Coach Wyatt's "News You Can Use"
TUESDAY, MAY 26, 2015
MEMORIAL DAY, 2015
*********** Memorial Day, once known as "Decoration Day," was
originally set aside to honor the men who died in the Civil War. (There
was a time when certain southern states did not observe it, preferring
instead to observe their own Memorial Days to honor Confederate war
The Civil War soldiers called it "seeing the elephant." It meant
experiencing combat. They started out cocky, but soon learned how
suddenly horrible - how unforgiving and inescapable - combat could be.
By the end of the Civil War 620,000 of them on both sides lay dead.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians were left dead or homeless.
"I have never realized the 'pomp and
circumstance' of glorious war before this," a Confederate soldier
bitterly wrote, "Men...lying in every conceivable position; the
dead...with eyes open, the wounded begging piteously for help."
"All around, strange mingled roar - shouts of defiance, rally, and
desperation; and underneath, murmured entreaty and stifled moans;
gasping prayers, snatches of Sabbath song, whispers of loved names;
everywhere men torn and broken, staggering, creeping, quivering on the
earth, and dead faces with strangely fixed eyes staring stark into the
sky. Things which cannot be told - nor dreamed. How men held on, each
one knows, - not I."
Each battle was a story of great courage and audacity, sometimes of
miscommunication and foolishness. But it's the casualty numbers that
catch our eyes. The numbers roll by and they are hard for us to believe
even in these days of modern warfare. Shiloh: 23,741, Seven Days:
36,463, Antietam: 26,134, Fredericksburg: 17,962, Gettysburg: 51,112,
and on and on (in most cases, the South named battles after the town
that served as their headquarters in that conflict, the North named
them after nearby rivers or creeks - so "Manassas" for the South was
"Bull Run" for the North; "Antietam" for the Union was
"Sharpsburg" for the Confederacy).
General William T. Sherman looked at the aftermath of Shiloh and wrote,
"The scenes on this field would have cured anybody of war."
From "Seeing the Elephant" - Raw Recruits at the Battle of Shiloh -
Joseph Allan Frank and George A. Reaves - New York: Greenwood Press,
*********** THE YANKEE FROM OLYMPUS - ON MEMORIAL DAY
"We have shared the
incommunicable experience of war. We felt - we still feel - the passion
of life to its top.... In our youths, our hearts were touched with
fire." Oliver Wendel Holmes, Jr.
At a time in our history when fewer than five per cent of the people
who govern us have served in our Armed Forced, it is useful to go back
to another time, to men such as Oliver Wendel Homes, Jr.
Oliver Wendel Holmes, Jr. was born in Boston in 1841, the son of
a famous poet and physician. In his lifetime he would see combat in the
Civil War then go on to become a noted lawyer and, finally, for 30
years, a justice of the Supreme Court. So respected was he that he
became known as "The Yankee From Olympus."
He graduated from Harvard University in 1861. After graduation, with
the Civil War underway, he joined the United States Army and saw combat
action in the Peninsula Campaign and the Wilderness, and was injured at
the Battles of Ball's Bluff, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. He was
discharged in 1864 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
The story is told of Holmes that in July 1864, as the Confederate
general Jubal Early conducted a raid north of Washington, D.C.
President Abraham Lincoln came out to watch the battle. As Lincoln
watched, an officer right next to him was hit by a sniper's bullet. The
young Holmes, not realizing who he was speaking to, shouted to the
President, "Get down, you damn fool, before you get shot!"
After the war's conclusion, Holmes returned to Harvard to study law. He
was admitted to the bar in 1866, and went into private practice in
In 1882, he became both a professor at Harvard Law School and a justice
of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. In 1899, he was
appointed Chief Justice of the court.
In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt named Holmes to the United States
Supreme Court, where he served for more than 30 years, until January
Over the years, as a distinguished citizen who knew what it meant to
fight for his country, he would reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day,
and of the soldier's contribution to preserving our way of life...
On Memorial Day, 1884, 20 years after the end of the Civil War, Mr. Holmes said,
Accidents may call up the events of the
war. You see a battery of guns go by at a trot, and for a moment you
are back at White Oak Swamp, or Antietam, or on the Jerusalem Road. You
hear a few shots fired in the distance, and for an instant your heart
stops as you say to yourself, The skirmishers are at it, and listen for
the long roll of fire from the main line.
You meet an old comrade after many years of absence, he recalls the
moment that you were nearly surrounded by the enemy, and again there
comes up to you that swift and cunning thinking on which once hung life
and freedom--Shall I stand the best chance if I try the pistol or the
sabre on that man who means to stop me? Will he get his carbine free
before I reach him, or can I kill him first? These and the thousand
other events we have known are called up, I say, by accident, and,
apart from accident, they lie forgotten.
But as surely as this day comes round we are in the presence of the
dead. For one hour, twice a year at least--at the regimental dinner,
where the ghosts sit at table more numerous than the living, and on
this day when we decorate their graves--the dead come back and live
I see them now, more than I can number, as once I saw them on this
earth. They are the same bright figures, or their counterparts, that
come also before your eyes; and when I speak of those who were my
brothers, the same words describe yours.
From Justice Holmes' address to the graduating class of Harvard University on Memorial Day,
The society for
which many philanthropists, labor reformers, and men of fashion unite
in longing is one in which they may be comfortable and may shine
without much trouble or any danger. The unfortunately growing hatred of
the poor for the rich seems to me to rest on the belief that money is
the main thing (a belief in which the poor have been encouraged by the
rich), more than on any other grievance. Most of my hearers would
rather that their daughters or their sisters should marry a son of one
of the great rich families than a regular army officer, were he as
beautiful, brave, and gifted as Sir William Napier. I have heard the
question asked whether our war was worth fighting, after all. There are
many, poor and rich, who think that love of country is an old wife's
tale, to be replaced by interest in a labor union, or, under the name
of cosmopolitanism, by a rootless self-seeking search for a place where
the most enjoyment may be had at the least cost.
I do not know
the meaning of the universe. But in the midst of doubt, in the collapse
of creeds, there is one thing I do not doubt, that no man who lives in
the same world with most of us can doubt, and that is that the faith is
true and adorable which leads a soldier to throw away his life in
obedience to a blindly accepted duty, in a cause which he little
understands, in a plan of campaign of which he has little notion, under
tactics of which he does not see the use.
Most men who
know battle know the cynic force with which the thoughts of common
sense will assail them in times of stress; but they know that in their
greatest moments faith has trampled those thoughts under foot. If you
wait in line, suppose on Tremont Street Mall, ordered simply to wait
and do nothing, and have watched the enemy bring their guns to bear
upon you down a gentle slope like that of Beacon Street, have seen the
puff of the firing, have felt the burst of the spherical case-shot as
it came toward you, have heard and seen the shrieking fragments go
tearing through your company, and have known that the next or the next
shot carries your fate; if you have advanced in line and have seen
ahead of you the spot you must pass where the rifle bullets are
striking; if you have ridden at night at a walk toward the blue line of
fire at the dead angle of Spottsylvania, where for twenty-four hours
the soldiers were fighting on the two sides of an earthwork, and in the
morning the dead and dying lay piled in a row six deep, and as you rode
you heard the bullets splashing in the mud and earth about you; if you
have been in the picket-line at night in a black and unknown wood, have
heard the splat of the bullets upon the trees, and as you moved have
felt your foot slip upon a dead man's body; if you have had a blind
fierce gallop against the enemy, with your blood up and a pace that
left no time for fear --if, in short, as some, I hope many, who hear
me, have known, you have known the vicissitudes of terror and triumph
in war; you know that there is such a thing as the faith I spoke of.
You know your own weakness and are modest; but you know that man has in
him that unspeakable somewhat which makes him capable of miracle, able
to lift himself by the might of his own soul, unaided, able to face
annihilation for a blind belief.
On the eve of Memorial Day, 1931, at the age of 90, Mr. Justice Holmes wrote to a friend:
"I shall go out to Arlington tomorrow,
Memorial Day, and visit the gravestone with my name and my wife's on
it, and be stirred by the military music, and, instead of bothering
about the Unknown Soldier shall go to another stone that tells beneath
it are the bones of, I don't remember the number but two or three
thousand and odd, once soldiers gathered from the Virginia fields after
the Civil War. I heard a woman say there once, 'They gave their all.
They gave their very names.' Later perhaps some people will come in to
Justice Holmes died on March 6, 1935, two days short of his 94th
birthday, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. So spry and
alert was he, right up to the end, that it's said that one day, when he
was in his nineties, he saw an attractive young woman and said, "Oh, to
be seventy again!"
A 1951 Hollywood motion picture, The Magnificent Yankee, was based on his life.
*********** Several years ago, I visited the First Division (Big Red
One) Museum in Wheaton, Illinois, where I read these lines, and thought
of all the Americans who died in service of their country - men who in
the memories of those they left behind will be forever young...
If you are able
Save a place for them inside of you,
And save one backward glance
When you are leaving for places
They can no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say you loved them,
Though you may or may not always have.
Take what they have left
And what they have taught you with their dying,
And keep it with your own.
And in that time when men feel safe
To call the war insane,
Take one moment to embrace these gentle heroes
You left behind.
by Major Michael D. O'Donnell...
shortly before being killed in action in Vietnam, 1970
***********After graduation from Harvard in 1910, Alan Seeger lived the
life of a bohemian/beatnik/ hippie poet in New York City's Greenwich
Village. In 1914, he moved to Paris, and when war with Germany
broke out, like a number of other young Americans, he joined the
French Foreign Legion to fight with the Allies. On July 4, 1916, nine
months before America joined the war on the side of the Allies,
he was killed in the Battle of the Somme. He was 28. A year after his
death, his poems were published. The best known of his poems was
"I Have a Rendezvous With Death," which according to the JFK Library,
"was one of President Kennedy's favorite poems.
I Have a Rendezvous with Death
By Alan Seeger
I HAVE a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.
It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.
God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.
*********** Poppies once symbolized the Great War, or The World War, or
- The War to End All Wars (so-called because, in the conceit that seems to follow
every war, people just knew that after the horror of that
conflict, mankind would do anything in its power to avoid ever going to
Following the World War, Americans began to observe the week
leading up to Memorial Day as Poppy Week, and long after the World War
ended, veterans' organizations in America, Australia and other nations
which had fought in the war sold imitation poppies every year at
this time to raise funds to assist disabled veterans.
It was largely because of a poem by a Canadian surgeon, Major John
McCrae, that the poppy, which burst into bloom all over the once-bloody
battlefields of northern Europe, came to symbolize the rebirth of life
following the tragedy of war.
After having spent seventeen days hearing the screams and dealing with
the suffering of men wounded in the bloody battle at Ypres, in Flanders
(a part of Belgium) in the spring of 1915, Major McCrae wrote, "I wish
I could embody on paper some of the varied sensations of that seventeen
days... Seventeen days of Hades! At the end of the first day if anyone
had told us we had to spend seventeen days there, we would have folded
our hands and said it could not have been done."
Major McCrae was especially affected by the death of a close friend and
former student. Following his burial - at which, in the absence of a
chaplain, Major McCrae himself had had to preside - the Major sat in
the back of an ambulance and, gazing out at the wild poppies growing in
a nearby cemetery, composed a poem, scribbling the words in a notebook.
When he was done, though, he discarded it. Only through the efforts of
a fellow officer, who rescued it and sent it to newspapers in England,
was it ever published.
Now, the poem, "In Flanders Fields", is considered perhaps the greatest of all wartime poems.
The special significance of the poppies is that poppy seeds can lie
dormant in the ground for years, only flowering when the soil has been
The soil of northern Belgium had been so churned up by the violence of
war that at the time Major McCrae wrote his poem, the poppies were said
to be blossoming in a profusion that no one could remember ever
having seen before.
In Flanders Fields... by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
*********** Robert W. Service is one of my favorite poets. I especially
like his poems about the Alaska Gold Rush - who hasn't ever heard "The
Cremation of Sam McGee?" - but this one, about a young English
soldier going off to fight in World War I, and the grief of his father
at learning of his death, is heartbreaking, and especially poignant on
a day when we remember our people who gave everything, and the loved
ones they left behind..
"Where are you going, Young Fellow My Lad, On this glittering morn of May?"
"I'm going to join the Colours, Dad; They're looking for men, they say."
"But you're only a boy, Young Fellow My Lad; You aren't obliged to go."
"I'm seventeen and a quarter, Dad, And ever so strong, you know."
"So you're off to France, Young Fellow My Lad, And you're looking so fit and bright."
"I'm terribly sorry to leave you, Dad, But I feel that I'm doing right."
"God bless you and keep you, Young Fellow My Lad, You're all of my life, you know."
"Don't worry. I'll soon be back, dear Dad, And I'm awfully proud to go."
"Why don't you write, Young Fellow My Lad? I watch for the post each day;
And I miss you so, and I'm awfully sad, And it's months since you went away.
And I've had the fire in the parlour lit, And I'm keeping it burning bright
Till my boy comes home; and here I sit Into the quiet night."
"What is the matter, Young Fellow My Lad? No letter again to-day.
Why did the postman look so sad, And sigh as he turned away?
I hear them tell that we've gained new ground, But a terrible price we've paid:
God grant, my boy, that you're safe and sound; But oh I'm afraid, afraid."
"They've told me the truth, Young Fellow My Lad: You'll never come back again:
(OH GOD! THE DREAMS AND THE DREAMS I'VE HAD, AND THE HOPES I'VE NURSED IN VAIN!)
For you passed in the night, Young Fellow My Lad, And you proved in the cruel test
Of the screaming shell and the battle hell That my boy was one of the best.
"So you'll live, you'll live, Young Fellow My Lad, In the gleam of the evening star,
In the wood-note wild and the laugh of the child, In all sweet things that are.
And you'll never die, my wonderful boy, While life is noble and true;
For all our beauty and hope and joy We will owe to our lads like you."
*********** Hugh Brodie, an Australian, enlisted in the Royal
Australian Air Force in Melbourne on 15 September 1940. In 1942,
Sergeant Brodie was listed Missing in Action. Before he left us,
though, he wrote "A Sergeant's Prayer"
Almighty and all present Power,
Short is the prayer I make to Thee,
I do not ask in battle hour
For any shield to cover me.
The vast unalterable way,
From which the stars do not depart
May not be turned aside to stay
The bullet flying to my heart.
I ask no help to strike my foe,
I seek no petty victory here,
The enemy I hate, I know,
To Thee is also dear.
But this I pray, be at my side
When death is drawing through the sky.
Almighty God who also died
Teach me the way that I should die.
*********** Like many other phenomena in life, history has a tendency
to be fickle. In 2001, some thirty-four years after the Battle of Ông
Thanh, and the subsequent withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam in
1973, which was followed by the "honorable peace" that saw the North
Vietnamese army conquer South Vietnam in 1975 in violation of the Paris
Peace Accords, most historians, as well as a large majority of the
American people, may consider the U.S. involvement in Vietnam a
disastrous and tragic waste and a time of shame in U.S. history.
Consider, however, the fact that since the late 1940s, the Soviet Union
was the greatest single threat to U.S. security. Yet for forty years,
war between the Soviet Union and the United States was averted. Each
time a Soviet threat surfaced during that time (Greece, Turkey, Korea,
Berlin, Cuba, Vietnam, and Afghanistan), although it may have been in
the form of a "war of national liberation," as the Vietnam war was
characterized, the United States gave the Soviet Union the distinct
message that each successive threat would not be a Soviet walkover. In
fact, the Soviets were stunned by the U.S. reactions in both Korea and
Vietnam. They shook their heads, wondering what interest a great power
like the United States could have in those two godforsaken countries.
They thought: "These Americans are crazy. They have nothing to gain;
and yet they fight and lose thousands of men over nothing. They are
irrational." Perhaps history in the long-term--two hundred or three
hundred years from now--will say that the western democracies, led by
the United States, survived in the world, and their philosophy of
government of the people, by the people, for the people continues to
survive today (in 2301) in some measure due to resolute sacrifices made
in the mid-twentieth century by men like those listed in the last
chapter of this book. Then the words of Lord Byron, as quoted in this
book's preface, will not ring hollow, but instead they will inspire
other men and women of honor in the years to come.
From "The Beast was Out There", by Brigadier General James Shelton, USA (Ret.)
Jim Shelton is a former Delaware football player (a wing-T guard) who
served in Korea and Vietnam and as a combat infantryman rose to the
rank of General. He was in Viet Nam on that fateful day in October,
1967 when Don Holleder was killed. Ironically, he had competed against
Don Holleder in college.
Now retired, he has served as Colonel of the Black Lions and was
instrumental in the establishment of the Black Lion Award for young
American football players. General Shelton personally signs every Black
Lions Award certificate.
The title of his book is taken from Captain Jim Kasik's description of
the enemy: "the beast was out there, and the beast was hungry."
*********** He's now dead and gone, but George Jones' music will
live on. His "50,000 NAMES" - a tribute to the 58,000 Americans who
died in Vietnam - may be THE American Memorial Day song.
(Warning - this could make you cry.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpBiVpSggNs
ON MEMORIAL DAY, I ESPECIALLY
HONOR THE MEN OF THE BLACK LIONS, AND DON HOLLEDER, FORMER ARMY
ALL-AMERICAN, WHO DIED IN THE VIETNAM JUNGLE IN THE BATTLE OF ONG
THANH, OCTOBER 17, 1967
K I A ... Adkins, Donald W....
Allen, Terry... Anderson, Larry M.... Barker, Gary L.... Blackwell,
James L., Jr.... Bolen, Jackie Jr. ... Booker, Joseph O. ... Breeden,
Clifford L. Jr ... Camero, Santos... Carrasco, Ralph ... Chaney, Elwood
D. Jr... Cook, Melvin B.... Crites, Richard L.... Crutcher, Joe A.
...... Dodson, Wesley E.... Dowling, Francis E.... Durham, Harold B. Jr
... Dye, Edward P. ... East, Leon N.... Ellis, Maurice S.... Familiare,
Anthony ... Farrell, Michael J. ...Fuqua, Robert L. Jr. ...Gallagher,
Michael J. ...Garcia, Arturo ...Garcia, Melesso ...Gilbert, Stanley D.
...Gilbertson, Verland ...Gribble, Ray N. ...Holleder, Donald W.
...Jagielo, Allen D. ...Johnson, Willie C. Jr ...Jones, Richard W.
...Krischie, John D. ...Lancaster, James E. ...Larson, James E.
...Lincoln, Gary G. ...Lovato, Joe Jr. ...Luberta, Andrew P.
...Megiveron, Emil G. ...Miller, Michael M. ...Moultrie, Joe D.
...Nagy, Robert J. ...Ostroff, Steven L. ...Platosz, Walter ...Plier,
Eugene J. ...Porter, Archie ...Randall, Garland J. ...Reece, Ronney D.
...Reilly, Allan V. ...Sarsfield, Harry C. ...Schroder, Jack W.
...Shubert, Jackie E. ...Sikorski, Daniel ...Smith, Luther ...Thomas,
Theodore D. Jr. ...Tizzio, Pasquale T. ...Wilson, Kenneth P. .... M I A
... Fitzgerald, Paul ...Hargrove, Olin Jr
A TRIBUTE TO DONALD WALTER HOLLEDER UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY
CLASS OF 1956 - THE MAN WHOSE STORY INSPIRED THE BLACK LION AWARD...
By retired Air Force General Perry Smith (Don Holleder's West Point classmate, roommate and best man)
"If you doubt the axiom, 'An aggressive leader is priceless,' ...if you
prefer the air arm to the infantry in football, if you are not
convinced we recruited cadet-athletes of superior leadership potential,
then you must hear the story of Donald Walter Holleder. The saga of
Holleder stands unique in Army and, perhaps, all college gridiron
lore." Hence begins the chapter, "You are my quarterback", in Coach Red
Blaik's 1960 book, You Have to Pay the Price. Every cadet in the
classes of 1956, 57, 58 and 59, and everyone who was part of the Army
family at West Point and throughout the world will remember, even 50
years after the fact, the "Great Experiment". But there is much more to
the Holleder story. .
Holly was born and brought up in a tight knit Catholic family in
upstate New York. He was an only child whose father died when Don was
quite young. Doc Blanchard recruited high school All American Holleder
who entered the Point just a few days after he graduated from Aquinas
Institute in Rochester. Twice turned out for academic difficulties, he
struggled mightily to stay in the Corps. However as a cadet leader he
excelled, serving as a cadet captain and company commander of M-2 his
Of course, it was in the field of athletics that Don is best known.
Never a starter on the basketball team, he nevertheless got playing
time as a forward who brought rebounding strength to a team that beat a
heavily favored Navy team in the early spring of 1954. That fall, the
passing combination of Vann to Holleder quickly caught the attention of
the college football world. No one who watched those games will ever
forget Holly going deep and leaping into the air to grab a perfectly
thrown bomb from Peter Vann. Don was a consensus first team All
American that year as a junior.
Three football defeats in 1955 after Holly's conversion to quarterback
brought criticism of Coach Blaik and Don from many quarters but the
dramatic Army victory over Navy, 14 to 6 brought redemption. Shortly
thereafter, Holly received the Swede Nelson award for sportsmanship.
The fact that he had given up all chances of becoming a two time
all-American and a candidate for the Heisman trophy and he did so
without protest or complaint played heavily in the decision by the
Nelson committee to select him for this prestigious award.
Holly's eleven year career in the Army included the normal schools at
Benning and Leavenworth, company command in Korea, coaching and
recruiting at West Point and serving as the commanding general's aide
at Fortress Monroe. After graduating from Command and General Staff
College, he was off to Vietnam.
Arriving in July, 1967, Holly was assigned to the Big Red One--the
First Infantry Division-- and had considerable combat experience before
that tragic day in the fall--October 17. Lieutenant Colonel Terry
Allen's battalion was ambushed and overrun--the troops on the ground
were is desperate shape. Holleder was serving as the operations officer
of the 28th Brigade--famous Black Lions. Hearing the anguished radio
calls for help from the soldiers on the ground, Holly convinced his
brigade commander that he had to get on the ground to help. Jumping out
of his helicopter, Holly rallied some troops and raced toward the spot
where the wounded soldiers were fighting.
The Newsweek article a few days after his death tells what happened
next. "With the Viet Cong firing from two sides, the U. S. troops now
began retreating pell-mell back to their base camp, carrying as many of
their wounded as they could, The medic Tom "Doc" Hinger was among those who
staggered out of the bush and headed across an open marshy plain toward
the base, 200 meters away. But on the way he ran into big, forceful
Major Donald W. Holleder, 33, an All-American football player at West
Point..., going the other way--toward the scene of the battle.
Holleder, operations officer for the brigade, had not been in the fight
until now. ' Come on Doc, he shouted to Hinger, 'There are still
wounded in there. I need your help.'
"Hinger said later: 'I was exhausted. But having never seen such a
commander, I ran after him. What an officer! He went on ahead of
us--literally running to the point position'. Then a burst of fire from
the trees caught Holleder. 'He was hit in the shoulder recalled Hinger.
'I started to patch him up, but he died in my arms.' The medic added he
had been with Holleder for only three minutes, but would remember the
Major's gallantry for the rest of his life." Holly died as he lived:
the willingness to make great sacrifices prevailed to the minute of his
Caroline was left a young widow. She later married our West Point
classmate, Ernie Ruffner, who became a loving husband and father to the
four Holleder daughters. All the daughters are happily married and
there are eight wonderful and loving grandchildren.
The legacy of Donald Walter Holleder will remain an important part of
the West Point story forever. The Holleder Army Reserve Center in
Webster, New York, the Holleder Parkway in Rochester and the Holleder
Athletic Center at West Point all help further Don's legacy. In 1985,
Holly was inducted into College Football Hall of Fame. A 2003 best
selling book, They Marched into Sunlight, by David Maraniss tells the
story of Holleder and the Black Lions. Tom Hanks has purchased the film
rights to the book.
An innovative high school coach, Hugh Wyatt, decide to further
memorialize Don's legacy by establishing the Black Lion Award. Each
year at hundreds of high schools, middle schools and youth football
programs across the country, a single football player on each team is
selected "who best exemplifies the character of Don Holleder:
leadership, courage, devotion to duty, self-sacrifice, and--above
all--an unselfish concern for his team ahead of himself." Starting in
2005, this award is presented to a member of the Army football team
Anyone who wishes to extend Holleder's legacy can do so by approaching
their local football coaches and encouraging them to make the Black
Lion Award a part of their tradition. Coach Hugh Wyatt can be contacted
by e mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
All West Pointers can be proud of Donald Walter Holleder; for him there
were no impossible dreams, only challenges to seek out and to conquer.
Forty years after his death thousands of friends and millions of fans
still remember him and salute him for his character and supreme courage.
By Retired Air Force General Perry
Smith, classmate and roommate, with great assistance from Don's family
members, Stacey Jones and Ernie Ruffner, classmates, Jerry Amlong,
Peter Vann and JJ McGinn, and battlefield medic, Doc Hinger.
*********** "Major Holleder overflew the area (under attack) and saw a
whole lot of Viet Cong and many American soldiers, most wounded, trying
to make their way our of the ambush area. He landed and headed straight
into the jungle, gathering a few soldiers to help him go get the
wounded. A sniper's shot killed him before he could get very far. He
was a risk-taker who put the common good ahead of himself, whether it
was giving up a position in which he had excelled or putting himself in
harm's way in an attempt to save the lives of his men. My contact with
Major Holleder was very brief and occured just before he was killed,
but I have never forgotten him and the sacrifice he made. On a day when
acts of heroism were the rule, rather than the exception, his stood
Black Lions medic Dave Berry
*********** A YOUNG MAN'S REMEMBRANCES OF DON HOLLEDER...
In 1954-55 I lived at West Point N.Y. where my father was stationed as
a member of the staff at the United States Military Academy.
Don Holleder was an All American end on the Red Blaik coached Army
football team which was a perennial eastern gridiron power in 40s and
50s. On Fall days I would run home from the post school, drop off my
books, and head directly to the Army varsity practice field which
overlooked the Hudson River and was only a short sprint from my house.
Army had a number of outstanding players on the roster back then, but
my focus was on Don Holleder, our All-America end turned quarterback in
a controversial position change that had sportswriters and Army fans
buzzing throughout the college football community that year.
Don looked like a hero, tall, square jawed, almost stately in his
appearance. He practiced like he played, full out all the time. He was
the obvious leader of the team in addition to being its best athlete
In 1955 it was common for star players to play both sides of the ball
and Don was no exception delivering the most punishing tackles in
practice as well as game situations. At the end of practice the Army
players would walk past the parade ground (The Plain), then past my
house and into the Arvin Gymnasium where the team's locker room was
Very often I would take that walk stride for stride with Don and the
team and best of all, Don would sometimes let me carry his helmet. It
was gold with a black stripe down the middle and had the most wonderful
smell of sweat and leather. Inside the helmet suspension was taped a
sweaty number 16, Don's jersey number.
While Don's teammates would talk and laugh among themselves in typical
locker room banter, Don would ask me about school, show me how to grip
the ball and occasionally chide his buddies if the joking ever got
bawdy in front of "the little guy". On Saturdays I lived and died with
Don's exploits on the field in Michie Stadium.
In his senior year Don's picture graced the cover of Sports Illustrated
magazine and he led Army to a winning season culminating in a stirring
victory over Navy in front of 100,000 fans in Philadelphia. During that
incredible year I don't ever remember Don not taking time to talk to me
and patiently answer my boyish questions about the South Carolina or
Michigan defense ("I'll bet they don't have anybody as fast as you,
Don graduated with his class in June 1956 and was assigned to the 25th
Infantry Division in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Coincidentally, my Dad
was also assigned to the 25th at the same time so I got to watch Don
quarterback the 14th Infantry Regiment football team to the Division
championship in 1957.
There was one major drawback to all of Don's football-gained notoriety
- he wanted no part of it. He wanted to be a soldier and an infantry
leader. But division recreational football was a big deal in the Army
back then and for someone with Don's college credentials not to play
was unheard of.
In the first place players got a lot of perks for representing their
Regiment, not to mention hero status with the chain of command.
Nevertheless, Don wanted to trade his football helmet for a steel pot
and finally, with the help of my Dad, he succeeded in retiring from
competitive football and getting on with his military profession.
It came as no surprise to anyone who knew Don that he was a natural
leader of men in arms, demanding yet compassionate, dedicated to his
men and above all fearless. Sure enough after a couple of TO&E
infantry tours his reputation as a soldier matched his former prowess
as an athlete.
It was this reputation that won him the favor of the Army brass and he
soon found himself as an Aide-de-camp to the four star commander of the
Continental Army Command in beautiful Ft Monroe, Virginia.
With the Viet Nam War escalating and American combat casualties
increasing every day, Ft Monroe would be a great place to wait out the
action and still promote one's Army career - a high-profile job with a
four star senior rater, safely distanced from the conflict in southeast
Once again, Don wanted no part of this safe harbor and respectfully
lobbied his boss, General Hugh P. Harris to get him to Troops in Viet
Nam. Don got his wish but not very long after arriving at the First
Division he was killed attempting to lead a relief column to wounded
comrades caught in a Viet Cong ambush.
I remember the day I found out about Don's death. I was in the barber's
chair at The Citadel my sophomore year when General Harris (Don's old
boss at Ft Monroe, now President of The Citadel) walked over to me and
motioned me outside.
He knew Don was a friend of mine and sought me out to tell me that he
was KIA. It was one of the most defining moments of my life. As I stood
there in front of the General the tears welled up in my eyes and I said
"No, please, sir. Don't say that." General Harris showed no emotion and
I realized that he had experienced this kind of hurt too many times to
let it show. "Biff", he said, "Don died doing his duty and serving his
country. He had alternatives but wouldn't have it any other way. We
will always be proud of him, Biff."
With that, he turned and walked away. As I watched him go I didn't know
the truth of his parting words. I shed tears of both pride and sorrow
that day in 1967, just as I am doing now, 34 years later, as I write
this remembrance. In my mind's eye I see Don walking with his teammates
after practice back at West Point, their football cleats making that
signature metallic clicking on concrete as they pass my house at the
edge of the parade ground; he was a leader among leaders.
As I have been writing this, I periodically looked up at the November
28, 1955 Sports Illustrated cover which hangs on my office wall, to
make sure I'm not saying anything Don wouldn't approve of, but he's
smiling out from under that beautiful gold helmet and thinking about
the Navy game. General Harris was right. We will always be proud of Don
Holleder, my boyhood hero...
Biff Messinger, Mountainville, New York, 2001
*********** A retired Navy captain wrote in the Wall Street
Journal about the strict criteria for awarding the Medal of Honor
(frequently called the Congressional Medal of Honor)...
"Remember the Marine Corps requirement: Fall on a hand grenade to save
your fellow Marines and the grenade fails to explode, you get a Navy
Cross; if the grenade explodes, you might get the Medal of Honor."
The Medal of Honor was meant to be awarded sparingly, Of the
hundreds of thousands of men who fought in in our Twentieth Century
wars, here are the numbers of Medals of Honor Awarded:
WW I 124
WW II 464
There were 1522 Medals of Honor awarded as a result of Civil War.
Actually, there were more than that, but over 900 were
One reason was that in the Civil War, the Medal of Honor was the only medal
awarded for valor. Another reason was the enormous number of casualties suffered in that war.
*********** Other nations lost men in the same wars we did, and they, too, honor their men who gave all, in poem and song.
Sad? Ohmigod. What can be sadder than the loss of a young man, one of a country's finest, in a distant war?
One such song is known by some as "No Man's Land" and by others as "The Green
Fields of France" - but either way it's a sad lament about a young
soldier named Willie McBride, killed in battle in 1916 while still a teenager.
Trigger warning: This is VERY sad.
Another very sad ballad, "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda," is the story of
a young Australian sent off to fight in World War I. He was shipped
off to Gallipoli where thousands of "Anzacs" (Australians and New
Zealanders) were slaughtered by Turkish machine-gun fire. (I highly
recommend the movie, "Gallipoli")
he escaped death, his legs were blown off, and his story in the
song is told from the perspective of a now-old man.
Trigger warning: So is this..
*********** Trophies for everybody. There was a time when most
Americans knew why we put aside one day a year called Memorial Day
- to honor, to memorialize, those who lost their lives in service
of their country.
Not, as the 60 or so people who bought paid ads in our local paper seem
to think, to remember some loved one who never died in battle - never
even served in the Armed Forces, for that matter - but simply did what
we’re all destined to do one day. Died. I hate to ruin
their holiday by telling them that Memorial Day is not about
remembering Aunt Clara, but somebody's got to.
There are other days for that.
And there are also other days for saying “thank you for your service”
to veterans or active duty personnel. 364 others, if you’re
really sincere. And there's a special one, called Veterans’ Day,
when our nation honors and thanks its veterans.
Oh, well. Come to think of it: is there even one holiday - one single
holiday - that hasn’t been given another meaning, one often more
significant now than the original one?
New Year’s Day - Bowl Games
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday - It’s still too new a national holiday to tell what the public will do with it
Presidents’ Day - Sale! Sale! Sale! (Used to be two separate holidays.
Now, few school kids could tell you which presidents it refers to.)
St. Patrick’s Day - Scarcely observed in Ireland, it’s a massive drunk in much of the US
Easter - Bunnies and Easter eggs. Spring Break.
Mother’s Day - This is the one that stands out. If anything, it's
grown stronger. Traditionally, this was the day when the phone
company’s circuits failed. Do NOT schedule anything else on this
day. Do NOT get drunk.
Cinco de Mayo - A holiday that means nothing in Mexico has been turned into a Hispanic St. Patrick’s Day
Memorial Day - The start of summer; the Indy 500
July 4 - Fireworks and beer and hot dogs (And baseball double headers, for those old enough to remember.)
Labor Day - The end of summer; the start of college football
Veterans Day - Used to be called Armistice Day, when we celebrated the end of a horrible world war
Hallowe’en - Used to be for kids to go trick-or-treating. Now, that’s
no longer safe, but no matter, kiddies - adult partiers have made
it the second-biggest beer sales day of the year
Thanksgiving - Don’t you mean “Turkey Day?” The only time the Lions are on national TV?
Christmas - The “holiday” in “Happy Holidays.” aka "Winter Holiday."
*********** In this past weekend’s Wall Street Journal, a writer
named Jerry Ciancolo urges us, the next time we pass a War
Memorial with the names of dead Americans on it, to stop - and
“Touch the names of those who never came home.”
He asks that we dispense with referring to “hollow abstractions” such as “ultimate sacrifices,” and to think in everyday terms.
Many of those young guys, he reminds us...
set foot on campus. They never straightened a tie and headed to a
first real job. They never slipped a ring on a sweetheart’s finger.
They never swelled with hope turning the key to a starter home.
They never nestled an infant against a bare chest. They never
roughhoused in the living room with an exasperated wife looking on.
They never tiptoed to lay out Santa’s toys. They never dabbed a
tear while walking their princess down the aisle. They never toasted
their son’s promotion. They never rekindled their love as empty
nesters. They never heard a new generation cry out, “I love you,
lifetime of big and little moments never happened because of a bullet
to the body one day in a far-off land. For those who crumpled to
the ground, the tapestry of life was left unknit.
moment’s reflection is all it takes to realize that every name on your
town’s monument was a real person. One who bicycled the same
streets as you, who sleepily delivered the morning Gazette, who was
kept after school for cutting up, who sneaked a smoke out back, who
cannon-balled into the local pond in the dog days of summer.
Memorial Day - with your smartphone turned off - pay a visit to your
local monument. Quietly stand before the honor roll of the dead,
whisper a word of thanks, and gently run your finger across their
names. The touch will be comforting.
For nine years, we lived in Western Maryland, first in Frederick, then
in Hagerstown, and one of our favorite things to do with our kids was
to pile in our van and drive to Antietam Battlefield, just 20 miles
wasn’t that far away, either, and we went there a few times, but
Gettysburg was usually crowded and, well, Gettysburg is cluttered.
Every unit that ever fought there, every state that ever had units that
fought there, seemingly every family that had a soldier who ever fought
there, has erected a monument somewhere on the battlefield, to the
point where it’s very difficult to picture what things must have looked
like in 1863. Throw in souvenir shops and similar catchpennies
that await the throngs of tourists, and…well, let's just say that
Gettysburg is being loved to death.
And then there’s
Antietam, site of the bloodiest single day of the war, where a Union
victory gave Abraham Lincoln the chance he had been looking for to
announce the emancipation of slaves - well, in the Confederate States,
at least. A symbolic gesture, true, but an enormous gesture - one
that brought to an end the claim that the war was being fought just to
“save the union” - from that point it was just as much to end slavery.
My wife and I paid another visit to Antietam last week, but this one
seemed especially poignant, coming so close to memorial Day.
battlefield is just outside the lovely old town of Sharpsburg,
Maryland. Southerners called it the Battle of Sharpsburg,
Northerners “Antietam” because of the creek that flows through the
area. (Southerners named battles for nearby towns, northerners for
nearby geographic features, e.g., Manassas is better known as Bull Run.
Winners, as we know, write the history.)
looks, with the exception of the paved road running through it, much as
it would have in 1862, and although it may have an ice cream parlor or
two, it has not succumbed to commercialization. Neither has the nearby,
slightly larger town of Boonsboro.
itself is beautiful, rolling Maryland farmland, nestled against the
western slope of South Mountain. Although marked with a few
columns and statues and informative signs here and there, it has for
the most part been spared the pressure to honor everyone who ever
fought there, and as a result, it’s possible to tour the area and see
it just as it might have looked in 1862 - right before all hell broke
No place is the
contrast between the bucolic peacefulness of the countryside and the
butchery that took place there greater than at the Sunken Road, a
wagon lane between two fields worn down by years of use.
Confederates entrenched in the sunken road, fence posts piled up on
both sides to reinforce their position, Union forces attacked, and
after three hours of fighting - to no conclusion - more than 5,500 men
on both sides were either killed or wounded.
My photo was
taken on Monday, May 18. It was beautiful and peaceful, the way
it's been, with one brief interruption, for hundreds of years, and I
found it impossible to picture the horror that took place there more
than 150 years before, along that quarter-mile stretch of road that has
been known ever since as Bloody Lane.
FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2015- “It
is not the proper role of the university to attempt to shield
individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable
or even deeply offensive." MItch Daniels, Purdue University President
It was inevitable, I suppose, but on YouTube these days, you can find
quite a few of the great games as they were broadcast.
Pepper and Homer's last
game against USC. You can open Installing Football's Wishbone T
Offense and follow along as the game progresses. Virtually the
UCLA beats Ohio State. Remember John Sciarra?
demolishes Oklahoma. Here again, you can open Holtz's The
Offensive Side of Lou Holtz and find any play on the TeeVee, chapter
How much disk space do you have?
Crystal River, Flor
John Sciarra. Mark Harmon. Ron Calcagni.
The list goes on.
The way the cost of storage keeps coming down, I could afford to download that stuff
At just about this time 40 years ago, I flew west to start work
with the Portland Thunder, in my second go-round with the World
Football League. My wife and kids weren’t able to join me until
school was out in Maryland, where we were living, and their drive
across the country in our VW minibus - my wife, four kids, a dog and a
cat - is a story in itself.
had high hopes that this time the WFL was going to make it, but I
didn’t have any illusions: I had already seen the league fold under me
once, leaving me and a couple hundred coaches and front-office people
and assorted other workers jobless, and I had my eyes open this
time. Sort of. My boss-to-be, Bob Brodhead, had solid NFL experience,
and he was in demand by a number of WFL franchises. He was
talking seriously to ownership groups in Jacksonville, San Antonio and
Portland. I’d been to all three cities the year before, and
although I liked them all, Portland had blown me away. Of all three
places, I told Bob, Portland was the place I wanted to be if the league
ran out of gas. I don’t know if that made any difference with Bob
(and I would have gladly gone with him to any one of the three cities),
but he wound up choosing Portland, and the decision had a huge impact
on my life and that of my wife and kids.
my first-ever trip to Portland, in 1974, I was of course impressed by
the beauty of the surroundings - the trees, the mountains, the
river. But what really did it for me was the summer weather.
Having grown up in hot, muggy Philadelphia, and then having lived in
hot, muggy Maryland, the most amazing thing to me was that while the
temperature was in the 90s, it just didn’t seem uncomfortable. It
was my first real experience with hot weather without the humidity, and
after growing up in the steamy East and never realizing that it wasn’t
that way everywhere, it sold me on living there.)
*********** We just returned from a week-long trip back East.
Its purpose was a clinic/camp, one that I decided on rather late, after
a winter-spring of assorted events conspired to make me cancel this
year’s normal clinic schedule.
A secondary purpose, since my wife and I are originally from the
Philadelphia area and we lived for the first 15 years of our married
lives in Maryland, was a chance to visit some old friends and some old,
familiar places. And eat some old familiar foods.
We flew into Philadelphia, with a change go planes in Chicago.
Note to Nebraska athletic department: that may have been your
track team in Midway Airport last Wednesday. I’m not sure,
because normally, when I see teams on their way to an event, they’re
dressed in team attire. My guess is that for Christmas, this group of
young, athletic looking people each received a different item of
clothing saying “Nebraska Track.” That had to be the case,
because no one was wearing a complete Nebraska sweat suit, and I doubt
that any two people were wearing matching outfits. My wife’s comment
said it all for me: “What a motley-looking crew.” I actually
tried calling the NU athletic office to report that a large mob was
moving through an airport posing as their track team, but I got one of
those “your call is important to us” messages, so screw them.
Maybe I should have called the football office to tell them to send the
track team even more of their money so they can actually look like they
represent a real Big Ten university.
Our first stop in Philly after picking up our rental car is on York
Road in Abington, a northern suburb where my wife grew up. We go back
and forth - Lee’s Hoagies? or Steak and Hoagie Factory? They’re both
A hoagie, a cheese steak, and a six-pack of Yuengling’s, and we’re set for dinner back in our hotel room.
The next day, I had lunch with three high school classmates, all of
them football teammates. Two of the guys, Hap Gwynn and Mike
Carrozza, have taken on the challenge of getting our unbeaten 1955 team
inducted into the school’s sports hall of fame. Good luck.
Shortly after we graduated, a generous gift of land from the publisher
of one of Philadelphia’s newspapers, enabled the school, Germantown
Academy, to move from its location in the congested, declining
Germantown section - where it had been since 1760 - to a distant
beautiful, leafy location far out of the city, in Fort
Washington. Part of the deal, though, was that in addition to the
move, the school would admit girls.
Done. Welcome, ladies.
We loved our school and we opposed the changes, but in reality, they
enabled our school to take giant bounds forward from the middle-class
private school we knew to the first-class prep school that exists
today. I’m fairly certain that if Germantown Academy had remained
in Germantown itself, the school would have gone bankrupt long ago.
Sports hall of fame? If it matters to anyone (it doesn’t to me)
we’re fighting the battle of the sexes combined with the perception
that we weren’t even wearing helmets back then and besides, who cares
about something that happened way back in the last century?
I mean, there’s already been a girls’ cross country team inducted.
Then there’s this Germantown vs. Fort Washington thing.
a history of sports that dates back to its first football game in 1887,
there has only been one team admitted to the school hall of fame from
the Germantown, all-male days - the 1952 football team (which may have
been the best in the city).
The photo at left is from the 1929 game against archrival Penn Charter,
the 33rd consecutive game between them. Begun back in 1887, GA-PC is
the oldest uninterrupted high school rivalry in the country.
￼Meantime a championship girls’ cross country team is in.
(The best treatment of the impermanence of fame - and one of my
all-time favorite books - is Philip Roth’s “The Great American Novel,”
a hilarious story of an elderly sports writer, spending his last days
in some old folks’ home, whose recollections of an ill-fated Patriot
League and a baseball team called the Ruppert Mundys, right down to the
smallest quirks of every man on the team, are as real as yesterday too
him, but to those around him simply the babblings of an old fart who’s
lost his marbles.)
On Friday I stopped off at a Fedex Kinko to get some handouts printed
for the clinic, and, this being Philadelphia, it didn’t take long to
get a sports conversation going.
I handed my materials to the guy behind the desk, and he took a look
and said, “Looks like you got a lot of running plays, Coach.”
Which led to my discovery that he’d played high school football at
Roman Catholic High and then played a year or two at Temple before
injuring his knee.
Another guy jumped in and we got going on Blair Thomas, who’d played at
his high school (Frankford High) and then Penn State, was the Jets’
first round pick, and played six years in the NFL.
And then we got to Rasheed Wallace, another Philly guy, and they were
really excited when I told them I was from Portland, where “Sheed" got
From there my wife and I drove west, to the town of Wrightsville,
where the clinic was to take place at Eastern York High School.
We drove along Route 30, through the so-called “Dutch Country” around
Lancaster. Do NOT say LANN-caster. There, it is
LANG-kister. (“Pennsylvania Dutch,” we Pennsylvanians were always
taught, was a corruption of “Pennsylvania Deutsch,” and I can remember
not so long ago when many people in the area spoke a German dialect.
It is very cool to drive the back roads and see farming still being
done by horses and mules. And - if you’re not in a hurry - to be held
up on those same roads by horse-drawn buggies. This is one of the few
places in th country where you can still see “road apples” on the
roads. The Amish and other Plain People stick to their old ways, but a
few of them have figured out that city folks will pay money for rides
in real Pennsylvania Dutch buggies.
If you only take one trip to this area in your life, you have to make
sure to visit Intercourse. That’s Intercourse, Pennsylvania. It was
once called Cross Keys, but I can picture the town council meeting when
Mr. Stoltzfuss stood up and said, “No one now even knowest that we are
on the map. But lettest thou change the name to Intercourse and we will
be known far and wide, and people will pay us visits ever after
to buy tee-shirts and cheap souvenirs and take selfies.”
Mr. Stoltzfuss (a fictional character with a name very common in the
area) could not have foreseen the damage done over the years to the
town budget by having to replace all those “Welcome to
Intercourse” signs stolen by teenage boys. Not to mention the
budgets of the nearby towns of Bird-in-hand and Blue Ball.
Friday night before the clinic, my wife and I were treated to some real
local color by host coach Dave Kemmick, who took us to dinner at
Lancaster Liederkranz. I’ll let them tell it:
the year 1880, on the fourth day of July, in the city of Lancaster, a
group of men of German origin met and organized a Singing Society to be
henceforth known as the LIEDERKRANZ. The object of this
organization was to meet fraternally, sing and preserve native songs
and music as well as perpetuate social customs of the Homeland.
the year 1909, the Lancaster Manerchor and the Arbeiter Manerchor
consolidated with the LIEDERKRANZ in order to promote the cultivation
and improvement of the German chorus as well as sociability.
These principles remain valid.
continue today as a dynamic family organization dedicated to
perpetuating and amplifying our founders' original purpose
through song, dance, language, art, education and international
The atmosphere, the food and the beverages are reflective of the
Lancaster area’s German heritage, but Liederkranz is not some
cutesy-poo German-themed tourist attraction. It is decidedly
American. The food and drink are excellent, and because the
help - cooks, waitresses, bartenders - are all volunteers, the prices
are astoundingly reasonable.
I especially liked the sauerkraut and the German potato salad.
And the Spaten - great German lager bier. Mmmm Mmmmm.
Clinic Saturday started out as my visits in the Mid-Atlantic area have
for the last ten years - breakfast with Coach Jason Clarke, of
Baltimore. It’s been great getting to know him and his family
over the years, and watching him develop as a coach. It’s a sign
of his dedication that he’ll get up early enough to drive from
Baltimore to meet at 7 AM.
The clinic itself couldn’t have gone better from my perspective.
Eastern York High is located in a beautiful spot on a hill with a great
view of the Susquehanna River. Its facilities are excellent - we
met in the morning in a choral music room, and after lunch we went
outside and worked with Eastern kids on their artificial turf field.
did my best in the AM to introduce what we were doing to the coaches in
attendance so that when we went outside in the afternoon they could
jump in and coach if they wanted or simply observe, if that was their
The kids, after a season under Coach Kemmick and his staff, were quite coachable and hard-working.
Among the coaches who’d come a long distance were Paul Herzog, of St,.
Paul, Minnesota, who flew in to Baltimore and drove the rest of the
way, Tom Caudill, of McDermott, Ohio, who drove seven hours to get
there, and Don Gordon of Greeenfield, Massachusetts, who drove six
Chris Galloway, of Elverson, PA has been a long-time regular, and out
of the goodness of his heart, he brought me another Pennsylvania Care
Package of scrapple and Lebanon bologna. (Look them up.)
Also on hand to lend their expertise after working with the Open Wing
at last year’s Durham clinic were Dwayne Pierce of Washington, DC and
Brian Mackell, of Baltimore’s Archbishop Curley HS. Coach Mackell
volunteered last year to be a “beta tester” of the Open Wing, and his
JV team won the district championship.
In a two-hour span, the Eastern kids were introduced to 20 plays - 10
right and 10 left - and variations of them, and did a respectable job
of running them. To be fair, they were not total novices: many of
them had had some exposure to the offense before.
No sooner had we left the field than the humidity that had been building up gave way to a brief but powerful downpour.
A coaches’ debriefing session took place at Wrightsville’s Burning
Bridge Tavern, so named because it is at the western end of the bridge
that crosses the Susquehanna River to Columbia, PA. More than 100
years ago, during the Civil War, a wooden covered bridge at the same
spot was set afire by retreating Union forces, an act that almost
certainly saved the city of Lancaster from being taken by Confederates.
The next day, we spent a little time exploring Lancaster, a very old
city that’s home to Franklin and Marshall College, and then,
driving around the city of York, I naturally had to stop outside
the Harley-Davidson factory to take a picture.
NEXT STOP, HAGERSTOWN.
************ John Harbaugh doesn’t like the idea of going for two from
the one-yard line. Says it’s going to get people hurt. Says
more people will try quarterback sneaks, and with the other backs
pushing from behind, it’s not going to look like football - it’s going
to look like rugby.
Two questions, Coach H:
1. “Other backs pushing?” But Coach Harbaugh - isn’t that illegal? (Wink. wink.)
2. Um - so kicking an extra point from the 15 yard line - where kickers
still make more than 95 per cent of their kicks - does look like
Speaking of rugby, I’d have proposed that football employ the rugby
rule that states that the kick for the extra point must take place from
a line drawn straight back from the spot where the ball was touched
down - literally touched down - in the end zone. That would
really screw those guys who fly across the corner pylon,
holding the ball out so it passes through scoring
territory. But it’s never touched down! Haw, haw - the PAT
try will be from somewhere on the f—king sideline!
*********** Next time you watch an NBA game and see all the fans
wearing the a tee-shirt in the home team’s colors… it’s part of
“shirting” - a carefully-orchestrated scheme to get fans “involved,” an
incentive to attend the game live rather than sit home and watch it on
the 60-inch TV. Fans arrive at the arena to find a
tee-short on every seat, and then, just to make sure that they get the
idea, those who are slow to put on their tee-shirts are single out on
the Big Screen and ordered to “Put your shirt on!”
“I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon,” Peter Sorckoff, chief
creative officer and senior vice president for marketing for the
Atlanta Hawks, told the New York Times. “The way it looks on television
is important to teams and to broadcasters. And I really believe in the
sociological and psychological impact it has on people. I think people
want that. That’s why they are coming to the game. They want more of
It’s a not-too-subtle nod at the fans’ narcissism - the belief that
they can “make a difference” in sports, just as they have been told
they can do on the Planet Earth.
Said Scott Sonnenberg, Chicago Bulls’ vice president for corporate sales, to the Times:
“Nowadays, you can watch a ballgame at your house, on a huge flat
screen, practically in a movie theater. But when you come to a
game, you want to feel you’re a part of it, that you can impact the
game. To have those red T-shirts, they feel like they’re part of it,
they are impacting the outcome.”
Let Islamic terrorists commit an atrocity and the cry goes up - when
are all the “good” Muslims going to denounce them?
when a black gang commits some crime, there’s a similar cry - when are
all the “good” black people going to denounce them?
after the shootout in Waco, it’s only fair to ask - where are all the
“good” white people denouncing motorcycle gangs? Hmmm?
*********** Not that I would ever say anything bad about motorcycle gangs. Oh, no. Not me.
few years ago, at the urging of my friend John Torres, I read a very
interesting book. John Torres, a very good youth coach, spent a
career in the ATF, the last couple as Special Agent in Charge of the
Los Angeles office, which means he had plenty of first-hand experience
with motorcycle gangs and their “business” activity, which
included “marketing” firearms.
book was “Under and Alone,” by a guy named William Queen, an ATF agent
who spent a couple of years undercover with the Mongols, a motorcycle
gang so violent that it’s been said, “They make the Hells Angels
look like Cub Scouts on a Vespa.”
Very good read. Very scary. I think I'll pass on saying anything bad about the Mongols.
Imagine- Barack Obama and his speech-writing stooges lecturing
Coast Guard Academy cadets on “dereliction of duty.”
OBAMA AT THE COAST GUARD ACADEMY GRADUATION: Climate change will impact
every country on the planet. No nation is immune. So I am here today to
say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global
security, an immediate risk to our national security. And make no
mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country. So we
need to act and we need to act now.
all, isn't that the true hallmark of leadership? When you're on deck,
standing your watch, you stay vigilant, you plan for every contingency.
If you see storm clouds gathering or dangerous shoals ahead you don't
just sit back and do nothing. You take action to protect your ship, to
keep your crew safe. Anything less is negligence. It is a dereliction
of duty. So to with climate change. Denying it or refusing to deal with
it endangers our national security. It undermines the readiness of our
Uh, are you ordering us all to buy Priuses, Sir?
