With Doug Black rushing for 1148 and Sassaman rushing for 1002, the 1984 Cadets led the nation in rushing, and staying with the wishbone the rest of the way, Army never finished lower than fifth in the nation in rushing.

1984 would be the first of seven straight winning seasons for him at Army before he retired in 1990.  He was  51-39-1 overall, with two nine-win seasons, tying the  school record.  He was 2-1 in bowl games at Army,  upsetting first Michigan State and then Illinois,  and narrowly losing  (29-28) to Alabama.

His overall record was 114-66-2.  And he was 5-1 in bowl games. (It’s not fair to count Michigan’s 10-3 1970 Rose Bowl loss to USC against him: he was called on to serve as interim head coach after Bo Schembechler was hospitalized the morning of the game.)

He is in the College Football Hall of Fame.

UPSIODE DOWN FLAGFRIDAY, FEBRUARY  26, 2021 - “Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.” John Adams

*********** I have mentioned on here and on my Zoom clinics that my friend Mike Lude once spent an entire spring practice “on loan” from Delaware, where he worked, to Arkansas coach Frank Broyles to coach the Arkansas line in the absence of their regular line coach, who had taken ill.

Mike has told me some great stories about his time there, several of them featuring another assistant named Wilson Matthews.  Coach Matthews was, as Mike describes him, about as country as you could get, with the usual southerner’s way with words and the country expressions to go along with it. (Coach Broyles, a native Georgian,  would later refer to Wilson Matthews as the person “who taught me to be an Arkansawyer.”)

Before joining the Arkansas staff in 1958, he was one of the most successful high school coaches in the country, having spent the previous 12 years, from 1946 through 1957, coaching the Little Rock Central Tigers.  He did everything big-time - Coach Broyles said that he got the idea for off-season conditioning from what Coach Matthews had been doing for years at Little Rock Central.

To give you an idea of how successful he was, check this out. (Purely out of laziness, I have lifted this from Wikipedia, fully aware that it is not always correct.)

Matthew's first Tiger teams went 12–0–1 in 1947 and 9–1–1 in 1948. His next two teams finished 10–1 and 10–2. In 1951, his team was 9–3 but a one-point loss to North Little Rock that season was the last defeat a Matthews-coached Central team had against competition from Arkansas. The Tigers were undefeated in the state the next six years. Matthews led the Tigers to unbeaten seasons in 1956 and 1957, and left the school with a 33-game winning streak. His 1957 team won the schools second mythical national championship.

Did you catch that? His Little Rock Central team hadn’t lost to another Arkansas team in six years.  When he left Little Rock Central he left it with a 33-game winning streak - and the 1957 national championship.

But there’s more to the story.  A lot more. For those who don’t know their history, 1957 was the year that the Governor of Arkansas refused to go along with the Supreme Court’s decision that schools must be racially integrated, and 1957 was the year that President Eisenhower had to use troops to enforce the court order.

And Little Rock Central, with the best high school football team in America - coached by Wilson Matthews - was Ground Zero.

Read this amazing article about the 1957 season and, a year later, the 1958 season, when Wilson Matthews was gone, and the  governor’s resistance extended to closing down the schools rather than integrate.

https://vault.si.com/vault/2007/04/09/blindsided-by-history


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

You may have seen this article/picture but I the first thing I notice is the down hand of the linemen and the grip on the ball by the center...where have I seen that before?
carlisle indians 

I retired from the class room back in 2005 but continued to coach until last year. Good timing. The young guys with more 'energy' can deal with pandemic issues etc. I had 7 seasons as varsity coach with 3 league titles and 6 playoff appearances and at least one 1000 yd rusher each year.. without a doubt the DW contributed to our success.

I will miss it
 
Don Gordon
Greenfield, Massachusetts

Coach

That was undoubtedly  the Carlisle Indians (or maybe, in these times, “Carlisle Football Team”). That could very well be the great Jim Thorpe in the back row, on the right. Looks like him. Their coach - guy named Pop Warner - knew a thing or two about football. Why do you suppose he taught his players “inside hand down?”

You did a heck of a job. You put in the time and effort and it showed in your teams.

I hate to see you leave but at least you picked the right time.

Take care. You’re always welcome on my Zoom clinics.

Coach Gordon’s 2019 team/s highlights  
   https://youtu.be/UC_HMhTLHC4
 
*********** I had to laugh when a coach in Massachusetts told me that spring football in the Bay State is about to get under way - without huddles.  Yeah. That’ll keep the Plague away.

At least I was able to  help him out - I think - with setting up playcards that the players can wear on their wrists. We’ve been doing it for at least 20 years now.

In Washington, I’ve seen a couple of high school “games” so far - one varsity and one JV - in which, while huddling was okay,  kicking was completely done away with. Instead of kickoffs, the ball was put in play on the 30.  For “punts” the ball was moved 30 yards,  I think it was. Teams had to go for two points after a touchdown. (Do they now call it the “extra points?”)  Not sure what kicking has to do with the Wuhan Virus, but as always, I’ll just trust the experts. (Sure wish you knew me well enough to know that I can be a sarcastic son of a gun.)

And from Ohio comes the most silly ass stuff of all.  High school wrestling is taking place there, which is good.  Now, I’m not sure whether it’s possible to get any less socially-distanced than wrestlers get, but - remember how often they used to say “out of an abundance of caution?” - wrestlers are not to shake hands before or after matches.


*********** Wenatchee, Washington is a nice enough town, in a beautiful part of the state, far enough to the east to protect it from the pernicious politics of Seattle.  Or so I thought.

And then I saw this photo of the high school band members - only half of them are able to practice at a time - playing inside their own little safety tents.

wenatchee band

I don’t see how they’ll be able to march at football games.

*********** The pandemic has caused people to check out all sorts of ways to get out and exercise - and have a little fun - and as a result, Pickleball is has become one the hottest sports going right now.  It’s like tennis, but a hell of a lot cheaper and easier to play. It’s best played as doubles, and since women seem to be every bit as good at it as men, it’s a  great social game. 

It’s played with a sort of whiffleball, which means, because it doesn’t have near the bounce of a tennis ball,  it doesn’t require nearly as large a court.  And in can be played on any hard surface, so you could set up a pickleball court right out in front of your house - in the street (depending on traffic).

For what it’s worth, it was invented in (ahem) Washington.  My Washington. No apologies for the stupid name.

https://www.axios.com/pandemic-sport-pickleball-71f90a12-d1f8-42c4-baab-4ee1fc7b42b8.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiossports&stream=top

*********** The surest sign of the damage done to  the Pac 12 by its now-departed commissioner’s failure to keep up a revenue stream even close to that of the other Power 5 conferences is in what conference schools pay assistants:

This past season, in the SEC there were 15 offensive or defensive coordinators being paid more than $1 million  in salary.

In the Big Ten, there were six.

In the Pac-12, there was one - Washington’s defensive coordinator, Pete Kwiatkowski.  He made $1,000,008 last season, but he just took the DC job at Texas  for $700,000 more than that.

(For what it’s worth, the OC job at Clemson pays $2.4 million, and the DC job pays $1.6 million.)

*********** It’s fair to say that a coach who cheats on his wife to the extent that he has another family on the side is missing most of the face cards in the morals deck. It’s especially tough on a community  when  the guy’s a big winner, but you have to let him go.

And when, despite his background he lands another  job - and then, despite being a winner, he gets let go because he’s accused of some “ethical violations,” you’d have to say that he’s a near-pariah. 

Certainly, if you’re looking to hire a coach, that’s not the kind of guy - no matter how many games he’s won - that you’d want serving as a  representative of your community or an example for your kids.

Not unless you’re the kind of town that really doesn’t give a sh— about character or values - just so long as the  guy can win football games.

There’s no question now that Rush Propst, who’s demonstrated clearly that he can win football games, but that he is morally and ethically challenged, is that kind of coach.

What’s difficult for me to grasp is the idea that Valdosta, Georgia, with its long and storied football tradition, could be that kind of town.

https://www.al.com/sports/2021/02/rush-propst-under-investigation-for-alleged-misconduct-in-georgia-reports-say.html

*********** With the NFL unable to put on its  usual pre-draft combine, an agent named Don Yee has jumped into the breach, with his March 14 HUB Football Camp Camp in San Diego. He plans to have 60 “NFL-ready” free agents in for a full workout, with all NFL and CFL teams invited. This will be  the third of Yee’s camps (he held two similar ones in the fall), and since teams will be able to see 60 prospects at one time and in one place, he sees his camp as a “cost-effective alternative” to the difficulties scouts face in getting out to look at prospects during the pandemic.

Players will pay $750 to register. They’ll also pay their own way to get there.

If 60 players show up, Yee will gross $45,000.  I assume that he will charge teams something to attend, and he might be able to line up a few sponsors. His expenses, other than the rental of facilities at a local private school, should be minimal, so…

*********** From Sports Business Journal comes news that  a study released last week shows that local COVID-19 cases do not appear to have been affected by football crowds:

The research, done by a team led by Hockey Graphs editor-in-chief Asmae Toumi, compared COVID rates in 361 counties that hosted games with fans to similar counties that did not. The bottom line: If caseloads differed in the counties with games, they did so by less than 5 per 100,000 people, or not enough to be statistically significant.

NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy said this is “the latest in the series of reports” that show the NFL didn’t contribute to outbreaks, and credited fans for following protocols at the games.

Data isn’t perfect, and this report is far from conclusive. The researchers didn’t account for crowd size -- only whether a crowd was allowed at all -- so it’s possible that risk grew with larger capacity limits. Also, they didn’t check on surrounding counties, and they didn’t control for other large events, like political rallies.

But as teams across all sports work toward bigger capacity limits, this report is another arrow in their quiver to twist the arms of public health authorities.

***********  Hugh,

First of all, thank you so much for sharing the article from The Atlantic about the Iowa-Minnesota game. I'm looking forward to reading it after I read your blog.

Next, I watched NDSU via ESPN+, which I subscribed to so I can watch the UFC fights. I agree with you that ESPN would be wise to televise these spring football games.

Great insight on your response to pulling G and TE. If it's not broken (and your system has proven to definitely not be broken), don't fix it.

Finally, Marcus Allen is the answer to today's quiz. This was one of the few that I didn't have to look up. He was an amazing football player.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46PWiPKAXus

Greg Koenig
Colorado Springs

***********   Hugh,

Didn't see it, but after reading about Tarleton State TX (former DII school and new to FCS) beating FBS New Mexico State (their coach called the game a "controlled" scrimmage) I would bet that NMSU would now be in good company with UConn and Kansas in that bottom tier.

A while ago when I was still running the DTDW there was an occasion when we faced a team with a really good DT aligned in a 4 technique to the wide side of the field and to our right side.  We called "opposite" at the LOS when running the power away from the 4 technique but found our BSTE (RTE) wasn't quick enough to "shoeshine" that 4 technique because he was coached well and crashed hard inside vs. our RG pulling.  The Center couldn't cut that guy off because he was blocking a 1 technique to his right side.  We ended up pulling that RTE instead of the RT, and had the RT "shoeshine" that 4 technique.  It worked well for us and it was our "adjustment" when we faced a 1 technique and 4 technique aligned to our right, or left.  Your thoughts??

Herschel Walker was, is, and will always be "the man" regardless of his status as a football player.

If football is a religion in the Deep South, it's bigger than that in Texas.

The cancel culture will eventually cancel themselves out of existence.


QUIZ:  Marcus Allen

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Coach,  If my TE was having problems cutting off the “4” tech, I’d make an “O” call and pull only my guard. That leaves the tackle home to deal with  that man lined up on him.  To me, if there’s anybody on that play that’s dispensable, it’s likely the pulling tackle.  I run the play without him as it is, whenever we don’t have a TE on the backside, so running “Super-O” is nothing really radical.


***********  NOTE: To greatly simplify our back-and-forth, Coach Gutilla and I, as coaches will do,  were using football jargon to describe where a defensive man lined up.  All he had to do was tell me that a DT (defensive tackle) was lined up in a “4 technique” and I was able immediately  to visualize what he was talking about.

The development of the now almost-universally employed system  of numbering the places where one might find a defensive lineman aligned - and as often as not, the way he would be playing - is generally credited to a long-ago Texas high school  coach named Bum Phillips, who would go on to achieve fame as an NFL head coach and as the father of one (Wade Phillips).

In case anyone might enter a counter claim, Bum Phillips has a pretty  good witness on his side.  Phillips was hired as an assistant coach at Texas A & M by the great Paul “Bear Bryant,” and in his book, “Building a Championship Football Team,” Coach Bryant describes the numbering system and writes,

“I must give credit to O. A. ‘Bum’ Philips, a Texas high school coach, for helping work out the  solution with his high school football team.”
 
Defensive numbering


To describe it simply, the alignments (or, often, “techniques”) are numbered from the center out, on both sides of center. An even number  means that a defender is head-up on one of the offensive linemen; an odd number means he is lined up on the inside or on the outside of a man (a “1” would be on the inside of  a guard, and a “3” would be on his outside. (“Inside” or “outside” are relative terms, because, for example, the defender might be on the  player’s “inside eye” or his “inside shoulder.”)

It gets a bit tricky  when you realize that the “7” is actually inside the “6,” and the “9” is inside the “8”,  but that’s simply because there are more “inside and outside” positions than there are heads-up positions.

You’ll notice also that there is no position on the inside of the offensive tackles.  Maybe there wasn’t one at the time Coach Phillips devised his system, but there is now, and it’s commonly described as a “4-I (eye).”

1-3 defense                                3-1 defense


It’s quite common in college football nowadays for defensive teams to line up in what’s referred to as a “3-1.”  It simply means that the defensive tackle on one side of the defense plays a “3” technique, while the one on the other side plays a “1” technique.  There is enough difference in the techniques - and in the skills required - that if the defensive coach wants to  change the defense, with the “3” and “1” positions swapping sides, he will usually have the two defensive tackles switch sides.


*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Marcus Allen is  the one and only player about whom all these things can be said:

* He won the Heisman Trophy

* He played on a National Championship college team

* He won a Super Bowl ring

* He was named NFL Rookie of the Year
4444
* He was named Super Bowl MVP

* He was named NFL MVP

* He was named to six Pro Bowls

* He was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

* He was the first player to gain more than 10,000 yards rushing and 5,000 yards receiving.

As a high school quarterback and defensive back in San Diego, he scored  five touchdowns in his team’s 34-6 CIF title game victory.

As a freshman at USC he backed up  I-formation tailback Charles White, who would go on to win the Heisman.

As a sophomore he played fullback.

As a junior, he moved back to tailback and finished third in the nation in rushing behind George Rogers of South Carolina and Hershel Walker of Georgia. All three of them would one day win the Heisman Trophy.

In his senior year, he rushed for 2,342 yards and led the nation in scoring. He was a unanimous All-American.  He won the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Award and was named Pac-10 Player of the Year.

In his career, he ran for over 200 yards twelve times, an NCAA record since tied by two others.

For his career at USC, he had 4,664 rushing yards and 5,232 total yards, and he scored 46 touchdowns.

Drafted tenth overall in the first round by the then-LA Raiders, he was Rookie of the Year. In seasons two-three-four, he rushed for over 1,000 yards.

In the Raiders’ Super Bowl XVIII win, he scored two touchdowns and rushed  for 191 yards - a Super Bowl record. One of his touchdowns was a 74-yard run, also a Super Bowl record.

He shared ball-carrying duties with Bo Jackson without apparent complaint, but he had a serious calling-out with Raiders’ owner Al Davis, and his performance had slipped in his last four years, and  he moved on to Kansas City.

Joining the Chiefs at the age of 33,  in five years there he played as if he were in his twenties, Overall,   he carried 932 times for 3598 yards, caught  141 passes for 1153 yards  and 47 total touchdowns.  Has any running back, while in his thirties, ever finished his career with five better seasons?

For his career, he ran for 12,243 yards and caught 587 passes for 5,412 yards. He  scored 145 touchdowns, including a then-league-record 123 rushing touchdowns.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Marcus Allen is one of only four players to have won the Heisman and been named Super Bowl MVP (Roger Staubach, Jim Plunkett, and  Desmond Howard).

He was involved in a dalliance with O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife (the late Nicole).


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING MARCUS ALLEN

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
YUSSEF HAWASH - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
VICKY TIMBERS - ENGLEWOOD, COLORADO
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY



*********** QUIZ: Bear Bryant called him “the finest player I ever coached. Watching film on him was like watching a grown man play with boys.”

He was heavily recruited out of Spring Hill, Louisiana, and signed to play at Texas A & M in Bear Bryant’s first recruiting class. Bryant was about to become famous for his brutal pre-season camp in Junction, Texas, but our guy was lucky -  a freshman, he wasn’t eligible for varsity ball, so he missed out on the fun.

