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

american flagTUESDAY,  OCTOBER 23,  2018 “Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.” Napoleon Bonaparte



dynamics 3 cover


"OPEN WING VIRTUAL CLINIC" - 
5-DVD SET -  Priced as a set so that you can purchase all five DVDs for less than the cost of buying four  separately.    THE DVDS ARE $39.95 EACH, BUT $150 FOR ALL FIVE - A SAVINGS OF $49.75! TO BUY - http://www.coachwyatt.com/prod.h

  FINALLY! 

THE  NEW DOUBLE WING PLAYBOOK IS BEING SHIPPED!

This book represents the knowledge and experience I've accumulated in my more than 25 years of running and teaching the Double Wing.  (Those who've already ordered it and have been waiting can tell you how long it's taken me to put it together.)  My intent is to show how I build the offense with "blocks" - teaching the linemen just 8 "Building Blocks." Each building block enables your backs to run dozens of plays.

It's the most detailed "how-to" book on the Double Wing ever published.

It's 250 pages long,  with more than 150 plays, and more than 150 photos of drills and plays.

CONTENTS

I also include and explain my wristcard-based play-calling system -  it streamlines teaching and makes memorization obsolete, eliminating as much as it's humanly possible the need for kids to memorize plays.  For those coaches who might want to adopt my system, the playcards are already in the book, prepared and ready to go.  It would take you hours if you had to prepare them yourself, but all you have to do is copy them, print them on  card stock and cut them to size.  (In my opinion, this alone is worth the price!)

$39.95


TO ORDER - http://www.coachwyatt.com/DYNAMICS3.html

Q. Since I have been running your system for so long now, is there much value added with this one or is this for people just beginning? EJ, Pennsylvania

A. This is certainly designed to help the first-timer get up and running, but it's also a major upgrade for the hard-core Double Wing coach.

*********** Q. Hey coach, Does your new doublewing playbook have any plays from shotgun or any pistol or is it all from under center? CC, California

A: Coach, Except for a series from punt formation, this one is all under center.


REACTIONS TO THE NEW DOUBLE WING PLAYBOOK…

***********  Coach,  Thank you so much for putting together this updated playbook.  Mine came on Saturday and i have been studying it non stop!  I appreciate all the hard work, it's well written and as always well done with great illustrations.  Thanks again coach.  MB - Illinois

*********** Received the dvd today and as usual you did not disappoint.  DC - Maryland

*********** Got here today.  THANKS Coach.  Just in time for my vacation next week !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Not sure I can wait, though.  JI - New York

*********** I've had a great time going through your new playbook and I am only 20 or so pages in.  The graphics and tables are great!  My hopes are that someday I can have the opportunity to implement your system.  It really is my dream offense.  MH - North Dakota


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

I reviewed my book and DVD's. They are outstanding! TJ - New Mexico

*********** received the fruit of your labor this week & examining the evolution...interesting to note, some of the changes have already been intuitively incorporated...I’m sure, I’m not the 1st to tell you that, but there sure are plenty we haven’t thought of...like finding that $5 bill you didn’t expect in your pocket! MK - Iowa

*********** Coach, I received the book a week and a half ago and have read it twice. It is a amazing, I couldn't put it down. Very detailed and informative. A perfect book for a newbie to the Double Wing, but also plenty of information for the veterans as well. The pictures to show the various drills and skills are worth the price of the book alone, then you add the wrist card and I feel I owe you more money. Another excellent job. I cannot wait for the season to get here. There are going to be some very upset youth coaches here in Northern Vermont, they are thinking they have my team figured out. Again Coach thank you for the time you took putting this wonderful Double Wing playbook together. JG - Vermont

*********** I’ve spent an entire day delving into the deliciousness of all things doublewing. This is without question the GOLD STANDARD for materials. No one else out there has put together anything even close (I would guess since I don’t listen to anyone but you). The bar is extremely high now. I thought the original was amazing....and it was, but this one blows it away. Much appreciated. BK - Iowa

***********  Coach Wyatt - Thank you for the updates...it has really produced new excitement in our coaching staff.  I have been a disciple of the Wyatt Way since my Grand Forks, ND Red River to Larimore, ND days & now at ------- MN.  We are looking forward to trying some of the new wrinkles to make our offense better.  We’ve been using the tumble snap under center & in the gun for years (since 2008 I believe) & it works great with minimal teaching.  ALL of our linemen learn to snap.  Thank you coach for all that you do.   “It takes a set!”  PP - Minnesota

*********** The Dynamics 3.0 book is incredible. I've spent the past few nights reading it page for page. Had a coaches meeting yesterday morning and my assistants loved it. I'd like to get them each a copy of the book.  CS - Colorado

*********** I received the open wing and playbook.  The videos are golden... I love them.  But this new  playbook is really a goldmine of information and coaching points.  It is great. Thank you for your hard work. CE - Oklahoma

*********** I must say  the playbook is OUTSTANDING , I can't put it down. DP - Washington, DC

*********** Hi coach I love your book. I've been studying it carefully and like some of the changes and I am still contemplating some of the other changes. I'm very excited about the product I love it. You did a great job.  RP - Minnesota

*********** Just finished first read through.....excellent!!  Love all the little coaching points and “where it will/might go wrong....so watch for this” pointers.   Thank you for all the work you’ve put into this.  MN - UK

*********** I am really enjoying the DW 3.0 book.  Great detail work. JB - Illinois

*********** it is Awesome! You did a great job!  SM - North Carolina

*********** I can’t put down the book. Very nice job, the photos the diagrams / illustrations are amazing. I love the adjustment from true pull to shuffle for the backside guard and tackle and moving from shoeshine blocking. JC - California

*********** I really am enjoying the DW 3.0. Spent the better part of 2 1/2 days writing out by hand the play cards...and they have been very well received (and these guys are learning to be engineers)...can’t make it any more simple. RH - New York


***********



BLACK LION GREG AND DALLAS



SIGN UP TO PRESENT THE BLACK LION AWARD TO A PLAYER ON YOUR TEAM -  COACH GREG KOENIG (ON THE RIGHT IN THE PHOTO) HAS PRESENTED IT TO PLAYERS AT THREE DIFFERENT SCHOOLS IN COLORADO AND KANSAS SINCE 2001 - AND NOW HE'S AT HIS FOURTH SCHOOL - WHERE HE WILL ALSO PRESENT IT!  IT'S THE ONLY AWARD HE GIVES!  IT'S ABSOLUTELY FREE - YOUR PLAYER RECEIVES A CERTIFICATE AND AN OFFICIAL BLACK LION PATCH.  ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS WRITE A LETTER NOMINATING YOUR PLAYER.  NOW'S THE TIME TO SIGN YOUR TEAM UP - EMAIL ME THE NAME OF THE TEAM AND THE HEAD COACH'S CONTACT INFO:
blacklionaward@mac.com









***********
*********** I was watching two Seattle area schools play on TV last Thursday night. I especially wanted to see Kennedy Catholic’s sophomore quarterback, Sam Huard, who threw for 10 TDs in a game earlier this season.  A tall lefthander, Huard is the son of  a former University of Washington and NFL quarterback, Damon Huard, and the nephew of another former Husky and NFL quarterback, TV analyst Brock Huard.

I was certainly impressed with the kid’s ability, but Kennedy (5-2) seemed unable to put Kentwood (2-5) away.

Finally, though, with under two minutes to play, Kennedy took a 36-35 lead.

But Kentwood drove into field goal range, and with seconds left, called time out and lined up for what it hoped would be the winning kick.

Unfortunately for Kentwood, though, the snap was bad, and the holder, unable to scramble out of trouble, threw incomplete.

With that, the Kennedy Catholic bench emptied and Kennedy players raced to the end zone to celebrate the hard-fought win.

Or so they thought.

Unnoticed by anyone but the officials, it had only been third down, and when the Kentwood holder threw incomplete, there was still time remaining - and it was still Kentwood’s ball.

The Kennedy celebration? The act of players leaving the bench area resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty - and another (and closer) field goal attempt by Kentwood.

This time the snap was good.  And so were the hold and the kick.

Final:  Kentwood 38, Kennedy Catholic 36.

Think about that the next time you wonder about the wisdom of kicking that field goal a down early.

*********** College Football playoff situation - updated

Remember:
1. No team with two losses will make the playoff
2. There are still plenty of teams that will finish with no worse than one loss
3. No team outside the Power 5 conferences has a chance of getting in with one loss.  At present, Central Florida, Cincinnati and South Florida of the American Athletic are still undefeated - but they all have to play each other.
4. Notre Dame, as an independent, has an inside track even with one loss (should it lose to USC) because as an independent it can stay home and watch as other playoff contenders eliminate each other in bogus “conference championship” games.
5. With Notre Dame still unbeaten, the Irish are likely to be one of the four playoff teams, which means only three spots remain for the Power 5 conferences. That also means there is little likelihood of two teams from the same Power 5 conference.  Most importantly, though, it means two conferences - and all their members - will not get a nickel of playoff money, while Notre Dame gets to pocket AN ENTIRE CONFERENCE SHARE. (Who made that deal, anyhow?)

Speaking in terms of Power 5 conferences only…

There are still two unbeaten Power 5 teams:
Alabama and Clemson

My call: “Alabama plays Tennessee in their traditional Third Saturday in October game, but Bama isn’t going to blow this one.” True dat. 

My call: “Clemson and NC State meet Saturday - at Clemson.  The winner has a great shot at taking the Atlantic Division spot in the ACC championship.”  Clemson definitely got the job done.

Last Thursday’s preview: “there are still lots of one-loss teams fighting to stay that way and make it to their conference championships.  Several of them will play in big games Saturday…”

1. Michigan vs Michigan State?  Michigan got the job done

3. Texas vs Oklahoma State? Texas got thejob done.

4. West Virginia vs Baylor?  WVU got the job done.

5. LSU vs Mississippi State? LSU got the job done.

6. Ohio State at Purdue?  “Buckeyes are just too good,” I wrote.  Well.  As I wipe the egg off my face… apologies to the good folks from Purdue whose patience and forebearance was rewarded with one of the most inspired performances you’ve ever seen over an Ohio State team that looked dazed.  This team - the same Ohio State that gave us Archie Griffin and Eddie George and Jim Otis and Bob Ferguson and John Brockington and Ezekiel Elliott and Hopalong Cassidy and Vic Janowicz threw the football 73 times!

7. Vanderbilt at Kentucky?  Kentucky got the job done.

8. Oregon at Washington State? (“So is ESPN Game Day, in recognition of 15 years of the Cougar flag - Ole Crimson - waving at Game Days around the country. The loser will come out of this with two losses and can kiss its playoff chances good-bye.  The Pac-12’s last hope for a playoff spot is for Oregon to win this one and win all the rest. The Ducks’ toughest game the rest of the way is at Utah, and then, of course,  the conference title game.  Washington State? If they beat the Ducks, the Cougars still have to beat Stanford, Colorado and Washington, and - out here it’s called “Cougin’ it” - they can’t possibly win them all.”) The Cougars won, and now - tada - they “control their own destiny.”

9. Duke vs Virginia?  Duke was 5-1 going in, but they’re 5-2 now.

10. Iowa vs Maryland?  Hawkeyes got the job done. They’re now 6-1 - and they’re still ranked below Penn State, who’s 5-2.  They’ll settle that one on Saturday.

*********** My playoff prediction, updated:

1. Alabama.  Best team in the country by far.  Jalen Hurts, their "second starter" at quarterback (he deserves a better title than “backup”) could start for almost any other team in the country.  He appears to have suffered an ankle injury against Tennessee Saturday. The Tide will beat LSU, MIssissippi State and Auburn.  (And The Citadel.)

2. Clemson. The Tigers have had their close call against Syracuse.  They dispatched pretender NC State with such ferocity that it’s obvious they’re in a class by themselves in the ACC.  They will beat Duke and archrival South Carolina.

3. Notre Dame.  Damn, this one pisses me off.  But a deal’s a deal, and evidently the wizards who put together the playoff didn’t have the stones to tell ND to go get in a conference like every other major college team.  Any other year, Northwestern, Florida State, Syracuse or USC would be a significant hurdle - but not this year.  USC’s thumping by Utah Saturday night makes it apparent that USC is still a long way from restoring the glory days.

4. Either Michigan or Ohio State.  This assumes that they will both enter their final-week matchup unbeaten, and that the winner of their game will move on to the Big Ten championship game - and win it.  Even that might not be enough for Ohio State to overcome the embarrassing beat-down that Purdue put on the Buckeyes this past Saturday.

(At the very least, I’d like to see Notre Dame in that #4 spot, so the Irish have to play Alabama in the semi-finals.  But Clemson will beat them just as bad.)

OUTSIDE SHOTS:

Georgia or Florida (or even Kentucky) could slip in with an SEC title-game win over Alabama (or LSU). Despite rankings and all that, I don’t see how Bama could get the nod - this time - over a team good enough to beat it in the conference chmpionship game.

LSU - But they have to beat  Alabama. (The game’s in Baton Rouge.)

Iowa - Only if the Hawkeyes win out. And Wisconsn loses once more. Iowa still has to play Penn State, Purdue and Northwestern.  And even if the Hawkeyes  were to run the table, Wisconsin - the only team to have beaten Iowa - would get the Big Ten West title game spot if the Badgers were to win the rest of their games.

Oklahoma/Texas/West Virginia - It’s quite a job for any of them.  Texas and OU both have to play WVU. And they both have to play Texas Tech.  And when one of them is eliminated,  the two survivors  will have to meet in the conference title game.

Washington State - A Mike Leach team will always put up points. And don’t look now but the Cougs play pretty good defense, too. But they’ve already got one loss and it’s highly unlikely that they’ll win the rest of their games - not with Stanford, Washington and a conference championship game still ahead.

*********** SITUATIONS TO WATCH:

1. PENN STATE.  The Lions are now 5-2 (remember when they were just one bad call away from possibly beating Ohio State?). They play Iowa this week, then they play Michigan at home and then Wisconsin on the road.  That’s three tough games in a row.  Remember a year ago when Georgia State lined up for a field goal with 11 seconds left to play, and Lions’ coach James Franklin called a timeout? Penn State led, 56-0. Franklin at first defended what he did as always keeping his foot on the gas, then after catching heat from some New York sports writers, he denied that he did it to ice the kicker and preserve the precious shutout, and said that he called the timeout to get his second unit in the game.  Right.  That’s why he called it nanoseconds before the kid kicked.  Anyhow, if you believe in karma, three weeks from now Penn State could very well be 5-5 (2-5 in conference play) and playing Maryland - Maryland, for God’s sake! - to stay out of the Big Ten East cellar.

2. OREGON. A week ago the Ducks were riding high. Their convincing win over the Washington Huskies had washed away the pain and stain of their lone loss, a fluky, overtime defeat at the hands of Stanford, and now they had a shot at a possible playoff spot.  All they had to do was beat Washington State. But as one Portland sports writer noted, the game started at 4:00 and the Ducks started at 5:30.  By the time they got serious, the Cougars had put them away.  The Ducks play a suddenly-alive UCLA, then at tough Utah, then Arizona State.  They could lose two more.

3. OHIO STATE. Earlier in the week came the rumors that Urban Meyer might be on the verge of another “health crisis” - you know, like the one that caused him to walk away from the train wreck about to take place in Florida.  And then came the whipping put on the Buckeyes by Purdue. This week, they’re off, and then they’re at Nebraska.  The Cornhuskers have been showing signs of life lately, but the Bucks have too much talent for them.

4. PURDUE. The Boilermakers lost their first three games - including a four-point, opening-game win against Northwestern - so they’re way out of any playoff conversation. But they’re now 3-1 in Big Ten play, with a decent shot at getting into the title game: they need to win out, and they need someone else to beat Northwestern.

5. NEBRASKA. The Huskers thoroughly beat Minnesota in Lincoln.  And to their fans’ credit, there was no storming the field in celebration.  I mean, this is still Nebraska, right?  With the proud tradition of Nebraska football, ending a losing streak is not celebrated as if it were a national title.  Besides, they have to keep focused on Saturday’s big game against Bethune-Cookman.

6. MINNESOTA. After rowing the boat to wins in their first three games, the Gophers must have let go of the oars, because they’ve lost four in a row.   And they haven’t been close in any of them.  WTF is going on?

7. NAVY. Their offense seems to have lost a step.  Is it me, or  could it be that having to play a full conference schedule - in a very tough conference at that - is beginning to take a physical toll on the Middies?

*********** Harbaugh just can’t seem to resist being an a$$hole,  which explains why he’s got guys on his team like  Devin Bush out there before the game playing the child, scuffing up the Michigan State Spartan logo, and why he defends the guy’s actions afterward.

*********** I sort of wanted to see Cincinnati remain unbeaten, even if it meant beating Temple, but not after I saw the dirty hit that a Cinci player put on a defenseless Temple receiver.  That did it for me.  That was borderline assault and battery.

https://www.12up.com/posts/6201588-video-incredibly-dirty-hit-on-temple-player-results-in-impressive-coach-freakout

*********** The Michigan-Michigan State game was delayed by severe weather for 1-1/2 hours, and once they resumed playing, Fox seemed to think none of us cared to resume watching, shuffling us off to some little-known Fox channel that I have yet to find on either cable or Dish.

*********** You won’t see this happen often, but just before halftime, with one inch to go and one down to score a touchdown, Army - a wishbone team - wasn’t able to punch it in against Miami (OH).

*********** With 17 seconds left to play, Miami scored against Army to pull to within 21-20.  Any chance that the whatever-they-ares-now (used to be Redskins) might have decided to go for the win went out the window, when the receiver who scored the TD just had to spike the damn ball. Just had to do it.  After the penalty they kicked the point and the game went into OT, but Army won. 

*********** Diversity is our strength…  It wasn’t so much that the referee at the Army-Miami game was female.  It was having to listen to that shrill voice. 

*********** Miami (OH) linebacker Brad Koenig (“KAY-nig”) is really good.  Miami had a good scheme against Army, and Koenig was making tackles all over the field.

*********** Maybe these spread teams that don’t even bother to recruit fullbacks any more ought to pay attention:  Michigan ran a fullback, a 6-3, 250 pound horse named Ben Mason, as an I-formation tailback for a score against Michigan State.

*********** Starting to see a lot of flat passes being thrown from shotgun to the running back that was just faked to.

*********** Indiana gave Penn State all they wanted but the Hoosiers just can’t seem to finish the deal.

*********** Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, said Samuel Johnson. 

First Nike aligns itself with Colin Kaepernick, and then it goes and plays patriotic by resurrecting a story of the 1918 LSU team - whose members went off to fight in World War I - as the pretext for putting the Tigers in all-white uniforms with purple helmets.

I’ll bet you could even buy replica jerseys at the LSU book store.

*********** Who else was hoping that Purdue would go for two at the end, just to make it a nice round 50 against THE Ohio State University?

*********** ESPN College Game Day did a very nice feature on Tyler Trent, a young Purdue fan with terminal cancer who basically expressed a dying wish that his beloved Boilermakers could somehow beat Ohio State.  It was quite moving, and if there was any football fan in the United States who had trouble picking sides before watching, the choice was easy afterward.

*********** Purdue was picked to have a good season, but then the Boilermarkers started out 0-3, including a loss to Eastern Michigan. Purdue Coach Jeff Brohm was asked after the Ohio State win what happened to turn things around and he started out, “We were 0-3. We were conservative, and we got our ass - our butts - handed to us…”

*********** Mike Leach has a dry sense of humor, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile. (Remind you of Bobby Knight?)

So when he had finished his deadpan postgame explanation that his Cougs still hadn’t played a compete game, the interviewer said to him, “Try to enjoy this.”

*********** Tua Tagovailoa still hasn’t played in the fourth quarter of a game.  He’s thrown 25 TD passes and ZERO interceptions.

*********** Linfield College, a D-III school in McMinnville, Oregon, is now 4-2.  If they beat Pacific Lutheran next Saturday,  2018 will be their 63rd straight winning season.

*********** A few days ago I happened on a great TV feature on Jim Abbott, whom some of you may remember as an outstanding left-handed pitcher at Michigan, and then for a number of major league teams.

In his major league career, he won 87 games and had 888 strikeouts, and in 1993, while playing for the Yankees, he pitched a no-hitter.

But It’s never possible to write about him without mentioning that he was born without a right hand, and I do so in admiration of how, not unlike a great football coach named Mark Speckman (who was born with no hands), he learned to “deal with it.”

His biggest initial challenge was fielding - throwing with his left hand, then quickly putting on his glove to catch the ball, and then just as quickly shedding the glove and grabbing the ball with his hand so he could throw.  His story of how as a little kid he worked and worked to get good enough at fielding is quite inspirational.

He was an exceptionally talented athlete, driven not just to compete, but to excel. “I was tired of being an inspiration,” he said.  “I didn’t want to win the Courage Award. I wanted to be the MVP.”

What was especially interesting to me was that he also played high school football, and rather well at that.   His high school, Flint (Michigan) Central, turned out many good athletes and good teams.

He was a quarterback, of course, but first the coaches had to figure out how he was going to get the ball from center, and one of them recalled how funny it must have seemed to see three coaches kneeling down, watching him take the snap.

He didn’t start a game until the final game of his senior year, when he was pressed into service - and threw four touchdown passes.

Interviewed on the show, his high school baseball coach said,  “playing football made him the baseball player that he became.’


*********** If you didn’t watch the Washington State-Oregon game, you missed this.  Even if you did watch, you might have missed it.

WSU Lonesome Polecat

Washington State, in dark uniforms, is lined up in what would ordinarily be a 3 x 1 spread formation, with trips to the right. (There is also a split end on the left but he’s out of the picture, to the bottom of the screen.)

Just one little matter: that flexed end on the right side (the guy circled) is the “center.”. He’s going to flip the ball to the QB, who’s going to hand off to the running back, who’s going to run a plain old running play to the left.  (But then, he’s going to cut back to the right, break maybe six or seven tackles, and dive in for a Cougar score.)

Nothing at all ingenious about the play itself, but the formation on the right side was an adaptation of the “Lonesome Polecat” as explained by the great Tiger Ellison in his book, ‘Run and Shoot Football” (1965).

Two things to note about the “center”:

1. He doesn’t have to snap the ball between his legs. He can flip it directly back, of course, but he can also throw it, underhanded, to either side.  (In this case, he’s going to throw it to the left, to the QB)

2. Although he may be the “center” in the sense that he’s snapping the ball,  he’s on the end of the line, and he’s wearing an eligible number (17) - which makes him an eligible receiver.

It’s interesting that the Cougars ran what they did, because it ws only a couple of weeks ago that I got an email from  Mat Hedger, of  Langdon, North Dakota, who saw Iowa run something similar and asked if I’f ever run from any “special formations.”

Why, yes, I told him.  I’ve done stuff like that on occasion - mostly toward the end of a season as a way of having fun and keeping guys interested.

But a few years ago, finding ourselves in a first-vs-fourth first-round playoff game (we were the fourth-place team and we were facing a to-ranked team, one that we knew would blow us out by 50-60 points)  we decided to run some Lonesome Polecat - Credit to Glenn “Tiger” Ellison and his book, ‘Run and Shoot Football” (1965).  It was a very limited package, because the emphasis is on improvisation...
Polecat


We got blown out, as we knew we would, but we had a lot of fun in practice and we actually ran off a few good plays in the game - more than we would have if we’d stayed in our base offense.  Try taking a very good scrambler and lining him up ten yards deep - and see hard it is for two or three defenders to run him down.  (Any more than that and they’ll have trouble covering all your eligibles and defending against the blocking of your five linemen.)

*********** The Web site is named “isgrudengoneyet.com

And the  answer is an emphatic NO

and running counters show:

* the years/weeks/days/hours/minutes/seconds left in his contract

* The amount of money he’s made so far

* The amount of money he’s made just since you logged in

* The amount of money he’s still due

http://isgrudengoneyet.com/

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

Sorry for the late reply.  

What gives Urban Meyer a headache?  BOILERMAKERS!!  That was a flat-out take 'em out behind the shed and give 'em an old-fashioned a** whoopin'!!

Suddenly...Michigan is looming even larger for the Buckeyes.

Mike Leach has a favorite new hobby...Duck Hunting!

Only thing standing between Notre Dame and the National Championship Playoff is Notre Dame.  Each of their remaining games is a trap game.  Any one of them could knock the Irish off.  Navy has the option.  Florida State is steadily improving.  Northwestern has a history of pulling off big upsets.  Syracuse is a sleeper.  USC is a rival.

Some TV talking heads continue talking about Texas as playoff contender.  NOT.  As much as I would like to see the Horns in it their remaining schedule is daunting, and even if they were lucky enough to keep winning they would have to face Oklahoma again in the Big 12 championship.  Sooners will be fired up for that rematch.

I think it's way too early to start predicting the playoff.  Way too many tough conference games remaining, and conference championships.  People keep saying Alabama is a lock, BUT... they still have to play Ed Oregon's fired-up LSU Tigers IN Baton Rouge next week.  Clemson may have the easiest schedule (and the best team).  See above for Notre Dame.  Ohio State may be fading and thus opening the door for either Michigan or Iowa.  The PAC 12 champ will be playing in the Rose Bowl.  Georgia is still a factor.

My alma mater Fresno State continues to impress at 7-1.  Only San Diego State and Boise State (as tough as it gets) stand in their way of being considered for a January 1 bowl game.

Army managed to escape a huge upset at the hands of Miami OH.  Goes to show that even the most disciplined teams can't afford taking anyone lightly.

I thoroughly enjoy seeing those old play sheets from great coaches of the past. 

Talk soon!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Joe’s joke is pretty good.  I wonder how many younger guys - or guys who didn’t grow up around working men - even know what a boilermaker (the drink) is! The boilermaker is nothing more than “a shot and a beer.”  The shot - usually blended whiskey (once called “rye” in Pennsylvania) - is tossed down neat in one gulp, followed by the beer - usually a short draft or a small bottle because it’s as much about the whiskey as it is about the beer.  I see on Youtube that there are people trying to call it a “cocktail,” but it’s nothing of the sort. It’s a real man’s drink, a “workingman’s special,” and it’s definitely an acquired taste. The guys I once worked - and drank - with wouldn’t have known what the hell to think if they’d heard some millenial refer to it as a “cocktail.”

*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Doug Atkins came out of Humboldt, Tennessee and went to The University of Tennessee on a basketball scholarship. He was a great high jumper, finishing second in the SEC track championships.  He played football for General Bob Neyland, and  although he played in the 1950s, he’s still considered perhaps the greatest defensive player in the history of SEC football.

He was so good as a defensive end - big and mean and agile - that he would have been as good today as he was when he played.

At 6-8 and 265, he would be big enough to play in today’s NFL, but by the standards of his day he was huge.

In 1953 he was the first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns, but after two years in Cleveland, it was apparent to Paul Brown that he was not Brown’s type of person, and he was traded to the Chicago Bears for a couple of future draft choices.  In his 12 years in Chicago he made eight Pro Bowls.

Said Bears’ owner/coach George Halas years later, “Paul Brown couldn't handle him in Cleveland. I could slough off anything. He didn't give me trouble, except when he'd get stiff and call me up at night."

Because of him, Halas hired a private detective to keep track of players. At training camp, Bears’ coaches refused to check his room at bed-check time because he kept a pit bull named Rebel in his room. Recalled teammate Richie Petitbon, Rebel was “trained to kill.”

He evidently liked a drink. Once, he and fellow defensive lineman Fred Williams had a martini-drinking contest.  They stopped drinking at 21, but Williams conceded that Atkins probably won, since he was able to drive them home.

He didn’t like to practice - he claimed the Bears didn’t pay him enough to play and practice, too.

He loved to try to get under Halas’ skin.  Once, on the first day of training camp, he arrived late to practice, and  proceeded to jog lazily and indifferently around the field. When Halas asked him what he was doing, he said, “Breaking in my helmet.”

For all his distaste for practice, though, he once went 12 straight years without missing a game, and in his 17 years of football he missed only 17 games.

And on the field, he was feared; the word among opposing offensive linemen was, “Don’t make him mad.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, “Fullback Rick Casares once said: ‘We used to hope that somebody would hold him. The next play you would see guys flying around like King Kong had gotten ahold of them. Awesome. I've seen him grab a tackle by the shoulder pads and just flip him over like a doll, then come in on a back that weighed 225 pounds without breaking stride and hit him in the chest, knock him over on his back, reach over, grab the quarterback by the shoulder pads and throw him down with one arm.’”

Despite his great size, he would often hurdle over blocking linemen on his way to the quarterback, and if sacks had been counted when he played, he would almost certainly be in the record books.

Recalled his Tennessee teammate Jack Stroud, who had a long career with the Giants, “The notion that because those guys in the 50s didn’t lift weights and take steroids they weren’t strong is a crock.  A lot of those guys would have whipped the hell out of these guys today.  Take Doug Atkins. He was 6-8 and 265 and was solid muscle and bones. And he he high jumped six feet.  And he never touched a weight in his life.  With the frame he had, he could have weighed 300 pounds no problem. His arms were 18 inches around.  We measured them in Knoxville.  I told him over to the gym to try to get him to work out (Stroud was a serious lifter). He allowed that that was a lot of extra work he didn’t need.”

He was a team leader - of sorts.  “Doug was a nice guy but you were scared of him," said Mike Pyle, who played center for the Bears. "He nominated me for player representative. He said, 'I nominate Mike Pyle 'cause he's from Yale.' The rest of the players were asked, 'Anybody else?' Doug said, 'Yeah, I move the nominations be closed.'"

At 37 he was sent to the Saints in the expansion draft, but he had enough left in the tank that in the three years he played in New Orleans he played well enough to have his number retired.

Despite Halas’ initial misgivings about his practice habits, he is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

His highest salary was $25,000, and at his Hall of Fame induction, he said he once got into a heated argument with Halas over $500.
"Coach Halas said if I give you that money you would only spend it. I said, 'Coach, that's what I want it for'"

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING DOUG ATKINS:

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

*********** Great article on Doug Atkins…

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-bears-atkins-appreciation-spt-0103-20160102-story.html

*********** Video of Doug Atkins - thanks to Greg Koenig…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MIh8BPLgwI

*********** QUIZ - He was a native of Lexington, Nebraska who played college ball at Nebraska.  Although he lettered three years, he didn’t start until his senior year, when he was also named a co-captain.

He was undrafted, but after signing as a free agent with the Vikings in 1962, he became their starting center as a rookie. He held that spot until he retired in 1978.

He was generally considered to be the best center of his time, being named first team All-Pro five times and second team twice.  He played in six straight Pro Bowls from 1964-1969.