The number 44 is big in Syracuse, New York. It was worn by all-time
great Syracuse University running backs Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and
Floyd Little, and it’s so embedded in Syracuse tradition that
it’s part of the school’s ZIP code:
900 South Crouse Ave
Syracuse, NY 13244
2005, new AD Daryl Gross made a big deal of retiring the Number 44, and
did so with the blessings of Brown and Little (Ernie Davis, of course,
it could be argued plausibly, was the worst thing ever to happen to
Syracuse football. One of his first orders of business was to replace
Paul Pasqualoni, who in 14 years as the Orange head coach had been
then, under three different coaches, Syracuse has gone 45-77.
(It’s actually worse, since because of NCAA violations five of those
wins were vacated, making it 40-77.)
a sign of how difficult it must be to win at Syracuse, a 25-25 record
there was considered good enough to qualify Doug Marrone to become head
coach of the Buffalo Bills.
having done all he could to destroy Syracuse football, Gross is gone,
kicked upstairs, and the new AD intends to unretire the number
44, with the idea of awarding it to a player on the current Syracuse
football team, as determined by a committee. He says he has the
approval of both Brown and Little.
One prominent Syracuse football alum, Donovan McNabb, doesn’t like the idea, tweeting,
bothers me to see the decision being made by my alma mater to unretire
the legendary 44. The great RBs who wore the number put SU on the map.
What message are we sending across college football and to the football
world that it's ok to un retire such history that was so strong
Wrote Josh Montgomery of Berwick, Louisiana, “I agree with McNabb. The idea is crap.”
understand McNabb’s point, but consider this - If they’d retired Jim
Brown’s 44 at the time - which they would probably do, nowadays -
Ernie Davis might not have gone to Syracuse. And if they’d
retired it after Ernie Davis, Floyd Little might not have gone there,
I don’t have any problem at all with conferring it on a guy who has earned the right, as opposed to using it to recruit a kid.
For Caleb Bridge, North Beach High senior and oldest son of Hyaks’ head
coach football coach Todd Bridge, next Saturday is going to be one of
the biggest moments of his life. Up to that point.
Saturday, in Spokane, Washington, he’ll attempt to finish first in
state Class 2B in both the shot put and discus. Currently, his
best discus throw leads all classes.
then, regardless of what happens, it’s on to even bigger things.
In less than a month, he’ll report to the US Air Force Academy to begin
life as a cadet.
Great kid. One of the best I’ve ever been around.
Bob De Carolis, Oregon State athletics director for the past 17
years, announced last week that he would be stepping down on June
that he was not offered an extension to his current contract, it
appears that OSU has decided to “go in another direction.”
Sure hope they know what the hell they’re doing. But I doubt it.
many athletic directors have been faced with the challenges he has;
fewer still have been so successful in spite of them.
When he took over, Oregon State was working on the longest losing-season streak in college football history: 28 f—king years!
How bad was it? For 26 of those years, from 1972 through 1997, the Beavers never won more than four games.
They had eight one-win seasons and eight two-win seasons, and in 1980, under the great Joe Avezzano, they went 0-11.
One of Bob DeCarolis’ first acts was to hire Dennis Erickson, who already had a national championship at Miami to his credit.
replaced Mike Riley, who’d left to coach the Chargers, and broke the
losing string his first year, with a 7-5 record. When he left
four years later to coach the 49ers, Erickson had compiled a record of
To follow up on the departure of Erickson, he brought back Mike Riley, who didn’t miss a beat.
Erickson’s arrival in 1999, Oregon State’s football record is 116-83.
In that span, the Beavers have had only five losing seasons.
leveraged football’s success into a rename of Parker Stadium to Reser
Stadium, in return for a nice donation, and into an expansion of Reser
from 35,000 to today’s 45,000, with plans to increase to 55,000.
60-year-old Mike Riley, who went to school in Corvallis (his dad was a
coach at OSU) and seemed to be as intertwined with a school as a coach
could be, decided to take a fling at Nebraska, DeCarolis responded with
an unbelievably bold move, hiring away Gary Anderson from
Wisconsin. Wisconsin, for Pete’s sake! How’d he do that?
He hired Pat Casey. How about a College World Series win, the
first ever for a team from the Northwest, in 2006? How about a
repeat in 2007?
Not so great. The program, once a power under the late Ralph
Miller, has foundered. He made an unfortunate hire in Craig
Robinson, a Princeton grad who happens to be the brother of Michelle
Obama, but his latest hire - Wayne Tinkle, from Montana - looks like a
Taking a team totally devoid of talent, he pushed it to a 17-14 record this past season.
sports? Can’t say. I’ve only touched on the ones that can
bring in any money. When you’re Oregon State, they’re the only ones
that really count.
- Oregon State is a nice place in Corvallis, a nice town. Its
alumni are unbelievably supportive. But just a half hour down the
road, in Eugene, is Big Brother. Mighty Oregon. Nike U.
And keeping up with Oregon, not to mention the other big hitters in the Pac-12 Conference, is tougher than it’s ever been.
already put together a committee to find DeCarolis’ replacemen. Its
makeup is not confidence-inspiring: the faculty athletic representative
to the Pac-12; two well-to-do alumni; the women's basketball
coach; a female gymnast Erika Aufiero; an associate professor in OSU's
College of Business; the OSU vice president of finance and
administration; the senior associate athletic director; the student
body president; another (female) associate athletic director.
Whoever they come up with, they’re not likely to find anyone who’ll do as well as Bob DeCarolis did.
Say a prayer for the Seahawks' Jesse Williams, first Australian
native to win a Super Bowl ring. The former Alabama defensive
lineman was diagnosed recently with a type of kidney cancer.
Yale running back Tyler Varga, a Canadian, was selected 19th
overall by the Calgary Stampeders in the 2015 Canadian Football League
Draft, but has signed instead with the Indianapolis Colts as an
undrafted free agent.
FRIDAY, MAY 15, 2015- “There are two things that divide organizations: winning and losing - and credit and blame.” Jeff Van Gundy, ESPN Analyst and former NBA head coach
*********** Things you’d never find out about if you weren’t in Philly:
When the NFL owners meet next week, they’ll discuss new proposals to rework the extra point rules.
The Eagles are pushing for the 15-yard line to be the line of
scrimmage for PAT kicks, and for moving the ball to the one yard line for
Tom Mahon of the Philadelphia Daily News says that now he understands why Chip Kelly signed Tim Tebow. He
says that with the 6-3, 240-pound Tebow in the backfield, this ought to
be called the "Tebow Rule."
Perhaps throwing a bone to the defense in return for moving the ball to the one, the
Eagles also propose that two points be awarded the defense should it
return an interception or a fumble recovery on a two-point conversion.
The proposals sure would inject some interest into an otherwise useless play. And also drive gamblers crazy.
*********** Hope to see you Saturday at the clinic in Wrightsville, Pennsylvania - http://www.coachwyatt.com/clinics15.html
*********** Randy Foristiere, son of long-time coach and friend Mike
Foristiere and his wife, Cielo, was all ready for his senior year at
Boise’s Capitol High, when dad Mike got a head coaching job at Wahluke
High, in Mattawa, Washington.
Off he went for his senior year at Wahluke. Just one hangup - he
had hopes of attending the US Military Academy (you know - Army West
Point) and had a decent shot at an appointment from Idaho. But he
had to graduate from an Idaho high school.
So he played his senior season at Wahluke, and running in his dad’s
double wing, gained 1701 yards on 216 carries, and made all-league
first team running back. And then he returned to Boise to
graduate from Capitol High.
That’s how bad he wanted West Point. And now, with an appointment
to the US Military Academy, he and proud Mom and Dad will be off to
West Point, New York in another six weeks for Reception Day (“R” Day to
insiders), where he will officially be sworn in as an Army cadet.
*********** Outside Winnipeg, Manitoba, for the last two years Tom
Walls and his wife, Shandy, have dedicated practically every waking
moment to building a youth football league from scratch.
Their efforts have borne fruit, and after a successful first season,
the new league is on solid ground, but as Tom observes, you can’t
take anything fro granted:
Interesting second year with our new program. Kids not returning cite
the time commitment of football as being the biggest reason for not
coming back. One kid, who played for me last year, said, in front of
his dad: "Three times a week is just such a time waster."
As he walked away, the dad said to me, "Because he uses that time to play video games."
Those are the kind of moments that try men's souls.
Interesting and at the same time distressing.
Just read an article in the Wall
Street Journal by a researcher from Stanford or some such place who
theorizes that American (and perhaps Canadian) males are being neutered
- turn into antisocial human drones by the double whammy of video games
and, as they “progress," online porn, both of which provide immediate
gratification and in return demand no effort, no risk of
rejection, no commitment.
Other than time.
Distressing, did I say? Depressing.
*********** Hi Coach,
Got the practice planner, it's great. It is obvious to me I have
been out of the loop for too long. Couple questions. Hockey
stick? Using this terminology for quarterback. Can you give
me a quick update on this? Also, I see 6-G-O. I know 6-G,
are we pulling our backside guard on 6-G now?
The passing plays you have on the practice planner, I am coaching
middle school and i was going to keep it simple with red, blue, 800
etc. What would you recommend in the passing game for middle
Its good to be back , but I have some work to do.
Yeah, there’ve been changes. In politics, they call it “evolving.”
The Hockey stick is one of the biggest changes. It’s the QB’s path that we teach on most of our plays.
Once I teach him his steps, it’s then
a simple matter of telling him, as, for example, on 47-C, “Hockey stick
right, handoff left (left hand)"
Also, I have “evolved” into 6-G-O and
7-G-O because the backside guard wasn’t doing us much good as it was,
and this way - we teach him to slide sideways and turn up through the
FIRST OPEN DOOR (not necessarily the hole) - he makes a big difference.
I would recommend 88 Brown and 99 Black because they come off the same action as Super Power.
Good luck and don’t hesitate to ask questions.
*********** After he received the Distinguished Service Cross - the
Army’s second highest honor - for rescuing two soldiers from a burning
vehicle in Iraq, Army Sergeant Christopher Waiters, of Lacey,
Washington was made an honorary captain of the Jets at a 2012
game. Now, he doesn’t know whether the honor was sincere or part
of a deal the Jets made with the Army, and says it was "pretty
shameful" of the Jets to take money from the Army in return for
saluting troops at their home games.
Shame on the NFL for taking the Army’s money in return for pretending to be super-patriotic.
And shame on the US Army for facilitating the sham.
As greedy as the NFL and its teams are, it makes you wonder where
they’d stop - do you think, if Russia came up with the money, the NFL
would take it and help them promote tourism in the Crimea?
*********** Let’s hope that the third time’s the charm for Skyler Morninwheg.
The son of NFL coach Marty Morninwheg, he was a high school all-star at
Philadelphia’s St. Joe’s Prep while his dad served as the Eagles’
offensive coordinator. who committed to Penn State, then decimated in
the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky debacle.
He signed with Florida, and after a red-shirt year, started two games
in 2013 as a red shirt freshman, going 44 of 63 for 344 yards and
three touchdowns, but didn’t throw a pass in 2014.
Now, with a new regime in Gainesville, and two years of eligibility
remaining, he’s decided to transfer to Columbia, where he’ll be
eligible to play immediately. (Kid must be smart to be able to get into
Columbia. Makes you wonder why he didn’t go to a Duke, a Stanford, a
Northwestern, a Vanderbilt in the first place.)
The Lions and their new coach, Al Bagnoli, can use him. They’re working on a 21-game losing streak.
*********** In Australia, a sports-mad country, football is very popular. Not NFL football, either. College football.
the US and Canada, Australia is one of the few countries in the world
that even understands the importance of college football in our overall
sports picture, and the reason is undoubtedly timing.
It just so happens that when it’s Saturday afternoon in the US, it’s
Sunday morning in Oz, which means that a great many Aussies are able to
watch our best college games, which our major networks are happy to
send their way.
Too bad, NFL- by the time you come on every Sunday, it’s Monday in
Australia, and most Aussies who would otherwise love to watch your
games are at work.
Now, to see how real the interest is, there’s an Australian group talking seriously about a post-season bowl game in Melbourne.
With 53,000-seat Etihad Stadium as the site, they have ambitions
They’ve already been to Phoenix to meet with officials of the Pac-12
and Mountain West Conferences, with a game between representatives of
each league set for the end of the 2016 season.
One problem, of course, is that although the old story is that
Australians will even watch two flies crawl up a window - and bet on
which one gets to the top first - they have seen enough college
football by now to know what “good” is, and a game between the Pac-12’s
11th-place team and the Mountain West’s 7th-place team will be a hard
Me, as soon as it’s a go, I’ll be looking at cheap flights*
* Good luck.
The future of our game depends on us. Unfortunately, I think some
are not on board. "We" are not ogres, but a few are enough to
soil the reputation and image of our entire profession and sport.
I don't know all of the particulars, and there are multiple sides to
all stories, but if this article is marginally accurate, coaches and
administrators failed this young man (and his teammates). We have
to be better than this.
Alleged: bunch of kids on a
football team repeatedly threw footballs at another kid's head, hitting
him enough to cause cause a concusssion and possibly worse.
It’s too bad that this had to happen in football, the current Public Enemy Number One of sports.
But in the absence of adult
supervision, which seems clearly to be the case here, it could as
easily have happened on a basketball or baseball or lacrosse team.
Only the ball would have been different - and perhaps even more
There are far too many other factors
involved in the case for me to comment intelligently on it, but IF
those kids threw at a teammate’s head, and it happened more than once,
then I say shame on the coach(es) who should have been in charge.
I can’t say that it couldn’t happen at
North Beach, but I can say that we do everything we can to make sure
that our kids know that we expect them to respect each other - and even
then, even though we trust our kids, we would not leave them
unattended and unsupervised. That’s how most bullying/hazing
incidents occur, and that’s usually the first thing an attorney looks
for. (It’s a major reason why I will never take a team to an
PS- I don’t give administrators a pass
on this, either. I think that the number one thing they need to
impress on coaches is that their kids must be supervised at all times,
and I think that this is not often enough emphasized.
*********** I’m getting really tired of this “trigger warning” bullsh**
- the notion that professors must give advance warning about the
material they will be covering, lest it set off (“trigger”) alarms in
the millennials in their classrooms who may or may not have experienced
real trauma in their pasts.
Before we bury the last of the “Greatest Generation,” we mustn’t forget
that they weren’t perfect: they gave us the Baby Boomers, who gave us
the useless pukes we now call the millennials.
Of course, when back those children of the Depression and World War II
set out to “make our children’s lives better than ours were,” it was a
reasonable aspiration. But with each succeeding generation it has
meant raising the bar, to the point where today’s kids are raised with
the expectation that they’ll be given cars when they turn 16, they’ll
spend a week in Florida after high school graduation, they’ll go to
college and major in something totally useless with a name that ends in
"Studies," living a four-year party (from which they feel th need to
take a "break” every spring) that’s subsidized either by rich parents
or student loans. When they graduate, if they get a job they’ll
expect regular rave reviews from their employers and a corner office
within a year. They’ll expect to be able to dress as they wish and work
the hours they choose, and play pingpong when they feel stressed.
If they don’t get the corner office soon enough, they’re gone.
If they do get one, they’ll stay another six months before moving on.
If they don’t get a job, they’ll move in with Mom and Dad and
play video games.
It may be time for universities to post Comprehensive Trigger Warnings
in their admissions brochures - and in their letters of acceptance::
This is an institute of higher learning. Applicants are warned that the
educational process can occasionally result in exposure to
thoughts and ideas that may make one feel “uncomfortable” and may even
“trigger” unwanted thoughts and memories of past traumatic experiences.
While they’re at it, they might as well add,
It goes without saying that students holding conservative beliefs should apply elsewhere.
*********** Tommy Brady’s going to appeal.
Gee. What a surprise. He’ll probably get off with two games, most.
I’ve always felt that appeals are unfair because the appellant has nothing to lose, even if he’s guilty as sin.
Win? He gets a break.
Lose? Nothing changes. He's no worse than he was.
Seems to me there ought to be some sort of “up or down” effect -
a lessening of the penalty if he wins, but an increase in the penalty
if the appeal turns out to be baseless, a waste of everyone’s time.
Hey Tom - how's this sound? Two games if you win, eight games if you lose.
*********** “We have seen over and over that many professional
athletes, no matter how naturally gifted, push the boundaries of the
rules. Sometimes they violate them to gain even the slightest
advantage. We call that gamesmanship to make ourselves feel
better for excusing cheating.”
John Smallwood, Philadelphia Daily News
*********** There was a book put out a few years ago called, Bowling
Alone. It was a study of declining socialization and rising technology
amongst Americans. The author proved his thesis through the use of
statistical information. He concluded that most Americans would prefer
to go bowling alone. I am sure you remember how popular bowling leagues
were in the 1950s.
I had a college coach in the 1990's who addressed the falling
participation of white kids by shrugging and saying: "White kids don't
want to loose to black kids. That's why they won't play football
anymore. You don't loose to anyone when you skateboard or inline skate."
I know all about Bowling Alone.
Yes, kids would rather be in control, with a video game, than
just be a small part of the picture out on the football field.
I think what's what we got for
teaching them how important they are, how they can “make a
difference” and “change the world”: a bunch of self-centered
I don’t think that it’s so much that
white kids don’t want to lose to black kids. Black or white, it doesn't
matter. The losing is beside the point. So many middle-class
white kids have been so protected and pampered that they don’t ever
have to make an effort to compete in anything. That’s a major
difference between the middle-class white culture and the inner-city
and rural black culture, in which competition in one form or another is
a part of every nearly every aspect of those kids’ lives.
The one culture produces skateboarders and video gamers, and the other produces football players.
God help us when the Chinese invade. Or the Russians. Or the Iranians.
*********** Do you have a Playbook specifically for the offense
you ran the last two seasons? Wow. I watched the DVD.
St. Louis, Missouri
I’m working on it. Hope to have it ready by midsummer.
Stay in touch or keep checking my NEWS page!
Nice to hear from you.
*********** The University of North Dakota is still without a
nickname. Barred from falling themselves the Fighting Sioux, they
finally resorted to holding a contest to come up with a new nickname.
So far, they’ve received hundreds of entries.
Half of them say, “Fighting Sioux.”
TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2015- “A pluralistic and diverse society like ours can exist only if we all tolerate people who disagree with us.” Governor Bobby Jindal
This incredible example of using one’s talents in serving others was
sent to me by my friend Mike Lude, a World War II Marine veteran.
*********** Hope to see you Saturday at the clinic in Wrightsville, Pennsylvania - http://www.coachwyatt.com/clinics15.html
*********** So Brady got four games. Sure hope they can make it stick.
Anyone else out there remember when the NFL had a real commissioner,
and he gave Paul Hornung and Alex Karras - both very big stars at the
time - one-year suspensions for betting on games?
I hear a lot of people saying that what Brady did wasn’t that big
a deal. (To be fair, most of those people do seem to be Patriots’
fans.) They like to point out that his stats against the Colts were
even better after he was required to play with balls that complied with
the NFL rules.
Only one problem here: it’s not whether the illegal actions taken on
his behalf (with or without his knowledge or direction) had the
intended effect; it’s whether the intention of the actions was to give
him an edge. An unfair edge.
It’s a given that as tough as the competition is in the NFL, sometimes
the slightest little thing can provide a winning edge. And as much as
there is at stake for them, NFL coaches and players are constantly on
the lookout for anything that will provide that edge.
It may be performance-enhancing drugs; it might be stickum applied on
fingers or PAM sprayed on a jersey. It might be stolen sideline signals
or artificially piped-in crowd noise.
Who can say whether any of those things ever were the difference?
But taken all together, it’s hard to argue with the philosophy of the
old Jewish mothers who would say about feeding someone chicken soup to
cure a cold - “it can’t hurt.”
Whether or not Brady (or the Patriots) benefitted is not the
issue. It was that the attempt was made to gain the unfair
And that Brady was in on it. (Are you telling me one of the best
quarterbacks in the game can’t tell whether a ball is over- or under
And that Brady refused to cooperate with the investigation.
And that, thoughout, Brady has acted like a jerk.
Come on - all he had to do was fess up, and say something lame, like
“Jeez. If I thought it would be this big of a deal I never would have
asked those guys to let a little air out. I didn’t think it was
any different from rubbing the new footballs to get the slick sheen off
them. I take full responsibility. If anybody was offended, I apologize.”
And then? A small fine ($100,000 to him is a small fine) and off
you go, Tom. Try not to do that kind of stuff any more.
Damn sight easier than four games without pay.
*********** I think of the Patriots’ equipment guys and I’m reluctant
to criticize them. Knowing how little they make in relation to the
people whose every wish they cater to, I think a lot of people agree
with me. And people like us are probably the reason why Brady and
the Pats (sound like a 70s rock band?) have thrown those guys
under the bus. Why, those were just a coupla guys who loved their
Patriots, and wanted to do what little they could to help their guys
But you know what? Even if they were put up to deflating the
balls, and even if they were “tipped” heavily for doing it, I still
have problems condemning them. I was there once. Almost.
With the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League, I worked for
one of the most unscrupulous persons who ever coached a game of
football, and considering some of the people who’ve coached our game,
that’s saying a lot.
My title was Director of Player Personnel, but since my boss was both
head coach and general manager, and he didn’t have much interest in the
administrative side of the job - contracts, travel arrangements, etc. -
I wound up handling a lot of that.
He drank heavily. On the job. Dawn to dusk (and later). At
least a fifth a day. He drank vodka - vodka and Fresca - apparently
thinking that no one would notice the alcohol on his breath. But
come on - people didn’t have to smell his breath to know something was
amiss. Did I say he was a nasty drunk? All you had to do was see
the darkening of his personality and the sharpness of his tongue as the
day went on. I learned very quickly that if I was going to get
anything done, I had to get to him before the booze did, which meant
that I had to get up plenty early to go over details with him.
Like so many powerful people of low morals, he was surrounded by
lackeys and flunkies and lickspittles of the same level of character.
Prior to our opening game in 1974, a home game against the Portland
Storm, one of those hangers-on was dispatched to the West Coast to
“skunk” our opponents - to spy on their practices. This, if you
didn’t know, has always been taboo in football.
But neither our coach nor his entourage seeemd to think anyting of
it. This was a guy who once helped the Pottstown Firebirds win
the Atlantic Coast Football League championship over the Hartford
Knights on a frozen field, instructing his receivers and running backs
to remove the front three cleats from their shoes. Unlike today,
when the post is a part of the cleat, and the whole deal screws into a
recess in the sole, in those days the post stuck out of the shoe, and
removing the three front cleats exposed three thin metal spikes, ideal
for digging into frozen turf. And opponents’ legs.
For what it's worth, we beat Portnad. We were the btter team. We'd have won without the spy work.
Now here’s where I come in, with the retrospect of 40 years. What
would I have done if may boss had asked me to do it? I had a wife
who was finishing college and four kids living at home, and after
several years of living hand-to-mouth while I tried to work my way into
a job in college or pro football, I finally had a good-paying job in
pro football. After all that struggle to get to where I was,
would I have had the strength to throw it all away by saying,
For sure, if I were tempted, I would have been hesitant to consult my
wife, because she would surely have said, “Don’t even think about doing
Fortunately, I never had to make that decision, and fortunately, I’ve grown wiser and stronger with the years.
Interestingly, the “scout” who was selected to fly to Portland and check out our opponent was a guy named Joe Gavel.
He claimed to have played baseball at Michigan State, but he had a near
man-crush on the head coach, and quickly insinuated his way into the
inner circle by demonstrating a willingness to do just about anything
the coach wanted done.
After the WFL folded and we all went our separate ways, I often wondered what happened to Joe Gavel.
Somewhere after that, he served seven years in prison for selling stolen luxury automobiles.
From there, he must have figured that his chances of playing in the big
time - in Philly, at least - were limited by his last name.
No problem. He changed his name to “Joseph Rico.”
In 1983, he and a guy named Ronald "Cuddles" DiCaprio killed a drug
dealer whom they had stiffed after he’d given them $14.000 to obtain
some drugs for him.
DeCapro’s former wife, who became the prosecution’s key
witness, said that shortly after the killing, they came to her house
and bragged about it.
She said that “Rico” was very excited at the thought that the murder
might make him a “made member” of Philadelphia’s notorious Scarfo crime
family, headed by Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo.
The former wife wound up in the federal witness-protection program.
Joseph Rico wound up behind bars.
In 1992, the aspiring mobster formerly known as Joe Gavel was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
He didn’t go down without a fight, though. In 1994, he appealed his
conviction on the grounds that in selecting the jury, the prosecutor
had used seven of his 20 peremptory challenges against Italian-American
jurors. Only one problem - Joseph Rico was not by any stretch an
Italian-American, a fact well known to the prosecutor and surely
brought out in the trial.
Wasn't sure if you heard the latest from the NFL. Did you know
the NFL asks the military to pay for those huge shows of "patriotism"
to salute our armed forces and veterans on NFL Sundays? I guess
they blow their wad on the Super Bowl, NFL Combine, and Draft Day
extravaganzas so they figure the best way to show their "patriotism" is
to have the military pony up. Kinda like that USA Football thing.
You may be wrong. I think the NFL will blow itself up a lot earlier than you think.
Assistant Principal - Head Football Coach
St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School
Just read about it. Thanks for the tip.
That’s about as bad as it gets.
Here I thought that the NFL was doing it on their own, buying a
little Patriotic Kevlar. Phony patriotism fits their modus
There was no NFL in 1776, but Samuel
Johnson could have been thinking about The League when he said,
“Patriotism is the last resort of a scoundrel.”
It bothers me to think that they conned the Defense Department into paying for these faux tributes!
And to think that the military didn’t
even have to be conned - that they willingly paid to take part in the
charade, making it look as if the NFL or its teams were doing it as a
matter of goodwill. Evidently there’s jock sniffing at the
You had to mention the USA Football
scam: the NFL running those TV commercials telling moms that if
their kid’s coach isn’t “Heads Up certified,” he ain’t sh—, and then
USA Football charging the coaches to get ”Heads Up Certified."
You’re right - the NFL bubble may burst sooner than even I thought.
Other than a lot of good guys -
assistant coaches, manager, trainers, scouts, stadium vendors - losing
their jobs, it can’t come soon enough for me.
*********** Volkswagen, what are you thinking?
It’s a VW commercial, and as “Mommas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to
Be Cowboys” plays in the background, a momma is outside the convenience
store, filling up the Passat.
Inside, three little bastards (hers) vandalize the place - one empties
the slurpee machine into his mouth; a second shakes up a giant
two-liter bottle of soda pop, preparatory to letting it squirt; a third
dispenses what appears to be enough mustard to cover Nathan’s July 4
hot dog eating contest.
The poor attendant stands by, helpless.
And then we cut back to Momma, who calls, “Boys” in her sweetest voice,
and the next thing we see is her driving off as the little darlings sit
quietly in the back of that damn evil Volkswagen Passat. The one
that delivers destruction wherever it goes.
Some day, some poor devil is going to have to coach those little pr—ks,
and I can assure you that the first time the coach has to discipline
one of them, Momma is going to be in the principal’s office saying that
she knows her sons, and none of her sons would do what the coach is
accusing him of doing, and she won’t leave until the coach is fired.
Thanks a lot, Volkswagen.
*********** Coach Wyatt,
I don't run a traditional wing-t. We run foot to foot or pretty close.
We also use a lot of formations and rocket sweep. A lot of what we do
is based on the Double Wing. I guess in some ways we run a Double Wing
style offense dressed up as a Wing-t. I'm sure neither group would
claim us though.
Thank you again
It’s not important that you belong to
any group. The important thing is finding and making use of
things that can help your kids be successful.
And no matter where it all came from, it’s YOUR system.
*********** Isn’t it strange how we debate whether or not defending our
first amendment rights is worth angering radical Islamists, but we have
no qualms whatsoever about glorifying sexuality ithat's abhorrent to
There we are, watching two relatively attractive, relatively young
women, cutting from one to th other as they separately practice hand
gestures. It soon becomes clear that they are learning sign
And then, and then… the two of them approach a young girl, and one of them gestures to her:
The translation: “Hi, beautiful.” (She's apparently deaf.)
Then another gesture.
Then another translation: “”We’re going to be your new mommies.”
It’s a Wells Fargo commercial. For what, I have no idea.
FRIDAY, MAY 8, 2015- “If
you are a Patriots fan, this report is the equivalent of walking
downstairs to find Santa passed out on the couch while your parents
assemble your Christmas bike.” Jason Gay, Wall Street Journal
*********** There is rich, and there is very rich. And then there
is Larry Ellison. Mr. Ellison, the billionaire co-founder
of Oracle Corporation, has spent millions on an Americas Cup sailboat
and crew whose only purpose is to win a race every couple of years.
Mr. Ellison also has a 288-foot yacht - don’t even ask what it cost -
that features, among other things, a basketball court, and “a crane to
launch racing boats.” Part of the reason for that “crane to
launch racing boats” is for those days when Mr. Ellison and the boyz
are shooting’ hoops and a ball goes overboard. He actually pays a guy
to zip around in a speedboat retrieving the balls. No lie.
Now, that’s rich.
It’s “more probable than not” the Patriots broke NFL rules by
removing air from their footballs, and Tom Brady was “at least
generally aware” of what was going on.
Weasel words, at first glance. But in the absence of video evidence or
a signed confession by Brady, they are damning.
The Big Guy had everything - and he still had to f—king cheat.
From the standpoint of anyone who raises or coaches boys, the
Patriots-Brady episode contradicts everything we try to instill in our
kids: play the game fair and square. Give it your best shot, and live
with the consequences. But above all, respect the game. It was
here before you. Leave it better than you found it.
But not the Patriots. Not the NFL. Not today’s American society. Just win, baby.
And that’s why we’ve become such a cynical society. That’s why
the president can say, “You didn’t build that,” and plenty of people
will believe him.
Why should they think that the guy who owns the factory that employs
them got there through hard work, when they know full well how so many
prominent people play the game? When the Patriots can cheat to get to
the Super Bowl, when a candidate for president - and her husband
- can give “speeches” for hundreds of thousands of dollars to people
trying to buy their influence, when no congressman has ever left office
with less money in his bank account than when he entered?
That’s why I’ve always had it in for the guys who consider themselves
coaches but tell their kids that “it isn’t holding if you don’t get
If Roger Goodell doesn’t come down hard on Brady-Belichick-Kraft, he
risks losing what he likes to refer to as the “integrity” of the game
to the cynicism that infects every other aspect of our lives.
This is much bigger than Ray Rice et. al., because the actions of the
many miscreants who infest the League have zippo to do with the
integrity of the game itself . Criminals may demean the
league's image, but they don't lead anyone to question whether the game
is on the up-and-up. The day that happens, The League is
If Mr. Goodell is worried about what the owners might think if he
suspends Brady-Belichick-Kraft, he needs to consider a couple of things:
(1) There are 31 other owners that can’t be appreciating Robert
Kraft’s showboating actions and comments, including his demanding an
apology, and I suspect they wouldn’t mind seeing him brought down a peg
(2) Goodell’s got to have enough money socked away by now that he can
tell those rich f—kers where to put it if they don’t like it.
*********** If it were up to me, I’d give Brady a choice: a season-long suspension, or one game playing running back.
*********** Watch live as Auburn builds the largest video board in
college athletics at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The new board will be ready
in time for the 2015 football season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3UUe_Fqhiw
*********** Answer: Bowden Wyatt, Bob" Devaney, Fred Akers, Pat Dye,
Dennis Erickson, and Joe Tiller - all coached at Wyoming - and
all were successful enough at Laramie to move on to even more success
at bigger jobs.
Raleigh, North Carolina
(Speaking of Wyoming, I love the Walt Longmire series of mysteries by Craig Johnson)
*********** Vern Gagne died Monday. He was 89. He played football at
the University of Minnesota, but he gained far greater fame in pro
wrestling, where as a straight guy who refused to resort to tricks or
gimmicks, many consider him to be the greatest ever.
*********** Such is the influence of TV that most of us
think that a criminal trial is a mano a mano contest between the
prosecutor and the defense attorney, a no-holds-barred fight to the
finish. The prize: conviction or acquittal.
But that’s not actually the case.
I am not attempting to say whether or not the Baltimore police were
responsible for Freddie Gray’s death. No, it doesn’t look good
for the police, especially in view of the prosecutor’s near-promise to
provide “justice” for the angry masses, but I certainly don’t know what
the truth is.
Neither, though, does the prosecutor, whose official title is
Baltimore City (Baltimore is not part of any county) State’s Attorney
(that’s what the district attorney is called in Maryland).
But that’s her job - finding out the truth. Seeing that justice
is done. Not for Fredie Gray, not for you, not for me. For the state.
And not, despite what many people believe - and what all those people
who cheered her fightin’ words seem to think - to do whatever it takes
to get the conviction that her public demands.
In a famous case, Berger v. United States, in 1935, the Supreme Court
wrote, “It is as much (a prosecutor’s) duty to refrain from improper
methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use
every legitimate means to bring about a just one.”
More often than not, this principle protects the man arrested on the
street, but it’s no less important that it apply in this case to the
From the Legal Dictionary:
theory, a prosecutor's job is not to convict and send to prison as many
persons as possible. The basic function of a prosecutor is to seek the
truth about criminal actions. Thus, if a prosecutor discovers evidence
that puts the defendant's guilt in doubt or relieves the
defendant of criminal liability, the prosecutor must turn that evidence
over to the defendant. If a prosecutor lacks evidence of a defendant's
guilt, he or she must drop the charges or decline to press charges. In
practice, prosecutors find that they are judged in the court of public
opinion on the number of convictions that they obtain.
Sadly, because the district attorney/state’s attorney/prosecutor is
often an elected official, that last sentence explains why there are
such people as unscrupulous prosecutors, who do not necessarily view
protection of the innocent as part of their job.
*********** There were plenty of people - I was one of them - who
predicted that a college football playoff system would eventually kill
off lesser bowls.
Declining attendance at those bowls would seem to confirm our judgment.
That saddened me because I had argued for the idea of a post-season
trip to play a bowl game as a reward for players for a good season.
But now, to kill that argument, along comes… Bowlflation.
How about three more lesser bowl games?
Not counting the final playoff game, whose teams have already played in
other bowl games, there will now be 41 bowl games this year. 82 bowl
teams. Do the math - since there are 128 FBS teams, this means
there are going to be a lot of bowl-bound teams with losing records.
Three new bowl games? Whoopee. Six more losing teams get post-season bowl invites.
Trophies for everybody.
Used to be that a sub-.500 season was cause for a coach’s firing; now,
it’s a reward for, well, almost breaking even. Or, to put it
another way, for not being one of the 46 underachievers who couldn’t
even qualify for a bowl game.
So the fools of college football have to do their best to
imitate the early days of the NBA, when with only six teams,
they’d play an entire season just to eliminate two teams from the
*********** Our little backwater out here on the far edge of the map is
being blessed with a visit by Our President, with all the inconvenience
it entails. Yes, Mr. Barack Obama is visiting Portland, Oregon.
There’s no important reason for the visit. It’s just for a
fundraiser. But in order to justify use of Air Force One and all
the secret service accompaniment, there will be a visit of some sort in
connection in some way with some sort of government business.
But meanwhile, clear the way, please, for His Majesty.
Interstates 205 and 84 will be closed for most of the afternoon.
So will much of downtown, until 8 PM Thursday. Even to
pedestrians and - no one is spared - bicycles. (You piss off the
bicyclists, Barack, you could lose the Portland vote.)
I-84 will be closed in BOTH directions, so that His Royal Highness’s
20-car motorcade (say that slowly) can move unimpeded in the opposite
lanes. Or maybe both lanes.
Don’t know why this is, but there will be no light rail service while
the “Commander in Chief” (that’s how the official release described
him) is moving around.
Friday morning (during drive time, of course) he and his entourage will
motor out - past gridlocked commuters - to Nike’s headquarters in
Maybe they’ll name a shoe for him.
From there the plan, right now, is to have him jet out of town before
the evening commute, but you never know. Maybe he’ll see a bunch
of kids playing hoops at a playground and stop by for a photo op.
The peasants caught in traffic will understand.
But I ask you, those of you who would tell me that Dr. Ben Carson’s
lack of political experience will handicap him: with the current
occupant of the White House spending as much time as he does
flying around raising funds, playing golf, or vacationing, who’s really
running things back in Washington as it is?
*********** Marv Hubbard died…
Man, what a stud. The lack of fullbacks like him in today's pro offenses represents one giant step toward flag football.
*********** Danielle Pudddefoot was “driving the struggle bus,” as she put it.
It almost certainly meant she was hungover.
But if her head was hurting, that wasn’t not the only reason.
Back on April 30, she and her teammates on the Bridgeport University
women’s soccer team had a few drinks prior to their team banquet, and
at an afterparty in a dorm, she went off on some (former) teammates,
head-butting one and throwing another into a wall, before repeatedly
banging her own head against a wall until she passed out.
See, she had led the team with 25 points, and as a senior, she expected
to win the “players award,” and when she had to sit there at the
banquet and watch someone else get it, well - wouldn’t you have done
the same thing?
*********** In England, authors of schoolbooks have been
instructed not to write about sausages or pigs or anything that
could be perceived as pork-related” for fear of causing “offence” (it’s
*********** Glad to see that UConn has taken that stupid dog face off the front of its helmets.
*********** In response to my noting that there often seems to be a
football coach on the scene when he's needed, Coach Todd Hillis of
Elmwood, Illinois, wrote,
Coach, Here's another:
Thanks for reminding me. The guy says he’s not a hero, but he is.
America needs people like him - and his wife.
TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2015- "A man who has no consideration for the needs of his men ought never to be given command.” Napoleon Bonaparte
I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Republican. I’m sick of sleaze and
sick of lies and sick of people who know what’s best for us, and people
who are intent on radically changing the country that I love.
I like the people in the running for the Republican nomination. But
if I had to bet my life on any one of them, based solely on what I
perceive about his character, I would side with Dr. Benjamin Carson. I have great admiration for the man.
Yes, I know - he has no political experience. To me, though, that’s an
argument in his favor. As Charles Krauthammer points out, our last
President who wasn’t a professional politician was Dwight D. Eisenhower.
*********** There are plenty of us who think that Tom Bradley should have been Penn State’s head coach.
A Penn Stater, he was one of three brothers who came out of Bishop
McCort High in Johnstown, Pennsylvania to play for Joe Paterno.
Older brother Jim became an orthopedic surgeon and has been the Pittsburgh Steelers’ team surgeon for more than 20 years.
Younger brother Matt died in 2002.
Tom was hired as an assistant by Paterno in 1980, and for the last five
years of the Paterno era, he was the Nittany Lions’ defensive
coordinator, succeeding the highly successful and highly-respected
Jerry Sandusky, who retired to devote full-time attention to his
program to help boys in need. Right.
And when Coach Paterno was unceremoniously let go as the Lions’ head
coach, it fell to Tom Bradley to head the team the rest of the
season. (Win a bet: collect the money from the guy who bets you
that Bill O’Brien succeeded Joe Paterno.)
Probably wanting to cut any ties with the Paterno regime, Penn State
chose not to retain Tom Bradley, and he got out of coaching
Last year, after spending a couple of years as a TV analyst, he caught
on at West Virginia, and now Tom Bradley, a guy who spent his entire
coaching career within a driving distance of Johnstown,
Pennsylvania, is starting all over again - at UCLA.
(Brother Jim Bradley, Steelers’ team surgeon, is not one to go to if
you’re looking for dirt on the late Coach Paterno. In an interview with
statecollege.com, he told how the coach really did put academics first.)
needed an organic chemistry course my senior year to graduate and do
what I wanted to do,” Bradley recalled. “I went to Joe and he
said it wasn’t a problem, take the course, just come to the rest of
practice. He was so into education. It was a special place, it really
when Bradley applied to medical school, Paterno wrote a letter of
recommendation. Five pages. Hand-written. When the future doctor went
to say thank you to his past coach for what was a magnificent
reference, Paterno waved it off.
“Ahh,” Bradley said, doing a bit of a Paterno imitation, “I had to think of something to say.”
The clipping has been on my billboard for years. I treasure
it. It’s why everybody should read his local newspaper.
burglar who pried a door panel off broke into Big Jim’s Cafe, 10915
N.E. Fourth Plain Road Sunday, but took only a framed $1 bill. A deputy
said there was too much grease to take fingerprints.”
*********** You may not know this, but…
Because all Cadets/Midshipmen at our service academies (Army, Navy, Air
Force) are considered to be on academic scholarships, the academies not
required to abide by the NCAA’s limits of 85 scholarship players total
or 25 players per season.
For that same reason, the service academies do not recognize the
National Letter of Intent, and technically, right up until “R” Day, in
June, when new cadets are sworn in, they are free to sign players who
have signed Letters of Intent with other colleges.
*********** Boy, is my wife pissed...
Although she's a graduate of Hood College, in Maryland, Smith College,
in Northampton, Massachusetts, which she attended for two years before
we got married, has always had a special place in her heart.
Not any longer. Not with Saturday's announcement that
Smith, long a prestigious women's college, is going to
begin admitting "transgender women," meaning people born as men
who now "identify" as female. Hmm. Say
hello to your new roommate, girls.
Smith will not, however, admit those trannies who were born female but "identify" as male.
In announcing the policy change, Smith administration noted that "concepts of female identity have evolved."
Yeah, evolved. Despite the way mankind (sorry, personkind)
has lived for thousands of years, we're now so advanced, so
enlightened that in the space of maybe ten years we've seen a
whole new species "evolve."
So often I hear things like "kids today don't..." or "young people today lack..."
This weekend my daughters participated in Special Olympics for the
first time. Talk about an experience in which effort is
celebrated to the nth degree over ability level. What a joy it
was to see competitors high five and hug each other, win or lose.
To see real joy in the faces of kids and adults alike brought about
simply by competing and increased by people cheering and clapping for
them. To see that these individuals get a chance to shine on the
same track that the best athletes in their school and communities
Dozens of Illinois State University football players were volunteering
to help. The fastest, strongest, biggest athletes in the state
were there helping children in wheel chairs during their softball/shot
put competition, holding a rope the length of a straightaway so a blind
competitor could hold on to it to run the 100m (she won, by the way),
measuring for the standing and running long jump. When I asked a
group of these players if they were from ISU football the answer was a
quick "yes sir." They all looked me in the eye. When I
congratulated them on a great season (0:38 from winning the I-AA
national championship) the response was "Thank you. Thank you
very much." And when I thanked them for helping it was "You are
welcome. It's our pleasure."
So, I walked away confident that "kids today DO..." and "young people today HAVE..." and our game has a lot to do with that.
By the way, the Hollis girls both won gold! Meg Hollis won the
200m and Alina Hollis won the tennis ball throw. It was a pretty
Head Football Coach
Elmwood High School
Those ISU players showed that when
coached right, football is a wonderful vehicle for guys to learn the
importance of unselfishness and looking out for others.
Congratulations to Meg and Alina - and kudos to those guys from ISU for helping to make it much a great day for all those kids.
*********** Other than the fact that Bowden Wyatt, Bob Devaney,
Pat Dye, Fred Akers, Dennis Erickson and Joe Tiller all had successful
careers as college coaches, what other very significant thing did they
all have in common?
Not bragging about my daughter-in-law, MIchelle, you
understand, but in addition to being an extremely talented
TV producer, she dabbles in cupcakes as a sideline.
My wife was reading me an article about the humor that’s sometimes
found in obituaries when she came to this one: “He left behind a hell
of a lot of stuff his wife and daughter have no idea what to do with.”
I think she was trying to tell me something…
*********** "in the not-too-distant future, there's going to be as many
elite basketball players on other continents as there are in the US.
Once, that was unthinkable. If I'd suggested to you that there'd be 75
international players (in the NBA) a decade ago, you'd have laughed at
me. I'm telling you, does anyone think that Yao Ming is the last great
player to come out of China?” David Stern, 2004
*********** Hello Coach,
Today's "News" brought this to mind.
Rockville - Cold Spring - Richmond is near St. Cloud, MN. The shooter
was confronted by football coach/PE teacher Mark Johnson, a heck
of a guy, with a commanding presence.
Wow. I had almost forgotten that one.
I see that the Wikipedia account does not identify the hero as a football coach. Figures.
*********** “There has never been a president who knows what it’s like
to menstruate, be pregnant, or give birth,” writes Kate Harding,
which is why she says she's voting for Hillary.
“I intend to vote with my vagina,” she proclaimed
Now that, I’d like to see. On second thought...
*********** “Every hero becomes a bore at last.”
So said Ralph Waldo Emerson, who lived in the 19th century and never even met Joe Namath.
You know, that Joe Namath. Alabama. New York Jets. Flashy playboy in the mink coat.
Every wonder how Namath, a high school star from Western Pennsylvania,
wound up at Alabama, anyhow? He was all set to go to Maryland,
but his College Board scores were too low, so - please don’t take this
the wrong way, Bama grads - the Maryland coach at the time, Tom Nugent,
recommended him to Alabama’s Bear Bryant, and the rest is history.
On to the heights of Broadway fame, and all that that entailed.
But now here’s Namath, who’s proven time and again over the years that
those College Board people knew what they were doing, saying that
if he had it to do all over again, he wouldn’t have played football.
Yeah, sure. Finally, he realizes that all that fame,
all that glory, all that money, all those beautiful women throwing
themselves at him couldn’t compare to a career working in a steel
If he were lucky, he’d have made it to retirement before the mill shut
down, and now he’d be sitting on a stool in a dingy bar in some
near-deserted one-time mill town, regaling anybody who wanders in with
the same, tired tale about how he took the high school team to the
conference championship back in ’61. And making drunken passes at
*********** Hi Coach Wyatt,
As the proud owner of both "A Fine Line" and " "Blocking The Old School
Way" I was wondering if you could pass on some advice. What do you
think about the "Trap Chute"?? In neither DVD you use a chute for
teaching. Do you feel it is not worth it as a teaching aid?
Trap chutes are rather expensive but
if you have the budget for one, I’d say they’re worth good. But
they’re not indispensable.
In my videos, and in my teaching, I’ve
tried to stress making do without expensive toys. Most of my
experience over the last several years, including overseas, has been in
low-budget places where we’ve had to get by with what we had, such as
hand shields, and since that’s the situation most coaches find
themselves in, I’ve taken the minimalist approach in my videos.
There’s no question that our linemen could play lower. Everyone’s could. And a trap chute can you help teach that.
*********** After reading my article about the Finns and their
dedication to their defense, Shep Clarke, of Puyallup, Washington found
this great piece about a Finnish sniper’s exploits in the Finns’ Winter
War against the Russians…
FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2015- “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” Red Adair, famed oil well fire fighter
If you know me, you know that I'm not the cynical type, given to
wondering what’s really going on. Oh, no. Not me.
So I don’t think for a minute that anything other than anger,
frustration, poverty, feeling disrespected, wanting to be heard,
wanting answers, wanting justice, etc. might be behind the Baltimore
But still. Perhaps you’ve noticed, as I have, that it sure has
pushed Mrs. Clinton’s lies about where her money’s been coming from and
Mr. Obama’s capitulation to Iran off the front pages.
I hope that Tennessee will be a place worthy of Marcus Mariota, a
place where he'll be appreciated. And well coached.
Actually, a part of me wishes that he wouldn't even go to the
NFL. Ever. Not unlike Tim Tebow, he’s almost too good a person to
have to make his living with that mess of hoodlums and lowlifes, but
other good guys seem to manage.
Anyhow, I can't match the NFL's dollars.
Fortunately, I don't think there's anything that even the slimeballs
that infest the NFL can do to change the kind of man Marcus Mariota is.
In an article in Wednesday’s Portland Oregonian, Andrew Greif went to
Saint Louis School, Mariota’s high school, in Honolulu, to talk to the
people who knew him when.
There was his football coach, Vinny Passas: “He’s able to make the next
guy feel important and welcome and show his true genuine side of being
a brother and the brotherhood we have here. It really shows. It’s
contagious because when you are around guys like him, guys tend to act
There was science teacher, Lulu Lulu, who’s taught at St. Louis for 23
years, and who’s known Mariota since middle school. “You know how
people always want to find a negative?” he asked. “Yeah, good luck.”
On the wall of his room is a poster the describes what it means to be a “Saint Louis Man” (it’s an all-male school):
The Saint Louis Man…
* Believes in God
* Accepts Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as his Mother
* Makes Moral Choices
* Respects All People, Especially Women
* Values Friends
* Nurtures Friendships
* Communicates Honestly and Effectively
* Disciplines Himself to Meet His Obligations
* Matures into an Exemplary Person
* Makes a Difference in the World
* Promotes Peace and Nonviolence
* Thinks Critically and Creatively
* Accepts Differences
* Lives the Golden Rule: Treat Others as You Want to be Treated
A photo on the poster shows a tall teenager helping a younger boy tie
his necktie. The tall teenager is Marcus Mariota, and the photo
was not posed. It was taken when Mariota stopped in the middle of
a photo shoot to help the little guy.
The poster is signed, “Mr. Lulu, Thank you for everything. Marcus Mariota.”
Four years ago, Marcus Mariota won the “Saint Louis Man Award,” given to the senior who best embodies those qualities.
Assistant head of school Sione Thompson, himself a St. Louis graduate
and a former Arizona football player, will become principal in
July. Greig noted that President Obama is a graduate of rival
Punahou School, but when Thompson was asked who he’d want to be the
face of his school, he said, “I’m a Marcus fan. I love him to death. I
wouldn’t trade him for the world.”
*********** Ryszard Szaro died not long ago in Warsaw, Poland. He was 67.
He was the first native-born Pole to play
in the NFL, and in recent years he devoted much of his time to the
development of American football in his native Poland.
I - we, the guys on the Philadelphia Bell - knew him as Richie Szaro, the kicker from Harvard.
We didn’t know that he was one of the
greatest football players to come out of New York City; that he’d only
arrived in America in 1962, and that just a few years later, in
1966, at St. Francis Prep, he’d been a Parade All American
as a running back. And as a kicker. (He was good with either
We didn’t know that his senior year he had set a New York High School single season scoring record with 164 points.
We didn’t know that going into the final
game of the season - the city championship game - he needed 11
points to break the old record of 144, and he wound up scoring
30. He ran back the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown,
scored three more touchdowns, and kicked six PATs in the St. Francis
knew he went to Harvard, but we didn’t know that it was an extra point
that he missed against Yale - kicking left-footed because he’d injured
his right foot - that required Harvard to go for two (and make it) in
the historic 29-29 “Harvard win.”
What we did know was that he was a
kicker. He was bit eccentric. He was quite intelligent. He was
aloof. He was very proud, which unfortunately came across as effecting
an air of superiority. And he had a strong leg.
A very strong leg. Our special
teams coach, Joe Gardi, didn’t particularly care for him, nor did our
head coach, Ron Waller. I was director of player personnel then, and,
under orders to find a new kicker to replace Szaro, there was a stretch
of a couple of weeks where I was bringing in a new kicker candidate
Didn’t matter. None of them could beat out Richie Szaro. None of them had his leg strength.
took us a while to figure out what was going on. Upon their
arrival, Szaro would befriend the new kickers, then take them out
on the field and engage them in some friendly competition, just between
fellow kickers. All members of the same fraternity and all that.
Mainly, the question was who had the stronger leg. No
question there. He’d wear them all out.
And then Joe Gardi would come out and look at them wonder why they didn’t have any "pop" in their kids.
That was Richie Szaro.
clearly remember one exchange between him and our equipment manager,
Bob Colonna, a small, rotund character (one player, Bob Miranda, called
him the Human Beach Ball), a very domineering type who, like most
equipment managers, protected “his” equipment as if he’d paid for it
On this particular day, Szaro said, “Hey, Collona. How about a tee-shirt?”
Replied Colonna, in his Brooklyn accent, “I ain’t got no tee-shoits.”
“Aha, Colonna. Double negative. That means you do have some.”
“Aaah, f—k you, Sizzarro.”
*********** Marcel Pronovost died at 84.
He played 20 season in the NHL, from 1950-1969, 15 of them with the Detroit Red Wings.
Brought up at age 19 to join the Red Wings for the playoffs, he won a Stanley Cup before he’d even played a regular season game.
Think hockey is tough now? (I do.) It was brutal then. No helmets, no face masks, no mouth guards.
There were only six teams in the league - Rangers, Red Wings, Black
Hawks, Bruins, Maple Leaf and Canadiens - and players fought hard to
hang onto scarce jobs.
He was known as a “take one for the team” guy, and his face showed it.
“He was often bloodied, and his nose was broken at least a dozen times;
the hockey writer and historian Stan Fischler, noting that Pronovost’s
“stitch count eventually reached into the hundreds,” called him “the
most embroidered man in hockey.”
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978.”
*********** Before the Orioles played the White Sox on Wednesday in an
empty stadium, Orioles’ management contacted several WNBA coaches to
try to find out what it’s like playing without a crowd on hand.
*********** Hugh, I'm sure you already made the connection, but the
news of the school shooting at North Thurston validates everything that
Jim and John Harbaugh said, as quoted in your recent postings. In
this beautiful Age of Enlightenment, when manhood has been rendered
obsolete, who intervenes to defend others and puts his own life at risk
in unarmed combat with a crazed gunman? Not the obese feminist
with purple hair and a nose ring. Not the skinny-legged hipster
with an "ironic" beard and Buddy Holly glasses. No, the guy who
saved lives was a 6-foot-5 football coach. In a Flight, Freeze,
or Fight situation, he instinctively chose the correct course of action
and neutralized the threat. I am 100% certain that his football
background contributed hugely to the successful resolution of the event.
I guess I would expand the Harbaugh Doctrine to include other contact
sports, since I recall that the charge of the passengers on Flight 93
was led by a judoka and a rugby player, but the principle remains the
Of course, there was no such thing as a "school shooting" in
sleepy Spokane in the 60's and 70's, but if there had been, I have no
doubt that hard-nosed coaches like Steve Shea or "Ultra-violent Ray"
Peterson would have done exactly the same thing.