He was big and strong and fast. In the days of two-way ball, he was as good on defense - Bryant said he never saw him miss a tackle in his three years at safety, and he intercepted five passes as a senior - as he was on offense, where he was a great runner but also a standout receiver and blocker.

He won the 1957 Heisman Trophy, and will remain forever the only one of Bryant’s players to win the award. Bryant had famously said, "If (he) doesn’t win the Heisman Trophy, they ought to stop giving it." (How times have changed: He was at home in Springhill, not in New York City,  when he got the news that he’d won.)

Taken as the second pick in the 1958 draft by the Chicago Cardinals, he played 11 seasons in the NFL - seven with the Cardinals and four with the  49ers. So respected was he that he served as captain with both teams.

In his third year,  1960, he ran  for 1,071 yards, averaging 5.9 yards a carry,  and led the NFL in total yards from scrimmage with 1,533 yards (when the NFL played a 12-game season).

Five times he was in the NFL's top 10 in yards per touch, and twice (1960 and 1965) he was in the top three.

Unusual for a running back, he twice placed in the league's top 10 in yards per catch (18.5 in 1960 and 17.6 in 1965).

He could be a halfback. He could be a fullback. He could be a tight end. He was that versatile.

Over his career, he rushed for 4,963 yards and 38 touchdowns. He caught 258 passes for 3,699 yards and 35 touchdowns. And he completed 33 passes for five touchdowns. 

After retiring as a player, he held a number of assistant coaching jobs,  first under Coach Bryant at Alabama for three years, then with the Browns as offensive backfield coach and the Chargers as offensive coordinator. In 1975 he was hired as AD at Northeast Louisiana  (now Louisiana Monroe) and a year later he took on the additional job of head football coach.

He was 20-34-1 in  five seasons at Monroe, but after finally getting his 1980 team  to 7-4, he stepped aside as coach.  As AD, he had been able to drop the program to D-IAA, and the coach he hired to succeed him, Pat Collins, would wind up taking  Louisiana-Monroe to the 1987 NCAA national title.

Meanwhile, in 1983 he returned to Texas A & M as assistant Athletic Director, and from 1988 to 1993 he served as  the Aggies’ AD.

He died in 2015, leaving his wife of 61 years - his high school sweetheart whom he’d married right after high school -  and two children.  A third child, his son and namesake who was born while dad was at A & M and who played football under Coach Bryant at Alabama,  was killed in a traffic accident in 1994.

For some reason he’s not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  He was named to four Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams and  was on the NFL’s 1960s’ all-decade team.

At one  time it was actually rumored that the Cleveland Browns had offered to trade Jim Brown, perhaps the greatest runner in the game, for him.   Straight-up. 

Philadelphia Eagles’ great Chuck Bednarik, asked at the time what he thought about the deal, told the Wilmington (Delaware) News Journal,

“They’re almost equally hard to tackle. He can run almost … and I say, ‘almost’ … as hard as Brown. He’s a terrific passer and a better blocker. I like (him) more because of his versatility.”



UPSIODE DOWN FLAGTUESDAY, FEBRUARY  23, 2021 - “Don't save your pitcher for tomorrow;  it might rain tomorrow." Leo Durocher, Hall of Fame baseball manager

*********** This weekend, will one of you highly-paid suits at one of the networks  PLEASE cancel just one or two (or hell - while you’re at it, three or four) of those useless, meaningless basketball games that you  schedule every weekend - and get some  college football on the air?

They are playing, you know, and although to you it’s “just” FCS football - maybe this is just me - I think even D-III college football would draw more viewers  than  most of those dime-a-dozen basketball games that clutter up weekend TV

https://www.theringer.com/2021/2/19/22290583/fcs-spring-football-season-preview-north-dakota-state

***********  Morning Coach,

I've been reading and seen in some forums other coaches pulling the G and TE instead of tackle. Have you tried this? What are your thoughts on it?

Thanks,

Coach,

As I write this I just finished looking at a video of a game in which I did this exclusively. On counters.  I had a reason  to do it for that one game.

Pulling the TE is a basic part of the counter blocking in the  Delaware Wing-T, but they only ran counters away from a Tight End. (Obviously, you have to have a Tight End to do it.) But if you don’t have a tight end  and you want/need to run a play using C blocking, you are back to using the Guard and Tackle.

Before I learned the Wing-T system and adopted it, I was already running my counter in the run-and-shoot system (no tight ends), and even after moving to Wing-T, I didn’t  want to change my C (for Counter) blocking

Even with a Tight End, I will run a lot of plays with C blocking away from the side without a TE.

You didn’t say, but I’m talking only about counters. I’d never pull a tight end on Super Powers. I’m not going to say it can’t be done, but I can’t see messing with an almost-perfect play.

(I would advise you not to pay too much attention to what guys say on forums. Of course many of them know what they are talking about, but a lot are phonies. They can lead you astray. If people can pretend to be somebody they’re not on dating sites, why wouldn’t they do it on coaching forums?)

If you’ve ever played golf, you’ve noticed that everybody seems to have advice for you - even guys who are a lot worse than you are.

That’s why Tiger Woods has one pro - and that’s the only guy he listens to.


*********** Former NFL star Herschel Walker told a congressional hearing Wednesday that black Americans should not receive reparations for slavery.

"We use black power to create white guilt," he said. "My approach is biblical. How can I ask my Heavenly Father to forgive me if I can't forgive my brother?"

He added: "Reparations teach separation. Slavery ended over 130 years ago. How can a father ask his son to spend prison time for a crime he committed?"

Calling America "the greatest country in the world" and "a melting pot of a lot of great races," Walker, questioned the logistics of the issue.

"Reparations, where does the money come from?" he asked. "Does it come from all the other races except the black taxpayers? Who is black? What percentage of black must you be to receive reparations? Do you go to 23 and Me or a DNA test to determine the percentage of blackness?"

He noted,  "Some black immigrants weren't here during slavery, nor their ancestors. Some states didn't even have slavery."

In conclusion, ”I feel it continues to let us know we're still African American, rather than just American. Reparation or atonement is outside the teaching of Jesus Christ."

(Of course, this is just one man’s opinion. And unfortunately, being a black man in today’s America, he’s sure to be attacked for having an opinion of his own.)

https://www.businessinsider.com/herschel-walker-opposed-slavery-reparations-black-americans-2021-2

*********** I think that there are lots of good reasons for anyone who considers himself a member of the coaching profession to belong to the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association).

Here’s one more:
Coach Wyatt,

I hope you will join us tomorrow, February 23rd, at 10 AM for our first of two 1 day clinics. The process is the same as our Virtual Convention. Login to our website using your login name and password and enjoy a great day of speakers discussing all aspects of our game. Once again, the clinic is free to all paid members. Please take advantage of all the AFCA is providing you in this virtual space. The clinic kicks off with Head Coach Tom Allen of Indiana as he discusses the process of their amazing turn around at Indiana. For more information, go to AFCA.com.

Todd Berry
Executive Director
American Football Coaches Association

*********** While Texans freeze in the dark…
.
The University of Texas Board of Regents is set to approve new Longhorns’ football coach Steve Sarkisian’s six-year guaranteed contract worth approximately $34.2 million.

Sarkisian’s annual salary starts at $5.2 million for the upcoming 2021 season, and increases by $200,000 each year until it maxes out at $6.2 million in 2026.

All money used within UT athletics is generated most through TV revenue, ticket sales and private donations. No public money is used to fund any aspect of the Longhorns' athletic department.

Sarkisian’s new contract calls  for two courtesy cars, club membership, private airplane use and use of a stadium suite on game days. He will also receive $250,000 in relocation and temporary housing allowance (he must have a hell of a lot of furniture).

His deal also includes a “special one-time payment” of $1.2 million as a “stay bonus” if he’s still around on December 31, 2024.

And just in case $5+ million a year isn’t enough to get him to  do his best,  there are bonuses:

* a total of $675,000 a year in “team performance” bonuses (bowl bonuses, depending on the quality of the bowl, and extra money for making the playoff  and winning the national title);

* $100,000 for winning national coach of the year honors (there are several recognized Coach of the Year awards - you don’t suppose that’s $100,000 for each one, do you?);

* $50,000 for being named Big 12 coach of the year.

Sarkisian can’t say they won’t let him hire good help: Texas also will have three coordinators (that includes a special teams coordinator!) making at least $1 million a year.

Defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski has a three-year deal worth $1.7 million per.

Offensive coordinator Kyle Flood’s three-year contract starts at $1.1 million in 2021, then jumps to $1,175,000 in 2022 and $1,250,000 in 2023. 

Here’s the one that has the college world abuzz: Jeff Banks, the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach got a three-year deal worth $1 million initially and increases $50,000 a year over the next two years. two years to reach $1,100,000 in 2023.

(No one anywhere seems to have heard of anyone else willing to pay a special teams coach a million a year.)

Mere assistants start at $400,000 a year, and go up to $875,000.

Linebackers coach Jeff Choate received a two-year deal calling for $500,000 in 2021 and $575,000 in 2022.  He’ll be making almost twice what he made at his last job - head coach at Montana State, where his contract called for a salary of $206,000, plus another $110,000 for  additional services such as fund raising. 

Oh - Choate’s  contract at Montana State called for a buyout of $250,000. At Texas, they can find that much loose change in the couches.

https://www.hookem.com/story/sports/football/2021/02/19/texas-breaks-bank-sark-new-assistants/4520139001/

*********** Jump into your time machine and go back to 2006 and have a listen to Kellen Winslow, Junior - Mister Soldier-on-the-football-field…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I82BPA5QAaQ

Then get back in and set the autopilot to “THE PRESENT”

Whoosh! It’s February, 2021, and  Sergeant Winslow is off to spend 14 years in prison  for being a real tough guy, at least where vulnerable women are concerned.

Crimes - rape and sexual battery - to which he confessed involved five different women*, one of them homeless, one of them unconscious when he raped her, one of them a hitchhiker.

                     * Hey,  NFL: “SAY THEIR NAMES!”


*********** ESPN’s David Hale has produced what he  calls College Football’s  10  Tiers.   It gets pretty nasty when you get down to Tiers 8, 9 and 10.   It almost took me back to the 1970s, when an LA sports writer named Steve Harvey would put out his weekly “Bottom Ten." The biggest change in college football since then? Kansas State and Northwestern, regulars on the Bottom Ten, are no longer the Mildcats.

Tier 1: Championship favorites
Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma
Bet on consistency in college football, and you'll never look dumb. In the playoff era, four teams have won at least 80% of their games: Alabama (.919), Ohio State (.901), Clemson (.899) and Oklahoma (.815). All four won their conference last year, along with 22 of 28 league titles in the playoff era and represent 20 of 28 playoff participants.

Tier 2: Knocking on the door
Florida, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, Texas, Texas A&M
If talent and opportunity are the ultimate arbiters of who wins a national championship, these teams meet the criteria, but they also come with a few more significant question marks than those in Tier 1.

Tier 3: Teams we'll spend a lot of time making a case for who won't actually make the playoff
Cincinnati, Iowa, Iowa State, Miami, Oklahoma State, USC, Washington, Wisconsin
The lesson seems simple: Be an elite blue blood or have a workable path to finish undefeated in a Power 5 conference. None of the teams in this tier quite fit that standard, but they're all good enough to provide us with a lot of interesting hypotheticals as the 2021 season unfolds.

Tier 4: High ceiling, low floor
Arizona State, Auburn, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Ole Miss, UCF, UCLA
There's a solid chance every team in this category disappoints in 2021, but disappointment is a result of high expectations, and these teams have enough talent to warrant that.

Tier 5: High floor, low ceiling
Boise State, Coastal Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky, NC State, Northwestern, TCU, Utah, West Virginia
This is the group of good-but-not-great teams who aren't going to disappoint, but won't provide too much excitement either.

Tier 6: Let's get nuts
Florida State, Maryland, Michigan State, Nebraska, Tennessee
None of these five teams finished 2020 with a winning record and none should sniff the preseason top 25. But there are enough pieces in place that it wouldn't be a complete shock if one member of this group actually did take a big step forward in 2021 if everything breaks just right.

Tier 7: The résumé-builders
Air Force, Appalachian State, Arkansas, Ball State, Baylor, Boston College, Buffalo, BYU, Cal, Colorado, Houston, Kansas State, Kent State, Liberty, Louisiana, Marshall, Memphis, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon State, Pitt, San Diego State, San Jose State, SMU, Stanford, Tulane, Tulsa, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Last season, we had just nine regular-season games between top-15 teams, with only Alabama playing in more than one. In 2019, there were just 17 such games and only five teams (including all four that made the playoff) won more than one of them. That's why this tier of teams is so important. They're the solid C-plus students. These teams can help us split hairs between the elites.

Tier 8: 'You're Not Going to Get Us to Say Anything Bad About Army'
Army, Central Michigan, Florida Atlantic, Mississippi State, Nevada, Ohio, Purdue, Rutgers, Texas Tech, UAB, UTSA, Virginia, Washington State, Western Michigan, Wyoming
We don't want to badmouth anyone. This group is ... fine. They've got some nice qualities. At the Group of 5 level, they're solid teams. The Power 5 entrants are trending up, even if they're still a ways away. We like them. They're nice teams. You're not going to get us to say anything bad about them. Really.

Tier 9: Yikes
Arizona, Duke, Georgia Tech, Illinois, South Carolina, Syracuse, Vanderbilt and nearly all the rest of the non-Power 5
At least one of them will make us look foolish next season. Perhaps a team like Arizona, with a new coach, some awful turnover luck and a manageable schedule. Or Georgia Tech, with a potentially program-changing QB. Either program can actually make a big leap in 2021. But on the path toward a playoff, these guys are starting out way in the back of the pack.

Tier 10: UConn and Kansas
UConn, Kansas
We'll be making a lot of UConn and Kansas jokes this year. This is the first one. We hope you enjoyed it.

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/30742483/ranking-all-130-college-football-teams-tiers-2021-season

***********I read a really interesting article in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal about an outfit named Big League Advance.

It’s called an investment fund, and what it invests in is baseball players - minor leaguers.

Seeing the enormous gap between what baseball’s minor leaguers are paid - often less than $10,000 for a season - and what major league stars can make - tens of millions per year - Big League Advance saw an opportunity to give minor leaguers  money right now, in exchange for their agreement to share a percentage of their future income.

The agreement works like this: based on a “proprietary algorithm” not unlike a complicated scouting report, Big League Advance attempts to predict a player’s future earnings potential, which  then lets it determine how much it will pay a player in return for a percentage of his future earnings.

As an example, it might offer a minor leaguer $100,000 - right now - in return for 1 per cent of his future earnings.  At that rate, he could get $500,000 (5 per cent) or $1 million (10 per cent) right now.

Big League Advance  says its average deal is usually around 8 per cent of future earnings.

If the player makes it big, so does Big League Advance.

If he never makes it, he doesn’t owe Big League Advance a  cent.

So far, the company says it has more than $150 million invested in almost 350 players, and until last Wednesday, it was mostly outgo.

But on Wednesday, a 22-year-old shortstop named Fernando Tatis, Jr.  signed a 14-year contract with the San Diego Padres that’s said to be worth $340 million. (In his first two seasons with the club, he made a mere $800,000.)

If  young Tatis’ agreement with Big League Advance, which he signed when he was 18, was for the average 8 per cent, the new Padres’ contract he just signed would be worth $340 million to him - less $27.2 million to Big League Advance.

It doesn’t sound at all shady. Big League Advance urges any player considering entering into an agreement to consult first with an agent/attorney/financial advisor. Young Mr. Tatis also had the benefit of advice from his father, Fernando, Sr., who played in the major leagues for five different clubs, from 1997-2010.

Hmmm… surely there’s some way that all this Name-Image-Likeness (NIL) business will open some doors  for college football players to get advances on future earnings.  Maybe, at least, advances on their  future endorsements?

***********  The Black Students Union at the University of Washington presented a list of seven demands (notice how they’re always “demands?”) to the UW administration, addressing matters such as police practices, diversity requirements, expanding mental health resources, hiring more black faculty and - the Big One - removing the statue of George Washington that has stood on campus  since 1909.

Who knows where this is going?

From time to time, numbskulls have even suggested  changing the name of the  state, and in this Age of The World Turned Upside Down, nothing is unthinkable.

That would mean changing the state flag (with Washington's face on it, for God's sake!), or state highway  road signs (GW in silhouette).

WASHINGTON FLAG
washington state road sign

Or how about the really important stuff? What about the “W” on the Huskies’ helmets? The WSU/Cougar profile on the Washington State helmets?
HUSKIES HELMETCOUGARS HELMET


If they change the state name, we still be able to call the schools “U-Dub,” and “Wazzu?”