He is one of just 11 Vikings’ players to have played in all four of their Super Bowl appearances

When he finally did retire, he had started in 240 consecutive games, second only among NFL players to his  former teammate, Jim Marshall.

He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.




american flagFRIDAY,  OCTOBER 19,  2018 “For Trump to receive a warm welcome in California, he’d have to come in illegally.” Dennis Miller

*********** College Football this weekend…

By  official proclamation of the owner of this site, it’s time to begin assessing playoff possibilities.

Assumptions:
1. No team with two losses will make the playoff
2. There are still plenty of teams that will finish with no worse than one loss
3. No team outside the Power 5 conferences has a chance of getting in with one loss.  At present, Central Florida, Cincinnati and South Florida of the American Athletic are still undefeated - but they all have to play each other.
4. Notre Dame, as an independent, has an inside track even with one loss (should it lose to USC) because as an independent it can stay home and watch as other playoff contenders eliminate each other in bogus “conference championship” games.
5. With Notre Dame still unbeaten, the Irish are likely to be one of the four playoff teams, which means only three spots remain for the Power 5 conferences. That also means there is little likelihood of two teams from the same Power 5 conference.  Most importantly, though, it means two conferences and all their members will not get a nickel of playoff money, while Notre Dame gets to pocket AN ENTIRE CONFERENCE SHARE. (Who made that deal, anyhow?)

Speaking in terms of Power 5 conferences only…

There are still three unbeaten teams:
Alabama
Clemson
NC State

Alabama plays Tennessee in their traditional Third Saturday in October game, but Bama isn’t going to blow this one.  Bama still has to play LSU, MIssissippi State and Auburn.  Also the Washington Generals. Not really - but they always have a softy down near the end of the schedule and this year it’s The Citadel.

Clemson and NC State meet Saturday - at Clemson.  The winner has a great shot at taking the Atlantic Division spot in the ACC championship except… Clemson still has to play Duke and - big intrastate rival - South Carolina.  Should NC State get past Clemson, the Pack has a fairly easy schedule remaining: Syracuse, FSU, Wake, Louisville, ECU

There are still lots of one-loss teams fighting to stay that way and make it to their conference championships.  Several of them will play in big games Saturday…

1. Michigan plays at Michigan State.  Ohio State may be the big game for Michigan, but Michigan is the big game for State.  The Spartans are tough, especially coming off last week’s win at Penn State. A loss would probably keep Michigan out of the Big Ten championship game, since the Wolverines still have to play Penn State and Ohio State.

2. Oklahoma at TCU.  OU has one loss and even after TCU, the Sooners still have to play Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

3. Texas at Oklahoma State. Texas has beaten Oklahoma, but still has to play Texas Tech and West Virginia.

4. West Virginia plays Baylor.  WVU “controls its destiny” as they like to say.  (Except that if it’s destiny, nobody has any control over it, right?) The Mountaineers still have to play Texas, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.  The season-ending OU game will be in Morgantown.  And then, theoretically, the two teams could meet a week later in the Big 12 title game.

5. LSU plays Mississippi State in Baton Rouge.  The Bulldogs are tough. A loss to State would cook LSU’s goose. Oh - and Bama’s coming up next week. 

6. Ohio State goes to Purdue.  Buckeyes are just too good. After this, though, they still have to play Michigan State and Michigan.  (The Spartans could break my “no team with two losses” rule if they were to win out - giving them wins over Penn State, Michigan and Ohio State - and then win the Big Ten title game.)

7. Vanderbilt is at Kentucky.  While Florida and Georgia take this weekend off before their big one next week, Kentucky continues to fly under the radar.  The Wildcats, who already have a win over Florida, have an outside chance at a playoff spot.  Their schedule the rest of the way: MIssouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Middle Tennessee and Louisville.  But then, of course, there’s the SEC title game - against Alabama.

8. Oregon is at Washington State. So is ESPN Game Day, in recognition of 15 years of the Cougar flag - Ole Crimson - waving at Game Days around the country. The loser of the game will come out of titwith two losses and can kiss its playoff chances good-bye.  The Pac-12’s last hope for a playoff spot is for Oregon to win this one and win all the rest. The Ducks’ toughest game the rest of the way is at Utah, and then, of course,  the conference title game.  Washington State? If they beat the Ducks, the Cougars still have to beat Stanford, Colorado and Washington, and - out here it’s called “Cougin’ it” - they can’t possibly win them all.

DARK HORSES

9. Duke is playing Virginia in Durham.  Duke - surprise - is 5-1. Virginia, fresh off a win over Miami, will not be easy. Next for Duke: Pitt, Miami, UNC, Clemson and Wake Forest 

10. Iowa hosts Maryland.  Am I the only person who overlooked the Hawkeyes?  They are 5-1 and their schedule the rest of the way is not exactly a killer: Penn State (in Iowa City), Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois, Nebraska. The Hawkeyes are my pick to face Ohio State in the Big Ten title game.

*********** Just a bit more on the Vosean Joseph situation at Florida (where a player was called for unportsmanlike conduct but allowed to remain in the game, without correction or chastisement)…

This is just me, you understand, and I’m not telling anyone else how to coach his team, but anyone who ever played for me knows that anyone responsible for a penalty - encroachment, illegal motion, holding, block in the back - came out of the game.  Immediately.  In most cases, it was just for one play, and the miscreant went right back in.

But everybody on the team knew that if he got his team a penalty, he was coming out of the game. Simple as that. Nothing to negotiate.  It was part of the fabric of the team.

Yes, yes, I know:  But, but, but… embarrassing… humilating… singling him out… blah, blah, blah. 

Look - you don’t want to bring unwanted attention to yourself?  DON’T GET YOUR TEAM A PENALTY!

Who the hell are you that you think you have the right to cost your team a game?

As for the Vosean Joseph sort of misconduct (two unsportmanslike conduct penalties -  in one half of play), a player, no matter how good, would have spent a more significant amount of time on the sidelines, listening to me.  But that was never an issue: I don’t mean to brag, but going back at least to 1993 I can’t remember any player on any team I coached incurring a personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.  It just… wasn’t… done.

I don’t think any major college or pro coach can say that (but then, neither could I if I had to coach the kind of barbarians that they bring into their programs, in the hope that somehow their good deeds will outweigh the bad).

Very simply - you have to eliminate the things that beat you, and that takes stones, because it means making it a part of your culture that penalties, like turnovers, won’t be tolerated.

I believe it was  Jack Reed, a coach from Northern California,  whom I first heard say it: “What you tolerate, you encourage.”

*********** RIP Jim Taylor, a fullback’s fullback whose block was indispensible in making the Lombardi Sweep a part of football lore…

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/2018/10/13/jim-taylor-dies-packers-hall-famer/1629378002/

*********** Few NFL players have have brought more class and credit to our game than Steve Largent,  all-time Seattle Seahawks’ great receiver and later a four-term Congressman from Oklahoma.

From an interview with Seattle Weekly…

*** I kind of came from a tough background. My parents got divorced when I was 6. My mom remarried when I was 9. And the guy she married was an alcoholic. So there was a lot of friction in the house. It really was football and the people I met through football, particularly coaches, that were real mentors to me. Football was a life-saving event in my life. I’m very thankful.

*** I tell my own grandkids … I encourage them to play. And play hard and have fun. And all that stuff. I don’t think football is any more dangerous than other sports. There is some risk involved, but it’s pretty minimal, especially at a younger age.

https://www.seattleweekly.com/news/seahawks-legend-steve-largent-football-was-a-life-saving-event/

*********** Kimberly-Clark, the giant paper company that makes Kleenex, has caved in to pressure from - who the hell else? - and will “rebrand” (change the name of) its “man-size” tissues.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/kleenex-rebrand-mansize-tissues-gender-complaints-58582322


*********** By any measure, General Robert Neyland of Tennessee was one of the greatest coaches of all time.  He was Nick Saban long before Nick Saban was born.

Tim Cohane, in his  book, “Great  Football Coaches of the  Twenties and Thirties” wrote, “Neyland, by repeated proof and victory, was able to convince his team, as no coach before or after him, that the keys lay in - and in this order, if order there must be - a sound kicking game, a containing defense, and, say, a couple of dozen plays all thoroughly learned, meaning that none of them is run in a game until it has been practiced at least 500 times.”

He was a single-winger.  But he believed in the importance of “position rather than possession.”  His teams were so sound defensively that he didn’t mind giving you the ball - in your end of the field.  He didn’t mind at all punting on an early down if it could get him out of his own end of the field, or if it could pin you deep in your own territory. He would punt on the opponents’ side of the 50, from the 45 to the 35, with strict instructions that the ball should be “angled out or punted dead to the 10 or inside it.”

So thoroughly did he integrate the offense, the defense and the kicking game - long before most other coaches - that it was said that if Neyland could get a touchdown up on you, he had you beaten.  And if he could get two scores up on you, it was a runaway.

As sound a football man as ever lived, the General (he was a West Point graduate who really did earn his star as an Army general) had a well-thought-out reason for everything he did.  For him, nothing happened by chance.

Why did he run a balanced-line single wing when everyone else ran it from an unbalanced line? Why, I was told by Dr. Andy Kozar, who played for the General and then collected and published his notes and journals, he lived to run off-tackle, and he knew that with a balanced line his tailback would get to the off-tackle hole faster. Actually, he told author Tim Cohane in the 1970s, “I was not wedded to the single wing as closely as some thought. I used it because we could get quicker power at tackle.”

Another thing that the General did was position his blocking back in the strongside “A” gap - nowhere near as wide other single-wing coaches (these are the General’s own play diagrams, published in Dr. Kozar’s magnificent book, “Football As a War Game.”)  #10 is his staple off-tackle play.

tenn single wing

One major reason why the General put his blocking back where he did (actually, he was still just as close to the off-tackle hole as the blocking backs in unbalanced lines) was that he was a great admirer of one thing that T-formation (with the QB under center) teams could do that single wing teams couldn’t: a quarterback sneak. In the diagram below, General Neyland has shown a sneak from his punt formation in Play 32. (In Play 35 he has also drawn up a toss sweep.)
tenn punt form


(Dr. Kozar is now dead and his book is out of print.  If you can find a copy, be prepared to pay.  If you bought one back when I first recommended it, hang onto it and leave it to one of your kids in your will.  Or let them fight over it.)

andy kozar book

General Neyland’s respect for the quarterback sneak ought to be enough of a recommendation for anyone, but even now, every Sunday we see genius coaches line up on 4th-and-1 in a shotgun and, already starting four yards deep in the backfield, hand off to the only running back in the backfield (what - you thought they’d have their QB run it?).  Occasionally - you know how the pros are - they’ll even throw the ball on 4th and 1.  Sometimes, they’ll put their quarterback under center, but he’ll hand off to the only running back, who’s lined up seven yards deep! (You do see some of this same crap on Saturday, too, since an awful lot of today’s college coaches are auditioning for the NFL.)

Even when it’s now legal to push the runner from behind, I’m amazed that I don’t see people running a sneak -  with a 300-pound fullback right behind their quarterback as a pusher.

You have to wonder why not.  Michael Salfino, writing on October 10 in the Wall Street Journal, noted that this season, in the NFL, sneaks had been attempted 44 times on either 3rd and 1 or 4th and one, and they’d been successful 42 times - that’s a 95.5% success rate. (Since 2013 - Sneaks in those situations have an 84.9% rate of success.)

For non-sneaks, the success rate is considerably lower - 64.6%

But here’s the kicker: despite the overwhelming odds in favor of a successful quarterback sneak in 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1 situations, teams sneak only 15% of the time!

The "sneakiest" NFL coach is Ron Rivera of the Panthers - he calls sneaks 26.8% of the time. (Of course, he’s got a giant economy-size QB in Cam Newton).

NFL coaches who are most reluctant to sneak:

Pete Carroll: 2% of the time.
Jason Garrett, Mike McCarthy: 3.4 % of the time.

One of General Neyland’s former players, Phil Dickens, did the General one better - he had his QB take snaps and sneak, toss, drop back, and run options to the weak side.  The QB was not exactly under center - he was in the A gap but turned in, facing the center.  From that position, he could take the snap, or he could allow the direct snap to go to the tailback or fullback while he did what a single wing blocking back was expected to do - block. This came to be known as the “side-saddle T.”  He was 29-11-1 running it at Wyoming, and his 1956 team (shown in the photo against Arizona) went 10-0.  That was good enough to get him the Indiana job, but, alas, he got caught cheating and that was his last coaching stop.

wyoming side saddle

WYOMING VS ARIZONA, 1956

John McLaughry ran his version of it at Brown, which I remembered from my college days. I spoke with him not long before he passed away, and he said that his main reason for running it was that it better enabled his QB to spin and lead through on off-tackle plays.  I gathered from that that he was not a single-wing coach trying to acquire some of the deception of the T-formation; instead, he was a T-formation coach trying to acquire some of the single wing’s power.
brown side saddle


FROM YALE SCOUTING REPORT VS BROWN, 1959


*********** Whenever there’s talk about “shutting down” the government, it’s always accompanied by a threat:  they’ll close the national parks.

And when the school board says it has to have more more money, it threatens us: it says that unless it gets the  funds it’ll have to cut sports.

Those government types aren’t dumb. They know what’s really important to us.

So now, all their pleas to save the polar bears and keep the oceans from rising having fallen on deaf ears, the climate change zealots are trying the same tack as the school boards.  They’re threatening to take our fun from us.  You see, unless we change our ways immediately, the world’s supply of barley could be in danger by the end of this century.  And since barley is a major ingredient in making beer, well, you can figure out where this is going.   Help us fight climate change or you’ll be cut off.

PS - The end of the century is still far enough away that anyone reading this who is 18 or over will probably be drinking Ensure by then anyhow - if he’s still around.

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

First I heard about the UCLA win and how bad it was for Cal.

As big a fan I am of ND there is NO WAY the Irish are one of the Top 5 teams in the country.  A Top 5 team should beat everyone they play, and beat each one convincingly to earn that recognition.  ND is a good team, but if they want to be considered Top 5, or a National Championship caliber playoff team, they need to step it up big-time.  Otherwise it will be another January 1 bowl game that could end badly for them.

Apparently I didn't miss much in last week's Army game vs. SJSU.  

Mark my words...after Humboldt State drops football next year, SJSU will be the next California State University to follow suit and join the ranks of the following schools that dropped the sport: San Francisco State, Hayward State, Chico State, Sonoma State, Cal State LA, Cal State Northridge, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton, and Cal Poly Pomona.  Others: University of the Pacific, Santa Clara, St. Mary's, USF, Loyola, Pepperdine, and UC Riverside.

Speaking of Sonoma State and Gary Patterson.  Gary and I met in 1985 while I was a coach at Sonoma State and he was working an Offense/Defense Camp back there at that time.  He was the coach that introduced me to his 4-2-5 defense concept.  Just a concept at that time.  But it was his concept I took back to high school with me after my short time at SSU and have used it ever since.  I follow Gary's TCU teams from afar because of his defense, and briefly visited him at TCU a few years ago.

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Joe,

I agree with you on the Irish but only Northwestern and  USC appear to be left with a decent chance of beating them. The big thing they have going for them is not having to play a damned useless  conference championship game.

Sorry to see California dropping all those “small school” programs.  The death knell is going to come when then start dropping JC programs.  Oregon and Washington had them when we first moved out in 1975, and within 20 years they were all gone.  Just having JCs and the realistic goal that going to one represented really helped high school programs.

I think that Patterson has done a remarkable job at TCU, and I respect him for having the good sense to stay there as long as he has.


********** Pro football eats its seed corn… 

Defensive linemen Nick Bosa didn’t even make it halfway through his junior season before declaring that his Ohio State career was at an end.

A team captain, Bosa announced that he’s not going to be coming back from his injury, but instead he’s going to drop out of school (I’m sure he’d really been faithfully attending classes) to devote all his time to rehabbing from his injury - and getting ready for the NFL draft.

From a purely financial standpoint, with tens of millions of dollars on the line, Bosa’s decision makes sense.

But, thinking along those lines, how long will it be before top college players begin to “save their bodies,” starting to take it easy and pay attention to little aches and pains once they hit junior year? (If they aren’t already doing so.)

https://www.si.com/college-football/2018/10/16/nick-bosa-ohio-state-return-2019-nfl-draft-plans-injury-news


*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Charlie Justice was a native of Asheville, North Carolina, where he was an outstanding athlete.

After “service” in the Navy (he played football) during World War II he enrolled at the University of North Carolina, where he became the most storied player in Tar Heel football history.

It was while playing at Bainbridge, Maryland Naval Training Center that his running style was compared to a locomotive, earning him one of the most colorful nicknames ever bestowed on a runner - “Choo-choo Charlie.”

In his four years at Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels were 32-7-2 and played in two Sugar Bowls and one Cotton Bowl.

Playing tailback in Coach Carl Snavely’s single wing, he rushed for  3774 yards and threw for 2362 yards and, running and throwing, he was responsible for 64 touchdowns.

He was a four-time All-American, and finished second in the Heisman voting in 1948 (behind Doak Walker) and 1949 (behind Leon Hart).

Following graduation, he was the MVP of the College All Star game, rushing for 133 yards in leading the All Stars to a 17-7 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

His NFL career with the Washington Redskins was cut short by injuries.

Charlie Justice is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.  His Number 22 has been retired by North Carolina.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING CHARLIE ‘CHOO-CHOO” JUSTICE:

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSI
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON


*********** Ken Hampton, of Raleigh, North Carolina notes that Charlie Justice’s Number 22 is displayed in Carolina blue at the 22-yard line at Kenan Stadium.

*********** QUIZ: He came out of Humboldt, Tennessee and went to Tennessee on a basketball scholarship. He was a great high jumper, finishing second in the SEC track championships.  He played football for General Bob Neyland, and  although he played in the 1950s, he’s still considered perhaps the greatest defensive player in the history of SEC football.

He was so good as a defensive end - big and mean and agile - that he would have been as good today as he was when he played.

At 6-8 and 265, he would be big enough to play in today’s NFL; by the standards of  his day he was huge.

In 1953 he was the first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns, but after two years in Cleveland, it was apparent to Paul Brown that he was not Brown’s type of person, and he was traded to the Chicago Bears for a couple of future draft choices.  In his 12 years in Chicago he made eight Pro Bowls.

Said Bears’ owner/coach George Halas years later, “Paul Brown couldn't handle him in Cleveland. I could slough off anything. He didn't give me trouble, except when he'd get stiff and call me up at night."

Because of him, Halas hired a private detective to keep track of players. At training camp, Bears’ coaches refused to check his room at bed-check time because he kept a pit bull named Rebel in his room. Recalled teammate Richie Petitbon, Rebel was “trained to kill.”

He evidently liked a drink. Once, he and fellow defensive lineman Fred Williams had a martini-drinking contest.  They stopped drinking at 21, but Williams conceded that our guy probably won, since he was able to drive them home.

He didn’t like to practice - he claimed the Bears didn’t pay him enough to play and practice, too.

He loved to try to get under Halas’ skin.  Once, on the first day of training camp, he arrived late to practice, and  proceeded to jog lazily and indifferently around the field. When Halas asked him what he was doing, he said, “Breaking in my helmet.”

For all his distaste for practice, though, he once went 12 straight years without missing a game, and in his 17 years of football he missed only 17 games.

And on the field, he was feared; the word among opposing offensive linemen was, “Don’t make him mad.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, “Fullback Rick Casares once said: ‘We used to hope that somebody would hold him. The next play you would see guys flying around like King Kong had gotten ahold of them. Awesome. I've seen him grab a tackle by the shoulder pads and just flip him over like a doll, then come in on a back that weighed 225 pounds without breaking stride and hit him in the chest, knock him over on his back, reach over, grab the quarterback by the shoulder pads and throw him down with one arm.’”

Despite his great size, he would often hurdle over blocking linemen on his way to the quarterback, and if sacks had been counted when he played, he would almost certainly be in the record books.

Recalled his Tennessee teammate Jack Stroud, who had a long career with the Giants, “The notion that because those guys in the 50s didn’t lift weights and take steroids they weren’t strong is a crock.  A lot of those guys would have whipped the hell out of these guys today.  Take —— —— He was 6-8 and 265 and was solid muscle and bones. And hhe high jumped six feet.  And he never touched a weight in his life.  With the frame he had, he could have weighed 300 pounds no problem. His arms were 18 inches around.  We measured them in Knoxville.  I told him over to the gym to try to get him to work out (Stroud was a serious lifter). He allowed that that was a lot of extra work he didn’t need.”

He was a team leader - of sorts.  “(He) was a nice guy but you were scared of him," said Mike Pyle, who played center for the Bears. "He nominated me for player representative. He said, 'I nominate Mike Pyle 'cause he's from Yale.' The rest of the players were asked, 'Anybody else?' (He) said, 'Yeah, I move the nominations be closed.'"

At 37 he was sent to the Saints in the expansion draft, but he had enough left in the tank that in the three years he played in New Orleans he played well enough to have his number retired there.

Despite Halas’ initial misgivings about his practice habits, he is 
in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

His highest salary was $25,000, and at his Hall of Fame induction, he recalled getting into an argument with Halas over $500:  "Coach Halas said if I give you that money you would only spend it. I said, 'Coach, that's what I want it for'!"


american flagTUESDAY,  OCTOBER 16,  2018 -   “If you have a bad temper, employ it for a purpose.”  Vince Lombardi


*********** It seemed only days ago that we Portlanders learned that Paul Allen’s cancer had returned, and then today came the sad news that Mr. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle Seahawks, had died.  He was 65.

Strange and somewhat reclusive, Mr. Allen was one of the wealthiest men in the United States, and he invested his wealth in a wide number of areas besides sports. I can only imagine how many people he and his many companies employed, but just as one example, his 400-foot yacht, the Octopus, carried a crew of 57. He actually lent the yacht - which had a deep-diving submarine - to governments for use in major salvage and rescue operations.

What a job it’s going to be to sort out all of Mr. Allen’s many and varied holdings.

I suspect that fans in Portland and Seattle may never again have it as good as they did with him, one of our own, owning our major sports franchises.

*********** Hard to tell which was more painful for Cal fans Saturday - the thumping that their Golden Bears got from UCLA, or their loss of first place to UCLA in Times Higher Education’s rankings as the Top Public University in the US.

*********** If you’ve ever been in a spot where the wolves were howling for your job… I’ll bet you didn’t have a guy standing behind you the way Donald Trump stood behind his nominee for the Supreme Court.

*********** John Walters, in The Athletic, asks, “How does a kicker come to be known as “Bubba?’” (Miami’s Bubba Baxa.)

*********** Tua Tagovailoa has yet to play in the fourth quarter this season.

*********** I got so tired of hearing announcers say “Hopkins-Junior” this and “Hopkins-Junior” that as if that’s the last name of Army QB Kelvin Hopkins that I turned off the volume.  And then I tuned in an Air Force game and it was even worse: “Hammond-the-third” this and “Hammond-the-third” that.

*********** What does a spread team do when it’s 3rd and 1 or 4th and 1 and it has to go for it?  Why, first it snaps the ball back to a guy who’s four yards deep…

*********** A holding call in the Vandy-Florida game prompted this bit of professional analysis: “He might have got a LITTLE bit of jersey…”   Yeah, it was just a little bit of jersey.  "Penetration, however slight..."

*********** I would have enjoyed listening to some of the Iowa-Indiana game, but no-o-o-o-o.  Not once I heard that it was Beth Mowins on play-by-play.

*********** Indiana’s secondary appears to be incapable of covering receivers without interfering.

*********** Oklahoma State was on the Kansas State one, third-and-one.  The one-FOOT line, actually.

So what do they do?  Why, they run a jet sweep.  And lose five yards.

*********** A Florida linebacker named Vosean Joseph - more from him later - picks up a Vandy runner and pile-drives him, earning a richly-deserved unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.  And the Florida staff did absolutely nothing about it. Didn’t bat an eye.  Just as if it was business as usual, he was still on the field for the next play. What the hell kind of coaching is that?

*********** The brand… the brand… the brand.  We hear this sh— from the marketing guys at the colleges as if they really have an understanding of what branding is all about… And then they send their product out into the marketplace in a package that’s unrecognizeable. 

What, exactly, is the reason for all the all-black uniforms on teams whose colors have never included black?  This past weekend it was Tulsa and Iowa State.

Maybe it’s all part of the Death of Normal.

*********** A Florida player puts a dirty hit - blind-side, helmet-to-helmet - on a Vanderbilt player and as the Vandy player lies motionless on the ground, his coach, Derek Mason, has words with Florida coach Dan Mullen.  Florida DC Todd Grantham seems to forget that he’s not the head coach, and flaps his mouth, too.

Meanwhile, Vosean Joseph - remember him? - picks up his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty IN THE SAME HALF and now he has to leave the game.

But not without a tantrum.  The mother, I would say, of all tantrums.  Hmmm.  Maybe that’s why nobody on the Florida staff had the stones to pull him out of the game for a little “coaching” after that first unsportmanlike conduct penalty.

New coaching staff.  Same old Florida.

*********** 4th and 18 and a great fake punt catches Vanderbilt flat-footed.

*********** Nebraska takes a 28-14 lead early in the fourth quarter.  Could this be the Huskers’ day?

*********** Vanderbilt’s deep snapper hustles downfield and  catches the punt in the air.

*********** How an option team takes itself out of its offense…

Georgia Tech, down 14-7 to Duke, fumbles and - like that - Tech is down 21-7.

Georgia Tech, down 21-7 to Duke, fumbles and - like that - Tech is down 28-7.

And now, Georgia Tech is forced to play Duke left-handed -  throwing the ball.

*********** Speaking of playing left-handed… Two very sketchy grounding calls that should have been called against Northwestern. One of them is so bad that the Northwestern QB is “throwing” the ball left-handed.

*********** This is how it happens when you’re going down the gurgler…

There’s 2:02 left. Nebraska leads, 31-24, and Northwestern is on its own one yard line. 99 yards to go.

And then a Cornhusker lineman is called for a blow to the head, and Northwestern is out of the end zone and on its way to the last-second score that will send the game into OT.

*********** Free timeouts for incomplete passes.  Since when do we reward failure?  It’s making a farce of the game.

*********** Pitt comes out wearing its Dorsett-era uniforms - sunflower gold helmets and pants.  All that was missing was the talent they had on those teams.

*********** Derek Mason and Dan Mullen seemed quite cordial in their post-game meeting at midfield.

*********** The Oregon-Washington game saw a targeting call against a UW linemen who couldn’t possibly have made a more beautiful form tackle on the Oregon QB.

*********** Proof that there’s a God - Washington’s kicker missed what would have been a game-winner as time expired, and the game went into OT.  What a sin it would have been if the game - a real classic - had ended, like most NFL "thrillers,"  on a f—king chip shot kick.

*********** For the 1,000th time… coaches should not be calling time out.  Ever,

*********** Washington scored in the top half of OT to lead, 33-30.

In its first series, Oregon was stopped on 3rd and 1, and now faced 4th and 1.

But wait - Oregon was called for holding. What to do?

Take the play and force the Ducks to decide whether to kick or go for it?

Or take the penalty and bet that they can’t make 3rd-and-11?

Washington took the penalty, but Oregon made the first down - and went in to score the winning touchdown.

*********** UCLA 37, Cal 7 - It was that bad an ass-kicking.  How’s that QB demotion working out? Well, since you asked, Cal had FIVE turnovers, all by the QB.

*********** Is there no end to the stupid play?  Virginia, leading Miami 16-13 with :30 left to play, kicks a field goal to go ahead 19-13.

But not so fast - a Miami player roughed the kicker.  Take the penalty and it’s an automatic first down. Miami has no timeouts left, which means GAME OVER.

*********** Lotsa Field Storming on Saturday…

Iowa State
LSU
Oregon
UV

*********** Lost in the crowd?  More like the crowd lost in the seats?

For some reason, San Jose State chose to play Army in Levis Stadium.  You can imagine what 15,627 (announced) looks like in a stadium that seats 68.000

AND THIS IS WHAT SAN DIEGO STADIUM LOOKED LIKE WHEN AIR FORCE AND SAN DIEGO STATE RETURNED AFTER A 1-1/2 HOUR LIGHTNING DELAY

AFA VS SDSU AFTER STORM

*********** I watched Tom Brady score a TD against Kansas City when he ran out of the grasp of a Chiefs’ defensive lineman. Are you kidding me?  Brady breaking a tackle?  I swear it looked to me as if the defender, afraid of throwing Brady to the ground and getting called for roughing, let up.

I suspect we’re going to be seeing more of this,  and it threatens to make a travesty of the game.

At the very least, in return for the cosseting of the QBs, there should be some tradeoff.  How about when he’s “in the grasp” (remember that?) the play is dead?

There.  That way we’ll find out if this no-roughing garbage is really about the quarterback’s safety… or if it’s about goosing the offensive stats.

*********** Bowling Green didn’t wait until the end of the season to fire Mike Jinks, letting him go roughly at the mid-point of his five-year, $2.1 million contract.

He had to go.  Losses were mounting.  Crowds were dwindling.  Boosters were bailing.

And all because of an AD who had no f—king idea how to hire a football coach.

Back in 2015, coming off a MAC championship and needing to replace his coach, the AD did what any sharp AD would do.  No, he didn’t go to a list of potential hires he’d begun to compile back when it became obvious that his current coach (Dino Babers) was so good that somebody was bound to lure him away.  No, that’s what old-time ADs did.

This digital-age AD went to Google.  No lie.  He searched for the team with the most productive offense, which Google said was Texas Tech.  And then he zeroed in on the top Tech assistant that he could afford.

That turned out to be a running backs coach named Mike Jinks.  So Jinks had never so much as been a college coordinator. So Jinks had never even been in the state of Ohio.

So Jinks was so unready he didn’t even have a list of assistants to hire if he ever got a head coaching job. (His first staff wound up consisting of seven assistants who had never previously coached at the Division 1 level, and had, in toto, zero ties to Ohio.

What could possibly go wrong?

(For what it’s worth, the AD in question, a guy named Chris Kingston, worked at West Point under one of the world’s worst ADs, a guy named Kevin Anderson. Kingston is no longer at Bowling Green.)

https://www.toledoblade.com/sports/college/2018/10/14/college-football-bowling-green-state-university-mike-jinks-david-briggs/stories/20181014165?abnpageversion=evoke


***********  Hugh,

You may be right about the option.  While I never miss an Army game now I can see how the cut block downfield has limited the offense's effectiveness on the perimeter.  I completely disagree with it, and my point is this:  If a defender is allowed to take the legs away from the blocker, how is THAT not considered as dangerous as a blocker taking the legs away from a defender??  Or...if defenders are allowed to leave their feet on a tackle below the waist...why isn't that considered dangerous to both the ball carrier and the defender??