Not that it matters that the guy was a former
football coach - but there was no mention in any of the major media
stories about the guys’ even being a former coach. Just “a
Wouldn’t want to glorify those neanderthals we call football coaches.
But in my days as a teacher - back in
the days before they had “resource officers” walking the halls -
whenever trouble broke out they always called for the football coach.
Hmmm. Why me? Why not the art teacher? Or the
home ec teacher? (I date myself by even mentioning “home ec.”)
*********** In 2004, according to a Birmingham News survey, Daphne,
Alabama High School's Glenn Vickery was the highest-paid high school
football coach in the state, at $86,180.
HIgh School football coach Josh Niblett became the state's highest paid high scool coach, at $125,000 a year.
Justin King, in al.com, reportes that there are now nine Alabama high
school football coaches imaking at least $100,000 per year. On the
other hand, there is a reall have/have not situation going on:
more than 110 public high schools pay their head football coach less
than $60,000 per year.
Said Hoover's Niblett, "It started off with the money college
coaches were making, but I think if you go to other states like Texas
or Georgia you will find guys making a lot more than $125,000. The
numbers those guys are making -- and not teaching -- are unbelievable.”
*********** My son, Ed, lives in Melbourne, Australia - a sports-crazed
city in a sports-crazed country. Melbourne’s biggest sport by far
is “Footy” - Australian Rules Football - the iconic Australian game
featuring fist-passing, tackling, long punts and officials who signal
goals with what looks like a “guns drawn” gesture.
Footy is wildly popular in Melbourne, a large city with a metro
population of 4.5 million. Crowds of 100,000 at Australian
Football League games are not unusual. And it’s hard to
find a Melbournian of any age or sex who doesn’t “barrack for” (don’t
say “root for” - “root” can mean something, uh, vulgar in Aussie talk)
one of the Melbourne area’s ten teams.
That’s right - ten of the Australian Football League’s 16 teams are
located the Melbourne area. (Think of an NFL with 18 of its 32
teams located in New York.)
And that’s a problem for the Footy people, because despite outsiders’
perceptions, “Footy” is not exactly the National Game. Elsewhere
in Australia, where the big sport is more likely to be Rugby Union or
Rugby League, “Footy” is seen as Melbourne’s game.
Wrote Ed, recently, “Footy's in a strange place - it's an obscure sport
that grew up and tried to spread its wings, but now realizing it's not
so easy to tackle the other sports in places like Sydney and Brisbane.”
Put another way, Footy is in the position that we at National Beer once found ourselves in.
We had more than 50 per cent of the Baltimore market. Astounding for
any consumer good. But elsewhere, we were nothing.
Elsewhere, Schmidt was big in Philly and Schaefer was big in New
York. Iron City in Pittsburgh, Stroh’s in Detroit.
But peoples’ horizons were expanding beyond the limits of their hometowns.
And outside their home markets, those leading local brands weren’t very
strong. But everywhere you went, there were Bud-Schlitz-Miller,
not first in any of those markets, but a strong second or third
in every market. And their strength was that they were truly
national. You could go anywhere and get Bud-Schlitz-Miller.
And if you lived in Detroit and travelled (or moved) to
Philadelphia, you were more likely to order
Bud-Schlitz-Miller than to try Schmidt’s.
And a whole generation of kids grew up and went away to college, or
into the service, and discovered that they couldn’t get their local
favorite anyplace else in the country. Yes, Bud-Schlitz-Miller were a
little more expensive, but to a nation of kids who didn’t have any
understanding of the Depression, as their fathers did, what the hell
was a nickel a bottle?
Then, the killer - along came network TV sports, and
Bud-Schlitz-Miller, with their nationwide distribution, could justify
advertising on it. National couldn’t afford to pay millions to
reach beer drinkers in faraway markets where we didn’t sell beer.
And so forth.
My fear is that left to its own devices, without a major effort to
become more than just the Melbourne Football League, Footy could become
a bit of esoterica, like Finnish baseball (pesapallo). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFJMZnEmxrk
*********** I’m sure you’ve received this (and many more like it) from someone you know whose email has been hijacked…
Have you or anyone you know clicked on the link?
Hi! How are you?
Have you seen this http://forgedwithlove.com/born.php before? Oprah had been using it for over a year!
from the UK: Finland has fired warning shots at a suspected foreign
submarine off the coast of Helsinki in the early hours of Tuesday
morning, amid growing military tensions with neighbouring Russia.
Carl Haglund, Finland's defence
minister, did not say whether Russia was involved, but the incident was
reminiscent of a Swedish hunt for a foreign submarine in its waters
last October that many thought to be Russian.
My advice to the Russians if they push Finland too far: pack a big lunch.
Finns are a different breed altogether. They are not, technically,
Scandinavians. They live in a northern land, they border on
Sweden and Norway, and their flag uses the same pattern as those of the
other Scandinavian nations. But the Finnish forbears were not Vikings,
like the others. They originated somewhere in Central Asia, and
they speak a language totally unlike those of the Swedes, Danes and
Norwegians. Totally unlike any other in the world, for that
matter, except Estonian.
And - unlike their obstinately neutral neighbors - the Finns know what it means to fight.
Caught, geographically, between the larger kingdoms of Sweden and
Russia, they spent time under the dominance of both, and they didn't
begin to experience true independence until 1917, following the
Russian Revolution. Even then, they had to endure a civil
war of their own, between Reds (Communists) and Whites.
They share a long border with Russia, and they do a lot of business
with Russia, but it’s hard to find a Finn with much good to say about
In 1991, I was in Finland coaching football. We had a few days
off, so my wife and I were doing a little traveling, and we found
ourselves sitting in a pub near the railroad station in the town of
Kouvola, waiting for our train. As we sat and drank our beer and
talked, an older gentleman sat quietly at the same table. Nothing
unusual there. Finns are not talkative people. They listen
a lot and say a little. It was hard to tell whether this man was
eavesdropping on our conversation, because many older people speak only
Finnish, but suddenly he nudged me and said, in halting and
heavily accented English, "May I say something?"
"Well, of course," I said. He'd obviously been working up the courage to speak to us. "Ole hyvää. (Be my guest.)"
Said the gentleman, "I… hate… f--king… Russians."
I laughed. But I understood. A few years earlier I had attended the
high school graduation of one of the younger guys on my team. I
didn't understand a word, but it was a nice ceremony, not unlike an
American graduation. But then, when it was over, the graduates
marched to the town church (the state church is Lutheran, and Finns,
although not particularly religious, are virtually all nominal
Lutherans). And there, in the churchyard, they laid flowers on
the graves of soldiers, young men from their town who'd died fighting
in what they call The Winter War and the Continuation War, both against
the f--king Russians.
Finns speak with great pride of the fierce resistance their forefathers
put up at the outbreak of World War II, when the Russkies invaded
Put simply, for months the Finns, although vastly outnumbered and
outgunned - and unassisted by any of their fellow Scandinavians - stood
up to the Russians in the Winter War, finally having to concede
land in what is known as Karelia (in Finnish, Karjala).
But for the Russians the price of victory was enormous. One result was that it emboldened Hitler to invade Russia.
joke: "Karjala" - pronounced "CARR-ya-lah" - is also a popular
brand of Finnish beer. Finns, especially after they've had a few,
like to joke, "We are taking back Karjala - glass by glass.")
The lessons of their wars with Russia were not lost on the Finnish
people. The first lesson was not to provoke the Big Bear, with
which it shares a border of some 1,000 miles. During the Cold
War, when Finland was the only free Western nation bordering on the
Soviet Union, its leaders successfully struck a delicate balance
between dealing with the East and belonging to the West.
The second lesson was to be able to defend itself - to make sure that
Russia understood that while it certainly had the power to defeat
little Finland, the price of doing so would be too great to make it
worth the effort.
Finland has a small but strong army, part of what it
diplomatically calls its "Puolustusvoimat” - a compound word meaning
“defense forces.” The emphasis is on the words “defense.”
(“Nothing to fear from us, Ivan. It's not for aggressive
purposes. It's simply for our protection. Protection from what?
you say. Uh...")
To this day, every Finnish male is required to serve a year of
"national service" - either in the military or in "alternative
service," such as in a hospital somewhere. I’ve read someplace that
more than 80 per cent of men choose the military service. In reality,
though, I’ve never met a Finnish guy who hasn't been in the
military, and whenever I would ask whether anybody, anywhere, ever
chose alternative service, the standing joke would be, "I think I
heard of some guy up in Kuopio who worked in a hospital there…”
After their year of service, Finnish men become part of the reserve, and can be called up on short notice.
(There is no comparable draft of women. In fact, there is
no hue and cry about a “war on women” in Finland, perhaps because
in my observation Finnish women enjoy an independence and
equality unlike many places in the world and they seem refreshingly
free of the feminist preoccupations of so many American women.)
As a result of their military service, a large percentage
of Finnish men know how to use a gun. And many of
them, unlike most other Europeans, own guns themselves, and love to
hunt. Finnish-made Sako rifles are among the best in the world.
(A Finnish breed of dog, the Karelian bear dog, fearlessly hunts bear
and wild boars.) http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/dogs-101/videos/rare-dog-breeds/
Finns are well aware of the need to be ready to defend their beloved
Suomi (the Finnish word for Finland). The Finnish education
system is second to none anywhere, and school children are taught
their country's history as an essential matter of their nation’s
heroism of the men who fought to defend their country and its hard-won
independence is legendary among today's Finns. A story of their
travails - Tuntematon Sotilas ("The Unknown Soldier") - could be called
the national story. Many Finns have told me that anyone who wants to
know the Finnish character needs to read it. (And watch the movie.) The book, by the way, is available in English.
My last coaching job in Finland was in the small city of Hamina, less
than an hour's drive from the Russian border, and I recall one time
sitting with several of my players - all of them army veterans, of
course - and asking what would happen if the Russians were to invade.
They seemed surprised by the question. I’m sure they’d never been asked
it before. One of them, Juha Skinnari, a warrant officer in the
Army, answered, very matter-of-factly, "We will fight." The others
nodded somberly in agreement, as if he had just said, "The sun will
rise in the east tomorrow.”
There's one more thing about Finns that you'd have to live among them
to fully understand. It's a national characteristic encapsulated in one
Finnish word that defies translation: Sisu.
It can mean guts. Grit. Hard-headedness. Toughness. Resilience.
Endurance. Doggedness. Willingness to fight on in the face of hopeless
odds. (They make pretty good football players.)
So lately the Russians have taken to antagonizing the Finns,
coming way too close to Finnish territory with planes and ships,
Perhaps it's just to remind their little neighbor that Ivan is always
there, and he has the upper hand. Perhaps it's to warn Finland,
although a part of the European Union, not to even consider
Whatever the reason, though, I would suggest to the Russians that
they open their history books (if Putin hasn’t burned them all)
and read about the Winter War.
I can save them the trouble by telling them this: you can eventually
take the Finns down - there's a lot more of you, and you have them
outgunned - but they’re never going to quit. It's going to
be hard, nasty work, and you’re going to pay a terrible price.
Think of them as highly civilized Afghans.
TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 2015- "Four
brave men who do not know each other will not dare to attack a
lion. Four less brave, but knowing each other well, sure of their
reliability and consequentially of mutual aid, will attack
resolutely." Ardent du Picq, French Military Officer
In our win-at-all-costs society, few kids are ever given a chance to
learn about sportsmanship. In professional sports especially,
there’s little left that has anything to do with sportsmanship,
with respect for the game and one’s opponents. But there stands
hockey, a sport that in my estimation few athletes from other sports
would have the toughness to play, as an example to the others.
Easily the noblest tradition in all of sports is hockey’s handshake
line, which takes place after the final game of a series. None of
the “good job…good job…good job” or “nice game… nice game…nice game”
insincerity of the high school football walk-through. Those guys, who
only minutes before were committing mayhem in a manner unseen in any of
the other team sports - and on skates, yet - actually take the time to
talk to each other.
It’s one of my favorite moments in sports. It’s everything that sports ought to be about.
There’s a special place in my heart for Baltimore. Although we lived in
East Haven, Connecticut my senior year in college, we moved not long
after to Baltimore, when I took a job with Container Corporation of
America, and we lived there for five years. Our three youngest kids
were born there.
And even though we moved from there to Frederick, Maryland, I still worked in Baltimore for two more years.
What surprised me, having grown up no more than 100 miles to the north,
in Philadelphia, was how southern Baltimore was. To my wife
and me, Baltimore was a very, very exotic place, with a deep pride in
its rich history, and an accent all its own. We would laugh at
pronunciations like POH-lice, FAR Department, zinc (as in kitchen sink)
and paramour (power mower). A person who had trouble telling the
truth was a LAHR. Only natives knew how to pronounce Baltimore
And what a great sports town! We had the Orioles - what fun it was to
walk down to Memorial Stadium, plunk down $1.25 and spend a hot summer
night sitting in the upper deck talking baseball with black guys.
Talk about knowledgeable fans. Basketball? Before they
moved to DC and changed their name, we had the Bullets, with Earl the
Pearl Monroe, and Wesley Unseld. We had a great American Hockey League
team in the Clippers. That was really good hockey then, because
the NHL at that point had only SIX teams. Football? I’ll go to my death
bed maintaining that no city ever loved its football team - no, not
even Green Bay - the way Baltimore loved its Colts.
Baltimore had East Baltimore Street, aka “The Block,” where all-the-way
strip clubs catered to the basest of male appetites. Needless to say,
tourists (male) came from miles around to have those appetites
When I lived there, Baltimore was a segregated city. Its ghettoes were
bad then, and they're no better today. But there was a large and
growing black middle class. And, in truth, a lot of
Baltimore's white neighborhoods weren’t all that great,
either. And then there was O’Donnell Heights, derisively called
“Hillbilly Heaven,” where whites from West Virginia and southwest
Virginia, who’d come to work in the factories, lived.
There was industry galore. At the time, Bethlehem Steels’ Sparrows
Point mill employed 30,000 people. Armco Steel had a mill there, and so
did Eastern Stainless Steel. There were glass factories and automobile
factories and chemical plants. There were the railroads - the B
& O, the Western Maryland and the Pennsylvania. And there was
the port. Anyone who was willing to work could find a job.
There was plenty of racism - I said it was a southern town. Maryland
was a southern state. Maryland, never forget, was a “border
state” during the Civil War - it did not secede, but the main reason it
remained in the Union was that it was allowed to remain a slave state.
The alternative was to force Maryland to secede, in which case the
nation’s capital would have been surrounded by Confederate
states. (That’s a major reason why the Emancipation Proclamation,
if you didn’t know, did not apply to border states.)
One of the worst riots in American history took place during the Civil
War on the streets of Baltimore when a mob of southern sympathizers
attacked Union troops marching through town between two railroad
Other than working together, when I lived in Baltimore (mid-60s) whites
and blacks pretty much lived in separate worlds. Separate
neighborhoods, certainly. There simply weren’t any bars or
restaurants then that served both whites and blacks.
The brewery I worked for was a real pioneer in its hiring of black
sales people, but come on - was it enlightenment or was it just plain
good business to hire black salesmen to sell beer to black taverns and
liquor stores? And before that, when I was selling packaging and I
wanted to go to lunch with a black customer (yes, I had one, and a very
good one - the Parks Sausage Company) I had to call around to make sure
that my customer would be spared the embarrassment of being denied
I was living and working in Baltimore during the riots of April 1968,
following the assassination of Dr. King, and things were bad, but not
as bad as they were in DC (I happened to be working there on the
day Dr. King was killed, and it was scary), and nothing at all
like the way they were in Detroit. We also had a brewery there,
and during the riots there were National Guardsmen with machine guns up
on the roof. I saw Detroit not long after the riots, and it was
devastating. Rioters had put the torch to many of the city’s businesses
and big old houses.
From that point, interestingly, Baltimore and Detroit seemed to go in different directions.
Baltimore, at least its central core, experienced quite a renaissance,
with the cleanup and revitalization of the Inner Harbor and the
gentrification of Fells Point and Canton, two once rundown harborside
neighborhoods that I have to admit I once saw no hope for. Oriole Park
at Camden Yards really helped. So, too, did the fact that
Washington at the time had no baseball, so the Orioles drew not just
from Baltimore but from the DC area, some 40 miles away. Lots of those
Washington people saw Baltimore, and liked what they saw -
especially the prices of its real estate. And then - sorry,
Cleveland - in came the Browns/Ravens, to replace the hole left in
Baltimoreans’ hearts by the kidnapping of their Colts.
Detroit went the other way. Once vibrant, it’s become a synonym for a city in an advanced state of decay.
Most historians will trace the decline of Detroit to the riots of ’68.
Whites and blacks who could afford to get out moved to the suburbs,
leaving behind poor people with increasing demands for city services
and decreasing ability to pay for them.
My fear is that this could be the tipping point for Baltimore. I pray that it’s not.
There is no economic solution to Baltimore’s problems. Bethlehem Steel
is gone. So are Armco and Eastern Stainless, along with the glass
factories, the chemical factories, the automobile plants.
And what are the chances, with everyone in the world able to see in
real time what Baltimore’s mobs are capable of, of ever bringing in any
company that would provide gainful employment?
And where is the company that would take its chances in a city whose
mayor’s idea of leadership during Monday's rioting was to order the
police to remain passive and then go into hiding herself?
What chance is there of controlling violence when the police are not
under orders to protect property and lives, but to protect “the right
What a terrible thing that a relatively small group of young mobsters was allowed to defile that city.
can blame anyone - white or black - for wanting to get out of a city
populated by mobs that its leadership seems unwilling or unable to
What we saw was no protest. As one commenter on TV observed, the
rioters had zero connection with Freddie Gray, the young man whose
death the protests are supposedly all about, adding, “They probably
would have killed him if he’d bumped into them on the dance floor.”
*********** Hayden Fry probably did as much as anyone in Iowa
football’s long history to put the Hawkeyes on the national map. In his
20 years there, Iowa was 143-89-6, went to 14 bowl games, won three Big
Ten titles, and went to three Rose Bowls.
His coaching tree is legendary.
In 1983, while at Iowa, he had no
fewer than five future FBS head coaches on his staff: Barry Alvarez,
Kirk Ferentz, Dan McCarney, Bill Snyder and Bob Stoops.
Before Iowa, he coached at SMU, taking the
Mustangs to three bowl games. And on May 1, at the
SMU Hall of Fame Banquet, he’ll become the first ever recipient of
SMU’s Legends Award, given by the SMU Lettermen’s Board.
Perhaps most noteworthy of Coach Fry’s
accomplishments at SMU was the recruitment of one athlete: this year
will mark the 50th anniversary of the enrollment at SMU of the great
Jerry LeVias, the first black scholarship athlete in Southwest
*********** A fourth-grade teacher in
Olathe, Kansas gave her class an assignment: to ask someone about their
favorite poem and what it has meant to them.
One of her students, Claire Gottschalk,
wrote to Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, asking him those questions,
and - a sure sign of the man’s character - she received, in return, a
note from Coach Snyder.
I think so highly of the man that I wouldn’t have expected anything else.
It was hand-written, in K-State purple ink:
“Yes I do have a favorite poem called
Grandpa. When you read it, you may understand why it has been a
favorite of mine for a long time. My ‘Grandpa’ was a guiding
light in my life.”
The old man sat with eyes closed, dozing in his chair
Until a little voice he heard say “Grandpa, are you there”.
He gazed upon a little boy while waking from his nap
Then reached down with a sweeping move and placed him in his lap
The child was carrying a book that he wanted him to see
He held it up and asked him “Grandpa, will you read to me”?
The old man cleaned his glasses then opened up the book
And suddenly the two of them a wondrous journey took
They ventured lands so far away, sailed seas not sailed before
Met knights and kings and wizards on every distant shore.
Together they fought dragons, saved damsels in distress
Freeing lands of monsters and the treasures they possess
When the old man closed the cover to end their magic ride
He told the boy “We’re much like books, what’s important is inside”.
But one day when the boy arrived and rushed to Grandpa’s chair
Much to his disappointment, his Grandpa was not there
He ran to find his mother for surely she would know
Why the chair was empty, where did his Grandpa go
She sat him down and asked him if he remembered in each book
The adventures and the journeys that he and Grandpa took
He took you there to show you the things that you can find
The wonders that are yours to see if you open up your mind
But he still walks beside you in the stories you have read
You’re not left to go alone, he’s just gone ahead
The child then went and chose a book and climbed up in the chair
And opening up the cover whispered “Grandpa, are you there”?
*********** USA Women’s World Cup uniforms, from those folks at Nike who gave us Army West Point…
Three cheers for the black white and… chartreuse?
*********** “Why Football Matters” - by John Harbaugh
The game of football is under attack.
We see it every day in the headlines and on the news. The medical
concerns are pressing. The game has taken its share of criticism.
President Barack Obama said that if he had boys he wouldn’t let them
play football. Even LeBron James has publicly said no football in his
The question is asked over and over: Why would anyone want to play football? And why would anyone let their kids play?
Here’s my answer: I believe there’s practically no other place where a young man is held to a higher standard.
Football is hard. It’s tough. It demands discipline. It teaches obedience. It builds character.
Football is a metaphor for life.
This game asks a young man to push himself further than he ever thought
he could go. It literally challenges his physical courage. It shows him
what it means to sacrifice. It teaches him the importance of doing his
job well. We learn to put others first, to be part of something bigger
than ourselves. And we learn to lift our teammates – and ourselves – up
These are rare lessons nowadays.
Football has faced challenges like this before.
In 1905, there were 19 player deaths and at least 137 serious injuries.
Many of these occurred at the high school and college levels. Major
colleges said they were going to drop football because the game had
become too violent.
That’s when President Teddy Roosevelt stepped in to call a meeting with
coaches and athletic advisers from Harvard, Princeton and Yale. He
wanted to find a way to make the game safer. They made significant
changes, introducing new rules like the forward pass and the wide
receiver position. Those changes turned football more into the game we
know it as today.
We made progress. Rules changed. Society evolved. The game advanced.
We’re at another turning point in our sport. The concussion issue is real and we have to face it.
We have to continue to get players in better helmets. We have to teach
tackling the right way, and that starts at the NFL level. Change the
Take certain things out of the game. It’s all the right thing to do.
But even with all of that, the importance of football hasn’t changed. In some ways, it’s more important than ever.
And I believe the most critical place for football is at the youth and
high school levels. For 97 percent of football players, the pinnacle of
their careers is the high school game. Few players ever go on to the
college level. Even less make it to the pros.
For a lot of these kids, it’s not until it’s all said and done, and
they look back on it several years later, that they realize the
difference the sport made in their lives. They are proud of playing the
game. Have you ever met anybody who accomplished playing four years of
high school football, and at the end of that run said, ‘Man, I wish I
wouldn’t have played’? It doesn’t get said.
We know that football players aren’t perfect. Nobody is. But millions
of former players, one by one, can recount the life-altering principles
they learned from football.
They know the value of football is the values in football.
That’s why high school football – and particularly high school coaches
– play such a vital role in our society. Our football coaches are on
the front lines of the battle for the hearts and minds of the young men
in our society. The culture war is on and we see it every day. These
young men are more vulnerable than ever.
How many youth and high school coaches serve as a father figure to
their players? How many mothers look to the coaches of their son’s
football team as the last best hope to show their son what it means to
become a man – a real man? More than we’ll ever know.
Coaches teach our young people the lessons of life that very often they
learn from no one else. Coaches have the kind of influence in our
schools, and with our young people, that is difficult to come by.
Billy Graham once said, “One coach will influence more people in one
year than the average person will do in a lifetime.” My dad also says
all the time that it just takes one person to believe in a young man or
young woman to change their lives. I couldn’t agree more.
Our culture teaches us to judge an activity by how it’s going to make
us feel right now. But football doesn’t work that way. The game
challenges and pushes us. It’s often uncomfortable. It requires us to
be at our best.
Isn’t that what we want in our society?
Football is a great sport. Football teams can be, and very often are,
the catalyst for good in our schools and our communities. Millions of
young men have learned lessons in football that they could only learn
through playing this game. Football has saved lives.
That is why football matters.
*********** In Ottawa, the singer started in on a rousing rendition of
O Canada, then, nearly through, paused and thrust the mic
in the direction of the crowd. The audience, no doubt having been
through the drill before, took over, and sang a couple of lines, at
which the singer took over and finished up.
I’d like to see an American turn these lines over to the crowd-
And the rockets’ red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night
That our flag was still there.
Then come back and finish.
I’ve seen a couple of hockey games where it could be done.
*********** There once was a time when, right after baseball, two of
our most popular sports were horse racing and boxing. Remember
this, when the lefties finally relegate football to the status now
enjoyed by dog fighting.
Today, horse racing and boxing are no longer everyday sports, whose
heroes are known to all sports fans. Now, they remain in the background
until those rare occasions when they push back onto the front pages.
It just so happens that two of those rare occasions will coincide on Saturday.
In the afternoon, the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby will take
place. For about two minutes, it will be the biggest thing in sports -
millions of Americans who otherwise wouldn’t walk across the street to
watch a horse race will stop to watch the Derby. And
then, as quickly as they came, they’ll go back to whatever they were
And in the evening, the long-awaited Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will
take place in Las Vegas. Finally. Probably. And if it
really does take place, it will mean a payoff to the fighters of more
than $100 million each. If you happen to buy the fight on
pay-per-view, take a look at all those people sitting at
ringside. They’ll be IRS agents.
Me? I’ll be watching the Oregon spring game.
*********** Few things anger me more than the Ditkas, the Favres and
the Aikmans, all of whom owe everything they have to their ability to
play a game, cashing in on their football fame on network TV while out
of their other sides of their mouths telling young parents that if they
had it to do over again, they wouldn’t let their kids play football.
(Right. Peewee football was what caused the CTE found in former pro football players.)
Yes, those guys are entitled to their opinions. But they’re not
entitled to their platforms. I do question how the NFL,
with youth football under attack as it is, can allow those guys near a
mic, but despite the way it pats itself on the back for programs such
as Heads Up, the League really has never cared one way or the other
about youth - or high school - football.
And since that’s the way Ditka, Favre and Aikman feel, it’s damned
hypocritical of them to continue to appear on TV shows that,
essentially, glorify the game. I mean, shouldn’t they be over on
one of the health networks, telling those audiences how dangerous the
game is for little kids?
Granted, those little-known networks with their puny ratings won’t be
able to pay them what they’re making right now, but at least they’ll
have their integrity. And that’s a whole lot better than selling
out your beliefs for the big money, isn’t it, guys? Guys?
*********** Ken Hitchcock, coach of the St. Louis Blues, was asked
between periods Sunday whether he was going to stick with his goalie.
Absolutely, he answered. “He’s a young guy - gotta stick with him.”
Funny how quckly things can happen to cause us to change our minds.
Twenty-eight seconds into the period, the guy gave up a goal.
And out he came.
*********** In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Brian Casey,
president of DePauw University, was asked, “If you could wave a magic
wand and make one problem at your school disappear, what would that be?”
“I would like to wave a wand and for just some portion of every week
have some students removed from the Internet and from telephones, smart
phones and social media, and buy themselves time to read. Students
these days aren’t readers of longer books, and I can recall from my own
college days those moments when you fell in love with book and sat for
a sustained period with an important work and lived with that author
for a period. They are bombarded with short bits of information
constantly, and I would love to free them from that for just a short
period of every week. I think they would discover more about
themselves, they would learn how to engage with complexity in ways they
avoid in certain ways now. They would experience the act of being
quiet and alone with their thoughts.”
*********** Hugh, hope all is going well, enjoyed the news this
week, blown away by the coach being beat up by a student, very unreal,
but considering the lack of honor and discipline in our society today
it is not surprising. Anyway to the question at hand, I got a call from
a coach at a larger school wondering if we would like to come over June
13th for a scrimmage with three other teams out of 7 others that will
be there. The smallest classification is a class larger than us, , all
the rest are two classes larger. My concern is maybe safety not knowing
the size or ability of their athletes. I want to go because this would
be a huge boost if we can compete at the scrimmage when it comes to
playing the better teams in our league. Our kids are just more
intimidated by these schools and I feel this could get us over the
hump. What do you think?
You have to weigh the benefits of your
kids finding out that they can compete with the potential disaster of
their getting blown out.
In our case, last year we went into
the Woodland spring jamboree against bigger schools but we felt we were
going to be pretty good and we didn’t think there was any chance we’d
get drilled. Not with our line.
In our case, it was a great experience and it helped our kids’ confidence a lot.
But two years earlier, it would have really damaged our season.
You will have to decide if your kids
are ready yet. I suspect that your kids may still be fragile to
the point where it could really damage their confidence.
It’s your call, but I would say that
if all the schools are bigger than you, you could be taking on a lot
unless you’re really loaded.
*********** How most stupid ideas become reality:
BOSS: “What do you think about this new idea we came up with?”
OFFICE TOADIES: “Great idea, sir.”
But then, to their astonishment, it turns out that the public doesn’t
really give a sh— about what the boss thinks. It knows a bad idea
when it sees one, and it doesn’t have any interest whatsoever in
That’s what happened to New Coke.
And, based on the reception it’s been getting from the public, I'm
predicting that that’s what’s going to happen, eventually, to Army West
The ridicule has already started. Take a look at this HILARIOUS spoof of Army’s recent “rebranding.”
*********** When Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco
issued a new faculty guide for the archdiocese schools requiring
staff members to “affirm and believe” issues that are consistent with
the Church’s beliefs, he was challenged by lawmakers, who called the
In response, he asked them, “Would you hire a campaign manager who
advocates policies contrary to those that you stand for, and who shows
disrespect for you and the Democratic Party in general?”
He went on, “I respect your right to employ whomever you wish to
advance your mission. I simply ask the same respect from you.”
FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2015- "No matter how cynical you get, it's hard to keep up." Lily Tomlin
*********** Hi Coach,
Got a charge out the blog today and the message to young coaches about
the importance of being on time. Although The 2008 football season has
now passed into history one of the things I will always remember is the
lesson you taught those kids at the first afternoon meeting when our
all conference A Back came in five minutes late to the meeting. You
told him to leave and not come back unless he could be on time,
remember? He nor anyone else was ever late again and in fact during
that entire season only one other player missed unexcused from a
practice. A fine lesson for those twenty two kids to learn. I think
they realised if it could happen to him it could happen to any of them.
It sure made an impression on those kids at the time.
True story. HW
Pierre Ingram, Cal football's recruiting coordinator and wide receivers
coach has been placed on administrative leave following his arrest in
Oakland last week as part of a prostitution sting.
Ingram, 30, has been on coach Sonny Dykes’ staff for six years, and was recently named Cal’s passing game coordinator.
He was arrested after he “allegedly” solicited an undercover officer online, then showed up at an Oakland Motel 6.
Apart from the fact that in a city with Oakland’s serious violent crime
problem I question whether posing as a whore is an appropriate use of
police resources, I’d have to say that as a coach you’re in a
world of hurt when your assistants are as big a problem as your
*********** This hurts, but it's still good satire...
FALL RIVER, Mass. — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez
was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder and sentenced to
serve a minimum of four years hard time on the West Point football team.
The sentence, carried out by Judge Susan Garsh (USMA ’74), would force
the former NFL tight end to play for the U.S. Military Academy’s “Black
Knights,” a move many academy grads hope would finally allow
the team to defeat Navy after a crushing 117-year losing streak.
“Your honor, my client would rather just be put to death,” said
Hernandez’ attorney, shortly after the sentence was read in court. He
went on to say that such a sentence would qualify as cruel and
Hernandez, 25, was found guilty of killing Odin Lloyd, 27, on June 17,
2013. Lloyd’s body was found in an abandoned industrial yard a short
distance away from Hernandez’ home.
Standing and offering little emotion as the sentence was read,
Hernandez dropped his head into his hands and burst into tears when he
heard “West Point.” Sources nearby heard Hernandez tell his
attorney that’s even worse than sending him to the Minnesota Vikings.
Hernandez told reporters he already planned to appeal and ask for
lethal injection. Meanwhile, a source at the prison where he is being
held said he would be placed on suicide watch immediately.
*********** Heisman question:
Larry Kelley was the first player to win the award after it was changed to the "Heisman Trophy".
I hate that you are not going to have a clinic in the Raleigh/Durham
area this year from what I gathered in your Newsletter. There
sure are a ton of coaches that could use your material and expertise,
but then lots of these coaches are the same ones that wouldn't listen
Raleigh, North Carolina
*********** Headline: Football
coach seriously injured after being beaten in his office by student,
17, who felt disrespected after asking about trying out for the team
The coach, at Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee,
has been hospitalized with facial injuries so severe that they’ll
likely require surgery
Disrespected, eh? My guess: The kid was a senior
who’d never played before, and insisted on being given the
number “1”, being installed as the starting quarterback, being
permitted to call his own plays, and being allowed to miss the first
two weeks of practice - and then went off when the coach didn’t seem
*********** From October, 2003…The passing of former Oregon State coach
Dee Andros last week resurrected a lot of great stories about the guy
they called Great Pumpkin (he was rather “stocky,” and he often
wore an Oregon State orange jacket).
John Blanchette of the Spokane Spokesman-Review recalled this one, told
to him by one-time Washington State (and Fresno State) head coach Jim
Sweeney. (No doubt Sweeney swore it was true.)
Supposedly, Sweeney went up to Andros and said, "Dee, those Oregon
State people love you so much, they say the gospels were written by
Matthew, Mark, Luke and Dee."
Andros, according to Sweeney, got a good laugh out of the line. "That's a good one, Jimbo," he roared.
A few minutes later, Andros was with another group of friends, and
wanted to tell them the story, but first he needed to make sure he
could tell it right.
"Hey, Jimbo," he called to Sweeney. "What were those other three guys' names?"
*********** I’m often asked the difference between our double wing and
the Delaware Wing-T.There is very little difference between our system
and the original Delaware Wing-T, which is as pure as it gets. Our base
formation - double-tight, double-wing - is known as the "500" formation
in Delaware's terminology, although most Wing-T offenses now split an
end. We differ from the Delaware Wing-T mainly in the tightness of our
line splits, and the depth of our fullback. I'm not at all
ashamed to admit that I am running an offshoot of the Delaware
Wing-T. It’s a great offense. I ran it for eight years before I
tightened things up, and in my play calling my thinking hasn't
changed a whole lot from those days, other than that I believe we
have a better off-tackle power play than the Wing-T provides, and that
we don't have to make a big issue of tightening down our splits
whenever we want to run a wedge, because we're always in position to do
*********** Bob St. Clair died last week. I wrote this about him back in 2003.
A LOOK AT OUR LEGACY- Meet Bob St. Clair
He was nicknamed "The Geek." By his teammates, that is. Don't you try
calling him that - not even now, more than 40 years after he played his
last game. He's 6-9 and in his prime he weighed 265 or so, and he was
mean and tough. He was a boxer and never took any crap off anybody, on
or off the field. He's in his 70's now, but I'll bet he'd still knock
you on your ass if you called him "Geek."
How about this one? Q. Why was he called "The Geek?" A. Because of his
preference for eating his meat raw. (a 49ers' teammate, Bruno Banducci,
hung the name on him after a character of the same name in a Tyrone
Power movie, a carnival performer who bit the heads off chickens.) He
said it all started when he was little. "I had a Yaqui Indian
grandmother from Mexico," he said, "and when I was little she fed me
blood gravy and bits of raw beef." It didn't seem to stunt his growth.
From a 5-9 high school sophomore, he grew to be 6-4, 210 when he turned
out for football the next year.
With the exception of one season at the University of Tulsa, he played
every single home game of his football career - high school, college,
pro - not only in the same city, but on the some field on the same
field. Kezar Stadium.
He went to high school in San Francisco, and played college football
for the University of San Francisco, and played his entire professional
career for the San Francisco 49ers.
(He transferred to Tulsa after USF dropped football.)
Want more? He once served as the Mayor of Daly City, a San Francisco suburb.
For three years, Bob St. Clair was captain of the 49ers. An offensive
tackle, he was named to the Pro Bowl five times in his 11-year NFL
career. In 1990, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
(That USF team had future NFL stars such as Ollie Mattson, Gino
Marchetti, Ed Brown and Bob St. Clair. One of its stars was Burl
Toler, who would become the first black man to officiate in the NFL,
and the USF ublicist was a guy named Pete Rozelle, later to become NFL
commissioner. The team was the subject of a very interesting book,
“Undefeated, Untied and Uninvited.”)
Excerpts from a documentary…
*********** “I love football. Love it, love it. I think it’s the last
bastion of hope for toughness in America in men, in males.”
So said Jim Harbaugh.
Uh-oh. We’re dead, fellas. We always did have the feminists
against us, but now he’s gone and angered the Nancy-boys, too.
Listen to Bryant Gumbel’s stunned reaction: “Not exactly a quote for the Age of Enlightenment.”
Yeah, some enlightenment. Colleges that exclude anyone bordering
on the conservative from giving speeches on campus... A lesbo heading
up the Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy...
trannies in the armed forces... states tripping over each other in a
race to legalize marijuana... a former president giving "speeches" to
Russians for $500,000 a pop in return for permisson to buy American
uranium mines, while his wife, a presidential candidate, destroys evidence of any connection ...
people who argue with a straight face that having to show
indentification in order to vote is "voter suppression"... a
bogus "civil rights leader" who owes more than $4 million in taxes but
continues to be a frequent guest at the White House... a President who
makes his own
laws, and kisses the a** of one terrorist nation just to the south of
Key West, and another whose slogan seems to be
“Death to America.”
I'm not even close to being finished, but if this is the Age of Enlightenment, I'll take darkness.
*********** Wednesday night, as one of several hockey games got
underway and the young women stood there at center ice with a
microphone in her hand, I quickly switched to the sound on that set and
braced for the worst.
But to my delight, she sang our national anthem beautifully and she
sang it straight. She wasn’t auditioning for a recording
contract. She wasn’t trying to impress us with the number of
notes she could hit, or how long she could drag it out. She treated our
national anthem with the respect it deserved. (So, too -
are you listening, Blackhawks' fans? - did the crowd.)
And when she was finished, she went right into her own national anthem: “O Canada.”
And then the game - in Winnipeg - got under way.
Pretty bad when a Canadian shows our national anthem more respect than Americans do.
************ Guys wearing high heels?
Say hello to the latest scheme to turn men into weenies.
It’s called “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” and the idea is to have men
wear high heels (red) and walk a mile to “raise awareness” of rape.
Like we don’t know it exists and we don’t oppose it.
Did I say they’ll sell you the high heels and the tee shirts?
You’re free to provide your own high heels, of course, but what are the
odds that unless you’re a cross-dresser, you’ve got a pair that big, so
they’ll be happy to sell you a pair.
What a clever way to unload all those oversize women’s red high heels.
*********** Let’s let Bryan Price, Reds’ Manager, tell it:
So, I'm f******, to be honest with you, I'm f****** sick of this s***.
I'm sick of listening to this f****** s***, I'm sick of f****** the
f****** second-guessing b*******, you guys can do whatever the f*** you
want, but I'll tell you this — I'm not going to f****** tell you
everything about this f****** club, because you f****** guys are going
to out there and sniff it out anyway. I don't f****** like it one
f****** bit. I bend over backwards to be honest and direct with you
f****** guys and you stick it right up my f****** a** — and the f******
team's a**. I'm sick of it.
Price’s tirade, in which he showed the versatility of the “F” word by
using it as several different parts of speech, brought to
mind Lee Elia’s rant as manager of the Cubs, back in 1983.
It’s hard to believe it was more than 30 years ago - I’ve kept the
audio tape that long - that Lee absolutely unloaded on Cubs’ fans, who
booed his team after a tough 4-3 loss to the Dodgers.
I knew Lee because he was the best friend of Jack Turner, my backfield
mate at Germantown Academy. Lee went to nearby Olney High, where
he was a spectacular athlete, all-city in all three major sports.
He was recruited to Delaware (by a guy named Mike Lude) as a
quarterback, but in the spring of his freshman year he dislocated his
hip in a freak accident (jumping across a stream) and his football days
Then as now, the Carpenter family supported Delaware athletics, and at
that time, Bob Carpenter owned the Phillies. Whatever the arrangement,
Lee wound up playing baseball in the Phillies organization, and after a
so-so career as an infielder, he got into coaching.
The “performance” I referred to was recorded surreptitiously by a
reporter, and beforetoday’s social media and Youtube, mostly made the
rounds inside sports media, a profane tour de force that was
always sure to elicit laughs.
************* Jason Gay, Wall Street Journal, on the Browns’ new
uniforms, which say CLEVELAND in the front of the jerseys, and BROWNS
down the sides of the pants:
Are the Browns worried about losing their players at the mall?
Writing your name on your pants is OK if you’re 11 and on your way to
trampoline camp for the summer.
shame of it was that the Browns already had a great uniform. Cleveland
hasn’t had much go right in its last 50 years of football history, but
its uniform was an exception: clean, rugged, dignified attire for
watching the Baltimore Ravens beat you by two touchdowns.
The Cleveland Browns should be forced to return to their old
uniforms. Then, the people in charge of the Browns should not be
allowed to make football-related decisions for a few years. They
should simply sit on a park bench and do nothing. This alone should win
the Browns three extra games in the AFC per season.
*********** How disgustingly ironic that as we just finished
observing the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's assassination, the makers
of Captain Morgan Rum are using Walt Whitman's mournful poem, “O
Captain! My Captain!” to push booze. Not that anyone in their target
market knows who Abraham Lincoln was anyhow.
(Just on the chance that you may know more about Captain Morgan than O
Captain! My Captain! - here it is. Shock the hell out of the
geeks in the faculty room who think you're a Neanderthal, and recite a
By Walt Whitman
(My English lesson: It's a metaphor, see. Lincoln, the captain, has
brought the ship - the nation - safely home; he’s steered it through
the Civil War. But while everybody's celebrating, the captain -
assassinated - lies "cold and dead" on the deck.)
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
*********** I meant to ask you this a year ago but it is better now that you have had one more year with the open wing style.
If you were taking over a rebuilding situation or in a situation where
you were playing larger schools all the time, where would you start on
If the program was really down, I
think I would start with a double wing, just to try to stay in most
games, controlling the ball, playing sound defense, not giving it away
in the kicking game, and trying to keep it close.
If I began to see that we had a little
talent in the "skill” area, I might branch out into just a two- or
three-play series of open wing. There’s time enough once you get into
the season to do that.
But in taking over a poor program, my
approach has always been triage. I have always approached with
the belief that when a team has been sucking, Job One - before trying
to do anything spectacular - is to stop the sucking.
I think too many guys make the mistake
of coming into a situation where kids don’t even know how to block and
tackle and trying to do the stuff they saw the state championship coach
talk about in a February clinic.
On the other hand, if I were
inheriting a program that’s been pretty well coached, I would lean
toward the open wing approach because it would be a lot easier to sell
to a bunch of kids - and their parents - who were likely used to having
a split end or two and might rebel at the double wing approach.
*********** Mark Beech, a staff writer for Sports Illustrated, is the
son of a West Point graduate, and the author of “When Saturdays
Mattered Most,” the story of the undefeated 1958 Army team. (The title
refers to his contention that from that point on, the tide of football
fan interest began changing from college games on Saturdays to pro
games on Sundays.)
At the suggestion of Jack Morrison, a member of the 1958 Army team who
publishes an Army football newsletter, Mark did some research into the
origin of “Army” as the name given to West Point’s teams.
sure I'll be able to find the origins of the Army name—with the Stanley
Cup playoffs in full swing and the Triple Crown races coming up, I'm a
little swamped. Here's what I was able to do quickly this morning.
the football team Army goes back almost to the beginning. In Grantland
Rice's famous 1924 column on the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame, he notes
that Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden "formed the crest of the
South Bend cyclone before which another fighting Army football team was
swept over the precipice at the Polo Grounds yesterday afternoon." The
man could write.
back even further, the Fighting Irish made their bones as a national
power by beating Army 35-13 at West Point in 1913. This was the game
that introduced football (big-time football, anyway) to the forward
pass. The New York Times called us Army then, too.
Before that, check out this scorecard from the 1902 Army-Navy baseball game:
The teams listed there are Army and Navy. The Army rightfielder was a young man by the name of Douglas MacArthur.
haven't been able to find any contemporaneous news accounts of
Army-Navy football games from the last decade of the 19th century (1890
to '99). But I did find some other primary resources that shed some,
but not enough, light on the origins of the Army name.
An 1897 letter from the assistant secretary of the Navy refers to the football games between West Point and Annapolis.
A ticket to the 1892 Army-Navy football game touted it as being between Annapolis and West Point:
wording on the ticket isn't conclusive proof of anything. West Point
and Annapolis were on all the tickets up until about 1915 or '16, well
after we know that the names Army and Navy were being widely used. We'd
need to see the news stories about those early Army-Navy games to know
the truth, I think.
can also tell you that until 1999, only the football team was ever
usually referred to as the Black Knights of the Hudson, or just the
Black Knights. The nickname was created by New York sportswriters in
the early 20th century when Army was a national power, and it was
endorsed whole heartedly (as far as I can tell) by Red Blaik.
When I wrote my book on the 1958 team, I alternated between Army,
Cadets and Black Knights.
*********** That does it. No more WNBA games for me.
I’m not going to pay my good money to watch a bunch of wife-beaters.
* *********** Jeez, I’m getting old. I can remember when $150 got
your kid four days at camp, three nights in a dorm room, and three
meals a day. And a tee-shirt.
But now, USA Football (The self-styled “national governing body for
amateur American football in the United States.”) intends to shake down
the gullible for $150 for a two-day day camp. And get this -
lunch is on you.
Of course, there’s a huge benefit: “Opportunity to try-out for the U.S.
National Football Team and represent the United States against Canada
in the International Bowl at Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium.”
Imagine. A chance to represent your country! And all it costs is $150. Remember, kids: If you don’t enter, you can’t win.
Here’s the dope:
Football is hosting our Seattle Regional Development Camp in Everett,
Washington on May 23 & 24, 2015 at Archbishop Murphy High School.
Regional Development Camps are two day, non-contact camps where the
primary focus is to develop athletes' positional skills, while
competing for a spot on the U.S. National Football Team.
USA Football's Regional Development Camp program offers athletes the following:
• Train and work with current NCAA college football coaches (see list below)
• Gain recruiting exposure from NCAA coaches across all divisions
• Two-days of football development and competition
• Opportunity to try-out for the U.S. National
Football Team and represent the United States against Canada in the
International Bowl at Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium
• Learn Heads Up Football tackling technique from USA Football Master Trainers
Camp Location: Archbishop Murphy High School in Everett, Washington
Dates: Saturday and Sunday May 23 & 24, 2015
• High School Division: 9th - 11th grades
• Middle School Division: 6th - 8th grades
Coaching staff includes coaches and staff members from the following schools:
• Washington State
• Eastern Washington
• Cal Poly - SLO
• San Diego
• Central Washington
• Pacific Lutheran University
• Reedley College
• Puget Sound
• Claremont - Mudd - Scripps College
Registration: Sign Up Today at www.usafootball.com/regionals
1:00pm-3:30pm: Practice #1
3:30pm-5:00pm: Lunch (athletes on their own)
5:00pm-7:15pm: Practice #2
10:00am-12:00pm: Practice #3
12:00-1:30pm: Lunch (athletes on their own)
1:30pm-4:15pm: Practice #4
4:15pm-4:30pm: Closing remarks
athletes must register online by 8:00 pm on Friday, May 22. At
that time, you will no longer be able to sign up for this camp. We are
not accepting any walk-up registrations this year.
If you have any questions about this camp, please reply back to this email.
Thanks for your interest in USA Football and we hope your athletes can join USA Football.
TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 2015- "War is for participants a test of character: it makes bad men worse and good men better." Civil War General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
*********** “What a waste. What a ridiculous and senseless waste,” the reporter wrote.
“His future was one of endless possibilities, its only limits his own drive and imagination,” she went on to say.
Say, “waste?” “Endless possibilities?” “Drive and imagination?”
She wasn’t talking about the death of young cancer researcher in a lab accident.
That's a waste.
She wasn’t talking about a doctor dying in a plane crash on the way to treat Ebola victims.
That's a waste.
She was talking about AARON F—KING HERNANDEZ, for God’s sake.
*********** I was talking to Wing-T Godfather Mike Lude on Sunday. If you run the Delaware Wing-T, thank Mike, because he was there at the birth of the offense.
He was the first Delaware Wing-T line coach, and he’s the guy
responsible for the blocking rules you use today.
One example: the use/nonuse of the word “Gap,” in two different publications by Dave Nelson and Forrest Evashevski.
When their “Scoring Power With the Winged T” first made its appearance in 1957, “Gap” was scarcely to be found in the rules.
But when their “The Modern Winged T Playbook” came out four years
later, “Gap” had become the first instruction in many of the rules.
The difference? Defensive people are not stupid, and after the
Wing-T’s first stunning appearance on national TV, they went to work.
Many defenses had begun lining up in the gaps and causing problems for
Wing-T coaches whose original rules hadn’t made allowances for that
No doubt because of his wing-T orientation, Mike remains a great
believer in common-sense play-calling. He told me about the time
when he was head coach at Colorado State and in one particular game
they were having success with a particular play. So he stuck with that
play. (Any double wing coach will understand.)
An assistant in the press box suggested that maybe they ought to run something different.
“Can you see how well this is working?” Mike asked.
“Yeah, but we’re liable to wear it out,” was the reply.
Said Mike, “Wear the damn thing out!”
*********** Shh. Don't say anything about a certain devout
Christian quarterback signing with the Eagles. Let's all keep a
low profile. We don't want to ruin his chances. Maybe if he was
transsexual it would be different. Shh. Pass it on.
*********** No doubt you’ve heard about Britt McHenry, ESPN
bimbo, who acted the spoiled diva in insulting an employee of a
She forced me to go get the B-word and the C-word out of the closet.
*********** I'm sitting at Tommy's basketball practice. Nine
eleven-year-olds who have never played before. All of them asking
questions about possible loop holes in the rules: "what if I do this?"
How about this? "Can I do this?" All crazy attempts to do something
never seen before.
Reminded me of young coaches trying to reinvent offences.
Football is fun.
(1) This year’s incoming plebe class at the US Military Academy will be
23 per cent female, an all-time high. And the leadership at West Point
is jumping up and down with excitement. Meantime, how many
future Grants, Pershings, Eisenhowers, Bradleys, Van Fleets,
MacArthurs, Pattons and Schwartzkopfs (all male, if you hadn’t noticed)
may have been denied admission as a result?
With the high attrition rates they already experience due to the
discipline of cadet life and the high academic and physical
demands of the academy, how long will it be before some female
Congressperson (or the President himself) “suggests” cutting back on
the physical requirements?
(2) The West Point Board of Visitors is its "Board of Trustees." According to its site: "The board... shall inquire into the
morale and discipline, curriculum, instruction, physical equipment,
fiscal affairs, academic methods, and other matters relating to the
academy that the board decides to consider."
The new “chairperson" of the Board of Visitors, an Obama appointee of
course, is a West Point graduate, who “co-founded Knights Out, a group
of openly gay USMA graduates, and now heads up SPARTA, an advocacy
group supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members
Are you f—king kidding me?
*********** Hello there Coach Wyatt,
First off let me thank you again for the Double Wing offense you
designed. It was a very successfull season for my youth team. We
finished the season at 5-1 (last game of season was cancelled because
of politics) and out scored our oppenents by a score of 29 - 11. Once
the kids got rolling sfter the 2nd game(lots of false start and
turnovers) they really hit their stride in the last 4 games of the
season averaging 36.5 points a game. After every game the same comment
kept coming "Wow! What an offense. You guys are really physical.
Where did you learn to tackle like that?" My answers were always humble
and I would sing the praises of your Double Wing as well as your Safer
and Surer tackling videos. I amy be in some trouble with that as we are
a Heads Up league, but I don't really care. They can try and attack me
with that stuff, but Safer and Surer tackling is the only way for my
I am so inspired by the level of success with my first year that I have
recently bought the Trouble Shooting DVD as well as the Practice
without Pads DVD, and the Demo Deck. Looking forward to getting those
materials real soon.
I am also wondering if the May 16th clinic is the only clinic you will
have this off season? I noticed in the past you had given one in
Providence Rhode Island, and am hoping you will have one there as well.
I am really interested in learning the Open Wing, but am finding the
distance to the May 16th Pennsylvania clinc to be to much of a
distance. If you are not holding any other clinics this year I would
like to find a way of accessing the Open Wing playbook if possible?
Hopefully this email finds you well and thank you for your time and commitment.
Head Football Coach
North Country Jr. Falcons
I appreciate the note.
I really don’t know much about Heads
Up, because in all fairness I have to admit to a distaste for USA
Football, for the way they claim to be the “governing body” of football
(like who died and made them king?) and because they really are a front
for the NFL (that’s where their support comes from) and because they’re
selling a double wing playbook which is a poor ripoff of my work.
I’m only going to be doing one clinic,
the one in PA on May 16. For various reasons, I couldn’t bring
off the Providence clinic this year. That’s always been one of my
I think of you as I plod along trying
to produce some Open Wing materials worth selling. I won’t sell
anything unless I’d use it myself.
Stay in touch and I’ll give you updates!
*********** Who was the first winner of the Heisman Trophy? (And why wasn't it Jay Berwanger?)
*********** In the best "peaceful protest" tradition, an animal-rights
bunch tried to force their way inside a circus in San Bernardino.
But in the best “show-must-go-on” tradition, circus workers, including clowns, fought them off.
Wrote one commenter, “The protesters thought they had the numbers until
a compact car pulled up and 72 clowns piled out. game on!”