(Think of all the problems we’d have avoided if back in the 1960s,  when all this  “protest” crap started, someone had just had the balls to say “No” to spoiled children.)


https://www.king5.com/article/news/community/facing-race/uws-bsu-pushing-for-changes-on-campus-including-removal-of-the-george-washington-statue/281-69444f15-8d36-4a73-9a42-beb6d5603ec7


*********** I haven't been a big fan of Cam Newton, right from the time Auburn bought him - and the national title.  He really lost me after his chickensh— refusal to cover a fumble - IN THE SUPER BOWL - and his equally chickensh— walking out on the press  after the game.

For the longest while he has seemed to play the fool, and now, apparently he's become a target of other fools.

But in looking at the back-and-forth that took place recently between him and some kid at a camp he was putting on,  I don’t know whether to say “he had it coming,” or to shake my head at the utter rudeness of the kid.

It might help me make up my mind if I knew whether the kid had paid to attend the camp.

https://www.si.com/nfl/2021/02/21/cam-newton-viral-video-camp-heckler-im-rich

***********  Hugh,

Rush Limbaugh was the one who piqued my interest in conservative talk radio.  At the time I didn't know much about political issues (didn't really care) until I started listening to the Rush Limbaugh show, and he started to clue me in that I SHOULD care.  Guess you could say he helped me find who I was politically.  RIP

Well...Dayton HS in Oregon is no longer running Dewey Sullivan's offense, but they are still winning!  They "opened" it up.  The offense they are running eerily resembles your Open Wing with one WR, WB's facing into the center utilizing Ripper/Lizzer motion, the "B" back deeper than the traditional DW B back depth, and the QB sometimes under center and sometimes in the gun.  

Today is our last day of frigid weather.  Starts getting back to Central Texas "normal" tomorrow with temps climbing into the 50's, and by Monday we will be in the high 60's.  My wife is still at my daughter's house though until the ice melts on the roads.  Should be by Sunday.

No storms on the horizon.  Power is being restored to most, but in my neighborhood we haven't had running water since Wednesday night.  Fortunately the neighbors and I have been boiling snow in pots on our stoves so we can use our toilets, and wash up.  The water company says we should have water back by tomorrow.  Most of us have plenty of bottled water to drink.  But some have had to get to the local grocery store to get bottled water and a few food items to get them through Saturday only to find long lines, shortages, and even a few stores completely closed.  With temps rising I'll have to shovel more snow into my buckets for the weekend.

Enjoy the weekend, if that's possible.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Wilburn Hollis was one of a distinguished line of Iowa Wing-T quarterbacks, following after Randy Duncan (Heisman Trophy runner-up)  and Ken Ploen (second team All-American).  Like them, he led the Hawkeyes to a Big Ten title - or at least a share of one. He led the Hawkeyes to one of their greatest seasons, and when he earned second team All-American honors, he became one of the first black quarterbacks to do so.

Born in Pontotoc County Mississippi - most stories about him at the time pinpointed the exact location as Possum Trot, Mississippi  - at the age of 10 he moved to Boys Town,  Nebraska.  Not much is known about his background up until then. Boys Town, made famous by the legendary Father Flanagan, had a great football program that travelled considerable distances to play against the best, and when he was old enough to play sports, he became  a high school All-American quarterback there, in addition to lettering in basketball, baseball and track.

A Boys Town alumnus who had attended Iowa took him to  the Iowa City campus along with some game film and - such was the state of recruiting in those days - he was offered a scholarship on the spot.

He accepted, much to the disappointment of the priest who headed Boys Town, who had hoped he would go to Notre Dame.

As a junior at Iowa he became the Hawkeyes’  starting quarterback and helped lead them to a national Number 1 ranking.

Against Wisconsin he threw the winning touchdown pass to Sammie Harris with just 52 seconds remaining to defeat the Badgers, 28-21. The win lifted the Hawkeyes  to the Number One spot in the nation, a spot they would hold for three weeks.

What knocked them out of the Number One spot was their loss to Minnesota in that season’s “Game of the Century,” which both teams entered at 6-0, Iowa ranked #1 and Minnesota ranked #3. It remains one of only five games in the history of the Big Ten in which two conference teams ranked in the top 3 met. Although not much was made of the fact at the time, with Sandy Stephens  starting at QB for Minnesota, it was the first meeting of two nationally ranked teams each of whom had a black player starting at quarterback.

“Back then we never thought about anything about race,” he told The Athletic in 2019. “ Because we played in the Big Ten - and in the Big Ten, they never had anything to do with race. It was always put the best players on the field.  We had 11 black players on the team. Nobody’s ever heard of that. We may have had a black or a white guard, I don’t know. But (coach Forest Evashevski) said we’re going to play the best player.  I don’t care who it is.”
After the loss the Hawkeyes dropped to Number 3 nationally, but in their two remaining games, they ended the season with a vengeance, beating Ohio State 35-12, (“Iowa is by far the best team we’ve met this year,” said Woody Hayes afterward) and Notre Dame 28-0.

His 68 points for the season were the most scored by any Hawkeye player since 1922.  He and Ohio State fullback Bob Ferguson tied for the conference lead in touchdowns with eight, and he led the Big Ten in scoring and  finished fifth  in rushing. He was an all-Big Ten selection and a second team All-American.

Iowa finished 8-1, tied as Big Ten co-champions with Minnesota. The conference rule at the time was that in the event of a tie, the team that had gone the longest without a Rose Bowl appearance would represent the conference, and since Iowa had been to Pasadena twice in the previous four years and Minnesota had never gone,  the Gophers got the bowl bid.

Unfortunately, at the same time, Big Ten protocol permitted  only one conference team to play in a bowl game - a policy that wouldn’t change until 1975 - and that meant the  Hawkeyes had to stay home.  It was scant consolation when,  after Minnesota’s  Rose Bowl loss to Washington, the 8-1 Hawkeyes were named in some polls as the nation’s Number One team. (Those were still the days when most “final” polls were published prior to the bowl games.)
Entering his senior season, he was named to numerous pre-season All-America teams, and he started out the year in fine fashion, running for 124 yards and two touchdowns in an opening game defeat of Cal.

But in the second game of the season, a 35-34 win over USC, he broke his right wrist, and his college career was finished.

The NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals drafted him in the ninth round (118th pick overall) and tried him as  a wide receiver,  but after he broke his wrist again, he was released.  He did play a number of seasons in the Continental League  before launching  a career with an insurance company.
Wilburn Hollis is 81 now, and  lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He remains an ardent Hawkeyes’ fan, but admits to being a harsh critic at times: “I say some things I shouldn’t say, but I love the Hawkeyes.”

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING WILBURN HOLLIS

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
BRAD KNIGHT - CLARINDA, IOWA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY


*********** Had heard about him when researching some Boys Town football back in my Clarinda Academy days.  Wondered if I could replicate the success of Boys Town at a similar facility.  Inner workings of CA were not like Boys Town… we didn't get to keep kids more than a season, which killed any ideas of building a program - instead got to re-teach everything from square one every year.

I didn't know he still lived in Cedar Rapids however.

Great quiz and a tremendous athlete and person from everything I have heard and read about him.

Brad Knight
Clarinda, Ohio

I used to work at Coach Knight’s summer football camp in Clarinda. He would have maybe 100 very good-looking athletes turn out every year.  Clarinda Academy was a residential reform school, and he’d get kids from all over the country, sent there as a way of avoiding the “justice system.”  They were not all good kids, but by no means were they all bad kids, and I marveled at Coach Knight’s way of working with them.  Many of them had never played football before.  Few of them had had much experience trusting someone in authority, let alone taking directions from him. But they took to his  coaching; he earned their trust, he was firm but fair, and he taught them the fundamentals of the game.  He introduced them to discipline, and taught them how to be respectful, reliable members of a team. In the process, the molded them into a decent football squad.  And then, just as he would have them on the verge of becoming  another  Boys Town, their “stay” would be over. And back they’d go to wherever they’d come from - Baltimore, Washington, Detroit, Flint - and more often than not, back to the streets where trouble had found them in the first place. It was very frustrating for him to see, time and again, players leave Clarinda with their lives beginning to change only to  return to the lives they should have been able to leave behind.  Coach Knight had at least one former player who by all measures had “made it” while at Clarinda Academy and was shot dead in the streets back home. The greatest measure of the success he had with those kids, I thought, was the number of them who would reach the end of their  stay but elect to remain at Clarinda until the end of football season!

*********** 1st college FB game I ever saw he was the QB,  Rode the train into Iowa City.

Bill Nelson
Thornton, Colorado

********** As soon as you mentioned Sandy Stephens in your quiz it  triggered a memory I have from the halls of Golden Gopher land.  That Iowa-Minnesota game you speak of was a duel between Stephens and Hollis.  It is documented on one of the walls at the "U" through an old Star Tribune article.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** QUIZ: He is  the one and only player about whom all these things can be said:

* He won the Heisman Trophy

* He played on a National Championship college team

* He won a Super Bowl ring

* He was named NFL Rookie of the Year

* He was named Super Bowl MVP

* He was named NFL MVP

* He was named to six Pro Bowls

* He was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

* He was the first player to gain more than 10,000 yards rushing and 5,000 yards receiving.

As a high school quarterback and defensive back in San Diego, he scored  five touchdowns in his team’s 34-6 CIF title game victory.

As a freshman at USC he backed up  I-formation tailback Charles White, who would go on to win the Heisman.

As a sophomore he played fullback.

As a junior, he moved back to tailback and finished third in the nation in rushing behind George Rogers of South Carolina and Hershel Walker of Georgia. All three of them would one day win the Heisman Trophy.

In his senior year, he rushed for 2,342 yards and led the nation in scoring. He was a unanimous All-American.  He won the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Award and was named Pac-10 Player of the Year.

In his career, he ran for over 200 yards twelve times, an NCAA record since tied by two others.

For his career at USC, he had 4,664 rushing yards and 5,232 total yards, and he scored 46 touchdowns.

Drafted tenth overall in the first round by the then-LA Raiders, he was Rookie of the Year. In seasons two-three-four, he rushed for over 1,000 yards.

In the Raiders’ Super Bowl XVIII win, he scored two touchdowns and rushed  for 191 yards - a Super Bowl record, One of his touchdowns was a 74-yard run, also a Super Bowl record.

He shared ball-carrying duties with Bo Jackson without apparent complaint, but he had a serious calling-out with Raiders’ owner Al Davis, and his performance had slipped in his last four years, and  he moved on to Kansas City.

Joining the Chiefs at the age of 33,  in five years there he played as if he were in his twenties, Overall,   he carried 932 times for 3598 yards, caught  141 passes for 1153 yards  and 47 total touchdowns.  Has any running back, while in his thirties, ever finished his career with five better seasons?

For his career, he ran for 12,243 yards and caught 587 passes for 5,412 yards. He  scored 145 touchdowns, including a then-league-record 123 rushing touchdowns.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He is one of only four players to have won the Heisman and been named Super Bowl MVP (Roger Staubach, Jim Plunkett, and  Desmond Howard).

He was involved in a dalliance with O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife (the late Nicole).



UPSIODE DOWN FLAGFRIDAY, FEBRUARY  19, 2021 - “Stage 4 is, as they say, terminal. It’s tough to realize that the days where I do not think I'm under a death sentence are over."  Rush Limbaugh

*********** Rush Limbaugh’s death hurts me deeply.

I long admired the man, because he was brilliant - an autodidact (self-taught person) as my friend John Vermillion so aptly put it - and the intellectual equal of any fuzzy-headed Ivy Leaguer, yet able to present the most complicated of ideas in a way that any reasonably intelligent person could understand.

I admired him because he loved America - the same America that I grew up loving - and he saw through - and ridiculed - the people who hate it and want to destroy it, while living off its generosity.

He was firm in his beliefs, and at a time when men shrink from the defense of their beliefs and their country, he had the courage to defend them, and to do so unapologetically.

In his memory, I swear to do my part in taking up the cudgel that he has left behind. From this day forth, I will never remain silent while someone, feeling secure in the true leftist's  belief that everyone in the entire universe agrees with them, feels free to say in my presence anything derogatory about anything or anyone I respect and believe in.

It’s with a great deal of excitement  that I  anticipate being perhaps the first person ever to disagree with them and have the balls to say it to their face. Just my small part in carrying on Rush’s legacy.

***********  I’ve failed to  mention this on my recent Zooms, dealing as I have been with the integration of the Belly Series and the Double Wing:

Dewey Sullivan, of Dayton, Oregon coached at the same high school school from 1965 until his death in 2006,  and at  the time of his death he was the winningest HS coach in state football history.

His overall record was 352-84-2.  His teams won five state titles and he once had a streak of 25 straight playoff appearances.  He was named Oregon state Coach of the Year 24 times.

His offense? Belly.  Full house T. The entire time.

He's gone now, but I coached against him once (I lost) and did get to know him a bit toward the end. You have no idea how flattered I was when he once told me, “If I didn’t run my offense, I’d run yours.”

*********** Was giving a winter storm a stupid named like “Uri”  someone’s way of getting back at Texas for voting for Trump?

Or maybe it was just someone at the Weather Channel who went to the University of Rhode Island.

Anyway, in 15 years or so, expect to read about Texas high school athletes (male or female) named Uri.

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

Does this look familiar? It came up on the Pricey Pads Facebook page. It's located in Germantown, apparently for sale.

Have a great day, Coach!

Jim Franklin
Flora, Indiana

Germantown house

Wow.  I have a general idea where it might be - where there were beautiful old homes like that, not too far from where I grew up.  Germantown  (Pennsylvania) is very old - it was settled in 1683 by the first German immigrants to arrive here - and it grew up in the days of travel on foot or on horseback as an autonomous town  far removed from “Center City” (as they say in Philly). Trolley lines (horse-drawn at first) eventually connected it to the big city, which eventually absorbed it, but like many similar former towns that became "sections" of Philadelphia,  it retained a strong local identity with its own schools and its own busy shopping core. People only went “in town” (to the big city) a couple of times a year for major shopping. When houses like this one were built they were on the outskirts not of Philadelphia, but of sections  like Germantown and Frankford and Kensington, to name a few.  (Frankford once had its own pro football team, called the Yellow Jackets, a very early member of the NFL. The Yellow Jackets were acquired by a former Penn coach, a fellow named Bert Bell, who moved the team to the big city and renamed it the Eagles, after the symbol of the Depression-era NRA. And that's what this has to do with football.)

*********** If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.

The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.

Samuel Adams, Pennsylvania State house,  August  1, 1776


*********** You thought that  free agency in  college football was going to help players? Think again.

Call it the sword that cuts both ways.

According to the best available information (the NCAA doesn’t permit anyone to see the  portal - there are 1,074 players in the portal, and just 299 have a scholarship to go somewhere in 2021.

That’s just 28 per cent, kids.

A full 126 of the players in the Transfer Portal are quarterbacks.

If 28 per cent of them of them wind up with scholarships this fall, that means the other 91 of them will no longer be "student-athletes." Students, maybe. Athletes, nah.

You realize what a blow this is going to be to the egoes of some of those guys?

With the COVID-created extra year of eligibility, and  with schools facing the same 25-scholarships-per-year signing limit - and the 85-player overall limit -   there is  competition for spots between would-be transfers and incoming freshmen.

The interesting thing is that of nearly 300 Power Five players who opted out via the transfer portal, roughly 2/3 of them transferred down, either to a Group of Five  school or an FCS school.

“I do think there are a lot of guys who’ll end up holding the bag without a place to go,”  Rivals.com Southeast recruiting analyst Woody Wommack told Yahoo!. “You have the class of 2021 signing, the most transfers ever and a senior class that isn’t going anywhere. That’s made it really cloudy.”

As one Group of Five head coach told The Athletic: “If your son is in high school and he has a 2022 scholarship offer, he should commit right now.”

https://www.outkick.com/overwhelming-majority-of-players-in-transfer-portal-have-not-landed-offers/

*********** My interest in the Belly Series got me doing research into some of the people involved, and that led me to a copy of Frank Broyles’ autobiography, “Hog Wild.”

It was written in 1979, a few years after he’d retired as Arkansas’ head coach, and just about the time he’d begun a side job (in addition to staying on as Arkansas’ AD) as one of the first of color analysts on  college football broadcasts.

Toward the end, he told of the first Arkansas-Texas game after his retirement as coach.  (One of his most brilliant acts as AD had been the hiring of Lou Holtz as his successor at Arkansas, and as he and Texas coach Darrell Royal had both retired at the end of the previous season, Fred Akers was now the Texas head coach.)

In the fall of 1977, writers assembled for the first of the Lou Holtz-Fred Akers Arkansas and Texas shootouts asked me what I found hardest about being out of harness with a big game coming up.