While I briefly watched some of the Yale-Dartmouth game last Friday I couldn't help but notice the crowd in the venerated old Yale Bowl. 

Speaking of crowds, and Andy Kerr, and Stanford...is there a possible connection that crowd sizes at Yale and Stanford last week may have something to do with the progressive mindset on both the east coast and left coast???

Glad to have you back!  Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Joe-

I am actually seeing calls of cut blocking against defenders who take on blockers at the knees.  Coaches on the sideline act incredulous.

What pisses me off about what’s happening with the spread guys ganging up on the option is that it’s like Amazon and Wal-Mart and Target favoring legislation that may sound great on the surface ($15 minimum wage!)  but is actually designed to crush the little guys.

As for the Yale Bowl (dear to me because it’s where my wife and I first met)...

The Bowl was once the largest stadium in the United States.  Even adjusted for the greater width of modern-day asses, it still seats close to 70,000.  To see even 20,000 in that big old bowl looks like those incongruous scenes on TV of high school playoff games being played in NFL stadia.

Ivy League football is long gone as a spectator sport. We were borderline big time  when I went there, at least by the measurement of attendance.

To give you an idea of how Yale once drew…

In 1956, my freshman year, Yale played SEVEN home games. They drew 243,825 - and average of 34,800.

Compare that with
ALABAMA - 6 games - 154,000 - 25,700 per game
ARKANSAS - 6 games - 161,000 - 26,800
AUBURN - 5 games - 120,000 - 24,000
FLORIDA - 7 games - 233,662 - 33,400
GEORGIA - 4 games - 110,000 - 27,500
OREGON - 4 GAMES - 55,000 - 13,500
PENN STATE - 4 games - 107,030 - 26,750
SYRACUSE - 5 games - 157,480 - 31,500
TCU - 4 games - 104,000 - 26,000
WASHINGTON - 6 games - 190,000 - 31,700

College football has undergone a sea change since then.

At Yale, we would routinely draw crowds in excess of 50,000 for “big” games.

At that time, that meant Princeton, Harvard or Dartmouth.  For those games, we could make decent money selling our tickets to rich New York alumni who wanted to impress client with good seats (our seats were on the 40). We didn’t consider it scalping because we didn’t pay anything for them. Those rich alumni were the students of the 30’s, when Yale football was a national power.

Nowadays, I think the quality of the play is probably better than when I played,  but the interest is gone. The fan base has eroded.  The old alumni are dead. Today’s students don’t give a sh— haven’t in years, and when they graduate they become alumni who don't give a sh—.  This process has been going on since about the time they admitted women (hmmm.). Soon, there will be no alumni at all who care. Only parents and girlfriends of players will be at games.

It may be a coastal thing, but I believe it’s also a tribal thing - members of the leftist/feminist/LGBTQ tribe don’t care much for football.  Certainly not for glorifying something that reeks of testosterone and male toxicity.

(This appears to be a small but dangerous first-stage cancer even at real football schools, where students party in the tailgate area instead of going to the actual game.)

Thanks for getting me going on this.

Hugh

PS— Thought you might enjoy this, from June, 2001—


*********** Hi coach, Just a couple of things to note. We installed the DW this past week at Benilde-St. Margaret's School in Minneapolis. I was thrilled at our turnout, (over 60 players grades 7 through 12) but more importantly, the players picked it up quickly and they're really fired-up about it. The coaching staff can't wait to get going! Your installation tape, and attending the Chicago clinic made the installation that much easier. I'll be in touch with you periodically to let you know how things are going for the "Red Knights".

 Also, I'm very interested in the "no-huddle" and "new play" information you described on your website "news" and would greatly appreciate anything you can send. Look forward to hearing from you, and again, thanks for all your help.

 Joe Gutilla Head Football Coach

P.S. By the way, my "star" TB I told you about when I first contacted you about running the offense (he was very skeptical about the change) watched the Dynamics video and took part in the installation. He's now convinced there isn't anyone we'll face that will be able to stop him at B back. I may have created a monster.

*********** The Law of Unintended Consequences…

You wonder why our language is going to hell?

My daughter passed this along to me some time ago…

A friend of hers said a speech therapist she knows told her that it has become more and more difficult for her to motivate kids to improve their speech, because now that it's no longer acceptable for others to make fun of the way they speak (“bullying?”), there's no incentive for them to learn to speak properly.

The intended consequence of “tolerance” was to keep kids from feeling bad about themselves. After all, we didn’t want them all committing suicide, right?  But what we got instead was a growing cohort of people who, if they even speak English at all , speak it poorly.

*********** Number one-ranked Mater Dei, of Santa Ana, California, fell to St. John Bosco, of Bellflower on Saturday.

Mater Dei doesn’t lose often.  Bruce Rollinson has been the Mater Dei head coach 1989, and during that time, he’s coached a number of state championship teams, including  last year’s team that was also named the national champion.  Among his better known players are Matt Barkley, Colt Brennan and Matt Leinart. And USC’s current true-freshman QB,  J. T. Daniels, was Mater Dei’s QB just last season.

There’s a nice article in the latest AFCA publication about Coach Rollinson and his approach with parents, which he decribes as “brutally upfront.”

Here’s why: Even after winning the national championship last year, Rollinson said nine different players transferred from Mater Dei to other programs.
A major reason was playing time or “getting their share of the spotlight.”

Said Rollinson, “I was disappointed because they did have potential but I was never going to make their parents happy anyway.”

*********** I have a theory that kids who stare at screens - who never read and never listen to stories - never develop their imaginations.  With everything done for them from the time they’re old enough to hold an iPad, they’re basically unable to create pictures in their minds. 

In popular entertainment, this manifests itself in primitive humor that lacks subtlety because its audience simply can’t put the pieces together. Why take the chance that they won’t be able to figure out for themselves why that guy is doubled over in pain?  Why not simply show him being kicked in the balls?

Matt Groening, whom we can all thank for giving us “The Simpsons,” referred to this recently in recalling the early days of the show. “Our original concept was a little coarser and a little more risque.  We went in that direction and it didn’t feel right. It felt too easy. There are words you can use that will automatically get a laugh.  But it’s more fun to skirt the edge.”


*********** Just checking to verify that Frontier is enrolled for the Black Lion Award.

We’re having another good season despite having just 4 seniors on the squad.

We lost our opening game to a ranked opponent and had the lead at half but couldn’t finish. We lost momentum when we didn’t score in the closing seconds of the half and had a thin 6-0 lead. (We took the kickoff at the start of the game marched right down the field -textbook DW) Since then we 3 straight and average over 30 points per game.
66/77 average over 8 yards per carry. I’ve also worked in a freshman at A back for some carries. He shows real promise and contributes to the rushing stats. Despite the bruising rushing attack a few “Dads”can be heard on the sidelines calling for us to “open it up”.  Yeah right.  Besides running 66/77 the usual way we will run 66 with Liz motion with the QB reversing like on a 56c.  We call it LIZ 66 INSIDE POWER or RIP 77 INSIDE POWER. Our sweeps also look pretty good this year. Something we lacked the past few seasons. 88/99 G-REACH and we sometimes offset the FB play side or flank the FB to play side about 8 yards and have him crack on the outside LB.

Works pretty good - especially after pounding off tackle for a few plays. We continue to practice openwing as well.   Havent unleashed it yet other than in preseason scrimmage but it’s there if we need it or just want to mess with next weeks opponents scouting. It might placate a few of the Dads. lol

Only 3seniors starting on each side of the ball tonight. Wish us luck.

BTW I enjoyed the Army vs Oklahoma game - got to watch it via YouTube.

Don Gordon
Frontier Regional School
Deerfield
Peoples Republic of Massachusetts

PS   Did I read somewhere you’re working on another playbook focusing onformation adjustments?

Coach-

You did read correctly.  But first on my list of projects is the next installment of the Open Wing playbook.

Keep enjoying your season.  I’ve enjoyed watching your team.



*********** Hello Coach,

I hope you are feeling better. I saw on your NYCU that you had been under the weather.

I wrote to you back at the beginning of the season regarding my fumbling problems and you gave me some excellent advise, but we still kept fumbling. Some of the players had improved, but others were not able to really get better, and with play time rules in effect I made a switch after our 3rd game. We had a bye week and I decided to install the Open Wing. In examining my skilled players I came to realize I had 2 guys who are excellent runners (put them at BBack)and a pretty good QB that throws well and can run a little. Since the installation we have put up 42 and 29 points in the 2 games and we have won both games. The transition was pretty seamless for the Oline other than I decided to flop them using an open and tight side, and my center had no trouble with the short snap. The biggest improvement is we have only fumbled once( in the first game in the Open Wing) and the kid got the message real quick when I benched him for the rest of the half. As for the other guys that continued to fumble, well they get to play X and Slot and never have to see the ball. I do have a kid at X that I throw to, and a slot player that is lightning quick so I run him on reach plays, but other than those two no one else out there gets a whiff of the ball.

I do have a question about the Open Wing, I have the videos and maybe I need to look at them again, but when would I use Over, Eastern, or Western? Especially if I am sticking with the G-O's, X-O's, and the traps. When would be a good time to change the formation that may be advantageous to the play calls I hope this makes sense.

Thanks Coach

John Guebara
Craftsbury, Vermont

Glad you’ve been able to make use of the Open Wing.

A brief answer to your question would be that you might use Eastern and Western (moving your slot to the Tight Side) when a defense that’s normally a 3-deep covers your slot back with its safety (and therefore there's no one in the middle).  That means that it’s playing your running game 9-on-9. (TOP)

By moving your Slot Back to the other side ("Western") , you can force the secondary back into its base 3-deep, and  make it an 8-man box. (BOTTOM)

western


Otherwise, unless you have some plans to throw, there’s no advantage to you to go Western or Eastern. (If you can throw, you have trips to the tight side, and almost certainly one-on-one coverage on the split end.)

Hang tight until I send out playbook pages for “Strong” backfield.

Good Luck!


*********** Hugh Freeze joins Rick Neuheisel!

1. https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/former-ole-miss-coach-hugh-freeze-hired-as-offensive-coordinator-in-new-aaf-league/

Uh-Oh.

2. Have you felt the Push for Notre Dame as NatChamps this year? "It's the feel good story of the 2018 college football season..."  CBS Sports on the 'Net is the worst: A  picture of the ND QB with high cheek bones and a chin carved from a rock from Mount Rushmore appears for a few seconds with whatever story you're reading.  This guy is ready to star in a Superman  movie.  Get ready for another "Fifth-to-First"  year, even with a Playoff System.

Think there aren't strings being pulled for some people?

Charlie Wilson
Crystal River, Florida

*********** Don’t you just love Politial Correctness?

Came across this…

The mascot of Flint Central High School since 1928 was the Indian. In 2001 the Flint Board of Education voted to phase out school mascots that made reference to Native Americans in all of Flint's schools. This affected other school mascots as well including the Pierce Elementary School Arrows (although the mascot name is a reference to the automobile model, not the weapon),

Did you get that?  There was once a car called the Pierce Arrow.  And a very prestigious automobile it was. Therefore, it being Michigan and autos and all that, what a clever nickname for Pierce Elementary School.

But ooooooo. Arrows bad.

*********** I go back a long way with Gil LeBreton, a long-time sportswriter and columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Back in the days of the World Football League, Gil, an LSU guy,  was the PR man for the Birmingham Vulcans, and I served in the same capacity with the Portland Thunder.  We hit it off pretty well and in return for his hospitality when I visited the Magic City, I reciprocated when he came out to the Northwest.

After a long career with the Star-Telegram, Gil has embarked on a new venture, a subcription-only site devoted to Dallas-Fort Worth sports.
In one of his most recent columns, Gil wrote about Gary Patterson’s losing both of his parents in the past year, and how his upbringing has been responsible for making him the man - and the coach - he is…

Patterson left tiny Rozel, Kan., in 1978, first to Dodge City Community College and then to attend Kansas State, but in a lot of ways Rozel has never left him.

Rozel is smack dab in the middle of central Kansas, 137 miles from Wichita, 135 miles from the Nebraska state line and 150 miles from Colorado. There’s a grain elevator, a water tower and a few dozen houses, but no signal light or even a stop sign on the town’s main street.

The population of Rozel is listed as 156. Patterson’s final year at Pawnee Heights High was the school’s last season to play 11-man football.

*****
“People say, ‘Well, why are you so driven?’” Patterson reflected Tuesday. “You’re driven because you have parents that drove you, and you want to make sure that you paid them back for all the hard work they did.”

Patterson’s father Keith, who died in January, leveled farm land for a living so area farmers could find irrigation. His mother was a career nurse.
His parents valued the necessities of hard work, Patterson said.

“I went back to see her last Sunday after the Iowa State game, and it was the last time,” he said. “Most people, if they knew a parent was going to pass away, would have stayed a couple of days.

“But she was one of those [who said], ‘Now, I don’t want you to get beat by Texas Tech, so you need to get back and get prepared.’

“That’s just the way we do things. That’s the way they brought me up.”

His mom died quietly on Thursday, Oct. 4, four days after Gary visited.

*****
From his parents, Patterson continued, he inherited his zealous drive.

“They were a couple who knew what they were and how they did things,” he said. “They worked hard. The reason myself and my brother and sisters turned out way we did was the simple reason that they pushed us to be that.

“We never knew we didn’t have anything. We didn’t have anything but we didn’t know that. They always found a way to make sure we had an education, clothes, everything.”

When Patterson returned in January to see his then-ailing father Keith, he received a similar scolding as the one his mother would later give him – get back to work.

“If you lose a recruit because you’re back here . . . ,” the elder Patterson told his son.

https://sptspage.com/a-game-then-a-sad-flight-home-to-kansas/

Gil’s BIO: Gil LeBreton's 40-year journalism career has seen him cover sporting events from China and Australia to the mountains of France and Norway. He's covered 26 Super Bowls, 16 Olympic Games (9 summer, 7 winter), 16 NCAA Basketball Final Fours, the College World Series, soccer's World Cup, The Masters, Tour de France, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup finals and Wimbledon. He's seen Muhammad Ali box, Paul Newman drive a race car and Prince Albert try to steer a bobsled, memorably meeting and interviewing each of them. Gil is still the only journalist to be named sportswriter of the year in both Louisiana and Texas by the National Sportsmedia Association. A Vietnam veteran, Gil and his wife Gail, a retired kindergarten teacher, live in the stately panhandle of North Richland Hills. They have two children, J.P., a computer game designer in San Francisco, and Elise, an actress in New York City.

*********** QUIZ  ANSWER- JIM SWINK was born in the small town of Sacul, Texas, but when his parents fell ill, he was taken in by a childless couple in nearby Rusk.  At Rusk High School he was an outstanding high school athlete, and he chose  TCU partly because it agreed to  let him play both football and basketball.

In 1955 he gained 1,283 yards on just 157 carries and scored 18 touchdowns as the Horned Frogs went 9-2 and finished with a No. 5 national ranking.  His 8.2 yards-per-carry average led the nation and is still the school record.

An electrifying runner, a threat to go all the way on any play,  he was nicknamed the  Rusk Rambler.

In his career at TCU, he had three great performances against Texas. (Perhaps he saved his best for the Longhorns because they hadn't recruited him.) In TCU's 47-20 trouncing of Texas in 1955, he carried 15 times for 235 yards and four touchdowns. The night before, thousands of Texas fans had gathered for a candle-light vigil, hoping to put a hex on the Frogs. "Heck," said TCU Coach Abe Martin, "if a candle can beat us, we ain't very good."

In the final game of his career, a historic Cotton Bowl matchup with Syracuse and the great Jim Brown,  he scored the winning touchdown in a 28-27 victory. (Brown scored 21 points by himself, but missed the extra point that proved the margin of victory.)

He was named first-team All-America running back in both 1954 and 1955, and finished second in the Heisman voting in 1955.  He was on the covers of numerous football magazines, and at least twice on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

“He was one of the five best players in TCU history and should have won the Heisman,” said Dan Jenkins, the famous TCU alum, football historian and writer.

“He was a guy basically, with Davey O’Brien and Sammy Baugh, that put TCU on the map,” said TCU coach Gary Patterson.

But he passed up the NFL to go to medical school.

“The Bears drafted me, and it was tempting” he told the Star-Telegram years later. “George Halas used to call me up and talk for an hour. He’d say, ‘I need someone up here who doesn’t fumble the ball.’ But I just couldn’t fit it into my schedule.’

In 1966 he was drafted into the Army and served in Vietnam as a medic - as the Black Lions’ Battalion Surgeon - returning home in 1968 as a captain with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

For 35 years  he was an orthopedic surgeon in Fort Worth, but in 2006 after a stroke, he returned to Rusk, where he grew up, and continued to practice. He died in 2014.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980 and into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000.

“Much of what we accomplished didn’t seem such a big deal at the time,” he told the Star-Telegram in 2000 before his induction into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame. “It was just a part of the overall experience of getting a college education. It was also a more innocent time, and we were mostly kids from small towns who hadn’t seen much of the world. It was also the one-platoon era, where you could build a competitive program with a lot fewer people than it takes today.”

At the time of his death in 2014, his wife told the Tyler Morning Telegraph that of all the things he had accomplished,  “He was most proud of being an Academic All-American. He was proud of all of his accomplishments, but he was especially proud of that.”

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JIM SWINK:

KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS


*********** QUIZ: He was a native of Asheville, North Carolina, where he was an oustanding high school athlete.

After “service” in the Navy (he played football) during World War II he enrolled at the University of North Carolina, where he became the most storied player in Tar Heel football history.

It was while playing at Bainbridge, Maryland Naval Training Center that his running style was compared to a locomotive, earning him one of the most colorful (and alliterative) nicknames ever bestowed on a runner.

In his four years at Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels were 32-7-2 and played in two Sugar Bowls and one Cotton Bowl.

Playing tailback in Coach Carl Snavely’s single wing, he rushed for  3774 yards and threw for 2362 yards and, on the ground and in the air, he was responsible for 64 touchdowns.

He was a four-time All-American, and finished second in the Heisman voting twice:  in 1948 (behind Doak Walker) and 1949 (behind Leon Hart).

Following graduation, he was the MVP of the College All Star game, rushing for 133 yards in leading the All Stars to a 17-7 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

His NFL career with the Washington Redskins was cut short by injuries.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.  His Number 22 has been retired by North Carolina.


american flagFRIDAY,  OCTOBER 12,  2018 -   “Once the party of the working man, Democrats have become the party of the screaming woman.” Robert Stacy McCain, The American Spectator

*********** The latest Sports Illustrated contains a couple of very deep football articles, neither of which will please someone who dislikes the way the game is headed.

One, “The NFL’s Unfixable Problem,” by Tim Layden, deals with the newest definition of roughing the passer, and how offenses have taken advantage of the near-untouchable status of the quarterbacks  and the added protection of “defenseless” receivers to put up numbers less related to the skills of the players than to the laxity of the rules. It’s part a concern for  player safety, true, but it’s also business-driven, because spectators pay to see offense. (Next:  baseball moving the pitcher’s mound back to 90 feet, and giving the batter four strikes - and saying that because so many pitchers are throwing in the 90s now, it’s for the safety of the batters.)

Jack Lambert drew laughs back in the 70s when Howard Cosell asked him if he could think of any rules change to protect quarterbacks and he answered, “it might be a good idea to put dresses on all of them.”

We are almost there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=15&v=IxDUCaUYhnw

The other article, “The Option,” by Ross Dellinger, does a nice job of giving an overview of the various forms of options and how  option football appears doomed. Even its practitioners agree, and most of them seem to feel - as I do - that the rulesmakers “have an agenda.”  The latest attack on option play has been an outlawing of below-the-waist blocking downfield. Passed as a “safety measure,” I have yet to see the data to support it.

There’s no question in my mind that there is an “agenda” to do away with option football.  Non-option coaches are a great majority, and their influence on the rules committee reflects it.  If with just one rule they could outlaw option football overnight, they’d do it, but realizing that that’s impossibile, they’re settling for one bite at a time.


*********** Downtown Vancouver, Washington used to be a fairly rough place, known mainly for its dives, card rooms (legalized poker) and - a sure mark of a place where people live on the edge - pawn shops.

Gentrification is making its inroads.  The cardrooms were sent packing long ago, the dives are being replaced by brewpubs and wine bars, and with the closing of a major pawn shop, only two remain from what was not long ago seven.

The reason for the pawn shops’ demise doesn’t seem to be as much a factor of an improved downtown as it is a result of peoples’ ability to sell things online.

But at least one guy isn’t worried about the future of  pawn shops in Vancouver.

Said Dan Maks, co-owner of still-in-business Lucky Loans, “As long as people still spend more money than they make, there will always be pawn shops.” 

*********** KC Smith, of Walpole, Massachusetts, brought to my attention an NFL player/MD whom I’d overlooked.  And shame on me because he was an Ivy Leaguer.

He’s Dr. Archie Roberts, a native of Holyoke, Massachusetts who played at Holyoke High and then Deerfield Academy before going on to Columbia.

He got his MD at Case-Western Reserve, and became a cardiac surgeon.

By the time he retired, he had performed more than 4,000 open heart operations.

(Actually, he missed the list because he’s not  a former NFL player - he was an AFL player (Jets and Dolphins) and barely one at that, appearing in only one game.)

KC Smith wrote with some amount of personal interest: Archie Roberts played at Deerfield Academy for his dad, Jim Smith.

So did KC.  And so did KC's  four brothers, Mike, Danny, Jimmy and Patrick.

In his 36 years at Greenfield, Jim Smith coached the Deerfield Big Green to a 175-88-12 record.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archie_Roberts_(American_football)
 
https://deerfield.edu/athletics/news/2012/10/smith-football/10198455/

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

Everyone down here is gearing up for the Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma in Dallas this weekend.  I like Texas' chances and will take the points! (Honest - I got this email before the game! HW)

I think the guy having the tough season is the same guy we both know.  A ton of injuries to his starters, and the drop-off at each position is significant.  He still has great support because his boys are learning a lot about character this year.  Just a matter of time before they start winning.

It's apparent Todd Bridge has a plethora of football knowledge as a player and a coach, and I'm happy to hear he landed a good job.

Sounds like Coach Pierce is facing the same challenge as our head coach here.  Lack of numbers.  He only has 16 healthy bodies including 6 freshmen and 4 sophomores.  They're 0-4 and have cancelled 3 games with only two remaining...provided they have 20 players eligible by decree of our school administration.  The chances of the football program surviving are slim.

Sometimes you have to wonder wtf some coaches are thinking when they don't supervise their athletes.  Likely they aren't thinking, and why we hear and read about those asinine stories.

An old mentor coach of mine (RIP) was the one who advised me on becoming a head coach to always strive to be different than your opponents.  He knew what he was talking about.  While everyone back then was running some form of triple option, or power football he was throwing the ball all over the field and winning championships.

Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** Coach John Coelho, in Turlock, California, sent me this classic “10 men in the box” shot…

TURLOCK

Mustn’t have been too successful, because his Hornets are now 5-1, second in their league, and they lead the league in scoring,

(Remember - the closer defenders get to the line of scrimmage, the more committed they become to that side, and the less of a threat they are to plays run in the other direction.)


*********** Coach - I actually enjoy this Friday Night Ivy League  Game thing ESPN has got going , who ever came up with that concept  should be promoted.  What I would actually like to see is ESPN dedicate a Night  - Wed Night or Thurs Night OR even a time slot on Sat - on one of their Channels for a 1-AA (FCS) Game of the week. I actually think that would catch on. Plenty of good 1-AA conferences
 
John  Muckian
Ipswich, Massachusetts

John,

It’s a great concept and the Ivies have been putting on a good show.

The Ivy has a chance at getting viewers because they are nationally-known colleges with great reputations that turn away large multiples of the numbers of kids who apply.
I’m not so sure that there would be that kind of BIG-MARKET interest in many other FCS (D-IAA) leagues except maybe Colonial (Maine, NH, Nova, Delaware, W & M, Richmond, etc.). 

I actually would prefer something every week like this past Tuesday night’s Arkanas State-App State game.  The non-Power 5 FBS conferences play football that's good enough that the average fan couldn’t distinguish it  from the SEC if they were to switch uniforms with SEC teams. And this would be their chance to shine on a national level.

And don’t forget, it’s almost time for the MAC to start playing two or three nights a week. (Sure hope it’s good for MAC football to be totally turning their backs on Saturday afternoon football.)


*********** In the AFCA Coaches’ Top 25 weekly poll, the top five in the less-publicized classifiations
 
FCS
1. North Dakota State; 2. Kennesaw State; 3. Eastern Washington; 4. Wofford; 5. South Dakota State

DIVISION II
1. Minnesota State; 2. Grand Valley State; 3. Ferris State; 4. West Georgia; 5. Ouachita Baptist

DIVISION III
1. Mount Union; 2. Mary Hardin-Baylor; 3. St. Thomas; 4. Brockport State; 5. Wisconsin-Whitewater

COMPLETE RANKINGS...

https://www.afca.com/fcs-poll-elon-upsets-james-madison-to-shuffle-top-5-in-afca-fcs-coaches-poll/?utm_source=AFCA+Insider&utm_campaign=8a96b6388d-AFCA_Weekly_100317_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_343e846137-8a96b6388d-147880073

*********** Think the fans in Pittsburgh haven’t noticed?

Michael Salfino in the Wall Street Journal noted that  over the last nine games of the 1976 season, the Steelers’ defense allowed opponents a grand total of 28 points.

This year’s Steelers’ defense has given up 21 points in one quarter - against the Chiefs in game #2.


*********** I consider Charlie Wilson of Crystal River, Florida to be as knowledgeable  about the wishbone and/or the belly as anybody I’m aware of, and I knew I’d hear from him after Georgia Tech’s demolishing of Louisville:

GT VS LVL BONE

Look at the Attachment.  It's a good ol' WT-6 with the Safety at 6 over C and the OLBs out of the picture.  That oughta' work.  So..."Whadya' run against THAT, CPJ?"

Of course!  "I'm gonna Double the DT by reaching the C to the right and Blocking my Right T down whilst I Pull my G around...".  The Louisville D is still looking for TaQuon Marshall who reversed Counter Clock Wise, took a step or two and then cut straight up-field.  Just gashed 'em.

Remember what I've said through the years?  "All Defenses of the Wishbone/Flexbone/Spread Option go back to the Wide Tackle Six and the Defense the Option Team most wants to face is the WT-6."

I may not get to sleep tonight.

Hope yer OK.


*********** With the recent deaths of George Taliaferro and John Gagliardi, the world of football lost two giants in the space of just a few days.  Ironically, they’d both been featured during the past year as subjects of my quiz. (No, I don’t see myself as “jinxing” them in any way.  Don’t forget, the men I write about - if they are still alive - are already well up in their years as it is.  I’m just glad that I happened to bring them to some people’s attention before they passed away.  We need to treasure men like that while they’re with us. God rest their souls.

BACK IN FEBRUARY…..

***George Taliaferro  spent six years in the pro football, with four different teams in two different leagues.

He  was a native of Gary, Indiana. In 1945, as a 17-year old freshman playing with returning war veterans such as Pete Pihos, who would become a Pro Football Hall-of-Famer, and Ted Kluszewski, who would go on to baseball fame with the Cincinnati Reds, he was the starting tailback on Indiana’s undefeated Big Nine  championship team.  (Michigan State wouldn’t become the conference’s 10th member until December, 1948). At the end of the season, he was named All-America - quite possibly the youngest player ever to be so honored.

He was the only black player on his team, at a time when at least one football publication referred to him quite unselfconsciously as a “spectacular Negro back."

He was a twice named All-Big Ten, and named on various All-America teams over three different seasons.

In 1948, he was his team's leading rusher, passer and punter.

Although he  was the first black player ever drafted by an NFL team (Chicago Bears - 13th round - 1949),  he was not the first black draftee to play in the NFL (that was Wally Triplett of Penn State) because he signed, instead, with the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference.

He carried 62 times for 330 yards and caught 25 passes for 246 yards, but the Dons went 4-8 in 1949, and they folded following the season. That would be the first of a number of poor seasons he would experience, as his career took him from one bad  team to another.

In 1950, following the AAFC's "merger" into the NFL, he wound up with the New York Yankees. They went 7-5 in 1950 - the only winning season he would experience -  but in 1951, after they finished 1-9-2,  they were moved to Dallas and renamed the Dallas Texans.

After sparse crowds at their first four home games, the Texans' owners gave up and returned the team to the league, and the Texans became vagabonds - officially, a "road team.”  They played the remainder of their schedule on the road, using Hershey,  Pennsylvania as their home base,  but rarely stopping there long enough to do much practicing. They finished the 1952 season a woeful 1-11.

In 1953, after NFL Commissioner Bert Bell persuaded a wealthy Baltimorean named Carroll Rosenbloom  to head a group to buy the Texans and move them to Baltimore,  he went along. Those early Colts’ teams were not yet the team that would win back-to-back NFL titles in 1958 and 1959.  In each of his two years there, the Colts were 3-9.

He was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles before the 1955 season and spent a final year there, playing sparingly on a team that finished 4-7-1.

In college and in the pros, he was a Mr. Everything - in his NFL career, he rushed 436 times for 1936 yards, and caught 70 passes for 1054 yards.  He returned 27 punts for 251 yards and 67 kickoffs for 1415 yards. He punted 93 times for an average of just over 37 yards, and he’s third in the NFL record books for most punts per game, with 14.  He was selected to play in the Pro Bowl in 1951, 1952 and 1953.

Sadly, he played before free agency.  Nowadays, star players shop around for the team that gives them their best chance at a Super Bowl ring, but in his six seasons in pro football - playing on five different teams in two different leagues - he experienced just one winning season.

His teams won a total of only 23 games - 11 of them in his first two seasons - and in 1951-1952 he experienced back-to-back one-win seasons.

In 1972, he was named assistant to the President of Indiana University, responsible primarily for minority recruitment.

In 1981, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, and in 1992 he was elected to Indiana University’s Hall of Fame.

At age 91, George Taliaferro is one of the oldest living former NFL players.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING GEORGE TALIAFERRO:
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI - WISCONSIN
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS

LESS THAN A MONTH AGO…

*********** QUIZ ANSWER - In 64 years of coaching college football, John Gagliardi (Gal-ARR-dee) coached at only two colleges -  both of them small Catholic schools -  spending the last 60 of those years at one of them.

One of nine children of an Italian immigrant coal miner in Trinidad, Colorado, he first became a head coach in 1943, at the age of 16 -  when his high school coach went off to war and there was no one else to coach the team.  It was during that time, as he had to learn on the fly, that he began to question - and reject - many of the rituals and practices thought sacred among the football coaching fraternity.