*********** One of the quirky pleasures of living at Ocean Shores is
being able to drive on the beach. Especially at low tide, it is
wide, and flat, and hard. We like to drive down and let our dogs run.
Even so, towing newbies out of the sand - or water - is a thriving business at “The Beach.”
There are those spots, both close to the water’s edge where it’s soft
and wet, and way back where the high tide seldom gets, where you
really don’t want to go without 4-wheel drive (which I have).
And, the ocean being the ocean, you never want to park too close to the
water, because at any time a larger-than-usual wave can come out of
Stupidity never helps.
*********** I don’t mention this often, but I’m a huge fan of college
fight songs. They have a special place in our sports culture, and
they’re one of the things that draw the line between college and pro
“Fly, Eagles, Fly?” “Bear Down, Chicago Bears?” Give me a break.
Buncha drunks that don’t even know the words when they’re spotted them
on the JumboTron.
Watching the Illinois spring game, I heard the band play Oskee-Wow-Wow,
the Illini fight song, and that got me thinking about Chief
Illiniwek. The late Chief Illiniwek, once the living symbol
of the Fighting Illini.
From 1926 until 2007, win or lose, a high point of Illinois football
games and, later, basketball games, was what the people at Illinois
proudly called “The most exciting four minutes in all of college
athletics” - starting with the playing of Oskee Wow Wow, the
entrance and dance of Chief Iliniwek, in native buckskin attire and
wearing a beautiful orange-and-blue war bonnet (a gift of a Sioux
chief). At the end of the dance, Chief Illiniwek would stand at
midfield, arms folded, as the band played, and the crowd sang the alma
mater, “Hail to the Orange.”
And then - I know you can see this coming - somewhere back in the ‘80s, the complaints began.
The Chief and his “dance,” it was claimed, disparaged Native Americans. Mocked them.
Those opposed were not necessarily a majority of Native Americans, you
understand, but take a tip from me: if you ever want to get
around the old “majority rules” nonsense that a democracy is supposed
to be based on, the best way to do it is to claim you’re offended by
And then, although it’s nowhere to be found in the Constitution, the
Right Not to be Offended kicks in, and one makes a majority.
It starts with one person, then two or three pick up the cry, until
eventually they get in the ears of someone in power - power is the key
motivator here, I suspect - and slowly the wheels of Political
Correctness start to grind.
So it was with colleges. If their nickname, or mascot, or symbol
was related to Native Americans, however noble its intent, they were
ipso facto insensitive. Racist.
Maybe they didn’t want to change - years of tradition and all that -
but their traditions meant nothing to their opponents, who came under
pressure from the PC juggernaut not to play them. And the NCAA,
always sensitive to PC pressure, informed those colleges that until
they divested themselves of their Indian names and symbols, they were
in danger of becoming athletic pariahs.
Illinois put up a fight, but eventually the pressure became too
great, and Chief Illiniwek, a symbol to tens of thousands of Illinois
faithful since the days of Red Grange, was gone.
With him, in my opinion, went a proud symbol of the people who once
populated Illinois, people removed by government order to Indian
Look, we’re not talking “Redskins” here. (I know Native Americans
who aren’t offended in the slightest by that, but I can understand how
offensive it might be to others.)
And we’re not talking about the Cleveland Indians and Chief Nok-a-Homa (Knock a Homer - get it?)
We’re talking here about celebrations of nobility and courage, of
symbols that glorify a people and a way of life, one that unfortunately
we can never bring back any other way.
Granted, I’m a white guy who doesn’t pretend to understand. But I
have a hell of a time seeing how Native American symbols, depicting men
as brave, as hunters or warriors, in any way disparages native people.
Bring back Chief Illiniwek. And provide a scholarship for a
Native American resident of Illinois to be (not “play”) the Chief.
Chief Illiniwek’s last football game… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSoR8PLorTw
And Chief Illinwek’s final appearance, at a basketball game… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7tyfQu4QJo
*********** One of the candidates for the QB job at Illinois is Jeff George, Junior.
*********** Penn State had a very good crowd of 50,000 or so.
Pretty good, considering how remote State College is. But Ohio State
had ONE BIGASS CROWD - maybe 90,000 or so. The Horsehoe looked
pretty full to me.
*********** Notre Dame, whose stadium is undergoing another renovation,
held its spring game on a practice field, whose bleachers held maybe a
couple of thousand people.
*********** I’m guessing the Alabama spring-game crowd was 55,000 tops.
Very, very good, but not by Bama’s standards. I heard something about
threatening weather. Or is this what happens when you’re Alabama
and you don’t win the national title?
*********** On Saturday, just two days after throwing the discus a
state-leading 177 feet, North Beach’s Caleb Bridge threw the disc
181-3. That’s the top throw in the state in all classes,
more than 8 feet in front of the guy in second, with 172-11.
Caleb, a 6-5, 260-pound offensive and defensive lineman who’s headed
for the Air Force Academy, is also 8th in the state in the shot put at
54-4. Right behind him in 9th place is North Beach junior Jonny
Law, at 53-8.
*********** John Amirante has spent 35 years singing the National
Anthem at New York Rangers games. I heard him for the first time last
weekend. Sure hope he’s good for another 35.
No precious little 8 year old.
No high school sophomore who nobody has the guts to say she’s not really that good.
No multiple grammy award winner.
No refugee from “American Idol.”
No 5-minute display of questionable creativity offensive to the ears of anyone who loves our nation’s song.
Nope. Just the straight, meat and potatoes, stirring version of the Star Spangled Banner we old-timers grew up loving.
Right up there with John Amirante is Jim Cornelison, who sings the
anthem before Chicago Blackhawks’ games. But I sure wish the Chicago
fans would act more respectful of our country and STFU for the minute
or two that he’s singing, instead of shouting so loudly he can
barely be heard. That may be their team about to play, but it’s
OUR national anthem, too. Ironically, they'd probably call
for an invasion of Canada if they heard a Montreal crowd doing the same
thing during our national anthem. (Funny - I think the Canadians are
more respectful than that.)
And then there’s the woman who sang before the Islanders’ game.
Sheesh. I knew we were in trouble when the PA announcer said she was
going to “perform” the national anthem. Perform, she did.
National anthem, it wasn’t. At least nothing I recognized.
*********** If you’re looking for a girl to share your interest in
college football, I can help a little. But you’re going to have
to help yourself, to some degree. You’re going to have to start
pulling for Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, Oklahoma or Tennessee.
That’s because (here’s where I try to help) according to a
Scarborough Research poll based on women who said they were “very” or
“somewhat” interested college football, the top five markets are
Birmingham, Columbus. Oklahoma City, Knoxville, and Mobile. (I can’t
believe Lincoln didn’t make it.)
If it’s pro football you’re more interested in, you’ll want to head for
Green Bay, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New Orleans or Milwaukee. In
that order. (It doesn’t take a genius to see that your chances
are pretty good if you like the Pack and you don’t mind cold weather.)
*********** This time last spring, Oregon tight end Pharaoh Brown was
looking forward to another season of college ball before entering the
As he told the Portland Oregonian’s Andrew Greif, “I was like, man, I’m
trying to leave and trying to get to the NFL; I’m out of there after
And he went out and started having a good season - caught 24 passes
good for six touchdowns - right up until the Utah game, when he injured
his knee. He injured it so severely, in fact, that he narrowly escaped
amputation of his leg, and since then he’s had to have three operations.
“His injury is something that a lot of people wouldn’t try to come back
from,” said Oregon’s associate director of athletic medicine, who added
that she’d only seen one other athlete suffer a comparable injury.
He didn’t even begin walking again until February, and he still hasn’t
been cleared to start running, but Pharaoh Brown is determined to play
He’s determined, yes, but - a lesson to all young athletes - he’s had
to face the reality that his football career could be over at any time,
and as a result he’s immersed himself in his studies, taking a
full load of classes in his major, advertising.
“I know I’m not going to play football for the rest of my life,” he
told Greif. “I know I’m going to play again, but I like the fact that I
was able to figure that out.”
*********** Yale’s John Spagnola spent 11 seasons as an NFL tight end,
but he’s in the college record books as a passer. Believe it or not,
his 77-yard touchdown pass to Bob Krystyniak on a trick play
against Harvard is still the longest scoring play in the history of
“The Game,” a rivalry that dates to 1875.
He told Chip Malafronte of the New Haven Register that he and
Krystyniak sit together every year at the Yale-Harvard game, and every
time Yale moves the ball out past its own 23-yard line, they celebrate
with a drink.
“Because we know they can’t break it in that series,” Spagnola said.
“By the end of the game, we’re usually feeling pretty
*********** In reading an article about the Oregon Ducks’ annual sale
of surplus athletic equipment (forget about flying out to Eugene -
demand is so great that season ticket holders get first dibs), I came
across an interesting item about a guy named Ed Garland, a former
Ducks’ assistant equipment manager who in 2005 went on to become
Cal’s equipment manager.
Inspired by his experience of colleges’ need to dispose of overstocked
equipment, in 2011 he founded a company called ShoeU, which buys
surplus athletic shoes from colleges and sells them online at discount
Check it out… http://www.shoeu.net/about_shoe_u/index.htm
*********** Widmer Brothers, founded in 1984, was one of the first of
the many brewers that have made Portland the center of the craft
brewing movement. (For the record, Portland has more breweries than any
other city in the world.)
Its Hefeweizen, a wheat beer, is extremely popular, especially with
women and others who like a slice of fruit stuck on the rim of their
glass, and thanks to a tie-in with a larger brewer, it’s distributed
It’s hard to believe that Widmer has grown so much that with the
expansion it just announced, its capacity will increase to
750,000 barrels. That, folks, is not a craft brewery. That
is big. Not Budweiser big, but not a microbrewery by any stretch.
(A “barrel” is 31 gallons, and it’s the standard way of measuring
brewery capacity and sales. But in reality, what you call a “keg”
is actually a half-barrel, or 15.5 gallons. In the trade, kegs
are known as “half-kegs,” or, if you want to sound like a real insider,
FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2015- "If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed." Mark Twain
My brother-in-law, Wayne Cunningham, is on the far side of 80, but he
has yet to slow down. He wrestled and played baseball and
soccer in high school and played soccer at Duke, and well into
his 40s he was still playing on a traveling fast pitch softball
team. Over the years, he’s coached high school softball and
refereed soccer and wrestling, and even now, he’s assisting with
a girls’ softball team.
And once a week he plays softball (slow pitch by now) in an organized league.
Since the object of the league is to have fun, the rules specify that
everyone on the team - not just the starting nine - must bat in turn.
In other words, if 15 guys show up for that evening’s game, everyone
gets to bat every 15th time.
Did I say the object of the league was to have fun? Wayne says
that for big games, the better teams in the league very cleverly
arrange for their “out men” not to show up.
The powers that be at the United States Military Academy, also known,
because it is located at West Point, New York, as “West Point,”
and whose athletic teams have been known ever since they started
competing in sports, back in the 1800s, as “Army,” have announced the
results of an 18-month -ong process of “rebranding.” Nike, I should
add, was involved.
The supposed need was a supposed confusion in the mind of the American
Public over “West Point” and “Army.” See, there are many people
out there who think “Army” represents the US Army. (I believe
this, because I watch Jesse Waters’ interviews, and he has no trouble
at all finding people who think that we fought the British in the Civil
I personally don’t worry that much about those numbskulls, because from
having spent a little time helping with admissions out here in
Washington, I can attest to the fact that there is no difficulty at all
finding high-quality applicants every year who understand the
difference. When they apply to Wst Point, they know they are not
enlisting in the Army. For the roughly 1,000 admissions spots in
every class, there are more than 10,000 candidates - and you can be
sure that most of those 10,000 are standouts in their high schools.
I suspect that it has something to do with feedback from sports
recruiters who report that they’re having problems getting top-quality
talent because those kids are confused. How good is the recruiter,
anyhow, if he can't clear that up in the first minute or two of talking
to a kid?
Regardless of the reasoning, henceforth the “brand name” will be “Army West Point.”
There are those cynics who say that 13 straight losses to Navy - er, “Navy Annapolis” - promoted the rethinking.
Brilliant. So henceforth it will be the Army West Point-Navy
game? The Corps of Cadets will sing “On Brave Old Army West Point
Oh- and rather than ditch the “Black Knights” nickname and return to
the age-old “Cadets,” they’ll be both Black Knights and Cadets.
Take your pick. A mascot for everyone. (And don’t forget
I’m reminded of the two high schools in Oregon that merged several
years ago, The Dalles Indians and the Wahtonka Eagles. In a
strike of brilliance, they became The Dalles-Wahtonka
Eagle-Indians. It's true. I coached against them.
No doubt everyone in the Army West Point athletic department has their
orders - no more just “Army.” But I have news for them. I’ve
worked for newspapers, and newspaper guys don’t take orders from
athletic departments. If Army insists on being Army West Point,
they’d better prepare to see themselves in headlines as “AWP,” right
along with UTEP, UNLV and IUPUI.
To be fair, there’s a uniform redesign that looks okay. I stress
the word “uniform.” No more sending a blind equipment manager
into a dark equipment room to randomly select this week’s jersey, pants
and helmet combination. That’s for Oregon and guys with four-star
players. Let’s be real - Oregon wouldn’t look very cool if
they lost more than they won. And no more of that camo uniform
sh—, either, although I’m told that was less a style issue and more a
matter of who owns the rights to the camo design.
The Army Athletic Association ("Army West Point Athletic Assocation?")
rep happened to call me on Wednesday. I unloaded on him -
told him exactly what I said above. And then made my annual
As for the “Army West Point” nonsense, I thought it might be fun to
reprint a few of the comments from the Army Football Board, whose
posters are mostly West Point graduates: (the "Boo" referred to a
couple of times is Army West Point AD Boo Corrigan. I have no
idea how he got that name.)
I feel that all of this "rebranding" is done in an effort to simply
make Army or West Point (they will remain independent of each other in
my mind for all of eternity) relevant again in the landscape of NCAA
athletics. Well I've got news for the big brass at school...you
know what makes programs relevant in the NCAA?? Wins!
Period!!! Who had ever heard of Gonzaga before they started
winning in the NCAA tournament a decade ago? Who had ever heard
of the university of Miami until they hired Howard Schnellenburger and
starting winning in the late 70's?! That's right simply start
winning and we can do away with the Micky mouse camouflage costumes on
Saturdays and the ridiculous names given to us by the frickin history
department at school! When did this identity issue become a
problem? I'm pretty sure that when someone asks me where I played
ball at in college, I have yet to receive a single question about my
response of either West Point or Army. Newsflash you only have an
identity issue when you create one by calling yourself 8 different
brings me to my next point...after an 18 month research and development
program the best we could do to present our new look was to parade out
a couple of middle aged men who peaked out in their lives at about 21
years old when they themselves were firsties hanging out at the firstie
club sipping warm beer and hitting on trou back in 1986. Anyone
with half a brain can agree that last nights presentation was an
absolute abortion. After only 4 years of wasting my time in
briefings as a cadet, West Point found yet another way to waste a good
hour of my life.
to Coach Monkens opinion that the Army team will wear gold helmets and
gold pants at home...as it should have and should forever be.
Let's quit pretending that we're Oregon...because we ain't!
We are Army...not Army West Point (which almost sounds like some
directional regional college...think Eastern Michigan State A&M or
some other ridiculousness)...we wear gold helmets and you had better
bring a lunch pail when you come to play against us! Rant over!
of if not THE greatest college FB fight songs......."On brave old Army
West Point team, on to the fray. Fight on to Victory, for that's the
fearless Army West Point way. " I'm a third gen USNA guy. Grew up and
still say "Beat Army" after grace. Went to my first A-N game in 1952.
You don't need to 'rebrand"......you're
all that's good and right about America. The Long Gray Line. The speech
that MacArhtur gave at WP...."when I die my last thought.....the Corps,
the Corps and the Corps." Davis and Blanchard.
The best way to fix this branding issue is to win. I wasn't
around in the 1940's but I'm willing to bet most people knew who and
where the Army Team was from. I will continue to say Army or West
Point but not both. That's silly. No other school does this
you don't hear people say "I went to Stanford California, or Vanderbilt
Tennessee, or Northwestern Illinois, or Florida State Tallahassee, or
Georgia Athens, or Notre Dame Indiana. It's just silly.
think that the name Army West Point is to make stupid Americans aware
that the Army team is composed of cadets that attend West Point rather
than a group assembled from the enlisted Army.
Whenever we attempt to dumb down things to the lowest common denominator, we generally lose.
my son first went to USNA many didn't understand the concept. I
would follow up with the Navy's Academy in Annapolis. They would
respond--Oh he goes to school in Indiana (see recent commercial with
Charles Barkley and Samuel Jackson for the Final Four).
Then I realized it was best to drop it if they didn't understand Naval Academy from the get go.
I completely agree. No need to cater to the lowest common
denominator. If Army West Point starts winning again, then the
uneducated GAP might figure out who Army West Point is.
then, does anyone really think that those people care who Army West
Point is? They're not watching football anyway -- they're too
busy figuring out what they should be protesting.
to my network of friends, classmates, teammates, and other alums, I
have yet to find anyone (not a single person) that thinks "Army
West Point" is a good idea...in fact, the vast majority absolutely
despise it to the point that they appear physically upset about
it. What population of alums and former athletes did they use to
vet this garbage? Or is that a complete lie? Could it be
that they tossed "Black Knights" back into the mix at the last minute
to spite the media leaks and speculators? It would have been
easy, since it's just the stencil font.
We are getting hammered on social media for the "Army West Point" crap and the 15 nicknames and mascots.
just curious...how much money was spent figuring out that ARMY needs
black/grey/gold unis and a block-A logo? There are about 500 old grads
on this forum alone that have been telling Boo, et al. exactly that
since he's been there, and it didn't cost anyone a dime. Sheesh, I'm in
the wrong business.
the identity crisis anyway? We don't see our colleagues at USNA or
USAFA getting their panties in a bunch trying to figure out if they
should call themselves "Navy Annapolis" or "Air Force Colorado
Springs". They have the advantage, I suppose, of having won a lot of
games recently; whenever that happens, people tend to try to find out
more information on their own.
am a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, NY, whose
sports teams have always been referred to, colloquially, as "Army". So
far as this disgruntled old grad is concerned, they will remain "Army"
and West Point will remain the physiographic feature associated with
the location of our alma mater. I frankly don't give a damn whether
those distinctions are lost on the Great American Public. "Army West
Point"...spare us, Boo. Seriously.
Therein lies a branding problem...our nickname and our mascot were completely unrelated...
Less related than...
"Hoyas" and bulldogs?
"Crimson Tide" and elephants?
"Aggies" and Shetland sheepdogs?
"Tar Heels" and rams?
"Bonnies" and Bona wolves?
"Midshipmen" and goats?
Supe and all of the other high-minded leadership at the Academy
insisted in the rebranding hoopla that this really has "meaning" and
links the future with the past. Then they tried to explain why the name
is meaningful and what the connection is, for all of the
unsophisticated head-scratching people across America. If you have to
explain a joke, it isn't a joke. In this bizarro world, the fact that
you have to explain it, means it IS a joke. Congrats to all who feel
proud to have fathered this effort: you have indeed linked the future
to the past. You now own the 21st Century patent on "New Coke"
'68 Grad here... FWIW, you have always been Army, and you will
always be Army. Don't let some Manhattan consultant with a gold
earring and a Gucci purse tell you who you are. WTF is
rebranding? You are one of the the greatest institutions this
country will ever see. Let the screwed up outfits rebrand.
This entire thing makes me sick, and I'm Navy.
I tell people who don't follow football that I'm going to the Army
game, I usually get questions like "The Army has a football team?"
They're usually vaguely aware of what West Point and the academy are
when I tell them that the team plays for the school, but they usually
have to ask what state West Point is in and are surprised to find out
that it's so close to NYC. Really no need to try to appeal to those
sorts of people. They aren't coming to any of our sporting events or
buying any of our merchandise.
"Army West Point" is a terribly inelegant way of going about it. There
are far more subtle ways to make a connection between Army and West
Point in the public imagination. Now we're pretty much the college
version of "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim".
guess is they'll try to push this "Army West Point" crap on us for a
season or two, the fanbase and the rest of college football fandom will
ignore it and keep calling us just "Army", and after a few seasons the
athletics department will quietly scrap the "West Point" addendum.
media independent of the academy is going to actually call us that
(unless maybe when they want to poke fun at us). I have yet to run
across any college sports-related site that has us officially listed as
"Army West Point" besides gawps.com. Forget all the other implications
of the name change; plain and simple, "Army West Point" is a mouthful.
It's just too long for the national media to adopt for a team it hardly
pays any mind to in the first place. It's going to crash and burn
spectacularly, but after the name melts away we'll still have all the
positive aspects of the re-branding - good logo, good uniforms, etc. So
I'll gladly put up with this silliness and just ignore it until the
Athletic Department removes their hands from over their ears and
listens to the cacophony of jeers.
the identity crisis anyway? We don't see our colleagues at USNA or
USAFA getting their panties in a bunch trying to figure out if they
should call themselves "Navy Annapolis" or "Air Force Colorado
Springs". They have the advantage, I suppose, of having won a lot of
games recently; whenever that happens, people tend to try to find out
more information on their own.
afraid a Navy buddy of mine hit the nail on the head. He said,
"With all the names and logos you guys have floating around out there,
why didn't you just settle on calling yourselves "F Troop?". I
wanted to shoot back at him with something clever, but sadly, I
am a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, NY, whose
sports teams have always been referred to, colloquially, as "Army". So
far as this disgruntled old grad is concerned, they will remain "Army"
and West Point will remain the physiographic feature associated with
the location of our alma mater. I frankly don't give a damn whether
those distinctions are lost on the Great American Public. "Army West
Point"...spare us, Boo. Seriously.
got off the phone with a sportswriter who covers college football and
basketball at a major newspaper. He could not stop laughing about our
new name and was trying to figure out what is behind it all. Said his
newspaper will continue to refer to the team as Army. Of course, i had
no answer. Boo and the WP brass blew it again. Army West Point makes no
sense and I am again embarrassed about something else associated with
West Point football. Yes, this is the New Coke of the 21st Century. I
wonder how many years we are going to have to put up with this before
they go back to the old name.
Wrote Mark Beech, author of “When Saturday Mattered Most,” a 2012 book on Army’s 1958 undefeated football team:
wanted to make it clear they were West Point and not Ft. Drum.
I’m not sure how people were mistaking it but that was their feeling.
It seems like this is a response to that but there’s still something in
the back of my mind that tells me if they don’t lose to Navy 13 times
in a row I’m not sure they think that they need a rebrand.
you are just looking at the football team, the big problem for them is
a talent thing and everything else is secondary to that.”
(Army has experienced one winning year (2010) since its 1996 Independence Bowl season, when it won 10 games.)
not like Army has been on the lips of everyone at the top ranks of
college football for years,” Beech said. “The profile of the program
has been declining. I venture this is the way to do it (improve the
profile). The better way to deal with the problem is to put a winning
program on the field and for whatever reason they haven’t been able to
get the talent to do that.”
just can’t imagine anyone calling them Army West Point,” Beech said. “I
have yet to get my brain around that. I can’t imagine the Army West
Point-Navy football game. -
*********** Coach Wyatt
Was reading your “News” and saw the mention of only having known one
woman high school Football Coach. Well, there was one when I was
coaching in Nebraska. I think you remember Scott Frost when he was a
QB at Nebraska, and I think is currently on the Oregon Staff, well his
Father was the head coach of his high school team and his mother was
the defensive backfield/receivers coach. She had been a very good
college Track star at Nebraska I believe. They won the state
championship in their Class his senior year. Just some trevia I
remember from coaching up there.
Yes, I do remember that.
Scott Frost has done a great job at Oregon and he’s very well thought
of here. Many Oregonians were afraid they’d lose him to Nebraska when
that job came open.
To my knowledge, he is one of the few real studs from Nebraska ever to
leave the state (he originally went to Stanford). As I recall, his
return to Nebraska had something to do with genius Bill Walsh’s moving
him to DB. Didn’t do too bad at QB for the Huskers, did he?
Thanks for writing!
******************** Jeez. Look what they’ve done to Paul
Brown’s Browns. (Did you know that’s where the name came from?)
There was a time when the Browns wore all-white, at home and on the
road. Talk about recognizable! Even in black-and-white
photos, even on black-and-white TV, you knew you were watching the
Cleveland Browns. They really stood out. And those were the
days before modern washday miracles and artificial turf, when games
were often played on muddy fields.
But now, the Browns are joining the 21st century, Nike-style. In other words, uniforms in lotsa combinations.
Just in case you might not be able to keep track of all the combos,
they”ll have “CLEVELAND” across the front of their jerseys and down the
sides of their pants legs.
Said Browns’ president Alec Scheiner, “We could be like Oregon of
the NFL.” I think he meant uniform-wise, because Oregon has so far
managed to escape ridicule in most places by winning a lot.
And to think that Browns fans are still pissed at Art Modell. In
fact, there has been more than one instance of Browns’ fans pissing ON
Modell. On his grave, that is.
Yes, he took his NFL franchise to Baltimore, which would never win him
Citizen of the Year in Cleveland, but in the grand scheme of things,
all he did was take a bunch of players. He didn’t do what
the Irsays did when they slipped out of Baltimore - taking players,
plus team name, uniforms, colors, horseshoes on helmets and team
records to Indianapolis.
Modell at least left the team name and colors and all the team records
where they belonged - in Cleveland, so when a team returned, it would
resume play as the Browns.
And when it did, damned if it wasn’t the old Browns - at least in appearance.
*********** With Aaron Hernandez on his way to the slammer, Roger Goodell can breathe a sigh of relief.
At the moment, there aren’t any murderers left in the NFL. That we know of.
And to think how close he came with Lawrence Phillips. Lawrence
Phillips made Aaron Hernandez look like Tim Tebow. He made Ray
Rice look like a feminist.
Phillips, charged in California with murder in the killing of his
cellmate, a gangster who was in for killing another gangster named
“Trouble,” was once a very promising running back who came with a load
Sign after sign, incident after incident, indicated that the guy was
trouble, big trouble, yet one coach after another, in their insatiable
quest of talent, covered for him and made excuses for him.
In that regard, Tom Osborne was the worst. I hesitate to use the
word “worst” with Dr. Tom, because he was a great coach, beloved in
Nebraska, and from everything I’ve read about him, a very good
But his handling of Phillips was disgraceful.
After Phillips was charged with dragging a Nebraska basketball player
named Kate McEwen, his girlfriend (or, you might argue,
“ex-girlfriend,” since he found her in another player’s room, in the
wee hours), by the hair, “caveman style,” down three flights of stairs,
Osborne announced that he was “dismissed” from the team. Then,
Osborne announced that he was “indefinitely suspended.” Then, not
long after, he was reinstated.
You know how it goes. Guy has serious anger issues. He needs
help. We can keep a better eye on him if he stays on the
team. Blah, blah, blah. And maybe Dr. Tom really did
believe that he could rehabilitate a person whose upbringing was so
shaky that he may not actually have ever been habilitated.
Never mentioned, though, was the fact that the guy was a horse of a
runner who ran a 4.3 40, and without him, the Huskers weren’t half the
team they were with him. With him, they were national title
In light of the Ray Rice incident, if that had been Lawrence
Phillips, and he’d dragged his wife-to-be down three flights of stairs,
and Goodell had suspended him, we might be talking right now about the
late Roger Goodell.
*********** ESPN has released Lou Holtz. No more Doctor Lou.
*********** Easy come, easy go. A study by the National Bureau of
Economic Research of some 2,000 players drafted by NFL teams between
1996 and 2003 found that within 12 years of retiring from the NFL, 15.7
of them filed for bankruptcy. My guess is that there’s a
very strong positive correlation between bankruptcy and frequenting
My wife and I took Thursday afternoon off and drove north to catch the
North Beach kids at a track meet. It was an especially big day for
North Beach senior Caleb Bridge, who not only broke the school record
in the discus but broke his dad’s personal high school record at the
Oh - and he also got word that he had received an appointment to the
Air Force Academy, where he plans to play football and throw the
In the photo, that’s Caleb, younger brother Seth, dad
Todd (their high school football coach and their throwing coach), and
granddad Steve Bridge, a former high school coach and AD who now works
for Canfield Insurance. One of Steve’s claims to fame as a coach
is having coached ESPN's Colin Cowherd in high school.
*********** To young coaches out there…
I think it’s essential that your kids learn that a healthy respect for
others will help them in every aspect of their lives.
And being on time is one sure way of demonstrating it.
If there's one thing you can teach your kids, it's to show respect for you by being on time.
And if they can't be on time, to show you the respect of giving you
advance notice - of letting you know the instant they suspect
they may be late. If you can teach them that, it will serve them
well the rest of their lives.
My first real appreciation of the seriousness of punctuality dates back
to August, 1957, and the first meeting of the varsity squad at
We sat there, sophomores, juniors and seniors, maybe 70 or
so of us, and as the head coach, Jordan Olivar, began to speak, a
couple of guys came walking in. Coach Olivar paused, and
addressing no one in particular, said, "those who can't make it to
meetings or practices on time will become known as 'the late members of
Oooh, I thought. Great line. I've never been able to use it
since, because I figured it would go over the heads of most of the high
school kids I was aiming at, but it sure registered with me.
Five or six years later, when I was working in sales with a big
packaging company, I was in a sales training session where a veteran
salesman said that the most important thing for a salesman was to show
respect to a customer by being on time for an appointment. And
the second most important thing, he said, was that as soon as you
suspected you might be late, was to show him respect by calling him and
letting him know.
That wasn't easy, back in the 60s. There were no cell phones
then, only pay phones, and in my travels in the Maryland,
Virginia and West Virginia countryside, they weren't easy to find.
But I unfailingly followed the veteran's advice, and you know
what? It worked. I earned my customers' respect by showing
*********** Maybe they listened…
From: Hugh Wyatt <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 2:22 PM
Subject: Out-of-season practices
A recent article in the Vancouver Columbian noted that football (as
well as other sports) is more and more becoming a sport of haves and
One of the reasons cited was that affluent parents can afford to pay private coaches to work with their children out-of-season.
I can definitely see a lawsuit coming, as current WIAA regulations seem to disadvantage poor and rural children.
Check the rationale. Sounds as if I could have written it.
Basically, for a football coach, they’re saying that beginning
approximately halfway into the winter and spring sport seasons, you’ll
have 20 days until the end of each season to work with your football
players. (Making sure, I should add, not to interfere in any way
with kids involved in another sport. What do they think we are -
Each sport will be limited to twenty (20) contact days of coaching
during designated open coaching periods during the out-of-season.
Rationale for ML/HS
Amendment #4: 1. This proposal is intended to level the playing field,
particularly for students living in geographically isolated areas or
for students without the financial means to participate in non-school
17.5.0 OUT-OF-SEASON - DEFINITION – Out-of-season is that time during
which paid or volunteer coaches cannot coach present or future squad
members except during designated coaching periods. 17.5.5 A coach of a
school team (paid or volunteer) may coach only during the WIAA sport
season and up to twenty (20) days during the designated open coaching
periods. 18.104.22.168 Each sport will be limited to twenty (20) contact
days of coaching, regardless of the number of coaches for that sport.
22.214.171.124 Although these rules apply equally to middle level and high
school level coaches, the time periods are determined according to the
high school seasons. August 1 through the first day of the fall sports
season - no coaching allowed First day of the fall sports season until
Monday of the first full week in October - no coaching allowed except
for the fall sports in season Monday of the first full week in October
through the first day of the winter sports season - open coaching for
coaches of all sports First day of the winter sports season until
Monday of the first full week in January - no coaching allowed except
for the winter sports in season Monday of the first full week in
January through the first day of the spring sports season - open
coaching for coaches of all sports First day of the spring sports
season until Monday of the first full week in April - no coaching
allowed except for the spring sports in season Monday of the first full
week in April through the final day of the spring sports tournaments -
open coaching for coaches of all sports First day following the spring
sports tournaments until August 1 - no coaching restrictions except for
TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2015- “Progress, the religion of those who have none.” Lord Acton
Not too long ago, I watched the “Long Gray Line” again. It’s a 1950s
movie about Marty Maher, who arrived at West Point around 1900, a
young Irish immigrant looking for work, and retired 50 years later a
revered member of the US Military Academy staff.
It’s a great movie,
one that an entire family can enjoy. It is a trifle dated, mainly in
its lack of vulgarity, violence and sex.
Except. Except -
TRIGGER ALERT! TRIGGER ALERT!
If you have any Irish in you, I do hope you’re strong enough to be able
to deal with the fact that early in the movie, when young Martin Maher,
fresh off the boat from Ireland, introduces himself to the sentries
outside the post, he is referred to as “Mick,” and “Paddy.”
Oh, the pain. Please don’t blame me. I’m merely the messenger.
I do hope that your life has been happy and successful up to this
point, and that hearing these terrible slurs won’t so traumatize you
that the rest of life is all downhill.
*********** Stan Freberg, a multi-talented man, died last week at 88. He was a tremendous talent.
And he had a tremendous influence on American humor.
He had an impact on me at several different stages in my intellectual development (if that’s what you want to call it).
In high school, we went nuts over his “St. George and the Dragonet.”
Back then, there was no bigger TV show than Dragnet, starring Jack Webb
as Sergeant Joe Friday, of the LAPD (“My name’s Friday. I’m a
Joe Friday never got excited, never raised his voice. He spoke in
a monotone and never wasted words. ("Just the facts, Ma'am," he'd say
to a witness who insisted on telling him her life story.)
Stan Freberg, with his fertile imagination, cast Joe Friday as St.
George, going out to kill the dragon. The result was a smash-hit
record, “St. George and the Dragonet.” (Dragnet, Dragonet.
We high school kids could recite all the lines by heart. I still remember some of them:
DRAGON (In a roaring voice): Hi! I’m the Fire-Breathin’ dragon. You must be Saint George, right?
ST. GEORGE (In a perfect Joe Friday impersonation):Yessir.
DRAGON: I see you got one a them 45 calibre swords.
ST. GEORGE: That’s about the size of it.
DRAGON: Haw, haw. You slay me.
ST. GEORGE: That’s what I want to talk to you about.
In college, we laughed at his sendup of the rock and roll classic
“The Great Pretender,” with the piano player who balks at having to
play the same chord, over and over. It's an insult to his
professionalism. Reminded that if he doesn't, and instead insists
on playing the jazz he prefers, he won’t get paid, he gets back
to work with a vengeance, banging away at the same chord.
And there was his Banana Boat Song: the bongo drummer, a beatnik
who somehow winds up in a calypso band, objects to the loud singing
(“DAY-O!”) and when they get to the line about the beautiful bunch of
ripe bananas hiding “The deadly black tarantula,” he stops the song
right there and says, “Man, don’t sing about spiders. I mean,
like, I just don’t dig spiders…”)
He was quite a satirist, poking fun at the commercialization of
Christmas with his best-selling “Green Christmas.” (The irony was that
he himself was making money by satirizing those who were making money
by commercializing Christmas.)
And then, he reinvented himself as an Ad man.
After college, as a young salesman, I spent a lot of time on the road,
which meant a lot of time listening to the car radio. And when
the other salesman and I would come in off the road, we’d immediately
start in retelling the latest Stan Freberg commercial.
Maybe it was his singing group, “The New Prince Spaghetti Minstrels.” In song, they pledge their loyalty to one another
The big time or small time,
United for all time!
And then a record company comes along and offers a big contract - just to the lead singer - and he bolts.
There was the Contadina guy, who put “eight great tomatoes in that little bitty can.”
And the guy singing about Mars Junior Bars
Made with pure chocolate and all that good stuff -
Hide ‘em in your pocket, conceal ‘em in your cuff
If you’d rather not lug around big, bulky bars,
Mars Junior Bars are for you!
There was the poor schlub of a salesman for Krindleman Coffee (an
imaginary brand) who kept getting outsold by the Salada Tea guy
And this great one: a guy in an elevator giving a sales
pitch for Chun King chow mein to his fellow passengers (you younger
guys: the guy who keeps trying to shush him is called an elevator
operator - just one of countless jobs lost to automation)
In Baltimore, where EssKay was the leading maker of lunch meats and hot dogs, we loved this one…
One of his last ad efforts was on behalf of the United Presbyterian Church.
Where’d you get the idea you can make it all by yourself?
Doesn’t it get a little lonesome sometimes…
Out on that limb… Without Him?
A guy’s asked to come to church.
He answers that he’s too busy this weekend - and next.
“How about two weeks from now?” he's asked.
“Two weeks?" he says. "I never plan that far ahead. The whole world could blow up by then.”
(After a short pause) “That’s right.”
A real classic was his Accent commercial, sung to the tune of "Stars and Stripes Forever"
Pour on the Accent
And bring the flavor out!
A leg of lamb a roast, a wienie
Chicken a la king or scallopini
You can make a meatball taste the way it never did before...
And oh, what dash it brings to hash, or even a halibut,
Even a halibut...
Who'd believe the flavor it brings out in a brisket of beef?
Once you sprinkle it on filet mignon,
ever after you'll be grateful you used
You think you are seasoning the food,
When you pour on the salt and the pepper,
But talk to the chefs of the world,
And they will tell you which end is up!
Believe me they don’t fool around,
When they buy it, they have themselves a sack sent,
Your cooking will all be a smash,
When all your vegetables and meats
Are cooked with AC-CENT!
How far ahead of the pack was he? How about this? He
anticipated today’s plague of Political Correctness by at least 30
Once, as if to appease an imaginary group complaining about the lack of
sensitivity in the title of “Old Man River,” he changed it to “Elderly
And on another occasion, he attributed an illness to a case of the “Swiss Flu” (so as not to offend anyone).
Not sure if you have come across the Eagle cam yet, but if not you
should check it out. A live feed was placed in an Eagles nest in
York PA. My wife started checking it out after the eggs were laid
I started checking it more recently since they have hatched. It’s
pretty awesome to see this majestic bird in its nest taking care of the
Eaglets. It’s a pretty big deal here, i have even caught kids in
class trying to watch it on their phone, not that I condone that but
its better than playing a game constantly. ( I made them turn it off
Connie and I have seen it and it is very cool. I heard it was someplace near Hanover.
One of the delights of coaching where
I do is that there's scarcely a day that we go to the beach with our
dogs that we don't see at least one bald eagle, often a pair. (Check
Several times a season, practice will
come to a halt whenever an eagle flies over us and lands in one of the
big fir trees that surround the field. Even teenage boys are
impressed by a bald eagle.
It's wonderful to see the way those great birds have come back from near-extinction.
*********** Jordan Spieth sure did a heck of a job in winning
the Master from start to finish. What was most impressive to me
was how he handled himself throughout. At a time when basketball
players thump their chests after baskets and football players
jump up and celebrate routine tackles, this 21-year-old guy who’d just
accomplished one of the world’s great athletic feats displayed grace
and dignity and humility. No fist pumps. No dances. And in
contrast to the scowls of basketball and football players, he actually
looked at people and smiled. I’m sure his uncommon maturity has
something to do with the fact that his sister suffers from some sort of
neurological order that’s akin to autism. It’s been noted that
brothers and sisters of special needs kids tend to be pretty good kids
themselves, and Jordan Spieth certainly didn’t do anything to disprove
that. We need more examples of Jordan Spieth. Lots
more. In all our sports.
*********** Dennis Prager, in National Review, wrote a thoughtful but scary essay entitled “America's Accelerating Decay”
The Family: Nearly half (48
percent) of American children are born to a mother who is not married.
Forty-three percent of American children live without a father in the
Education: Most universities
have become secular seminaries for the dissemination of leftism.
Moreover, aside from indoctrination, students usually learn little. One
can earn a B.A. in English at UCLA, for example, without having read a
single Shakespeare play.
The End of Male and Female:
When signing up for Facebook, one is offered nearly 60 options under
“gender.” In various high schools across the country, boys are elected
homecoming queen. A woman was recently kicked out of Planet Fitness for
objecting to a man in the women’s locker room. She was accused of
intolerance because the man said he felt that he was a woman.
The End of Right and Wrong: At
least two generations of American young people have been taught that
moral categories are nothing more than personal (or societal)
preferences. This extends to assessing the most glaring of evils. Since
the Nazis thought killing Jews was right, there is no way to know for
sure whether it was wrong; it’s the Nazis’ opinion against that of the
Jews and anyone else who objects. I have heard this sentiment from
American high-school students — including many Jewish ones — for 30
The End of Religion: Instead of
being guided by a code higher than themselves, Americans are taught to
rely on their feelings to determine how to behave. Instead of being
given moral guidance, children are asked, “How do you feel about it?”
The End of Beauty: Just as
morality is subjective, so are beauty and excellence. There is no good
or bad art or literature. You like Beethoven; I like rap. You like
Shakespeare; I like Batman. “Street art” (a.k.a graffiti) is worthy of
museum exhibition; paint thrown by an “artist” from atop a ladder onto
a canvas is considered high art and fetches over $100 million.
*********** Hank Soar scored
the winning touchdown for the New York Giants in the 1938 NFL
title game; for part of a season he coached the Providence
Steamrollers in the BAA, the predecessor to the NBA; and he was an
American League umpire for more than 20 years.
Ken Hampton, Raleigh, North Carolina
Bill Nelson, Thornton, Colorado
Kevin McCullough, Lakeville, Indiana
*********** Brian Grazer, movie producer, talked about the importance of failure, in the April 2015 WSJ Magazine
Failure has played the most meaningful role in my life. With my movie
about a mermaid, "Splash," I must have had a thousand people say no to
me on that. And they always said no in a way that was kind of
degrading, like - what, a mermaid? And so when it worked, I thought,
Wow! Nobody knows. Nobody really does know. Because all those
people - many of them experts in their own right, running studios or
directing movies - said no to me. So I thought, you just need to follow
your own truth. I remember seeing Steven Spielberg, after doing
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Jaws," being turned down on "E.T."
And I thought, Wow, this isn't personal. Even Spielberg, this
prodigy who has empirical evidence of being a genius, is being turned
down on a movie he loves. That was a signature moment for me. I
thought, I just have to keep going.
*********** Lou Orlando, a fellow Yalie who lives in Sudbury, Massachusetts wrote...
Found this online the other day, thought you’d enjoy it! Great “Wedge” at the 2:25 mark
*********** "Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding." Thus spake Our President.
Hmmm. Now, I really want to see those college transcripts, because I'd like to see if he took history. And passed.
But anyhow, a high school lacrosse coach was fired after sharing an
Internet letter about the relative importance of Islam in
American culture, and putting it in the form of an open letter of
rebuttal to the President.
*********** I like Bo Ryan. He’s a hell of a coach. He’s
paid his dues. HIs fellow coaches seem to like and respect
him. And, of course, he’s a Philly guy. Okay,
Chester. But that’s Philly.
So I’m going to cut him slack. A lot of slack.
But I was disappointed - shocked, actually - to hear him, right after
the NCAA title game loss to Duke, blame the officials for the physical
play they allegedly allowed Duke to get away with. (This, after
Duke’s two biggest stars spent the better part of the first half on the
bench with foul trouble, while the Badgers were called for only two
personals the entire first half.)
I didn’t hear a word out of his mouth in praise of the opponents. Very bad form.
And I was really disappointed when he later used the term
“rent-a-players,” clearly in reference to Duke’s three outstanding and
(likely) one-and-done freshmen.
So I take my hat off to Mike Krzyzewski for the gracious way he dealt
with it all. Without even mentioning the complaints about the
officiating, he said, “I like Bo,” and then went on to say that
he felt that Bo's wording was unfortunate, and that he should
have used the phrase “one and done,” because “rent-a-player” connotes
doing something illegal.
And then, on the subject of one-and-done, he mentioned how it
originally ran counter to his philosophy of insisting that his players
all graduate. But then, as Duke began facing more and more
schools that had such kids, he began to ask his assistants, “Aren’t
there some of these guys that fit our profile?”
Indeed there were.
The big difference now, he said, was in the team building required to
get those young guys on board once they commit: it starts well
before they even enroll at Duke, so that by the time they’ arrive on
campus, they’re familiar with the coaches and their teammates and
what’s expected of them.
*********** “Jameis has great character,” (Jimbo) Fisher said. “Did he
make mistakes? Yes. Did he make silly mistakes? Yes. I mean, he’s still
a 20-year-old kid. He and Johnny Manziel are the only two who have ever
gone through that pressure of winning a Heisman (as an underclassman).
Coach Fisher, that is sheer crap.
Underclassmen who won the Heisman Trophy (Juniors unless otherwise noted):
Johnny Manziel **
Jameis Winston **
Presure? Not a knucklehead in the bunch until you get to the last five years or so.
FROM THE AMERICAN FOOTBALL FOUNDATION: Coach Ray Graves, a 1990 College
Football Hall of Fame inductee from the University of Florida, passed
away April 10. He was 96 years old.
Born on Dec. 31, 1918, Graves played at the University of Tennessee
where he was team captain in 1941. After a brief stint with the
Philadelphia Eagles, Graves embarked on a coaching career in 1944 at
his alma mater. Graves joined Georgia Tech’s coaching staff in 1947,
where he spent 13 seasons under legendary Hall of Fame Coach Bobby Dodd.
The University of Florida hired the 41-year-old Graves as the 14th head
football coach in school history in January 1960. In 10 seasons as the
Gators’ head coach from 1960-69, Graves won nearly 70 percent of his
games, and he led Florida to five bowl games, including its first
appearances in the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl. Graves finished his
career at Florida with a 70-31-4 record, including a 9-1-1 season in
1969 and a memorable 14-13 victory over Tennessee in his final game as
head coach. He coached seven All-America players and three College
Football Hall of Famers, including wide receiver Carlos Alvarez,
Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Steve Spurrier and defensive end
********** Carelessness and inaccuracy is everywhere, and few people seem bothered by it.
A story in Rolling Stone told of a Universitty of Virginia coed who was
gang-raped as some sort of fraternity initiation. But nobody at the
magazine had bothered to check on whether it actually happened. (It
People are still saying “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” as if it’s based on an event in which that scenario actually happened.
There was the Maya Angelou stamp. Mrs. Obama and Oprah Winfrey,
among others, were pictured standing in front of a giant replica.
The design of the stamp is a photo of the late Ms. Angelou next to a
"Maya Angelou" quote. Except those aren’t her
And then there’s the missing word in the official Hillary announcement (see if you can find it):
her mother’s own childhood – in which she was abandoned by her parents
– to her work going door-to-door for the Children’s Defense Fund to her
battling to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, she’s
fought children and families all her career.
(HINT: doesn’t “fought FOR children and families” sound much better?)
*********** Talk about turnarounds: in Ed Fisher's fourth
season at South Kitsap High School, outside Bremerton, Washington, he
was 1-7, bringing his overall record to a disappointing 15-20.
But in his fifth year, 1978, his Wolves went 7-2, and only once again over the next 18 years did they ever win as few as 7.
When he retired after the 1996 season at “South K,” Ed Fisher had
won 14 league championships, In 22 years, his overall
record was 184-47.
That included won state championship, and three other appearances in the state final game.
In addition to his undefeated 13-0 1994 state championship team, he had
eight one-loss seasons, (which means that the losses came in
post-seaosn play, which means that those teams were unbeaten in
Coach Fisher had a lot of experience with post-season play: at a time
when only the top 16 (of 90) teams in the state’s highest
classification made it to the state playoffs, his teams qualified for
the playoffs 16 straight times. His record in post-season play
was 26-16. So when I came across this article about getting ready
for the post-season - as he prepared for his final year - I thought it
you’d find it useful. It's from the Fall, 1996 issue of
preparation can be broken down into mental and physical. The physical
portion of practice is cut back slightly. Almost all players are
suffering from some minor aches and pains at this point in the
season. The excitement and competitive drive of the athlete will
take care of any minor edge that your opponent may have in
conditioning. We have never lost a game because we were too tired
to compete at the end of the game. We have lost games
because the other team was better than we were or that I did not do a
good job of preparing our team.
feel that mental preparation is where the edge is to be gained. In the
state of Washington, 16 teams out of 90 make the state playoffs and
there will be only one team to win the state championship. We prepare
our athletes for the goal of winning the state championship but the
probability is that they may be beaten. Being able to participate in
the playoffs is an honor, win or lose. This is like having extra
frosting on the cake. We will spend time talking about what have
accomplished and where we are going in post-season play. We want
to make it very clear that we want to be state champions and practicing
harder and longer is not the answer to achieve that goal. Mental
preparation is where you can get an edge.
will sit down in the film room in a ver relaxed atmosphere and discuss
what the playoffs mean to us. Each player and coach will have an
opportunity to express his feelings, thoughts and emotions. We
all listen to one another.
South Kitsap, we keep practicing basically the same way we have all
year long. The players know what it is like to practice and to
win. The stability we have maintained throughout the years is
important. Not changing when it is time to go into post season
play is an important concept in being successful at the next level of
competition. We have shortened our practices by 10 minutes and up to 25
minutes over the years. The shortening of practice has some in
the areas of conditioning and individual technique work.
have tried to do more mental preparation than physical. As a
coaching staff we feel we have a choice: (1) going into a game slightly
less conditioned than our opponent but with fresh legs and a fresh,
positive mental outlook, or (2) our conditioning equals our opponents'
but with weary legs and struggling mentally. We take the number
one choice every time.
the past sixteen years we have been involved in the state playoffs, I
have learned a few lessons. First and foremost is, don't change
things on the players. Keep the routine as normal as possible. We have
reached the playoffs because we were doing something right during the
regular season. The kids believe in wheat we're doing, so don't screw
them up by changing just because you're going into post-season
a little more time in the film room, studying their opponent, and
a little less time on the practice field, is time well spent in post
season play. The players are also asked to spend some time alone,
by themselves - no phone, no radio, no TV (this was before texting and
Twitter and Madden. HW) - all alone, and think of what it means
to them to play in the postseason. Some internal reflection time
is important for players.
(For what it’s worth, Coach Fisher’s South Kitsap Wolves made it to the
1996 state final game - his last game - before losing to
Richland, 34-25. It was only South K’s third loss in four years.)
*********** Saturday’s TV was wall-to-wall Spring Games. Well,
call them “Games,” because for way too many colleges, they're becoming
mostly drills followed by some sort of scrimmage with a
meaningless scoring system that allows the offense to play the
defense the entire time.
Okay. But if the TV people insist on showing us a half-hour of
drills before the half-hour scrimmage that they call a "game," couldn’t
they at least show us the drills themselves? They seem to forget
that the only people watching spring practices are us hard-core types,
and we enjoy that sort of inside stuff. But instead, the
drills mostly serve as a backdrop for exciting interviews with
assistant coaches or former players now in the NFL.
Northwestern came first. They looked okay, but, probably figuring
that nobody would come anyhow, they stayed on a practice field.
Very low key. The "action" was often shot from field level, as if by
one of the player's dads.
And then we switched to Lincoln. Nebraska.
O. M. G. You talk about a Sea of Red.
There were 80,000 people in that stadium to watch a game, and -
give those Cornhuskers credit - they gave them a game. A real,
honest-to-God game. Kickoffs and everything. The crowd was even
bigger than the usual Big Red spring game turnout, undoubtedly to see
what the new coach’s product looks like. My impression? Granted,
I like Mike Riley, but I have to say that the Huskers looked pretty
damned impressive. Welcome to Lincoln, Coach Riley. Just keep
One of the Husker QB’s was redshirt freshman Zack Darlington, son of
Rick Darlington, state championship coach at Apopa, Florida. From what
I saw, Zack looked pretty doggone good.
Minnesota had a decent crowd and looked pretty good. Coach Jerry Kill was a good interview.
Stanford had nobody there. Well, it is Stanford, after all, and
besides, there are plenty of other things to do on a sunny Bay
Area Saturday than sit in a football stadium. Stanford fans were
obviously out doing those things.
*********** And to think Tom Osborne once thought he could straighten Lawrence Phillips out...
*********** A female coach in the NFL?
Bruce Arians thinks it’s possible.
And he may be right. But where are they all now? Shouldn’t we be seeing some women in high school coaching?
So far, in all my travels and in all my years of coaching high school football, I’ve seen exactly one.
(She was, by the way, a good one. Her name was Nancy
Fowlkes, and she coached under Steve Allosso at F. W. Cox HS in
Virginia Beach. I got to meet her because at the time, Coach
Allosso was running the Double Wing. In fairness, when
Coach Allosso hired her, she was not exactly new to coaching, having
won numerous state field hockey titles.)
FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015- “I am not ashamed to confess I am ignorant of what I do not know” Marcus Tullius Cicero
Sorry - I'm in the process of making the switch over to a new computer - no NEWS today EXCEPT -
CLINIC SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY, MAY 16 AT EASTERN YORK HS - WRIGHTSVILLE, PA.
TUESDAY, APRIL 7, 2015- "From
the 18th century to today, many leading thinkers on the left have
regarded those who disagree with them as being not merely factually
wrong but morally repugnant." Thomas Sowell
HAPPY EASTER. And
if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain
"All week people on Twitter have been telling me that all
discrimination is bad, no matter what. That’s awful news, because I
really don’t want to invite pedophiles, Nazis, or complete strangers
from the 7-11 parking lot to my Passover seder. Now I’m told such
discrimination is wrong, no matter what." Jonah Goldberg:
From time to time I'm asked about my experiences coaching in Europe,
and about the best way to land a "job" over there. I first have to tell
them that my experience is now 20 years old and things have changed.
For one thing, there are more Americans over there than there were 20
years ago. But now, more of them are players, and fewer are coaches.
I'm sure that by now there are many native Europeans, most of them
former players, who are capable coaches, and ready access to the
Internet has been of great help to them in their education.
For another, the Internet and what American football they see has
convinced them that there is just one way to play - the NFL way. Where
20 years ago they were willing to accept the Double Wing as a perfectly
valid means of winning games, they're now even more intolerant of the
offense than anybody you'll meet in the states.