“I didn’t realize how hard it was to get to the game without a police escort,” I said.

*********** I think that as coaches one of the biggest nuisances we face today is EA Sports and the “coaches” its producing. Video games seem to be breeding a generation of guys who, once they’ve played enough of them, fancy themselves as real coaches, and won’t be happy until they’re up in the booth calling plays in an actual high school game. 

Worse yet,   more and more of them are actually making it up there.

It’s  a well-worn axiom among coaches - real coaches, not Madden-produced ones - that the trick is not to find out WHAT another coach is doing, but WHY he’s doing it (It might be because he has players with the sort of gifts that none of your guys has) and HOW he’s teaching it.

These Madden geniuses are fine until  something goes wrong.  But then, not knowing much about what went into the creation  of a play, not to mention its working parts, they’re often unable to figure out what went wrong or why, which means they have no idea what to fix or how to fix it.

Their only recourse, then -  reach into the bag and try another play.

*********** It’s -25 here in SW Iowa this morning, has been -19 yesterday, -16 Sunday, -16 Saturday, and -3 Friday. 

What do you know?  Biden has already solved Global Warming!

Hope you are well....hearing about some rolling blackouts here in the upper midwest (and south of us).  Thanks Joe!  This green new deal/close the pipelines crap/end fracking BS is going to require some of us to freeze to death now it seems.  A sacrifice China Joe is willing to make

Brad Knight
Clarinda, Iowa

 
*********** There I was, starved for football last weekend, and evidently something called Fan Controlled Football made its debut. And I missed it.


fan controlled football


I guess you need to get an app to see it.  Or should I say “play it?” Fans - get ready for this - get to “vote on play calls - in real time.”  Be still, my beating heart.

*********** Since it was first awarded, 85 people have won the Heisman Trophy.

But only 10 have gone on to earn induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame:

Marcus Allen
Tim Brown
Earl Campbell
Tony Dorsett
Paul Hornung
Barry Sanders
O.J. Simpson
Roger Staubach
Doak Walker
Charles Woodson

Only Hornung and Walker are no longer with us.

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

I am writing this as I look outside our frost covered windows to see an icy winter coat of piles of white snow I haven't seen since living in Minneapolis, and wearing layers of clothes that go with it.  Overnight Sunday we received six, yes S-I-X inches of snow to go along with temps in the low 20's down to single digits!  Hundreds of thousands of homes in the Austin area are without power including my daughter's home.  Prior to the storm my wife decided to babysit our grandson at my daughter's house (normally he gets dropped off at our house), so she packed an overnight bag and off she went.  She's still there with both of our daughters, son-in-law, and grandson huddled by the fireplace trying to stay warm, and of course as fate would have it OUR house has not lost power!  

Most roads in the area are closed because an event like this just doesn't happen in Central Texas, so...the streets are deserted except for the few cross-country skiers taking advantage of it.  The energy company says power should be gradually restored by the end of the day today or tonight.  But the roads won't be open for another couple of days.  You see Austin does not have the equipment or resources to remove that much snow, and ice.  We're relying on mother nature to do her job.  However, to add insult to injury another winter ice storm is headed our way tomorrow!  

Finally was able to reach my family by phone last night.  They were able to start their cars, warm up a bit, and recharge their phones.

Unfortunately 2021 hasn't started out to be much better than what we experienced in 2020.  The political climate is worse, not to mention the weather, and it appears we continue to find more escaped village idiots than what was previously thought.

I think Guz Malzahn is a great fit at UCF, and so does his pocketbook.

Saw this one yesterday:  "A dumb ass with a pen is far more dangerous to this country than a smart ass with a tweet."

I would imagine Bluefield College's admissions office will see a jump in applications.

QUIZ:  Fred Akers (down here in Austin word had it that Fred Akers had some mighty big shoes to fill.  Problem was he was only able to fill one shoe).

Have a great day!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas



*********** QUIZ ANSWER: A native of Blytheville, Arkansas,  Fred Akers was an outstanding high school athlete, and turned down a chance to play basketball at Kentucky in order to play football for his home state Razorbacks.

He became a high school head coach in Texas at 24, and was hired as an assistant at Texas at 28. At 36 he became head coach at Wyoming, and two years later, at 38, he was named head coach at Texas.

He was a highly successful college coach at the highest level of the game: he won 108 games overall against 75 losses and three ties; he went 86-31-2 in ten seasons at Texas; he coached the Longhorns to four top-ten finishes; he changed the Longhorns’ offense to enable Earl Campbell to win the Heisman Trophy; he had two 11-win seasons, one 10-win season and three nine-win seasons; he won two Southwest Conference championships; he took the Horns to nine straight bowl games; he was 5-4-1 against Oklahoma and his old Arkansas teammate, Barry Switzer; during a time when EVERYBODY in the Southwest Conference was cheating, there was never a hint of cheating or scandal in connection with his program.

But he was only 2-8 in bowl games, and he lost his last four in a row; and at  a time when the  UT - A & M rivalry was fierce he lost his last three in a row.

But the real problem, as one Texas writer put it, was that he broke the first rule of coaching: never replace a legend.

Compounding the problem was that the legend - Darrell Royal himself - had chosen someone else as his successor, and so our guy started out with two strikes against him.

He might have won the Royal people over id he had won just one national title, and he came close to doing it on two occasions.

In both cases, his Horns entered the Cotton Bowl 11-0, knowing that a Texas win would mean a national championship.  In both cases, they lost.

After his firing, he came back to coach four years at Purdue, but they were not  good years, and he retired for good after the 1990 season.

He died this past December after suffering from dementia. His death was especially tragic for his family because  for the longest while they couldn’t visit him, and his health declined as a result.

Richard Justice, who had covered Fred Akers as a sports reporter, said of him in Texas Monthly,  “He treated people the way everyone wants to be treated. As legacies go, that’s a pretty good one.”


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING FRED AKERS

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
BRAD KNIGHT - CLARINDA, IOWA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

*********** I had duty NCO on Jan 1 1978 and remember Notre Dame thumping them. 

Tom Davis
San Carlos, California

*********** QUIZ: He was one of a distinguished line of Iowa Wing-T quarterbacks, following after Randy Duncan (Heisman Trophy runner-up)  and Ken Ploen (second team All-American).  Like them, he led the Hawkeyes to a Big Ten title - or at least a share of one. He led the Hawkeyes to one of their greatest seasons, and when he earned second team All-American honors, he became one of the first black quarterbacks to do so.

Born in Pontotoc County Mississippi - most stories about him at the time pinpointed the exact location as Possum Trot, Mississippi  - at the age of 10 he moved to Boys Town,  Nebraska.  Not much is known about his background up until then. Boys Town, made famous by the legendary Father Flanagan, had a great football program that travelled considerable distances to play against the best, and when he was old enough to play sports, he became  a high school All-American quarterback there, in addition to lettering in basketball, baseball and track.

A Boys Town alumnus who had attended Iowa took him to  the Iowa City campus along with some game film and - such was the state of recruiting in those days - he was offered a scholarship on the spot.

He accepted, much to the disappointment of the priest who headed Boys Town, who had hoped he would go to Notre Dame.

As a junior at Iowa he became the Hawkeyes’  starting quarterback and helped lead them to a national Number 1 ranking.

Against Wisconsin he threw the winning touchdown pass to Sammie Harris with just 52 seconds remaining to defeat the Badgers, 28-21. The win lifted the Hawkeyes  to the Number One spot in the nation, a spot they would hold for three weeks.

What knocked them out of the Number One spot was their loss to Minnesota in that season’s “Game of the Century,” which both teams entered at 6-0, Iowa ranked #1 and Minnesota ranked #3. It remains one of only five games in the history of the Big Ten in which two conference teams ranked in the top 3 met. Although not much was made of the fact at the time, with Sandy Stephens  starting at QB for Minnesota, it was the first meeting of two nationally ranked teams each of whom had a black player starting at quarterback.

“Back then we never thought about anything about race,” he told The Athletic in 2019. “ Because we played in the Big Ten - and in the Big Ten, they never had anything to do with race. It was always put the best players on the field.  We had 11 black players on the team. Nobody’s ever heard of that. We may have had a black or a white guard, I don’t know. But (coach Forest Evashevski) said we’re going to play the best player.  I don’t care who it is.”

After the loss the Hawkeyes dropped to Number 3 nationally, but in their two remaining games, they ended the season with a vengeance, beating Ohio State 35-12, (“Iowa is by far the best team we’ve met this year,” said Woody Hayes afterward) and Notre Dame 28-0.

His 68 points for the season were the most scored by any Hawkeye player since 1922.  He and Ohio State fullback Bob Ferguson tied for the conference lead in touchdowns with eight, and he led the Big Ten in scoring and  finished fifth  in rushing. He was an all-Big Ten selection and a second team All-American.

Iowa finished 8-1, tied as Big Ten co-champions with Minnesota. The conference rule at the time was that in the event of a tie, the team that had gone the longest without a Rose Bowl appearance would represent the conference, and since Iowa had been to Pasadena twice in the previous four years and Minnesota had never gone,  the Gophers got the bowl bid.

Unfortunately, at the same time, Big Ten protocol permitted  only one conference team to play in a bowl game - a policy that wouldn’t change until 1975 - and that meant the  Hawkeyes had to stay home.  It was scant consolation when,  after Minnesota’s  Rose Bowl loss to Washington, the 8-1 Hawkeyes were named in some polls as the nation’s Number One team. (Those were still the days when most “final” polls were published prior to the bowl games.)

Entering his senior season, he was named to numerous pre-season All-America teams, and he started out the year in fine fashion, running for 124 yards and two touchdowns in an opening game defeat of Cal.

But in the second game of the season, a 35-34 win over USC, he broke his right wrist, and his college career was finished.

The NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals drafted him in the ninth round (118th pick overall) and tried him as  a wide receiver,  but after he broke his wrist again, he was released.  He did play a number of seasons in the Continental League  before launching  a career with an insurance company.

He’s 81 now, and  lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He remains an ardent Hawkeyes’ fan, but admits to being a harsh critic at times: “I say some things I shouldn’t say, but I love the Hawkeyes.”



UPSIODE DOWN FLAGTUESDAY, FEBRUARY  16, 2021 - “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”  Benjamin Franklin

*********** My wife and I both went to college in New England,  so the  4-6 inches of snow that we got  over the weekend didn’t bother us at all.   In fact, we love snow.  We have four-wheel drive vehicles  so we can get out if need be, and our dog loves to romp around in the white stuff. Only problem is that as you get older, sliding on packed snow and falling on your ass begins to lose some of its appeal.

But to the south of Portland, especially around the  state capitol of Salem, it wasn’t fun at all44. Ice brought down a lot of trees, which as they fell brought down a lot of power lines, and as I write, at least 250,000 homes are still without power.

********** Between the Pandemic, the NIL (Name-Image-Likeness) issue and the Transfer Portal,  you’d think college coaches and ADs had enough to worry about, but now there’s this: Peter Sung Ohr is back. And so, maybe is the International Brotherhood of Football Players. Or maybe the Amalgamated Student Athletes Union. Or whatever.

On January 25, “President” Biden selected Ohr to serve as Acting General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Remember him? Probably not.

But seven years ago, Ohr was Regional Director for the NLRB in Chicago, and he sent shockwaves through the college sports world with his finding that football players at Northwestern University who received grant-in-aid scholarships were Employees within the meaning of Section 2(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

His finding, based on the testimony of Northwestern players, was that the players’ college experience was largely controlled by Northwestern, and he directed Northwestern’s scholarship players to conduct a vote - by secret ballot - on whether to Unionize.

The vote was held, and although it was evident to those in favor of unionizing that they were going to lose, the actual result was never disclosed by the NLRB, which backed off from Ohr’s decision.

But - he’s ba-a-a-a-ck.

*********** An article in The Athletic entitled “What’s wrong with Nebraska?” included this beaut about Bo Pelini that has to be near the top:

Way back in 2011, No. 14 Nebraska roared from 21 points down in the third quarter to beat the Buckeyes 34-27. It was the largest comeback in school history. And Pelini, the fourth-year coach, took this opportunity to rip the fans at Memorial Stadium, some of whom booed the Huskers at halftime and did not return to their seats for the second half.

Pelini made his critical remarks off air before a postgame radio interview with Greg Sharpe, the lead announcer for the Huskers Sports Network. But the tape back in the network studio was rolling. “F—k you, fans,” Pelini said to Sharpe. “F—k all of you.”

Almost two years passed, with whispers prevalent that a recording existed of Pelini’s tirade. “You knew there was something like this out there,” Bishop said. “It was kind of like the dirty little secret that Bo was dog-cussing the fans.”

Then in September 2013, two days after a 41-21 Nebraska loss to UCLA, Deadspin got its hands on the 2011 audio. A storm ensued. Pelini apologized. Athletic director Shawn Eichorst and chancellor Harvey Perlman weighed in, saying the matter had been handled months earlier by then-athletic director Tom Osborne when Nebraska officials learned of the recording.

The coach kept his job. But the damage remained.

“Right then in that moment,” Bishop said, “you knew everything was going to change. The thing about Nebraska, you know the passion and how much the people support the team. For the head coach to lay waste to those fans, just the idea of it is shocking. And to be that angry at the fans after you’ve just made this dramatic inspired comeback, it just didn’t make sense to focus on such a negative.”

*********** UCF has hired Gus Malzahn. 

You know that Malzahn must have seen an opportunity here, because with all the money Auburn paid him to go away, he didn’t need a job.

I think the guy’s a damn good coach and I’m happy for him. I’m also happy as a football fan because I like some of the stuff he does offensively.

Besides all the obvious attractions of the UCF job - a large state university smack in the heart of one of the most talent-rich of all the states, the attraction of the Orlando area to out-of-state recruits, great facilities,  the ability to market to one of the country’s largest metro areas without NFL competition, proximity to a major airport which (thanks to Disney World) has non-stop flights to more cities than almost any other US airport, the ability to dominate a Group of 5 conference that is becoming strong enough that at its top it’s closing in on the Pac-12 in quality. In fact, in every respect UCF could slip into any Power 5 conference except the SEC or Big Ten and be competitive without ever missing a beat.

With all that it has going for it, UCF had one very big plus in appealing to Gus Malzahn: its new AD, Terry Mohaijr, was the AD at Arkansas State who gave Malzahn his first head coaching job in 2012.

Said Mohaijr in announcing Malzahn’s hiring, ”When I started the search process, it became very evident very quickly that, based on the conversations I had with the players last week and what they told me were looking for, Gus Malzahn was the guy for the job. He has won at every level, and he has coached a Heisman Trophy winner and NFL draft picks. There has never been a better time for Coach Malzahn to lead this program than right now.”

By far, the most important factor in a coach’s longevity is his relationship with his athletic director, and you can’t have a better relationship with him than to be the guy he wanted.

*********** I found this in “Tales From the Iowa Sideline”…

Forest Evashevski's 1957 Iowa team opened its Big Ten season at Indiana.

"It hadn't rained there in three weeks," quarterback Randy Duncan recalls now. "But the field was all muddy– an absolute quagmire. Evashevski went nuts. He said, "I've never had a coach do this to me in all my years of football. The guy watered down the field. This is the worst thing I've ever had done to me.”

"By that time, Evashevski had smoke coming out of his ears. So we go out and kill Indiana 47-7 and're on the plane coming home.”"

Duncan said he sat next to Bob Flora, one of Evashevski's assistant coaches, on the plane.

"Flora said, ‘God, this game reminds me of when we were playing Notre Dame in 1954.’

"I asked him why it reminded him of that. He said, ‘Well, hell, Evashevski called up all the coaches at midnight the night before the game and we went out and watered the field all night long.’”


*********** Internet humor

Donald Trump: “Knock-knock”

Nancy Pelosi- “Who’s there?”

Donald Trump: “Owen”

Nancy Pelosi- “Owen who?”

Donald Trump: “Oh-and-two!”

*********** Get ready for this one…

With all the categories of strangeness that keep popping up, I have to admit that I never saw “transabled” coming.

Basically, it describes people who are disabled “by choice, not chance” - people choosing to be blinded or even have limbs cut off in order to become disabled.

I was tempted to make some lame joke about going to extremes to get one of those parking spaces near the front door, but this is seriously ill.