While attending Colorado College,  he didn’t play football. Instead, he coached a local high school team the entire time.

At 22, he got his first college head coaching job, at Carroll College in Helena, Montana (where Bob Petrino’s father would later become the coach). In four years there, his record was 24-6-1.

That led to the head coaching position at St. John’s University, in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he would stay for 60 years.

His coaching philosophy, at which coaches of all levels marveled,  was, to say the least, “different.” He came to call it “Winning with NO,” which meant no titles (such as “Coach”), no whistles, no hollering at players, no blocking sleds, no tackling in practices, no slogans or signs in the locker room, no playbooks, no grading films - that’s a sample.  The list of his “No’s” was long and impressive.

His practices were 90 minutes - no practice on Sundays or Mondays - and just 45 minutes on Fridays.

All his seniors were captains (“that way they can all put ‘captain’ on their resumes”).

“Calisthenics” might consist of “One perfect jumping jack.”

How did it all work out?

Well, first of all, how many other guys can you think of who lasted 60 years at the same place?

When he retired in 2012, he was the winningest coach in college football history.

At St. John’s, from 1953-2012, he was 465-132-10, with 27 conference titles

His Johnnies won national titles - NAIA 1963 and 1965 and NCAA D-III in 1976 and 2003.

In his entire career he had just two losing seasons - 3-4-1 in 1956 and 3-5 in 1967.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame - he and Bobby Bowden were the first active coaches to be inducted

Since 1993, a Trophy in his name has been awarded annually to the outstanding player in Division III.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JOHN GAGLIARDI
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
JOSH COLE - ODESSA, NEW YORK
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA - “Nice Polish kid”
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA

*********** At the end of the Civil War, there were 112,000 undergraduate students in the US.  Today, 150 years later, the Department of Education estimates that number to be 20,000,000.  Looking at just one measurement of education:  the quality of writing  -  compare  the literature and the newspapers of 150 years ago (even the letters written by Civil War soldiers) with what passes for writing today. Then tell me where the hell all today’s “educated” people are hiding.

*********** Don Gordon, of Deerfield, Massachusetts, wrote me last week:

Since there are few good college games this week might enjoy some of this.

https://youtu.be/evei1dpwREA?list=PL97Cp8D5oEfliAiLms3BYAedUUtn_Pvga

It’s a week late, but no matter - it’s a nice look at his kids at Frontier Regional High running his Double Wing.  Coach Gordon is my kind of guy - he coaches his kids well, he runs what works, and he doesn’t do dumb things.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL -

FIVE GAMES INVOLVING RANKED TEAMS THAT ARE WORTH MY WATCHING:
1. Michigan 9-1/2 over Wisconsin - I’d like to take my chances with the Badgers but that loss to BYU scares me off. Got to go with UM.
2. Washington 3-1/2 over Oregon - It could be a Ducks’ upset, but it could be a Huskies’ blowout. I’d take the points.
3. Georgia 7-1/2 over LSU - Georgia may be even better than the spread, but my heart says LSU will beat the spread. (My heart rules my head.)
4. USC 7 over Colorado - The Buffs had to go and pick Saturday night in the Coliseum for their first tough game and I’m afraid they’ll get it. This could be the Trojans’ team their fans have been waiting for, so I’d take USC and give the points.
5. Penn State 13-1/2 over Michigan State - I like the Spartans and it’s hard to believe the Lions are two TDs better -  but I believe it.

OTHER GAMES THAT I’LL TAKE A LOOK AT - AND STAY WITH UNLESS THEY SUCK
1. Georgia Tech 2-1/2 over Duke - I love Duke and Coach Cut and I know how much he dislikes the wishbone but what the Jackets did to Louisville last week was scary. Still, I’ll take Duke and the points
2. Northwestern 4-1/2 over Nebraska - This could be the Huskers’ best chance at a win. I’ll take Nebraska and the points
3. Iowa 5 over Indiana - Only 5? Can Indiana be that tough? Nah.  I’ll take the Hawkeyes.
4. Boston College 13-1/2 over Louisville -  Louisville admitted it doesn’t have the money to buy Petrino out, but otherwise I’d say he was going down the gurgler. I’ll go with BC
5. Temple 7 over Navy - Sounds about right.  This is not a good Navy team. Air Force crushed them last week in a way few teams - even teams  like Ohio State and Notre Dame  -have ever done. I’ll take the Owls.
6. Cal 6 over UCLA - I think that Cal blew their chances for a decent season when they made a bonehead decision to bench the QB who’d been their starter all last season. Pick of the week: Bruins finally win
7. BYU 11 over Hawaii - I don’t get it.  A BYU team that’s lost two in a row? Blown out in one loss  by 28, the other by 25? If I were in Vegas right now I’d actually bet money on this one.  It’s a lock.
8. Miami 6-1/2 over Virginia - I think the Canes will kill UVa.
9. Virginia Tech 5-1/2 over North Carolina - Not so fast. In their sleep, the Hokies are two touchdowns  better than the Heels.
10. Army over San Jose State - there’s no point spread posted, but if I had to do it, I’d take Army and give 10. San Jose hasn’t seen this sort of an offense.


*********** QUIZ  ANSWER - ANDY Kerr -  was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, but his family moved back East when he was young and he went to high school in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and then to  Dickinson College in the same town.

After several years coaching high school football, he got a job at Pitt as track coach and basketball coach, and as an assistant football coach under the legendary Pop Warner.

In 1922, Warner agreed to accept the head coaching job at Stanford, but because he was contractually bound to Pitt for two more years,  he sent our guy out to “hold his place.” (As a sign of the high regard in which Warner was held, Stanford agreed to the arrangement.) For two seasons, until Warner could arrive and  take over, our guy was Stanford’s head coach, and he  went 11-7. He then returned to being an assistant under Warner for two more years, at which point he accepted the head coaching job at Pennsylvania’s Washington and Jefferson College.

In three years at W & J, he was 16-6-5, which earned him the head job at Colgate, then something of a football power.

That was 1929, and he stayed at Colgate for 18 years, compiling a record of 95-50-7.

His 1932 team, which went 9-0 and didn’t give up a point, was named national champion. But despite its record, it wasn’t invited to represent the East in the Rose Bowl, as would normally have been the case, and writers conferred on that team the nickname “Undefeated, untied, unscored on - and uninvited.”

He finished his career  close to home, at Lebanon Valley, in Annville, Pennsylvania, where he went 15-8-2.

ANDY Kerr is in the College Football Hall of Fame.

A little known fact is that he was also a college head basketball coach.  In one year at Pitt and four years at Stanford he compiled a record of 54-26.


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING ANDY KERR

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN

*********** MORE ON ANDY KERR…

Most of the “research” I do for my QUIZ subjects is rather cursory since I normally need just a few salient facts about a guy.  And, to be frank, I’m often in a bit of a hurry.  But every so often I see something that makes me want to dig deeper, and when I do, I’m always amazed at the things I  discover.  (I take a little pride in pointing out that the research I’m taking about is not synonymous with “googling.”  The material I’m talking about digging through is old-fashioned print-on-paper.  Books, they used to call the things.  And if you don’t have access to the books, you don’t have access to the information that’s in them.

As I did my Internet research on Andy Kerr, it occurred to me that there had to be a lot more to the guy’s story. Book research - two books on the history of Stanford sports, two on the coaches of the early 1900s, one on the history of Pac-10 football, and one on the history of college football - showed me there was quite a bit more.

Some important things you ought to know about ANDY  Kerr.

1. He will forever live in football lore as ANDY Kerr.  Andy, not Andrew  Never at any time during his career or afterward was he referred to as “Andrew.” If someone today were to refer to a “William” Belichick or “Nicholas” Saban, you would wonder if he’d just arrived from another planet.  I can only assume that those of you who identified him as “Andrew” Kerr drew your information from the sometimes-fallible Wikipedia, where evidently for some time and  for some unknown reason Andy Kerr has been called “Andrew.”  I apologize on behalf of Wikipedia, which by and large does a good job, and with my ability to edit its entries I have already made what changes I could to his entry.  It sure would be a sin to see somebody named Andrew Kerr get the credit that’s due to Andy Kerr. 

2. Andy Kerr’s story offers hope for those of you who might be coaching in high school but still aspire to a job at a college.  After graduation from Dickinson College, Andy Kerr taught at a business college in Johnstown, Pennsylvania while coaching high school football there,  and he didn’t get his first college coaching job until he joined Pop Warner’s staff at Pitt in 1915.  He was 36 years old.

3. On the Pitt teams he coached  were two future coaches who would, like him, also carry on Warner’s legacy:  Jock Sutherland, who would go on to become a coaching legend himself at Pitt and then with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Claude “Tiny” Thornhill, who would later serve on Warner’s staff at Pitt with Kerr, and would accompany Kerr to Stanford to coach the line. He would remain at Stanford  for 11 years as Warner’s line coach, and when Warner left to go to Temple, he became the Indians’ head coach. In his first three years, Thornhill took Stanford to three straight Rose Bowls, and for almost 80 years - until David Shaw did so (2011-2013) -  he was the only Stanford coach to take a team to three straight bowl games.

4. The Stanford football program that Kerr arrived to take over wasn’t exactly big time, and he had to start almost from scratch.  Following a long spell (1906-1918) of playing rugby instead of football, Stanford had only three years earlier resumed playing college football. And after three straight losses - the last two of them blowouts - to hated Cal, Stanford’s leaders decided to do something about it.  They went after the best coach possible - Pop Warner.  So badly did they want him that when he expressed interest in the job but when he informed them that he had two years remaining on his contract at Pitt (people didn’t get out of contracts in those days), they agreed to go along with his proposal to send Kerr and Thornhill west to install his system. 

5. All Stanford people  owe a debt of gratitude to Andy Kerr as the coach who brought Ernie Nevers to Stanford.  One of the greatest players in college or pro football history, Nevers is forever identified at Stanford with Pop Warner, but he actually arrived at Stanford the same year as Kerr, and then played his first year of varsity ball as a sophomore under Kerr. (Part of the Ernie Nevers legend is that, as a native of Superior, Wisconsin, he’d hoped to get a scholarship from the Badgers. When no offer came,  he approached the coaches at Cal, who looked at his size and said they’d be interested in him - as a lineman.  Andy Kerr was smart enough to recognize what he had with Nevers. The big guy remained in the backfield and went on to football immortality.)

6. There were many who said that Kerr and Sutherland were actually greater practitioners of the Warner system than Warner himself.  For ten years their careers overlapped,  from 1929 - when Kerr took over at Colgate - through 1938 - when Sutherland resigned in protest of the university’s lack of support of his program -  and during that ten-year period their combined record was 147-32-8.   Despite their common roots under Pop Warner, there doesn’t appear to have been any particular closeness between them, socially or professionally.  In fact, it was Sutherland’s 1932 Pitt team that got the Rose Bowl bid that Colgate was denied.

7. Andy Kerr deserves some credit for making the forward pass an integral part of the game, and not just a surprise tactic. From a site devoted to the 1932 Colgate team:

one of his biggest accolades was the normalizing of the forward pass. Within a pass happy game these days, it is hard to remember that the forward pass was frowned upon early in the formation of football, and was only seen as a desperation play.  If you could not be manly and tough by gaining yards by running the ball, then you had to resort to the less-masculine concept of passing the ball.  However, Kerr saw past this negative stigma and saw how this had the potential to change the game forever. He saw the forward pass as a vital part to an offensive game plan, meaning that if a team was not expecting a pass, then the ability to pass the ball successfully increases significantly. 

(This is a great site,  including video highlights of the Red Raiders’ game against Brown.)
https://sites.google.com/a/colgate.edu/sharaczy/andy-kerr

8. The same site credits Kerr with popularizing what we now call a play-action pass:

"Without directly saying so, Kerr popularized the concept of a 'play-action pass"' whereas the offense fakes a run play followed by a downfield pass."

9. Probably more than anyone in the history of the game, he incorporated the lateral, long a staple of rugby (where forward passing is prohibited), into all aspects of his offense. 

Allison Danzig,  in his great book “History of American Football: Its Great Teams, Players and Coaches (1956),” called by a New York Times critic "without doubt, the most ambitious and best book ever published on the subject of college football."[ tells of a letter he received from Kerr in 1951 in which Kerr wrote, “I believe my development of the lateral pass is one of my greatest contributions to football.  In the development of lateral passes I put great stress on ball handling.  For this phase of the game I received information from rugby coaches and players at Stanford University as well as from one outstanding Canadian rugby coach.  Our ball handling was perfected to the point where the boys could handle multiple passes with accuracy and precision under tremendous pressure…

“We have made a great deal of use of down-field laterals. Some of these are definitely planned and other are optional. On most of our double wing plays we have a back who is faking taking the ball from the fullback (what he called the player in position to take the direct snap. HW). He continues down field and in many cases he is in a position to receive a lateral pass.”

In 1934, Ohio State  narrowly beat Colgate. Later, Buckeyes’ coach Francis Schmidt told the Saturday Evening Post, “Colgate offers one of the most modern offenses in the country, and they don’t think any more of tossing a lateral pass than they do of taking a shower after the game… Colgate has a squad of ball handlers and they fired the pigskin around like a major league baseball team during the infield practice.”

In 1931 Warner, his season over, sat on the sideline during a game in which Colgate struggled to beat Brown, 13-7.

When the game was won, Warner said to him, “Those touchdowns come hard, Andy. Good thing you had those laterals.”

When Kerr responded, “I suppose you think you could have done better with straight power, Pop?” Warner said, “No. Seriously, Andy, I’m tinkering with this lateral business.”

10. From 1932 until 2001, Colgate was known as the Red Raiders.  Andy Kerr was the reason.  In 1932, he introduced bright maroon uniforms for his team, and as Colgate’s record built (that was the year of Colgate’s famed unbeaten, untied and unscored-on team), so did its reputation.  Just as a sportswriter years later would refer to Army as the Black Knights of the Hudson, Dexter Teed, a young instructor of journalism at Colgate coined the term “Red Raiders of the Chenango Valley.”  The nickname caught on, and Colgate’s teams began to be known as the Red Raiders. Unfortunately, although the nickname  originally had absolutely zero racial connotations, over time there grew some “references to Native American caricatures and mascots,” and the “red” had to go.

In 2001, the University Board of Trustees made the following statement:

The Colgate University Board of Trustees, upon the recommendation of the President, Director of Athletics and the members of the campus Committee on Athletics, has announced that the University will drop the "Red" from its nickname Red Raiders. The change will be initiated immediately.

Colgate adopted the name Raiders to move away from the racial stereotype, which is indeed not the true origin of the nickname for Colgate but may nonetheless be offensive to the general public in ways that undermine the institution's values and commitments.

RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, the nickname Red Raiders was originally coined by Dexter Teed as a reference to the new maroon uniforms of the 1932 football team, but later associations for many years created references to Native American caricatures and mascots,
AND WHEREAS, though Colgate dropped the Native American references in the 1970s, sentiments connected to the old mascot linger and there has been pressure to change the nickname,
AND WHEREAS the on-campus Committee on Athletics - comprising students, faculty and staff - has recommended that "Red" be dropped from the Red Raider nickname to remove any possible inference of a racial stereotype,
AND WHEREAS, the State Education Department is encouraging high schools throughout the state to change nicknames and mascots that signal a racial stereotype, and "Red Raiders" is on that targeted list,
AND WHEREAS Colgate recruits students from those schools and seeks to be a model for them,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Colgate teams henceforth shall be known as the Raiders, and further, that as new uniforms, equipment and publications are phased in, they will incorporate the new name.

(QUESTION: Is this retroactive?  Must we change history? Must we now go back in time and take away the glory earned by Colgate’s teams as the Red Raiders?  Do I, in the manner in which many modern “journalists” refer to the Redskins as “The Washington Team,” have to adhere to university policy?  Is there a Red Raider statue somewhere that needs to be torn down?

http://patriotleague.org/sports/2016/6/13/genrel-081501aaa-html.aspx


*********** Adam Wesoloski sent along a great highlights video of the 1932 Colgate team against Brown.  It is a great exhibit of Andy Kerr’s version of Pop Warner’s unbalanced-line double wing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mocPdc1es3A

*********** QUIZ - He was born in the small town of Sacul, Texas, but when his parents fell ill, he was taken in by a childless couple in nearby Rusk.  At Rusk High School he was an outstanding high school athlete, and he chose  TCU partly because it agreed to  let him play both football and basketball.

In 1955 he gained 1,283 yards on just 157 carries and scored 18 touchdowns as the Horned Frogs went 9-2 and finished with a No. 5 national ranking.  His 8.2 yards-per-carry average led the nation and is still the school record.

An electrifying runner, a threat to go all the way on any play,  he was nicknamed the  Rusk Rambler.

In his career at TCU, he had three great performances against Texas. (Perhaps he saved his best for the Longhorns because they hadn't recruited him.) In TCU's 47-20 trouncing of Texas in 1955, he carried 15 times for 235 yards and four touchdowns. The night before, thousands of Texas fans had gathered for a candle-light vigil, hoping to put a hex on the Frogs. "Heck," said TCU Coach Abe Martin, "if a candle can beat us, we ain't very good."

In the final game of his career, a historic Cotton Bowl matchup with Syracuse and the great Jim Brown,  he scored the winning touchdown in a 28-27 victory. (Brown scored 21 points by himself, but missed the extra point that proved the margin of victory.)

He was named first-team All-America running back in both 1954 and 1955, and finished second in the Heisman voting in 1955.  He was on the covers of numerous football magazines, and at least twice on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

“He was one of the five best players in TCU history and should have won the Heisman,” said Dan Jenkins, the famous TCU alum, football historian and writer.

“He was a guy basically, with Davey O’Brien and Sammy Baugh, that put TCU on the map,” said TCU coach Gary Patterson.

But he passed up the NFL to go to medical school.

“The Bears drafted me, and it was temptIng,” he told the Star-Telegram years later. “George Halas used to call me up and talk for an hour. He’d say, ‘I need someone up here who doesn’t fumble the ball.’ But I just couldn’t fit it into my schedule.’

In 1966 he was drafted into the Army and served in Vietnam as a medic - as the Black Lions’ Battalion Surgeon - returning home in 1968 as a captain with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

For 35 years  he was an orthopedic surgeon in Fort Worth, but in 2006 after a stroke, he returned to Rusk, where he grew up, and continued to practice. He died in 2014.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980 and into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000.

“Much of what we accomplished didn’t seem such a big deal at the time,” he told the Star-Telegram in 2000 before his induction into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame. “It was just a part of the overall experience of getting a college education. It was also a more innocent time, and we were mostly kids from small towns who hadn’t seen much of the world. It was also the one-platoon era, where you could build a competitive program with a lot fewer people than it takes today.”

At the time of his death in 2014, his wife told the Tyler Morning Telegraph that of all the things he had accomplished,  “He was most proud of being an Academic All-American. He was proud of all of his accomplishments, but he was especially proud of that.”


american flagTUESDAY,  OCTOBER 9,  2018 -   “If it weren't for Columbus, the Italians would have had to invent the tomato."  Hugh Wyatt

I wish I could say that the absence of a page today is my way of observing Indigenous Peoples Day.  I wish.  Since Saturday night I've been sick.  How sick? 
I've been on my back most of the time since then.  How sick? I went two days without shooting pool.   How sick?  I couldn't even drag my sorry ass down to the sauna - usually a sure cure for what ails you - until this afternoon.  How sick? It's now 5:30 PM Monday, and I just got back from walking my dog, Lainey,  for the first time in two days.   If you knew Lainey, and how insistent she is about getting her three walks a day, you'd understand how painful it's been to have to reject her advances. Anyhow, as the oldtimers used to say, I'm now able to sit up and take nourishment. 

See you Friday, if not before.



american flagFRIDAY,  OCTOBER 5,  2018 -   “The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department." Thomas Sowell


As everybody with a cause or a project seems to be doing these days, I started a Gofundme page with a hard-luck story about needing enough money to keep me in beer for the next  couple of months; I'm happy to report that with donations now in excess of $450,000 (I had no idea there were so many chumps out there) , I could afford to turn down the extremely generous offer made to me by an Indian casino to provide college football tips to their high rollers, and to continue to publish this page twice a week.

*********** (The following is written by someone who can remember (1) when there was NO college football on TV (mainly because there was no TV); (2) when the NCAA limited  college football on TV to one game a week, and spread the wealth in such a way that it was rare to see teams other than Notre Dame or Michigan or Texas more than once a season.   Now that he’s able to watch maybe 50 or 60 different game on an average Saturday, you’d think, wouldn’t you, that such a person would be grateful as hell,  the last person in the world to gripe about the quality of this Saturday’s offerings?  Well, you’d be wrong.  That’s what happens when you spoil someone…)

Guys, if ever there was a fall Saturday that you could go shopping with your wife, or rake leaves, or watch little kids play soccer, this is it.

Okay, okay - just kidding about the little kids playing soccer.

But damn - with some 50 games on TV Saturday, there’s precious few that you’d call must-see.

How about this: there are just three game between two ranked teams:

#19 Texas vs #7 Oklahoma in Dallas (OU favored by 7-1/2)

#5 LSU at #22 Florida (LSU favored by 2)

#6 Notre Dame at #24 Virginia Tech  (ND favored by 6-1/2)

(To me, they’re all interesting games.  For what it’s worth, although Florida scares me, I would take the favorite in all of them.)

***

Otherwise, there are very few games that anyone  but a football fanatic  would call “compelling.”  Most of the ranked teams are in stinker matchups:

You like #1 Alabama?  You can watch them for a quarter or so and then take your wife out to lunch and not miss much.  They’re 35-point favorites over Arkansas.

#2 Georgia? The Bulldogs play Vanderbilt.  I like Vandy - got a granddaughter who goes there.  Couple of weeks ago, Vandy almost beat Notre Dame. Now, Georgia is a 27-point favorite.

#3 Ohio State?   They’re 26-point favorites over Indiana.

#4 Clemson?  They had trouble with Syracuse last Saturday.  This week it’s Wake Forest.  I like Wake - got a grandson who goes there.  But sheesh. Clemson is favored by 20.

#9 West Virginia?  28-1/2 points over Kansas

#10 Washington? 21-points over UCLA

#15 Michigan?  17-1/2 points over Maryland

#16 Wisconsin? 17-points  over Nebraska

***

MY TEN MOST INTERESTING GAMES

Boston College at #23 NC State - (NCS by 5-1/2) Don’t look now, but State is still unbeaten  STATE

Missouri at South Carolina - USC by 1-1/2 - The Battle of the Columbias. USC has been a BIG disappointment. I’m going out on a limb at taking MIZZOU

Navy at Air Force (Navy by 3)  — Air Force is down this year - NAVY

#8 Auburn at Mississippi State (Auburn by 4) —- AUBURN seems to have State's number

Arizona State at #21 Colorado (Buffs by 2-1/2) — We’ll find out if Colorado really is the best in the Pac-12 South - COLORADO

#13 Kentucky at Texas A & M  (A & M by 6) — Seriously? The Aggies are favored? BY 6 points? KENTUCKY

Florida State at #17 Miami (Miami by 13-1/2) - This one scares me, but - MIAMI

California at Arizona - (Cal by 2-1/2) - Wildcats have to win this one ARIZONA

Iowa at Minnesota - (Iowa by 7) - What happened to that boat, anyhow?  IOWA

Utah at #14 Stanford - (Stanford by 5-1/2) - Both teams have been disappointing.  STANFORD


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

Notre Dame surprised me.  I thought they had what it takes to beat Stanford, but I didn't think it would turn out the way it did.  Ian Book now makes the ND offense consistent, and the defense is getting better each week.  This week's game vs. VA Tech is a definite 'trap' game for ND. They'll need to play extremely well to beat the Hokies in Blacksburg.

I'm with you on the Army West Point stuff.  Really annoying.

My alma mater Fresno State is now 3-1.  Only loss a last minute one to a young, injury riddled and slumping Minnesota Golden Gopher team.

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

***********   I remember Steven Montez's dad. I was coaching at Las Animas, CO, when he was making headlines for tiny Granada, CO. If you haven't seen this, I think you'll enjoy it.

https://www.ralphiereport.com/2016/10/8/13167122/steven-montez-colorado-buffaloes-football.

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas


*********** A coach I’ve known for quite some time, a guy whom I’ve seen grow into a really good coach, is off to a rough start.

Lest you think that God picks favorites, it can happen any time  to any of us who don’t have control of where and how we get our athletes and who’s on our schedule.

For what it’s worth, once you’ve coached long enough, a bad season doesn’t diminish you in any way as a coach.  In my case, after I’d been through an 0-9 season, I figured I’d been through the worst thing that could happen in terms of  win-loss record, and that seemed to give me added strength in my dealings with anything that might come my way.

If others thought less of me as a coach because of that season, that was their problem.  I knew I could coach and it didn’t affect my self-confidence in the slightest.

In my opinion, you’re not really a coach until you no longer allow wins and losses to define you as a coach; unfortunately,  sometimes that means you have to take a beating to get to that point.

It might help any coach who’s suffering right now  - even a first-timer - to keep in mind that in Chuck Noll’s first three years as a head coach, he went 1-13, 5-9, 6-8. He went on to establish himself as an all-time great.

Tom Landry’s start as a head coach was even worse. In his first FIVE seasons he was 0-11-1, 4-9-1, 5-8-1, 4-10, 5-8-1.


*********** My former head coach, Todd Bridge, played offensive line for the Washington Huskies back in their glory days under Don James. Not once did I see him wear any of the rings he’d earned while at Washington.  Monday, he wore four of them.  He’s now the AD at Elma, Washington High, and this being Homecoming Week, he was prevailed on for some reason to wear them: (From left to right) National championship; Rose Bowl; Rose Bowl; Pac-10 championship.

todd bridge rings

*********** Although his family moved to Rochester, New York when he was a boy, Don Holleder was born in Buffalo, and that city has begun to realize that it, too, plays a part in the Don Holleder story.

https://www.wgrz.com/video/news/don-holleder-a-buffalo-born-hero/71-8268776

*********** TIMING IS EVERYTHING DEPT…

At a time when the fate of a Supreme Court nominee was being fought over an issue of alleged sexual misconduct, UMASS head coach Mark Whipple, after losing at  Ohio U, 58-42, chose an especially inappropriate time to say,  in his postgame remarks,  that the officials “raped us.”

And in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, of all places.

He was suspended without pay for a week.

https://boston.cbslocal.com/2018/09/30/mark-whipple-umass-football-suspended/

*********** Baseball’s overall average attendance per game continues to decline.

It was down 4 per cent this season, and  Baltimore, Chicago (White Sox), Minneapolis, Miami and Pittsburgh all experienced their lowest average attendance since opening new ballparks.

So what’s baseball doing about it?  Why, they’re going to try to appeal to the “younger” audience - the one that’s been conditioned to expect the sort of antics they see in other sports.  The antics that baseball has long frowned on, such as  taunting and  bringing undue attention to one’s self by - you know, flipping the bat, pausing to admire one’s home run, flexing and pulling off the Clark Kent shirt and tie.

As a start, Major League Baseball is running a promo on TV showing the antics in question and suggesting that it’s time to do away with the game's “unwritten rules” against buffoonery.

Yeah. That’ll get the kids out to the Old Ball Game.

Once, maybe.  Until they get tired of watching batters stepping in and out of the batter’s box and repeated changes of pitchers,  and managers walking out to the mound - and games taking three hours to play.

And no amount of bat flipping or flexing will get them to come back.

*********** My friend Dwayne Pierce split last Friday: he won one and lost one.

He lost when his Coolidge High team fell to Cordozo, 18-0, in a Washington, DC high school varsity contest.

But he also won - simply by fielding a team.  If he hadn’t been able to field the required 19 eligble kids by game time, Friday,  Coolidge’s kids, who had already had to forfeit their first two games, would have had to sit out the rest of the season.

(More likely, the handful of dedicated kids  who really wanted to play football would have transferred elsewhere, driving a stake into any hopes Coolidge would have had to revive the program next year.)

It took Coach Pierce weeks of recruiting.  At one point, he thought he had a deal with the soccer coach who had a similar numbers problem and proposed a swap of players: if Coach Pierce would “lend” him some players for a soccer match - which he did - the soccer coach would return the favor.  But when it came time to do so, he didn’t. 

Coach Pierce endured repeated turndowns by basketball players, good athletes but third stringers on the basketball team, with little chance of ever playing. They  told him that they were going to stick with basketball because they were going to play in the NBA some day. 

Somehow, he pulled it off  I didn’t ask him how.  All I did was tell  him that my wife and I were praying for him and his kids.  It couldn't have hurt. .

After the game several kids came up to Coach Pierce and asked if it was too late for them to come out.

Never too late, he told them.


*********** If what a Gunnison, Utah mother claims is true, there are some sick boys in their high school’s football program.  And some irresponsible coaches.

What is it that goes on in kids’ minds when they - allegedly - pin a kid down while one of them squats and presses his junk in that kid’s face?

And - assuming that this happened as the mother charges - what kind of coaches would allow kids to be unsupervised to the point that this ugliness could take place?

I wish we could say that this has nothing to do with football, but football was the reason why those kids were associating with one another, and any act like this reflects badly on our game.  Those coaches - if this is true - have let us all down.

Let this be a lesson to all coaches who have ever left kids unsupervised - at camp, on buses, in locker rooms:

Utah has lawyers, too, and if this happened the way it’s described,  those coaches could pay dearly for their failure to supervise the kids entrusted to them.

https://usatodayhss.com/2018/utah-football-mom-gunnison-valley-details-alleged-in-practice-sexual-abuse-of-son


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

Hope all is well.

I love reading the news and a few things came to mind this week.

When you were at Eagles Mere I hope you at least hiked the waterfall trails at Red Rock, its a pretty impressive thing to see.   Other than that I agree that there isn't much to do there.  My wife's family cabin is nearby.  We happened to go to HersheyPark yesterday, it was extremely crowded but we had free tickets and only stayed for a couple hours.

I thought you might find this interesting.  The local paper did a piece on high school team mascots.  I graduated from and coached wrestling and football at Hempfield High School, I'm a little more proud of the mascot now than I ever was before.

https://lancasteronline.com/news/local/what-s-the-origin-history-of-high-school-mascots-in/article_a049d366-c1a8-11e8-9711-6310d9d900cf.html

I know you are interested by school mascots.

On a side note, I reffed a youth game on Saturday and noticed the coach had a play drawn up out of double wing.  He didn't know much about it so I directed him to your website.  I hope he contacts you, he seemed interested.  I recommended the new playbook.