But one thing hasn't changed. American football is still small potatoes
over there. Soccer is number one everywhere except maybe in Sweden and
Finland, where hockey is huge. Rugby is big in English-speaking
countries and in France, and Cricket is big in England, but after that,
there are niche sports. And that's what American football
is. Which means that it has to scramble for crumbs - for the
sponsorship Euros left over after the other sports have taken their
Teams are not normally "owned" as they are here in the states, and
"profit" is not a concept associated with their sports. There, if
the football team is part of a larger sports club, it subsists on its
share of membership fees and sponsorships. For smaller,
individual clubs, it really is a hand-to-mouth existence
for most teams, requiring fund-raising efforts that make
ours look puny.
And the European relegation system, which sends this year's best
teams up to a higher league next season, and the worst teams down to a
lower league, complicates financing even further. A drop down almost
always means a loss of sponsorships, but a move up doesn't always mean
adding sponsors, because first-year teams in the higher league often
have a rough go, and sponsors sometimes adopt a wait-and-see approach.
Such is the perilous nature of funding for American football teams
overseas that with their seasons about to get under way, two top
European football teams have gone under.
One of them, the defending Norwegian champion, folded just two weeks prior to the start of the season.
It's too late for this season anyhow, but the best way to search for a
job overseas is to subscribe to europlayers.com, a Web site run by an
old friend (and double-wing coach!) named Roger Kelly, a Canadian who
now lives in Sweden.
*********** A Look at the Targeting Foul by Rogers Redding
Rogers Redding, the national coordinator of College Football
Officiating, provides insights about rules changes and the mindset of
college football referees. The CFO is the national professional
organization for all football officials who work games at the
became a part of the NCAA rules in 2008. At that time, the penalty was
the same as for any other personal foul – 15 yards and an automatic
first down. The NCAA football rules committee made minor changes to the
language of the rule along the way, with nothing major until last year.
2013, the committee had become concerned about the increasing number of
concussions and other head and spinal injuries, so it took a bold step
forward by including automatic disqualification from the game in the
penalty. If a player commits a targeting foul in the second half, he
must sit out the first half of his team’s next game. The ruling is
subject to review in games where Instant Replay is used. While this was
seen in some quarters as an overly expensive penalty, the committee
felt that it needed to take a strong stand in trying to remove this
dangerous foul from the college game.
remains some misunderstanding about the rule, as we continue to hear
people use the term “helmet-to-helmet contact.” But the rule does not
mention helmet-to-helmet contact. Incidental helmet-to-helmet
contact happens many times in a game as a matter of course, but this is
not illegal. What is prohibited is (a) targeting action and forcible
contact with the crown of the helmet and (b) targeting action and
forcible contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent –
no matter what part of the body the player uses. It could be the
shoulder, forearm, etc., as well as the head.
“targeting action and forcible contact” we mean such things as a
launch, an upward thrust out of a crouch and similar actions which
signal that the player is trying to do more than make a good football
rule is having a very positive impact on the game. We can clearly see
that players are being coached to change their approach: they are
lowering the “strike zone” to make a tackle or defend against a pass,
they are getting the head out of the action and they are making more
“heads-up-wrap-up” tackles. While targeting fouls continue to take
place, and we as stakeholders need to remain diligent, our game is
becoming safer because this rule is leading to changes in behavior.
*********** I was rereading "The Young Man From Denver," a biography of
author, journalist and Hollywood screenwriter Gene Fowler,
written by his son, Will.
Gene Fowler knew everybody in the newspaper business and show business
and everybody knew - and liked - him. Over the years, he'd
partied with most of them.
At the time of his death, famed writer Ben Hecht, one of his friends,
reminisced about the time they'd visited another friend, famed comedian
and notorious hard liver W. C. FIelds, just days before he died.
There he was in his garden, wrote Hecht, "pouring gin into himself and holding, of all things, a Bible in his hand."
"What are you doing with a Bible?" he was asked.
Answered Fields, "Looking for loopholes."
*********** A former Navy player applied lessons he learned in football
to handling the responsibility of managing 40,000 employees.
*********** Yes, you could call me a Climate Change Denier, which I guess puts me in Big Al Gore's sights.
Yeah. The sights on the old shootin' arn he's had since he was a boy
back in the hills of Tennessee, when he used to go huntin' varmints
with his daddy, (Senator Albert Gore, Sr.).
Or was that Lord john ("Can I get me a hunting license?") Kerry?
So I gritted my teeth when I read that the head of some group calling
itself The Wilderness Society has proclaimed that in order to prevent
catastrophic global warming, 90 per cent of US coal must remain in the
You hear that, all you miners in West Virginia and Kentucky?
Meanwhile, everybody in the US over the age of 5 has a cell
phone, and our government is giving subsidies to electric car makers so
that more rich bastards can buy their $100,000 Teslas, because, you
see, electric cars produce "zero tailpipe emissions."
Well. Maybe zero emissions from a tailpipe in Beverly Hills, but that
electricity that the expensive toy runs on has to be generated
somewhere, and it sure ain't from solar panels on the roofs of those
Get ready for this, Wilderness Society guy - at the present time, coal
remains by far our largest source of electric generation,
producing nearly 40 per cent of the electricity we Americans consume.
And guess what? (1) We have all the coal we'll need for another century
or more, - how's that for energy independence? - and (2) coal
happens to be one of the few things that we sell in any quantity to the
You think we're on the verge of class warfare now? Just you wait
till we start having daily brownouts while all those
rich environmentalists in their electric cars are down at the
charging stations getting taxpayer-subsdized fillups.
*********** World-Turned-Upside-Down Department
The insanity continues. Lolita Baldor, of the Associated Press,
writes that there's still debate over whether to let transgender
"folks" serve in our armed forces...
U.S. military leaders have expressed reservations about any move to
lift the Pentagon's ban on transgender people serving in the armed
forces, an issue since Defense Secretary Ash Carter's suggestion that
he is open to the idea, officials say.
Carter told troops in Afghanistan that he was open-minded when asked if
the Defense Department was planning to remove one of the last gender-
or sexuality-based barriers to military service. But some defense
officials have said they have broad concerns about the impact of such a
The officials spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Much of the opposition centers on questions of where transgender troops
would be housed, what berthing they would have on ships, which
bathrooms they would use and whether their presence would affect the
ability of small units to work well together.
There also are questions about whether the military would conduct or
pay for the medical treatment and costs associated with any gender
transition, as well as which physical training standards the troops
would be required to meet.
*********** Mon Oct 20, 2014
Hello sir, My name is Jeramiah Komlofske and I am head coach of the 8-9
year old rookie squad Killen Patriots in Killeen Texas near ft
Hood. We are a military town with lots of football
competition. We are currently in TYFA division 2 and I have
adopted your double wing this year. I'm in love with it to say
the least. We are an undersized squad and we need this in order
to compete. We are 3-3 at this point and still unable to defeat
the physically superior teams but my problem is this...the Refs.
I am fighting them every game. My wedges cannot be stopped no
matter who we are playing but I get flagged for arm locking when we
dont, at all. I've had 3 scores called back and countless yard
removed because of this. Refs do not understand the formation and
will not let my line sit back from the los. They call me for to
many in the backfield. It's killing my team. I'm sure I'm
not the only coach to have gone through this. Need some advice.
Thank you for your time.
Head Coach Killeen Patriots
Tue, Oct 21
Thanks for writing.
Your problems are not uncommon, but usually the officials come around.
You might show them this clip of my team at practice.
We're running it from a different
formation, but it illustrates how we teach the wedge blocking, and you
won't see any locking of arms.
As for being back off the ball, the
rule is clear that they are legally on the line so long as the top of
their helmet penetrates an imaginary line drawn through the center's
waist. But if it's clear that you won't win this one, ask the
officials to take a look at your kids and tell you what's legal,
because you want to make sure that you comply, blah, blah, blah.
It's all about power, and you're not going to win, so you might as well let them know that you will do what they require.
Hope this helps you some. Let me know how it works out.
Tue, Oct 21, 2014
Thank you sir,
We will get to work on that right away. We need this win this
week to stay in the race and its a far more superior foe. I will
sure let you know how it goes.
Head Coach Killeen Patriots
Mon, April 6, 2015
Thank you for the help and it most certainly helped. I conducted
a meeting with the officials prior to game and had no problems with
them during it, as a matter of fact they were defending it against the
other teams coaches without my help, LOL.
I switched to a shotgun double wing in order to fix exchange issues and
took the motion out. We were much more competitive but
unfortunately we were not able to make the playoffs. We did,
however enter the AAU Unrestricted National Tournament and
ended up winning the Championship in December
30-0. We will use this momentum for the future push.
*********** Yuengling, of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, has been named the US's top craft brewer...
Uh, I'm all for Yuengling, but the company isn't that small - it has three breweries, two in Pennsylavnia and one in Florida.
It's that the definition of "craft breweer" has been changed so that it
might as well be "any brewing company not named AB Inbev, SAB Miller or
The Top Five Craft Brewing Companies of 2014:
D.G. Yuengling Sons, Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Boston Beer Co., Boston
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, California;
New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colorado;
Gambrinus, Shiner, Texas.
The top 10 U.S. Brewing Companies” of 2014:
Anheuser-Busch Inc., St. Louis; (Foreign owned)
Miller Coors, Chicago, Illinois (A marketing joint venture of SAB MIller and Molson Coors)
Pabst Brewing Co., Los Angeles;
D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc., Pottsville;
Boston Beer Co., Boston;
North American Breweries, Rochester, New York;
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, California;
New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colorado;
Craft Brew Alliance, Portland, Oregon;
Gambrinus, Shiner, Texas.
*********** ROCKY COLAVITO hit
374 career home runs and once, in 1968, he pitched 2-2/3 scoreless
innings in relief to earn a win over his former teammates, the Detroit
In 1965 he became the first outfielder in AL history to play an entire season (he didn't miss a game) without making an error.
Playing before the PED area, when he retired he had hit more home runs
in the American League than any right handed hitters except
Jimmie Foxx and Harmon Killebrew.
Correct answer provided by...
Bill Nelson, Thornton, Colorado
Ken Hampton, Raleigh, North Carolina
Kevin McCullough, Lakeville, Indiana
*********** I have no objections whatsoever to the NFL's hiring
its first female official. But it's pretty bad when the
best I can say is that she can't be any worse than some of the clowns
they've already got.
*********** Lynn Swann and John Stallworth are both in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Has any team ever selected two better wide receivers in the same draft?
They were both drafted by the Steelers in 1974. Both became
All-pro wide receivers, and both were key components of the Super
Steelers of the 1970s.
And the Steelers almost passed them up. They weren't fast enough.
Swann's 4.7 wasn't fast enough for Steelers' Coach Chuck
Noll, and neither was Stallworth's. But Noll
liked them both.
He told player personnel director Art Rooney to "get a good time" on
Swann, so Rooney flew to the West Coast and timed Swann in a 4.55. And
the rest is history.
For the lesser-known Stallworth, who played at historically-black Alabama A & M, he leaned on Bill Nunn.
Nunn, once the highly-respected sports editor of the black newspaper
Pittsburgh Courier, was by that time a Steelers scout, the man given
credit for the way the Steelers gained access to previously untapped
talent in black colleges.
He knew that Stallworth had been timed on a grass field, and he went
back to Alabama to "get a better time." That he did. He timed
Stallworth in 4.58, 4.6 and 4.62.
But only he and the Steelers knew that, and he was able to convince
Noll that unlike the better-known Swann, from USC, whom the Steelers
chose with their first-round draft pick, they could safely wait until
the fourth round to draft Stallworth because no other NFL team had a
time on him faster than a 4.7
*********** How's this for being a three-sport guy?
He scored the winning touchdown in the 1938 NFL championship game.
He coached the Providence team in the BAA, the forerunner of today's NBA.
And as an American League umpire for more than 20 years, he was the
first base umpire when Don Larsen pitched his perfect gamin in the 1956
*********** I swear to God I read this on a "forum" and the guy was serious...
"you must be looking in a mere."
*********** Charles Barkley, asked about whether he uses Twitter: "I
don't do the Internet. That's where fools go to feel important."
Of course, a lot of Twitter users would probably give it up, too, if they had Barkley's audience.
*********** We were watching the Duke-Michigan State basketball game
and during a commercial break I was reading a paper when my wife said...
"Honey, play that back."
"Just play it back."
I'll be damned if it wasn't a Honey Maid commercial featuring two "guys" and "their" newborn baby.
"We're kind of traditional guys," one of the guys said.
It was a very short commercial - maybe 15 seconds - so it was over before I could say, "WTF?"
But just to be sure, its signature line took a snarky shot at Indiana:
"We Serve Everyone"
*********** It was back around 1960 that replay of televised events
came into being, and it was so new and unheard of that at first, not
everyone understood that what they were watching was not live.
There were many. many stories of bets on games being won by those who understood, taking advantage of those who didn't.
It was another 20 years or so before we had the ability to record
events on our own, at home, but no matter. Most of us thought this was
But no good deed goes unpunished - there were enough others who
were indignant that nobody had told them they weren't watching
You'd think that the TV people would have learned their lesson - you
have to tell people, and tell them again, and tell them once
again. Repeat that process several times for a couple of
weeks. And then, maybe - maybe - half the public will get your
So there we were Saturday, and TBS, in order to accommodate those
basketball fans who insist on hearing announcers that favor their team,
provided five different broadcasts of the two games - the usual network
broadcast, plus alternative "homer" converge for the four teams
playing on Saturday.
But clearly, based on the irate tweets flying around ("These guys are
so biased for Kentucky!") including a couple from Deion Sanders,
not everyone was aware of TBS' noble experiment.
*********** Following Saturday's upset of Kentucky by Wisconsin,
Kentucky's Andrew Harrison was caught by a live microphone saying
"F--- that n----" after a teammate was asked a question about
Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky.
Harrison later called Kaminsky and apologized on Twitter.
"He reached out to me, we talked about it, I'm over it," Kaminsky told reporters. "Nothing needs to be made out of it."
This brings up a very interesting philosophical matter.
As anybody who draws breath knows, it is highly inadvisable for a white person to use the "N-word." At all.
But as most of us also know, there are those black people (certain
black people) who argue that it's okay for them to use the "N-word"
around each other.
A forum full of ancient Greek philosophers would have been kept busy
debating how it is that a white man can be fired in disgrace from the
job of his dreams for saying a word considered hurtful - but not so
hurtful that young black people don't throw it around with
But here's one that even Socrates himself would have had trouble
divining: what happens when a black person calls a white person
Socrates aside, I'm really upset with Frank Kaminsky. Here he had a
chance to fuel the racial flames, and he had to go and defuse
everything by saying he's "Over it!"
I want to say to him (looking up, of course), "Hey, big guy! You gonna
let him off that easy? After we just went out and bought all that
paint? Now, here we are painting our signs and planning a rally
outside the Kentucky state capital - and you say, you're "Over it?"
Oh, well. Just because you're taking the high road doesn't mean I have to let the opportunity go to waste.
Personally, I think there's only one way of dealing with this issue:
the entire Kentucky team should have to undergo diversity training.
After all, it's only fair for black guys to get a taste of the
sort of BS we whiteys - sorry, "persons of no color" - have had
to sit through over the years.
And furthermore - here's my chance to get in on the racket - I'm offering my services to the Wildcats.
I'll require fIrst-class air fare, a suite in a four-star hotel, the
use of an SUV, and a $15,000 fee for a three-hour diversity workshop.
From what I understand, they'll be getting off cheap.
*********** You realize just how far this whole PC thing has taken us
(and how hard it would be to be a comedian today), when you read
that one of the "racist" emails (I think they found maybe three) from
the Ferguson PD was actually an Internet joke:
a guy said that he had come to grips with his wife's infidelity by
finding religion. Said he had become a Muslim, and tomorrow he
was going to stone her to death.
It's a joke, for God's sake! I'll bet even some Muslims find it funny. Well, maybe not female Muslims.
FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2015- “Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.” G. K. Chesterton
HAPPY EASTER. And
if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain
In his book "DUFFY," famed Michigan State coach Duffy Daugherty wrote,
"I learned a tough lesson in the mid-sixties when our first-string
center, Walt Forman, quit football after his junior year because his
nearly-perfect grade point average in the classroom won him immediate
admission to medical school. I decided right then and there I'd never
again recruit a player that intelligent."
********** Eddie LeBaron died Wednesday in Stockton, California. He was 85.
I wrote this back in 2003:
LOOK AT OUR LEGACY: In the portrait at far left, Eddie Le Baron is
shown as a Marine 2nd Lieutenant; in the middle, he's shown as "The
Little General," a 5-9 NFL quarterback. He was a college All-American,
NFL Rookie of the Year, a Four-Time Pro Bowl selection, and an NFL
General Manager. He was the first starting quarterback in the history
of the Dallas Cowboys. Today, he's a successful lawyer (portrait at far
He was an All-American quarterback at College of the Pacific, and
following graduation in 1950, with the Korean War starting up, he
accepted a commission as an officer in the Marine Corps.
He spent nine months in Korea, seven of them in combat on the front
lines. He was wounded twice, and was awarded the Bronze Star for an act
of heroism at Heartbreak Ridge.
Back in the States, despite his height (generously reported to be 5-9)
he wound up as the starting quarterback job with the Washington
Redskins when Sammy Baugh broke his hand, and, coached along by Baugh,
he wound up throwing for 1400 yards and earning Rookie of the Year
After two years with the Redskins, he jumped to the CFL with two other
Redskins, but returned a year later and, under Coach Joe Kuharich, led
the Skins to an 8-4 record. Hopes were high for 1955, but a preseason
car accident ended the career of star Vic Janowicz and the Redskins
finished a disappointing 6-6.
From then on, although he was the NFL's leading passer in 1958, it was
three straight losing seasons with the Skins, until his career was
saved when Tom Landry traded for him and made him the brand-new Dallas
Cowboys' first quarterback. Don Meredith understudied him, until
gradually, as Meredith became ready, Landry began to shuttle the two
quarterbacks in and out.
He had earned his law degree from George Washington University while
playing for the Redskins, and he put his legal talent and business
expertise to use as General Manager of the Atlanta Falcons from 1977 to
1982 and as executive vice president and chief operating officer from
1982 through 1985.
In 1980, Eddie Le Baron was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
(Remember when I used to ask you to identify people?)
Correctly identifying Eddie LeBaron- Joe Daniels- Sacramento... Mike
Framke- Green Bay, Wisconsin... Kevin McCullough- Culver, Indiana...
Dennis Metzger- Connersville, Indiana... Adam Wesoloski- Pulaski,
Wisconsin... Dave Potter- Durham, North Carolina... Joe Gutilla-
Minneapolis ("The Little General's exploits at Pacific are legendary.
COP (as it was called back then) had a strong football tradition for
many years, and LeBaron was the first in a line of outstanding
quarterbacks play at Pacific. Pacific and Fresno State would play in
front of overflow crowds at Memorial Stadium in Stockton. The
Tigers-Bulldogs rivalry was as heated as they get. However that list of
UOP quarterbacks will remain short since UOP's football program was one
of many in California that fell victim to the Title IX budget axe.")...
Keith Babb- Northbrook, Illinois ("Thanks for coming up with an easy
one this week. Eddie LeBaron was very familiar to me when I lived in
Texas and followed the then brand new Dallas Cowboys. He also appeared
in the first book I ever read about football, 'Heroes of the NFL.'")...
Ron Timson- Umatilla, Florida ("He was one of my idols, mainly because
of his small stature that I also endured as an athlete. I admired the
fact that he could make it in the NFL. I remember him throwing the jump
pass to TE's and being a pretty good scrambler.")... Bert Ford- Los
Angeles... Scott Russell- Potomac Falls, Virginia... MIke O'Donnell-
Pine City, Minnesota... David Crump- Owensboro, Kentucky ("My dad and I
saw him quarterback the Cowboys to a preseason win over the Giants in
Louisville in 1960. I think that is was the only game they won that
year. I know they went winless that year in regular season play. Eddie
took a lot of tough hits playing for the Cowboys.")... Steve Staker-
Fredericksburg, Iowa... John Reardon- Peru, Illinois... Alan Goodwin-
Warwick, Rhode Island...
*********** An interesting story is the role Eddie LeBaron played in
the emergence on the national scene of the Belly Series, as told by
famed Georgia Tech coach Bobby Dodd, in "Dodd's Luck."
The Yellow Jackets were coming off what was for them a disastrous 5-6 season.
retained Ray Graves who was a fine line coach and outstanding defense
coach. For the 1951 season Graves installed the "monster defense" (the
monster man was a
roving linebacker-defensive back) hybrid. Graves had learned the
monster, which was designed to stop the split-T, from Oklahoma's Bob
On offense Dodd brought Frank Broyles back home to the Flats. "Broyles was a big asset," Dodd said. "He was
enthusiastic and a real good offensive coach."
was Broyles, under Dodd's guidance, who introduced the Belly series to
Tech football. In the summer of 1950 (actually, it was 1951. HW) , Dodd
returned to Chicago to serve as an assistant coach for the
College All-Star team.
This time one of Dodd's quarterbacks was a half-pint Houdini named Eddie LeBaron.
day during practice Dodd recalled, "Eddie and I were out there fooling
around, which we did every once in a while, hiding the ball talking
about different things. And told me they had this play at Pacific
which they got a lot out of called the belly series. I said,
'show it to me.'"
demonstrated the belly series. Dodd was captivated. "He was
clever as could be," Dodd said. "Just a great
quarterback. Anyway, he showed me the belly series and I
immediately knew it was good."
was the kind of offensive attack in which Bobby Dodd would have thrived
as a quarterback, relying on ball handling, deception and quick
thinking. The secret of it, Dodd said, as he jumped to his feet
to demonstrate, putting his hands together as if taking the snap from
center then pivoting to handoff, "Was that the quarterback had the
option at the line of scrimmage, either to hand off to the fullback
coming up the middle, or to pull it back and go wide.
Sometimes, of course, he'd give him the ball, but the fullback's
covered up by the line blocking and the linebackers over there can't
see if he's got the ball. And we blocked just exactly the same whether
we're gonna give him the ball or not.
then if we don't give it to him, the quarterback takes the ball and he
pitches it back to the halfback, who's gonna ruin wide. We would
freeze the linebackers with the fullback fake and then pitch the
ball. And we'd outrun 'em. I had speed galore. So we
used the belly series, and we got a lot out of it."
I guess they did. After going 5-6 in 1950, they installed
the Belly Series (and the monster defense), and in 1951 Tech went
11-0-1. In the six years from 1951 through 1956, Tech went 59-7-3
*********** Eddie LeBaron was once deprived of a chance to set a record
that would never be broken. In 1962, his 99-yard touchdown pass
to Frank Clarke was called back when a Cowboy lineman was called for
holding. To add insult to injury, because the infraction
was committed in the end zone, it was ruled a safety.
*********** A sad sidelight to the Georgia Tech success story: after a
poor 1950 season, Tech coach Bobby Dodd made a tough call
and let two long-time assistants go.
Tough, did I say?
The wife of one of the assistants was Mrs. Dodd's best friend,
and the Dodds and the other two coaches and their wives would
socialize on Saturday nights after Tech games.
"We were all close back in those days," he recalled. "When you only have a small coaching staff like we had, you become close."
Years later, Dodd still called it "The most depressing thing I ever had to do."
*********** Hard to believe that a businessman savvy enough to own an
NFL team doesn't even know the details of the multi-million dollar
deals he's committed to...
(Aaron) Hernandez signed a $40 million contract with the Patriots in
2012, but as defense lawyer Michael Fee questioned him, Kraft said he
couldn't remember whether it ran through the 2018 season.
"I don't get into the details. I just knew we signed him," he said,
adding that Hernandez was signed because he was "a very good player."
Hernandez also told Mr. Kraft that he had nothing to do with the
murders he's accused of committing. Hmmm. Wonder if he still believes
*********** Coach Wyatt,
Here is the statement issued earlier this week. Thought you would be interested in it.
Northwest High School
Wichita Public Schools 3‐29‐2015
Wichita Public Schools 3‐29‐2015
BACKGROUND FACT SHEET – Special Education Student and East High Athletic Letter
Wichita Public Schools values and honors the contributions of all
students to the life and culture of a school community. The world walks
in the hallways of East High, and the school’s histories and traditions
celebrate all students.
Kelley’s participation, and that of the other student members of the
East High Tri‐County league’s basketball team, have and will continue
to been honored with letters and pins celebrating their participation
on the team.
Kelley’s letter jacket was never taken from him as has been suggested.
School staff did suggest a year ago to his parent that it not be worn
at school because it didn’t feature the letter that he had received
from the school. However, he has continued to wear the jacket proudly
at school since then, and he continues participation on the basketball
team, and it has not been the point of any further discussion at the
Athletic Letters in the Wichita Public Schools:
to the Kansas State High School Activities Association, the opportunity
to recognize students with athletic letters, pins, patches, etc. is the
discretion of each member school.
an effort to ensure consistency, the 9 KSHSAA schools that are members
of the Greater Wichita Athletic League (7 from WPS and 2 from the
Wichita Catholic Diocese) have defined in the GWAL handbook the
criteria for earning an athletic letter in each of the
these sports, recognition for participation or achievement in clubs and
activities is at the discretion of the individual school.
Tri‐County Athletic League was created five years ago as a volunteer
league focused on providing athletic participation opportunities for
special needs students. Current organized sports ‐ basketball and
soccer ‐ as well as cheerleading.
Tri‐County Athletic League has been working for the last nine months to
develop an athletic letter program that will allow participating
students to earn an athletic letter based on consistent league
criteria, and approach similar to the GWAL.
Tri‐County league is unique. District leaders aren’t aware of other
communities or schools where such a league has been created to provide
regular and active opportunities for participation by special needs
first letters are expected to be awarded by the end of the 2014‐15
school year. Criteria have been confirmed by the Tri‐County board, and
the design recommendation for the athletic letter will be forthcoming
Background on the incident that prompted questions:
According to Principal Thiessen, the subject of the jacket came up approximately a year ago.
High currently recognizes student participants in the Tri‐County
League’s basketball program. Students receive a letter and pins
representing subsequent years of participation, based on
school‐specific criteria in the handbook for student participants.
Kelley’s parent requested a standard athletic letter, and the school
declined. A letter jacket and athletic letter were purchased from a
local vendor by Mr. Kelley’s parent.
one year ago, a teacher suggested to Mr. Kelley’s parent that it was
not appropriate for the student to continue to wear this letter on his
jacket because it was not the letter that had been presented to him for
participation in the league
suggestion was made to the parent. There was never any direct
conversation with the student about the jacket. In no way was there
intent to embarrass or otherwise harm the student in any manner.
student has continued to wear the letter jacket in the hallways of East
High for the past year. At no time was the jacket taken from the
student. Additionally, school staff indicated that there was never an
exchange of the student’s letter jacket for an alternative jacket or
December 2014, the school received a request from the student’s parent
to allow all student athletes on the Tri‐County League team to receive
the same athletic letter as varsity athletes as a way to recognize
their participation on their team.
Principal Thiessen and District Athletic Director J. Means indicated
that awarding of letters or other honors for participation in
activities such as this was a school‐based decision, falling outside of
the GWAL criteria that have been defined for letters earned in
High recognizes participants in the Tri‐County Athletic League with a
team letter and participation pins. Other types of teams and clubs –
JROTC, Science Olympiad,
music, leadership – are awarded appropriate letters or recognition based on established school criteria.
the time of the December conversation, Mr. Kelley’s parent was advised
of the Tri‐County League’s work to develop a league‐wide athletic
questions emerged following the March 25 2nd annual East alumni vs
Tri‐County Basketball League fundraiser in the East gym. This event
featured all the elements of a varsity athletic competition (announcer,
band, student body participation).
I really appreciate the info. I should have suspected that this was something ginned up by the media.
What bothers me almost as much as the mother's wanting egg in her beer,
and the media's not having checked into the facts, is that the story
isn't "news" at all, and they've "neglected" to inform us of that.
Even Fox News fell for it.
And now, as ancillary casualties, Wichita schools, and the East high
school principal especially, are besmirched as cold and uncaring,
despite their laudable efforts to provide opportunities for
special needs kids to participate in sports.
The real story is not that a kid was deprived of something. It is
that the Wichita schools went way beyond the call of duty, and their
thanks is public castigation because a mother wanted even more.
Thanks very much for contacting me.
Notice there's been nothing on this the past day or so? The news
media evidently realize they've been had, but as for their attempt to
set things straight - as Emily Litella would say, "Never mind."
This joke is dedicated to the Wichita mother...
It's a war, sunny day at the beach, when a woman suddenly jumps up and
begins shouting frantically, "Help, help! My son's drowning! He
can't swim! Somebody please help! "
A man springs into action and sprints several hundred yards down the
beach to where the woman stands. Swimming out past the breakers to
where the boy is thrashing his hands wildly, he grabs the youngster,
and manages to swim back to the beach with one arm around the kid.
Once back at the beach, the man hands the boy to his waiting mother,
then collapses onto the sand, exhausted. The mother hugs her son, then
looks down at the boy's rescuer and says, "He had a hat."
Check this Twitter screen shot - Washington player of the year and his
Twitter profile. Almost reads like a parody. And yes "Gods_Gift2015" is
his Twitter "handle." Some coach will have to deal with this kid next
If Calipari can get this kid to play team basketball in a season or less, he deserves to be named Coach of the Year.
*********** Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller, disturbed by the "haters," tweeted -
Finally to the people that try to make us feel like our season was a failure. Go cheer for ASU!
Amplfying, he said, “These guys have been in the top 10 for every day
that they’ve dribbled a ball at Arizona, and we lost to Wisconsin in
two hard-fought battles in the Elite Eight. And if that’s a problem, I
think you know what you can do.”
First of all, time to drop the hip-hop-inspired "haters" and "Hatin'
on" crap. Hate is serious. Rape is serious. College
basketball is, well, not quite that serious. Unless there's
something wrong with you.
Coach, if the reaction of certain Arizona knuckleheads shocks you, you wouldn't want to trade jobs with Les Miles.
LSU football fans make Arizona basketball fans look like the parents
who bring kids orange slices at halftime. Three or four more national
titles might - might - be enough to appease them.
Not that that's any guarantee of security. Let Saban have a
couple of 9-win seasons at Alabama and wait for the fun to begin.
Coach Miller, this is what you signed up for.
*********** Remember a few years back when the baseball All-Star
game was ended because one of the teams ran out of
pitchers? Total BS.
So here's what I'm asking you to do:
I'm asking you to name the slugger who once came in and pitched 2 and
2/3 innings of scoreless ball in relief, and scored the winning run.
Hint: He hit 374 career home runs. And he was 1-0 as a pitcher.
*********** Watched the Stanford-Miami NIT Final. Good game. But
the TV cameras had to keep cutting away to a certain Miami
booster - and the last thing I want to see when I watch a basketball
game (or anything else, for that matter) is that f--king Michael Irvin.
*********** When I watch Wisconsin play basketball and I hear "Bo
Ryan," I sometimes think I've heard "Bo Rein." They both sound the same.
Bo Rein was a coach, too, and his is one of the saddest and most bizarre stories in college football history.
Bo Rein was a very good football player at Ohio State who spent a
brief spell with the Baltimore Colts before embarking on a career in
At the age of 30, he became the youngest head coach in major college
football when he succeeded Lou Holtz at N. C. State.
In four years with the Wolfpack he went 27-18-1, and then, following
the 1979 season, LSU hired him to replace Charlie McClendon, who'd been
coach of the Tigers for 18 years.
Rein lasted less than two months as LSU's coach. On January 10, 1980,
while returning from a recruiting trip to Shreveport in a private jet,
his pilot took action to avoid a storm, heading eastward and climbing
to 20,000 feet.
Then, for whatever reason - it's theorized that a loss of cockpit
pressurization at that altitude caused a lack of oxygen that caused the
occupants to black out - the plane went out of control, climbing to
40,000 feet and heading directly east.
Military jets picked it up and escorted it until it ran out of fuel and
crashed into the Atlantic, 100 miles off the coast of North Carolina.
Bo Rein, 34, died before he ever got to coach at game at LSU.
"The weird thing," said LSU Athletic Director Paul Dietzel, "is
the plane's path took it right over the North Carolina State campus,
where down below Bo's wife and children were sleeping."
*********** Years ago, Matt Szczur (pronounced Caesar) was a star
football player for the Lower Cape May Raiders, coached by my friends
Frank Simonsen and Floyd "Flash" Hughes. From there, it was a standout
high school career, and then football/baseball career at
Villanova which saw him named the MVP in Villanova's 2009 FCS
championship game victory.
Now, he's a top prospect for the Chicago Cubs, and there's a good chance he'll have a long career in the major leagues.
But whatever he accomplishes on an athletic field or a baseball diamond
will pale in comparison to an inspiring act of generosity.
*********** In Northern Virginia, a young volleyball player's parents
are suing because their daughter isn't playing and the league won't let
her change teams. See, she may not be good enough to play for an AAU
(or whatever it is) team, but nevertheless they're keeping her from
getting a college scholarship.
*********** In Iraq they're killing Christians and destroying works of art hundreds of years old.
Isis is kidnapping young Kurdish girls and subjecting them to all manner of indignity.
In Kenya, more than 100 college students were killed Thursday, most of them because they were Christians.
Iran is famously hostile to homosexuals.
But here in America, we can't be bothered with those places. We're more focused.
Here, we pee our pants. And send out death threats. And
badger basketball coaches to declare where they stand. And
threaten to business boycotts of an entire state. All
because there might be a baker someplace in Indiana who might just
happen to believe it's contrary to his religious principles to put two
f-king men on top of a wedding cake.
Big f--king deal.
I used to think that Christianity would make its last stand in the
Middle East, but now it's beginning to look like it might be in the
*********** Hello Coach,
I hope you and your family are doing well. I have some bad news
to pass on - Leroy Lunn passed away this morning. His health had
been deteriorating for some time and I just thought you would like to
Spring Valley, Illinois
Thanks so much. I appreciate
your thinking of me. God Bless Mr. Lunn. I'm sure Spring Valley
is very proud of a young man who went away to West Point and
distinguished himself as captain of a great Army team.
Mr. Lunn's 1953 team was the team that
brought Army back from a cheating scandal that resulted in most of the
varsity starters being dismissed from the academy. After sub-par
seasons in '51 and '52 Army went
7-1-1 in '53 losing only to Northwestern, tieing Tulane - and
Mr. Lunn was gracious enough to
present the Black Lion Award at Hall High School in his home town of
Spring Valley, Illinois in 2010.
The 1953 Army team - Captain Leroy Lunn is number 60, in the middle of
the front row. Number in the back row is sophomore Don
Holleder, who would be named All-American end as a junior before being
switched to QB as a senior. He is the inspiration for the Black
Prior to the 1953 season, Army captain Leroy Lunn and coach Earl Blaik posed for this PR shot...
As captain of the Army team, Leroy Lunn rated a full-page in the 1953 Army-Navy game program.
In 2010 Leroy Lunn presented the Black Lion Award to Anthony Urbanski
Rest in peace, Mr. Lunn.
TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 2015- "You know the barbecue is good if the woodpile is bigger than the restaurant." Charles Perry, of Birmingham, Alabama, quoted in the Wall Street Journal
Q. Whose bright idea was it to play a regional basketball tournament in
a football stadium, like they did in Houston last weekend?
A. The NCAA
Q. But why would they play important games in a place with no
backdrops for players to gauge their shots, a place where the stands at
the end of the court sloped back so gradually that in fact there were no
bleachers behind the basket, a place with an elevated floor that
required the players to sit in what amounted to baseball dugouts?
A. Because a football stadium has lots more seats than a basketball
arena, and with lots more seats to sell, they can sell more tickets,
which means more money for the NCAA.
Q. But doesn't it change the nature of the game, after they've played
an entire regular season in gyms, arenas and field houses?
A. It's all about the Tournament. Who cares about the regular season, anyhow?
*********** My 2001 Black Lion Award (Craig County Cougars) winner
passed away last night in a car wreck. Jesse Carper, 26 years old, he
was Craig County's favorite son. Hell of a mandolin player. Was in a
bluegrass band called the Locust Mountain Boys, you should Youtube
He was also a fantastic muskie fisherman.
He was Craig County's favorite son. The local news is doing a segment
on his life tonight. All players are special but a few are
extraordinarily so........he was one of those. I can't count them on
one hand, but I don't need two.
My prayers for Jesse and my condolences to all who loved him.
Yiddish, a language spoken by Jews in Central and Eastern Europe, was
once commonly spoken by immigrants in many of our big East Coast
cities. As its speakers have died off, it's pretty much died with
them, but it was such an expressive language that it's added a
wealth of useful words, phrases and expressions to American English.
Just a few examples:
Bubkes - nothing
Dreck - Poor quality goods
Glitsch - (Anglicized to glitch) A minor malfunction
Gonif - a lowlife
Goy - a non-Jew
Kibitz - to offer advice without being asked
Klutz - a clumsy person
Kosher - in keeping with dietary laws - fitting, okay
Kvetch - to bitch constantly
Maven - An expert
Mensch - a really decent. honest, upright person
Nebbisch - a poor, hapless person
Nudnik - a pest
Nudge - a gentle push
Oy! - Omigod!
Oy, vey! - Oh, the pain
Putz - A jerk (literally, penis)
Schlemiel - A clumsy person
Schlep - To drag or haul something (or one's self)
Schlock - Poorly done work
Schlong - A penis, a person who's a prick (Literally, a snake)
Schmeer - what you spread on something
Schmooze - To converse, chat (sometimes, brown-nose)
Schmuck - A real jerk (liyerally, a penis)
Schnoz - Nose, especially a big one
Schpiel - An act, or scene, as in a play
Tchotchke - A knick-knack
Tochis - The buttocks
Tushie - short for Tochis
Yenta - a blabbermouthed woman
One of my favorite Yiddish words is chutzpah - the "CH" is like a gargled "H".
It means guts, or nerve, as in "I can't believe the nerve of that person."
A classic example of chutzpah is a guy who murders both his parents, then asks the court for mercy because he's an orphan.
thought of that when I listened to John Calipari, the Kentucky coach
who's built his program with talented one-and-done players, making
excuses for his team's play against Notre Dame: "We had a lot of
freshmen in there."
*********** You could apply the word "chutzpah" to the Wichita, Kansas
woman whose special needs son played on his high school's special needs
basketball team. My congratulations to the Wichita schools for
providing those kids a chance to play. But, instead of being
grateful that her schools found the funds - and the gym time - so that
her son and others would have a chance to play games, Mom went a step
further: she went out and somehow bought her son a varsity
letter. And when someone at the school told him that he couldn't wear
it because he hadn't earned it, the woman has gone ballistic.
So, too, has most of the national media, gung-ho as they are in their
opposition to anything that in any way resembles what they consider
Check out the story online and see the comments. So immersed are so
many Americans in this crazy fantasy of equal outcomes that you'd
think anything less than naming the kid to the all-state team was a
form of bullying. You won't believe the things that the
principal is being called, simply because he had to be the one to tell
the mother (and her countless supporters) that at a time when
some schools are even doing away with grades, a varsity letter is one
of the few things left that kids still have to earn.
***********" I would always laugh whenever I'd drive through
Middletown, Maryland, on old Route 40. On the west end of town, a
sign on the outside of a building read, "RUDY'S WELDING SERVICE
AND COLD BEER."
WTF? I would think. I guess it was Rudy's idea of diversification.
I haven't been through there in a few years, but I'm told the place
still exists, a very cool example of a very unique combination of
I thought of Rudy's Sunday when I read of a local guy whose life has been, shall we say, a bit of a struggle.
After a series of burglaries, he did 25 months in prison, but once
outside, "fearing for his safety," he told our local paper, he got him
a gun. Uh-oh. Convicted felon. Tsk, tsk. Back to
He's out again, and I'll let the paper take it from there.
"He decided he had to turn his life around. He studied cosmetology and auto mechanics."
I can see it now: "JACK'S HAIR STYLING AND TUNEUPS"
*********** This NCAA tournament has been a great one for the Poles:
Arizona's Tarczewski, Gonzaga's Karnowski, Wisconsin's Kaminski, Duke's Krzyzewski, Utah's Krystkowiak.
*********** No more of that legends sh-- at Michigan. When a
number's retired, it's retired. And if a high school
recruit insists on wearing a retired number worn by a Heisman Trophy
winner, well, too bad. Unless he's really good.
*********** It's no secret that I am not a fan of the current President
of the United States, but I believe in giving credit where credit's
due, and I do believe that this time he's nailed it...
fellow Americans, although if I had a son, I'd have to think twice
about letting him play football, I realize the important part football
plays in Americans' lives, I intend tomorrow to make the Monday
following Super Bowl Sunday a federal holiday.
Yes, there will be folks who'll say that this nation can't afford another federal holiday.
the fact is that the folks who work hard to make our government work
haven't had a new holiday in years, and besides, not much of any
economic consequence is being done on that day as it is.
Whether in offices, stores or factories, government studies have shown that productivity suffers.
large and small tell me they experience abnormally high absentee
rates on Super Bowl Monday, and corporate HR departments report large
numbers of folks taking personal leave days.
those folks who do make it to work are either worn out from the
previous day's festivities, or they spend most of the day talking about
the game anyhow.
as it does, midway between two other federal holidays, Dr. Martin
Luther King Day and President's Day, it will provide a well-deserved
mid-winter break for our hard-working government employees.
the possibility of the Super Bowl being played in northern cities, the
chance of having to postpone the game is always present, which causes
serious problems for those folks who have to be back on the job the
next day. But now, should the game have to be postponed for any reason,
working-class folks like you and me who've saved for years to realize
the dream of seeing a Super Bowl won't have to go home disappointed.
let's not forget the folks in the host city, either, folks who worked
tirelessly for several years to make the Big Event happen. This
will be a bonus day for their restaurants and hotels, and an extra day
of wages for those hard working folks in the hospitality industry.
For folks in the transportation industry, it's a blessing - it gives them an extra day to spread out all those flights home.
And back home, in cities and towns all over America, it's one more day for folks to spend with their friends and families.
I would ask Congress to pass legislation making this day a
holiday, but this is too important to entrust to a Congress
dominated by an obstructionist Republican Party seemingly bent on
opposing us at every turn.
this can't wait. We can't afford not to make the day after the
Super Bowl a holiday. America's national morale and economic
competitiveness is at stake.
tomorrow, April 1, 2015, I will use my pen to sign Executive Order
Number 14909, declaring the Monday following Super Bowl Sunday to
be known henceforth as NFL Appreciation Day.
Thank you and God Bless America and God Bless the NFL, the folks who invented the great American sport of football.
Thank you for the great article that clearly explained the New Jersey
problem with nonpublic schools, competing with public schools. Although
like any other politically controlled system, if they do anything, It
will probably take several years before we see anything happen.
It was also good that you picked up on me problems that we have in the
Atlantic City high school district. We often joke anymore about going
to Atlantic City,” if you're going make sure you wear your Kevlar suit”.
Cape May, New Jersey
In my experience, in many parts of the
country, the private schools are feasting on the public schools,
without bringing anything to the table themselves. The public
schools don't have enough problems as it is, without the private
schools skimming off their best kids, so it scarcely make sense to
provide them access to a nice state tournament that only enables them
to further demonstrate how much better they are, and why you should
send your kid there.
*********** Famed North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith, who died
in February, provided in his will for $200 to be sent to
every UNC letterman who played for him - working out to between $35,000
and $40,000 - along with the wish that they'd each "enjoy a dinner out,
compliments of Coach Dean Smith."
*********** Travel Tip for anyone visiting Aberdeen, Washington...
Kyle Mittan of the Aberdeen Daily World reviews The Thunderbird Motel ...
an 85-day span between December and March, Aberdeen police officers
responded to 66 incidents at the Thunderbird Motel, according to a list
of reports obtained by The Daily World in a public records request.
The incidents were reported between Dec. 1, and Feb. 23. That’s about one call every 1.3 days.
figures come to light after the state Department of Health revoked the
West Wishkah Street motel’s license to offer lodging, citing numerous
code violations that included an infestation of cockroaches, broken
windows, hypodermic needles found in rooms of the hotel and mattresses
stained with what appeared to be blood and urine, according to court
But I would say that if you're planning to visit Aberdeen in the near
future, go ahead and book a room at the Thunderbird, because according
to Mittan, there's a good chance it'll stay open:
Watched the 30 for 30 "Requiem for the Big East." Great line at the end
- "I didn't sign on to the Big East to play in Morgantown, West
Yeah, and they didn't sign on to play
in State College, Pennsylvania, either - and that's the attitude that's
left them a little, mostly-Catholic basketball conference.
Absolutely the most mismanaged
conference ever, mostly because in their big-city Eastern myopia, they
really believed that basketball was bigger than football.
Hubris and myopia notwithstanding, I think the times were changing and
anyway you slice it, that "old" Big East was doomed. It was conceived
by Gavitt purely as a basketball conference, taking a bunch of teams
that didn't have any representation (or automatic NCAA tournament bids)
and turning it into a powerhouse. Even if they'd added Penn State, I
don't think that would have solved the problem of Providence, Seton
Hall, Villanova, St. John's vs big football. I think they could have
done it better, but it would have been a far cry from what the Big East
used to be. Football and the insane sums of money it starting making
changed the entire landscape of college sports. You could do a similar
30 for 30 on the ACC.
Not sure it was hubris. They just couldn't see it coming, but then, who could?
People knocked the BCS, but it had a lot to do with generating football's "insane" sums (can't argue with your assessment).
The ACC's transformation from a cozy,
familiar bunch of southern schools that had played each other forever
into a monster conference that sold its soul to become a so-so football
conference would be an interesting one. I guess. It's just
hard to get excited about the ACC now. But give them credit -
they saw it coming and did their best to turn themselves into a
*********** MAYBE SOME DAY, SOMEONE WILL WRITE A BOOK ABOUT "THE WORST GENERATION"
Judith Shulevitz, writing in the New York Times, reports that the
precious flowers that inhabit our college campuses are demanding “safe
spaces” where they can go to be free from speech that might hurt their
lists examples of the demands of students that verge on the incredible;
in one instance, when a student group at Brown University called the
Sexual Assault Task Force discovered that a debate was to be held where
one participant, a libertarian, would slam the term “rape culture,” the
group protested to the administration. That prompted Brown’s
president, Christina H. Paxson, to schedule a talk concurrent with the
debate that would provide “research and facts” about “the role of
culture in sexual assault.” A “safe space” was created for students
upset by the debate; the space included cookies, coloring books,
bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets, and a video of
These can't be the same tender "children" we see in videos of Spring
Break, shaking their tattooed hineys in front of dozens of drunken
strangers. Looking at them makes me want a safe space.
*********** When Duke's Quinn Cook made one of two free
throws with 0.7 seconds remaining, giving the Blue Devils' a 63-57
victory over Utah Friday, it cost the Las Vegas sports books large sums
Duke was a 5-point favorite going in, and without Cook's shot - taken
when the two teams were brought back from the lockers - the game would
have ended in a tie after Utah was given the five points.
*********** "We had to destroy the village in order to save it."
Six Flags Great Adventure plans to cut down more than 18,000 trees in order to build a f-king SOLAR FARM. in NEW JERSEY.
But not to worry. After taking that giant step to save Our
Planet, Six Flags will plant 25,000 trees over a seven year
period. How do we know that? Because Six Flags said so! We
have their word! And you know you can trust somebody who cares enough
about the environment that they'll cut down 18,000 trees.
Great. Park visitors on a hot, humid summer day can look forward to
sitting underneath one of them. - twenty years from now.
(Actually, come to think of it, no one said where those 25,000 trees
will be planted - if ever.)
*********** The CBS basketball halftime team of Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Clark Kellogg and Greg Gumbel is really good.
They are knowledgeable, they are likable - I LOVE Barkley - and they really work well together.
Sure wish I could see more of them.
*********** Bobo Brayton, who in 33 seasons as Washington State's
baseball coach won 21 conference championship and 70 per cent of his
games, died at the age of 89.
*********** The College Football Playoff, it was predicted, would kill off the lesser bowls.
Still might. But the lesser bowls keep coming, with three
new ones proposed, one each in Tucson, Little Rock and Orlando.
Now get this. Assuming no existing bowls pack it in, the three new ones
will increase the number of bowls to 41, plus the Playoff title game.
Figure it out - there are 127 FBS teams, and 82 - almost 2/3 of
them - are going to be playing in bowl games. Prepare to
sit back and watch a lot of teams that have "earned" the right to play
in bowl games by compiling losing records.
If the Playoff doesn't kill the lesser bowls, that ought to do it.
*********** Oh, dear. Evidently the only approved America-in-the
Twenty-first-Century response to a new Indiana law denounced as
"gay-bashing" is... Indiana-bashing.
Better get on board, guys.
The day isn't far off when one of those white "POLICE" cars, property
of the Department of Homeland Security, will pull up alongside you and
a guy inside will call out, on his PA system, "Hey, fella - What's your
opinion of gay marriage?"
TIP: I recommend you answer, "It's great!"
FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2015- "Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!" Sir Walter Scott
In 2003, the football field at Natrona County High in Casper, Wyoming,
was named Cheney Alumni Field in honor of alumnus Richard Cheney,
former Vice-President of the United States.
Two years earlier, a proposal to rename the high school itself in his
honor failed to pass. Most of the school's students opposed the
name change, but one Natrona County High sophomore suggested to the
Wall Street Journal that in view of Mr. Cheney's heart problems, a good
nickname for the school would have been the Pacemakers.
The greatest of all Army teams was either the 1944 team or the 1945
team. Pressed to make a choice, Army coach Earl Blaik, did so
with the skill of a politician asked to pick the most beautiful baby at
the county fair : "The greatest squad was 1944, and the greatest team
I'll leave it to you to figure out what that meant.
The line coach of those great Army teams was the legendary Herman
Hickman. A native of Chattanooga and an all-time great at
Tennessee, Hickman was a great line coach, a legendary trencherman
(eater) and a lover of literature and quoter of that earned him
the nickname "The bard of the Smokies."
Tim Cohane, in "Gridiron Grenadiers," writes that on one occasion, when
asked by reporters to discuss his Army line,
Hickman replied in verse...
Hercules was a mighty man, and Samson was another.
And Goliath, from his press reports, might well have been their brother.
Old Atlas tossed the world around in days, now dead and gone,
And Milo was well honored by the natives for his brawn.
Ajax had his moments when he didn't do so bad,
And Thor the Norseman, history says, was quite a robust lad.
I picture them alive today, a wondrous dream is mine:
Centers, tackles, ends and guards - the perfect football line.
You're an NFL GM. You have a decision to make. Before you
make that decision, here are a few facts to consider...
Neb. -- Defensive end Randy Gregory said he tested positive for
marijuana at the NFL scouting combine last month and that he failed two
drug tests at Nebraska last year.
Gregory disclosed his marijuana use in an interview with NFL Media on Wednesday.
went into February's scouting combine projected to be among the top 10
picks in the draft. He declared for the draft after his junior season
at Nebraska, where he recorded 17 1/2 sacks in two seasons.
said he tested positive for marijuana at Nebraska in January 2014 and
April 2014. Gregory said he hadn't smoked marijuana since December.
"I blame myself," Gregory told NFL Media. "And I know it sounds cliche, but there's really no one else I can blame."
I say, what the hell. Since everybody agrees that the guy's a player good enough to draft, here's your Choice:
Would you rather have him
(A) smoking pot and mellowing out at home
(B) slapping his "fiancee" around
(C) drinking cognac with the lads at some "gentleman's club"
Myself, I'll draft him and take my chances with (A). But face it, just my luck it'll be ALL OF THE ABOVE
The first crowd of over 100,000 to watch a football game and
(obviously) the largest crowd up to that point ever to do so, was at
the 1926 Army-Navy game.
in Chicago, it was the first time the game had been held elsewhere
than the East Coast, and a crowd of 110,000 was on hand to
formally dedicate Soldier Field.
game ended in a 21-21 tie. That would be the only smirch on
Navy's records, and it would cost the Middies a "true" national
championship, one determined, for the first time, by a system based on
a colleges' record and the quality of its opponents.
Here is the 1926 Top Ten, selected by the Dickinson system, named
for the college professor who devised it. In fairness, not
everyone accepted the good professor's judgement, and many
considered Navy the national champion.
(Notice there's only one "SEC" team in there. And no, Lafayette and Brown are not misprints.
4. Notre Dame
8. Ohio State
the incorrect guesses: a Michigan game. The "Big House" wasn't
built until 1927, and at its opening, its capacity was "only" 72,000.
And it wasn't the Rose Bowl, which, designed in 1921, wasn't made a complete "bowl" until 1928.
State? Fuhgeddaboutit. Penn State - sorry, Lions' fans - was way too
remote in those days to draw the kind of crowds it does today.
*********** PRINCIPAL WANTED. COMBAT EXPERIENCE PREFERRED.
Atlantic City High School students were arrested on aggravated assault
charges last week, after "allegedly" attacking school leaders during a
fight at the school.
17-year-old girl is accused of spitting on the Director of Security. An
18-year old "man" was charged with assaulting a female assistant
principal. The principal was assaulted by three other "students," aged
18, 17 and 15, while he was attempting to separate two other students.
principal's last day at "Atlantic High" is April 14, when he
leaves to become superintendent of another South Jersey school
On Monday night, Maryland’s women’s basketball team defeated
Princeton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, giving the
Tigers their first loss of the season. President Obama, who has a
niece on the Princeton team, was on hand. He'd picked Princeton to beat
Maryland and advance to the final four, losing there to UConn.
the game, Maryland coach Brenda Frese brought out a cardboard cutout
statue of the president wearing a Maryland jersey and said, “Sorry,
man, but we had to bust your bracket!” and her Maryland players shook
the President's image.