*********** Internet humor - The Coyote Principle - Why California is Broke and Wyoming is Not

CALIFORNIA
• The Governor is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and attacks the dog, then bites the Governor.
• He calls animal control. Animal Control captures the coyote and bills the state $200 for testing for diseases and $500 for relocating it.
• He calls a veterinarian. The veterinarian collects the dead dog and bills the State $200 for testing for diseases.
• The Governor goes to the hospital and gets checked for diseases from the coyote bite and gets the wound treated. Cost: $3,500
• The nature trail is shut down for 6 months while Fish & Game conducts a survey to make sure the area is now free of dangerous animals. Cost: $100,000
• The Governor orders a "coyote awareness program" for nearby residents. Cost: $50,000
• The State Legislature spends $2 million to study how better to treat rabies and how to permanently eradicate the disease throughout the world.
• The Governor's security agent is fired for not stopping the attack. The state hires and trains a new agent with additional special training on the nature of coyotes. Cost of training: $150,000
• PETA protests the coyote's relocation and files a $5 million suit against the state.

WYOMING
• The Governor is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and attacks the dog.
• The Governor shoots the coyote with his (state-issued) pistol and keeps jogging.
• Vultures eat the dead coyote.

*********** FCS spring college football: Top teams, trophies and tilts that you need to know (Sorry - I know there’s a firewall)

https://theathletic.com/2384534/2021/02/15/fcs-spring-college-football-top-storylines/?source=user_shared_article

********************** FCS FOOTBALL ON TV: Sorry - nothing to report

Ed Orgeron’s son, Cody, evidently helped McNeese State beat Tarleton State in two overtimes.  Not that you’d ever have known.  Neither ESPN, FOX or any of the conference networks could find a way to show us just one football game.

No, they had to  show us several dozen basketball games, ranging in importance and interest from “I didn’t know they were playing” to “who gives a sh—?”

I’m sure you know that few things piss me off more than turning in to watch a football game at the time it was scheduled, only to have to join the game midway through the first quarter because we had two wait for a f—king basketball game to end.  (More specifically, the last two minutes of a basketball game, which all the timeouts and fouls can easily stretch out to 15 minutes.

This past weekend my wife almost lost it. She wanted to watch the Australian Open on ESPN2, but as usual whenever a basketball game precedes the event that you tuned in to watch, the damn basketball game - Oregon State against Arizona State - was still going on. It had 18 seconds left to play, but to get a taste here on earth of what eternity is, those final 18 seconds took close to ten minutes to play.

*********** According to Upton Bell, in his book “Present at the Creation” (he was, among other things, the son of long-time NFL Commissioner Bert Bell) a guy named Abdus Salam Qureishi deserves credit for being the guy who wrote the program that enabled the Cowboys to be pioneers in computerized scouting.

Writes Bell, Cowboys’ GM Tex Schramm was working on the broadcast of the 1960 Winter Olympics, and he became “intrigued” by the way they were using computerized information, so when he  got back to Dallas he set to work on hiow they could use data both to avoid making mistakes and to discover players that everybody else had missed.

He went to IBM and there, working for a subsidiary company called Service Bureau Corporation (I once spent a year with SBC as a trainee), he found Mr. Qureishi, a computer programmer. Born in India, in Bell’s words “he had no idea about the game of football.”

But, Bell said, “he understood variables, and he told Schramm they had too many.”

Together with Schramm, they boiled the variables down to five: (1) Character; (2) Quickness and body control; (3) Competitiveness; (4) Mental alertness; (5) Strength and explosiveness.

They would combine  the players’ scores in these categories with the scouts’ measures of size and speed and their evaluations.

This was in 1962.

How effective was it? Bell wrote that Bucko Kilroy, who later worked with Bell in the Patriots’ front office, joined the Cowboys in 1965.  He said that when they tested their system in 1964, before he arrived, their system chose Joe Namath, Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers and Fred Biletnikoff as the top draft prospects. All are now in the Hall of Fame.

Wrote Bell, who at the time was a scout for the Baltimore Colts, “That computer kept the Cowboys ahead of the rest of the league for quite some time. It was part of what fueled their dynasty of the 1970s… Dallas’s computers changed the dynamics of scouting.  You couldn’t get by anymore just going to the top schools and a few historically black colleges, where we thought all the players were.  You couldn’t just read college football magazines or go by the All-America team or the All-Conference teams.  Dallas was going everywhere.  So you had to go everywhere too.”


***********  Question: If an NAIA basketball team in a small private college in southwestern Virginia, makes a statement,  does anyone hear?

Bluefield College was that college, and it had to forfeit a basketball game after suspending some players for kneeling during the national anthem. To make, you know, a statement.

The President of the college told his AD that “kneeling during the anthem would not be allowed going forward,” and instructed her “to communicate this prohibition to all the head coaches so that similar incidents would not occur with other teams.”

So they were warned.  And they went ahead an “made a statement” anyhow.

“The basis for my decision stemmed from my own awareness of how kneeling is perceived by some in our country, and I did not think a number of our alumni, friends, and donors of the College would view the act of kneeling during the anthem in a positive way,” he said in the statement. “As I conveyed this to (the AD)  and (the coach), I denoted that anytime a student athlete puts on a jersey that says ‘Bluefield College’ on it, the message is no longer just the student athlete’s message but that it becomes the message of Bluefield College. Pointing to the already fractured and divided nature of our country, I did not want Bluefield College contributing to the further divide; rather, I wanted the College to bring people together in a united effort to address issues of racial injustice.”

Well said, Prez. And get this - it’s been a couple of days already, and still no apology from him.

https://www.sportingnews.com/us/ncaa-basketball/news/bluefield-college-forfeits-naia-basketball-game-players-suspended-kneeling-national-anthem/1cfs8aov19kqe1nl5gmsea39t3

*********** This entry for my Food section comes from a native Philadlephian:

Poor guy in your news comparing Geno's and Pats.  I personally think your local mom and pop shops have better cheesesteaks.

Tom Davis
San Carlos, California
(Formerly of “The Northeast,” and before that, Kensington)

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

From the front lines of this (I serve on the representative council for the MHSAA) the fact that we played is absolutely amazing.

Ultimately, at the beginning last March there was complete support of the shutdown of athletics, the unknown and the "temporary" view of needing a pause I think made sense to everyone.   However, as we got more and more information it seemed to make less and less sense especially out door activities.   

Our director Mark Uyl has done an amazing job of collecting data and pushing this out both to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Governors office, but more importantly the public to ensure everyone is informed.   

Both the Fall season and Winter Seasons were stopped (Fall twice), nearly cancelled and we pushed forward, in part because Mark and the Rep council are willing to push and do everything possible to ensure kids have 3 sports seasons and experiences but also and maybe more importantly due to the political push of our coaches associations and parents.   This winter season there was bipartisan support in the house and senate against the MDHHS (really governors) executive order preventing it.   This was powerful and supports the work Mark had done to ensure the facts were out....   Some you might find interesting..

The MDHHS forced a "Pilot testing program" to complete fall sports, all athletes were tested 3 times a week, 60,000 tests were administered 99.8% were negative while our state was in the "peak" of the new wave of Covid

97% of games in the fall season were played despite the quarantining requirements that shut down entire teams for two weeks upon a positive test.

Ohio/Indiana (neighboring states) played winter sports on time without masks (we have to wear them in Michigan) and their rates of infections, percent positivity, and hospitalizations followed a similar peak and fall as ours did despite us being "on pause"

My favorite part of all of this is the Governor’s office in November shut down all high schools, citing High Schools "are a major cause of virus spread" and they "Have a high rate of outbreaks" despite the data showing this not being the case (of course an outbreak is a 1 person getting the virus from another with no other contact outside that setting).   Then after the new year and change in federal leadership the CDC, MDHHS, and Governors office comes out publicly and states that they want all schools back in person (this is great news) due to very little spread occurring in schools??????   Very confusing how quickly this view changed!   As a school who has been in session with all the mitigation methods all year (that we have been allowed) and involved in the contact tracing of every case we come across I can attest without hesitation that school spread is very minimal (we have yet to have a case identified) if mitigation methods are utilized.   Of course I had evidence of this in November when we like others were "paused" due to the risk of school spread!

We are in crazy times......   All I know is today is a new day!   We will make the best of it and hopefully give the kids we work with some experience that gives them hope and growth for a better tomorrow!

God Bless,
Jason Mensing  
Whiteford, Michigan

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

Speaking of weather.  Here in Central Texas we are in the midst of a cold snap like they haven't seen since 1899.  Yes, you read that right, 1899!  We had an ice storm last night that has left roads dangerously icy (had a few car pileups last night here but thankfully no one lost their lives here in Austin, but Fort Worth had a terrible pileup that left 6 dead and many others fighting for their lives).  The forecast for the next four days has temps below freezing during the day, and into the teens overnight, with predictions of 5 inches of snow on Monday into Tuesday.  For at least a week it seems I'm reliving what winter was like in Minnesota!  Folks down here though are freaking out.

While the former president's attorney flubbed his performance during his presentation, the dems attorneys didn't fare much better the following day.  I'm told a lot of villages in this country are missing their village idiots.  I found them.  They're in D.C.

Appears a lot of Americans are not only fleeing the NFL, the NBA, and MLB haven't been immune from the flight as well.  Viewership for all three major sports leagues is down, and of course all three are blaming it on the virus.  While MLB fluctuates the other two have numbers that are significantly lower than their averages.  Sports is supposed to be an escape FROM the challenges of every day life.  Not an escape INTO more challenges.  But, apparently, the so-called "leaders" are nothing more than other village idiots missing than previously thought.

On the subject of village idiots...Mark Cuban proves you don't have to be a genius to make a lot of money.

Enjoy the weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Very few players have had the overall impact that Warren McVea had on a major college football program.

In signing to play at the University of Houston in 1964, he became the first black football player to play on a major Texas college football team.

In his college career, he would earn the distinction of being the first black football player to play in a football game at Florida State, Kentucky, Miami, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee.

In three seasons at San Antonio’s Brackenridge High,  he scored 591 points. In his senior year, he rushed for 1322 yards and averaged more than 10 yards a carry.

He was considered the best running back in the state of Texas - maybe the entire United States - and he had offers from at least 74 colleges (“virtually every integrated school in the country,”  it was said).

UCLA sent Jackie Robinson to try to recruit him; former President Harry Truman wrote him a letter on behalf of Missouri.

Even some still-segregated schools got into the act. Texas had him down on the sidelines with them for the 1964 Cotton Bowl.

Houston coach Bill Yeoman really wanted him. Headed into his  fourth season, Yeoman was coming off a 2-8 season, and he knew he wasn’t going to survive without better talent.  And in his judgment, that meant recruiting black athletes.

Reaching out to  a group of Houston area black leaders - lawyers, doctors, businessmen - he started out by saying, “I’m prejudiced.”

Not the smartest thing to say, it would seem. “All their eyes lit up,” Coach Yeoman said later.  “Until I said, ‘I’m prejudiced against bad football players.'”

He explained that  with no other major colleges in Texas - or the Deep South, for that matter - being the first school to recruit black athletes would give Houston an immediate advantage, and he asked for their support.

With their help and the help of a number of other influential members of the black community - plus the friendship Coach Yeoman formed with McVea’s mother - he chose Houston.  And the news of his signing - front page in the Houston papers - opened the floodgates for the Cougars to sign more talented players, black and white alike.

That better talent, combined with an innovative option offense that Yeoman stumbled on during our guy’s freshman year - an offense that would come to be known as the Houston Veer - and the excitement of home games in the brand-new AstroDome, helped the Cougars attain national prominence.

In 1965, his first year of varsity eligibility, Houston started the season playing the first football game ever played in the AstroDome. The Cougars got off to a 1-5  start, but as the offense kicked int, they went  3-0-1 in their last four games (the three wins were in the Dome) and  their record improved to 4-5-1. 

In his junior year, the Cougars exploded, going 8-2 and leading the nation in total offense, for what would be the first of three straight years.  In the opening game of that season, he scored on a school-record 99-yard touchdown pass, which also happened to be the first touchdown ever scored on an artificial surface. It took them a year to discover the difficulty involved in growing grass indoors. The new surface was named, appropriately enough, AstroTurf.

In his senior year, the Cougars  finished 7-3, and after a 37-7 win over Number 3-ranked Michigan State at East Lansing, they were ranked nationally for the first time in school history.

He was named to All-American teams his last two years.

He was fast and shifty, but he was small, and his NFL career was short and undistinguished.

Drafted fourth by the brand-new Cincinnati Bengals, he spent his rookie season as a jack of all trades, running, receiving and returning. He was traded after one season to the Chiefs, which resulted in his earning a Super Bowl ring in Super Bowl III.

In four NFL seasons, he rushed for 1186 yards and 11 touchdowns, and caught 38 passes for 358 yards and two TDs.

His attempt to revive his career with the World Football League in 1974 was unsuccessful.

He did have some dark moments  following football, but by all accounts he appears to have straightened his life out and been on the right course for the past 20 years.

Years later, dismissing any notion that recruiting a black athlete made him a social pioneer, Coach Yeoman told a writer, “People around here wanted to win, and if they thought Warren could help us, they didn’t care what color he was.”

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING WARREN MCVEA

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MIKE FORISTIERE - TOPEKA, KANSAS
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY


*********** QUIZ: A native of Blytheville, Arkansas, he was an outstanding high school athlete, and turned down a chance to play basketball at Kentucky in order to play football for his home state Razorbacks.

He became a high school head coach in Texas at 24, and was hired as an assistant at Texas at 28. At 36 he became head coach at Wyoming, and two years later, at 38, he was named head coach at Texas.

He was a highly successful college coach at the highest level of the game: he won 108 games overall against 75 losses and three ties; he went 86-31-2 in ten seasons at Texas; he coached the Longhorns to four top-ten finishes; he changed the Longhorns’ offense to enable Earl Campbell to win the Heisman Trophy; he had two 11-win seasons, one 10-win season and three nine-win seasons; he won two Southwest Conference championships; he took the Horns to nine straight bowl games; he was 5-4-1 against Oklahoma and his old Arkansas teammate, Barry Switzer; during a time when EVERYBODY in the Southwest Conference was cheating, there was never a hint of cheating or scandal in connection with his program.

But he was only 2-8 in bowl games, and he lost his last four in a row; and at  a time when the  UT - A & M rivalry was fierce he lost his last three in a row.

But the real problem, as one Texas writer put it, was that he broke the first rule of coaching: never replace a legend.

Compounding the problem was that the legend - Darrell Royal himself - had chosen someone else as his successor, and so our guy started out with two strikes against him.

He might have won the Royal people over if he had won just one national title, -  and he came close to doing it twice.

In both cases, his Horns entered the Cotton Bowl 11-0, knowing that a Texas win would mean a national championship.  In both cases, they lost.

After his firing, he came back to coach four years at Purdue, but they were not  good years, and he retired for good after the 1990 season.

He died this past December after suffering from dementia. His death was especially tragic for his family because  for the longest while they couldn’t visit him, and his health declined as a result.

Richard Justice, who had covered him as a sports reporter, said of him in Texas Monthly,  “He treated people the way everyone wants to be treated. As legacies go, that’s a pretty good one.”






UPSIODE DOWN FLAGFRIDAY, FEBRUARY  12, 2021 - “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”Abraham Lincoln

*********** Snowfall is rare in our part of the Northwest, but as I’m typing this, it’s early Thursday evening and it’s snowing out.  It’s starting to stick - temperature’s 30 degrees and expected to go down into the 20s tomorrow and keep snowing into Saturday.  It’s pretty much the same  forecast for Aberdeen, 140 miles to the northwest, where on Saturday the Bobcats are scheduled to play their opening game at 3 PM against Chehalis.  All I can think of is what a great experience this could turn out to be - win, lose or draw -  for a bunch of high school kids who’ve been waiting for over a year to play football, and now might get to play a game in the snow!

*********** I happened to look in on the broadcast of the (former) President’s “impeachment” and I noticed one of Mr. Trump’s defense attorneys, one Bruce Castor, talking. The guy stumbled on some words, and he rambled on for what seemed like 20 minutes, talking about everything except what he was being paid to do - defend his client.

They say that he finally got around to his point, but while I watched, his presentation definitely made it to the top of my Lame List.

Turns out that he had planned another talk entirely, but decided on another approach after hearing the prosecution’s opening argument.

First of all, considering this clown is likely billing well in excess of $500 an hour, you’d think he’d have spent a few of those billable hours playing “what if?”  We coaches do it all the time in game preparation - what if they do this?  What if they do that? Running through every conceivable contingency.

I recall reading in “We Were Soldiers Once - and Young” about the commander, on the eve of battle, doing just that - playing “What if?”
But even given that Mister Lawyer Guy  didn’t take the time to  consider all the possibilities - is that still a good reason  to discard everything that you’ve prepared and just, basically, wing it?

Can’t you just see yourself, 15 minutes before kickoff, looking down at the other end of the field at the opposing team running through its defensive preparations  and saying, “Omigod. They’ve got 10 men up on the line of scrimmage and only one man back!  We’d better ditch the Double Wing. Anybody know how to install the Air Raid in 15 minutes?”