Thanks

Dave Kemmick
Mount Joy, Pennsylvania

Coach Kemmick’s high school:

Hempfield: Black Knights

District spokeswoman Shannon Zimmerman found the answer in a speech given several years ago by Don Emich, a 1955 Hempfield graduate, at his induction into the district’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

According to Emich, former Intelligencer Journal sports editor Marvin Miller wrote about Hempfield athletes as the “Red and Black of Hempfield” or “the boys from Landisville” in articles in the early 1950s. By the mid-’50s, the student council decided they needed an official name.

They solicited names from the student body, pared entries down to five and asked students to vote. The Black Knights were victorious.

Emich said the name was submitted by classmate Ken Bowers, who told him he chose the name to honor the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, whose athletes were “at the pinnacle of college football” in the late ’40s and early ’50s.

Their official name was the Cadets but they were fondly known as “the Black Knights of the Hudson,” Emich said. (The Army formally changed its team name to the Black Knights in 1999, some 44 years after Hempfield adopted the name.)

*********** Remember C. J. Fuller from Clemson?  A few years ago, he was a key part of their national championship team.  This past February, he announced that he planned to transfer; the next month, he was arrested and charged with armed robbery.

He was found dead Wednesday of as-yet known causes.  He was 22.

*********** A coach I know was advised that he “needed to make more efforts to get our best athletes more attention by incorporating offensive concepts that they would use at the ‘next level.’”

The irony is that he’s been highly successful. But in our society, everybody wants more, more, more.  It’s not enough to win games - you have to “showcase” your athletes.

He basically told them to shove it.

*********** On the subject of running a spread offense at the high school level, there are certainly some points in its favor:

One of the most significant is that  because so many top college programs are running a spread offense of some sort, you have access to the offensive thinking of some of the brightest people in the game.

But to me, the most significant is that it gives you immunity as a strategist.  There can’t be anything wrong with your thinking, can there, if you’re doing the same stuff they’re doing at Alabama… or Clemson… or Ohio State… or Penn State…? It gives you cover, because (for the Alabamas, the Clemsons, the Ohio States) it works!

But there is a problem.  A HUGE problem. 

If you’re going to do what everybody else does, you’re going to have to do it at least as well as they do.

You’re going to have to have the people… the knowledge of the schemes… the people… the ability to coach the techniques… the people… the savvy to call the plays… the people.

People?  If you’re a high school coach who has to deal with the kids who get off the bus every morning, you can’t depend on having the people.

There’s something else, too. When you run what everybody else runs, you don’t create any special problems for opposing defenses.  They’re used to seeing your offense, and they think they have a way to stop it.  An old football saying covers it: “Familiarity breeds defense.”

There’s a lot to be said for being different: for being the only guy in your league who uses a tight end - two tight ends, even;  the only guy who runs option; the only guy who has a lead blocker; the only guy who runs misdirection; the only guy with a QB under center.

You get the idea - when you choose to be different, you don’t have to be better than everybody else at what they’re doing.  In fact, if you can become good enough at what you’re doing, you will create huge problems for opponents because they can’t possibly be as good as you at running your offense.  What that means is the even the best teams will have trouble trying to simulate your offense with only a week to do it.

***********  A few weeks ago, on national TV, Jets’ running back Isaiah Crowell scored a touchdown, then “celebrated” by wiping his rear end with the ball before throwing it  into the Cleveland crowd. (He’d once played for Cleveland.)

Jets' coach Todd Bowles was not amused.  Nor was the NFL, which fined him $13,000.

Hey, he said afterwards. he was just havin’ fun. You know how that goes, he said:  “You gotta have fun. If you're not having fun with what you do, you might as well stop doing it. That's how I feel about it."

Yeah. I mean, if it gets to the point where you can’t score a touchdown and celebrate by wiping your ass, you might as well give up football and get a job at the car wash.

In the meantime - only in America - it appears that Mr. Asswipe has been signed to an endorsement contract by something called Dude Wipes.

I’m amazed, given Mr. Crowell’s past  (an arrest for multiple firearms offenses that got him thrown off the team at Georgia) that Nike let Dude Wipes get to him first.

*********** QUIZ ANSWER -  Bill McColl was a four-sport star as a high school athlete in San Diego, and at Stanford, at 6-4, 225 (a giant for his time) he was a 2-time All-American.  Playing both ways, he was an outstanding pass receiver as an offensive end and a terror on defense at either end or tackle.

He, along with a quarterback named Gary Kerkorian, were the main reasons why new coach Chuck Taylor took the Indians (as they were then called) to the Rose Bowl in his first season on The Farm. Taylor realized that his best chance of success was to stress the passing game - something for which Stanford became noted over the years, as it turned out great quarterback after great quarterback.

He was a third-round draft choice of the Bears, and in his eight years in Chicago, playing as a tight end and then as a slot back,  he played in all 96 games. For his career, he caught 201 passes for 2800 yards and 25 touchdowns.

He could throw as well as catch.  In 1956, he was on the throwing end of a 79-yard pass play, the longest in the NFL that season, against the Giants.

All the while he played with the Bears, he was studying medicine at the University of Chicago, and after retirement from football he became an orthopedic surgeon.


Bill McColl  and his wife had six children, two of whom, Duncan and Milt, also played football at Stanford.

He and Duncan are the only father and son team in Stanford football history to be named All-American.

Milt McColl played in the NFL for the 49ers and Raiders and is now a physician in suburban Chicago.


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BILL MCCOLL

JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA


*********** Besides Bill McColl, there have been a handful of other former NFL players who became medical doctors.

One current player,  Laurent Duvernay-Tardif of the Chiefs, is already an MD, a graduate of McGill University Medical School

Others:

Tony Adamle - Browns - Ohio State, Western Reserve Med School

Dan Fortmann - Bears - Colgate, U of Chicago Med School

John Frank - San Francisco 49ers - Ohio State (undergraduate and med school)

Bill McColl - Bears - Stanford, U of Chicago Med School

Dave Middleton - Lions, Vikings - Auburn, Tennessee Med School

Myron Rolle - Titans - Florida State, FSU Med School - now a resident in neurosurgery at Harvard

Mike Sommer - Redskins, Colts - George Washington University  (undergraduate and medical school)

*********** QUIZ - He was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, but his family moved back East when he was young and he went to high school in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and then to  Dickinson College. in the same town

After college, he got a job at Pitt as track coach and basketball coach, and as an assistant football coach under the legendary Pop Warner.

In 1922, Warner agreed to accept the head coaching job at Stanford, but because he was contractually bound to Pitt for two more years,  he sent our guy out to “hold his place.” (As a sign of the high regard in which Warner was held, Stanford agreed to the arrangement.) For two seasons, until Warner could arrive and  take over, our guy was Stanford’s head coach, and he  went 11-7. He then returned to being an assistant under Warner for two more years, at which point he accepted the head coaching job at Pennsylvania’s Washington and Jefferson College.

In three years at W & J, he was 16-6-5, which earned him the head job at Colgate, then something of a football power.

That was 1929, and he stayed at Colgate for 18 years, compiling a record of 95-50-7.

His 1932 team, which went 9-0 and didn’t give up a point, was named national champion. But despite its record, it wasn’t invited to represent the East in the Rose Bowl, as would normally have been the case, and writers conferred on that team the nickname “Undefeated, untied, unscored on - and uninvited.”

He finished his career  close to home, at Lebanon Valley, in Annville, Pennsylvania, where he went 15-8-2.

He is in the College Football Hall of Fame.

A little known fact is that he was also a college head basketball coach.  In one year at Pitt and four years at Stanford he compiled a record of 54-26.







american flagTUESDAY,  OCTOBER 2,  2018 -   “A man always has two reasons for what he does--a good one, and the real one.” J. P. Morgan

*********** A SPECIAL NOTICE TO ALL MY FAITHFUL READERS…

In case you weren’t paying attention, I was 9 of 10 on my Top Ten picks last week. The only game I missed was Utah by 1-1/2 over Washington State. That's big-time pickin' folks.

Such a shocking performance by a heretofore relative unknown came to the attention of a Northwest Indian nation which has made me a generous offer to provide college football tips (for a fee) for large players at its casino.

Once I sign the contract, all my work over the years will have been  repaid many times over, and I will be independently wealthy.

I’d like to thank all you Little People out there  for your support over the years. Without you, I’d never have stayed around long enough to make it to the Big Time.

All that’s left now is for my legal people to dot all the “i’s” and cross all the “t’s.”

It saddens me somewhat to have to tell you that this will be my last “free” web page, which for some of you means “adios.”  From now on, access to my page will be by subscription or special permission from the tribe.

(Just on the outside chance that the Chief and the Tribal Council might not immediately agree to all my demands, I plan on preparing one last “free” page for Friday.)

*********** For the third week in a row, Army went up against an unbeaten team, and after those three weeks, the Black Knights came out 2-1.  Two weeks ago it was Hawaii, last week it was Oklahoma, and this past Saturday it was Buffalo.

Maybe it’s the Army ball control offense - against Buffalo they held the ball for 37-1/2 minutes to Buffalo’s 22-1/2 - but whatever the reason, their opponents have not played their best offensively.

Just as with Hawaii a couple of weeks ago, Buffalo started out with a quick score - and then wilted. So inefficient was their QB, so ham-handed were their receivers, so foolish were their penalties that you had to wonder how they’d managed to win all four of their games.

I think it has something to do with the fact that a ball-control team forces on its opponents a sense of urgency that they’re not used to. Pass-first teams often appear willing to roll the dice in the sure belief that even if they go three-and-out they’ll get the ball back soon enough, a mindset that doesn’t work well against an opponent that can put on 19-play drives.

After five games, Army is now 3-2, and three things are certain - they’ve found a quarterback in Kelvin Hopkins, a junior from Charlotte, North Carolina’s Independence High; they’ve got three or four big, bruising fullbacks; and, after a slow start in the opening game against Duke,  the Army offensive line is more physical than any defensive line they’ve faced since.

*********** Kill me or the Army broadcast crew.

They must have received orders from the brass to say “Army West Point.” To any longtime Army fan who cheers for the guys who go to the US Military Academy, aka West Point, “Touchdown, Army West Point!” sounds like fingermails on a chalkboard. (It's not the fact that “Army” scored that's annoying  - it's the way those clowns insist on shoving “Army West Point” down our throats.

And God knows when the “Junior” that players more and more affect became an actual part of a player’s last name, but it sounds weird as hell to hear announcers say, “Hopkins Junior back to throw… Hopkins Junior keeps… Hopkins Junior hands off…”

(If it’s really a part of his last name, and not just a tag, wouldn’t a son named after him become “Hopkins Junior, Junior.”)

For what it’s worth (not that most of those talking heads can read):  The suffix “Junior” is an explanation of the first name, not the last. "John Doe Jr." means he is John, the son of John.

*********** Although it would be nice if things worked that way, there’s no truth to the rumor that as disaffected Seahawks’ safety Earl Thomas  was being trundled off the field Sunday,  Seattle management finally agreed to renegotiate his contract.  Downward.

(That would, though,  explain his giving the finger to the Seahawks’ sideline.)

*********** After weeks of acrimony and requests to be traded, after holding out during training camp then returning to the Seahawks a week ago, still missing meetings and practices, safety Earl Thomas broke his leg in yesterday’s game against the Cardinals.

Let that be a lesson to the Steelers, hard-up as they seem to be right now: it’s important to train and to practice.  If high school kids have to be in shape to play their sport, pros, who play the game against much bigger, faster and harder-hitting people, do, too.

Watch the Steelers  give Le’Veon Bell the moon and the stars - and then  watch him get hurt.

*********** A few weeks ago, the adoring father of UCLA freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson had some crude, derogatory things to say about his son’s coach, Chip Kelly.  Among them: Kelly's  play-calling was “lousy,” and his success at Oregon was “a fluke.”

It’s never easy when you’re looking for your first win, and it’s not made any easier when you have a&&hole daddies with pipelines to the media, but to Kelly’s credit, he didn’t say anything in return.

Instead, he started young Mr. Thompson-Robinson (why can’t people make up their minds which name to use?) against Colorado, and let the kid’s play speak for itself.

That it did.  What his play  (17 of 35 for 138 and 1 TD) said was “lousy.”

*********** Friday night’s Ivy League game was Princeton against Columbia. Princeton QB John Lovett is a rare fifth-year senior in a league that prohibits red-shirting (he missed all of last season with an injury, but dropped out of school spring semester so he’s still a senior), and he’s a good-looking athlete.  He’s 6-3, 230, with good speed and moves - and he throws well.  He is, truly, a throwback to the days of the great single wing tailbacks.

*********** Meantime, Steven Montez will never get mentioned for the Heisman because Colorado plays too late for eastern viewers and besides that, he doesn’t play for a sexy West Coast team.  But Montez, the Buffs’ QB, is the real deal.  Friday night, against UCLA, he threw for 237 yards and ran for 81 more.

*********** Wow. Tulane beat Memphis.  That hadn’t happened in years.  I like the Tulane helmets - it’s always a challenge to depict a “green wave.”

Suddenly, Navy’s earlier win over Memphis doesn’t look quite so remarkable.

*********** For the first time this year, Purdue looked like the Purdue everyone had expected. QB David Blough and WR Rondale Moore looked really good, and Nebraska is still looking for its first win under new coach Scott Frost.

*********** Told ya Duke shouldn’t have been favored over Virginia Tech.

*********** Northwestern took it to Michigan for the better part of the game, but took a snooze on offense in the second half.  MIchigan DC Don Brown pulled Harbaugh’s chestnuts out of the fire once again.

*********** Ohio State is a QB away from being a great team.  Penn State lost the game, and likely any hopes it had of being in the playoffs.

Penn State coach James Franklin went blah, blah, blah afterward about what they had to do to take the program to the next level, blah, blah, blah, using his talk as the bright shiny object that distracted reporters from asking the question most people wanted answered:  what was with that play call?

I’d have asked, “Coach Franklin, your QB was responsible for 461 yards of total offense - 286 yards passing and 175 running - and an awful lot of the running yardage came either from running out of the pocket or from called QB draws.  So  on the final play, 4th and 4, with the game on the line - you run a power read?  It’s always easy for people to second-guess, by why make it easier for them?”

*********** Interestingly, while being one inch across the line of scrimmage was enough to get Penn State QB Trace McSorley called for throwing an illegal forward pass,  on Ohio State’s first TD, a “screen” pass - with linemen downfield, permitted if  the ball is completed behind the line of scrimmage - the ball was caught a full yard past the line of scrimmage

If you recorded the game, check it out.

It was an easy call that the officials inexplicably missed.  Not a f—king word about it from the announcing crew, and not a word from the Penn State sideline either, despite their having a small army of coaches up in the press box.

*********** Wish I could say I called the Syracuse-Clemson game, but all I did was question the point spread.  If you bet the “Cuse, you’re welcome.

There was a lot of talk about the way Dabo Swinney escaped intact after demoting his starting QB earlier in the week - prompting the deposed starter to announce his intention to transfer - and then seeing the new QB go down.

Meantime, not much talk about Syracuse QB Eric Dungey, who almost pulled off his second consecutive upset of Clemson.  He was 26 of 41 for 250 yards in the air.

*********** There was a nice feature on ESPN GameDay about Syracuse offensive lineman Koda Martin, a graduate transfer who started out at Texas A & M.

(He’s married to Syracuse Coach Dino Babers’ daughter.)

*********** Syracuse is now 4-1, after a narrow loss to highly-ranked Clemson.  So what does the Orange have to do to get ranked?

************* Greg Hansen, in the Arizona Star, wrote a scathing column about Saturday night’s USC game…

Pac-12 referee Steven Strimling performed Saturday’s pregame coin toss in Spanish. He referred to Arizona as Gatos and to USC as Troyanos and used a lot of other words I didn’t understand.

At the conclusion of the toss, won by the Gatos, I could swear Strimling said “buena suerte, muchachos, lo necesitares.”

Good luck, guys, you’ll need it.

He went on…

It was truly a game neither team seemed deserving to win.

After being scorched by the Troyanos on Saturday, the most daunting news is that Arizona must still play Oregon, Colorado, Washington State and a lot of other teams before coach Sumlin’s first season reaches an end.

Saturday’s loss was sobering on two fronts: First, the Gatos weren’t really competitive until mop-up time. As USC built a 17-0 lead, the Troyanos accumulated a 238 to 52 edge in total offense. Second, only 43,573 showed up at Arizona Stadium. That’s far below the Arizona Stadium average of 52,532 fans for UA-USC games in their Pac-10/12 history.

It was barely more than the 41,493 that showed up two weeks earlier to watch Arizona play Southern Utah.

Is that how far UA football has fallen from grace in this community? It can’t even draw 50,000 fans for the USC game?

https://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/greg-hansen-wildcats-need-a-milagro-after-another-dud-of/article_688c44a6-af3b-50f6-b0f8-9240c0150fef.html

*********** I have it on pretty good authority that despite rumors last spring, Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo was NOT in the running to beome Arizona’s head coach.  Nonetheless, the rumors were enough to prompt Arizona QB Khalil Tate to tweet “I didn’t come to Arizona to run the tripple (sic) option.”

The irony is that Tate's play has been such a disappointment  this season that he might actually have done better as a wishbone quarterback.

*********** Adam Hu
nsucker of the Monroe News-Star is good for at least one good laugh every week.  This week he's got  Penn State in 16th place in the Football Writers Poll.  Ohio State, a one-point victor over Penn State,  is at #4.  Hunsucker,  you telling me there was that much difference between the two teams Saturday?

Fortunately, there are enough intelligent voters in the poll to offset Hunsucker's idiocy to put Penn State  in 8th place.

*********** Arizona State running back, Eno Benjamin, carried 30 times against Oregon State for 312 yards and 3 TDs.

He’s from Wylie, Texas, where, we were told, he was a 3.9 student, and in his post-game interview, he was unusually well-spoken.

*********** Washington State actually “Un-couged” one Saturday, pulling out a come-from-behind win with an 89-yard pass-and-run from Gardner Minshew (East Carolina graduate transfer) to Easop Winston with under five minutes to play.

MInshew was 31 of 56 for 445 yards and 3 TDs.
A MIssissipi native who has really caught on with the Wazzu crowd, Minshew  wears a mustache, which has led to many Cougar fans sporting fake mustaches.

It was definitely the Ugly Game of the Week.  Nowhere to be seen were the usual cool red Utah helmets; gone was any trace of crimson on the Wazzu uniforms.  Worst of all were the Utah socks (or lack of same) - some Utes wore full-length black sox, some wore short black sox, some wore no sox at all.  And one clown - how can a coach let a team take the field looking like this? - wore a long black stocking on one leg and no stocking at all on the other.

Many years ago, when I was selling packaging, one of my customers was the Parks Sausage Company of Baltimore. Its President, Henry G. Parks, was at the time one of the most successful black businessmen in America, and part of the reason was the fact that he ran a tight ship.  Mr. Parks expected his employees to look sharp and to wear the company uniform.  When he would encounter an employee who wasn’t appropriately dressed, he would ask, “Do you know the definition of the word ‘uniform?’”

*********** Oregon once again seemed to be unsure how to put a game away.  With the nation’s top passing quarterback, Justin Herbert, having another good night (16/22 for 222 yards and 2 TDs) , the Ducks took the foot off the gas and almost let Cal back in the game.

Fortunately for the Ducks, Cal and their QB tandem were charitable enough to give them five turnovers, two of them - a fumble return and an interception return (no way you can get me to say ”scoop and score” or “pick six”) - resulting in 14 Ducks points as Oregon won, 42-24.

It was the Bears’ own damn fault because they got greedy.  A couple of weeks ago, with the idea of “taking it to the next level,” they decided to bench QB Ross Bowers, who started every game and threw for more than 3,000 yards last year, and go with a pair of youngsters, Chase Garbers and Brandon McIlwain. With the two QBs alternating, they beat BYU and - hold your breath - Idaho State.  Saturday, as Bowers sat, the dynamic duo went 4-for-13 for 43 yards in the first half, and 15-for-30 for 172 overall.  And, of course, their contributions to the seven turnovers (four interceptions and a fumble).

FULL DISCLOSURE: Ross Bowers is a Washington kid who took his high school team to a state title; his dad is a former college coach who grew up in Hagerstown, Maryland, and as a kid used to watch my team, the Hagerstown Bears, play.  So yes, I'm biased.

*********** Cal QB Brandon McIlwain, in carrying 15 times for 123 yards, became the first Cal QB in 60 years to rusn for more than 100 yards.  The last to do it? A guy named Joe Kapp, in 1958. (In fairness, the quarterback position itself has changed quite a bit since Kapp - and most other college QB’s - were under center.  For those who remember what a hard-nosed QB  Kapp was when he played with the Vikings, if he had been playing what they now call “quarterback” (in actuality what is really single wing tailback), he’d have easily run for 200 yards a game - every game.

*********** Washington looked really tough, nearly shutting out BYU, 35-7.  Husky QB Jake Browning completed his first 11 passes and was 23 of 25 for 277 yards and a TD. Five Husky runners combined to carry 36 times for 189 yards and 4 TDs.

BYU threw for 161 yards, but the Husky defense held the Cougars to just 35 yards on 27 carries.

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

With all this political news flooding the airwaves, and the fact that I don't watch much ESPN anymore (except for college football games), I had no idea that Tommy McDonald and Jack McKinney had passed away.

While I have really liked Stanford football and HC David Shaw, my heart is always with Notre Dame.  Gotta go with the Irish in a close one.

Thanks to Mark Hundley for sharing that Blade article.  Profound.

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** John Muckian, longtime friend and reader from Ipswich, Massachusetts, wrote to remind me that Angelo Bertelli’s High School,  - Cathedral High in Springfield, Massachusetts, also produced pro greats Nick Buonoconti and Joe Scibelli.

Yes, and it also produced the late Bill Tunstall.  Bill, a World War II Navy vet, used to walk around our track when I was coaching at Madison High in Portland, and he’d often stay around after practice to chat.

Bill, who passed away a few years ago,  was very proud of his wartime service, as well he should have been, but he was also proud of his home town and his high school, and of the fact that it had produced Angelo Bertelli.

(Fortunately, I knew who Angelo Bertelli was.)

AN INTERVIEW WITH BILL TUNSTALL AND HIS WIFE…

http://www.eaavideo.org/detail/videos/most-recent/video/3157562822001/timeless-voices---dorothy-and-bill-tunstall

*********** QUIZ ANSWER - Kermit Alexander was born in New Iberia, Louisiana, but he grew up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles and went on to become a star football player at UCLA. 

A first-round draft choice in 1963 of the NFL 49ers and the AFL Denver Broncos, he signed with San Francisco, and wound up playing seven years with the 49ers, and two each with the Rams and Eagles.

As a cornerback, he was a solid performer but with the 49ers he was overshadowed by the other corner, Hall-of-Famer Jimmy Johnson.

He was a Pro-Bowler in 1968.

It was his tackle that caused the knee injury that effectively ended Gale Sayers’ career as a breakaway running back.

After retirement, he served as President of the NFL Players’ Association.

In 1984, his mother, his sister, and his sister’s two children - his 8- and 13-year old nephews - were assassinated, slaughtered in cold blood, in their Watts home by two members of the “Rollin’ 60 Crips” who had been commissioned to conduct a paid killing and had gone to the wrong address.

He at first considered seeking revenge, but was persuaded by the mayor and police chief to let the system work.  He did so, and became dislllusioned at the state’s failure to carry out the sentence given to his family’s killer. (The killer was sentenced to death, but in the face of California’s refusal to carry out a death sentence, he remains, 32 years later, on Death Row.)

His memoir, “The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” written in 2015, was described in the Los Angeles Times as “a must-read for anyone concerned with how drugs and gangs ravaged Los Angeles, how the criminal justice system seemingly tortures the families of crime victims, and how California's death row is a world apart with its hateful logic and propensity for violence.”

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING KERMIT ALEXANDER

JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA


*********** MORE TO READ ABOUT KERMIT ALEXANDER

https://www.sfgate.com/opinion/saunders/article/Kermit-Alexander-s-life-sentence-6630535.php

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/lethal-injection/ex-nfl-star-kermit-alexander-sues-have-familys-killer-executed-n307436

http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-ca-jc-kermit-alexander-20151004-story.html

*********** QUIZ -  He was a four-sport star as a high school athlete in San Diego, and at Stanford, at 6-4, 225 (a giant for his time) he was a 2-time All-American.  Playing both ways, he was an outstanding pass receiver as an offensive end and a terror on defense at either end or tackle.

Along with a quarterback named Gary Kerkorian, he was a major reason why new Stanford coach Chuck Taylor took the Indians (as they were then called) to the Rose Bowl in his first season on The Farm. Taylor realized that his best chance of success was to stress the passing game - something for which Stanford became noted over the years, as it turned out great quarterback after great quarterback.

He was a third-round draft choice of the Bears, and in his eight years in Chicago, playing as a tight end and then as a slot back,  he played in all 96 games. For his career, he caught 201 passes for 2800 yards and 25 touchdowns.

He could throw as well as catch.  In 1956, he was on the throwing end of a 79-yard pass play, the longest in the NFL that season, against the Giants.

All the while he played with the Bears, he was studying medicine at the University of Chicago, and after retirement from football he became an orthopedic surgeon.

He and his wife had six children, two of whom, Duncan and Milt, also played football at Stanford.

He and Duncan are the only father and son team in Stanford football history to be named All-Americans.

Milt played in the NFL for the 49ers and Raiders and is now a physician in suburban Chicago.

american flagFRIDAY,  SEPTEMBER 28,  2018 -   “You probe with bayonets: if you find mush, you push. If you find steel, you withdraw.” Vladimir Lenin

*********** Philadelphia sports took two severe hits this week with the losses of Tommy McDonald and Jack McKinney.

*********** Tommy McDonald, a New Mexico native, never lost a college game.  Oklahoma, in the midst of its all-time record 47-game win streak, was  31-0 during his three years.

Small (5-9, 170) and fast, he was a halfback in OU’s split-T, which didn’t feature a lot of passing, but his college coach, Bud Wilkinson, suggested that he would have a better future as a flanker.

In 1956, he finished third in the Heisman voting behind the undeserving Paul Hornung and the deserving Johnny Majors of Tennessee.

He did win the Maxwell Award and the Sporting News Player of the Year award.

Frank Fitzpatrick of the Philadelphia Inquirer did an excellent job of telling Tommy McDonald’s story, especially what he meant to Philly (good video in there, too)

http://www2.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/tommy-mcdonald-philadelphia-eagles-pro-football-hall-of-fame-dies-obituary-20180924.html

NFL Films feature on Tommy McDonald

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAgqtx0cTO8

Tommy McDonald in later life reflects on his career

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

*********** MY "CONNECTION": I knew of Tommy McDonald when he played at Oklahoma, but I really got to know him when he played with the Eagles.

My wife really loved him.  He was good-looking. He was a very good football player. He had tons of personality, and the way he played seemed to reflect it.

We first got to see him in a roundabout sort of way.

We started out our honeymoon in a place in upstate Pennsylvania called Eagles Mere.  Beautiful spot.  Boring as hell.

After a couple of days, we bailed, and headed south, destination unknown.  (Sort of a metaphor for the way our lives would go thereafter.)

Somewhere along the way it hit me - Hershey!  From the time I was a little kid at summer camp, where once a year we’d spend a day at Hershey, touring the chocolate factory and then enjoying the rides and attractions at Hershey Park, Hershey had always been a magical place for me.

We headed for Hershey.

We found a motel in nearby Palmyra and it had a swimming pool. (Still a big deal back then.) We found a nearby restaurant that advertised “Dutch smorgasbord” (that would be Pennsylvania Dutch food, than which there isn’t much better), and we found, when we drove into Hershey, that the Philadelphia Eagles were training there! Migod, we had everything!

In those days, practices were open.  Really open. We sat on the sidelines at practice and hobnobbed with some of the players when a ball would go out of bounds, and we heard the back-and-forth chatter between the players.  This, we observed, was a bunch of guys who were having fun, and Tommy McDonald, running everywhere, bouncing up and down and obviously having a great time, was in the middle of it all.

That was 1959. The team was coming off a 2-win season, but that was 1958, Buck Shaw’s first year as their head coach, and Norm Van Brocklin’s first year as their QB. In 1959, hopes were high.  As it turned out, they would finish 7-5. The next year, 1960, they would win the NFL title.


*********** Jack McKinney - from his hometown (Delaware County, PA) paper

https://www.delcotimes.com/sports/st-james-and-saint-joseph-s-great-jack-mckinney-dead/article_a901df7e-c137-11e8-824b-83e97e6d8879.html

*********** MY "CONNECTION": Gaston, Oregon, about 30 miles west of Portland in the foothills of the Coast Range, is now a part of Oregon’s famed Wine Country, but 42 years ago, it was rural. Gaston High School was my first high school teaching and coaching job. It was a 60-minute drive - exactly - from our home in Vancouver, Washington, but as a relocated Easterner I was used to long commutes, and in those days it wasn’t a difficult drive. (Now, given Portland’s tremendous growth, it would take me close to two hours.)

Near the end of the school year our basketball coach, Dick Kastberg, asked me if I’d be interested in working as a coach at a basketball camp at Pacific University, just up the road in Forest Grove.

Dick told me not to worry about my having zero experience as a basketball coach.  He said they’d make sure I coached the little kids.

I accepted.  First of all, it would pay a little something - I forget what - and my son could attend camp for free.

But second of all, it was “Jack Ramsay’s Blazer Camp.”  And Jack Ramsay had just coached the Portland Trail Blazers to the NBA championship. 

And in those days, coaches actually worked their own camps. What a chance to see a real big-time coach at work!

Jack Ramsay and his right-hand man, Jack McKinney, were Philly guys. Coach Ramsay had coached at Philly high schools and at St. Joseph’s College (“Saint Joe’s” if you’re really Philly) before embarking on a career in the NBA (Philadelphia, Buffalo, Portland, Indiana) and Jack McKinney had played for him at St. Joe’s, then after assisting Ramsay,  had succeeded him as head coach there.  He was quite successful in his nine years at St, Joe’s, but after a falling out with the president, one Father Blee, he was abruptly fired.

That was 1974. I was working in Philly at the time, and I well remember the furor over the firing.  I have to confess that having just returned to Philly after having been away  for more than ten years, I was out of touch with the local sports scene and I didn’t even know who Jack McKinney was.  All I knew at the time was that everyone I spoke to or listened to said what a good man he was and what a fool this “Father Blee” guy was and what an injustice had taken place.