Many were offended that the Maryland players were so disrespectful,
conveniently overlooking the fact that when a President works so
hard to show what an ordinary guy he is, he risks being treated like an
ordinary guy - and one who's disrespected people at that.
One commenter took advantage of the incident to take a shot at the University of Maryland...
suspect the underlying reason is that the majority of the Maryland
players couldn't last a semester at Princeton. They won a basketball
game, big deal, in 5 years I could see them serving the Princeton
players in the local restaurant. I hope the Princeton players tip them
there, Joe Ivy. Like any public institution, Maryland serves the
masses, yes, but it's done a pretty good job of producing people who've
made some pretty significant contributions, as pointed out in this
Google, UnderArmour, Outback, Sirius, Seinfeld, The Muppets for just a
few of the businesses and entertainment created by Maryland grads.
*********** It's always been amusing to hear a fight manager say, "We'll fight anybody."
I get the same reaction when I read that the White House is FURIOUS at Israel.
Um, does that mean "The President" is furious? That's his right.
But the house he lives in? WTF?
does it mean all the bootlickers and lickspittles and parasites
who live in the reflected glory of The Man and begin to think
THEY were the ones elected?
I was sitting at a stop sign yesterday when a big, white police SUV
approached on the cross street. I knew it was a police car
because - duh - it said POLICE in bigass letters on the side.
But it was white. That's funny, I thought. Camas (our town's) police cars are silver.
the white "police" car whooshed by, I could see for sure that it
wasn't one of ours - the SOB said, "Department of Homeland Security."
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.
Police, my ass.
Is this where this whole Homeland Security Monster is headed?
This is scary as sh--. A national police force?
this part of a Department of "Justice" plans to swoop in and
rescue the oppressed citizens in towns whose police departments it
Or are they just going to be cruising our streets looking for "VOTE REPUBLICAN" lawn signs?
*********** You go, Bill!
spend money to send the Pro Bowl to Brazil, we spend money to go
overseas to London, but we can’t spend money to have four cameras in
the end zone, four cameras to help determine the correct call in the
end zone on certain plays?"
Longtime friend and Double Winger Rick Davis and his wife, Beth, picked
up and moved from Duxbury, Massachusetts to New Zealand a couple of
years ago and, eager to keep coaching football (er, "gridiron") he
found a way to do so. That's his team at the left. Coaching in NZ
hasn't been without its challenges, and one of the biggest has
been equipping his players. Maybe you can help. Rick
so much for posting this on your blog. It was your post about a year
ago that put me in contact with Joe Ashfield, who used to coach in New
Zealand, and who helped get the ball rolling. Briefly, I was able to
restart an American Football club on the North Shore of Auckland, but
one major challenge facing us is procuring equipment, which is very
expensive to buy new and import. I was able to borrow equipment from
the league this past season for our 14-16 year-old team, and am looking
to add a 17-19 year-old team this coming season.
Our 14-16 year-old team had a great season. The boys embraced running
the Double Wing and we ended up 5-5 and made the playoffs. I’ll be the
head coach of both teams so there will be lots of Double Wing (and
maybe some Open Wing) to go around.
I’m returning to Duxbury, Massachusetts for a month in July to visit
friends and family, and would like to obtain used equipment to ship
back to New Zealand. I’m looking mainly for helmets and shoulder pads
in reasonably good condition and will be happy to drive to anyplace in
New England to pick the equipment up (could bump it out a state or 2
further if a team had more than a couple of sets to donate). It can be
larger youth sizes but I’d really like to get some equipment that would
fit the larger Polynesian boys as well (I had twin 250+ pound linemen
wearing 170-pound shoulder pads this season).
If any of your readers would like to help out, or have any information
on teams/organizations that would like to help, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks very much again for your support.
*********** A proposal being considered by the New Jersey State
Interscholastic Athletic Association committee would set up separate
leagues and tournaments for public and parochial schools.
Public schools have long complained that private schools can recruit
and draw players from a wide area, giving them an unfair talent
advantage. In one part of South Jersey, they point out, in the past
three seasons the three private parochial schools that play football
are 59-10 overall against public schools.
Several New Jersey public schools, acting on their own,
have already announced plans to forfeit football games against private
schools this coming fall.
Few public school coaches can be found to oppose the idea.
“I’m all for it,” one public school coach told the Atlantic City Press.
“They (private schools) get to recruit all they want. They can form
their own all-star teams. I understand what they’re doing. But it’s not
fair to play those types of schools. They pick the cream of the crop.
Once every 10 years you might beat them.”
It was suggested that the breakup might actually work out to the
private schools' advantage, giving them opportunities to play well
known, out-of-state schools, which could help them recruit even more
Said another public school coach, “More power to them if that’s
what they have to do to bolster their programs. I’m not worried about
that. I’m just worried about who we have to play and making sure the
playing field is as even as it can be.”
*********** New Jersey is also looking at dealing with the increasing
numbers of athletic-inspired transfers that plague many areas of the
Their plan is to make transfers ineligible to compete in post-season play.
A new proposal would classify schools as "closed enrollment" or "open enrollment."
Closed enrollment schools would be conventional public schools, that draw students from a specific geographic al area.
Open enrollment schools would be private schools and those so
called public "magnet" schools that can draw students from anywhere.
The plan would require varsity athletes who transfer to an open
enrollment school to sit out the first 30 days of the season and
to be banned from taking part in the state tournament.
Athletes who transfer from one closed enrollment school to another
closed enrollment school would be eligible immediately so long as
there is a "bona fide" change of address.
*********** With a recent poll showing that only a third of its
residents want Boston to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, the group
organizing the city's bid has reversed its original position and
now supports a voter referendum on the proposal.
John Fish, chairman of the group, Boston 2024, pledged that if the measure failed, the group would drop the bid.
(For what it's worth, John Fish is also chief executive of the Boston area's largest construction company. Hmmm.)
The United States Olympic Committee and the International Olympic
Committee are opposed to such a ballot measure because it can
prove to be an embarrassing rejection.
Things haven't been helped by the mayor's signing an agreement barring
city employees from criticizing the bid, and then it was it was
disclosed that Boston 2024 was paying former Governor Deval Patrick
$7,500 a day to be a “global ambassador” for the Boston Games.
This winter's record snowfall has caused people to question whether
Boston public transit system could transport Olympic-sized crowds
if it couldn't transport commuters.
“Terrible idea,” former United States Representative Barney Frank told
Boston magazine. “If we can’t find a place for snow, where are we going
to find a place for the Olympics?”
Back in January, 51 percent of Bostonians supported the Olympic bid. By
February, support had dropped to 44 percent. Last week it was 36
percent, according to polls conducted by the local NPR station.
“At this rate," said Daniel Payne, a Democratic consultant, "by the
time the IOC makes its decision, support here will be about 2 percent.”
*********** Daniel Podolsky, a New York college student,
missed his flight out of St. Louis when Southwest Airlines
barred him from boarding while wearing a shirt with the word
"F-CKING" boldly printed on the front.
of the airport confrontation shows the gate agent providing several
chances for the young man to remove the shirt, cover it or turn it
inside out — but he refuses on grounds that he is expressing free
there anything you can do not to display the shirt because at this
point we can’t allow you to go,” the Southwest employee asks.
Podolsky shoots back, “I have freedom of speech … really it’s not bothering anyone.”
know you do,” the worker explains. “I can show you in our contract of
carriage that you can’t wear any shirt that says offensive (things).”
But Podolsky wasn’t having it.
“Can we take a poll?” he asks.
Outraged at this violation of his supposed rights, he immediately contacted St. Louis TV station KTVI.
Nice job of raising the kid, Mr. and Mrs. Podolsky. And wherever
he went to high school - nice job of teaching him about what the
Constitution really says about "freedom of speech."
*********** Coach Wyatt,
It seems like yesterday but I have been running your system now for 5
years at 3 different schools. Your materials have been very good to me
and the offenses I have coached. Last year at an inner city school
taking them to a 5-5 record with 3 freshman offensive lineman and two
down to the wire losses. I just saw the clips you posted on your
website of the "open wing" offense and was wondering if I could see
more or a more in depth look at your passing, running, and formations
used. I have the athletes this year to have some fun in the shotgun and
would love to see what you were doing for such great success at North
Beach. If you are still looking for clinic sites, please do not
overlook Ohio! We love double wing here and I have always wanted to
come to one but distance has always been a factor with a young family.
Let me know what you think coach!
Thank you for the constant help and support with your system!
West High School
Nice to hear from you. I'm very pleased to hear of the great job you've done using the Double Wing.
At the present time I don't have
anything very helpful for you, but I can let you see some of what we've
been doing in the form of the video of our opening game last year.
If you go through it and mark down questions at the particular time on the video, I'll do my best to help.
But it would be really helpful if you could somehow get away for a clinic.
TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2015- "I'm proud to be an American and pay taxes, but I could be just as proud for half the money." Arthur Godfrey
*********** Nap time, story time, finger painting - but not for little kids. For something called adult pre-school.
It caters to millenials, with, I'm willing to predict, not a Republican in the bunch.
And while they have their cookies and milk and settle down for their naps, ISIS is beheading Christians in the Middle East.
*********** QUESTION: A crowd of 110,000 people - largest at that time
ever to watch a football game - looked on at the dedication of this
famous stadium. What was the stadium and what (and when) was the
Enrollment for USA Football’s High School Heads Up Football® program is
now available for the 2015 season. If you have not done so already,
visit www.usafootball.com/headsup to sign up North Beach HS.
The Seattle Seahawks are hosting a Heads Up Football® Player
Safety Coach Clinic on Saturday 3/28/15 at the VMAC Training Facility
in Renton, WA.
Heads Up Football® will meet and exceed WIAA Coaching Requirements that
all Heads Football Coaches must be certified in for 2015.
Once your organization is enrolled online, here are the next steps to focus on:
· Nominate a Player
Safety Coach (PSC). The PSC will be trained by USA Football and will
lead the implementation of Heads Up Football within North Beach HS. The
Player Safety Coach should be an experienced, senior-level coach on the
staff or administrator who has earned the respect of your coaches and
parents and is committed to a better, safer game.
· Get your PSC
certified. All Player Safety Coaches must take and pass the Heads Up
Football, Heat Illness Prevention and Concussion in Sports courses at
· Get your PSC trained
(3/28/15 at the VMCA) USA Football hosts more than 200 clinics across
the United States where Player Safety Coaches are trained in Heads Up
Football curriculum and drills. All PSCs – including returning ones –
must attend a single-day clinic each year to receive the latest
information. This year instruction on Heads Up Blocking and handling
cases of sudden cardiac arrest are new items in the curriculum.
· Get your coaches
certified. All coaches become USA Football coach members and complete
the Heads Up Football, Heat Illness Prevention and Concussion in Sports
courses at NFHSLearn.com.
· Track your coaches.
Through your USAFootball.com dashboard, you can see which coaches have
registered and which have completed their 2015 certification
· Share a certificate
of insurance. Maintain and provide proof of insurance that meets USA
Football’s requirements: $1 million general liability, $25,000 accident
and health/participant liability with USA Football added as an
Once again, please visit http://usafootball.com/headsup to learn more
about Heads Up Football or call me at (317) 489-4426 to discuss how
this program can help your organization and your athletes.
Thank you for your commitment to make the game better and safer!
H.S. Regional Manager, West
*********** Hugh, after reading your news this morning I need to share
this with you. I need to take a Language arts/ and health and fitness
to become credentialed in the state of Washington, and I was up on the
teachers website to register for testing.
One question stood out. It asked if you are male or female, but to my surprise there was a third box??
The boxes went male, female and - UNDECLARED!
I thought, you have to be shi--ing me!?!
My father would be rolling over in his grave if he knew what we as a
society have become. I just wonder if I want to be a part of it. Have a
The interesting thing is that the
state just made it illegal to "counsel" gay youngsters with the
intent of making them straight because, LGBT activists insist, they are
born that way. So if that's the case, what's to declare?
*********** Just channel surfing, we came across "The Express," the
Ernie Davis story Sunday night after the basketball games were over,
and watched it till the end.
Although some of the scenes dealing with racial issues were in
caricature form (naturally, white southerners were all pretty much
racist swine), overall the movie was decent.
The uniforms were pretty authentic and the plays they ran were not
unlike the Syracuse unbalanced offense of coach Ben
One laughable gaffe occurred on Ernie Davis' very first touchdown run
when used several camera cuts as he raced downfield, first camera
one, then cut to camera two, then back to camera one, and finally, as
he crossed the goal line, to camera two again.
The problem? They shot the run with the two cameras at two different
times. In the camera one shots, he's carrying the ball in his right
hand, and in the camera two shots, with his left.
Now, unless he actually switched hands three times, while in the clear and outrunning the opponents...
Also, there's the matter of Ernie Davis' recruiting his successor, Floyd Little...
In the movie, Davis is being introduced over the PA in Cleveland
Municipal Stadium, but he holds up the crowd of 60,000 to turn to
coach Schwartzwalder and tell him, "Floyd Little's going to
Little's version differs a bit from the movie - he says he was still
debating whether to go to Army or Notre Dame when he learned of Ernie
Davis' death, and remembering that he'd given Davis his word that he'd
do so, chose to go to Syracuse.
*********** It's all over - CLAP, CLAP, CLAP-CLAP-CLAP
Starbucks, a liberal corporation which, like all true liberals, set out
to change the world, is back to selling high-priced coffee without the
Next person in line, please.
*********** The big talk behind the scenes at the NCAA basketball tournament is about speeding up the game.
Defense? Bad. Passing more than once? Bad. Shooting quickly? Good. Racehorse basketball? Very good.
Tell that to the Navy. The Navy football team, that is.
In the 2004 Emerald Bowl, the Midshipmen iced a win over New Mexico by
putting on a goal-line stand with a minute left in the third quarter,
then staging a drive that ate up 14 minutes and 26 seconds. It
took 26 plays, and lasted 32 minutes in actual time. In terms of the
time consumed, it was the longest drive in college football history -
and it didn't even end in a touchdown.
Starting at the Navy one-foot line, it ended on fourth-and-goal at the
New Mexico 5-yard line, where the Mids kicked a 22-yard field goal with
Not all the Midshipmen were happy about killing all that time.
"Our defense was starting to get mad at us," Navy fullback Kyle Eckel
told the Wall Street Journal in 2009. "For a lot of the seniors, it was
their last time playing football, and here we were spending the whole
time on the field."
*********** As always, your blog is an oasis in a sea of madness:
1. I believe the sanctimonious Starbucks soliloquies will turn out to
be a HUGE loser for these twits. This gives me a warm feeling,
because most of these "conversations" about the libprog cause du jour
are actually one-way lectures, rather than two-way conversations.
Interestingly enough, Starbucks seems to be getting more negative
response from their hipster core customers, rather than from crusty old
2. Hillary -- Nixon without the charm...and also without the
geopolitical acumen. Putin wouldn't be running rings around the
3. Since everyone knows Al Sharpton is many millions in arrears to the
IRS, howcome he's not in the same trouble you or I would be, in similar
circumstances? Somebody's got a heap a 'splainin' to do.
4. Good for Army with the new (old) uniforms. Hope they start a trend.
5. Tim Tebow. It's almost enough to make me believe in a
conspiracy. Fantastic athlete -- a winner wherever he goes.
Unparalleled character and off-the-field contributor -- a perfect role
model for kids. Yet the NFL treats him like he's
radioactive. If he were playing at Jacksonville, he would make
umpteen dollars for the club in jersey sales alone. Something's
Right on all points. Where do I start?
Starbucks? Precious liberals
chatting it up with other precious liberals? Like New York Times
reporters covering a Democratic convention. Maybe to get a little
diversity of opinion they should offer 50% off on Duck Dynasty Tuesdays.
NIxon? People disliked him
and disagreed with his opinions and his tactics, but no one could have
doubted his love of country, his strength, or his competence.
Sharpton? The single most
divisive thing that our Uniter in Chief has done has been to give that
torch the standing of an unofficial cabinet member.
So long as they get their uniforms from Nike, Army football is still a wait-and-see.
Signs that our world has turned
upside-down: Israel is bad and Iran is good; a gay football
player is celebrated and a Christian football player is scorned.
*********** My, how times have changed. I was looking through the
March 1988 issue of Scholastic Coach (Remember that? Great mag)
and I came across a panel discussion among two high school ADs, one
from Indian and one from Virginia, and a high school football coach
from the Denver area.
The Indiana AD said he expected to get seven years' use out of a helmet
before having to replace it, while for the Colorado coach the expected
life was six years, and for the Virginia AD it was five.
The Colorado coach sent helmets out for reconditioning every three
years, the Indiana coach every two years, the Virginia coach every year.
*********** In an article in that same March 1988 Scholastic Coach
issue, Jackie Sherrill, then head coach at Texas A & M noted the
benefits of switching from film to videotape (VHS), a move they'd made
just the previous August.
*********** It's my guess that Army AD Boo Corrigan has been busy
answering calls from SEC athletic directors after the conference ruled
that it will count independents Notre Dame, BYU and Army as "Power 5"
So Army can step in there in place of Western Carolina or Savannah
State - and the SEC team gets credit, just as if it were playing Penn
State or Kansas State, without nearly the risk.
I'm not sure, as an Army fan, how I feel about this. Yes, big
money. But at least at this point in Army's football fortunes, little
else to gain.
Air Force and Navy miss out on this grand opportunity because they have
conference ties. Air Force is a member of the Mountain
West, and Navy will begin play in the American Athletic Conference this
*********** Watch this and then try to convince me that (1) Our
schools aren't wasting our tax dollars, and (2) It's not time to raise
the voting age to, oh, 25 or 26. Or 35 or 36.
guarantee you that newly-naturalized citizens know a lot more about our
country than those hopeless twits on whom the Democrats spend millions
trying to get them to vote.
It was, of course, dead wrong, back in the days of Jim Crow,
for southern states to employ literacy tests as a devious way to
keep blacks from voting. And now, unfortunately, because of their evil
associations, there is zero chance of ever implementing literacy
tests on a national scale to cull out all the morons walking
Dude - Rock the Vote.
************ Remember the Three Tenors?
Maybe instead of one President, we need the Three Sheriffs:
Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona
Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida
Actually, I'd settle for any one of them.
*********** "Proselytizers of atheism seem to have concluded that if
they’re big enough jerks, they will seduce the faithful into abandoning
God. It’s sort of like asking Don Rickles to run your customer-service
desk." Jonah Goldberg
FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2015- “There is no bigot like the atheist.” G. K. Chesterton
*********** Janet Napolitano against student protestors. Wow.
What if you don't care who wins? What if you hope both sides
lose? What if you just want to see blood? It must be
something like the voyeuristic sensation some people feel when
watching teenage girls fight.
While protesters raised hell about proposed tuition hikes during a
meeting Wednesday, Napolitano, President of the University of
California, leaned over to a member of the Board of Regents sitting
next to her and said (microphone still on), “Let’s just break. Let’s
go, let’s go. We don’t have to listen to this crap.”
Well, of course she doesn't. She's Janet Napolitano.
She's paid a $570,000 salary, gets $9,000 a year car expenses,
and lives in a house that the The University leases for $9,950 a
month. For that, you'd think the students would show her a little
Jeez. I actually find myself leaning toward the protestors.
So 49ers linebacker Chris Borland decides he's had enough of football
and cashes in, after one season, and that's all the proof that
America needs. No football for my son! Too dangerous!
I respect Chris Borland's right to decide the best course for his life.
But you'll have to respect my right to suspect that there might be
something more to the story than fear of concussions, which is how it's
So it was with a sigh of, "Finally!" that I read about a medical professional who says, "Enough Already!"
Joseph Maroon, professor of neurological surgery at the University of
Pittsburgh Medical Center, is also the Pittsburgh Steelers'
neurosurgeon, and a consultant to the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine
says long-term neurological damage from hits to the head has been
exaggerated, and that there is no proof of any connection between CTE
and youth or high school football.
think the problem of CTE, although real, it’s being
over-exaggerated and it’s being extrapolated to youth football and
to high school football,” he said on Tuesday’s "NFL Total Access."
are more injuries to kids from falling off of bikes, scooters, falling
in playgrounds, than there are in youth football,” he said.
"...it’s much more dangerous riding a bike or a skateboard than playing youth football.”
in America's wussified society, a likely consequence of Dr. Maroon's
remarks will be mommies taking their kids' bikes and scooters from them.
In his 23 years as a big-time head coach, Bill Snyder has won two Big
Twelve titles and 16 of 18 bowl games. He's been named Big Eight
Coach of the Year three timed, and Big 12 Coach of the Year four times.
At Kansas State.
Switzer once called what Bill Snyder has accomplished at K-State
the greatest job of coaching in football history, and I tend to agree.
done it, writes David Collier in "Football Matters," a publication of
the National Football Foundation, by his attention to things you
can't see out on the field.
values and standards Snyder lives by are a part of every day life, and
they always have been. Snyder has taught those values to every guy he’s
ever coached. In fact, Snyder requires his players to take a test
on the values that the Kansas State football program are built on in
addition to having a group discussion about a topic the head man
Snyder says all of the credit goes to Snyder’s mother, who raised him
as a single mother and molded Snyder into the man he is today.
been blessed in my life to have a lot of caring mentors and people who
were of great assistance to me,” Snyder said. “I learn from people
every day. My mother was the most significant. She was an amazing lady
who had a set of principles that are certainly replicated in what we
are interested in here and what I’m interested in my own life.”
*********** Stone Phillips, former network news anchor, was a pretty
good quarterback at Yale in 1975 and 76, and on the celebration of Carm
Cozza's 80th birthday in July, 2010, he had this to say about his
was always mindful of his teams in their totality. Whenever an
opportunity arose to get second and third string players into a game,
Carm made sure they got off the bench and onto the field. The other
day, I was looking back at an old Football Y News following the 1976
Princeton game, the same game during which John Pagliaro broke the
all-time scoring record. In his “Coach’s Corner” comments, Carm began,
not with commendations for individual play, but compliments for the
team as a whole. And this line, in particular, jumped out at me: “I was
pleased that we could play every able bodied player on the squad, some
70 people.” To some, maybe that’s not a big deal. But making sure that
everyone got into the game mattered to Carm. He knew how important it
was that 70 uniforms be soiled and stained with grass from the Bowl
that day. He knew how many out-of-town parents would have pointed and
yelled, “He’s in the game! Our boy’s playing! Go Yale!” Admittedly, the
score was lop-sided—Yale won 39-7—but the substitutions started early.
Long before the game was put away, Carm was opening it up. Good for
him! Great for Yale!
*********** From a coaching friend...
night we played --------- in a 7X7 and after about four plays I looked
over the defense and I notice they had a safety at 15 yards, two
corners at 12 yards and then five backers across the field at 5
yards. Well, call me crazy but that is 8 players. I called
their head coach over and he told me that they are going to a 3-5-3
defense and his kids need to practice with all 8 guys in the mix.
I retorted by asking if we could then add another receiver but he did
not think that was a good idea. Imagine that... we still hung in
there and scored 4 or so touchdowns. I wanted to punch the
arrogant SOB in the teeth. That is why I hate 7X7's.
*********** Saint Mary’s Cathedral, in San Francisco, has installed a
watering system to keep the homeless from sleeping in the cathedral’s
The cathedral's four tall side doors, with sheltered alcoves, attract
homeless people who interfere with worshippers as they attempt to enter
To discourage the homeless from camping there, water is poured
intermittently and without warning from a hole in the ceiling above
Despite signs warning the homeless about what happens in these
doorways, they are a persistent lot, some of them bringing
waterproof gear and umbrellas.
“We do the best we can, and supporting the dignity of each person,"
said a spokesman for the Archdiocese. "But there is only so much
you can do.”
*********** "Yale's Ironmen," by William N. Wallace, was a really good
read. The late Mr. Wallace, a long-time sports reporter for the
New York Times, was a Yale grad, and one of the first football games he
ever saw was the Princeton-Yale game of 1934. Even in the depth
of the Depression, 53,000 people turned out to watch that clash.
Few gave Yale any chance. The Blue was 3-3, while mighty Princeton,
under coach Fritz Crisler, was riding a 15-game win streak dating back
to a 7-7 tie with Yale at the end of the 1932 season.
But Yale won, 7-0.
Princeton had gone undefeated in 1933 and most of 1934, and would do so
again in 1935, but in the middle of that fantastic three-year stretch
was that damn loss in 1934 to underdog Yale, a loss that tormented many
Princeton men to the day they died. (Princeton was at the least a 5-1
favorite, 10-1 in some places. Bookies had not yet adopted the idea of
handicapping - of giving points to an underdog.)
The most remarkable thing about the game, and what prompted
Mr. Wallace to devote his last years to researching and writing it, was
that just 11 Yale players played the entire 60 minutes, the last time
that "ironman" feat has ever been accomplished in a college game.
(Following the 1937 season, Crisler would take his single wing - and
the now-famous wings on the helmets - to Michigan, where he would
become a coaching legend.)
We all grow old, of course - those of us who are fortunate - and Mr.
Wallace's research followed many of the participants throughout the
rest of their lives.
One of the most poignant parts, entitled "Pepper Constable's Last
Victory," is the story, written by his widow, of the Princeton
fullback who went on to become a doctor, and in 1981 made the
self-diagnosis that he was a victim of Alzheimer's disease. She
the first two or three years, there was little obvious change. In fact,
Pepper's strong, healthy good looks fooled nearly everyone for all five
and a half years of his illness. Friends and family, in kindness,
tried to tell me the diagnosis was wrong.
My answer was, "But you don't live with him."
In August, 1987, while vacationing in Nantucket, his wife woke up one
morning to find him gone, his pajamas by the door. During the
night he had walked out the door and into the ocean.
*********** There's been a lot of concern expressed by certain
basketball writers about the lack of scoring in college basketball, and
most of the suggested remedies have something to do with shortening the
Funny that nobody's mentioned the size of the court, and the way it restricts offensive movement.
I've said for years that football - pro football at least - needs a
bigger field. As big and fast as today's players are, how much
sense does it makes to play on the same size field that they were
using 100 years ago?
That idea came to me when I read an interview several years ago with
one-time pro basketball great Ed "Easy Ed" Macauley, who argued that
the game had changed quite a bit from when he played. At 6-8, he
was one of the bigger men in the game. At the time he spoke, long after
he'd retired, players had become much bigger. Not only taller,
but wider - no more beanpoles playing in the NBA. And the players
were faster, too.
That was a great idea then, and it's an even better one today.
Now, if we can just persuade those celebrities with their front-row
seats to move back about six feet...
*********** It used to be common among the older, more cynical types
among us to respond to a worthless idea by saying, "Yeah - that
and a dime will get you a cup of coffee."
That, of course, was back when a cup of coffee cost a dime.
So hats off to Starbucks, which built a business empire on the idea of
selling a highly-embellished ten-cent cup of coffee for many multiples
of a dime.
Needless to say, Starbucks didn't build that empire by locating its
stores in urban ghettoes and decaying mill towns.
And forget older people, even affluent ones. They grew up in the
ten-cent days, and they can't quite cope with the notion of a four
dollar cuppa, even when it's served in a recyclable paper cup by a
server who's not just a server, but - a barista, for God's sake!
No, Starbucks stores are found where the younger, more affluent
gang hangs out - the college town, the techie town, the quaint "Old
Town." "Fish where the fish are," is the way the old-time
marketers used to put it.
Their market is young, affluent, hip - and liberal. And so
devoted (addicted?) are their customers that Starbucks appears to think
there's something more than a simple buyer-seller relationship between
them - something that will enable it to achieve the dream of every
liberal - to "make a difference." To "change the world."
So Big Coffee is embarking on a campaign called "Race Together," whose
goal is to get people talking about the topic of race - with
baristas or with others in line - while waiting for their coffee.
Or while drinking it.
The Company has plans to publish what it calls
"Conversation Guides" designed to encourage baristas to engage you,
with questions like "How have your racial views evolved from
those of your parents?"
Hmmm. I've talked about an awful lot of things with an awful lot
of bartenders, but I just can't see myself and a "barista" with
lime-colored hair and neck tattoos and multiple rings in her eyebrows
holding up the line while we discuss whether The Man really is out to
get black people.
I have a suspicion this idea was sneaked into a Starbucks
marketing meeting by an undercover Dunkin' Donuts employee
In 1995, Utah had players selected Number One in both Football and Basketball: Alex Smith and Andrew Bogut
Correctly answered by...
(1) Bill Nelson
(2) Kevin McCullough
(3) Ken Hampton
Raleigh, North Carolina
For the second year in a row, my grandson Connor Love celebrated his
birthday with breakfast at Elmo's Diner, a famous Durham eatery,
and for the second year in a row he ran into Duke star Quinn
Cook. Go Devils!
*********** I heard Coach K on the radio talking about beating UNLV in
the NCAA semi-finals in 1991 after losing by 30 to the Rebels in the
final game the year before.
He noted that they had a week to prepare- he said "that was huge"
- and said that during that week, he really stressed mental
preparation. One of the things he did was show his players clips of the
good things they'd done in the game the year before. ("We didn't show
them all the and things," he admitted.)
He said that he and Jerry Tarkanian were good friends, and that
afterwards, he told Tark that if they'd met in the finals - which
yowled have meant Duke had only a couple of days to prepare - UNLV
would have won.
After all, he reminded us, "We had Laettner and Hurley and Grant Hill - and we still only won by two!"
*********** Aaargh! Heads Up Football Comes to Washington - Like it or not
From the WIAA Handbook:
23.3.1 COACHING REQUIREMENTS -
Described below are the minimum standards for a paid and/or volunteer
interscholastic coach for employment, progressive employment and
Beginning with the Fall of 2015 all middle school and high school head coaches must meet the requirement.
Beginning with the Fall of 2016 all football coaches must meet the requirement.
Options for schools:
Any coach that successfully completes a USA Football “Heads Up
Football” Player Safety Coach (PSC) clinic will meet the requirement.
If a coach from the school successfully completes the Player Safety
Coach clinic and then trains other coaches from that school in each of
the components, each coach trained would meet the requirement.
Schools may choose to use programs other than Heads Up Football.
Schools should pre- approve these programs and have documentation to
show that each component of the requirement has been met.
TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2015- "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want - and deserve to get it good and hard." H. L. Mencken
As the ranks of the transgendered "folks" swell, it's important for us
"breeders" to be sensitive and refrain from automatically using "he" or
"she" as the preferred pronoun when referring to them, when many of
them prefer that we use "ze" instead.
"When in doubt," advised an article I was reading, "ask a transgender person which pronoun is preferred."
My problem has always been asking somebody if ze's transgendered.
I like a lot of teams in this year's NCAA basketball tournament, and
it's a damn shame that Kentucky isn't one of them, because I don't see
anybody beating the Wildcats.
I really like Notre Dame. Partly it's because they
beat North Carolina, but there's more. The Irish are really fun to
watch. They're very unselfish, possibly because they
actually have SENIORS. And they've got three kids from
Massachusetts, for crying out loud!
I like Duke because... because I like Duke. I have for years. And
I really like and admire Coach K. And my daughter and son-in-law
I like Villanova because I'm a Philly guy at heart, and because I
really like the football people at Villanova. And because I've heard a
lot of good things about their coach And, of course, because one
of my grandsons went there.
I like Arizona because they've got two kids from Pennsylvania.
One of them's from Chester, which is near Philly and has always
been a good basketball town. Chester's also the home of Bo Ryan, the
Wisconsin coach. Their point guard, T. J. McConnell, is a Pittsburgh
kid, and he's as good as there is anywhere. Zona also has a big
kid from New Hampshire - New Hampshire! - named Kaleb Tarczewski.
I like Wisconsin because I like their coach. He's a Philly guy.
And I like their big center, Frank Kaminsky. Guy is really good.
And I like the fact that they've actually got WISCONSIN kids on their
team. A LOT of them. What is this, something new? Recruiting kids from your home state, and winning with them?
I like Iowa State for the same reason I like Kansas State in football.
With richer, better-known, more glamorous schools in their own
conference, they've managed to win two conference tournaments in a
row. And they keep coming from behind.
I like Virginia because it's still a good school academically (I think)
and I got to like the coach, Tony Bennett, when he was at Washington
State. He catches hell because his teams win with defense, and
that means there's often not a lot of scoring. Sounds a
llittle like a Double Wing coach.
I like Gonzaga because it's a Washington school, although way over on
the eastern side of the state, I like the coach, Mark Few, and I like
the eclectic mix of backgrounds of the players and the way Few always
manages to get them to play as a real team.
I like Wichita State because they have a great player named Ron Baker
who was an all-state HS QB in Kansas, and I hope that at least the
Shockers win their first-round games so they get a shot at the Kansas
Jayhawks, who haven't been willing to play them otherwise. The two
teams haven't met since 1993. How about this one- Wichita State
is the winningest team in Kansas over the last three seasons.
Yeah, I'd be happy to see any of those teams win, or maybe even a
Northern Iowa. But who's kidding who(m)? Hard to bet against Kentucky.
*********** Jason Gay wrote it, in the Wall Street Journal: "You can
drive from Philadelphia to Vancouver during the last two minutes of a
college basketball game."
*********** Seattle, famous for the high quality and great number of
its restaurants, has been seeing them close down at an astonishing pace
lately. You don't suppose, do you, that the minimum wage,
set to start going up on April 1 to $15.00 an hour, has had
anything to do with it?
*********** "MEET COUGARS," was the subject line. Talk about a
wasted Email. For me to meet cougars they'd have to take me
to a nursing home.
*********** Washington QB Cyler Miles has chosen not to participate in the Huskies' spring practices this year.
"Cyler is dealing with some things in his life that are more important
than football, and he felt it was important to take some time away from
the game," Washington coach Chris Petersen said in a news release. "We
are working to support him in any way we can and hope he returns back
to the football field soon."
This will the second year in a row Washington will have to go through spring practice without a bona fide starting quarterback.
It will also be the second spring practice Young Mister Miles will
miss. Last year, he was suspended the entire time because of his
role in the beating up of a guy following a Seahawks' game.
Whatever his problem is now, you would think that after last spring's
fiasco, Huskies' coach Chris Peterson would have made damn sure that
this spring he had a Plan B.
*********** I heard a guy being interviewed last week who'd spent
50 years with the same company - Mansfield Plumbing Company,
Perrysville, Ohio - and never missed a day of work.
Notice that in the graphic that accompanies this TV story, "Mansfield" is spelled it with two "n's."
Probably the regular guy who does the graphics was home sick.
*********** A Vallejo, California football coach fired by a Catholic
school for not knowing about the hazing going on in his program sued
the Diocese and has received a $4 million settlement.
*********** Yes, we have freedom of speech. Of course we have
freedom of speech. But not complete freedom. There are some
well-known limits. It's been long established that you can't yell
"FIRE!" in a crowded theatre, and you can't announce that you're
planning to bomb your plan. And if you'd like to meet some swell
secret service guys, try making it known that you intend to kill the
President of the United States.
And many are the guys who got their noses bloodied after telling ethnic jokes to the wrong audience.
At one time, ethnic jokes were very popular. Polish jokes, Irish jokes,
Italian jokes. They even tell me that up in Da U-P they
told Finnish jokes.
If you happened to be a member of an affected minority, you could
laugh, or pretend to ignore it, or handle it like Jerry DiPaolo.
Jerry was our Eastern Division sales manager when I worked for the
National Brewing Company in Baltimore, back in the 1960s, and very
proud of his Italian heritage.
He came to me one day and said, "What's black and blue and floats in the harbor?"
"I don't know," I told him.
Said Jerry, "Next son of a bitch that tells me an Italian joke."
************* That guy who pops up whenever there's the potential of a
racial disturbance? He does pretty well for someone who's
stiffing the rest of us to the tune of more than $4 million in
unpaid taxes and penalties, writes Jillian Kay Melchior, in National
he speaks at public colleges and universities, Al Sharpton flies
first-class, stays in upscale hotels, travels to events in a
chauffeured vehicle, and often brings a bodyguard or aide with him. He
makes these demands on taxpayer-funded institutions, despite owing as
much as $4.5 million in unpaid taxes and penalties.
terms of travel, Rev. Sharpton travels first class on flights and will
require a large black SUV for transportation and, if the trip requires
lodging, he will require a suite in a four/five star hotel," wrote
Sharpton's assistant, Abyssinia Tirfe, in an August 14, 2014, e-mail to
Michigan State University (MSU) obtained by National Review. "Also,
Rev. Sharpton travels with [an] aide who will require [an] economy
ticket and a standard hotel room (if needed)."
It's semi-official. Army is going to "rebrand." No more of
that "Black Knights" sh-- (I hope). No more of that guy in a
capes who looks like he just came back from the trick or treating (I
hope). And no more "who-the-hell-are-we-watching-anyhow?" uniforms that
change weekly (I hope).
Bring back those black jerseys with the gold and gray stripes.
And the gold helmets with the black stripes (Army, back during World
War II, was the first college team to wear Riddell plastic
suspension helmets). And bring back the gold pants.
Those uniforms were ARMY, and anybody who saw them knew right away who they were looking at.
As a kid in Philly, I grew up on Army-Navy. With Army always winning(that's how long ago that was).
To me, those will always be the real Army uniforms. Navy?
They'd come out in something crazy every year, but Army's
look never changed. Why should they? They were ARMY. They were the
standard of excellence.
Those uniforms were classic, which means that they'll never go out of style.
If we can't bring back the glory days of the great Doc Blanchard (in the photo), can't we at least bring back the look?
*********** Bill Walton did the Arizona-Oregon Pac-12 final. Even
allowing for the fact that my dislike for him is hard-wired, dating
back to his playing (and non-playing because of injury) days in
Portland, he is really obnoxious when he gets behind a mic.
He won't STFU. He goes non-stop, with a stream-of-consciousness
blather that ignores the action and makes you say "WTF?" every couple
But don't take my word for it...
*********** Only one college has ever had the first player drafted in both football and basketball in the same year.
*********** A proposed change in the NCAA's illegal man downfield rule has been tabled-
Did you know, for instance, that three yards downfield isn't considered "downfield?"
*********** So Chip Kelly had Tim Tebow in for a look. Don't know about
you, but I sure would love to see somebody - anybody - sign the guy.
And give him a chance. And for me, it would be even better if it
could be Chip Kelly and the Eagles.
George Tsugawa is now 93. He and his family have owned and operated a
nursery in Woodland, Washington, about a half hour from where we live,
He's a native-born American, born in 1921 in Everett, Washington to Japanese immigrants.
In 1925, the family moved to HIllsboro, Oregon where his father ran a
fruit stand, and in 1939, George graduated from Hillsboro High
In 1942, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President
Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 calling for the evacuation
of Japanese and Japanese-Americans from the West Coast. (Actually, the
executive order didn't say "West Coast" and didn't specifically mention
Japanese - it simply gave the Secretary of War the power to "prescribe
military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the
appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all
persons may be excluded.")
The "military areas" were a wide band extending from Washington to California, and inland to Arizona.
The "persons" to be "excluded," it was understood, were Japanese and Japanese-Americans.
The Tsugawa family was rounded up and transported to Portland,
Oregon and held temporarily in an area normally used to hold livestock.
The entire family was permitted to bring just one duffel bag; the rest
of their possessions were seized and never returned.
After two months in Portland, the Tsugawas were loaded on a train, into
crowded cars whose windows were blacked out so no one would know where
they were headed, and transported to an internment camp in the
sagebrush desert of south-central Idaho, about 190 miles from Boise.
Today George recalls it being “very intimidating, large fences with barbed wire at the top and armed soldiers on watch towers.”
While there, his older brother Akira volunteered to serve in the US Army.
In 1944, with his mother dying of cancer, the family was permitted to move to Boise.
After the war, they moved to the Beaverton, Oregon area and took up
farming. In 1950, George married Mable Taniguchi, and together they
would have six children.
In 1956, George bought a farm in Woodland, Washington, and over
the years provided thousands of local kids with summer jobs
picking berries. In 1980, after all the children had graduated
from high school, Mable started the family nursery.
Mable passed away in 2011.
For several years now, Shari Conditt, a History and Government teacher
at Woodland High School, has had Mr. Tsugawa come to school to give
ther students a unique look at a period of history and a
government action that today seems incomprehensible.
A couple of the things Ms. Conditt remembers from Mr. Tsugawa's visits really stuck with me.
First was his pride in his ancestry:
One year, after hearing that Japanese families had to register their
ethnic background in downtown Portland before heading to the camp, she
asked Mr. Tsugawa if he had ever considered lying about his
descent - for instance, telling the government he was of Chinese
heritage - in order to avoid internment.
The class, she said, couldn't believe his answer. "They were so shocked
that it would have never occurred to him to deny who he was because he
had so much pride in who he was,” Ms. Conditt said. “Those are the kind
of moments where the students’ eyes are really opened.”
Second was his utter loyalty to his country of birth.
When asked by Ms. Conditt if he was bitter that he and his family were
deprived of their property, their business and their belongings and
forced into an internment camp, he answered,
"WHEN YOUR COUNTRY ASKS YOU TO DO SOMETHING, YOU DO IT."
FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2015- "To be able to look back upon one's past life with satisfaction is to live twice." Lord Acton
*********** ONE person got the answer to what the list of great players had in common-
they were all Heisman Trophy runners-up.
Kudos to Kevin McCullough, of Lakeville, Indiana, who added...
Purdue had some good teams back in the 60's......Leroy Keyes could do
everything.......i can also remember " it's Theisman rhymes with
Heisman".....seems like it was pronounced "Theesman before he became a
Yes, Purdue had some good teams and good players. And yes, according to the story, upon arriving at ND Thiesmann was persuaded by Sports Information Director Roger Valdiserri to change the pronunciation.
Five years ago my wife and I were in Ukraine to adopt our fourth
child. While there a big celebration occurred - International
Women's Day. It was basically explained to us by our interpreter
as "a day in which you give flowers and candy to the women in your
life." So, mom, wife, daughters. I thought it was kind of unique
and cool, so I bought candy for all of the women at the
orphanage. I looked at it not as a requirement, but as a positive
like "let's honor and celebrate the women in our lives." No
parades. Nothing over the top. Just flowers and candy.
Seeing all of the issues domestic violence, sexual assault, etc., I
think "International Women's Day," as it was celebrated in Ukraine (and
I expect much of Europe), would be a small step in the right direction
for many in American society.
1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an
understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel,
since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your
prayers may not be hindered.
I think it is a wonderful idea.
Not as a protest march or a demonstration of grievances, but as a
way of honoring the women in our lives.
It takes me back to Bill McCartney and
Promise Keepers, back in the 90s, in which men promised, among
other things, to honor their wives and the promises made to them.
What's really dismaying to me, as I
look back at an earlier time, is the refusal of so many of today's
women to accept their Biblical role, and the refusal of so many men to
But it's still a wonderful idea.
Maybe we could start out small and call it American Football Coaches' Women's and Girls' Day.
And then, considering the attention
being paid to how poorly some football players treat their "fiancees,"
we could expand it to include players, as American Football
Women's and Girls' Day.
Better get on it fast before somebody
trademarks it and tries to make money off it by selling tee-shirts and
hats and holding rock-concert-like meetings.
*********** A Pittsburgh guy who stabbed and killed a police dog got 3⅓ to 7 years in the Big House.
Make that 17+ years total, after adding in time for attempting to
disarm a sheriff’s deputy and stabbing a police officer.
Sure hope the dog got the bastard good before he died.
*********** A Washington, DC guy is being sued by his neighbors because
they claim his tobacco smoke is seeping into their home through cracks
in the wall that separates them. As a result, a judge has told
him he can't smoke... IN HIS OWN F--KING HOME.
There's more. It's a story about urban gentrification.
The guy is black and the house has been in his family since 1964.
The neighbors, on the other hand, are white, both of them lawyers, and they've lived there all of four months.
This one could be fun to watch.
*********** Jake Locker has retired after just four seasons (and God
knows how many injuries), and now there are pussies on the Internet and
on talk radio, pukes who've never strapped one on, ripping him for
it. Like he should have come back to incur a couple more
serious injuries and take more of their criticism.
No matter. He'll be forever remembered fondly where it counts.
Kid comes from a long line of athletes and coaches in the small town of
Ferndale, Washington, up near the Canadian border. Hell of a football
and baseball player. Turned down a baseball contract to play
football at the "U-Dub," the University of Washington.
In 2007, his freshman year, he rushed for 986 yards, passed for 2062,
and was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. But the Huskies
finished only 4-9, and fans were calling for Coach Tyrone Willingham's
He missed most of his sophomore season with a broken thumb and the Huskies fell to 0-12, and Coach Willingham was let go.
In 2009, under new coach Steve Sarkisian, the Huskies climbed
back to 5-7, highlighted by upsets of #3 USC and #19 Cal. Locker passed
for 2800 yards and rushed for 388, and at the end of the season was
presented the Guy Flaherty Most Inspirational Award, Washington
football's oldest and most prestigious honor.
When he announced at season's end that he would forego the NFL
Draft and return for his senior year, he earned himself a place in the
hearts of Husky fans everywhere.
In 2010, his senior year, the Huskies made it back over .500 by ending
the season with wins over archival Washinton State and, in the Holiday
Bowl, Nebraska. The win over the Cornhuskers was especially
sweet, because in addition to giving the Huskies their first winning
season since 2002, it avenged an earlier 56-21 loss to Nebraska in the
third game of the season, a game in which Locker had not played
He was team captain for the second straight season, and again won the
Guy Flaherty Award, becoming just the fourth player in the
103-year history of the award to win it twice. And
he'll be remembered forever after for sticking around and helping
the Husky turnaround.
So let the dweebs who sit in front of their computers down in their
parents' basement take their shots at Jake Locker. To tens of
thousands of loyal fans of the University of Washington, he'll be loved
and respected as long as the Huskies play football.
At Washington, Jake Locker's reputation as a great player and a good
person is carved in stone. You do the things he did for his school, and
you'll be remembered and appreciated for a long time, all
the more so if you've demonstrated your allegiance as he did.
Personally, that's the place where I'd choose to be respected.
In an NFL city? Look - unless you're a Walter Payton, an all-star who
plays his entire career for one team (is there such a thing anymore?),
you're just another mercenary who passed through town on your way to a
*********** Remember when certain things just weren't discussed in
"polite company?" ( For those of you who remember when there was such a
thing as polite company.)
In the category of unmentionables were terms related to excretion, but
with the increasing use of "poop" and "pee" on TV and in everyday
conversation, the barriers are coming down.
Now, where once the term "bathroom tissue" was used because
"toilet paper" was considered a bit crude, some company is on TV trying
to sell the public on buying a new, improved paper that it says does
such a GREAT job of, uh, wiping one's posterior that one will be
tempted after using it to go without underwear.
(To "Go Commahndo," as the properly British-accented announcer says.)
The old advertising expression is "sex sells," but my gut tells me that
they're going to have a hell of a time using sex to sell
toilet paper. Sorry - bathroom tissue.
*********** My friend Mike Lude, one-time AD at Kent State,
Washington and Auburn, said that he used to meet with all the
school's teams before very season and impress on the athletes that like
it or not, because they were Kent State, or Washington, or Auburn
athletes, they would be held to a higher standard of conduct out in the
To reinforce his message, he'd ask them how the headlines back home
would read if he were on vacation someplace in Europe and had too much
to drink but went ahead and drove anyhow - and killed somebody.
Their answers, he said, with only slight changes depending on the school, were pretty uniform:
WASHINGTON AD MIKE LUDE CHARGED IN TRAFFIC FATALITY.
I thought of that this week when the Aberdeen, Washington Daily World headed its story about a kid in a neighboring town:
HOQUIAM FOOTBALL PLAYER CHARGED WITH RAPE COULD GO TO TRIAL IN JUNE
(Hmmm. He took English all four years. Why wasn't he identified as an English student?)
*********** Tweet from Andy Levy: hillary clinton is richard nixon without the charm
*********** Good morning!
I just finished the news and wanted to add something to Jason Gay’s comments about Russell Westbrook achievements.
He notes Oscar Robertson averages but fails to mention the Big “O” did
not just average a triple double for a month but rather for an entire
season. From the Basketball Hall of Fame site:
The Big O's best statistical season came in 1961-62. Oscar averaged a
triple double for the entire season, averaging 30.8 ppg, 11.4 apg and
12.5 rpg, a feat that has never been duplicated.
The averages for his first five NBA seasons are a triple-double: 30.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 10.6 assists per game.
He was truly an amazing player!
I am not sure that the average fan can even begin to understand that
accomplishment and is part of the reason why I believe that Oscar
Robertson is the greatest to ever play the game.
I agree that Jason Gay might have expanded on his comments about Oscar Robertson.
He was indeed a great one. I
can't go so far as to call him THE greatest, but I will allow for your
both being Indiana guys and not dispute your claim.
I would certainly put him in my Top
Five, along with Chamberlain and three others yet to be decided.
Jabbar and Jordan are almost certain to make it. Kobe and
LeBron have decent shots at it. Maybe Westbrook can keep it up.
*********** Long after his baseball playing days were over, the great
Joe DiMaggio was still in demand as an endorser of consumer
products. One of them, Mister Coffee, used him in so many
TV commercials that he developed a whole new generation of fans, who
didn't have the slightest idea that he'd ever played baseball but
wanted his autograph - because he was Mister Coffee.
I was reminded of that when I saw George Foreman on Fox News the other
night. How many younger people, I wonder, who know that he sells
grills, know that he was once one of the most feared boxers on earth?
He got on the subject of how he transitioned from heavyweight boxer to
renowned marketer, and I saw in what he said a lesson for
coaches. "If you can't sell," he said (although in his Texas
accent he pronounced it "Say-ull") "you're gonna starve."
Great point, whether you're in business or you're a coach. What is
selling, after all, but convincing people that it's in their
interest to do something that you'd like them to do?
His secret, he said, was simple - learn to smile. It wins people
over. If you're not a smiler, force yourself to do it, until it
comes naturally. It will.
Don't worry about whether it might seem phony. You can learn. As
my coaching friend Greg Koenig, in Beloit, Kansas, likes to tell his
kids in cases like that, "Fake it till you make it."
*********** I'm so impressed by the wonderful job our schools are doing
indoctrinating our young people in the new, official state
religion of environmentalism that I'm going to give them a project to
keep them busy:
(A) How many tons of nasty, filthy pollutants are spewed into our atmosphere every day
(B) how many nasty, filthy power plants
(C) which nasty, greedy profit-hungry corporations
(D) how many tons of nasty, filthy coal
America's little environmentalists can charge their f--king phones?
Amare Stoudamire took his teammates to task, telling reporters, "We’ve
got to find a way to refocus. We’ve got to key into the details of the
game of basketball.
“We can’t cheat the game. We can’t screw around in shootarounds and
practices and joke around all the time and figure we’re going to win
games. This is the pros. It’s the highest level of basketball. We’ve
got to act that way.”
And here he is, making his point. Challenging his teammates.
Assuming they take him more serously than I do.
*********** A coach donates bone marrow and saves a life...
save a total stranger's life by donating marrow turned out to be just
the start of Chris Gennaro's involvement with the cause of marrow
donation during his time working at Yale. Gennaro, who made his
life-saving donation around the same time that he first started working
for the Yale football team in 2012, has also become one of the key
volunteers for the Bulldogs' annual Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor
Registration Drive. And earlier this month he took his involvement to a
national level, traveling to Washington, D.C., to be a part of
Legislative Day for Be The Match on Tuesday, Mar. 3.
Yale's director of football operations, spoke to members of Congress
about the value of marrow donation, emphasizing how easy and rewarding
the marrow donation process was for him.
from Saco, Maine, Gennaro first joined the Be The Match Registry while
he was a member of the football team at Maine. The Black Bears were one
of dozens of college football teams -- like Yale -- participating in
the "Get in the game, Save a life." campaign, which was started by
Villanova head coach Andy Talley.
the early 1990s Talley recognized the impact that these drives have:
donors that could help save lives join the registry through testing
that consists of simple cheek swabs. He began getting football teams
around the country to start organizing them on their campuses.
assistant head coach Larry Ciotti, a friend and former teammate of
Talley's at Southern Connecticut State, brought the drive to Yale in
*********** It used to be that a tremendous number of fires were caused by smoking in bed.
Here in granola land, I'll bet 90 per cent of the fires are caused by candles.
What the big deal is with candles, I don't know, but I do know I wouldn't leave the house with a candle burning.
That's what some knuckleheads around here did Monday, and now they're looking for a place to stay.
According to the Vancouver Columbian...
"A pet tarantula in the house was not harmed."
Thank goodness for that. I've heard about saving dogs, but I
doubt that there was a firefighter willing to give mouth-to-mouth
to a tarantula.
TUESDAY, MARCH 10, 2015- “It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.” G. K. Chesterton
*********** Unless Missouri wins two games in the Big 12 conference
basketball tournament, it will become just the 10th power
conference basketball team since 2004-2005 to win fewer
games than its football team.
The other schools are Auburn, Baylor, Georgia, Iowa, Oregon, Oregon State, South Carolina, Southern California (twice) and Utah.
In most cases, it's a combination of a good football season and a bad
basketball season, but in 2005-2006, when Baylor was only 5-6 in
football its basketball team couldn't even match that, winning only
four games. (Those were the dark days following a major scandal
involving drugs and the murder of a Baylor basketball player.)
*********** I saw the Oklahoma frat video and the first thing I thought was, "where did kids like that come from?"
I've been around thousands of kids, from coast to coast, and I have
never seen any potential in them for the kind of ugly
racism displayed on the video.
It's distressing to think that in Twenty-First Century America parents
are raising brats like those frat boys who thought it was cool to
sing loud and proud about not allowing "any ni**ers in SAE" (the
fraternity) but this is what you get when you can't spank kids or
wash their mouths out with soap because you'd get jailed
for child abuse.