Mr. Fancy Pants Attorney could have taken a lesson from football coaches such as Army’s  Jeff Monken. Like many college coaches this past season, Coach Monken often found himself not knowing from one day to the next who he was going to be playing, or where, or when. He said that faced with such uncertainty his approach was similar to getting ready for combat:  “We don’t plan - we prepare”

*********** Best Super Bowl Joke:

“I liked the part where they stopped keeping score, kicked out the fans and refs, and then told us who won 3 days later.”

*********** CBS admits it has consciously tried to avoid talking about point spreads and similar gambling information on its NFL broadcasts. Why?  “People who gamble have such incredible access to mountains of information,” said CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus. “Anything that we would provide probably would be rather obvious to the person who is gambling and might be even annoying or superfluous to the people who aren’t gambling.”

*********** The Edmonton Football Team - or, the Team Once Known as the (trigger warning) Eskimos - is conducting a poll to rename the team.

Here are the leading entries released on Monday:   Elk, Evergreens, Evergolds, Eclipse, Elkhounds, Eagles and Elements

Apparently, out of a desire to continue using the team’s  “Double E” logo, entries were limited to words that begin with “E”, so I guess that left out “Redskins.”

Last I checked, Eagles was way out in front in the voting with 35 per cent.  Talk about original! 

A distant second, with 15 per cent, was Eclipse.  WTF?

https://globalnews.ca/news/7627185/edmonton-football-team-names-fan-vote/?utm_medium=Facebook&utm_source=GlobalNews&fbclid=IwAR3D4KwWQSFWOR12hQ-iYvB0AbEu2hWYTRC8-jcwJHq79oOrcyIMZ1qqtLo

*********** Reading Jake Gaither’s “Split Line T Offense”.  It’s my way of celebrating Black History Month.  First chapter talks about how he has his linemen put their inside hand down and have a heel toe stagger so they can block inside.  This is back in 1963.  Stands the test of time haha.

Josh Montgomery
Berwick, Louisiana

What would some guy who coached that long ago know about line play? They weren’t even allowed to hold back then!  Were they even playing football in 1963?

Actually, Coach Gaither was a  giant of the game, a great coach and a great American.

In his 25 years as head coach at Florida A & M, his record was 204-36-4 and his Rattlers won eight Black College National Championships.

*********** It took the Neilsen people a few days before they released the TV rating from Sunday’s Extremest Big Pro Football Game - probably trying to decide how to spin the news of Big Football’s decline - but they’re out, and they’re not good.

For the NFL, that is.  For those who despise today’s NFL and all it represents, they’re heartwarming.

From Sports Business Journal:

Only 10 of the top media markets in the U.S. saw gains for Super Bowl LV on CBS, while 46 saw year-to-year declines.

14 showed double-digit percentage drops.

Of 30 markets with an NFL team, 23 saw a drop in ratings from from last year

Ratings in the New Orleans market fell to a 50-year low, even lower than two years ago when local fans, still pissed over a bowl pass interference call that kept the Saints out of the Super Bowl, boycotted the Big Game

Other NFL markets showing big drops were Houston (-13%), Denver (-13%), Milwaukee (-13%), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (-11%) and Nashville (-10%).

Boston showed the highest increase (13%), perhaps because a lot of New England fans don’t know yet that Tom Brady no longer plays for the Patriots.

Next was Kansas City, up 8% from last year.

Norfolk-Virginia Beach was third with a 7% jump, followed by Tampa-St. Pete (up 6%), and  Chicago, Baltimore and Memphis (up 5%).

Dallas-Ft. Worth came in with a 42.9 local rating, the area’s lowest since 2006.

Atlanta, Charlotte and Houston each saw their market's lowest Super Bowl rating since 2009.

Phoenix’s was the lowest since 2006, and for both Indianapolis and Jacksonville it was their  least-watched Super Bowl since 2005.

SBJ speculates that the decline is just an extension of season-long “softer numbers,” the game’s “lopsided score,” and “the lack of a big-game feel this year amid COVID-19.”

That’s it. It’s got to be the Virus.

It couldn’t possibly be longtime fans’ disgust with the political direction the League’s taken.

(Otherwise, they’d have been sure to mention it, right?

Super Bowl Ratings Among Top U.S. Markets (listed alphabetically)

super bowl TV markets

***********  I don’t know where I got this and I’m not about to go check it out but I read that 90 per cent of the players in the recent Big Pro Football Game played more than one sport in  high school.

*********** Fun Facts from The Athletic:

Of the 13 winningest college basketball programs in Division I history, not a  single one is ranked at this time
4
1. Kentucky
2. Kansas
3. North Carolina
4. Duke
5. Temple
6. Syracuse
7. UCLA
8. Notre Dame
9. St. John’s
10. Indiana
11. Cincinnati
12. Utah
13. Arizona

You want more? How about this: the last time Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina  and UCLA were all unranked was 1961.

*********** Need any more evidence that the world’s been turned upside-down?

At the end of last football season, there was just ONE Texas team (Texas A & M)  in the final Top Ten.

But in basketball… in this past week’s Top Ten, there were THREE Texas teams (Baylor, Texas Tech, Houston).

*********** The news of Marty Schottenheimer’s death had to sadden a lot of us. No, he didn’t make it to a Super Bowl, but suppose I were to tell you that he won more games in the NFL than Paul Brown? Or Bud Grant? Or Marv Levy?

Marty Schottenheimer won 205 games as an NFL coach, which puts him in select company.

In the league’s 100-year history, only  seven coaches have won more games:  Shula (347), Halas (324), Belichick (310), Landry (270), Reid (238), Lambeau (229), Noll (219)

(This includes only NFL wins: in fairness, Brown, Grant and Levy all won considerably more games coaching in other bona fide professional leagues: AAFC, AFL, CFL, USFL)

***********   “Every hero becomes a bore at last.”  That was Ralph Waldo Emerson's wisdom.

There was that once hero/now a&&hole Bruce Springsteen on a Jeep commerical droning on for two minutes - that’s long in commercial terms - lecturing us on the need to come together.  The usual unity bullsh— that we hear nonstop these days.  We're supposed to 4just  shut up and nod our heads.

And there was Jeep, that once All-American product/now built by a foreign firm (think of it as the Budweiser of motor vehicles) -  using as their spokesman a guy who just a few months earlier had been arrested for DWI back in Jersey. Yep. Back in November. But it just came out, two days after the Big Game.

Did Jeep know this?  How could they not?

But they went ahead and ran the ad anyhow - probably paid the bastard his residual -  and now they’ve got MADD on their asses.

I love it.

The arrest took place on November 14.

Hey! That was  after the election.

Springsteen, you may recall, had said that if Donald Trump had won re-election, he’d move to Australia.

Just think, Brucie Boy - if Trump had won, you’d never have been in New Jersey to get pinched.

You’d have been in Australia.

(Where, you might want to know,  they have drunk-driving laws, too.)

*********** Our local paper from time to time honors all the local Boy Scouts who pass the Board of Review to become Eagle Scouts.  They print a photo of the kid and a brief biog,, including the names of Mom and Dad.

In the most recent listing there were 22 boys,  and as my wife and have noticed for years - it never fails - every single one of them was listed as “the son of” both a mother and father;  every single one had the same last name as his mother and father, who (obviously) in every case shared the same last name (a very strong indicator that the parents are married).

So let me see… Eagle Scouts tend to have two parents, married to each other. Juvenile criminals tend to be raised by single mothers, with no father in their lives.  Sure there are exceptions to both rules, who’s kidding who? Like so much else about our society that’s gone sideways, everybody knows it but we’re not supposed to talk about it.

***********Q:   When running 26 G vs a 52, do the PT/TE double the DT? Pulling Guard then kicks the DE?

A: I seldom see a 5-2 but your questions are good ones that I’ve given thought to.

In blocking for  the 26, it would certainly be possible to double team the DT and let the B Back take care of filling for the pulling guard.

But that would require an alteration to the basic G blocking rule for the tackle, which is to block down unconditionally - all the way to the nose.

In the early stages, I had great problems with my tackles wanting to  block the man on them, resulting in run-throughs where the guard had pulled and the tackle hadn’t blocked down.  It takes a lot of work to cure them of that.  As I said, I don’t say much 5-2 anymore, and I can’t say what my tackles would do if they saw one!

If the B-Back can somehow give us a fake  and still fill for the pulling guard, there is a lot to be said for that double team, but the bottom line for me is I’m wary  of having the tackle do one thing on 6-G and another on 26-G.

Short Answer: still undecided.   I’d be interested in your experience.

Q. Does the WB block #1 or still release inside for the ILBer?

A. I think the answer is that it depends on whether the play side backer is detained by the fake to the B-Back, and also by whether we Double-Team that DT, because  a good push-back by the double team would wall off the scrape of that backer, and we could send the wingback  for the safety. But again, for the sake of consistency, I think I’d leave him with the FBI.

Q. Have you ever run Powers with just pulling the backside OT? If teams are keying guards, that could really screw with them.

 A. In my opinion, pulling the tackle and not the guard would be allowing the defense to dictate to me. Even if they are reading the guards, I can’t remember the last time a backside backer made the tackle on a Super Power. I would go without pulling the tackle  if necessary, but nothing that the defense could do would persuade me to leave my guard at home. Run a couple of base dives at those backers and get your guards in their faces  and they’ll start to forget what they learned about reading in three days of practice.

*********** I'm so tired of seeing my fellow citizens led around by the nose by people who have never accomplished anything of significance. I hurt for all the coaches who show up for your Zooms.

John Vermillion
St. Petersburg, Florida

*********** WTF???..."CULMINATING ACTIVITY"...Why not just call the regular season as "Formative Evaluations" & then the playoffs the "Summative Evaluation?”

Coach Kaz
Mark Kaczmarek
Davenport, Iowa

It’s cynics like you that make school administrators earn their pay!


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

Hope you’re doing well...   First quiz answer Terry Bowden...   Finally ended my dry spell....

With regards to all these spring leagues 1.  I am so thankful of the work of our state association and the people of Michigan who pushed against the politics to allow us to have a season....   2.   I am thankful those kids in those states are at least getting something!

Some football at the wrong time is still far better then no football IMO.

D3 games last week, I watched a little of all of them...  I will note that D3Football.com did have a schedule and links to how to view each game.  Hopefully, as we get deeper into this spring season we get a televised slate each week.   I can't imagine that with all the sports networks there are now that they have any chance finding better content, heck half of them have to go to Europe to fill their timeslots. 

God Bless,

Jason Mensing  
Head Football Coach
Whiteford High School
Whiteford, Michigan

I have to say that I’m impressed that despite all we’ve heard about the lockdowns by Michigan’s governor, the people that needed to make high school sports work got the job done and they had the nearest thing to a REAL football season - playoffs and all!

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

Thank you for putting your offensive philosophy into words. It is outstanding, and that approach has served me very well over the years.

My best to you and Connie.

Greg Koenig
Colorado Springs


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

Geno's vs. Pat's.  The classic South Philly cheesesteak fight.  I haven't yet had the pleasure of tasting either sandwich, but good friends who have had both tell me they both taste great, but because both have to be thrown together so fast to keep the lines moving they tend not to have the cheese spread evenly throughout the sandwich, which in the case of one of them his first bite was all whiz.  Pat's wasn't as greasy as Geno's, but then again palates may prefer one over the other (I personally like a little grease!).  Geno's bread is more chewy while Pat's is a little more on the firm side.  Both sandwiches are foot longs.  My friends chose to have them wit onions and wit whiz, wit peppas on da side.  Cash only.  OK, now I'm hungry.

Thanks for sharing your overall philosophy of offense.  I couldn't agree more.

That new revision of the NFHS rule will certainly be helpful to DW teams.  Not only will it help eliminate that nasty nonsense of taking out the knees of our kick-out blockers, but if the contact below the waist occurs immediately after the snap wouldn't that also make our old "shoeshine" block legal now?

What do you think Vince Lombardi would have said about that pathetic portrayal of him during the Super Bowl?  I think he would have said, "What the hell is going on out here?!"

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Terry Bowden may be the least known coach in major college football with 175 wins to his credit.

He has coached at five different schools, at four different levels from D-III up to FBD. He’s left all but one of those schools  with a winning record, and he’s compiled  an overall record of 175-114-2.

He started out at  tiny Salem College in West Virginia, where in three seasons he won two WVIAC championships.

After a year as an assistant at Akron, he became head coach at Samford, in Birmingham, Alabama.  There, he took the program from D-III up to D-IAA (now FCS), and an overall 45-23-1 record. His last two teams made the D-IAA playoffs, and his 1991 team went 12-2 and made it to the D-IAA semifinals.

His performance got him the job at Auburn in 1993, after Pat Dye was fired for irregularities, and in his first year there the Tigers went 11-0, finishing  first in the SEC West and fourth nationally. It was the first  time any  first-year coach had gone undefeated at a Division I school, and he won  virtually every possible  Coach of the Year award.

In his first two seasons his Tigers compiled a 20-game winning streak, but because of NCAA sanctions from the Dye era, they were banned from bowl appearances.  In his first five seasons, he was 42-12-1, and all five of his teams were nationally ranked. His fifth team, in 1997, finished 10-3, with a Peach Bowl win, and was ranked 11th in the nation.

But after he got off to a 1-5 start in 1998, he saw the handwriting on the wall - you have to know a little something about internal politics at Auburn  - and he resigned. His record at Auburn was 47-17-1.

After 11 years of doing TV, he returned to coaching at Division II North Alabama,  and in three years there he took them to the playoffs every year.  His overall record there was 29-9 which got him hired at Akron, about as low on the FBS ladder as you could get.

The Zips had suffered through back-to-back 1-11 seasons before he arrived, and his first year was no different - 1-11.

But things improved, and in his fourth year they Zips finished 8-5. It was their first winning season in ten years, and it earned them a berth in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl - which they won.
It was only the second bowl appearance in the school’s history.

In 2018, they beat Northwestern. It was the first win by an Akron team over a Big Ten team since 1894.  However, after a 4-8 season, he was let go.  Evidently they thought, “we can do better.”

Big mistake, Akron: in the two years since, they’ve gone 0-12 and  (this past year) 1-5.

Out of work for the past 2-1/2 seasons, he has just signed on for a job as head coach at what may be even a tougher place to win at than Akron - Louisiana Monroe.

HIs offensive coordinator at Louisiana Monroe will be Rich Rodriguez, who once had the same position under his brother, Tommy Bowden, at Clemson.

Tommy Bowden was  head coach at Tulane and then at Clemson, before being fired and replaced by Dabo Swinney.

He played his college football at West Virginia, where his father, the famed Bobby Bowden, was head coach for his first two seasons before leaving for Florida State.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING TERRY BOWDEN

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JASON MENSING - WHITEFORD, MICHIGAN
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

***********  Hugh,

I found it surprising Tuesday night that you were talking about Terry Bowden before the Zoom clinic.  I knew that the answer to the quiz was coach Bowden from the reference to Auburn and the 11-0 record.

I had a great experience with him at the 1994 Duffy Daugherty Coach of the Year Clinic in Louisville.  He was named the coach of the year and was the featured speaker at the clinic.

He was the keynote speaker on Saturday night in the main ballroom at the Galt house.  It was standing room only and he had a wonderful presentation about his 11-0 season at Auburn.

The best part of the evening was after his presentation. He was on his way out being ushered by clinic helpers. I stated earlier that it was standing room only and the doors were open and coaches were standing outside trying to hear his presentation.  On the way out several coaches stopped him to ask questions about the Auburn offense that they could not see because they were out in the hall during his presentation. There were some tables and chairs stacked out in the hall and coach Bowden pulled out a chair and table and was drawing plays on anything that could be written on. He sat there for an hour answering questions and drawing plays for all those coaches.  I became a fan of his at that moment. He kept answering questions even thought the clinic helpers were constantly try to get him to get up and go to the elevator. The speaker is usually taken up to the big restaurant and bar after he speaks to relax with the other college coaches.  Coach Bowden earned my respect because he did not blow off the high school coaches like i have seen other big time coaches do on the way out. He made time and that impressed me.

After I read the quiz and knew the answer, I went to my library and dug out the 1994 clinic manual and reread his presentation. It is still a very good read and I recommend it to be read by any coach on any level.

See you Tuesday.

David Crump
Owensboro, Kentucky

*********** QUIZ:  Very few players have had the overall impact that he had on a major college football program.

In signing to play at the University of Houston in 1964, he became the first black football player to play on a major Texas college football team.

In his college career, he would earn the distinction of being the first black football player to play in a football game at Florida State, Kentucky, Miami, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee.

In three seasons at San Antonio’s Brackenridge High,  he scored 591 points. In his senior year, he rushed for 1322 yards and averaged more than 10 yards a carry.