Which brings me to the camp.  I managed.  After all, I had  played a lot of basketball, and to a certain extent, a coach is a coach, right? I had a great time with the other coaches, and I really enjoyed getting to observe two great coaches - Ramsay and McKinney - in action.

Jack Ramsay won my wife over when he met her at a social gathering held for the coaches and their wives at The Oasis, a popular hangout in Forest Grove.  He must have detected her trace of a Philly accent, and when he asked where she was from, she told him. “Abington.”

“Abington,” he said.  “The Galloping Ghosts.”

That took both my wife and me aback. Only insiders knew Abington’s unique nickname.  “How did you know that?” I asked.

“Don’t forget,” he said, “I coached at St. Joe’s and recruited in the Philadelphia area for eleven years.”

But Jack McKinney and I really hit it off.  I’d grown up around Philly Irish, and Jack was Philly Irish.  Actually he was from nearby Chester, where his father had been  the police chief, and he went to St. James High School there.

Jack had a couple of his own sons at the camp, and possibly because I was older than most of the other coaches, or possibly because I was a fellow Philadelphian, he asked me to take his youngest son on my team. Talk about flattered.

At the time of the camp, I’d applied for a job at another school in the area - Banks High, a larger school with a bigger budget than Gaston - and a real stadium with lights - and one evening after the camp was over for the day and all the coaches were milling around outside, a car drove up and parked and the Banks superintendent got out.  Banks’ coach had just left rather suddenly for another job  and they were in a hurry to fill the position. The Supe  happened to live in Forest Grove, and  knowing that I was working at the camp,  he thought it might expedite things if he were to  drive over and interview me informally.  We chatted for about ten minutes and then he said good-bye and got back in his car.

Jack McKinney asked, “Who was that?” and I told him.

Meanwhile, the Supe’s car wouldn’t start.

I was about to head over to see what I could do to help, when Jack McKinney put out his arm to hold me back, and said, “Wait a minute.”

He grabbed Jack Ramsay and the two men - now the greatest sports heroes  the Portland area had ever known - got together with the Supe under the now-raised hood of his car, seemingly helping him get it started.

It finally did start, and as the Supe drove off, the two Jacks returned to where I was standing, and Jack McKinney said to me, “We got you the job.”

True dat.

*********** Jack McKinney’s life took a tragic turn shortly after he was hired to coach the Lakers, when he flew over the handlebars of his bicycle and suffered serious brain injuries.  He was in a coma for a lengthy time, and was replaced on an interim basis by his chief assistant, Paul Westhead.  His recovery took so long that he never returned as head coach of the Lakers.

He coached again at Indiana, where he won NBA Coach of the Year honors, but the great tragedy is his never getting to coach the Lakers.

His first year there was Magic Johnson’s rookie year.

Only recently did I read that he had experienced “neurological issues” the rest of his life.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL THIS WEEK

*********** Will this be the week that either Chip Kelly or Scott Frost gets his first win?

Kelly and UCLA are at Colorado - I don’t think so.

Frost and Nebraska host Purdue - I don’t think so.

*********** Preparing for legalized betting on football, I’m auditioning for a job with any sports book that might open at one of the area’s Indian casinos…

MY TOP TEN GAMES: (IN ORDER OF THEIR KICKOFF TIMES)

WEST VIRGINIA AT TEXAS TECH - WVU  is a 3-1/2 point favorite. I’m going with West Virginia because I like their logo.  And Will Grier.

PURDUE AT NEBRASKA - PURDUE is a 3-1/2 point favorite.  I’m going with Purdue.  The Boilermakers are a lot better than they’ve shown so far; the Cornhuskers may be worse.

FLORIDA STATE AT LOUISVILLE - FSU is a 6 point favorite. The NOSE BOWL.  Featuring two “less than truthful” coaches,  the winner takes home the coveted Pinocchio Trophy.  I’ll take Louisville and the points.

UTAH AT WASHINGTON STATE - UTAH by 1-1/2.  If you saw last week’s loss to USC and if you’ve heard of the term “Cougin’ it,” you’ll understand why I’m reluctantly taking UTAH

VIRGINIA TECH AT DUKE - DUKE by 5.  Both teams are without their original starting quarterbacks.  VT has to rebound from last week’s monumental upset by Old Dominion, and they always play Duke tough.  I can’t go against Duke, so I won’t bet on this one.

OHIO STATE AT PENN STATE - OSU by 3-1/2.  Yes, I know - Urban Meyer is back.  The captain of the ship is once again at the helm. But I think the loss of Bosa’s pass rush will hurt the Buckeyes more than the addition of Meyer’s leadership will help them.  I’ll take Penn State and the points.

STANFORD AT NOTRE DAME - ND by 5-1/2.  The spread may seem excessive, but not if you saw Stanford’s win over an Oregon team that dominated them right down to the last minute, when it decided to give the game away.  Notre Dame, with new QB Ian Book, looked really good against Wake Forest (25 of 34 for 325 and 2 TDs - running for 3 TDS.  I want Stanford to win but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Irish romp.

SOUTH CAROLINA AT KENTUCKY - KENTUCKY - KENTUCKY, FOR GOD’S SAKE - BY 1-1/2.  Remember when SC was considered a possible threat to Georgia in the SEC East?  Remember when everybody was shocked by Kentucky’s win over Mississippi State? On the chance that they really are this good, I’ll take them and give the points.

OREGON AT CAL - OREGON by 2-1/2.  Oregon could have beaten Stanford bad last week but elected to give the game away.  Cal has just one quality win - over BYU.  Oregon has the best QB in college football in Justin Herbert while Cal has bet the ranch on a freshman QB, benching the returning starter in his favor. If I were a tout, I’d call this one a mortal lock. Take Oregon and give the points.

USC AT ARIZONA - USC by 8-1/2.  USC started to look good last week against Washington State.  Arizona QB Khalil Tate, a southern California native, has yet to beat USC, and this year he has yet to play up to his potential.  I’d take a chance with Arizona and the points.

*********** Beyond the Top Ten, there’s a whole lot of dog games this weekend, with large point spreads (three touchdowns or more) reflecting the quality of the match-ups. What’s sad is that several of them are conference games and couldn’t have been avoided. To be truthful, I can’t see a single game - except maybe Syracuse at Clemson - where I wouldn’t take the favorite and give the points.

Louisiana at Alabama - 48-1/2
Tennessee at Georgia - 31-1/2
Central Michigan at Michigan State - 28-1/2
Bowling Green at Georgia Tech - 28-1/2
Southern Miss at Auburn - 26-1/2
Rice at Wake Forest - 26
Syracuse at Clemson - 25
Baylor at Oklahoma - 23-1/2
Oregon State at Arizona State - 21-1/2
Arkansas at Texas A & M - 21

*********** Still on betting… The highest Over/Under this week  (The Over/Under bet is  whether the total combined points scored by both teams will be under or over the specified number)  is West Virginia-Texas Tech (75.5).  That, given the wide-open offenses and less-than-granite defenses of the Big 12, is understandable.

The second-highest - Penn State-Ohio State (71) - is not so understandable.

*********** Norm Van Brocklin hated soccer-style kickers. He coached (the Vikings and the Falcons) during the time when foreign-born soccer-stylers began taking over the kicking game - some would say the game itself -  and after one particularly tough loss when a reporter asked how he felt about losing on a last-second field goal,  he said, ”They ought to change the goddamned immigration laws in this country.”

*********** The latest Sports Illustrated tells of a deep rift on the Seahawks that developed between those who believe that Pete Carroll has pampered Russell Wilson and shielded him from criticism, and those who side with Wilson and Carroll.

The strongest charge that the anti-Carroll, anti-Wilson players make is at the same time outrageous and plausible.  Remember the Super Bowl fiasco in which, with the Seahawks on the goal line and Marshawn Lynch,  the toughest runner in football, in their backfield,  Carroll inexplicably decided to throw the ball - and it was intercepted?  (I predicted at the time that it would cost Carroll his team, which it may have - and I still can’t believe that Carroll has been spared the media ridicule his decision merits as one of the game’s all-time blunders.)

The players’ charge?  Carroll wanted Wilson - and not Marshawn Lynch - to be the Super Bowl MVP.

*********** Saw Pete Carroll on TV pushing “shoulder tackling” (but not “Hawk Tackling”).  Why, he claims that they can even teach it without pads!  Imagine!  I’ve only been teaching it that way for 30+ years, and showing it on video for 20 years.

*********** Online wisdom…

This recently, has turned into a woman’s world. I’m not sure why... not sure how the left women got a strong hold on men and society. Men are afraid of them... most are afraid of them. So they get their way.. which makes them more daring and more attacking and angry at everyone.. proudly braggng about their power.

The world has been turned upside down by Obama’s fundamentally changing America over to what he wanted.. bad and more bad.. destruction of what we once had! The older you are, the more you see what is going on and what we are losing.


*********** Tackle football should wait, says a study.  Until high school. Sure.  Great idea.  Wait until all the good athletes have been identified by all the coaches of soccer/baseball/basketball/lacrosse travel teams as future professionals, conning their parents into invested countless dollars and hours in hopes of college scholarships and pro careers.  Sure - wait until those kids with years invested in other sports turn 14 and enter ninth grade and then - just like that  - expect them and their parents to just walk away from their sport of choice and start all over with a new one -  football, a sport that’s hard to learn and physically demanding.

https://coachad.com/news/study-suggests-tackle-football-should-wait-until-high-school/

*********** I truly believe that teams do more to stop themselves than opposing defenses do.

The four main ways they do so is through (1) turnovers; (2) stupid penalties; (3) blown assignments; and (4) dumbass calls.

Points 1-2-3 are on the kids; we practice to eliminate those things, and then we depend on the kids to play the way they’ve been taught.

But Point 4 is totally on the coach, and I’m constantly shocked at how lightly some coaches seem to take their responsibility not to do something stupid and cost their kids a game.

Over the last several weeks I’ve seen some pretty amazing examples of the way  coaches’ play calling seems always to be motivated by a death wish.  Without being overly specific, let’s just say I’ve seen teams run the same basic play on first and second downs, picking up four yards or so a play, and then,  faced with a third-and-short, they run something out of the blue, something they hadn’t run before. Maybe it’s an option, or a pass or a reverse.  But in the cases I’ve seen, the result isn’t a first down.  In fact, it’s either been a big loss (there goes the chance to go for it on fourth down)  or, in some cases, a turnover.

Play-calling is not an exact science, of course.  But there’s plenty of advance planning and plenty of poker-type calculated thinking that go into making a smart call.   Obviously, third-and-two at midfield in the first quarter requires different thinking from third-and-two at midfield with 1:14 left to play and you’re down by six.  But always uppermost in the playcaller’s thinking has to be “what do we need to accomplish on this down, and what call has the greatest chance of success?”

A military and business axiom is that the best predictor of future performance is past peformance, which means that in the case of the team that has gained a total of eight yards running off tackle on first and second down, there’s a good likelihood that running off-tackle again will get you the first down, and keep your drive going.

I suspect too many coaches are calling plays to show the crowd how clever they are.   And in doing so, they commit the football version of redneck suicide: “Hey y’all - watch this!”

In breaking out of your play-calling pattern in order to call a special play - something you may have been saving for the right  moment - you always have to keep  two simple questions in mind: (1) what is the potential downside? (2) is the potential benefit worth the risk? Anybody who reaches into his grab bag without asking himself these questions - and answering them honestly - is playing with his kids’ chips.

One great thing that running the Double Wing does is bring discipline to your play-calling,  which I suspect might be another reason why Madden-taught coaches don't like it - they see it as "restricting" them.

*********** The National Football Foundation (NFF) has released the names of the 179 semifinalists for the 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy.

To me, it’s a lot more meaningful - and a hell of a lot more reflective of what we’d like people to think about our sport - than any damn Heisman Trophy.

It’s named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, former chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal. The Campbell Trophy is a 25-pound bronze trophy and provides a postgraduate scholarship of $25,000. This year's postgraduate scholarships will push the program's all-time distribution to more than $11.5 million.

Nominated by their schools (which are limited to one nominee each) candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of playing eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.

Past recipients of The William V. Campbell Trophy include: Air Force's Chris Howard (1990); Florida's Brad Culpepper (1991); Colorado's Jim Hansen (1992); Virginia's Thomas Burns (1993); Nebraska's Rob Zatechka (1994); Ohio State's Bobby Hoying (1995); Florida's Danny Wuerffel (1996); Tennessee's Peyton Manning (1997); Georgia's Matt Stinchcomb (1998); Marshall's Chad Pennington (1999); Nebraska's Kyle Vanden Bosch (2000); Miami (Fla.)'s Joaquin Gonzalez (2001); Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.)'s Brandon Roberts (2002); Ohio State's Craig Krenzel (2003); Tennessee's Michael Munoz (2004); LSU's Rudy Niswanger (2005); Rutgers' Brian Leonard (2006); Texas' Dallas Griffin (2007); California's Alex Mack (2008); Florida's Tim Tebow (2009); Texas' Sam Acho (2010); Army West Point's Andrew Rodriguez (2011); Alabama's Barrett Jones (2012); Penn State's John Urschel (2013); Duke's David Helton (2014); Oklahoma's Ty Darlington (2015); Western Michigan's Zach Terrell (2016); and Virginia's Micah Kiser (2017).

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

Bunch of good college games on TV this week.  Notre Dame vs. Stanford will be my highlight.  Should be a good game depending on which two teams show up.

Regarding this Kavanaugh thing:  Aside from the political ramifications, I'm thinking that all of this may eventually lead to a complete deterioration of trust between males and females, and have an even worse effect on the social side of things.  Relationships.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Makes you wonder how many different ways the Left can find to slice us up - by income, by age, by race, by gun ownership, by religion, by sex.  What’s next?

Joe replied…

Next is already here, and has been for a while.  Political affiliation.  According to the left It's not ok to be a conservative, or a libertarian, or a Republican.  We're deplorables.


*********** Just a thought found on the Internet

A lot of our current crop of libs were Ritalin kids (I remember the articles in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s which questioned what these kids would be like as adults after spending a childhood on mood-altering drugs. Maybe now we have some idea.)


*********** Sent to me from Coach Mark Hundley, a coach in the Columbus, Ohio area…

Written by Matt Markey in the Toledo Blade, it very articulately nails the dishonesty and hypocrisy of Colin Kaepernick’s act.  It’s by far the best description I’ve read of every facet of this misguided “protest” that the NFL has enabled and Nike has now monetized.

http://www.toledoblade.com/MattMarkey/2018/09/08/The-NFL-season-starts-but-I-won-t-be-watching/stories/20180909049


*********** A Florida woman…

No, this is not the usual Florida bizarro story.  It’s about a Florida school teacher who was fired for refusing to lower her standards. 

Newly hired and therefore on probationary status, she put her job on the line when she refused to go along with her  school’s “No Zeroes” policy - a policy which required her to give no grade lower than a 50, even to students who didn’t turn in any work.

https://www.wptv.com/news/region-st-lucie-county/port-st-lucie/teacher-pens-whiteboard-goodbye-to-students-over-no-zero-grading-policy


*********** QUIZ  ANSWER- Calvin Hill was an outstanding college running back. He was big (6-3, 230), fast and very athletic, but since he played at an Ivy League school, the question was, "how good?" Was he really worth a first-round draft choice? Turned out, he was worth that and more, as he made NFL Rookie of the Year, twice rushed for over 1,000 yards, and made the Sporting News All-Pro team in 1973. His team made the playoffs all six years he played with them and he earned one Super Bowl ring.

His only child became a well-known professional athlete,  even more famous than he.

I can't vouch for the accuracy of this story but this is how I remember it... He was a Baltimore kid, and Jim Parker, former Colts' offensive lineman (and Hall-of-Famer) was a sales rep for a major distilling company. The company had a scholarship to award to a deserving young man to attend New York City's prestigious Riverdale Country School. He came to the attention of Mr. Parker, he won the scholarship, and off he went, an inner-city black kid mingling with the sons of the wealthy.

He excelled in sports and academics, and came to the attention of colleges. He chose Yale. There, he not only played football, but was a 26-foot long-jumper on the track team.

His coach at Yale, Carm Cozza, recalled, “Calvin  was the one player I had in thirty-two years who probably could have been a star at any position on the team... People forget that he was a quarterback in high school…. I'm sure he  knew he was good enough to be the quarterback here, but he came in and made the adjustment with no questions asked. He knew he could contribute in so many ways from the tailback position. And he threw the ball as much as some quarterbacks."

He graduated from Yale with a B.A. in history, and as the first-round draft choice of the Dallas Cowboys, won Rookie of the Year honors in 1969. He had a distinguished career with the Cowboys, twice making All-Pro and playing in four Pro Bowls and two Super Bowls. He played a year in the World Football League with The Hawaiians, and when the WFL folded, he returned to the NFL and finished up with the Redskins and Browns.

For all his accomplishments, he may be better known now as the father of  NBA great Grant Hill.

A committed Christian,  he had considered the ministry before being drafted by the Cowboys, and studied at the SMU school of theology while playing with the Cowboys. In 1998, Grant and his wife donated $100,000 to Duke Divinity School in his name.

He has served as Vice-President of the Baltimore Orioles and has been employed by other organizations to counsel younger athletes.

Asked by sportsparents.com about which made him prouder, his own Super Bowl victory or his son's two NCAA titles, he answered, "I thought when the Cowboys won the Super Bowl and I was a member of that team, that was it. But I think anything your child does has more meaning for you than anything you do. Each generation should be a little better, and if your child experiences things you didn't experience, or has success that you didn't have, then you feel things are progressing in the right way. I can't imagine a parent not getting more enjoyment out of his child's success than he got out of their own."

As Grant Hill was being introduced before his final college game at Duke, the student cheering section paid tribute to his father and his mother, Janet, who were in attendance, by chanting, "One More Son! One More Son! One More Son!"

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING CALVIN HILL

GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
RAY HOLZ, CANTON, NEW YORK
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON


*********** QUIZ - He was born in New Iberia, Louisiana, but he grew up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles and went on to become a star football player at UCLA. 

A first-round draft choice in 1963 of the NFL 49ers and the AFL Denver Broncos, he signed with San Francisco, and wound up playing seven years with the 49ers, and two each with the Rams and Eagles.

As a cornerback, he was a solid performer but with the 49ers he was overshadowed by the other corner, Hall-of-Famer Jimmy Johnson.

He was a Pro-Bowler in 1968.

It was his tackle that caused the knee injury that effectively ended Gale Sayers’ career as a breakaway running back.

After retirement, he served as President of the NFL Players’ Association.

In 1984, his mother, his sister, and his sister’s two children - his 8- and 13-year old nephews - were assassinated, slaughtered in cold blood, in their Watts home by two members of the “Rollin’ 60 Crips” who had been commissioned to conduct a paid killing and had gone to the wrong address.

He at first considered seeking revenge, but was persuaded by the mayor and police chief to let the system work.  He did so, and became dislllusioned at the state’s failure to carry out the sentence given to his family’s killer. (The killer was sentenced to death, but in the face of California’s refusal to carry out a death sentence, he remains, 32 years later, on Death Row.)

His memoir, “The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” written in 2015, has been  described in the Los Angeles Times as “a must-read for anyone concerned with how drugs and gangs ravaged Los Angeles, how the criminal justice system seemingly tortures the families of crime victims, and how California's death row is a world apart with its hateful logic and propensity for violence.”


american flagTUESDAY,  SEPTEMBER 25,  2018 -     "Our guys don't flinch."  Army coach Jeff Monken

*********** The greatest game you never saw took place Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma, where Army, a 31-1/2 point underdog, took Number Five-ranked Oklahoma into overtime before finally falling, 28-21.

Army twice drove 75 yards in 16 plays in the first half to stay close, 21-14 at the half, and in the third period  drove 85 yards in 19 plays - taking 10:47 off the clock - to tie the score at 21-21.

Still knotted at 21-21 early in the fourth quarter, Army held Oklahoma on a fourth-and-goal at the one, then ate up clock and drove  into OU territory before throwing an interception at the 38.  

The Army performance was not a fluke.   Army ran off 87 plays to Oklahoma’s 40, and had the ball for nearly 45 minutes (44:41 to Oklahoma’s 15:19).

OU fans, to their great credit, gave the Army team a standing ovation as they exited the field.

No matter which team you rooted for, it was a game for the ages, as nerve-wracking for Oklahoma’s fans as it was exhilarating for Army’s.

It was a vivid example of how a total system - one that brings together institutional and team culture, offensive scheme and coaching - can sometimes offset a great disparity in talent.   Given that Army has good - if not great - players and is well coached in what they do, and given that the institutional atmosphere at West Point assures that Army football players are unusually tough both physically and mentally, I attribute their performance Saturday to their  ball control offense, one that Oklahoma never sees, but most of all to the fact that Army linemen actually block with pads.  Oklahoma’s defense, on the other hand,  like every other major college defense,  is used to being blocked with hands.  Oklahoma’s defensive linemen, used to seeing zone blocking and pass blocking week after week, couldn’t possibly have been prepared for the way Army’s linemen fire out and drive into them. Having to absorb body blows, play after play after play, can wear even a great defense down.

I worry about next week’s game - at unbeaten Buffalo, which is fresh off a crushing (42-13) win over Rutgers - but for the moment, like Army fans everywhere, I’ll revel in this win for a while.  Since I really started following Army football closely, in the late 1990s, the Cadets have suffered a lot of down seasons.  They went more than a decade without beating Navy.  And while they had a few decent wins against decent clubs, I’d never, until Saturday, seen them go toe-to-toe with a top team.  It’s a hell of a feeling to think that your team can go out on the field and play with the best, and I’m excited.

As for that “greatest game you never saw” line, I’m still trying to find out why the hell this game wasn’t on free-to-air TV.  Good Lord, you look at the menu of games this past weekend and you say, wait - Kent State at Ole Miss? Akron at Iowa State?  Western Michigan at Georgia State? UNLV at Arkansas State? 

They were all on TV, and good for them. But Oklahoma, the Number Five team in the nation, wasn't?

Well, yes it was.  But not for free.  It was available on Pay-per-view.  At $40.

Now, I could maybe see it if you were a Sooner fan.  Maybe.  But not me. Go ahead and blame me if you want, but I figured that the Vegas guys know better than I do, and I didn’t want to spend 40 bucks to witness the unpleasantness of my team getting worked over.

So there you go.  I found the radio broadcast on the Army network, and listened to the game online on a Colorado Springs radio station.  I gather that many, many Army fans did roughly the same.

The only people more pissed off about the TV gouging than Army fans who didn’t pay the $40 and missed the game had to be the Oklahoma fans who did pay - who spent $40 expecting to see their Sooners run wild and beat the spread.  It must have been sheer agony for them to watch Army on offense for 44+ minutes.

*********** Army coach Jeff Monken’s first post-game statement:

“Our guys don’t flinch.  That’s the toughness that is a part of this program and built into the fabric of the culture that is Army football and that’s West Point and that’s the United States Army. I promise you there’s not an American soldier out there that would flinch in the face of adversity either. We have a bunch of soldiers on our team and I’m proud of them.”

Coach Monken’s tribute to the winning team:

“What a football game and congratulations to Oklahoma.  What a great football team and an unbelievable football program. I read the press release before the game and I marvel at the success that the Oklahoma program has had over decades.  I read where they’ve won 11 Big 12 championships in the last 19 years,  in that same stretch only lost 10 home games. That’s an incredible statistic to me. To be a part of a football team to come in here tonight and about pull off victory against a great football program, I’m just incredibly proud to be a part of this team. I’m proud of our players.”

*********** I was extremely proud of the effort of the Army team Saturday, and appreciative of the sportsmanship of the people of Oklahoma for recognizing and applauding  what they’d just seen - a remarkable effort by a tough, well-prepared Army football team that very nearly overcame seemingly insurmountable odds.

Army’s defiance of the odds made me think about the importance of competitive sports.

For years, enlightened parents and public school “educators” have done their best to insulate our children from the trauma of failure by eliminating competition.   See, competiton means somebody has to lose, and losing means unhappiness.  So to shield children from the heartbreak of losing, we shield them from competition.  Unfortunately, this not only prevents them from learning how to deal with life’s setbacks, but it creates a false sense of entitlement - a belief that they’re owed success.

I think of the Army near-win and I think of the  2016 election.

All signs pointed to an Oklahoma mauling of Army.  Oklahoma is football royalty.  The Sooners were justifiably ranked Number Five in the country.  In reality, there may not have been a single player on the entire Army team who would have been recruited by Oklahoma.

But Army put it all out on the field Saturday.  They risked everything.  But despite a heroic effort, they came up short.

In the fashion of true competitors, though, they handled the bitterness of the loss with grace, then put it behind them and set their sights on the next game.

I have no doubt that had Oklahoma lost - a most unforeseen and unhappy prospect for Sooner fans - their people would have handled the defeat with similar aplomb.

That’s what competitive athletics teaches.

Contrast that to 2016, when everything indicated a Clinton win.  Polls “showed” that Trump had no “path to 270”  (electoral votes.)

Except that Hillary didn’t win.  And in the aftermath, "progressives,” sheltered from the pain of losing when they were kids, still haven’t come to terms with their loss.  (Sniff) They were owed.

*********** American sportsmanship on display…

There’s Army football…

https://twitter.com/kirkherbstreit/status/1043867992235409409?s=21

And then there are Oregon fans..

https://twitter.com/chanteljennings/status/1043708350393774080?s=21

*********** The Yiddish word “chutzpah” means gall. Or what the old-timers used to call “crust.”

It’s best explained in a little story about the guy who killed his parents,  then asked the court to take it easy on him because he was an orphan.

Another definition is guys who played professional football so well that they’re in the Hall of Fame demanding that the NFL pay them a lifetime salary - $300,000 sounds about right, they say - or they will boycott the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.  (Not all Hall of Fame members, it should be said, have joined in the demands.)

Chutzpah?  These guys should certainly be able to capitalize on their fame
as Hall of Famers. They all receive decent pensions as it is, and they were all well paid when they played. (Their main spokesman, Eric Dickerson, was also well paid when he went to SMU, for those who aren’t familiar with the death penalty he helped earn the Mustangs.)

Besides, most of these guys are college graduates, whose educations have prepared them for real jobs in the real world, right? (Just kidding.)

What pisses me off is that instead of asking for “more, more, more” for themselves, these guys should be asking for more for some of the real old-timers who played back in the days when they were paid so little they had to have other jobs in the off-season.


*********** For several years now, I’ve been in locker rooms and listened to coaches I respect as they spoke to their kids.  They’ve offered the kids lots of good advice on how to be good workers, good students, good sons, good husbands, good parents.  I’ve been impressed.

And I’ve often heard them speak to their players about the importance of “treating women with respect.”

I’m all for that. My wife was raised by a man who was the kind of father every girl should have, and  I tried to emulate him in that regard in helping raise our three daughters.  Our girls all married men who treat them with respect,  and those men have all done a great job of helping raise my four granddaughters.

Of course our young men should learn that we expect them to treat women - girls - with respect.

But - just wondering -  do you suppose the coaches of girls’ teams are also talking to their players about “treating men and boys with respect?”

(That’s a rhetorical question.  I already know the answer.)


*********** Wow.  The Cowboys are really bad. The Seahawks - the Seahawks, for God’s sake - beat them.  Dak Prescott is not looking like the QB  of a few years ago - he was 19 of 34 for 168 yards (that’s a puny 4.9 yards per attempt) with two interceptions and only one TD.  In fairness to Prescott, he doesn’t seem to have much in the way of receivers.  Or in the way of protection: he was sacked five times. 

One apparent TD pass was called back because the receiver, genius Ezekiel Elliott (educated at THE Ohio State University), doesn’t seem to know that you can’t step out of bounds and then return to the field of play as an eligible receiver. 

And on the next-to-last play of the first half, a knucklehead Cowboy defender named Randy Gregory shoved a Seahawk in the face mask - right in front of an official - incurring  a penalty that moved Seattle into position to kick a 47-yard field goal. As he came off the field Gregory wasn’t exactly showing signs of remorse and he seemed to blow off head coach Jason Garrett. As one of the announcers noted, “he’s spent the majority of his career suspended.” So ask yourself: how good a player would he have to be  for you to put up with his act.

*********** Not to spend too much time on the NFL, but what exactly is going on when the Bills beat the Vikings, 27-6 - in Minneapolis?  The game summary I read indicated that Kirk Cousins wasn’t very sharp, which caused me to ask, “Then WTF was he doing throwing 55 times?”

The Vikings ran exactly SIX times, and two of those runs were by Cousins.

*********** All the time and effort Cody Vollan put in last winter and spring are paying off.  I’ve mentioned Cody, a junior QB at Elma, Washington who’d been handed the varsity QB job as a sophomore, despite his never having played the position.  He did a decent enough job running coach Ron Clark’s wing-T offense but the Eagles, very young, finished 3-7.

Washington’s stupid rules prohibit members of a school’s coaching staff from working with players during other sports seasons, but since I wasn’t a member of the Elma staff, I was able to do so.

Cody’s a three-sport athlete - he’s 6-3, 190, a starting guard on the basketball team and a sprinter on the track team. That meant that the only time available for us to work was Sundays.

That was a bit of a sacrifice because he is an outdoorsman and likes to hunt.

He put in the time.  He was always 15 minutes early. He had the physical talent and the smarts and a burning desire to get better. He was extremely coachable and he worked hard. It took a few weeks for things to click  for him - he was a bit frustrated because he just couldn’t throw a consistent spiral - and then things just took off.

By the start of football, he was ready. He could make just about any throw.  He could drop back and throw deep, and he could bootleg and throw on the run.

Elma is now 4-0. They haven’t scored less than 40 points in any game, and they’ve outscored opponents 178-47.

The Eagles have a solid running game, and they don’t throw that much, but in the past two weeks, Coach Clark has been letting Cody throw a bit more.

Two weeks ago, in a 42-0 win over Aberdeen, he was  5 of 9 for 208 yards and three TDs. 

Last Friday, against Castle Rock, he was responsible for four first-half touchdowns as the Eagles won, 47-21. In the air, he was 8 of 10 for 188 yards and 2 TDs, and on the ground he carried the ball 10 times for 94 yards and 2 TDs.

Pride may be a sin, but I confess to being proud.

Here's a nice video of Cody against Aberdeen.

https://www.hudl.com/video/2/32372/58df578ae97ab70e64ccf630

*********** College football’s fashionistas continue to show us their bare knees.

Just to clarify the issue for those of you who might not be aware, here’s a poster that the NCAA circulated to help educate coaches and players…

http://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/JUL2018MFB_NCAA_Uniform_and_Equipment_Rules_20180716.pdf

*********** Oregon lost to Stanford because of a dumbass call and a stupid turnover.  The Ducks were leading the Cardinal by 3 with just under a minute to play.  It was their ball, and they faced a second and two.  One first down and it was Game Over.