But is there anything that says we can't do that to their parents?
*********** When I was teaching, it would really anger me when I'd read
about some teacher someplace who'd been caught having sex with
kids. Of either sex.
Besides the fact that it was repulsive in and of itself, it bothered me
because I knew that as a result of stories like that there were bound
to be parents of my students who'd look at me and wonder if I were that
kind of guy.
And now, thanks to a handful of what I presume to be spoiled, rich
white kids at a fraternity at the University of Oklahoma, there are
sure to be some black people who will look at us, well-intentioned
white people, differently. They'll hear what we say and see what we do
and yet still wonder whether, deep down, we think like those fraternity
I see us losing a lot of the ground we've gained since the 1960s, and
it really pisses me off. White or black, it should piss you off,
Oregon State basketball coach Wayne Tinkle is a big man. He's 6-10,
and broad-shouldered, yes, but it's what he did last Tuesday night that
illustrates how big a man he really is.
Backtrack to the start of practice last fall, when Tinkle who had been
hired from Montana to replace Craig Robinson, got his first look look
at what he'd inherited: a roster depleted by transfers, injuries, and
ineligibility. So he actually put out a call to the student body: open
Twenty-two showed up; four of them were kept. They made it possible to scrimmage, five-on-five. They were not given scholarships, but they made the traveling squad. Student-athletes, so to speak.
Some of them actually got into a few games during the season, a season
in which the Beavers far exceeded anyone's expectations by going17-13
overall and 8-12 in the Pac-12.
But none of them, not the four who made it through tryouts or a fifth
walk-on holdover from last year's team, ever expected to start a game.
Yet on Tuesday night, in front of a big home crowd, against the hated
Oregon DUcks, Tinkle started all five walk-ons, all of them Oregon kids.
They were only in for 30 seconds or so, and it didn't go very well
while they were in. The Ducks scored three points and thanks to a
turnover, had possession of the ball when OSU's regular starters came
The Ducks wound up winning the game, and the winning margin was - three points.
Wrote the Portland Oregonian's Jason Quick...
Scoreboard be damned. This was not a loss for Oregon State. In the big picture, this was a victory.
all, how many times can a program point to a moment and say, "This is
what we stand for"? How many times can a program point to a moment and
say, "This is what we value"?
And how many times is a program willing to do that while putting the ultimate prize -- victory -- on the line?
Said Coach Tinkle, "I would do it all over again.''
Was it worth it? he was asked.
"Damn right,'' he said. "Damn right it was worth it.''
*********** Florida State, taking no chances, pulled the scholarship of a Valdosta, Georgia kid...
*********** Prepare yourselves, Americans. They're not done
yet: in Thailand, a three-way gay marriage...
*********** Boeheim loses 108 wins, gets a nine game suspension, and "Cuse loses twelve scholarships.
Wow. And Syracuse self-reported.
What will happen to North Carolina? (I know what should.)
"If you ran a college and knew there was substantial money to be had
from sports but no requirement to educate athletes, you might cut
corners—that’s exactly what the University of North Carolina did for
nearly two decades." Wall Street Journal
*********** In the month of February, Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma
City averaged 30 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists a game, "a
historic month," according to the Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay,
"matched only by the sublime Big O, Oscar Robertson."
Wrote Gay, "...the average sports fan wants three things to happen during the average sporting event:
A. They would like for it to finish by midnight so they don't pass out in their 9:30 a.m. work meeting.
B. They would like coaches to chill out on the time outs in the final two minutes.
C. They would like to see something they've not seen before.
Westbrook can't promise "A" or "B" but he almost always delivers on "C."
*********** One of the few benefits of growing old is the likelihood
that I won't have to be around to see how all this sh-- ends, because
it isn't going to be pretty...
Stating that theAmerican flag symbolizes “colonialism and
imperialism,” UC Irvine’s student body government voted to ban the
showing of it in the college student area.
bill, R50-70, was authored by Social Ecology Representative Matthew
Guevara, and accuses all flags, especially, the American flag, of being
“symbols of patriotism or weapons for nationalism.”
construct paradigms of conformity and sets [sic] homogenized standards
for others to obtain which in this country typically are idolized as
freedom, equality, and democracy,” the bill reads.
The bill adds that such free speech as flags in "inclusive spaces," can be interpreted as hate speech.
*********** This past weekend, whether it wanted to or not, New York
City "hosted" something called the International Women's Day
March. Not all the participants were female.
There were a few males on hand. One speaker referred to
them as "Men Sisters."
*********** To think that people send their kids to four years of college to study journalism, and this is what results...
Sideline reporter Allison Williams: "Coach Pitino, how did you manage to beat the Number Two team?"
*********** Meantime, it appears that North Carolina's practice of
devising no-content, no-work, no-attendance-required classes for
basketball and football players may have started even earlier than
*********** Besides being great college players, all of these guys have
one very significant thing in common. What is it?
*********** Many rules are entered into the rule book in an
attempt to "improve" the game, (although there is often disagreement as
to whether the addition is actually an improvement). But many other
rules, especially in the early, formative days of the game, came
about because of occurrences unforeseen by the game's founders.
It's hard to believe that football had been played for nearly 100 years before it was deemed necessary to pass this rule:
If Team B commits a foul, the period
expires during the play, and the penalty is not declined, the period
must continue until a down free from interference by a Team B foul.
(Loosely translated: "Unless the offense declines, a period can't end on a penalty against the defense.")
The rule dates back to Notre Dame vs Syracuse, 1961
According to the Notre Dame archives...
14-15 with only a few seconds left on the clock, Notre Dame sent in
kicker Joe Perkowski to attempt a 56-yard field goal. He missed
soundly as time expired, but there were flags on the field.
Syracuse player Walt Sweeney was called for roughing the kicker, a
penalty that carried a charge of fifteen yards. The gained
yardage would put Perkowski in better position, although it would not
be easy. Since time had expired on the previous play, it wasn’t
obvious Perkowski would even get a second attempt. The Syracuse
fans had already started to rush the field to celebrate their victory.
officials had to make an on-the-spot decision about how to handle the
foul, and they decided to enforce the standard penalty for roughing the
kicker. Even though time had expired, Notre Dame kicker Joe
Perkowski was given fifteen yards and a second attempt, and he kicked
the game-winning, 41-yard field goal.
can be imagined, not everyone was happy with this impromptu
decision. The legality of the extra play was shortly afterwards
contested by the Big 10 and Eastern College Athletic Conferences, who
supplied the officials for the game, and the NCAA rules chairman
General Bob Neyland. Review of the game film and the rules books
led many to question the referees’ decisions. Did Walt Sweeney
really rough the kicker and place holder? Since the initial kick
was far from its target, which team actually had possession when the
foul occur? In the end, neither the conferences nor the NCAA had
the power to overturn the Irish win, leaving the game officials with
the final say and the Irish with a win for the record books. The
rules were changed in 1962 to prevent any future confusion should a
similar circumstance arise.
FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 2015- "I
get satisfaction of three kinds. One is creating something, one is
being paid for it and one is the feeling that I haven't just been
sitting on my ass all afternoon." William F. Buckley, Jr.
While most major college football programs are making a mockery of the
term "education," and while the NCAA continues to promote the
sham of the "student athlete," there are still some
Terry Baggett was a very good running back at Army - he holds the
Academy record of 304 yards rushing in a single game - and he's a very
good student, too - he will graduate this May with a 3.368 GPA - in
quote by Coach Bible made me think "hey, I think I have that book."
I'm not sure if this is the exact place your quote was taken
from, but I did find that in fact I do have Championship
Football by Dana X. Bible. I have not read the whole thing,
but what I have is pretty good stuff.
my bookshelf I also ran across my copy of Oklahoma Split T
Football. Bud Wilkinson knew his stuff and took the time to write
about it thoroughly. Man is that book good. So much time
spent on the reasoning behind why things are done (altering splits to
set up a the defensive lineman for failure, etc.). Really, really
in the same spot I found a copy of the video "Dynamics of the Double
Wing" by some guy named Wyatt. If I had a vcr I would watch it
(for the umpteenth time).
Both great books.
was really good. He was also one of the very first former coaches
to become a TV analyst. Boy, those were the days when we had guys
like Bud Wilkinson and Frank Broyles and Ara Parseghian in the
broadcast booth. Now, with 75 or 80 games on TV every Saturday, I
swear some of them must stop by the local pee wee practice on their way
to the game and ask if anybody wants to make a few bucks analyzing a
surprises me that there isn't at least one make of VCR still on the
market, simply because so many people have so many VHS tapes with no
place to play them. Ironic that "vinyl" is on the way back.
*********** I don't know what percentage of American high school
students attend a private school, but I do know that among all students
K-12, the figure is less than 10 per cent.
So please explain, without using the "R" word, how come that of this
week's USA Today's Top 25 Boys' Basketball Teams, 14 including
the top three:
Oak Hill Academy (Virginia)
Montverde Academy (Florida)
St Vincent-St Mary (Ohio)
are Private schools.
*********** Good morning, Coach.
Have you seen the new requirement from the WIAA??
(Compulsory "heads Up" training for all middle school and high school football coaches)
I have. The way I read it, only
one guy on the staff has to attend, and then he can "train" the rest of
the staff. Suits me fine, as long as I'm not the one. This
year, the first year, it has to be the head coach.
I just read that USA Football received
$45 million from the NFL Foundation (the "non-profit" league's
charitable arm) to implement "Heads Up Football." That's almost as much
as they pay Roger Goodell, and it's more than enough to make it the
NFL's stooge. With that kind of money and power behind "Heads Up
Football," there's no sense trying to get in its way.
On another subject, I also read the
proposed rules changes regarding off-season practices (working with a
QB, for example) and it appears that in return for limiting us to 20
"contacts" in the summer, they're proposing given us 20 contacts during
the winter sports season and 20 in the spring.
*********** From my friend Doc Hinger, in Winter Haven, Florida, now busy watching spring training:
At the ball park this morning I heard a guy utter what has to be the
line of the day. "If Nancy Pelosi gets one more facelift she'll have a
*********** Nice to talk with you again and sure hope you have a clinic
in Atlanta because if you do, I can about guarantee you 3-4
attendees. I saw on your site where you have been dabbling
with the R & S combined with double wing. I definitely want
to take a look at that stuff.
I had to get off to a later start this
year and I'm hung up right now on a location - I'm trying to get a
place not too far from the airport if possible where I can have kids on
hand to demo my stuff.
For the last two years, I have run what I call my "open wing" along with a basic double-wing package.
Since "opening things up" (without changing our line play) we were 7-3 in 2013 and 10-1 in 2014.
Here's a clip from last spring showing a very basic look at what we're doing
Ed "Big Mo" Modzelewski (Mah-je-LEF-ski), the star fullback on
Maryland's undefeated 1952 Sugar Bowl champions and the brother of
Maryland College Football Hall of Famer and New York GIants' defensive
tackle Dick "LIttle Mo" Modzelewski, died February 27. He was 86.
HIs brother survives him. "He and I were very close as brothers,"
Dick Modzelewski told cleveland.com "We went to the same college. We
both made All-American together. We were in business together and we
raised cattle on a farm together. Ed will be greatly missed by me and
At age 15, with the World at war, Ed lied about his age and
joined the Merchant Marine. But when his parents learned about American
merchant ships being sunk by German submarines, they managed to get him
released from service.
Returning to his hometown, West Natrona, Pennsylvania, he
got a job, but one day he passed by the high school practice
field where the football team was practicing, and decided to return to
school and turn out for football.
HIs team, Har-Brack High, made it to the 1947 Western Pennsylvania
(WPIAL) title game but lost to New Kensington; he was named second team
All-State fullback and awarded a scholarship top Maryland.
Four years later while playing for Maryland, the Modzelewski brothers
got their revenge against New Kensington, when the Terps, on their way
to an unbeaten 11-0 season, defeated Michigan State. The Spartans
had eight former New Kensington players on their roster, including
Willie Thrower, who in 1953 would become the first black player to play
quarterback in an NFL game.
Maryland was chosen to play in the Sugar Bowl against unbeaten
Tennessee, already awarded the national championship (the final ballot
in those days was conducted BEFORE the bowls), and defeated the Vols,
28-13. Ed Modzelewski rushed for 153 yards, and was named the
He was the Steelers' top draft choice in 1952, and played one year in
Pittsburgh, then served for two years in the Air Force. On
his return, he was traded to the Browns where he played for five
seasons at fullback, following one great in Marion Motley and preceding
another in Jim Brown. Selected by the Cowboys in their expansion draft
in 1960, he chose instead to retire.
Paul Wiggin, his teammate on the Browns, told cleveland.com that Ed was
talked out of retiring and taking a coaching job by Cleveland coach
Paul Brown: "Brown said he'd like him to stay because of a young
fullback he wasn't sure of," said Wiggin. "That fullback was Jim
Brown. Ed always joked about that."
Interestingly, although Dick ("Little Mo") is in the Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame, Ed ("Big Mo") is not.
Natrona, Pennsylvania - a look at a town that's seen some rough times - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9UXtDYHzSA
*********** Har-Brack High School is no more. Like so many high
schools in once-populous towns in western Pennsylvania, it's been
"consolidated" - combined with another school and given another name.
Har-Brack (for the towns of "Harrison" and "Brackenridge" which it
served) produced the Modzelewski brothers, and not long after they
graduated, along came Cookie Gilchrist, a 6-3, 253-pound running back
who was so good that the great Paul Brown signed him to an NFL contract
right out of high school. But that's another story...
*********** By chance, I watched a couple of back-to-=back episodes of Friday Night Tykes.
They ought to call it Friday NIght Yikes.
It's a series devoted to youth football, Texas style.
I'm sure they do other things at practice, but if you didn't know
better, you'd think all they did was practice tackling - by lining up
little kids about 20 yards apart and having them smash into each other
at full speed. Sort of like teaching them to swim by throwing them into
the deep end. I guess the misguided idea is that they're "turning
them into football players." Yeah - and turning at least as many
into soccer players.
I loved watching a coach go through the kind of gyrations that give us the Jameis Winstons.
One kid - we'll call him JR - didn't show up for practice all week. Or
for the game. Oh - and he was the QB. So they started the backup.
Let's call him David.
David played well, and they won the game.
The following Monday, with a big game coming up, JR was back at practice. No apparent discipline, no nothing.
We were privy to a conversation between the head coach and an assistant.
"Who do you think I ought to start Saturday- David or JR?"
And then he reasoned aloud...
"David does a good job and does everything we ask of him."
"JR doesn't know how good he can be. All he lacks is a work ethic. He gives us our best chance of winning."
Do I have to tell you who got the start?
*********** The NCAA has lifted the postseason ban on Idaho -
IDAHO, for God's sake! - imposed for failing to meet academic
standards for the 2009 through 2012 seasons.
Who would ever have known that was the reason we haven't seen Idaho in a bowl game lately?
*********** A West Linn, Oregon sophomore ("rated one of
the top cornerbacks in the country for the Class of 2017," if you can
believe that) suffered a skull fracture playing for "Team Oregon" in an
elite 7-on-7 "national tournament" in Las Vegas Saturday.
Think hard now - when was the last time one of your kids suffered a
fractured skull in practice? Even in a full-out scrimmage?
Didn't think so. I never heard of such a thing in all my years of coaching, dating back to 1970.
Nevertheless, this year, in an effort to reduce the thousands and
thousands of head injuries that are reducing our young men to
virtual vegetables, our state intends to follow the Know-It-All State,
California, and limit in-season "contact practices" to two a week.
Full-padded, "thud" scrimmages, with no one being taken to the ground, are considered "contact."
7-on-7 is not.
*********** I was listening to a radio broadcast of the Oregon
State-Grambling baseball game, and the pre-game national anthem (I
timed it) took a band exactly one minute to play. For
comparison purposes, at most NFL and major bowl games, it takes a
Grammy-Award-winning singer upwards of two minutes. To perform.
*********** The 18-year-old voting age has been such a success (hey- it
got us legalized marijuana in Washington, dude!) that in Brattleboro,
Vermont there's a move afoot to lower the voting age to 16. Sweet.
*********** Back in 1990, Gordie Gillespie came to dinner.
A friend of mine, Ralph Balducci, knew him somehow, and when Ralph told
me Gordie was coming to Portland to talk at a clinic, we schemed to get
him over to our place.
What an impressive person. Friendly, personable, gracious and
knowledgeable. He was generous in complimenting my wife on her
cooking, and generous in sharing his knowledge of the game.
He was of interest to me because at that time, he was coaching the
College of St. Francis, in Illinois, and the previous year, Portland
State had played St. Francis and I deduced from the local papers that
he was running an offense not unlike our Double Wing. (As it turned
out, we was running something very close to what I call "slot"
formation - a slotback and a flexed end on each side.)
All told, in 61 years of coaching in three different sports, he amassed 2402 wins.
He won four national titles in college baseball, and in 27 years as
head coach at Joliet Catholic High School, he won five state
Gordie Gillespie died on February 28 at the age of 88. What a career. What a coach.
*********** When I was a high school kid and being a smart ass, I was
sitting in the back seat, passenger side, and I hollered something a
little bit crude out the window of our car at a truck we were
passing. And then promptly put it out of my mind. Until several
blocks later, when we were stopped at a light, and the driver of our
car, looking in his rear view mirror, said, "Uh-oh, Hughie. Here
comes that truck driver."
As I was saying, "What truck dr---", he reached in the window, grabbed
me by my shirt, pulled me halfway out the window, and popped me one in
the nose. Hard.
And then, saying, "That'll teach you to yell sh-- at me!" he turned and
walked back to his truck and waited for the light to change. Mission
My buddies, of course, were laughing their asses off, unconcerned about
my pain or my embarrassment. You played, you paid. Those were the
rules. Everybody knew them.
Nowadays, that truck driver would be facing charges. And a
lawsuit. But those were the fifties, and my biggest worry - once my
nose stopped bleeding - was that my father would find out. Things would
really go downhill for me if he did. So I swore everyone to
secrecy. Having fathers themselves, they understood.
Those sure were different times. Say you were playing in the street, as
we often did, and you smarted off to a passing car, as we often
did. Nine times out of ten, the guy would stop - right in the
middle of the street - and start chasing somebody. God help you if you
were the one he chased, and he caught you. No sense running home
afterward and telling mommy, either. She'd only ask what you did to
cause the guy to punch you, and remind you to watch your mouth.
Yes, those were different times, with a very different cast. Figure it
out - by the mid-fifties, World War II was only ten years in the past.
Just about every guy between the ages of 30 and 45 had been in the
service, and a lot of them had seen serious action. After what they'd
been through, they weren't about to put up with any sh-- from
some smart street punk.
Things don't work that way now. Nobody bothers to make you
pay. And besides, you go on the Internet and write all manner of
vile things about anybody you please, and you can always play it safe
by hiding behind a screen name.
Unless, that is, you happen to write those vile things about Curt
Schilling's college-bound daughter. He's going to hunt you down
and when he's found you, you're going to wish Al Gore had never
invented the Internet.
And then, when that young lady's daddy is finished with you - that's
what daddies used to be for - may that long-gone truck driver on that
faraway Philadelphia street return to life and punch you in the
*********** According to the official police report, a Jefferson
Parish, Louisana (suburban New Orleans) kid, drunk out of his skull,
refused to disperse when told to do so, started leading a group in
chants of chanting F--k the Cops!," pushed an officer in the chest and
said, "F--k you, Pig!" and then he got his smart ass whipped.
Why, he got him a lawyer!
Does that surprise anyone?
*********** Coach, is there any Double Wing option play you can suggest?
I don't advise getting too deeply into
any option stuff because option football is a "time bandit" - it will
demand practice time at the expense of the rest of your offense.
The old football wisdom is: "If you're going to run option - run option."
However, here's one fairly (I stress
"fairly") simple option that I like because it employs Double
Wing principles. It's a "double option" (keep or pitch) so
there's no dealing with such a thing as a "mesh" with a dive
back. (That, in my opinion, would be getting you in way too deep.)
it like Super Power (Super O, actually) - but make sure that no one
touches the End Man on the LIne - the defensive end. That's the man
you're going to option. Your backside guard should have been taught
already that that DE is no business of his - that he has to help block
that scraping inside backer.
The QB takes a big step straight back
with either foot (to let the pulling guard past), then, shoulders still
square, "gathers his feet" and runs off-tackle, as if he were
running Super Power. Unless the DE pinches, the blocking is there
and he should run there.
However, if the DE sits in the
hole, the QB will flatten and try to run across the End's face.
If he can, he is off to the races. If he can't, he pitches.
If the DE attacks the QB immediately, the QB has to be prepared for that, and must pitch immediately.
This takes practice reps. You
have to make sure that your QB sees in practice all the things
that an end can do to him.
It's the job of the motioning wing
back to get - and stay - in pitch relationship. We want him about five
yards wider than the QB and about 3 yards deeper. He doesn't take
his eyes off the ball, and he doesn't turn upfield unless the QB turns
upfield or he's within five yards of the sideline.
A fairly constant pitch relationship
is essential, and it takes a lot of work. Because the timing is
different on every different type of option play, you want to limit
your option attack.
I got this far without mentioning the
most important point of all: I'm assuming that you have a QB who
can exercize good judgement and who can run. If you don't, forget
TUESDAY, MARCH 3, 2015- "Nothing so needs reforming as other peoples' habits." Mark Twain
*********** My son just celebrated his birthday, and I have to
say I'm really proud of the type of person he's turned out to be.
For several years, before getting into radio and TV, he taught English
at Bellarmine Prep, a private Catholic High School in Tacoma,
Not so long ago, the school publication, BELLARMINE TODAY, contained an
article about Mike Bahn, since 2013 the Strength and Conditioning
Coordinator for USSA, the National Governing Body for the US
Olympic Ski and Snowboard Teams:
"Bahn remembers the passion that came from his Bellarmine teachers
while he was here - from teachers like John Woltjer, Brother Paul
Cawthorne, Ed Wyatt, and the late Cam Brown."
************ MInnie Minoso died Sunday at 89. Or 90. No one knows.
He was a black man, born in Cuba, and while he was not baseball's first
black player, or baseball's first Hispanic player, he WAS baseball's
first black, Hispanic player.
His last name wasn't Minoso - it was Arrieta. Minoso was the last
name of a half-brother, for whom he was mistaken. He was
nicknamed "Minnie" because, well - for the same reason a guy named
Smith is called "Smitty" or a guy named O'Brien is called "Obie."
He was a true all-around baseball player - he was a three-time Gold
Glove winner, and he had a lifetime batting average of .298. He hit 186
home runs and had 1023 RBI. He was a constant threat to steal,
and he was willing to take one for the team - he led the league in
hit-by-pitches 10 times.
Jonathan Eig, a former Wall Street Journal reporter who's now writing a
biography of Muhammad Ali, wrote in the Journal about meeting with
Minoso nine years ago, and asking him what he would have done if
he hadn't played baseball.
He said Mr. Minoso thought about it, and finally said, "I don't know. But I know one thing: I'd be a good gentleman."
*********** Although younger Americans, just like the rest of us,
generally want more and bigger things, there's one thing they appear to
want less of. Sports.
Take baseball. It used to be that a baseball game was a time away - a
time devoid of the real world's cares, when a man and his son, or a
couple of friends, or a salesman and a customer could relax and BS
during the many breaks in play. But now, young people who "consume" (I
swear, that's the word that sports marketers use) sports, want
action. Fast, concentrated action. They don't want to sit
an entire game just to see a couple of "highlights." They want to
be able to whip out their phone and see in an instant the bases-loaded,
two-out, bottom-of-the-ninth homer that won the game for the Mudville
Nine. To hell with everything that went on up to then.
So our various sports, increasingly catering to the
attention-span-deprived among us, are researching ways to shorten their
Tennis is experimenting with four-game sets. Cricket has had phenomenal
success with something called 20-20, which enables a game to be played
in a few hours, rather than - get this, Americans - several days.
"Rugby Sevens" - what you'll see in the Olympics - is a
distillation of the real sport down to seven men on a side for two
seven minute halves.
This whole idea of speeding things up catches baseball at a bad time,
when not only are games taking longer to play, but for anyone who likes
hitting, they're also becoming snoozers. Two reasons are given
for the latter. One is that players no longer take "uppers," to
get them through the long season, and stats bear out the fact that
hitting is down in the late stages of the season. Another is the
pitching. I just heard pitching guru Tom House say on "60
Minutes" that there are at present more pitchers in the Big Leagues
capable of throwing 100 miles an hour than in all of baseball history
up to now, and that stats bear that out, too.
What's baseball going to do about the latter two factors? One
suggestion is to go back to a 154-game season, but start and finish the
season at the same times as now, so that there would be some open dates
in the schedule. As for the pitchers? Who knows? Reduce the
number of pitchers of the roster?
Move the mound back? I realize that baseball prides itself on the fact
that since its inception (whenever that was) very little has changed in
the basic layout of the game, but maybe, with all those fastballs out
there, it's time to realize that people are bigger and stronger and
faster than they were in the 1800s.
But as to the time factor...
Shorten the games? Put pitchers on a "shot clock." Basketball
players can do it, and quarterbacks can get a play off in the time
I say tell batters that they're free to step back out of the box and
adjust their cup as they wish, but once that pitcher steps on the
rubber, he's free to throw at any time, whether the batter's in the box
Even more radical - when my son was young and learning the game, and
later when I was teaching PE, I found that one thing that really sped
things up was to have just three balls and two strikes.
Or, really radical - cut down on the seemingly interminable commercial breaks between innings.
Except that's about money. Never mind.
*********** KC Smith of Boston was kind enough to write me and point out a typo in my latest NEWS.
I thanked him and made the changes and, jokingly, said, "I need to pay my proofreaders more. Where do I send your check?"
His reply: "Friends of Harvard Football"
*********** At the wedding of NASCAR driver Brian Scott to Whitney Kay,
Scott got down on one knee and said to the bride's little
daughter something that anyone who's been the daddy of a little girl
promise to always hold your hand and skip with you down the street and
bring comfort to your life. I vow to make you say your prayers before
you eat. I promise to read you stories at night, to always tuck you in
real tight. I vow to show you how a man should treat a woman in my
relationship with your mother. And above all else, I vow to protect
you, care for you, and love you forever.”
"I'm not ashamed of any of my past incidents because that's what made me who I am today." Dez Bryant
*********** One of the reasons why Americans really don't understand our enemy is that we don't understand what motivates it.
When we hear the tired old "they want jobs" nonsense it indicates
a total lack of understanding that ISIS members are driven by
deeply-held religious beliefs, and that they're willing to kill - or
die - for those beliefs.
What would modern-day Americans know about that?
To Americans, an increasingly irreligious people whose true faith is as
likely to be environmentalism or hedonism, whose opinion makers
routinely ridicule Christianity, the idea of deep devotion to one's
religion is totally foreign to anything in their experience.
Whenever I go to a strange church, the first thing I do after sitting
down is reach for a hymnal. I open it and look for "Onward Christian
Soldiers" and "Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus" (Ye Soldiers of the Cross).
Good luck finding them in most hymnals. At a time when our
Judaeo-Christian culture is literally under attack, it's quite
dismaying to see how many Christian churches have abjectly surrendered
to the forces of political correctness, and purged from their
"approved" hymns those beautiful old exhortations to stand up for one's
There is a great story about Onward Christian Soldiers. Evidently, it
was written by the Yale Divinity School's director of music, for the
school's first-ever graduation. But when he submitted it to the
dean for his approval, the dean said he thought "with the cross of
Jesus going on before" sounded "Roman Catholic," and out of place
at a Protestant institution. The director left and came back a few days
later with an alternative: "with the cross of Jesus left behind the
door...," and asked the dean, "Which version do you prefer?"
*********** National Review's Andrew Johnson wrote that at the recent
CPAC (Conservative) Conference, - Christie told the audience he’d
planned to give up the New York Times for Lent . . . but his priest
told him nothing doing - he had to give up something he’d actually miss.
*********** Bob Novogratz and Pete Dawkins are two former Army
All-Americans, members of legendary coach Earl Blaik's last team, (and
Army's last undefeated team). Both went on to long and successful
careers in the Army, and then to successful careers in business.
Both knew the late Father Theodore Hesburgh, of Notre Dame, who died
Friday, and it was very kind of them to permit me to print their
comments on Father Hesburgh's passing.
It's important, I think, for me to be able to pass along to other
coaches the words of men like Bob and Pete, who exemplify the ideal of
the scholar-athlete and what college football should be about.
Big loss at South Bend.
I met Fr Hesburgh at Notre Dame Stadium a couple of times. He was very fond of Pete Dawkins.
was getting weak at our last meeting and Father Joyce, the President,
was taking care of him as if he was his personal valet.
An interesting thing about these two campus biggies was that they lived in the dormitories.
Quite a contrast to many college presidents making more than $500,000 per year.
Sad day for the irish.
To which Pete, an All-American like Bob - and a Heisman Trophy winner and Rhodes Scholar to boot - replied...
It is, indeed, a sad day, not just for Notre Dame, but for college football more broadly, as well.
had the privilege of serving with Father Hesburgh on the NCAA
Scholarship Committee for some 15 years years in the 1960’s, 1970’s,
and 1980’s. He and I became good friends, and I grew to look
forward to our periodic meetings. He viewed college football as
truly an Intercollegiate sport — that is, a sport played by bona fide
college students. He was a passionate believer in Notre Dame and
in Notre Dame football. And he fervently believed that it was
possible to play competitive Division 1 football with teams made up of
students who went to class, studied, and graduated.
I had the great honor of speaking at the 200th West Point Founders Day,
one of the themes I spoke about was “Winning”. On that occasion,
I recounted a conversation I had had with Father Hesburgh at the end of
the 1998 Army - Notre Dame game at South Bend —
a conversation that displayed not only his competitive spirit, but his
respect for Winning the right way .
A Giant who walked modestly among us is gone. We will miss him. But, fortunately, we will remember him, too.
Father Hesburgh was more than the president under whose leadership
Notre Dame rose to an academic prominence that matched its football
prowess. He became a national figure, widely respected by all for
his opinions on controversial issues.
In 1969, when college presidents right and left caved in to student
protestors, many of whom wound up occupying the presidents' offices,
Father Hesburgh informed Notre Dame students in no uncertain terms that
anyone attempting to disrupt the operation of the university would be
1991, Father Hesburgh led a special commission that looked into
the excesses of big-time
intercollegiate sports. When the commission issued its report, his
statement indicated more hope than optimism: “We would love to
sleaziness of college athletics to rest with this report,” he said.
Not that Notre Dame neglected football during his tenure. The Irish won
two national during that time, one of them under the direction of a
Protestant coach, Ara Parseghian.
The story goes that at his interview, when Parseghian mentioned his
faith, he noted Father Hesburgh taking notes, and heard him say, out
"That's 'P-A-R.." Parsegian said, accustomed to having to help people spell his name.
"No, no," said Father Hesburgh. "I'm trying to spell 'Presbyterian.'"
*********** Hesburgh, Hessberg - quite a coincidence that on the day I
was writing about Father Theodore Hesburgh's passing, I happened
to correspond with Bob Barton, a retired sports reporter for the
New Haven Register, and he mentioned a gentleman named Al
Hessberg, who'd been a member of the same 1937 Yale backfield in which
Clint Frank so impressed the nation's sports writers that he won the
A bit of research on Al Hessberg, who died in 1995, disclosed that he
was the first Jewish member of Skull and Bones, the exclusive Secret
Society to which countless illustrious Yalies have belonged. In 1938!
Among the member of "Bones" over the years...
Presidents (William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush)
Presidential candidates: Robert Taft, John F. Kerry (okay, okay - even "Bones" can make a mistake.)
Numerous Senators, Congressmen, Governors, Mayors, Ambassadors and
other prominent government officials (including Gifford Pinchot, first
head of the US Forest Service, and the namesake of a huge National
Forest near where I live)
(One notable senator: Prescott Bush, from Connecticut, father of one president and grandfather of another.)
Judges, including Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart
College Presidents, including David Boren, current president of the University of Oklahoma
Authors/Writers/Poets/Historians, including Archibald MacLeish, John Hersey, William F. Buckley, Jr. and David McCullough
Actor James Whitmore
Businessmen, including numerous Rockefellers and Vanderbilts, H. J.
Heinz, II; Henry R. Luce, Founder of Time-Life; and Fred Smith,
founder of FedEx
Walter Camp - Father of American Football - responsible for rules innovations that turned rugby into American football
Amos Alonzo Stagg - Coach of U of Chicago for 41 years, U of Pacific
for 14 more - overall record of 314- 199-35; invented the batting cage;
played in the first game of basketball every played
Frank Hinkey - Four-time All-American (1891-1894)
Ted Coy - Three-time All-American - lost only one game in three years
Larry Kelley - 1936 Heisman Trophy Winner
Clint Frank - 1937 Heisman Trophy winner
Mike Pyle - Captain of the 1963 NFL champion Chicago Bears
Brian Dowling - Quarterback - "B.D" in the original Doonesbury cartoon
And, in 1938, while Hitler was preparing to take over Europe, Al Hessberg. At
a time when the game of football is under attack on several fronts, I'd like to ask
those who would end our sport - could that possibly have happened
if it weren't for football?
*********** Next time somebody gives me some crap about my
occasional suggestions that we eliminate or minimize the importance of
the field goal ("then how come you it's called football?"), I'm
going to be ready for them.
There is a very strong argument that the term "football" does not at all mean "a sport played with the foot."
Instead, it's argued, the name refers to a sport played on foot, as Medieval peasants would have been inclined to do, rather than on horseback, like the nobles.
That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.
*********** Earl Lloyd, who became the first black player to appear in an N.B.A. game, died Thursday. He was 86.
Although was not the first black player chosen or signed, he was the first to play.
In the 1950 draft, the Celtics selected Chuck Cooper, from Duquesne, in
the second round. The Knicks then announced their intention to
purchase the rights to Sweetwater Clifton from the Harlem
Globetrotters. And in the ninth round, The Washington Capitols
picked Earl Lloyd.
It was October 31, 1950, when Lloyd made his NBA debut against the Rochester Royals in Rochester.
Cooper played his first game with the Celtics the next night, and
three days later, Clifton debuted with the Knicks.
In 1955, with the Syracuse Nationals, Earl Lloyd and Jim Tucker became the first black players to play on an NBA championship team.
In 1971, Lloyd was hired as head coach of the the Detroit
Pistons, becoming the fourth black head coach in NBA history (after
Boston’s Bill Russell, Seattle’s Lenny Wilkens and Golden State’s Al
He told Ron Thomas, who wrote, “They Cleared the Lane: The
N.B.A.’s Black Pioneers,”“I just hope I conducted myself where I made
it easier for others, and I think I did.”
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2015- "Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right to do what we ought." Lord Acton
*********** Think about this, coaches, when you're tempted to go out and hire an assistant you don't know a thing about...
Larry Baer is the President and CEO of the San Francisco Giants, and in
a Wall Street Journal interview, he stressed the importance of hiring
people of character for jobs in the Giants' organization.
He noted that a venture capitalist whom he knows (aside: a venture
capitalist is a guy who can come up with the money to stake your
venture when nobody else will even look at you. In return, he'll take a
piece of the action. But he isn't going to risk a dime unless he likes
your idea. And trusts you.) told him that when he invests in something
or someone, "he would much rather put his money behind an A person
values-wise with B talent than A talent and B values."
Baer suggested one very good way of finding out about the character of
the person you hire: about 70 per cent of the Giants' new hires
have come through their internship program.
Saw your comment today about Chris Conley's ample athletic ability
shown at the Combine. I want to add--he may be one of the
smartest out there as well.
While at Georgia, he wrote and directed a Star Wars fan film/parody titled "Retribution"
(on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsJU5Ebka44).
It is a little bit cheesy, but it's very polished, and I'm sure you can
imagine the amount of leadership, creativity, organization, and hard
work it would take to pull a project like this together. Note the
cameos by Todd Gurley and Mark Richt, and Conley himself plays the bad
Some city is going to be very happy with that draft pick--I'm a little
sad that the Falcons have so many good receivers there's little chance
that we'll pick him.
School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Tech
My wife and I just finished watching "Retribution."
Absolutely outstanding. Very well done.
Apart from his physical skills, Chris Conley is an amazing talent.
NFL or not, he has a real future.
Thanks so much for the info. I can't wait to pass it on to my readers.
*********** Keith Olberman took a bold step toward cementing his
spot atop the America's Most Hateful list, getting into a pissing
contest on Twitter with some Penn State students, and winding up with a
four-day suspension from ESPN.
The students had just spent the weekend in some sort of dance marathon
which they call "Thon," whose purpose is raising money to fight
pediatric cancer. This year's Thon raised $13 million.
Perhaps in celebration, a Penn State student tweeted Olberman, "We
are!" (To which the appropriate response, if you're a Penn
Stater, is "PENN STATE!")
But Olberman, decidedly not a Penn Stater (I'm embarrassed to admit he's an Ivy League snot), tweeted back, "Pitiful."
That, naturally, prompted a reply, to which Olberman responded with the
rottweiler aggressiveness that's made him such a dead weight in the
ratings game wherever he's gone.
And things went on - and down - from there.
To any rottweilers offended by the comparison, I apologize.
*********** The Pawtucket (Rhode Island) Pawsox have been the Boston
Red Sox' Triple-A affiliate forever, but now, it appears, the team may
move to nearby Providence, a much larger city with plans to build a new
ballpark downtown, on the riverfront.
The Pawtucket ballpark is old and said to be decrepit and not worth the expense of refurbishing it.
On the other hand, downtown Providence is a very attractive place, and
a downtown, riverfront ballpark would be a very nice place to
spend a summer evening.
The cost? Hang the cost. It's Rhode Island. There's always
some way of finding the money. Buddy Cianci can do
it. (If you don't know, he's the colorful former mayor who,
while he may have spent a little time in the slammer for alleged
misdeeds while in office, nevertheless deserves credit for turning
downtown Providence from dingy and depressed to attractive and vibrant.
Who cares where the money came from?)
Parking? We'll worry about that later.
*********** I can't completely verify this, but it seems plausible:
In the 1860s, British school boys commonly gave nicknames to
things, often adding “er” to the end of the nicknames. Rugby was
- still is, frequently - called “Rugger”. Association
Football became known as “Assoccer”, and then, just “Soccer."
Because most other English-speaking countries were already playing
their own form of "football," when "Association Football"
arrived, it arrived not as "football," but as "soccer."
*********** For those of you who played football - how many of you ever
knew what your high school coach thought of you? How about your
How about you? What would your kids say about you?
Consider what former GE chairman and CEO Jack Welch told the Wall Street Journal's Alexandra Wolfe.
Jack Welch is a business legend, and at 79, he's still going strong as a speaker and, with his wife, an author.
"How many of you know today what your boss thinks of you?" he said he'll ask an audience.
"You get 5 to 10 per cent of the crowd," he answered.
Moral for the football coach: There are a lot of kids today who face a
lot of negativity in their everyday lives. You have chance to
make football the one place where everything's positive. Never pass up
a chance to give a kid a sincere compliment: "I'm really proud to be
your coach." "I'm really glad you turned out for football."
"You're really making progress." "I admire your leadership."
And if a kid asks you where he stands, be honest with him: "I'm
concerned about whether we can count on you until you get your grades
under control." "Frankly, when we put you in there, you acted
confused. If you don't know what you're doing, that's not the
time to be letting us know."
Hell, you know what to say. If it's just mouthing my words, it's not sincere.
receiving an email from the AFCA that contained the photos at left, I
thought, "Holy sh--!" and dashed off an e-mail of my own. To the AFCA:
enjoy the AFCA publications, but I was greatly taken aback to read the
heading of an AFCA Weekly article "STUDY: Educated Youth Football
Coaches Can Cut Head Injuries" and then, directly below, see a
photo pertaining to another article depicting a tackler who has ducked
his head in a way that exposes him to the possibility of serious neck
or head injury.
This isn't consistent with the AFCA's position as the leading spokesman for what's best for our game.
a long-time member of the AFCA, I know that no one in the organization
condones such a technique, and it's never good for our sport to show
such a dangerous technique without an appropriate comment.
I really urge you to have someone with a football coaching background take a long look at the photos you use.
(Before printing this, I thought
I'd give the AFCA a chance to respond. I have yet to hear from
them. In fairness, they probably outsource the publication. )
*********** In the Tennessee girls' state basketball tournament, two
high school teams engaged in a screw-up contest involving deliberate
turnovers, blown free throws, and even a shot at the opponents' basket,
in an attempt to lose their game and avoid having to play the
defending state champion.
Imagine - telling kids to take a dive. Teaching kids to duck out when things get tough.
If they weren't planning on going to the tournament to go all-out, they
should have stepped aside and let somebody else go to the tournament.
I'm not going to take the time to research it, but I'm guessing that
this may have come about because they were in some sort of
double-elimination tournament format, which enabled them to lose and
still remain in the tournament, postponing the inevitable date
with the powerhouse.
Otherwise, my question for those coaches would be: "why in the world
did you take a playoff spot away from some other team that would have
been excited about going to the tournament and would have given it
their best shot, no matter who they had to play?"
Thanks to Brooks Rawson of Alamo, Tennessee...
*********** I read the headline: "Former Louisville guard Chris Jones charged with rape, sodomy"
Ho-hum, I thought. Some guy who played basketball for Louisville
a couple of years ago is back on the streets where he came from, back
to the life he led before spending a few years living on a college
And then I read that the rape and sodomy he is accused of took place
last Saturday night, shortly after the guy had helped Louisville beat
And then, the next day, the university announced that he was no
longer on the team. So technically, whatever happens from here on, he's
a "former" member of the team. (Think maybe they were tipped off?)
And then, on Wednesday, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
So on Thursday, we read about the "former" Cardinal being charged with
rape and sodomy, and to put a fine point on it, that was correct.
Except that when he (allegedly) committed the crimes, he was still a member of the team
Very clever, Louisville. Had me fooled for a minute.
*********** Donald Keough died Tuesday. He was 88. Mr.
Keough joined Coca-Cola in 1964 and from 1981 to 1993 was its president
and chief operating officer.
He was at the helm in 1985 when Coca-Cola launched "New Coke", only to
drop the idea after a few weeks when loyal Coke drinkers raised hell.
Said Mr. Keough in admitting the company had erred, "Some critics will
say Coca-Cola made a marketing mistake. Some cynics will say that
we planned the whole thing. The truth is, we are not that dumb,
and we are not that smart."
*********** It was bound to happen. A mob of Kansas State
students rushed the court after the Wildcats' upset of Kansas, and in
the melee, a K-State student (allegedly) "body-checked" a KU player.
There's something going on with college kids, something that I suspect
can be traced to their growing up in an environment in which "boys
don't fight," under any circumstances, and as a result, they soon learn
that they can say or do almost anything without consequences.
Oh, how I wish that KU Jayhawk, Jamari Traylor, had slugged the
fan who felt empowered to bang into him. Amazing what a guy 6-8,
220 pounds (I looked it up) can do with one punch.
Yes, there'd be a few people who would condemn Traylor, but maybe
college administrators would begin to realize that they can't continue
to condone - encourage, almost - the sort of vile verbal abuse
that their students routinely heap on opponents and not expect it to
bubble over once a game's over.
I've commented before about the danger in idiotic, most likely drunk
college kids storming a football field and getting in the faces of
Extra security isn't an answer. I suspect that any college worth
its salt nowadays offers a major in how to file police brutality
My suggestion? Goal posts. Wooden goal posts. Balsa wood,
actually. Lower them from the ceiling as soon as the visiting team's
off the floor.
*********** We're going to have to learn a little more about the
Baylor football player who once was homeless and then, after someone in
his hometown gave him a place to stay, has been ruled
ineligible for receiving "impermissible benefits."
This much we do know:
The kid was ruled ineligible not by the NCAA, but by Baylor.
The kid at first said that he was provided housing by a "close family
friend," but later admitted that it was merely "an acquaintance."
Baylor's compliance office had warned him about the danger of accepting the benefits.
Meantime, the NCAA, having been exposed for its kangaroo-court
treatment of Penn State, appears utterly impotent, unable to do
anything about North Carolina, a university that for years maintained
an entire department with sham classes so that "scholar-athletes" could
pretend to go to college.
*********** The Obama administration has begun referring to illegal aliens as "Americans in waiting."
Rush Limbaugh suggests calling them what they really are: "Unregistered Democrats in waiting."
*********** I really object to the news media's use of "The White
House" this and "The White House" that, as if it's some huge, faceless
organization. As if there's no President there. Well...
The scary thing to someone of my generation is that when we were
growing up, any news coming out of Russia (actually, the USSR), would
always start, "The Kremlin said..."
*********** Over the years, Ole Miss has taken its share of
lumps for the way it went about desegregation, but some of them
were undeserved, based on this little item I found in the New York
Times' obit of famed Ole Miss coach Johnny Vaught, in February, 2006 -
the early fall of 1962, a mob of segregationists tried to block James
Meredith from becoming the first black student at the university. The
football team's nickname, the Rebels, embodied the Old South, but
Vaught was enlisted by the Kennedy administration in a futile effort to
had a call from Washington to tell me Meredith was coming on campus
that particular day, and they asked me if I would use my influence to
quiet the group and keep them normal,'' Vaught recalled in a 2002
interview with The Oxford Eagle. ''I went over to the Student Union and
got on the high steps and looked at the crowd that was there, and I
didn't know anybody. They weren't dressed like they were students. They
weren't our people. They were outsiders. They weren't going to listen
to me, so I just moved on.''
***********“We need to understand what true compassion is to reach out
to individuals who think that being dependent is reasonable as long as
they feel safe. It’s not compassion to pat them on the head and
say, ‘There, there, I’m going to take care of all your needs, your
health care, your food.' That’s the opposite of compassion. I’m not
interested in getting rid of a safety net, I’m interested in getting
rid of dependency." Dr. Benjamin Carson
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2015- "God
who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be
secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the
gift of God?" Thomas Jefferson
*********** WISDOM OF THE ELDERS -
Although the reasons for a team's success or failure in any particular
game may defy generalization, certain components will make or break it
over the long pull. These components are called by
different names. Let's call them the Five S's - Spirit. Speed,
Skill, Size and Savvy.
Which "S" is the most important? The least? We believe that
size, beyond a reasonable minimum, is the last in the list. Little men
have been outstanding players - All-Americans. They compensated
for their lack of size with a bountiful supply of the other four S's.
Let's put it this way: Give us a boy with normal intelligence and
coordination, who is big enough to keep from blowing away in a stiff
breeze and who has speed and spirit - and we have the makings of a fine
Dana X. Bible
Dana X. (or sometimes just "D. X.") Bible was one of the greatest of all college coaches. He
was a head coach for 34 years, the last 29 of them at Texas A & M,
Nebraska and Texas, and present-day coaches at those places can thank
him for the often-unreasonable demands supporters place on them,
because he's the one who spoiled them. His teams won 14 conference
championships, and he posted an overall win-loss mark of 209-74-19.
in Jefferson City, Tennessee, Dana Bible was a three-sport athlete in
college, first at Carson-Newman and then at North Carolina.
Right out of college, he took a job as head coach at Brandon Prep in
Shelbyville, Tennessee. After a year, he moved to Mississippi College,
then moved to Texas A & M to become freshman coach. Following
a year as head coach at what is now LSU, he was offered the job as head
football coach and athletic director at Texas A & M. It was 1917
and he was 26 years old.
You might say Coach Bible got off to a good start at A & M - his
1917 team was undefeated and unscored-on. With the outbreak of World
War I, he saw service overseas as a pilot, but he returned without
missing a beat - his 1919 team was also unbeaten and unscored-on.
He was a master motivator. In 1922 at halftime against Texas, with the
game tied, 7-7, he drew on a bit of Texas history to challenge his men:
in an act reminiscent of the defense of the Alamo, when Colonel Travis
drew a line in the sand with his sword, Coach Bible drew his foot
across the floor of the Aggies' locker room and said, ""Those who want
to go out and be known as members of an A & M team that defeated
Texas in Austin - step over the line." There was a stampede to cross
the line, and the Aggies went out and beat Texas, 14-7.
When he left after the 1928 season to take over at Nebraska, he could
truly claim to have put A & M football on the map. His record at
College Station was 72-19-9, with six Southwest Conference (SWC)
titles. He had undefeated teams in 1917, 1919 and 1927.
for nothing else, he will be forever remembered at A & M as the man
credited with starting the tradition of the "Twelfth Man" - the notion
that every Aggie - anywhere - stands ready and willing to go onto the
field and jump in if needed. (It's why Aggies stand for the entire game
- they never know when they might be needed.)
In his eight years at Nebraska, he was 50-15-7, and won six Big Six
titles, but in 1936 he was lured away to Texas with what was then, in
the middle of the Depression - an unbelievable contract - $15,000 a
year for 20 years, the first 10 as head coach and AD, the final 10 as
AD. (The President of the University was making just $7500 a year.)
University of Texas football was down when he arrived, but he came up
with a plan - which came to be called the Bible Plan - designed to put
it on solid footing. He knew well that there was a plentiful supply of
high school talent in Texas, and he believed that the key to success at
Texas lay in winning the recruiting battle in-state, so he divided the
state into fifteen districts, and designated prominent Texas alumni to
play major recruiting roles - including providing "jobs" - within those
At first, wins came slow - he won only three games in his first two
seasons. But then the Bible Plan began to bear fruit, and from 1940
through 1946 Texas went 53-13-3, winning three SWC titles.
He served as a member of the National Football Rules Committee for 19
years (1929-1947). He is a charter member of the National Football Hall
of Fame, and in 1934 served as President of the American Football
he retired following the 1946 season, he hired Blair Cherry, who by
most peoples' standards did a great job, going 10-1 in his first
season and beating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Cherry's overall record
at UT was 32-10-1, and he never lost to A & M. In fact, he went 9-1
in his last season, and the Longhorns finished third in the nation.
Unfortunately for Coach Cherry, that lone loss was to Oklahoma, which
finished first in the nation. It was UT's third straight loss to OU.
Bible had so elevated the expectations of UT supporters that a 32-10-1
overall record, 9-1 season and a third-place finish nationally
wasn't enough to offset three straight losses to Oklahoma, and, under
great pressure, Coach Cherry "retired."
And then Coach Bible went out and found UT another coach - a young
Oklahoman who'd just finished his first year as head coach at the
University of Washington. A youngster named Darrell K. Royal.
*********** It sure looks as if year-round football - well, the
7-on-7 version, at least - has arrived in Southern California.
One more thing for high school coaches to worry about. One more
claim on their precious off-season time. Face it - if they don't
get out and devote the extra time to coaching their own kids, they run
the risk of turning them over to the football version of the AAU
basketball coach, who may or may not teach them correctly and, given
the plague of athletes' transferring that's infesting L.A. area
schools, may or may not suggest another school where their
talents may be better showcased. If you know what I mean.
*********** A West Point sweater worn by Vince Lombardi when he coached
at Army was bought for 58 cents at a Salvation Army store - then sold
at auction for $43,000.
*********** NASCAR. Daytona 500. Big event. Opening race of
the season. Three abreast for at least seven rows.
Rush-hour traffic at 195 mph. No way to pass. Great
driving unquestionably, but when nobody can get out of the jam, is it
I tried to watch. I haven't had good luck watching NASCAR in the past,
but I tried be open-minded. I was actually primed and
prepped to enjoy it, but in my semi-ignorant way, I'm still waiting for
the race to start.
Look - seven rows of cars, bumper to bumper and three abreast - even at
200 mph - is great driving, but - did I say traffic jam? -
actually, as tightly packed as the cars were, it was more like a
high-speed parking lot. Either way, there was very little
"racing" going on.
Not when when most of the field was stuck in that traffic, penned in
with zero chance of passing. It would be as if the NFL had 24
with no chance of winning the Super Bowl. Oh, wait...
It was tremendous driving, for sure, but what was the point, except
maybe to see how long they could keep it up without an accident?
And then - oops - some damn fool wrecked. And there went the "race."
Because once the track was cleared, the race was over in a
lap or two. As good as those drivers are, they could have
finished in reverse. (Which, come to think of it, might be
something for them to consider.)
I gather, reading accounts of the race, that it was considered by insiders to be a hell of a race.
Here's the problem: I'm not an insider. I'm the little kid who
watches the Emperor go by and wonders why he isn't wearing any
clothes. And I'll bet there are plenty of others like me -
fans of sports in general who're wiling to sit and watch and at least
see what they've got, and then go away shaking our heads and wondering
what just went on.
Many of us will never come back. Not me,
yet. Like a fool, I keep coming back, hoping that this
time, it'll be great TV.
But face it, NASCAR - We've only got so much time, and there's way too many other sports fighting for our attention.
Grrr moment: with under five laps to go Fox went to "split screen" for
a LONG commercial break - except that the screen was "split" about 3/4
commercial and 1/4 race.
*********** There's a rumor afoot that the Big Ten, the Pac 12 and the
Big 12 are discussing the possibility of freshman ineligibility - the
way it was when I was in college, except that with this proposal,
players (sorry - "student-athletes) would still have four years of
eligibility remaining. Five-year scholarships, in other words.
Personally, I think that if colleges are at all serious about their
academic mission, giving freshman a year to learn to act like actual
students is a great idea.
I don't think freshman ineligibility is likely to happen in basketball
until the NBA changes its stance on signing players after just one year
of college. College coaches certainly wouldn't recruit kids who would
spend a year playing on their freshman team and then turn pro.
So most of what are now called "one and done" kids will instead go
overseas and make a few bucks for a year and then enter the NFL.
That one isn't going to fly with the basketball guys.