He was considered the best running back in the state of Texas - maybe the entire United States - and he had offers from at least 74 colleges (“virtually every integrated school in the country,”  it was said).

UCLA sent Jackie Robinson to try to recruit him; former President Harry Truman wrote him a letter on behalf of Missouri.

Even some still-segregated schools got into the act. Texas had him down on the sidelines with them for the 1964 Cotton Bowl.

Houston coach Bill Yeoman really wanted him. Headed into his  fourth season, Yeoman was coming off a 2-8 season, and he knew he wasn’t going to survive without better talent.  And in his judgment, that meant recruiting black athletes.

Reaching out to  a group of Houston area black leaders - lawyers, doctors, businessmen - he started out by saying, “I’m prejudiced.”

Not the smartest thing to say, it would seem. “All their eyes lit up,” Coach Yeoman said later.  “Until I said, ‘I’m prejudiced against bad football players.'”

He explained that  with no other major colleges in Texas - or the Deep South, for that matter - being the first school to recruit black athletes would give Houston an immediate advantage, and he asked for their support.

With their help and the help of a number of other influential members of the black community - plus the friendship Coach Yeoman formed with the player’s mother - he chose Houston.  And the news of his signing - front page in the Houston papers - opened the floodgates for the Cougars to sign more talented players, black and white alike.

That better talent, combined with an innovative option offense that Yeoman stumbled on during our guy’s freshman year - an offense that would come to be known as the Houston Veer - and the excitement of home games in the brand-new AstroDome, helped the Cougars attain national prominence.

In 1965, his first year of varsity eligibility, Houston started the season playing the first football game ever played in the AstroDome. The Cougars got off to a 1-5  start, but as the offense kicked int, they went  3-0-1 in their last four games (the three wins were in the Dome) and  their record improved to 4-5-1. 

In his junior year, the Cougars exploded, going 8-2 and leading the nation in total offense, for what would be the first of three straight years.  In the opening game of that season, he scored on a school-record 99-yard touchdown pass, which also happened to be the first touchdown ever scored on an artificial surface. It took them a year to discover the difficulty involved in growing grass indoors. The new surface was named, appropriately enough, AstroTurf.

In his senior year, the Cougars  finished 7-3, and after a 37-7 win over Number 3-ranked Michigan State at East Lansing, they were ranked nationally for the first time in school history.

He was named to All-American teams his last two years.

He was fast and shifty, but he was small, and his NFL career was short and undistinguished.

Drafted fourth by the brand-new Cincinnati Bengals, he spent his rookie season as a jack of all trades, running, receiving and returning. He was traded after one season to the Chiefs, which resulted in his earning a Super Bowl ring in Super Bowl III.

In four NFL seasons, he rushed for 1186 yards and 11 touchdowns, and caught 38 passes for 358 yards and two TDs.

His attempt to revive his career with the World Football League in 1974 was unsuccessful.

He did have some dark moments  following football, but by all accounts he appears to have straightened his life out and been on the right course for the past 20 years.

Years later, dismissing any notion that recruiting a black athlete made him a social pioneer, Coach Yeoman told a writer, “People around here wanted to win, and if they thought (our guy) could help us, they didn’t care what color he was.”




UPSIODE DOWN FLAGTUESDAY, FEBRUARY  9, 2021 - "All sorts of things can be called an emergency or disaster of major proportions. Simply slapping on that label cannot provide the ground for abrogating our most fundamental rights.”  Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito


*********** Coach Wyatt,
 
I hope this email finds you well.
 
We have recently been approved by the State to play football.  We will have a spring season.  In addition to being very excited to play we are hoping that we can still in some way participate in the Black Lion Award.   I know traditionally nominations have been submitted and approved.  However because of the pandemic we are hoping to be able to submit a player at the end of the season in the spring.  Please let me know if this may be possible.
 
Jay P. Polston ‘90
Office of Advancement
Aquinas Insitute
Rochester, New York

Dear Jay,

I am doing great and I am doing even better after learning that you will be playing football.

Of course you may present a Black Lion Award this spring season.

And - this year only, because we didn’t even know whether some states would have football at all - a coach may also nominate a second Black Lion Award winner based on his contributions during the off-season!

Best of luck to you and the Little Irish!

Hugh Wyatt

(Aquinas Institute is the high school of Army great Don Holleder, whose unselfish leadership as an Army football player and whose death in combat in Vietnam while serving with the Black Lions of the 28th Infantry were the inspiration for the Black Lion Award. From well before Don Holleder played there and to the present  day, Aquinas’ football team - The Little Irish - has been a traditional Western New York power. EMAIL ME FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ENROLLING YOUR TEAM!)


***********  Coach Wyatt,

Hello; thank you for your help on the wristbands; that was extremely helpful.  I am working on a first draft of our play card.  Our oldest son coaches at Ft. Hays State in Kansas; he is working on getting us a deal on the Neuman wristbands.

We have a snow day today, Coach, so I if I may, I have a few basic questions on the Open Wing:

1)  on West 6-G-O - I have watched some of the Shotgun Wing T coaches talk about their sweep out of a West formation; they talk about an adjustment they have to deal with a playside A gap run through - either an inside linebacker blitz or a DL in the A gap.  Would I be correct in assuming with the tight OL splits, that kind of stuff shouldn't be a problem?  I am excited about 6-G-O.

Coach - the only time we might get a run-though on that play would be if they had linemen in both the A and B gaps.  Our shoe-to-shoe “splits” pretty much eliminate blitzing.

2) on a West 55X, facing a straight 5-2 with a DT over the Open Tackle and a DE outside of that - how will your X block look?  (do the OT & OG still X?  on the DT & DE?  or does the OT block down yet & the OG block out)

We would probably not run it.  It’s a play I like to run against an even front.

3)  for a JV or a 7-8th grade team, would you recommend being more under center until the basics of the Double Wing are learned?  or attempt to run the Open Wing in a shotgun.  I think I know the answer, just checking.

If I had a really talented single wing tailback -type kid I’d run from open wing because he’s got a future in it and so do I.  Otherwise, they belong in Double Wing, learning the system. Plus even if they run Open Wing in HS, they'll always be able to go back and run a nice series of Double Wing plays.

4)  lastly - about your teaching sequence on play installation; on your first DVD the first play you show is West 6-C; this includes the blocking on the playside, the QB reading the DE, & the Bubble-Smoke on the Open side.  I know you wanted to show the overall big picture of the Open Wing, & I realize the order might be dependent upon various factors; just asking for your thoughts.

It’s a tossup. I’d definitely want to make sure that we could run the “C” block in both directions.

I hope this wasn't too many or too long.

Never too many or too long!

Thanks for your help again, Coach.

Bob Hepp
Portage, Wisconsin

*********** I was watching some food show and when they started talking about some restaurant on “Philly’s South Side,”  my WTF Alarm went off.

South Side? Philly? WTF?

Let’s say you live in Kansas and you were watching the  show and you decided to  try the place  sometime.  So there you are in Philly,  at the corner of 9th and Passyunk. (Don’t ask me how you got there.) You’re in the heart of South Philly.  You wouldn’t know that, of course,  because you’re from “outta town.”

So you walk up to this guy standing in line outside a place called Geno’s, waiting to order his cheesesteak (“wit’ Wiz”).

YOU: “Excuse me.  Can you tell me how to get to the South Side?”

THE GUY: “Never heard of it.  (Turns and calls to a friend a short distance away.) Yo Angelo! You know where the South Side’s at?”

ANGELO (Did I tell you that South Philly is largely Italian?): “South Side?  Never heard of it.”

Hey TV guys - I got news for youse. The quickest way to be inauthentic is to fake being authentic.


*********** I was talking with a young coach the other day, and I asked him what his philosophy of offense was.  There was a long pause before he finally said, “Well, I played quarterback in college and I like to throw the ball…”

So the guy knew what he liked to do, but obviously he 'd never given a whole lot of thought to the whys  and wherefores of the matter.

I can’t put my philosophy of offense into a couple for words - or even a couple of sentences - but  these are the things that I firmly believe must characterize the offense I run:

The first thing I feel I must do is predicate my offensive thinking on the belief that I’m seldom going to have better talent than the opponents.

I want to be different.  I want you to have to do something different when you play me.

I want to be able to adjust to the talent that we have.  (Anybody can run. Not everybody can throw or catch)

I don’t want to be at the mercy of one highly-skilled player. I want to still have an offense even if we lose our best player. I don’t want everything to depend on our having a quarterback.

I want to be able to help our defense by controlling the ball.

I want to be able to wear opponents down, physically and mentally.  Teams  don’t seem to get worn down when they’re on offense for long stretches.

I want  to be able to teach the offense to the slowest learner on the team

I want to build a small core of plays  that we can get better at through repetition

I want our players to be able to run the offense at any age, at any level of our program

I want to be able to block with advantage - I want to be able to use smaller lineman by teaching them to block down, kick out, double-team and wedge

I want to run a series offense - meaning one in which a number of related plays start out the same way.

I want to know how to troubleshoot.  I want to have a good idea of what went wrong and I want to be able to  fix it.  Quickly.

I want my quarterback to be able to call plays by himself. If need be.

I want my players to have confidence that they can move the ball against anybody

*********** Better hurry if you want get a copy of Tiger Ellison’s book!  (If it's a new one you're after, that is.
There's only one left in stock.)

tiger Ellison book



*********** On my Zoom clinics last week I mentioned a discussion that Mike Lude and I had had not long ago.  I’d been talking about the Belly series, and since it was popularized by Georgia Tech and the great success it had  running the offense.  That led to discussing Frank Broyles, who had played  quarterback at GT under coach Bobby Dodd, and  then served as Coach Dodd’s offensive coach (they didn’t call ‘em coordinators then) during the Belly years.

Coach Broyles’ success  at Georgia Tech got him the head coaching job at Missouri and then, a year later, the head coaching job at Arkansas, where he would go on to become a legend, both as coach and as athletic director.

In 1958, Broyles’ first season at Arkansas, the Hogs went 4-6.  That same season, at LSU, Paul Dietzel not only had his  first winning season after three seasons of 3-5-2, 3-7 and 5-5, he went undefeated and  won a national title.  He did it with great talent, with a unique  three-platoon  system, and he did it   running an offense that he got from Delaware - the Wing-T. And Mike Lude, then the line coach at Delaware, was the guy who taught the LSU staff the Wing-T.

Frank Broyles was not unaware of what was going on at LSU, and he not only decided to install it at Arkansas, but when his line coach became ill, he prevailed on Delaware head coach Dave Nelson to lend him the services of Mike Lude for Arkansas’ spring practice. As Mike  said in his great book, “Walking the Line,” “That may be the only lend-lease deal in college football history.”

Mike has some great stories about his time at Arkansas, and remained friends  with  Frank Broyles through the years when they were both athletic directors - Broyles at Arkanas and Mike at Washington and Auburn.

The upshot of the lend-lease deal was that Delaware benefitted from it more than Arkansas did. A few games into their season, the Arkansas staff decided to  stay with their Belly-T.  Meanwhile, though, Mike Lude had returned to Delaware and told Dave about the Belly stuff he’s learned while at Arkansas.

Said head coach Nelson, “Let’s put it in.”

And there you are. Bob’s your uncle.

Into the Delaware playbook went what’s now known as 182 Down and 988 Down, 187 and 983. You Delaware guys (and there are still plenty of you) will understand.

To my fellow Double-Wingers, that’s 6-/7-G, and 4-X lead/5-X lead (or 4-Base Lead/5-Base Lead)

I think you'll enjoy this great article on Mike in last Friday’s Seattle Times

https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/uw-huskies/mike-lude-longest-serving-ad-in-husky-history-still-going-90-miles-per-hour-at-98/


*********** After  doing considerable research into - and film study of - belly football in the 1950s, I’ve come away extremely impressed, and I’m especially excited about the ability to incorporate Belly Series backfield action into my Double Wing, using the same blocking principles as always.  I’ll be talking on that subject on Tuesday night’s Zoom.

*********** Coach,  thanks for bringing up the belly series. I would definitely put that in the DW for sure.   I enjoyed the clinic greatly. In 2005 regional championship game the team we were playing belly series’ed us to death. Of course if you would’ve seen our game preparation going into a regional playoff game you would’ve stroked out. But nonetheless thank you for giving us the clinic on it. I thought it was great.

Take care and hello to the lovely Connie for me.

Armando Castro
Roanoke, Virginia


*********** These are tough times in the Pac-12, what with Covid shutdowns, a near-disastrous football season, the  downsizing of its TV network, and the search for a new commissioner to  succeed the incompetent Larry Scott.  But somebody forgot to tell Oregon State, because they’re going full speed ahead on a much-needed $150 million renovation of Reser Stadium.

The project has been helped along by the optimism of OSU President F. King Alexander,  who said, “This is not a time to stop moving forward.”

And also by a gift of $50 million by an anonymous donor.

Wouldn't it be nice  to be so f—king rich that if you made an anonymous gift of $50 million, everybody would know it was you because they’d know you were  the only one around capable of making a donation that big.

*********** One of the great things about my breaking ties with the NFL has been no longer  having to spend any effort or emotion on such things as the national anthem (whichever one they  choose to play), messages of unity from our moral betters at NFL headquarters, and halftime shows bearing  absolutely zero relationship to the sport of football. (Come to think of it, that last business about having zero relationship to the sport of football is becoming more and more descriptive of the NFL itself.)


*********** John Carbon of Panama sent me a link to an article about a recent change in NFHS  football rules regarding  blocking below the waist in the neutral zone.

Basically, if both parties started out in the neutral zone - and on the line - the contact must take place immediately following the snap. 

As a result of numerous interpretations of current language regarding blocking below the waist in the free-blocking zone, the committee approved another condition in Rule 2-17-2 that must be met for a legal block below the waist in the free-blocking zone, which is a rectangular area extending laterally 4 yards either side of the spot of the snap and 3 yards behind each line of scrimmage.

The new requirement (2-17-2c) is that the block must be an immediate, initial action following the snap. Under the current rule, an offensive lineman can delay and then block below the waist if the ball is still in the zone. In the committee’s ongoing quest to minimize risk in high school football, the change was approved to require the block to be immediate.

“This change makes it easier for game officials to judge the legality of blocks below the waist and minimizes risk of injury for participants,” said Bob Colgate, NFHS director of sports and sports medicine and liaison to the Football Rules Committee. “This change lets game officials observe the block and make a call without having to determine where the ball is and what formation the offense lined up in.”

You’ll notice that the article treats this as an offensive line issue, but to me, this sounds like a great deal for us Double Wingers . We’ve been victimized for years by coaches who teach their defensive ends to take out our kickout blockers at the knees, and by officials who either don’t understand that that’s illegal or are too lazy to enforce a rule designed to protect players.

https://www.thesnaponline.com/2021/02/05/nfhs-addresses-blocking-below-the-waist-in-high-school-football/

*********** It was a long wait, but longtime Tacoma-area rivals Pacific Lutheran and University of Puget Sound met Saturday.

In football.  UPS won, 28-20.

Yes, it was D-III. But it was college football.

I checked Saturday and there were 33 men’s college basketball games on TV.

You telling me that a college football game - even a D-III game - wouldn’t have drawn a bigger TV audience than half of those college basketball games that we’re flooded with every Saturday?

*********** I was blessed to have lived in Baltimore from 1961 to 1966, right in the middle of the heyday of the Baltimore Colts.  I really can’t imagine any other major city being so enraptured by a sports team as Baltimore was by its beloved Colts, from roughly the mid-50s  until the early 70s.  I could go on at great length about all the things that I saw or did that were Colt-related, but there isn’t time or space.

One small item:

In 1958, the major league baseball All-Star game, then still a very big deal, was held in Baltimore.  It drew 48,829.

Four weeks later, at the conclusion of their training camp, the Colts held their annual intrasquad game  in the same stadium.  They drew  48,309.

*********** I could not email you fast enough with this one. Still waiting on Albany County to give us the go ahead to play March 7th. 5-game regular season. Now get this, the playoffs are called,  drum roll please,  wait for it.......  "CULMINATING ACTIVITY"

Where am I?

Pete Porcelli
Watervliet, New York

Hahaha. Those bastards stole that from our Washington "leaders "- who undoubtedly stole it from somebody else. It’s just  educatorspeak for “no playoffs.”


***********  Hugh,

I am certain that there are many more people living in Washington (and the West Coast in general) with school-age children, most of whom view the political landscape with a red tint, are those driving up the costs of housing in Idaho and other states whose schools are open.

While on that topic, in the private Christian school in Austin where I am currently working, the admissions office has seen a dramatic increase in the numbers of public school families looking to transfer their students.