But wait. Stanford had one time out.  If Oregon takes a knee  they’d have to use that time out. Two more take-a-knees and Stanford is left with precious few seconds to do anything.

But Oregon went for the first down - and a rookie running back “trying for extra yardage” (as they always explain these things afterward) fumbled the f—king ball.

Stanford, with that one timeout still available, drove into field goal range, made the field goal to send the game into overtime, and then won it in OT.

*********** Now why would Virginia Tech, the standard of excellence in Virginia college football, step down in class to go on the road to play at Old Dominion, an instate school that’s only been playing football for ten years but has big-time ambitions?

Why else except to put on a dog and pony  show  for the folks in the Tidewater (Norfolk- Newport News-Hampton-Portsmouth- Virginia Beach) Area of the state,  a talent-rich region that’s produced such Virginia Tech legends as Michael Vick and Bruce Smith?

Why, when those recruits in that area come to the game and see what a REAL football team looks like, they’ll practically crawl the 300 or so miles to Blacksburg for the honor of being a Hokie.  Or so the thinking went.

Except - uh-oh -  Old Dominion beat the Hokies.  Beat ‘em bad.  And to make things worse, VIrginia Tech lost QB Josh Jackson.  It was announced Monday that he would require surgery to repair a broken fibula.

*********** Scott Frost had to really want to coach at his alma mater, because he had a very good team coming back at UCF, and I can’t believe that he didn’t know what kind of talent Mike Riley had left him at Nebraska.

*********** If I’m wrong I'll  admit it, and I may have been wrong about Herm Edwards.  I still don’t have to like the guy or his schtick, but it does appear that he is putting a competitive team on the field.

*********** Lotsa bummer matchups this past weekend.

*********** Lovie Smith looks like he’s 75 years old.

*********** What’s with Virginia Tech, whose colors are maroon and orange, wearing what looked like scarlet jerseys?

*********** Minnesota better get rowing that damn boat.  How do you explain Maryland thumping them like that?

*********** Lane Kiffin’s scheme to falsify a quote in order to fire the guys up did just that - except it was the guys on the other team.

*********** SMU went for 2 after scoring in the first OT - and beat Navy.

*********** The Grand Final, the Super Bowl of Australian Football if you will, is going to take place this Saturday, between the Collingwood Magpies, a traditional Melbourne power,  and the West Coast Eagles, from 3,000 miles away, in Perth. The game would draw a sellout crowd of more than 100,000 to “the G,” short for the “MCG,” which is short for Melbourne Cricket Grounds, under any conditions. But this year, because Collingwood has probably the largest following of any footy club, and West Coast fans travel well, tickets are especially tough.

My son, who lives in Melbourne, tells me that people are up in arms over the fact that air lines, reflecting the spike in demand,  have greatly jacked up air fares between Perth and Melbourne, to the point where it’s actually more expensive than flying to London. Such is the Australian sense of humor that it’s led to numerous jokes about saving money by flying to London instead and watching the game in an English pub.

*********** Friday night my wife and I went across the street to watch the Camas High game.  Camas football is good - they won the state 4A (largest class) championship a few years ago - and has been for some time.

Their head coach is Jon Eagle, whom I coached with back in the late 80s at a high school in Vancouver. Jon is an exceptional coach who runs the kind of program I could never see myself running - he has 17 assistants.

Friday night, the Camas Papermakers hosted Bellevue High - yes, the same Bellevue HIgh that won 11 state Class 3A titles between 2001 and 2013; the same Bellevue High that ended the longest win streak in US high school history - DeLaSalle’s 151straight wins; the same Bellevue that’s posted wins against Honolulu’s St. Louis Prep, California’s Long Beach Poly, and Texas’ Euless Trinity.

Bellevue came into Friday’s game 3-0.  They’re still a Wing-T team at base, but they do line up occasionally in shotgun.  Not to pass, though.  They’d thrown only three passes in their first three games.  They just line up in shotgun and direct-snap it to a kid who’s 6-2, 215 and can run with power.

I personally thought they were much more effective Friday night  when they ran  from the Wing-T (using the big kid as a halfback), but they persisted in alternating the two packages.

Camas is a spread team. In my estimation their running game is lacking, but they have some nice-size receivers and they throw fairly well.

Camas built a 28-14 lead after four quarters, and I had seen enough.  The way they were playing, Bellevue wasn’t likely to score again - certainly not twice more - and Camas seemed in control.

So we left.  Went home and got something to eat. When I went online to check all the scores, I damn near choked when I saw the final - Bellevue 38, Camas 35.

As near as I can figure out (the writing  in our local paper is  so bad that it can scarcely be believed), Bellevue scored and onside-kicked successfully, then scored twice more  after intercepting Camas passes, then drove into range to kick the winning field goal with 0:00 on the clock.

They didn’t throw a single pass.

*********** One of my former players now runs his own business elsewhere in the country.  He now has an 8-year-old son, and he’s become involved in coaching youth football.

He wrote me during the summer:

The head coaches, board members in this league that I respect are old school, power formation, line it up, simple blocking rules and they are adamant that you cannot have pulling linemen at young ages. I don't believe them and I'm going to show them. So any thoughts or suggestions you can lend there would be greatly appreciated.

At my suggestion, he bought my Open Wing video set, and my new Playbook. He wrote:

The Dynamics 3.0 book is incredible. I've spent the past few nights reading it page for page. Had a coaches meeting yesterday morning and my assistants loved it. I'd like to get them each a copy of the book.

Once into the actual coaching, he found, as we often do, that he had to adjust to his personnel:

Need some advice. So my team of 8 year olds is very small in numbers - just 13 kids. It's youth football so I need to play everybody. I am struggling mightily to put together an o-line with some of kids being insanely green and still learning contact. I can get to a 5, maybe even a 6 man decent line(I'm including Ends in that.) So I'm thinking the best thing I could do is run out of spread formation. So I wanted to get your thoughts. Do I run just everything out of spread? Or would you run open wing? I always remember you telling me you could line a guy up at receiver with no arms and the defense would still cover them. Well I got a couple that might as well have no arms!

I wrote him back:

My suggestion in this case is that you go to Open Wing, and use the Twins to get “must-play” players into the game.  That means that you now only need nine bona fide players.  There is always the chance that defenses will cover both of them, making it a 9 on 9 game, and they might even drop a safety back, making it 9 on 8 in your favor.

(If they don’t cover your twins with two people, and you have a player who can throw, you can always sub in a couple of better players at the twins for a play or two  and throw a bubble or smoke to that side.)

Now, if you need to “hide” yet a third kid, you can  widen your wingback as a “wide wing” - a flanker - to his side.  Now, you’re playing with only 8, really - and you may find the defense facing you with 7 (3 cover guys and a safety).

This is all predicated on keeping the line of the Open Wing - five offensive lineman and a tight end - intact.

You’d be surprised at how much running  you can do with only two backs.  Obviously, your QB now has to be a runner.

The only thing preventing you from doing this would be your center’s ability to make the snap, which I’m sure you can deal with.

The rest of the exchange shouldn’t be an issue. I believe that it’s easier for a little guy to catch the direct snap of the Open Wing than to take the under-center snap.

I don’t think you’ll find it difficult to teach this, and I think you’ll have fun doing it.

Monday, I got a report from him:

Hey Coach!

Hope all is well. Wanted to give you an update.

After dropping our first game, we have won 3 straight games. We even beat the team we lost to in a rematch 59-25. We are running Open Wing 100% of the time. 6-G-O is absolutely the bread and butter of what we do. The criss cross counter scores about 75% of the time we run it, no matter where we are on the field.

The one change we did make is rather than have the QB ride the 6-G-O play side and run outside on the fake, we have him bootleg away from play outside. Once we get them recklessly pursuing into the back field on 6-G-O the QB fakes and keeps it outside. It's become a big play for us. All in all we are running 2 wedge, 6/7G-O, 4/5 X-O, XX 45/54C and an 88/99 G-O Reach play. We also run a quick swing pass to the B back on the open side that is great for 2 point conversions(2 for pass and 1 for a run).

We are going to install the trap today. We are playing a team with that runs a 5-3 eagle look. They stand those two tackles(biggest kids they have) up in the A-gap and try to get penetration. I think we can pull that off and make that kid look both ways when he's penetrating. We will see how the practice goes.

Anyway, love the Open Wing. It's been great for the kids. Parents think it looks cool, I don't tell them we are a power running football team, hahaha.

Thanks for everything and take care!


********** QUIZ ANSWER: Angelo Bertelli was a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, home of the Springfield Armory where the standard-issue Army rifle of World War I was made,  so it was only  matter of time before his passing earned him the nickname “Springfield Rifle.”

He was Notre Dame’s first T-formation (under center) quarterback, and the reason why famed Irish coach Frank Leahy changed from the hallowed Notre Dame box  made famous by Knute Rockne.   In 1941, as a tailback in the Box, he was good, leading the nation his sophomore year with a 56.9 completion percentage.  But after being converted into a  a T-formation quarterback, he was outstanding: in his junior season, he threw for 1039 yards and 10 touchdowns, high numbers for those times.

Having enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve, he was called up to active duty six games into his senior season - 1943.  In those six games, he completed 25 of 36 passes, 10 of them for touchdowns, and that, combined with his great junior year performance (and perhaps a bit of patriotic fervor thrown in) was evidently enough for the Heisman voters - he won the 1943 Heisman, the first of many Notre Damers to be so honored. (He had finished second in 1941 and sixth in 1942.)

He was the All-American QB in 1942 and 1943, and during his time at Notre Dame, the Irish lost only three games.

In 1944, he was shipped off to the South Pacific, where he fought on Iwo Jima and narrowly escaped death from a Japanese mortar shell.

After the War,  he played for three seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Rockets of  the AAFC.

He is in the College Football Hall of Fame.


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING ANGELO BERTELLI
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
KC SMITH - WALPOLE, MASSACHUSETTS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

*********** Video about Angelo Bertelli courtesy of Greg Koenig…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFP1bkFvG-o

*********** QUIZ - He was an outstanding college running back. He was big (6-3, 230), fast and very athletic, but since he played at an Ivy League school, the question was, "how good?" Was he really worth a first-round draft choice? Turned out, he was worth that and more, as he made NFL Rookie of the Year, twice rushed for over 1,000 yards, and made the Sporting News All-Pro team in 1973. His team made the playoffs all six years he played with them and he earned one Super Bowl ring.

His only child became a well-known professional athlete,  even more famous than he.

I can't vouch for the accuracy of this story but this is how I remember it... He was a Baltimore kid, and Jim Parker, former Colts' offensive lineman (and Hall-of-Famer) was a sales rep for a major distilling company. The company had a scholarship to award to a deserving young man to attend New York City's prestigious Riverdale Country School. He came to the attention of Mr. Parker, he won the scholarship, and off he went, an inner-city black kid mingling with the sons of the wealthy.

He excelled in sports and academics, and came to the attention of colleges. He chose Yale. There, he not only played football, but was a 26-foot long-jumper on the track team.

His coach at Yale, Carm Cozza, recalled, “——  was the one player I had in thirty-two years who probably could have been a star at any position on the team... People forget that he was a quarterback in high school…. I'm sure (—)  knew he was good enough to be the quarterback here, but he came in and made the adjustment with no questions asked. he knew he could contribute in so many ways from the tailback position. And he threw the ball as much as some quarterbacks."

He graduated from Yale with a B.A. in history, and as the first-round draft choice of the Dallas Cowboys, won Rookie of the Year honors in 1969. He had a distinguished career with the Cowboys, twice making All-Pro and playing in four Pro Bowls and two Super Bowls. He played a year in the World Football League with The Hawaiians, and when the WFL folded, he returned to the NFL and finished up with the Redskins and Browns.
 
For all his accomplishments, he may be better known now as the father of a great NBA basketball player.

A committed Christian,  he had considered the ministry before being drafted by the Cowboys, and studied at the SMU school of theology while playing with the Cowboys. In 1998, his son and his wife donated $100,000 to Duke Divinity School in his name.

He has served as Vice-President of the Baltimore Orioles and has been employed by other organizations to counsel younger athletes.

Asked by sportsparents.com about which made him prouder, his own Super Bowl victory or his son's two NCAA titles, he answered, "I thought when the Cowboys won the Super Bowl and I was a member of that team, that was it. But I think anything your child does has more meaning for you than anything you do. Each generation should be a little better, and if your child experiences things you didn't experience, or has success that you didn't have, then you feel things are progressing in the right way. I can't imagine a parent not getting more enjoyment out of his child's success than he got out of their own."

As his son was being introduced before his final college game at Duke, the student cheering section paid tribute to his father and his mother, Janet, who were in attendance, by chanting, "One More Son! One More Son! One More Son!"


american flagFRIDAY,  SEPTEMBER 21,  2018 -     "He that complies against his will is of his own opinion still."  Samuel Butler

*********** I don’t give a sh— about the NFL, and I wouldn't drink a Bud Light if you gave me a truck load of it, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t excited about watching the Cleveland Browns - and Baker Mayfield - win a football game Thursday night.

*********** It’s official. Nike is at war with the NFL. Why else would they dress the Cleveland Browns in uniforms so ugly that Colin Kaepernick would refuse a contract with the Browns before he’d wear one?

*********** Happy Birthday to Charlie Conerly, longtime New York Giants’ quarterback and still, in the words of the late Wellington Mara,  “The Greatest Player Not in the Hall of Fame.”

Yesterday, I was reading to my wife from the book, “Backseat Quarterback,” an inside look at Pro Football written in 1963 by his wife, Perian.

(Mrs. Conerly knew her football - she was the first female member of the Football Writers Association of America and wrote a weekly column for the New York Times. And she knew her football players.  After every Giants’ game she and her husband would go out on the town with teammates like Frank Gifford and Pat Summerall.  Those were the days before the tell-all book, or she could have made a fortune letting the New York public in on the escapades of their heroes.)

The passage I was reading dealt with Charlie’s age.   World War II service in the Marines interrupted his college career after the 1942 season, and when he retutned to Ole Miss for the 1946 season, they simply took the program info from when he’d last played and added a year to his age.  Problem was, he’d been away at war  and missed three three seasons.

Wrote Mrs. Conerly, “Now Charlie has never made  secret of his age. It was just that nobody ever asked him what it really was. Several years ago in a locker-room interview session, somebody did.  A reporter who had written a recent article headlined, “Conerly - Amazing Old Pro at 33!” evidently intended to write a follow-up. “Charlie, “ he inquired, “just exactly when will you be thirty-four?”

“Been there,” Charlie said casually. “I’ll be thirty-six on September 19.”

“Holy sh—!”  I shouted to my wife.  You do know the date, right?   We both looked at each other.  She said, “You’ve got to call Mrs. Conerly.”

Mrs. Conerly is a wonderful lady of the South, with one of the most beautiful accents you can ever imagine, and talking with her is a delight, even though, in her 90s, she’s slowing down a bit.  She thanked me for calling, as she always does, and confessed that she didn’t realize it was her Charlie’s birthday.

charlie Conerly rookieI was sent the photo on left  of Charlie Conerly by Don Shipley, who knows how much I admire the guy.  Don, who lives in Falls Church, Virginia, is the son of the late Dick Shipley, who was my coach when I played semipro ball in Frederick, Maryland.

It may have been taken his rookie year - 1948.  Note the red leather helmet. (If he looks a bit older than your usual rookie, it’s because he was already 27 years old.) 

The number 42? On a quarterback?

From “Backseat Quarterback”...

“In the early 1950s, the general practice of designating specific numerals to certain positions was made compulsory - presumably to make player identification simpler for the spectator… Players already wearing numerals contrary to the system when the ruling went into effect were allowed to retain their old numbers.  For this reason, Charlie’s uniform bears No. 42 instead of the low numbers assigned to present-day quarterbacks. (He brought number 42 from Ole Miss, where he was a passing halfback.”

(Mrs. Conerly  knew her football well enough to know what position he played, but I guess it was easier for her simply to say “passing halfback” then to have to explain “single wing tailback.”)



*********** With all the bulls— going on over something that a Supreme Court nominee may or may not have done when he was 17 years old, I have yet to hear anyone make a convincing argument that - assuming that he even did what he has been accused of doing at a high school party - what Brett Kavanaugh did 36 years ago as a 17-year-old kid offsets everything he’s done since then, and disqualifies him to serve on the Supreme Court.

If you are old enough, like me, you have lived to be amazed at the complete transformation of  at least one person you once knew  as a wild and crazy kid into someone entirely different - an accomplished,  distinguished adult.  So distinguished is that person now, so respected for his many accomplishments over the years, that if someone were to say, “But, but… he once got drunk and tried to pull a girl’s pants off at a party back in high school,”  you’d say, “Come on, man.  That was years ago. That was in another life.”

As this whole thing continues to unfold, two guys come immediately to mind: Ken McAdams and Alex Kroll.

Ken McAdams was two years ahead of me at Yale.   He was one of the reasons I joined the fraternity I did.  Proudly bearing the name “McAnimal,”  he loved to party, and do so unpredictably.  He wore motorcycle boots (this was tweedy Yale, mind you), rode a motorcycle and could easily have ridden with a gang and held his own. I admired him and aspired to be like him. The idea of his flying an airplane one day never occurred to me, but if it had, I’d have thought it was one of the craziest things that ever passed through my brain.

But he did fly airplanes, and he made it to old age intact.

Not, I should add, as Ken McAnimal.

As Ken McAdams, Marine Corps officer and fighter pilot, then pilot for Pan Am, then Chief Pilot, flying the airline’s founder, Juan Trippe and his successor, Najeeb Halaby, and dignitaries such as the legendary Charles Lindbergh.

When Pan Am failed, he formed his own air charter service, flying 747s, then joined Korean Air as a check pilot and lobbyist, and finally retired after serving as CEO of Kiwi International Airlines.

After the death of his wife of 35 years, he remarried, and he and his second wife now live in France.  He has written several books, the last, Bon Courage. He describes how it came about:

It was like I’d hit a wall and reached the point of wondering if my life was over, or at best hardly worth living. Three years widowed, with the two airlines I’d served for thirty years gone. It was as if there would be no more sunrises ahead ... until I met Bing, an artist, who was also alone. We had chemistry, we married.

We sold what had been ours before to begin again, start anew. We bought a tired old house in Connecticut and started rebuilding it. As time passed, lots of time passed, the house was finally done and we thought we were done too. “NEVER AGAIN!” we shouted from our rebuilt rooftop.

The honeymoon we never had was finally booked into a tiny French village, far far away. Our new lives of writing and painting would begin there, in earnest.
Then we fell in love with the village, its people and … (oh no!) an ancient, very tired old house … all over again.
BON COURAGE is the Déjà vu story of our NEVER AGAIN, but this time in French!

It is funny, sad, scary, combative, conciliatory, loving and fun. Bottom line, I think it is a hell of a story.

Yes, but… but… he was such an animal.

Alex Kroll’s is an another amazing story.  He was a class ahead of me at Yale, but I never knew him.  I was on the freshman team and he was a varsity player.

He was a big kid, from a small town in Western Pennsylvania called Leechburg, where his father was a laborer in a steel mill.  He was a very good football player, and somehow he found Yale or Yale found him, and as a sophomore he was the starting center/linebacker (two way football) on Yale’s 1956 Ivy League championship team. 

But sometime during that winter, Alex Kroll disappeared.  Vanished.  Dropped out of sight.

Even at Yale they were able to keep football players’ names out of the papers. But eventually, we all found what had happened. 

There had been some sort of minor automobile mishap on one of the streets that go through the campus, and whatever happened and whether it was abetted by alcohol, the fact is that at some point, Alex Kroll dropped a guy.  Who turned out to be an associate professor. Which led to Alex Kroll’s expulsion from Yale.

After serving two years in the Army, he entered Rutgers, where he quickly earned the  spot as starting center,  led Rutgers to a 17-1 record in his two seasons there, and captained the first unbeaten team in Rutgers’ history.  He was a near-consensus All-American his senior year.

He played one year in the AFL with the New York Titans (predecessors to the Jets), then embarked on a career in the advertising business as a trainee with Young and Rubicam, then one of the world’s largest agencies.

In 1970, at the age of 33, he was made Executive Vice-President and Creative Director, and in 1985 he was named CEO, a post he held until his retirement in 1994.
In his ten years as CEO, Y & R’s billings (sales) more than doubled, and  the number of its offices worldwide more than doubled, to 331.
 
He has received the Horatio Alger Award, the NCAA Silver Medal and the Walter Camp Distinguished American Award. He is a member of the College Football Hall of fame and the Advertising Hall of Fame.

 Yes, but… but… he was kicked out of Yale.

*********** Just wondering…  Why is it that back before women became empowered - I Am Woman Hear Me Roar, and all that - they could deal with guys who were a$$holes instead of being traumatized?

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

For the second week in a row we stayed away from the double wing and worked on open wing concepts.  The linemen (and myself as the coach) have really learned some ins and outs that occur when the fullback is pulled from the formation.  Our quarterback is getting very comfortable in both the running and passing games.  As always, thank you for sharing this aspect of the offense.

Starting this week we plan on sprinkling double wing back in as we move to the meat of our schedule.  The goal is to be prepared while also giving our opponents lots to look at. 

The Trojans won last week 56-13.  We are playing well on both sides of the ball right now. 

I hope all is well.

Todd Hollis
Elmwood, Illinois

*********** Burgerville is a decent-sized fast food chain headquartered in Vancouver, Washington.  Its food is good and fresh and it’s a good corporate citizen. And it pays its employees well above the minimum wage.

Nevertheless, this past year, Burgerville became the first fast-food chain in America to have to deal with  a union,  when employees at two of its Portland locations voted to unionize. (Forget the fact that the average fast food worker stays on the job less than a year.)

Now, sure as hell, Burgerville is dealing with its first strike ever. The employees at those two stores walked out after the company told them they couldn’t wear buttons that read “ABOLISH ICE” and “NO ONE IS ILLEGAL.”

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

Thought you would find this interesting:

http://footballscoop.com/news/brian-kelly-derek-mason-going-media/

Still trying to determine exactly what they're describing but it sounds to me like Kelly is complaining about what we always complain about.  That a defender outside of the tackle box is taking the legs out of a blocker (puller or kick-out) especially if the cut is taking place toward the original spot of the ball, which by rule is illegal.

I lost a B back once because of it, and I spoke with the crew before the game to warn them that on scout film our opponent did that to another team.  They said they would watch for it.  Of course it happened, injured player, no flag, and I lost my mind with the officials over it.  I had my rules book (as you always encouraged) and pointed it out to the Umpire..again.  He went over to the opposing coach to let him know it's illegal and that they would flag it, and then that coach lost his mind!  We beat them but it didn't diminish the fact that my starting B back was out for the season.

What do you think?

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

There’s a pissing contest going on right now between ND’s Bryan Kelly and Vandy’s Derek Mason, and I’d have to say Kelly has the wind at his back.   Normally, I couldn't imagine myself siding with Notre Dame against Vanderbilt, but here I am.

We Double Wingers constantly have to deal with defenders (coming from the outside) attacking our blockers at the knees  and rightly so.  It’s illegal, it’s unethical and it’s dangerous as hell, but it’s hard to get officials to pay attention to it.

This, as shown, is an easy call , and much as I like Vandy, Kelly is right and Mason is wrong.  Stop teaching dirty football, Mason.  It's hard enough to win at Vanderbilt as it is without getting people pissed off at you.


***********  Confession from a friend: Hugh, I hope your weekend went well. I know I told you we lost a very tough game in the sense that my guys gave up before we even started. Yes the team was very good, and half the kids on their team should be at our school. Transfer rules and the losing syndrome I inherited. Anyway the lack of fight really had me pissed after the game and I was showing it openly on bus ride back to school and in locker room. Well here comes the learning experience and I believe God had  a big hand in it. Anyway my son calls me and I tell him I will call him back in a few minutes, and always, with all my sons, I finished with, “I love you son!” That’s when one of my players said “I would give anything to have my dad tell me he loves me. “

That was a hell of a gut punch to me. So while I am reeling from that one of my players needs a ride home and as I pull up to an intersection outside of school a drunk runs a red light, hits a car in front of me and as the car that gets hit spins around it ends up literally inches from my car.  I have my other son and the player inside.

Then the third thing was at mass last night when the homily was on what you pick up your cross for.

So just to share with you it was a wake up call to really why I am there. We will work hard to get better.

*********** My friend, Greg Koenig, wrote this on his team’s Facebook page, for the benefit of parents as well as players…

Since I've been asked twice this week about eye black, here is what the NFHS Football Rules Book 2018 says:

Other Illegal Equipment:
3. Eye shade (grease or no-glare strips or stickers) that is not a solid stroke or includes words, numbers, logos, or other symbols with the eye shade (pp22-23).

This rule came into effect several years ago. What is allowed is a single black stroke or a strip/sticker under each eye that does not extend beyond the edges of the eye. Anything else (painted designs, thick strokes, words, numbers, logos, or other symbols) is illegal.

As I suggested at the parent meeting when I discussed visors, arm bands, etc., ask yourself why you want to wear the item. If it is to bring attention to yourself, don't wear it. Instead, get attention by playing harder than anyone else on the field and being the best teammate on the field. If you really believe that eye black (or a visor, arm bands, head band, etc.) will make you run faster or block and tackle better, please tell me why you aren't wearing it for all practices and all games.

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

How are you doing? I am back to coaching again with a U19 Jr. Team.  I am the OC and I am running the straight DW. I wanted to do the Open Wing but they say go with the normal and I can add it maybe next year when the team understands the DW better.

The question I have for you is that I like the motion on the super power. It really works well for me. I have always taught the Wings to catch the on the pitch and run to Green Grass between the blocks. First looking at the 6 hole. Is that okay or have you found the way you do it to be better?

I am just a little afraid to try this way because I have never done it this way before and it does not go with the motions I like to run to do play actions.

Should I go with what I know or yeah trust and teach it the new way you explained in the new 3.0 version? Just trying to be sure. Remember I am in Europe!
 
Thank you for all the new stuff. I really do enjoy it very much!

Hope you are well and God Bless!

You are always welcome to come over and visit. Season Starts the end of March. We can provide the room and Board if the is what you are worried about. Just a thought.

Anyways thank you again for all the years of advice and great info!
Coach,

I am not dogmatic and I certainly don’t want people to think I'm  telling them that they HAVE to do things my way.

My intention is to state that this is what I have found to be the best way to do this or that, and if people wish to run things the way I do, it’s best for them to stay as close to the book as possible.

If you’re having success doing things your way, that’s proof enough that mine is not the only way to do it.

I would say just two things:

(1) I have found that eliminating motion works best for me for all the reasons I enumerate in the book, and other coaches with whom I’ve worked closely have found the same thing to be true;

(2) If I have to defend against you and you are using motion to run Super Power, you are giving me an advantage.

Of course you should always know and believe in what you teach - but not necessarily what you’re comfortable with.  Comfort can make us complacent, and sometimes we need to give up momentary comfort in order to grow.  My advice would be that this would be the ideal time for you to make the change.

I personally think that you will soon enough grow comfortable with it.

I appreciate the invite.  That is very enticing, and I will consider it carefully if you promise to keep reminding me!

Best always!


*********** We won again this week by one touchdown. We had an official that would blow the wedge dead sooner then last 3 weeks. Also tell me if you have had this, we wanted to run the Reach as we were on far hash and because of our tight formation all the defense was loaded between our tight ends. We call run a kid in - our speedster. He rushed in got to the line and ran the reach.  Our guard did not do a good job blocking in space. However our kid juked the corner and took the ball 40 yards for the score. A flag is thrown. Equipment violation. Kid did not have mouth piece in. Not sure if he just forgot as we rushed him in or what happened. I have never seen a run called back on that. Usually official gives a warning. Or sends the kid out. Have you had a “mouthpiece” penalty.

I have seen it called, although not after the play.  They are really on equipment violations this year, possibly because of all the bare-knee fashion models.  But they should just send the kid out.  (A player from Bowling Green refused to leave the game against Oregon and got his team a 15-yard penalty.)

I would suggest that because stupid penalties are one of the things that can kill even a good team, and therefore one of the things that you have to work against, you work agains this by first warning your players - tell them that you will call a penalty ANY TIME you see this at practice and you will penalize the TEAM - five up-downs for everybody.  And then be sure to be rigorous in enforcing it, because no rule is any better than your willingness to enforce it.

Congratulations and Good luck!

*********** My, how times have changed.  It was maybe 50 years or so ago but it seems like yesterday that people told ethnic jokes,  making fun of one nationality or another, based on unfortunate stereotypes.  Jokes developed around the popular image of this particular group or that as lazy, stupid, dirty, cowardly - you get the idea.  (Interestingly, for the benefit of those who today decry something they like to call “white privilege,” these groups were all composed of white people.  Some privilege.)

In this age in which making fun of anything (except Donald Trump, Christians,  and white male southerners) is off-limits, one particular joke will almost certainly never be told again, combining as it does both ethnic and sexist insensitivity:

A young woman went to a police station to report that she’d been raped by a (fill in the ethnic group here) man.

“How do you know he was (ethnicity)?” asked the desk sergeant.

“Because,” said the young woman, “I had to help him.”

How did members of such groups feel about ethnic jokes? 

Well, one fellow spent a great deal of his time and treasure trying to do something about it.  He was a wealthy Philadelphian named Ed Piszek, and he was sick and tired of what were then known as “Polack jokes.” He’d made a bunch of money in the frozen food business, and he spent a bunch of it in an effort to combat joke-inducing stereotypes of Polish, founding the Copernicus Society (“for the support and advancement of the Polish culture and heritage”) and purchasing - then donating to the National Park Service -  the Philadelphia house where Thaddeus Kosciusko, a Polish nobleman who assisted the American Revolution, lived.

Another approach, less subtle than Mr. Piszek’s, but possibly at least as effective,  was demonstrated to me one day by Jerry DiPaolo, the sales manager at the Baltimore brewery where I worked.  He came up to me and asked, “What’s black and blue and floats in the harbor?”

When I told him I didn’t know, he happily provided the answer:

“Next son of a bitch that tries to tell me an Italian joke.”

*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  In the 1960 Rose Bowl the Washington Huskies trounced the Wisconsin Badgers, 44-8;  a year later,  despite Minnesota’s having already been voted National Champion, the Huskies defeated the Gophers, 17-7.

Bob Schloredt, the  Huskies’ QB, was named MVP of both games, making him the first player ever to win the award twice. (Charles White, Ron Dayne, and Vince Young have since matched his feat.)