Any return to the days of freshman ineligibility is unrealistic for
basketball unless the NBA (and the NBA Players' Assn) first agree to
something on the order of "three and free" or "two-and-through."
It would be interesting to see how, given freshman ineligibility, how
attending a JC would count against college eligibility. I'm
guessing that the first year at a JC would count as the "freshman
year." Then, after two years at a JC, a player would transfer to a
"four-year" college and still have three years of varsity eligibility
left. This could be a bonanza for JCs and the colleges that feed off
Although I favor the plan, for me it's a two-edged sword, because it would really hurt the service academies.
1. There's little likelihood of a cadet or midshipman staying around
for a fifth year on the taxpayer's dime just to use up all
four years of eligibility.
2. It's tough enough as it is persuading hotshot high school kids to
spend a year at prep school, before actually enrolling at an academy.
How do they now tell him that he's going to have to spend a
second year - one at the prep school and then another at the academy -
before he can play a down of college football?
*********** Coach - Just some information on McFarland to
comment on something I saw you write. I never ran the
double-wing, but I respect the heck out of it and have read your news
for several years.
I haven't seen it yet, but it definitely is "based on a true story" and
changes some several key details. I think this is mainly
mitigated by the fact that the coach, Jim White, and members of that
team are fully supportive of the film as is the town. McFarland,
even in the San Joaquin Valley where these small towns are all over the
place, has almost always been considered primarily a migrant
farm-worker town. The migrants before WWII were primarily
dust-bowl Okies and Texans, but the town's population demographics
shifted to mirror each set of migrants who came to work.
The idea that Jim White came to coaching at that school as an outsider
is pretty laughable. Jim White was my Mom's sixth grade teacher
in McFarland (HS class of '74) that makes him being new to McFarland in
the mid-80s off by just a bit. I asked my mom about him and she told me
he is extremely nice, was a great teacher, and very religious.
I will say that McFarland Cross County is exceptionally good for a
small public school. Due to CIF's policy of "competitive equity"
(basically promotion/relegation), while almost all of McFarland's
sports teams compete in Division VI (the lowest division), their boys
cross country team competes in Division I with large (2500+) schools
from significantly higher socioeconomic backgrounds. Previous to
this year (their first in Division I), they as a team had
qualified to *every* state championship the state has ever
held. This year, they did not. Suffice to say that this
policy has some feathers ruffled.
Woodlake High School
Thanks for taking the time to write.
I appreciate the insight. I
just watched a movie made in 1954 that claimed to be "A true story,"
despite numerous embellishments and acts of poetic license, so
maybe we've made a little progress ovr the years with the addition
of the phrase "based on."
So tiny McFarland builds a cross
country powerhouse that earns it the right to keep moving up until
finally going up against someone ten times their size. "No good
deed goes unpunished."
NIce to have you as a reader.
*********** Bill Parcells, who's either trying to push his book or
can't stand being out of the limelight, or both, evidently is claiming
that he was approached by Penn State to take their head coaching job
tafter Joe Paterno was forced out.
Right. Just the guy. Hasn't coached a college team since he went 3-8 at Air Force in 1978.
Okay. I might as well tell you. They approached me, too. It's all in my book...
*********** Army is rumored to be dropping the stupid "Black Knights"
nickname and logo, and there's a rumor circulating among the faithful
that that might mean a return to being the Cadets, and to a former logo
they called the "Kicking Mule."
For sure, the current logo of a rather swish-looking knight (don't you just adore the
cape?), has been associated with a disastrous run on the football
field. Adopted in 2000 after three straight losing seasons, it's
seen just one winning season (7-6 in 2010) and one win over Navy (in
2001, over an 0-10 Navy team).
One can only hope. Writes one supporter...
I would love to see a return to
"Cadets" but if we are to do this, then let us do it properly. No need
to reinvent the wheel. Bring back the Kicking Mule in front of the "A"
(maybe with a very minor touch-up to bring him into the 21st century)
and very little more will need to be done.
And if we're truly set on returning to
tradition, bring back the old uniforms or at least something resembling
them. For the millionth time.
If we bury the "Black Knights" era
this year, it will end up being remembered as the lost years of Army
football - no cohesive or persistent on-field strategy, a coaching
carousel that spun like a top, a rebranding that tried to give us a new
identity for the new millennium but was met with a collective yawn,
and, in its final years, a desperate attempt to forge a new look by
paradoxically not having a look and doing a weak impression of Oregon.
Cadets. Kicking Mule. Black and Gold. End of story.
*********** A Portland woman learning to ride a motorcycle in a
parking lot died when she lost it and crashed into a parked car. She
was 60 years old. And she was learning on a Harley-Davidson 1200
Sportster. That's a lot of bike. It's like gong for a pony ride and
finding out you're on a thoroughbred.
*********** Brooks Rawson writes from Alamo, Tennessee - "Following a
showcase event in Boston for middle school football standouts,
Rivals.com announced it will begin tracking two sixth-grade players,
adding recruiting profiles to the website."
One is a 5-2, 105-pound middle school quarterback from Enfield, Connecticut
To me it's borderline child porn. At the very least, it's one
more example of adults exploiting and corrupting kids' sports,
coming the very week it was revealed that cheating by adults was behind
the winning of last summer's Little League title.
*********** I watched a fair amount of the "Underwear Olympics" (The
NFL Combine) and as always was impressed by the quality of the athletes
on display, most of whom will never draw an NFL paycheck.
One guy that somebody has GOT to sign is Chris Conley, Georgia wide receiver.
He ran a 4.35 40, and had a 45" vertical jump and an 11-foot , 7-inch broad jump. Oh - and he can catch, too.
*********** I think it was a new feature for the Combine telecast
- the "virtual" 40 yard dash races created by superimposing
videos of two or three guys shot when they ran their individual 40s.
In one case, they created a match race between a couple of guys who ran
their Combine 40s a couple of years apart - between one of this
year's better defensive linemen and current NFL star J. J. Watt.
*********** A big laugh for me came when the NFL Network's Mike Mayock
on the Combine telecast, trying (unsuccessfully) to mimic a Pittsburgh
I think Mayock does a great job, but good luck trying to do any other
accent when you're starting out with the sort of Philly accent he's
got. (A Philly accent has been compared to Cockney.)
(For those of you who aren't similarly accent-hampered, a good start on Pittsburghese is Johnstown: "Jawnstahn.")
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2015- "A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason." J.P. Morgan, once the world's richest man
"I'm asking people to stop their nonsense right now,' said Boston Mayor
Marty Walsh. "These are adults jumping out windows. It's a foolish
thing to do, and you could kill yourself."
Boston, if you hadn't heard, has been buried by eight feet of snow this
winter, and certain Bostonians (at risk of profiling, I am picturing
young, male and perhaps at least a bit tipsy) have been jumping out of
windows into high snowbanks.
"This isn't Loon Mountain," Walsh said. "This is the city of
Boston, where we're trying to remove snow off of the street and it
becomes very dangerous. And the last thing we want to do is respond to
an emergency call where somebody jumped out of the window because they
thought it was a funny thing to do."
*********** Stay with me on this. It's worth it.
I was in high school when I saw Charlie Blockson play for Penn
State. He was fairly famous in the Philadelphia area because at
nearby Norristown High School, he'd been an all-state football player,
and between the shot put and the discus, he'd won five state titles. In
his senior year, he won the National Indoor HIgh School shot put title
in Madison Square Garden.
He went on to Penn State, where he played football as a fullback
- and a teammate of future NFL stars as Lenny Moore and Roosevelt Grier
- on some very good Nittany Lion teams, and was an outstanding
weight man on the track team.
But there was more to him than Charlie Blockson the athlete:
There was Charles Blockson the inquisitve student.
recalled as a boy learning about African-American history from
listening to his grandfather sing. "One Sunday afternoon, I asked him
what he was singing about. He said he was singing about the Underground
Railroad." Young Charles learned that his great grandfather had been a
slave in Delaware and had escaped to freedom on the Underground
textbooks in those days said that all the slaves were happy on the
plantations," Blockson wrote. "But I said to myself as I started to get
into it, 'if the enslaved people were happy, why did they run
away?'" Thus began a lifelong interest in the Underground
And there was Charles Blockson the collector.
by a substitute teacher who told him there were no black people to
study about in history because "Negroes have no history - they
were born to serve white people," he set out to learn more.
In his words,
I was 15 years old, I travelled from Norristown to Philadelphia to
browse in some bookstores. At Leary’s Book Store at 9th and
Market Streets, I found a thick, worn green cloth-covered book entitled
The Underground Railroad by William Still published in 1872. I
paid five dollars for the book. The book was much more than I had
bargained for as I found two of my relatives who escaped on the
Philadelphia’s Underground Railroad. The discovery of William
Still’s book began my interest in the history of the Underground
Railroad which led me to write about it."
He reminisced about his Penn State days, and how "Lenny (Moore) and
Rosie (Grier) would say, "Why are you always going to the book store?"
He began teaching, at Norristown High School, and continued to collect,
in the process amassing an enormous collection of of books and other
items pertaining to African-American history.
And he researched tirelessly.
Among the original manuscripts in the Blockson Collection are the
letters of William Still. whose 1872 book, wrote Mr.
Blockson, "was a major inspiration for my research and writing."
In 1984, he donated his collection to the Temple University
Library, and until 2006 served as curator of the Charles L.
Blockson Afro-American Collection.
Today, Mr. Blockson is internationally known as the foremost expert on
the Underground Railroad. He has written three books and lectured
extensively on the subject.
Interestingly, he recalled that 20 or 30 years later, after he had
attained some renown as a historian and lecturer, he encountered the
teacher who had once told him, "Negroes have no history."
She apologized, and told him, "Charles, you have taught us all something about ourselves and our place in history."
Now here's what's especially cool, from the point of view of someone who follows football:
He went on,
my research, I found a family connection between my family and the
Still family. Our family relationship extends almost 170 years.
I learned after contacting the National Archives for information
on William N. Blockson, the son of Leah Blockson, my great-grandmother. William married Henrietta G. Still of Philadelphia on July 4, 1869 and she was the daughter of William Still’s brother .
Charles Blockson's great-grandmother was named Leah Blockson.
Leah's son, William, married a woman named Henrietta Still. Her
uncle was William Still, the author of the 1872 book on the Underground
That made Charles Blockson a part of the extensive Still family, which
for over 140 years has held the Annual Still Day Family Reunion in
Lawnside, New Jersey, once known as Snow HIll.
Among the many members of the Still family are former pro football
players Art Still and Levon Kirkland, and current Cincinnati Bengals'
defensive end Devon Still.
If you are a football fan, you undoubtedly know the story of Devon Still's 4-year-old daughter who's been fighting cancer.
The little girl's name is Leah. I have a suspicion that Leah Still is named for Charles Blockson's great-grandmother Leah Blockson.
To get a better appreciation of Mr. Blockson and his place in the
American tradition, I highly recommend this remarkable series of clips
from an interview with him.
The Annual Still Day Family Reunion
Read more about Charles Blockson
Charles Blockson's Penn State Distinguished Alumni Award citation
Mr. Blockson's writings on the Still family
About William Still
The Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection in the Temple University Library
I don;t know where they find these people, but the administration
manages to find one moronic "spokesperson" after another willing
to go out in public and make a fool of him (or her) self for the good
of the cause.
One of these tools is a woman namd Marie Harf (rhymes with barf), who
speaks for the State Department, and last week suggested that the way
to deal with ISIS is not with bullets, but with... jobs.
"We're killing a lot of them, and we're going to keep killing more of
them... But we cannot win this war by killing them," she said on MSNBC.
"We need ... to go after the root causes that leads people to join
these groups, whether it's lack of opportunity for jobs..."
She went on "If we can help countries work at the root causes of this
-- what makes these 17-year-old kids pick up an AK-47 instead of trying
to start a business?"
Many, many years ago, that "root causes" crap was being tossed about as
the real way to combat crime. You know - if we could just
get at the things that cause young men to commit crimes, we wouldn't
have to spend all that money building prisons, blah, blah, blah.
Back in 1995, New York magazine ran this headline headline: “(Mayor)
Giuliani and (Police Chief) Bratton think they’ve finally found the
root cause of crime: Criminals.”
*********** Writes Ivan Maisel in espn.com
NCAA Football Rules Committee recommended that the distance that
offensive linemen may go downfield to block on a pass be trimmed from 3
yards to 1 yard, and every defensive coordinator in the Pac-12 yelled,
“Halleluyah!” No teams have done a better job of turning that 3 yards
into 5 or 7 than Oregon and Arizona. NCAA rules editor Rogers Redding
said that officials had a tough time keeping an eye on where the
linemen were while seeing when the quarterback released the ball. It
will be interesting to see if this change impinges on the offenses, or
merely makes it easier for the striped shirts to do their jobs.
late Beano Cook used to say that every coach has a loss that will
awaken him at 3 a.m. 20 years after retirement. Before Sunday night,
Pete Carroll's 3 a.m. loss was in the Rose Bowl to Texas for the 2005
BCS Championship. The Trojans led Texas 38-33, had 4th-and-2 at the USC
45, and went for it. LenDale White gained 1 yard. Now LenDale White was
a good back. He gained 1,302 yards that year. But he was not Reggie
Bush, the 2005 Heisman winner, who rushed for 1,740 yards, wasn't on
the field. Bush ran for a 26-yard score against Texas with 11:19 to
play. He never carried the ball again.
*********** A big scandal has been unearthed in Texas with a
report disclosing that the prestigious and highly-selective (I am
not kidding, guys) University of Texas has been admitting
under-qualified applicants. Well, duh. They're called
Actually, they're children of the influential and well-connected, and
despite substandard GPA's and SAT's, they've been admitted on the
"recommendations" of members of the University's board of regents and
So big deal. If they find the work at Texas too hard, they can
always transfer to North Carolina, famous for a major that doesn't even
require going to classes. Which means they could still live in
Austin, enjoying the good life there.
*********** "McFarland" premieres tomorrow. It appears that it's
one of those "based on a true story" films, which means that something
a bit like the true story may be shown the way it actually
happened, to characters resembling in some way the ones you see
in the film. I like fiction, and I non-fiction. I
understand the distinction, and I respect it, and it bothers the hell
out of me the way Hollywood takes a "true story" then deletes, creates
and embellishes at will, in pursuit of box-office earnings.
See, "Invinceable" wouldn't have been as great a story if we'd known
that the real Vince Papale had actually played two years or pro
football before being "discovered" by the Philadelphia Eagles, instead
of being a down-on-his-luck bartender whose only prior exposure to the
game before his Eagles' tryout was rough touch with his buddies.
And it wasn't enough for "The Elmira Express" to tell the
ennobling story of Ernie Davis, a young man of unlimited promise whose
career - and life - were cut short by leukemia before he could ever
play a down in the NFL. Oh, no - the wizards of Hollywood had to
portray his coach, Ben Schwartzwalder, by then long dead, as a classic
racist. Forget the fact that Schwartzwalder was way ahead of most
other coaches of his time in recruiting black athletes. That
wouldn't have advanced the story line.
I might watch McFarland, though, just to see the way the town's
portrayed. I know McFarland. More than a dozen years
ago, I spent several days there, helping the then-head coach, James
Beltran, install the Double-Wing. McFarland, a farming town in
the heart of the San Joaquin Valley about 25 miles north of
Bakersfield, was almost totally Hispanic, so naturally the football
players and coaches were, too. But what struck me was that
those were young American kids busting their asses, like American kids
everywhere, to play an American game. And out on that field, in
McFarland, California, I could well have been coaching anywhere in the
United States. It felt so - American. So unifying.
Having just seen the movie's trailers, I get the impression that this
(white) coach winds up in McFarland, where the HIspanic kids have
absolutely nothing going for them. He persuades them to go out
for cross-country (he's the coach) and through lots of hard work and
motivational talking turns them into a powerhouse team which - you
guessed it - goes out and kicks the asses of - privileged white
Unifying? I have my doubts.
*********** A Pennsylvania high school basketball Coach, upset at
learning at noon the day of a state playoff game that his team's 6-7
center was declared academically ineligible, decided to take action.
He went on Twitter and harshly criticized the athletic director, who I assume was the person who had made the hard call.
And then he announced that he would "take a stand" - and boycott the
game. In other words, not to coach the team he was paid to coach.
The game went on anyhow, and the team lost, 77-58.
There's more. There always is. The AD is the former
basketball coach, who was relieved of his coaching position after 12
seasons, and is accused by the coach of attempting to undermine him.
Left unaddressed is my key question: where was the basketball coach
when, with at most a dozen kids under his supervision, a player -
his best one at that - got to the point where he was academically
Meantime, the coach now claims that he didn't resign. Don't know
WTF else you'd call it when a guy refuses to coach his team.
*********** Before you go betting the farm on the old US of A against
the boys from ISIS (or "ISIL" as our President insists on calling
it), consider this: Army recruiters say that seven out of ten
young service candidates are unfit because of obesity, reliance of
drugs prescribed for various disorders, and - tattoos.
Fortunately, all is not lost. The military is said to be reconsidering lifting its ban on transsexuals.
Myself, I'd just as soon have some tattoed dudes who can fight.
What the hell - once they're through basic, most of them will go out
and get some body art anyhow. (Ever seen how many tattoo parlors
there are in a military town?)
*********** The Department of Justice has finally debunked the claim
that one-in-five college women are victims of rape. It would have been
nice if the White House and countless media outlets had never insisted
on using the transparently bogus stat in the first place. It will be
interesting to see who among the people who used that fake number now
admit it was never true. The new number is about 1 in 52 college women
have been victims of sexual assault. That’s still way too many if you
ask me (and non-college women are more likely to be assaulted). But the
campus rape-epidemic stuff was always a power
grab.) Jonah Goldberg
Jerome Kersey, a former Trail Blazer and a longtime favorite of
Portland fans, died unexpectedly Wednesday. He was 52.
the photo, he's seen at Portland's Madison High School only the day
before, appearing along with former Trail Blazers Terry Porter (on the
left) and Brian Grant (in the middle) to help observe Black
HIs death was attributed to a blood clot that originated in his leg and traveled to an artery in the lung.
Larry Lewman of the Oregon state medical examiner's office said
Kersey's death could be a complication from surgery that Kersey had
Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. But, said Lewman,
the clots could have existed before the surgery, and he is
attempting to determine how long the clot might have been in his body.
"It's something we see in people who are sedentary,'' he said.
Kersey was extremely well-liked, a part of the "good" Trail Blazers
(Drexler, Duckworth, Porter, Williams), a team that made it to
the NBA finals in 1990 and 1992 with good guys.
Not long after, with those guys gone management tried to fool fans with
an assortment of lowlifes that earned themselves the name Jail
Blazers. Oh, how they missed the likes of Clyde and Terry and
Ducks and Buck and Jerome.
Trail Blazer Steve Blake, who's been wearing Kersey's old number
(25) said he was in a Bible study group when he heard of Kersey's
death, and said that after lying awake all night and praying about it,
he went to management and asked if they'd get the league's permission
for him to change his number so no Trail Blazer would ever wear Jereome
Kersey's 25 again.
*********** Coming soon, to a school near you....
For years, at Seattle's Franklin High School, graduation tradition has meant students marching in boy-girl pairs, boys in black gowns, girls in green, with boys then sitting on one side of the room and girls on the other.
Not no more, as my Grandma would say.
No, siree. This is Seattle, and the school has a gay-straight alliance. And the gay-straight alliance raised objections.
Asked one (allegedly) female student, "How about if you don’t identify as a girl, (and) you want to wear black instead?”
What else could the school officials do, but give in? From now
on, everyone will wear black. Another tradition bites the dust.
I mean, this whole idea of just two sexes, and staying with the one you're born with, is so twentieth century.
*********** Anyone in Boston remember this, from 2000?
Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past
The Wisdom of the Elders...
Bob Reade won multiple
Illinois state championships at Geneseo High School, and then
three straight NCAA Division III National Championships at Augustana
College. Back in the 1980s, several of us Wing-T coaches in the
Portland area pooled our resources and flew Coach Reade out to put on a
clinic. He was great. His Wing-T wasn't my wing-T, which was the
Delaware version, but no matter - I got so much from listening to Coach
Reade talk about offense, defense and football in general.
This, clearly, was a man with ideas we could all use in our own
Bob Reade on staffing: "I was
always adamant that my high school assistant coaches be paid the
same. That let me organize my staff to best help our program
without worrying that I was delaying someone's family an income.
Because the assistants knew they got
equal pay, they always had great camaraderie. When all coaches are at
the same salary, no one of them feels he's any more or less than any
other member of the staff.
I have never believed in "I'm just
the freshman coach," or "I'm just the assistant junior high
coach." There is no just anything. If you're good and
you contribute to the program, you shouldn't have to qualify your role.
I think the coaches on my staffs have felt very much a part of whatever
success we enjoyed because I gave them the opportunity to coach and
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2015- "Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache." Mae West
I spent three-and-a-half hours of my life Sunday night watching
three-and-a-half hours of the four-hour 40th Anniversary of Saturday
Night Live, and I finally gave up.
It was nice seeing so many of the actors again, and it was interesting
seeing how some of the older ones have aged. But I finally grew
weary of waiting for the show to be funny. There was introduction
after introduction, and an occasional lame attempt at a redo of an old
skit, but for the most part, there simply wasn't any there there.
Yes, Paul McCartney is a legend and all that, big enough to
justify a special all his own, but how much did he do on SNL to warrant
giving him all that time while 40 years' worth of the real stars of one
of TV's greatest shows were shown in a series of rapid-fire montages
that merely hinted at their amazing comedic talents?
I have to admit that I watched a lot of the NBA's All-star extravaganza over the
weekend. I really enjoyed the three-point competition - Stephon
Curry is really tough - and I got a big bang out of the slam-dunk
contest, especially because it was won by the Timberwolves' Zach Lavine, a
kid off the mean streets of Bothell, Washington. (Yeah, some mean
streets - according to Zillow, the median home value in Bothell, a
Seattle suburb, is $417,000. Real ghetto kid.)
The game itself wasn't really worth watching - it was 83-82 at the half
and wound up something like 163-158, favor of the East. (Or was
it the West? Does it matter?)
Perhaps it's because this year's festivities were held in New York,
assuring the presence of a flock of celebrities, and perhaps because
the NBA ties in the closest with the entertainment business, but it
sure seems to me that of the four major sports, this is becoming by far
the biggest and best all-star event.
*********** You probably already knew this, but just in case you
didn't, the World Cup of Cricket is under way. You can buy ESPN's
package showing every game for just $99.95.
Kidding aside, Cricket, if you didn't know, is a passion in many large countries.
Sunday, in Adelaide, Australia, India and Pakistan were scheduled
to play. Played far from both participating countries, the game
was expected to draw 48,000 people, but the TV audience was expected to
be more than a BILLION viewers. To put that in perspective, the
worldwide TV audience for the Super Bowl, including 115 million in the
US, was estimated by Reuters at a paltry 160 million.
I heard a cricket expert trying to put the India-Pakistan rivalry in
American terms - it was, he said, like the Yankees and Red Sox, except
both sides had nuclear weapons and had fought four wars against each
other. Personally, I would have likened it to Alabama and Auburn,
and offer thanks that the guy who poisoned the trees at Toomer's Corner
couldn't get his hands on a nuclear bomb.
*********** I've been doing a little bit of research on the 1979 Pitt
Panthers, and I came across a guy on the roster from Johnston,
Pennsylvania named Artrell Hawkins - which led me to his son,
Artrell Hawkins, Jr., a former NFL player... which led me to the
following article in which, in retirement, he explains why so
many NFL players are such jerks.
*********** A person wrote in to our local paper arguing for mandatory vaccination.
We're in agreement on that, because it's a public health issue - if you want your kids to attend a public school, you don't have the right to decide to put other peoples' kids in danger.
But then the writer went on and blew it, as far as I'm concerned.
If we are going to to follow the argument of the opponents of mandatory
vaccination, she wrote, we might as well go ahead and abolish the
child car seat and bicycle helmet laws, too.
Well, actually, I thought, I'm all for that. Those laws came
along after our kids were raised, thank God, but I know I'd have
resisted the government's trying to tell me what size car seat I had to
have before I could take a 40-pound kid someplace.
But why stop there? As long as we're abolishing those nanny laws, let's
do away with helmets for motorcyclists and seat belts for adults.
*********** I read a story in our paper about a little kindergartner
who got off a school bus at the wrong stop. Before anyone blames
the bus driver, whose job isn't tough enough as it is - 37 kids get off
at that one bus stop every day. You try keeping track of that.
*********** Charlie Weis told the South Bend Tribune it's "highly doubtful" that he'll ever coach again.
Now, Charlie - Yes, I know you've proven that you're not a college head
coach, but since you definitely don't need the money, surely there's
one high school or small college coach out there that you didn't manage
to diss, back when you were a big shot, who'll let you volunteer.
*********** To make a short story of it, the Governor of Oregon, John
Kitzhaber, resigned recently because his "fiancee," one Cylvia (that's
not a misprint) Hayes was busy enriching herself by taking money from
green-energy companies in return for favors that she, as "First Lady,"
implied or assured that she could provide.
That's as brief as I can make it.
It goes deeper than that, though, back to when the Guv was first sworn
in and announced that he and Cylvia, who was then merely his
girlfriend, would move in to the Governor's Mansion together, and she
would be the First Lady. Believe it or not, there were still some
old fuddy-duddies in Oregon who thought the shackup arrangement was a
bit unseemly, and furthermore, the First Lady is a wife.
But come on, guys. This is the Twenty-first Century. And Governor
Kitzhaber, who wears jeans and boots everywhere, is so cool.
Then stories began to pop up about how Cylvia was working both sides of
the street as owner of a green energy consulting firm with unusual
access to the governor. Many people who'd come by their
government positions honestly found themselves having to answer to the
This past fall, the Guv was confronted with the news that some time
ago, when Cylvia was in college, she'd found a novel way to pay for her
tuition. She'd enter into an arranged marriage with a 20-year-old
Ethiopian (she was 30) under the terms of which she'd get paid a sum -
and he'd get American citizenship.
Just to give you some idea of the kind of dog the governor was lieing down with. (Hey - where'd all those fleas come from?)
Still, blinded by love, he ignored all the goings-on.
And now, the Guv is out of a job, and since Oregon has no Lieutenant
Governor, the next one up is the Secretary of State, one Kate Brown.
He/she is a bisexual, which - we're told as if it's a matter of great pride - makes him/her the first such governor in America.
Since Brown is (currently) married to a man (at least I think
that's what he is - he goes by the name "Dan Little") I'm going to
refer to "her" with the female pronoun.
The good news for Cylvia is that with a bisexual governor living
in the Governor's Mansion, she might be able to arrange a way stay on
and serve as First Lady when needed.
*********** Back in August (August 25, 2014 issue) Sports
Illustrated ran an interesting article on a former NFL player named
A graduate of Massachusetts' prestigious Amherst College, Bernstein
spent three seasons in the NFL with the Ravens, Jets and Browns
until his career was ended by a neck injury.
That was 2000. In 201, North Social, a software company he had founded, was acquired for $25 million.
He was wealthy. But it wasn't easy.
He started out with an entry-level job in the tech industry, and said
that he applied the same effort and work ethic that had kept him on
rosters in the NFL - rising early, working hard and reading everything
he could get his hands on.
"Instead of preparing for a game," he said, "I devoured every book I could find on business."
And that, he said, is the problem with a lot of former players.
Some of his former teammates avoided entry-level jobs that they considered beneath them.
"I knew guys who after they were out of the NFL for two or three years
were still hanging around old teammates, still talking about getting
back into the league," he said. "Their wives would approach my wife
because they knew she was a therapist and ask, "How do I get him to
An observation of his worth noting by any coach who's ever had to ask a
kid to switch positions, from the one he always dreamed of playing to
the one the team needs him to play:
"I had tons of terrible jobs. But I learned what I was good at and what I liked to do, and that often what you are good at and what you like are two different things."
*********** In the movie "Diner," set in Baltimore in the 1960s,
Baltimore native Barry Levinson illustrates how much Baltimoreans loved
their Colts in a scene in which a guy makes his fiancee prove her
worthiness to marry him by answering a series of Colts-based trivia
One question had to do with the teams that Colts' running back Buddy
Young had played for that no longer existed. The answer (then) was
three: the New York Yankees of the AAFC, The New York Yankees of the
NFL, and the Dallas Texans of the NFL. The Texans existed for one
season; they were taken over by the league and kept on life support
until a wealthy businessman, Carroll Rosenbloom, acquired the franchise
and brought them to Baltimore as the Colts.
Since the movie was made, though, the Baltimore Colts are no
more, having been moved to Indianapolis in the dark of night by a
drunken lout named Bob Irsay.
Buddy Young's total is now four.
*********** My next concern, wrote John Bothe, of Oregon, Illinois...
The post-game behavior that college and pro football exhibited in bowl
games and NFL playoffs (and some coaches). I do not remember a
post-season that had so many brawls, ejections, and incident as this
year had. Ridiculous.
The NBA is looking better all the time…
The NBA really has cleaned up its act.
I'm bothered that football
increasingly is being portrayed, and seen by more and more people, as a
lower-class sport. Like it or not, in my opinion it's a big
reason why many people are steering their sons to other sports -
under the cover of the much-overblown spectre of concussions.
*********** "Run to Daylight," Vince Lombardi's story as told to W. C. Heinz, is one of the great football books.
The "As told to" doesn't do justice to Mr. Heinz' role, because,
alongside the great Red Smith, he was considered one of the great
sports writers of his time, and it's not likely that Coach Lombardi
struck a single key on a typewriter to assist in the writing.
I found two paragraphs from a recent Wall Street Journal about W. C.
Heinz (he died in 2008 at the age of 93) especially interesting:
1962, Heinz’s friend and fellow sportswriter Red Smith put him together
with Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi to write a book. In
Wisconsin, Heinz learned that the coach had little descriptive recall
of his life outside the gridiron, but his wife did, and Heinz slyly
developed a method of gleaning Lombardi ’s memories from Marie Lombardi
and then presenting them for his reaction, “Yeah, that’s right!” Soon
they were filling up Heinz’s notebooks with what became the 1963
football classic, “Run to Daylight!”
doctor he had interviewed for his 1963 novel “The Surgeon” introduced
Heinz to Dr. H. Richard Hornberger, who was looking for help shaping
his salty novel based on his surgical experiences in the Korean War.
The two collaborated enough to share a byline as “ Richard Hooker ” for
the novel “MASH” (1968), a best seller and the basis for the movie and
television show that followed.
*********** My son Ed, admittedly a Ducks' fan, wrote regarding the
Oregon Ducks' signing of Eastern Washington QB Vernon Adams. Adams has
a year of eligibility remaining and, because he has graduated from EWU,
he's cleared to play at Oregon immediately,
Interesting how this NCAA graduation rule is allowing colleges to
"recruit" players. I never really liked the rule anyway but this is
starting to get absurd. However...for FCS coaches to make a big deal of
it smacks of hypocrisy to me, since many of those schools benefit big
time from FBS transfers who don't have to sit out a year. Another
however...I agree wholeheartedly with the EWU coach that Adams can't
work out with his team.
Theoretically, FBS schools can't "recruit" such a guy until he gets his
release, and evidently some people at EWU claim Oregon didn't
You're right about the hypocrisy. Many FCS schools make no secret
of the fact that they tell kids being recruited by FBS schools, "If it
doesn't work out, give us a call."
And before Eastern complains too loudly... not that long ago, the EWU
coach was mentioned as a candidate for the Oregon State job.
Think he wouldn't have taken it if offered?
*********** Think that all those rules they've passed to protect
quarterbacks (and receivers) as well as allowing linemen to hold
haven't changed the pro game?
Consider the things that happened in the NFL in 2014 related to the passing game...
*** a record number of touchdown passes thrown (804)
*** a record percentage of passes completed (62.6 percent)
... a record nine quarterbacks threw at least 30 touchdowns. The
previous high was five, in 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010.
... The four quarterbacks in the NFL's conference championship games -
Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson -
were responsible for at least 72 percent of their teams’ offensive
... 16 quarterbacks played in every one of their team's games. Back in
1992, when Brett Favre began his streak of 321 consecutive starts,
Steve Mariucci, Favre’s position coach, began keeping track of
how many other quarterbacks would play every game that season. In
1992, there were eight, and in 1993 and 1994, there were seven.
... Teams threw the ball 60 per cent of the time. Why not? Forget
that old saw that when you throw the ball, three things can happen, and
two of them are bad. Not any more. Not in today's
NFL. In addition to that 62.6 per cent chance of a
completion, there's also the possibility of a defensive holding,
illegal contact, pass interference or helmet-to-helmet penalty.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2015- "Liberals
claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked
and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley, Jr.
Thanks for posting the article from Dr. Ed Riley in your Tuesday
News. It is spreading rapidly among coaches in Illinois, I
believe that every head coach in the state will be sent a copy of it by
It is great from the injury standpoint but also the overall value of high school football. Very well written.
We need more people like Dr. Riley to speak up and speak out.
Based on his
statement about the research - "Most of the cases considered
focus on former NFL players involved in a lot of high-risk behavior
other than football" - the NFL might have helped our cause
by fighting the players' suit, but they chose instead to settle.
Also to continue to promote and celebrate a form of our game that puts on display some of the basest aspects of our culture.
*********** At the Army football program's postseason banquet...
Larry Dixon, a senior running back from Bremerton, Washington, was
selected as the Thruston Hughes Memorial Award winner. It was
established in 1939 to honor the team MVP and will be presented
officially during the Awards Convocation prior to graduation.
Joe Drummond, a senior defensive
lineman from Pittsford, New York, wore the Black Lion patch during the
Army-Navy Game presented by USAA in December. The Black Lion is
presented to the football player who best exemplifies the character of
Don Holleder, an All-America offensive and defensive end for Army who
was killed in action in Vietnam. Holleder’s daughter, Katie Fellows,
presented the award.
Joe Drummond also was honored with the
William C. Whitehead Jr. Memorial Award as the graduating senior with
the highest grade point average. He also took home the Lt. Gen.
Garrison Davidson Award for having the highest military grade and
earning distinction in the areas of honor, country, sportsmanship and
leadership. He also collected the Army Football Lifter of the Year for
his commitment to his personal development on and off the field.
Larry Dixon and classmate Geoffery Bacon shared the Creighton W. Abrams Memorial Award as team captains.
*********** Oregon is bracing itself for legal pot. Pot, for
"recreational" use, is now legal in Oregon. But that doesn't mean
it's welcome everywhere in the state. Not in cowboy country,
that's for sure. Out there, in the wide open spaces east of
Portland, it's generally seen as something associated with misfits and
It's certainly not welcome in Pendleton. Pendleton's the home of
the annual Pendleton Roundup, a BIG stop on the pro rodeo circuit with
assorted side events. One of the high spots - or low, if your
prefer - is the Let 'er Buck Room, a rough-and-ready joint underneath
the grandstands of the rodeo grounds.
What follows is a brief description of the goings-on inside, written a
few years ago by a big-city writer from Seattle... A
female... A very brave female...
the last event of the day, Robert and I head for the Let 'Er Buck room,
the fabled saloon that sits beneath the bleachers and serves only hard
alcohol, with your choice of mixer being Pepsi or nothing. Within
moments of joining the crushing throng that crowds into the bar after
the rodeo, Robert and I are separated. Figuring I can get along well
enough on my own, I decide to look around. Big mistake. Maybe a nun
could run the gauntlet from the entrance to the back bar without her
crotch being grabbed, her ass poked, or her boobs prodded. Maybe.
there was ever a joint that should hang a sign announcing, "Abandon
hope, all ye who enter here," this is it. The atmosphere of the Let 'Er
Buck Room is a cross between a cattle auction and a potential orgy. It
is a contest to see who can get drunk the quickest, cop the most feels,
and get set up with a sure lay by evening's end. A gathering place for
spectators and participants alike, here you find the cowboy groupies
(or "buckle babes") offering "butt judging contests," and guys coming
up with such memorable bon mots as "Hey, girl! Give me a squeeze out of
one of them jugs!" Any illusion I harbored that a cowboy was a true
gentleman was quickly shattered as I fended off groping hands. Troy, a
Pendleton local who buys a $12 rodeo ticket just to gain entrance to
this buckboard bacchanalia, sighs, "Sh--. This ain't nothing like it
used to be. A few years ago you'da got the Wrangler patch bit off your
Now, that story is a few years old, and it wouldn't surprise me if
nowadays they're serving drinks with parasols in them. Well,
actually , it would, because the Roundup's huge crowds come from all
over the West - not to mention Canada - and for some of them, watching
rodeo isn't the only reason they come.
But Roundup time or not, pot isn't welcome in Pendleton. Unlike
big-city Oregon, Pendleton police enforce drug laws aggressively.
As Parley Pearce, owner of Hamley & Co., a Western store noted for
its saddles, told the Portland Oregonian, "It's not so much that
I oppose personal choice. It's just that I know that people who
make good personal choices end up paying for those who make bad
The Washington Post devoted a story supposedly investigating the fact
that Scott Walker dropped out of college in the middle of his senior
To say the least, it stirred up the readers. The last
time I checked there were well over 5,000 comments, and 24 hours after
the story was published they were still coming in faster than I could
About a third of them named highly successful people from George
Washington to Henry Ford to Bill Gates who never finished
Another third questioned when they could expect to read a similar story
on the as yet unreported college record of Our Current President.
A tiny sampling...
Absolutely astounding. The WaPo investigates a conservative's college
records and yet we have yet to see the socialist president's
transcripts, even after 6 years!
And where does this story begin ? Is it against the law to drop out of
college ? I see some progressive fear between the lines. If this is
suppose to be some deal breaker, well good luck with that. In the
meantime since you find the college years of a potential candidate
interesting, how about finding Obamas transcripts from Occidental,
Columbia and Harvard. We have never been able to witness how smart he
If Obama had only been vetted half as hard as conservative candidates,
maybe we would have known we were putting a community organizing,
racist, Muslim sympathizer into office.
Bill Clinton is humping underage hookers at private orgies on a secret
island with a pedophile... but the media isn't interested in that.
Let's see. Walker left college to work in the real world. Obama
snorted coke in college, kept going to school as long as he could, and
then hid out from the real world as a law prof.. lol
*** Did he own any dogs?
Did he have any black friends?
Was he kind to his mother?
Does he now or did he ever use "Just for Men"?
WaPo is afraid of a match up between a young guy with a track record of
keeping his campaign promises and getting things done for the taxpayer
and a old, dishonest failure of a white lady Hillary Clinton. If
this is the worst they can turn up on Walker, Hillary shouldn't come
out of rehab.
Thank you for this hard hitting article about Barack Obama's mysterious
transfer from Occidental to Columbia and how he was given a waiver from
the Classics core all Columbia students were required to complete as
freshmen and juniors because he enrolled as a foreign exchange student
from Indonesia with the help of an Arab businessman....oh wait, that
article will never appear in the WaPo.
How does this compare with multiple allegations of being a rapist? If a
serial sexual harasser, possible rapist, can become president, I am
thinking that Walker will be okay.
WPO your bias is showing- again! Your article on Walker is silly. The
Democratic Party spent millions trying to smear Walker and he beat them
and their ridiculous candidates bloody in a deep blue state. You would
have more credibility if you showed the tiniest interest in Obama's
college and law school back ground including but not limited to : where
are his transcripts, who paid for his college and law school education,
has he ever published an article for Harvard Law Review? Why did his
publicist claim he was born in Kenya? Did he apply at Columbia as a
foreign exchange student? Come on WPO answer the questions and maybe we
can take your interest in Walker as something more than partisan
Geez Louise, that's more words reported here in one article than all
the words reported on Obama's college days in the last 8 years.. At
least they remember him and acknowledge seeing him in class. I don't
remember many stories here featuring Barry's classmates.
Walker, when he was 15 years old, threw to second base instead of
first, in an attempt to get the lead runner. There were two outs.
Shouldn't he have thrown to first? Why didn't he?
*********** Jerry Tarkanian's gone now, but the truth is I've missed
him for quite some time. There's something about the American
character that makes us like certain outlaw types, and Tark the Shark
epitomized the sports version of the lovable rogue.
Interesting that Tark, who tended to be sarcastic rather than jovial,
and tended to put some rather unlovable characters out on the court, is
remembered fondly, in a way that Bill Belichick never will be.
*********** Ed Sabol, founder of NFL: Films, died Monday. Mr.
Sabol was 98. He started out with a motion picture camera gin him as a
present, filming his son, Steve's games at the Haverford School,
outside Philadelphia. If you can call this a connection, The
Haverford School was in our league. I was four or five years
ahead of Steve, though, so it's highly doubtful that any action footage
of me made it into the family archives.
Several years ago, my son and I were given a tour of the NFL Films
headquarters in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, a Philadelphia suburb. It
was an eye-opener. Believe me, nothing you can see or do -
nothing you can see on TV or at an NFL game - will give you a better
idea of the enormous scale and scope of the NFL than a look inside NFL
Films. Without NFL Films and the job it did conveying the image
of The League to the American public, it's doubtful that the NFL
could have grown to the point where now more than 100 million
people will watch a Super Bowl.
|The Face of the NFL is hidden away, off the beaten path
|The control panel, where on a football Sunday every NFL game is monitored (and recorded)
|The halls of the building
contain so much football memorabilia that the place is like a museum;
on display in this room, from the days before Madden, is
just about every football board game ever invented
I doubt that I'll be going to see a new British movie called "Kingman:
The Secret Service," but I read a preview with some interest.
Jan Yamato in The Daily Beast describes one of the characters, a "supervillain" named Valentine:
is a disillusioned eco-philanthropist with a drastic plan to solve
overpopulation: First, give free cellphones to the masses. Next,
trigger a homicide-inducing subliminal frequency from the safety of a
mountaintop bunker and sit back and watch as the population
I think Valentine may be onto something.
Resisting the temptation to make some tasteless crack about
Obamaphone-aided genocide, I'd love to ask this Valentine
guy if there's some way his device can be made a bit more
specific. What I have in mind is being able to zap the a**hole
who holds a full-volume conversation in a public place; or the one who
crosses the street, phone to ear, totally oblivious to oncoming
traffic, which he expects to come to a halt for him; or the
guy in the lane ahead of you who speeds up and slows down aimlessly
because he's on the phone. (In the latter case, we'd probably
have to figure out a way to delay the effect until the guy's off the
He was a great linebacker and such a horse of a fullback in Dee Andros'
feared Power T attack that his teammates called him "Buff," for
Buffalo. But to football fans all over the country, he was known
by the name given him by his school's sports information director:
Bill "Earthquake" Enyart was such a stud that his quarterback, Steve
Preece, recalling the days before coaches sent in the plays, said, "He
ws the greatest default for a quarterback calling plays you'd ever
seen, because if you couldn't think of anything else to do, you'd just
hand it to him and he was always good for five yards."
In one of the greatest wins in Oregon State history, when the "Giant
Killers" upset Number One USC (featuring a running back named O.J.
Simpson), Bill Enyart rushed for 135 yards as OSU beat the Trojans, 3-0.
He was a first-team All-American in 1968, when he carried 293 times for
1304 yards. Those 293 carries, in the Beavers' 10-game schedule,
worked out to 29 carries a game. In 24-21 win over Utah, he
carried 50 times (still a school record) for 299 yards (also still a
school record). The Beavers finished 1968 7-3, losing to Iowa and
Kentucky by one point each and to USC by four points.
Bill Enyart was drafted in the second round of the 1969 draft by the
Buffalo Bills, and played two season with Buffalo and one with
Oakland, but he was slowed by injuries most of the way and retired
after three seasons.
Coach Andros, a World War II Marine who played college football for Bud
Wlkinson at Oklahoma, ran a hard-nosed offense perfectly suited for the
kind of kids that came out of Oregon's logging and mill towns and its
farm and cow country, and Bill Enyart was the cover boy of his
book on the Power T.
A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Bill "Earthquake" Enyart died Tuesday. He was 67.
*********** Listen to Harvard Law Professor Jeannie Suk, describing the
precious flowers now taking up valuable space in our academic
institutions (bear in mind that many of these same easily-traumatized
students will argue passionately that women are capable of serving in
seem more anxious about classroom discussion, and about approaching the
law of sexual violence in particular, than they have ever been in my
eight years as a law professor. Student organizations representing
women's interests now routinely advise students that they should not
feel pressured to attend or participate in class discussions that focus
on the law of sexual violence, and which might therefore be
traumatic. These organizations also ask criminal-law teachers to
warn their classes that the rape law unit might "trigger" traumatic
memories. Individual students often ask teachers not to include the law
of rape on exams for fear that the material would cause them to perform
less well. One teacher I know was recently asked by a student not to
use the word "violate" in class - as in "Does this conduct violate the
law?" - because the word was triggering. Some students have even
suggested that rape law should not be taught because of its potential
to cause distress.
First printed in newyorker.com on December 15, reprinted in the Wall Street Journal, December 24
*************** Bryn Mawr College, a prominent all-female college
outside Philadelphia, is really in a quandary. It was decided that it
will admit biological males so long as they "identify" as
females. But at the same time, it will not admit biological
females who identify as males.
Sure wish they'd make up their minds. We're running out of pronouns.
It was almost 13 years ago, at my clinic in Baltimore, that I
asked Xavier Underwood if he'd demonstrate a youth blocking
shield I was selling at the time. Xavier, son of coach Dwayne Pierce
and his wife, Dr. Darlene Underwood, of Washington, DC was happy to
Over the years, my wife and I have become friends with Dwayne and
Darlene and their kids, and we always look forward to seeing them at my
Durham clinic. Darlene has roots in that area - she's a Wake Forest
grad - and for years they've made it a point to arrange a trip to North
Carolina to coincide with my clinic - followed always by a
get-together at my daughter's and son-in-law's place.
In the meantime, Xavier, their oldest, has grown into an
impressive young man, currently hard at work helping lay the groundwork
for the anticipated presidential campaign of Dr. Ben Carson.
Recently, through the good offices of conservative radio talk show host
Armstrong Williams, Xavier (on the left in the photo below) and
Charlton Woodyard II of the Washington Times had the honor of a private
meeting with Justice Clarence Thomas in his chambers.
*********** The Wisdom of the Elders... Bobby Dodd on defensive penetration
cuts down on pursuit: Every step of penetration cuts down two steps of
pursuit. It is basically more logical to play at the line of scrimmage,
and to penetrate just enough to give you a change of pace. You will
have to come in with penetration where the down and distance require
you are to carry through with the axiom of pursuit, you must keep
penetration to a minimum. You do not want to play for the "fourth and
ten" - you are playing for the fourth with two or three yards to go for
a first down.
A team that tries to stop the offense for no gain each time is leaving themselves open for the long gain.
Coach Dodd enjoyed a fabulous career at Georgia Tech. The quote is from his book, "Bobby Dodd on Football "
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2015- "Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral laws are written on the table of eternity." Lord Acton
As you know, I've never been a big Terrell Owens fan. Despite his
undeniable talent, he seemed like a me-first guy who was more than
happy to throw his teammates under the bus. But my perception changed
after seeing him here in Melbourne and talking with him on our radio
TO was brought over (for a fee) by Corey McKernan, an ex-Australian
Rules Football star who now owns a company that takes Australian sports
fans to big American sporting events like the Masters and the Super
Bowl. TO came over for the Australian football Grand Final
(championship) in October and came back for Corey's massive Super Bowl
I didn't meet TO, but did interview him on radio for 10-15 minutes; he
was engaging, honest, articulate and most interesting of all, expressed
some regret for his past actions. Over the course of three days here
leading up to the Super Bowl, TO did plenty of TV and radio, met a
number of Aussie Rules players and even participated in a charity touch
football game, which as you might expect, he dominated.
As I said, I didn't meet him, but everyone I talked to said he was a
pleasure to be around, and displayed none of that arrogant behavior
that we saw during his time in the NFL. And by the way, he is in great
shape and still looks like he could play.
Love, Ed Wyatt
*********** Dean Smith was the sort of person whose death brings different memories to different people.
For our family, the memories take us back to the 1970s.
Those were different times - three TV stations in every town, plus, in
larger cities, maybe an independent station or two. In the latter
case, they were often "UHF" channels, unavailable unless you had a
special UHF antenna and tuner. There were a few cable systems,
but they were known then as CATV (for Community Antenna TV) systems,
and they existed only to provide reception in remote, mountainous
places like Cumberland, Maryland and Pottsville, Pennsylvania, where
you couldn't pull in over-the-air signals with conventional rooftop
That was by way of explaining that there was no ESPN, not to mention any Big Ten Network.
Unlike nowadays, when the list of college football games on TV takes up
a quarter of a page in Saturday morning's sports section, there was one
- ONE - college football Game of the Week.
And unlike today's college basketball, which offers a minimum of a
half-dozen games on TV every week night, there was one game on Saturday.
But for those of us who lived in ACC Country, there was one more. During the week. The ACC Game of the Week.
We were fortunate enough to live in ACC Country - Hagerstown, Maryland
- and the ACC Game of the Week was a major family event.
To me, allowing for the possibility that all the fond memories attached
to it may be a factor, there will never be any college basketball
better than the ACC basketball in those days.
The ACC was good long before then, but the weekly TV show really helped
to develop the mystique that to some extent still surrounds it.
And nothing was more representative of that mystique than the North
Carolina Tar Heels, and the exciting brand of basketball they played.
Year after year, they put great basketball players on the floor.
They epitomized team play. They could run, and they could slow it
down. Oh, could they slow it down.
In those days, the Boston Celtics dominated the NBA, and once they had
a game under control, their coach, Red Auerbach, would light up a
cigar. On the bench. (Nowadays he'd get thrown out of the
Similarly, for those watching a North Carolina game, the signal to one
and all that the game was as good as in the bag for the Tar Heels was
when they went into their four-corner offense. That, as much as
anything, was Dean Smith's trademark.
I've read a few tributes to Coach Smith in which the four corners was
mentioned in less than complimentary terms, dismissed as just a stall,
and if all you've ever known has been basketball-with-a-shot-clock you
mightn't appreciate it. But to those who watched it in action, it
was a marvel - a combination of masterful ball-handling and dribbling
and passing and the deadly free throw shooting it led to that
symbolized superior coaching. It was Dean Smith at his best.
Dean Smith's coach at Kansas was Phog Allen. And Phog Allen's
coach at Kansas was Dr. James Naismith. We didn't just lose a
great coach. We lost a direct link to the founder of the game.
*********** Bob Barton, a fellow Yalie (Class of 1957), is retired now,
but as a longtime sports reporter and editor of the New Haven Register,
he probably knows more about Yale football though the years than any
In brief, Bob and I have become a committee of two whose mission
is to get one of Yale's new residential colleges named for Levi Jackson.
To explain - Yale College (the undergraduate division of the
university) is divided into twelve "residential colleges" which operate
almost as mini-colleges.
Even before arriving at Yale, students are assigned arbitrarily to one
of the colleges, where they will live and eat most of their meals for
their entire four years. (It is highly unusual for a student admitted
to Yale not to graduate in four years, and it is highly unusual to live
off-campus. Fraternities exist as places to party, but no one
lives there.) Each college has a library, a dining room, a game
room and a snack bar, and assorted other amenities. There is
intramural competition among the colleges in a varsity of sports,
including, in my time, tackle football. (When I was injured my
senior year, coaching our college team was my first experience as a
football coach. I was hooked.) A master (who, I imagine, could be
female as easily as male) resides in each college and in addition to
his/her usual faculty duties, acts as a sort of combination college
president and dean.
Yale's residential college system was made possible by a grant in 1933
from Edward Harkness, a very wealthy alumnus who in his lifetime
donated more than $2 billion (in today's dollars) to numerous
causes. The colleges were designed to emulate those at Oxford and
Cambridge, where individual colleges operate independently of one
another and to a great extent of the universities themselves.
One significant way in which Yale's system differs from those at Oxford
and Cambridge is that Yale's colleges do not operate independently of
the larger university. All classes are taught in university
classrooms by university faculty and are open to any student from any
residential college. In reality, the college system provides a
nice balance between being a part of a large university and getting to
know a wide variety of people, and at the same time enjoying the
greater intimacy of a small college. In such an environment, I
think it would be less likely for a student in need of help to fall
through any cracks.
The 12 Colleges have been named for Yale's founders, presidents and
illustrious alumni, as well as a few Connecticut governors from
long ago, but to the school's credit, although it expects to spend $500
million to build the two new colleges, there has never been even the
slightest thought give to naming one for a donor.
In contention to name the new colleges, there are far too many
illustrious alumni to name, but given that every college so far
has been named for a white male, and given Yale's extreme consciousness
of its elitist past, it would seem to me that they'd at least take a
serious look at females or (a phrase I hate) people "of color."
The odds against a female are low. Given that Yale's first class
including women didn't graduate until 1973, it's not likely that there
are yet any alumnae ("alumna" is Latin for a female graduate, and
"alumnae" denotes more than one) who qualify on the basis of (1)
achievement and (2) being dead. (The latter qualification would almost
eliminate the chances that the recipient would do anything to embarrass
the university after being selected.)
This, then, brings us to a person "of color." I would be proud to
nominate Dr. Benjamin Carson, of the Class of 1973, but fortunately,
Dr. Carson is still very much with us.
That's where Levi Jackson comes in:
Connecticut native, raised in Branford
Local, a graduate of New Haven's Hillhouse High School
First black man to play football at Yale
Elected captain of the Yale football team, 1949
First black executive of Ford Motor Company
Instrumental in forming Ford's Minority Dealership Training Program
Member President's Commission on White House Fellowships under President Lyndon B. Johnson
Member of Selective Service Appeals Board under President Richard NIxon
Ford's Man of the Year, 1968
Retired as Vice-President of Ford after 32 years
1987 Walter Camp Man of the Year Award