Seeing a Super Bowl WAS on my original bucket list.  Over the past few years it continuously moved down the list.  Today it no longer makes the list at all.  I find as I get older that there are other items that were not on the original list that have found their way on the latest list, and some others on the original list that are no longer on it.

The term "woke" is not necessarily a new thing.  We used to call it awareness, and now I am AWARE that many young people need to be back in school to get more vocab practice on learning that being "aware" isn't synonymous with wisdom.

Any of us education "veterans" can plainly see the lack of common sense being displayed by many college graduates in these past two generations has everything to do with the lack of teaching it.

Enjoy your weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER - New Mexico is not a populous state,  so it hasn’t turned out a large number of football players who’ve made their marks in college and pro football. Tom Brookshier, Tommy McDonald and Bryan Urlacher come to mind - and John Wooten belongs right there with them.

He played his high school ball in Carlsbad, and went on to be a college star and then to play 10 years in the NFL.

At the University of Colorado, playing guard in Dal Ward’s single wing, in 1957 he helped the Buffs to lead the nation in rushing and finish second in total offense. He was All-Big Seven in 1957, and in 1958 he became one of the first black interior offensive linemen to be named All-American.

Taken  in the fifth round by the Cleveland Browns, he played nine years with the Browns, establishing himself as one of coach Paul Brown’s “messenger guards.” (At a time when coach Brown- yes, the team was named for him - was the lone coach in the NFL who called his team’s plays, he depended on the intelligence and reliability of his “messenger guards” to relay the plays to his quarterbacks.  Another one of those guards was a Cleveland native named Chuck Noll who would go on to great things himself as an NFL coach.)

In all, he played 136 games for the Browns, carrying in the plays but also helping  to pave the way for all-time great runner Jim Brown.  He played in two Pro Bowls, and was named first team All-Pro in 1966.

After being given his release following a dispute with management, he played one final season with the Team Formerly Known as The Redskins.

When the World Football League started up, he spent two years as a player agent, then joined the Dallas Cowboys as a scout.

In 1980 he was named the Cowboys’ Director of Pro Personnel, and in 1992 he was hired by the Eagles and shortly after promoted to the position of Vice President of Player Personnel.  In 1998 he moved to the Baltimore to work in the Ravens’ front office, before retiring in 2003.

In 2003 he became active in the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which works together with the NFL in promoting minority hiring throughout the league.

John Wooten is a member of the Browns’ Ring of Honor and of the College Football Hall of Fame.


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JOHN WOOTEN

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
JOHN GREENBURG - DUNEDIN, FLORIDA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

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

You've done it again. Another great Cleveland Brown. John Wooten was one of the best pulling guards in pro football history.

He and Gene Hickerson were the standard for today's pulling guards. Jerry Kramer and Fuzzy Thurston of the Packers seemed to get all the guard publicity only because the Packers won so many championships.

John and Gene could pull to the outside and block downfield. Kramer and Thurston were straight ahead blockers.

Many people in Cleveland and myself included feel that John Wooten should be in the hall of fame in Canton. It took 30 years to get Gene Hickerson voted in and John Wooten should be in there with him. They were a great pair to watch. In my humble opinion better than Kramer and Thurston who I believe are enshrined in Canton.

See you Tuesday.

David Crump
Owensboro, Kentucky


*********** QUIZ:  He may be the least known coach in major college football with 175 wins to his credit.

He has coached at five different schools, at four different levels from D-III up to FBS. He’s left all but one of those schools  with a winning record, and he’s compiled  an overall record of 175-114-2.

He started out at  tiny Salem College in West Virginia, where in three seasons he won two WVIAC championships.

After a year as an assistant at Akron, he became head coach at Samford, in Birmingham, Alabama.  There, he led the program from D-III up to D-IAA (now FCS), and an overall 45-23-1 record. His last two teams made the D-IAA playoffs, and his 1991 team went 12-2 and made it to the D-IAA semifinals.

His performance at Samford got him the job at Auburn in 1993, after Pat Dye was fired for irregularities, and in his first year there the Tigers went 11-0, finishing  first in the SEC West and fourth nationally. It was the first  time any  first-year coach had gone undefeated at a Division I school, and he won  virtually every possible  Coach of the Year award.

In his first two seasons the Tigers compiled a 20-game winning streak, but because of NCAA sanctions from the Dye era, they were banned from bowl appearances.  In his first five seasons, he was 42-12-1, and all five of his teams were nationally ranked. His fifth team, in 1997, finished 10-3, with a Peach Bowl win, and was ranked 11th in the nation.

But after he got off to a 1-5 start in 1998, he saw the handwriting on the wall - you have to know a little something about internal politics at Auburn  - and he resigned. His record there was 47-17-1.

After 11 years of doing TV, he returned to coaching at Division II North Alabama,  and in his three years there he took them to the playoffs every year.  His overall record there was 29-9 which helped get him hired at Akron, which was about as low on the FBS ladder as anyone  could get.

The Zips had suffered through back-to-back 1-11 seasons before he arrived, and his first year was no different - 1-11.

But things improved, and in his fourth year the Zips finished 8-5. It was their first winning season in ten years, and it earned them a berth in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl - which they won.  (It was only the second bowl appearance in the school’s history.)

In 2018, they beat Northwestern, the first win by an Akron team over a Big Ten team since 1894.  Not that it mattered.  After a 4-8 season, he was let go.  Evidently he'd spoiled the Akron people to the point where they thought, “we can do better.”

Big mistake, Akron: in the two years since, they’ve gone 0-12 in 2019 and  1-5 this past year.

Out of work for the past 2-1/2 seasons, he has just signed on for the  job as head coach at what may be an even  tougher place to win at than Akron - Louisiana Monroe.

HIs offensive coordinator there will be Rich Rodriguez, who once held the same position under his older brother at Clemson.

(The older brother was  head coach at Tulane and then at Clemson, before being fired and replaced by Dabo Swinney.)

He played his college football at West Virginia. For his first two years there he played for his father, before he left to take the head coaching job at Florida State.


UPSIODE DOWN FLAGFRIDAY, FEBRUARY  5, 2021 - "A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man.  In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker."  H. L. Mencke

*********** Call them the holdouts. In five states - plus the District of Columbia - there has not yet been a single high school athletic contest this “school year” (if you can even call it that).

Two of those states are New Mexico and Hawaii. The other three were states founded by adventurers - California and the 49ers, Oregon and the Pioneers coming over the Oregon Trail, Washington and the loggers and the gold miners headed to Alaska.  Not exactly risk-averse people.

Hard to believe that the descendants of those sturdy people have degenerated to the point that they’ve allowed themselves to be pushed around by an assortment of twits and twerps, but there they are, living day to day in the most submissive of our states.

So while the twits and twerps who govern the Left Coast have been pretending to be saving the lives of millions by the  virtual incarceration of their citizens, consider the following:

This past fall, Utah high schools were able to play 96 per cent of their scheduled events. In Arizona it was 95 per cent, and in Idaho it was in the “high 90s.”

(Those stats were reported by Washington’s high school sports governing body, the WIAA.)

*********** Wow.  This pandemic has really taken its toll on the price of Super Bowl tickets. (When is the game, by the way?)  As of yesterday evening, “pods” of four tickets "could be had for as little as $6,278 per ticket through TicketIQ.”

*********** As colleges deal with the loss of revenue from playing in empty stadiums, expect to start hearing more stories like this one.

Debt service on money borrowed to pay for the recent  remodel of Washington State’s Martin Stadium plays a part in WSU's nearly  $100,000,000 projected budget deficit, and faculty members are said to be “incensed” about a proposal to shift some $2-3 million in school funds to the athletic department budget.

*********** Georgia Tech, which limited seating at its 2020 home football games  to 20% of 55,000-seat Bobby Dodd Stadium, is planning on full attendance at its 2021 games.

*********** “Washington Football Team” (I guess “FC Washington” sounded too soccerish) President Jason Wright said that with all the talk about the team name, one thing will never change:

“A few things are starting to become clear,” he said on a DC-area radio show. “Number 1: Burgundy and gold should never change, period. That is a core aspect of the identity of this team and we know it is important from all this research as well to make sure we don’t feel like an expansion club and we’re tied to the history. We have to keep the burgundy and gold as a centerpiece to all of this.”

As for the name, well, one thing you can rule out is any kind of bird:

“We need something that’s connected to the history of the club or to the area or to something else that is meaningful to the fanbase already, meaningful to the area, etc. So picking some random [expletive] bird mascot doesn’t feel like the right approach, at least from what we’ve seen so far.”

He was referring to Cardinals, Eagles, Falcons, Seahawks, etc.

So no Capital Crows.  No Hawks ’n' Doves.  No Swamp Swallows. No Potomac Pigeons.

And as for those colors  - don’t trust anything that a guy who makes his living in Washington, DC tells you. How many times have the Rams changed their blue - and their gold?  While you’re at it, take a look at the Eagles, who once wore kelly green and now wear what their owner has described as “midnight green.”

*********** Nothing is beneath the NFL.  Absolutely nothing.  They are shameless.

In what is called a “pre-game ad,” an NFL immortal will deliver a speech on unity - you know, how we’re all in this together and blah, blah, blah.

And when I say “immortal,” I am speaking literally.

As in Vince Lombardi lives.

Through the magic of special effects - and a voice-over guy with a Jersey accent - those of you who watch will see a much more woke Coach Lombardi than the one famous for yelling “What the hell’s goin’ on out there?”

Expect a much softer Coach Lombardi on the subject of diversity than the one whom defensive tackle Henry Jordan once described as an equal opportunity prick:  “He treats all of us the same - like dogs.”

I guess once he’s  done  solving all of society’s problems, they’re working on a way for him to straighten out the Jets before he returns to heaven.

Just a thought from a cynical old fart… You don’t suppose some palms were crossed with silver in order to get the Lombardi family’s permission, do you?

https://www.adweek.com/agencies/nfl-super-bowl-2021-ad-vince-lombardi/

***********   Recently the WTF (isn’t that the proper way to abbreviate Washington Football Team?) breathlessly announced that they had hired - get ready for this - the FIRST BLACK WOMAN TO COACH IN THE NFL FULL TIME!

Stop the presses at the textbook publishers!  They just went and made more history on us!

I’m not even going to go into this woman’s credentials, because I’m totally lost as to why a professional football team thinks it’s so important  to hire a woman to do a man’s job.

What I’m wondering about, as we hear how important is is to diversify the NFL’s coaching ranks, is how many black MEN were passed over for the job.

*********** One of the many reasons why I donate to Hillsdale.

From the CEO of USA Shooting, whose mission it is to prepare shooters for Olympic competition:

“We recently conducted a shotgun training camp at Hillsdale College on their spectacular new shooting complex with most of our Olympic Team on hand.”

Can you imagine any of the weenies at one of the  Ivy League’s Collegiate Cathedrals of Communism building a “spectacular new shooting complex?”

*********** One of the great high school reporters anywhere is Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times.  He covers a huge area and he has so many contacts that he’s on top of a story before it’s a story - and in an area the size and scope of the Southland, there are plenty of stories.

Usually.

But not now. Not in a state that’s banned high school sports.

I could tell he was hard up for stories when the Times carried an article by him about a  kid from a small area private school - an 8-man school - who had signed with Northwestern as a preferred walk-on.

A walk-on, as most of you know, is given a place on the roster - but no scholarship.

Now, Northwestern is a very selective school (that means it’s hard to get into) and if the kid’s willingness to walk on to the football team carries some weight with the admissions people, it might make some sense.

But even so, he’s still going to have to come up with the money, which is why a school where the annual cost - tuition, room and board, other fees and expenses - is $79,342 doesn’t get a large number of walk-ons, preferred or otherwise.

*********** “President” Biden's executive order prohibiting LGBTQ discrimination in federally-funded athletics states that schools receiving federal funding must allow biological boys who self-identify as girls onto girls' sports teams or face federal action.

Got that?

Depending on where you live, hang on for some bitter legal fights over who gets to use what rest rooms and locker rooms and who gets to start on the volleyball team. And since most school districts don’t have the financial resources to put up a fight, expect a lot of caving.

10 states are "trans exclusive": Participation must match gender “assigned” at birth. (I happen to think that God does the “assigning”)

17 states plus D.C. are "trans inclusive": Trans girls can play with “cis” girls regardless of how far along their transition is. (If you’re like me, the word “girls” means  “girls,” and there’s no need for this “cis” BS.)

17 other states are "trans inclusive - provided that”: In other words, trans girls can play with “cis” girls as long as they've taken gender-affirming hormones for a year.

Six states have no policy

*********** Wednesday was National Signing Day, and as usual, the majority of the blue-chippers came from a small handful of states, all of them but California in the South.

There were 377 so-called blue-chip recruits - a designation that’s always a matter of opinion among recruiting services - and 181 of them - 48 per cent -  came from just five states:

Texas (52)
Florida (46)
California (33)
North Carolina (26)
Georgia (24)

There’s a bit of a drop-off to the next level of states, all of whom had at least 10 blue-chippers. They accounted for 93 more,  or another 25 per cent.

Alabama (17)
Pennsylvania (14)
Ohio (14)
Louisiana (13)
Maryland (13)
Washington (11)
Michigan (11)

Personally, I was surprised that Illinois and New Jersey weren't on the list.

Anyhow,  that’s a mere dozen states that turned out 274 (or 73 per cent) of all blue-chip recruits.

Another 25 states (and DC) accounted for the remaining 103 top rectuits.

13 states had no blue-chippers at all this year:

Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wyoming

In fairness, they’re almost all low in population and simply don’t have a whole lot of high schools playing football.  But based on what I know - or thought I knew - about the quality of the football  and the coaching in New York and Connecticut I was surprised that they were on this  list.

blue chip map

The data are from 247Sports    The chart is by  Danielle Alberti of Axios

*********** The Ivy League is so f—ked.

They started the whole ball rolling last spring when they cancelled their basketball tournament - and the spring sports season that followed.

And they were the first conference to announce that they would not be playing football in the fall.

But at the same time they decided not to play football in the fall, they sort of bought themselves time by making a half-ass promise to players and coaches and alumni that they’d play football in the spring (now).  But for the past several weeks, try as I might,  I haven’t been able to find a thing about it anywhere.

And then came the notice that after cancelling this winter’s sports schedule they’d decided to do the same with spring sports.

Uh-oh.  I think it’s fair to surmise that if there’s not going to be baseball, track or lacrosse - TWO years in a row -  there’s not going to be football, either.

Considering how hard it is to get admitted to those places, it has to be a difficult decision to transfer out, but athletes are said to be doing so in increasing numbers. Just as important,  well-to-do alumni who’ve been financially supporting sports to which they have special ties have been raising hell with the schools and with the league office - to no avail.

After all, we’re the elite Ivies.

What a buncha pussies.

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

Completely missed the JV game (Hula Bowl).  Did watch some of the Varsity game though (Senior Bowl).

The "abandoned land mines" line from our new VP is still not anywhere close to the "unalienable rights that all, uh...eh...you know...the thing!" line that her astute running mate fumbled.

Coach, you and I and millions of youngsters would not only do problem solving while we played games, we would drink water out of a garden hose while doing it, and when finished would ride our bicycles home without helmets, elbow pads, and knee pads, and sit in the back of our dad's pickup after dinner to go get some ice cream!  The next day we would likely play "cowboys and indians!"

Again, "back in the day" COACHES became athletic directors because they understood the sports coaching business.  Today, those with a BUSINESS background become AD"s because they say they understand "coaching" the business of sports.

I could be wrong but North Beach is sounding more and more like a permanent retirement residence for the Wyatts???

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Joe, any place that lets restaurants open and kids play football is sounding better all the time. Where we live, the nearest  such place would be Idaho. An interesting phenomenon: the real estate in Idaho is going through the roof, with all the West Coasters deserting their liberal strongholds.  Only problem is, the first thing most of them want to do once they’re settled in their new homes is begin to try to make it - liberal politics and all - exactly like the place they escaped from.  In the West, it’s happen to  Arizona, Colorado and Nevada, and Idaho could be next.  In the East, Massachusetts invaders have changed the once solidly conservative politics of New Hampshire, and North Carolina and Georgia have begun to feel the impact of the liberal New Yorkers and New Jerseyites.  Not even Florida and Texas are immune. What’s even sadder is that even in lib states the rural areas tend to be conservative, but people fleeing the urban hellholes that most big cities have become are finding haven in smaller towns - and immediately trying to turn them liberal.


*********** I knew it was only a matter of time before "COVID" tag would sprout up. I observed the game during recess and couldn’t stop laughing.

If the infected tagger got close to any of the kids, wow you should have seen the determination in the kids’ eyes to get away.

I want to thank Andrew Cuomo for this game.

Pete Porcelli
Watervliet, New York

*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Dale Hackbart came out of high school in Madison, Wisconsin and after four years at Wisconsin went on to