He was named first team All-American and outstanding football player on the Pacific Coast.

And he played defense, too:  In an era of two-way football, he seldom came out of a game.

Not bad, eh?

Well, as the late, great radio commentator Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story:

As the result of an accident while playing with firecrackers when he was seven years old,  Bob Schloredt was legally blind in one eye.

Bob SchloredtHusky QBs


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BOB SCHLOREDT
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
SHEP CLARKE - PUYALLUP, WASHINGTON
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA - Defeated my Badgers with Jerry Stalcup (my coach of the Rockford Rams $250/game the year before the WFL) & Dale Hackbart...the 1st year I really paid attention to football...also the 1st game I saw on a color TV...TV shop owner rented the HS gym & showed the parade & game...I'm sure it stimulated sales in little Hillsboro, WI.
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON - Go Huskies.  They were my heroes growing up in Renton.

*********** Great Rose Bowl reminiscences by Bob Schloredt and Don McKeta, thanks to Greg Koenig

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8vMa952L0o

*********** Nice story from SI about Bob Schloredt

https://www.si.com/vault/1960/10/03/585172/one-eye-on-the-rose-bowl

*********** QUIZ: A native of Springfield, Massachusetts, home of the Springfield Armory where the standard-issue Army rifle of World War I was made,  it was only  matter of time before his passing earned him the nickname “Springfield Rifle.”

He was Notre Dame’s first T-formation (under center) quarterback, and the reason why famed Irish coach Frank Leahy changed from the hallowed Notre Dame box  made famous by Knute Rockne.   In 1941, as a tailback in the Box, he was good, leading the nation his sophomore year with a 56.9 completion percentage.  But after being converted into a  a T-formation quarterback, he was outstanding: in his junior season, he threw for 1039 yards and 10 touchdowns, high numbers for those times.

Having enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve, he was called up to active duty six games into his senior season (1943).  In those six games, he completed 25 of 36 passes, 10 of them for touchdowns, and that, combined with his great junior year performance (and perhaps a bit of patriotic fervor thrown in) was enough for the Heisman voters - he won the 1943 Heisman. (He had finished second in the Heisman voting  in 1941 and sixth in 1942.)

He was the All-American QB in 1942 and 1943, and during his time at Notre Dame, the Irish lost only three games.

In 1944, he was shipped off to the South Pacific, where he fought on Iwo Jima and narrowly escaped death from a Japanese mortar shell.

After the War,  he played for three seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Rockets of  the AAFC.

He is in the College Football Hall of Fame.





american flagTUESDAY,  SEPTEMBER 18,  2018 -        “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” Mark Twain

*********** I’m not coaching this year.  From my standpoint, there are plenty of bad things about that, but there is one good thing - I get to do some things that I haven’t had time to do in previous falls.

I just got to do one of those things.  I spent the weekend with three other guys at the Montana home of one of them.  I hadn’t been to Montana in 20 years, and I’d never been to this part  - the northwest part of the state, around Kalispell and Whitefish and Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park.  My God, you talk about gorgeous country.

Friday, I flew to Spokane - otherwise, a six-hour drive with nothing particularly exciting or interesting along the way -  then rented a car in Spokane and drove the remaining 4-1/2 hours to Whitefish. It was a beautiful day and the scenery was so gorgeous that the drive was fun and easy.

It was an entire weekend of good companionship, good food,  and good talk.  The other guys were very well-read and well-informed on any number of subjects.  In fact, it was hard to find a topic that at least one of them didn’t know a great deal about.

From Friday until Monday night I didn’t read a single newspaper and I never took my computer out of my bag.  (I can’t remember the last time that happened for even one day.)

While I didn’t gorge on college football as I usually do, I more than made up for it by watching games with these guys.  They’re all West Pointers, which made watching the Army game especially enjoyable.

(We watched exactly ZERO pro football.   The subject never even came up.  I have no idea what happened on Sunday and my life is not diminished in the slightest.)

*********** As for the rest…

TCU’s “sleeper” kick return against Ohio State

https://www.google.com/search?q=TCU+kick+return&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1-ab

North Texas’ fake fair catch against Arkansas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MiD6no269s

 (Lest you deride North Texas for trickery, try getting one of your players to act as well as the NT did. That takes some coaching!)

*********** BYU, Troy and North Texas all came into the big guys’ houses and all walked away with wins - and BIG checks. 

*********** In their last opportunity to get a win before starting conference play, four Pac-12 teams lost to outsiders.  USC lost to Texas, Arizona State lost to San Diego State, and Oregon State lost to Nevada.  With one exception, the rest of the teams won, but they won over FCS opponents. Washington’s win over Utah in Salt Lake City was the conference’s only significant win.

*********** Remember that clown from Monroe, Lousiana, the pollster who left West Virginia and Misissippi State off his Top 16 list last week??

Well, this week he’s got Michgan State at 15 and Boise State 16. 

Wait -

Michigan State? After not being in last week’s top 16, the Spartans earned their  spot in this week’s poll by - having a bye. 

And Boise State?  Oklahoma State just beat Boise, and Oklahoma State ain’t on jokerboy’s Top 16.  But Boise State is????

Last week he had Miami in 16th.  They won this week, but dropped off his list. 

He moved Stanford, despite an unimpressive win against FCS Cal Davis, up six places in one week - from 12th to 6th.

https://footballfoundation.org/documents/2018/9/17//Super_16_Poll_Week_3_IV_09_017_18_.pdf


*********** If cheating - particularly illegal recruiting - seems out of control in your state and you wonder why your state assocation does nothing about it, this may help explain… (actually, it sounds like the kind of sh— you run into in so many cities these days, where you call the police about something that requires attention and they tell you to call “code enforcement.”)

https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/high-school/heres-why-the-wiaa-the-body-governing-state-high-school-sports-often-cant-investigate-recruiting-and-other-allegations/


*********** In this day and age, with Pete Carroll pushing Hawk Tackling and USA Football bludgeoning various associations into making their coaches undergo training in tackling, it’s hard to believe there are still cretins like this being entrusted with the care of young men - and the welfare of our game.

You wonder why football is under attack?  Name me another sport where  sh— like this takes place.

https://thespun.com/news/troubling-video-surfaces-from-high-school-football-practice-drill

*********** “Soccer is the sport of the future - and always will be.”

There's still plenty of truth in that old joke,  according to an article in the New York Times, which claims…

Over the past three years, the percentage of 6- to 12-year-olds playing soccer regularly has dropped nearly 14 percent, to 2.3 million players, according to a study by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, which has analyzed youth athletic trends for 40 years. The number of children who touched a soccer ball even once during the year, in organized play or otherwise, also has fallen significantly.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/14/sports/world-cup/soccer-youth-decline.html


*********** Once largely confined to an area on the East Coast between Long Island and Baltimore,  plus an assortment of New England prep schools, lacrosse has begun to spread rapidly westward, as evidenced by recent NCAA championships won by Denver and Notre Dame.

Notes the New York Times…

It is among the fastest growing sports in the United States, according to a recent Sport & Fitness Industry Association report, with participation increasing nearly 10 percent in 2017 and by 25 percent since 2012.

It would seem to me to be a major beneficiary of the attack on football,  satisfying  boys’ urge to play a strenuous team sport requiring hand-eye coordination and a certain amount of contact and their parents’ wishes to steer them away from football, and some of the creeps who infest our game.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/sports/lacrosse-ivy-league-growth.html

dartmouth female*********** Dartmouth people must be so  proud.

The headlines announced that the School Formerly Known as the Indians has hired the “first full-time female football coach in Division I."

Wow.  That’ll pack ‘em in at the next Dartmouth game.

I see a coupla problems, though, with all the hype.

(1) This person, named Carrie Brownson, is NOT a coach.  Carrie Brownson is an “offensive quality control coach,” which technically means an “analyst,’ a staff  member who doesn’t count against the NCAA limit on coaches (Saban has lots of analysts) and isn’t allowed to coach players.

(2) Female? If you say so.  But based on the picture, I’d say that if Carrie ever wakes up in the morning and feels like identifying as a male, it wouldn’t take any more than a change of clothing.

 https://sports.yahoo.com/dartmouth-makes-callie-brownson-first-full-time-female-football-coach-division-000108358.html


*********** While waiting for a flight in the Portland airport Friday, I heard some clapping, and as it got louder and the woman next to me began clapping, I asked her what was going on.  She pointed to one of the doorways, where World War II vets - some walking but many in wheelchairs - were returning from a trip to Washington, DC.  As the ovation grew louder, the entire crowd of waiting passengers rose to their feet  and applauded until the last old soldier was wheeled out.

I marveled at the thought that this was Portland, for God’s sake - hipster capital of America, where protest is the highest form of patriotism.  And then it occured to me that half the people in the room were probably from someplace else.

*********** Mike Tomlin is definitely catching heat from two prominent sports columnists for  the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

He needs to be held accountable for this sloppy mess of a football team, writes Paul Zeise.

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/zeise-is-right/2018/09/16/Paul-Zeise-Mike-Tomlin-needs-to-be-held-accountable-for-this-sloppy-mess/stories/201809160227

The Steelers stink and that falls on him, writes Joe Starkey.

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/joe-starkey/2018/09/16/Joe-Starkey-The-Steelers-stink-and-that-falls-on-Mike-Tomlin/stories/201809160251

*********** Adam Carolla is one funny guy. I didn’t know that he once played football, and you (if you know him) probably didn’t, either, but in this piece from the National Football Foundation he talks about what high school football meant to him.  It's a nice endorsement of our game.

You might know Adam Carolla from The Man Show; or maybe you’re a fan of his wine cocktail, Mangria; but most likely you know him from his Guinness World Record breaking podcast. Where you never saw him was in a high school football playoff game, because, in Carolla’s own words, “Our team stunk.”

Carolla played linebacker and guard at North Hollywood High School in Southern California.

“We knew we were playing in a pretty good league and we knew we were going to lose, but that never stopped us from trying to win,” Carolla says. “To be honest, I always found it motivational. I knew we were going to lose to Canoga Park or Van Nuys, but my mindset was that I wanted to whip the guy in front of me the whole game.”

His mental toughness came from, of all things, riding the pine his sophomore year.

“I sat on the bench in the tenth grade and it was very humbling,” he says. “I dedicated myself to being a starter after that. I had to work very hard to overcome whatever physical shortcomings that I had. When I finally made varsity it felt great, but most games we ventured into we knew we were going to lose.”

Carolla says that since team victories were so few and far between, he chose to motivate himself personally by taking each play as if it was an individual battle.

“It is a team sport, but I wanted to walk away feeling like I won my battle while the other guy felt like he lost his. It was a personal victory for me,” he says.

But Carolla did have some standout moments with his teammates, one of which followed what he considers his most memorable high school football sequence.

“We managed to win one game against Hollywood High School. At the end of the game, they were punting and I got called for roughing the kicker and my teammates were not happy,” he says. “Everyone’s looking at me because we thought we were getting the ball back and now they still have it. It was a long walk back to the ball for everyone on our team. But on the following play I intercepted the ball. That was a great feeling because I had screwed up, but after the interception all was forgiven.”

In contrast to his high school team, Carolla grew up in the shadow of some great University of Southern California squads, so he watched players like Ricky Bell and Pat Haden when he could. On the NFL front, he hated the Pittsburgh Steelers and loved the Los Angeles Rams.

“I loved Jack Youngblood and Jim Youngblood,” he says. “Two guys with the last name Youngblood on the same team. What are the odds of that?”

But even more than the on-field play, Carolla loved the meritocracy aspect of the game that promoted grit and work ethic.

“Playing football taught me a lot about discipline and teamwork,” he says. “I learned about being humble and being able to swallow your pride and get to work. I learned about pushing through pain and the delayed gratification that the two-a-days we did in one hundred degree heat would pay off in a game months away. The lessons about teamwork and overcoming adversity that come with football are really strong.”

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

The E/B Trojans had a good time last weekend on a field made muddy and sloppy from storms pushed our way as a result of the recent hurricane.  It was one of those rare nights where you can't tell the numbers on the jerseys because of the sheer mass of mud covering them.  Good times.

We forced ourselves out of the double wing despite the conditions to test ourselves against an opponent that was vastly inferior.  A lot of open wing, double wing from gun, etc.  Even with a bad snap and a couple of fumbles I was still very happy with the performance and how well we handled the adverse conditions.  Had we stayed in double wing, as evidenced by the two drives in which our second group throttled the ball up and down the field, the game would have been a yawner.  Instead we had to stay engaged and really work on things.

Defensively we were outstanding again.  On forty offensive attempts by the Peoria Heights Patriots we allowed -7 yards.  It was a good day.

The Trojans won 38-0.  Lots of kids played.  We improved in a number of areas.

This week, on a beautiful evening and a dry field, we play the Havana Ducks.  Again I am going to force us out of the double wing.  I think the conditions will allow us to get a legitimate look at what we can do.

Have a great weekend.

Todd Hollis
Elmwood, Illinois

*********** Still on the Double Wing front - Greg Koenig’s Cimarron, Kansas Blue Jays trounced Stanton County, 66-8. Tate Seabolt had 96 yards on just nine carries and Coach Koenig pulled his starters with 6 minutes remaining in the first half. Monday night , the Cimarron JVs downed Stanton County, 48-0

*********** On the subject of Greg Landry, Charlie Wilson of Crystal River, Florida sent in a story of the time when - briefly -  Landry led NFL rushers (mainly after running a quarterback sneak for 76 yards).

https://www.nytimes.com/1970/09/27/archives/quarterback-sneak-of-76-yards-makes-landry-a-top-rusher.html


*********** QUIZ ANSWER - In 64 years of coaching college football, John Gagliardi (Gal-ARR-dee) coached at only two colleges -  both of them small Catholic schools -  spending the last 60 of those years at one of them.

One of nine children of an Italian immigrant coal miner in Trinidad, Colorado, he first became a head coach in 1943, at the age of 16 -  when his high school coach went off to war and there was no one else to coach the team.  It was during that time, as he had to learn on the fly, that he began to question - and reject - many of the rituals and practices thought sacred among the football coaching fraternity.

While attending Colorado College,  he didn’t play football. Instead, he coached a local high school team the entire time.

At 22, he got his first college head coaching job, at Carroll College in Helena, Montana (where Bob Petrino’s father would later become the coach). In four years there, his record was 24-6-1.

That led to the head coaching position at St. John’s University, in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he would stay for 60 years.

His coaching philosophy, at which coaches of all levels marveled,  was, to say the least, “different.” He came to call it “Winning with NO,” which meant no titles (such as “Coach”), no whistles, no hollering at players, no blocking sleds, no tackling in practices, no slogans or signs in the locker room, no playbooks, no grading films - that’s a sample.  The list of his “No’s” was long and impressive.

His practices were 90 minutes - no practice on Sundays or Mondays - and just 45 minutes on Fridays.

All his seniors were captains (“that way they can all put ‘captain’ on their resumes”).

“Calisthenics” might consist of “One perfect jumping jack.”

How did it all work out?

Well, first of all, how many other guys can you think of who lasted 60 years at the same place?

When he retired in 2012, he was the winningest coach in college football history.

At St. John’s, from 1953-2012, he was 465-132-10, with 27 conference titles

His Johnnies won national titles - NAIA 1963 and 1965 and NCAA D-III in 1976 and 2003.

In his entire career he had just two losing seasons - 3-4-1 in 1956 and 3-5 in 1967.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame - he and Bobby Bowden were the first active coaches to be inducted

Since 1993, a Trophy in his name has been awarded annually to the outstanding player in Division III.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JOHN GAGLIARDI
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
JOSH COLE - ODESSA, NEW YORK
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA - “Nice Polish kid”
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA

*********** I enjoyed this book about him and the program: The Sweet Season: A Sportswriter Rediscovers Football, Family, and a Bit of Faith at Minnesota's St. John's University

Adam Wesoloski
Pulaski, Wisconsin

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000Z4JQPG/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

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

I remember a number of years ago reading The Sweet Season and learning about Coach John Gagliardi. It was a great read.

"Saint John" - The  film on John Gagliardi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4cU73z8Jdg

*********** I met Coach Gagliardi back when I was a head coach in Minnesota.  My staff and I took a trip up to Collegeville with one of his former players who got us in to meet Coach Gagliardi.  One of the great moments of my coaching career.  He invited us as his guests to their game the following Saturday, and the experience of watching a St. John's game at home in October is something special.  The gorgeous setting of the football stadium was spectacular.  And about the calisthenics...it's all true!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** I was listening to a pod cast the other month with the OL coach at Rice. He played for Coach Gagliardi. He said, "I learned very quickly there is only one John and you have to find your own coaching style."
Tom Walls
Winnipeg, Manitoba

*********** JOHN GAGLIARDI’S “WINNING WITH NO”

THE PREFACE
- No single way to coach football
- No worrying about being different or unique
- No "Mission Statement"

THE OVERALL PROGRAM
- No athletic scholarships
- No recruiting off campus
- No problems or obstacles can stop us
- No creating bust work. Eliminate the unnecessary
- No goals. Just high expectations
- No Hall-of-Fame
- No big staff
- No freshman or junior varsity program
- No discipline problems
- No insisting on being called "Coach"
- No pampering athletes
- No one persuaded to come out or stay out
- No hazing tolerated
- No depending on good luck. Only bad luck can hinder us
- No being inflexible
- No surviving without humor


THE SEASON
- No traditional captains (All Seniors share this honor)
- No rules, except the Golden Rule
- No staff meetings
- No player meetings
- No compulsory film sessions except Monday
- No grading films
- No dress code
- No special diet
- No training table. Team eats with other students
- No special dormitory
- No signs in the dressing rooms
- No slogans
- No superstitions
- No playbooks
- No statistics posted
- No newspaper clippings posted (ours or theirs)
- No excuses


THE PRACTICES
- No resemblance to a BOOT CAMP
- No long practices (90 Minutes Tue, Wed, Thur and 45 minutes on Fri)
- No tackling
- No practice pants issued (shorts or sweat-pants worn at ALL practices)
- No agility drills
- No lengthy calisthenics
- No pre-practice drills. Players do what they want or need to do
- No practice apparatus or gadgets
- No blocking sleds
- No blocking or tackling dummies
- No laps
- No wind sprints
- No special staff uniforms
- No use of the words "hit," "kill," etc...
- No clipboards
- No whistles
- No practices on Sunday or Monday
- No traditional football drills
- No yelling or screaming at players
- No spring practice
- No practice in rain, extreme heat or cold
- No practice if mosquitoes, gnats etc...are bad
- No practice under the lights (to get ready for night games)
- No water or rest denied when players want it
- No practice modules
- No insisting on underclassmen carry equipment other  than their own


THE OFF-SEASON
- No dwelling on bad things
- No meetings
- No between season practices or conditioning
- No captains' practices
- No study or tutoring program necessary
- No compulsory weight program necessary
- No football, conditioning, or weight classes


THE GAMES
- No "Big" games pointed to
- No big deal when we score (we expect to score)
- No scripting plays
- No Gatorade celebrations
- No trying to "kill" opponent
- No trash talking tolerated
- No tendency charts
- No player unsuited at home
- No player NOT played in a rout (many games with over 160 played)
- No spearing allowed
- No cheap-shots or foul play tolerated
- No belief aggressive teams get penalties
- No counting individual tackles
- No precision pregame drills
- No precision huddles
- No special pregame meals
- No special post-game meals
- No computer analysis
- No cheerleaders


THE RESULTS
- No player has not graduated (Most graduate in 4 years)
- No discipline problems
- No player lost through ineligibility
- No graduating class has NOT had at least one prospective pro football player
_ No graduating class has NOT had players attend graduate, law and/or medical school
- No Division 3 college has larger crowd support (more than many D2 teams)
- No other NCAA team ever scored more points in a season (Averaged 61.5 per game in 1993)
- No wider point margin in national play off history
- No team has fewer injuries
- No college coach has won more games

https://sites.google.com/site/coachjohngagliardi/home/list-of-no-s




*********** QUIZ:  In the 1960 Rose Bowl the Washington Huskies trounced the Wisconsin Badgers, 44-8;  a year later,  despite Minnesota’s having already been voted the National Champion, the Huskies defeated the Gophers, 17-7.

The Huskies’ QB was named MVP of both games, making him the first player ever to win the award twice. (Charles White, Ron Dayne, and Vince Young have since matched his feat.)

He was named first team All-American and outstanding football player on the Pacific Coast.

And he played defense, too:  In an era of two-way football, he seldom came out of a game.

Not bad, eh?

Well, as the late, great radio commentator Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story:

As the result of an accident while playing with firecrackers when he was seven years old,  he was legally blind in one eye.




american flagFRIDAY,  SEPTEMBER 14,  2018 -        “If it's a disaster and the Waffle House is closed - it's bad.” FEMA manager

*********** Mark Twain was fond of a quote which he attributed to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli:

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

And so, the Portland Oregonian chose to take the third route in an article this week.  Here was the front-page headline:

FOOTBALL PARTICIPATION DOWN 600 IN OREGON

Almost gleefully, the article on participation in Oregon high school sports noted that participation in football continues to decline.

And, yes, it’s true that football participation was down  - from 13,041 in 2016-2017 to 12,473 in 2017-2018. Not quite 600, but we’re writing headlines, so who cares?

After taking their shot at football, they tried to deliver some good news: “Numbers are up for boys and girls’ track and cross country.”  Well, yes they were - but over a 10-year period.  From 2008 to 2017, they all showed growth.

But let’s compare apples to apples.  In the last year, just like football, they were all down.  And percentage-wise, girls’ cross-country was down even more than football.

Those damn statistics.

Actually, the only sports to show an increase in participation in the past year were girls’ swimming (to 2685 from 2512), “cheer” (to 2822 from 2767) and - get ready for this - wrestling (to 4819 from 4810).  Despite all the efforts to kill it off, wrestling just won’t die. After a 10-year  decline, it’s actually shown an increase the last two years, from 4542 to 4819).

Interestingly, even in Soccer City, USA, as Portland often styles itself, participation in soccer - both boys and girls - was  “relatively flat.”  There go those statistics again. Actually,  if we want to be precise, their numbers were down, too.  Not much, but down nonetheless.

I’d have suggested a different headline - “OREGON KIDS SHOWING SIGNS OF SLACKING OFF”

*********** Remember the Nike ad campaign of 20+ years ago, when a series of little girls related all the good things that would happen to them - and bad things that wouldn’t - “If you let me play sports?”

If only we’d let those little girls play sports.

Although Title IX has been the law of the land since 1972,  recent statistics on sports participation in Oregon high schools show that where participation in girls’ sports is concerned, there may be something more to it than just “letting them play.”

Check out these 10 year drops in participation in three popular girls’ sports:

Softball (2007-2008) 4936 —————— (2016-2017) 4568   -7.5%
Girls’ Basketball (2007-2008) 6278 —————— (2016-2017) 5924    -5.6 %
Volleyball (2007-2008) 7426  —————— (2016-2017) 7086  -4.6%

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

***********  Would Larry Fedora have popped off about owing America’s greatness to football if he’d known there were coaches like this one, who (allegedly) head butted one kid, blew snot on another, stood on a toilet seat and pissed on a kid in an adjoining stall, and told one to commit suicide?

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/09/12/florida-high-school-football-coach-told-player-to-commit-suicide-head-butted-another-report.html

*********** More Yale freshmen identify as LGBTQ than as conservatives.

Nine percent thought of themselves as “somewhat conservative,” with only one per cent viewing themselves as “very conservative.”

A full 22 per cent place themselves somethere on the LGBTQ scale.

Somebody in admissions is in for an ass-chewing for letting in all those conservatives.

https://www.thecollegefix.com/more-yale-freshmen-identify-as-lgbtq-than-conservative/

*********** Before anyone complains about how much Ohio State pays Urban Meyer  they should consider this…

Coach Meyer doesn’t cost the taxpayers of Ohio a single cent. The Ohio State athletic department is self-sustaining.

On the other hand, THE Ohio State University employs 88 “diversity-related” administrative employees, at an annual cost to Ohio taxpayers in salaries and benefits of some $7.3 million.

https://www.thecollegefix.com/ohio-state-employs-88-diversity-related-staffers-at-a-cost-of-7-3m-annually/

*********** We have a new principal this year. He has been in for a week and he is suggesting a change in one of our policies. Our school is one of the few schools in the city that does not allow hats to be worn inside. You can imagine that this is a challenging rule for some teachers to enforce. The principal is suggesting that we do away with the rule and allow individual teachers to decide whether hats are appropriate within their classrooms.

I am not in support of the change.

Besides the logistical reasons of when I see a kid with a hat on, I know they are not from our school (this is actually a safety issue, as we have many rival gangs in town), I also have an issue with this because of its optics. My dad used to say “Outdoors covered, indoors uncovered.” I think we are losing a sense of proper decorum by allowing kids to wear hats indoors. I just don’t know how to say it. It would be one more thing to causualize the school setting.

Can you help me word-smith this, so I can provide a reply to his proposal?

Decorum is all but shot anyhow, and I suppose I could go either way if the faculty decided as one to go all hats or no hats.  

But I can tell you from experience that the surest way to split a faculty is to allow each individual teacher to do as he or she pleases on the subject of hats in the building.

It will create an everyday nuisance for the no-hat teachers, because they will be constantly dealing with the laxity of the let-them-wear-hats teachers.  They’ll constantly have to deal with kids coming into their rooms still wearing hats from the previous class, and they will face year-long, never-ending resistance to their rules, abetted by their fellow faculty members.

As a no-hat teacher, I resented the fact that I was being imposed on by other teachers, whose permissiveness was forcing me to take time and effort away from my teaching in order to uphold my classroom rules.



*********** THOUGHT:  Could this whole Nike-renews-Kaepernick thing be a ploy to get money from the NFL to Kaepernick to get him to drop his lawsuit?

*********** I was looking for something in a book called “Born at Reveille. Memoirs of an American Soldier,”   by Red Reeder.  I can’t describe Red Reeder and do him justice, but in brief: the son of an Army officer, he attended West Point and played on the Army football and baseball teams.  He served as an assistant coach at Army, and at the outbreak of World War II served on General George George Marshall’s staff.  In 1944, on D-Day, he led his 3,000-solder regiment onto Utah Beach, where a shrapnel wound resulted in his losing a leg. Much decorated for his bravery in combat, he received the Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor. He served for 20 years as AD at West Point, and after retirement he wrote several books, one of which inspired a TV series “Mackenzie’s Raiders.”

In his memoirs he tells of a trip the Army coaching staff took to the West Coast at the invitation of Stanford coach Pop Warner  to watch Stanford’s spring practice.

Pop was getting old, and although at Stanford in 1929 he had some of the best players in the game, his mind often went back to the days when he was coach of the Carlisle Indians. “They were the greatest,” he said, at a dinner with Ellinger, Sasse and me.  “Thorpe and his crew. Those Indians taught me a lesson: never swear at a player. Once during a sloppy practice I cursed them.  They picked up the football and walked to the goal post, forty yards away, and held a pow-wow.  Then they walked off the field. One of ‘em, I think it was Little Boy, came back and said, ‘If coach swear at us, no more practice.’ I haven’t so much as said ‘darn’ at a player since."


***********  As usual, the Win-10 computer I'm forced to use is not suitable for man nor beast. You MAY be able to get the attachment viewable but I offer no guarantees.  It's a picture of the Sales Force at Bowden-Bishop Realty in Birmingham, Al, circa mid-60s. My Mom and Dad are front and center.  Over dad's left shoulder is a man and behind him is Bobby Bowden's Father, Jack, I believe.  You can see the family resemblance.

Bobby didn't seem destined for greatness.  Stints at Samford College and eventually West Virginia.  Bobby wasn't "one of them" at WV and he had the "For Sale" signs in the front yard to prove it.

Darrell Mudra was expected to rebuild Florida State and turn it into a Power.  I was listening to the game on the radio when FSU had Alabama reeling late in the fourth quarter, 7-3.  Fourth down, deep in their own territory, FSU...takes a Safety!.  Alabama has just enough to get in field goal range...Bama wins, 8 - 7!!!

So, FSU brings in Bobby Bowden.  Only, Bobby has a Franchise Formula that he will use to map the players he gets into this Formula.  When FSU beats mighty Pitt, the rest of the world finds out about it and there's nothing they can do about it.  Wally Woodham and Jimmy Jordan are the twin QBs who manage the Show, being just good enough to put the ball in the right place at the right time.

Bear Bryant was the first Coach whose teams would win at least 10 games a year for ten years and I believe FSU was right behind.  If FSU had a FG keeker who could've kicked a touchdown or two in critical games (with Miami), they'd have a coupla' more NtChampionships.  Bear stated that he wasn't gonna schedule a game with FSU anytime soon.

I got to talk to Coach Bowden some at Spring Practices and found him very likable.  Hell, we grew up in the same neighborhoods.  He had his Standard Answers to frequent questions - "The Option is the best play in football but you have to throw out everything else to perfect it" - but if he played some things close to the vest, he wore other feelings in bright garnet and gold letters on his chest.

I understand the unease that people feel about those Bowden years, esp. when he was abruptly shown the door.  Whenever people look at Phenom Coaches, they ask questions like, "Whatever happened to Mike White?"  They don't ask that about Bobby Bowden.

Besides, my parents worked for his dad...

Charlie Wilson
Crystal River, Florida


*********** I read a great article in The Athletic (subscription-only, but a pretty good site) about a promising 18-year-old Finnish hockey player named Jesperi (“YESS-per-ee”) Kotkaniemi, taken number three overall in the NHL draft by the Montreal Canadiens.

The story dealt with the culture shock he’s sure to experience.

On the surface, his hometown of Pori, a small city of 85,000 on the West Coast of Finland, and Montreal, with a metro population of 4 million, would seem to be as far apart as the could possibly be.

Perhaps not.

Yes, in Montreal, hockey is everything.  But in Pori, it is, too.

Montreal’s arena seats more than 20,000; Pori’s seats 6,400.  Some 40 per cent are sold as season tickets; there’s an entire section of 2,000 behind the players’ benches called the “standing section,” because although there are seats, no one sits.  It is, needless to say, raucous.

Pori is a workingman’s town whose hockey team represents them against teams from bigger, more sophisticated cities.  During Finland’s long, dark winters, hockey is the only thing going on, and people live for hockey. Described as the sort of place where “everybody knows you,” that sort of familiarity can be hard on a player when he doesn’t measure up to expectations.

“Pori, if you don’t play well, it’s a very negative place,” says Kotkaniemi.

It hasn’t been very negative with Jesperi Kotkoniemi playing, but he’s ready.  “If we don’t play well I try to just ignore those newspapers and that kind of thing,” he says.  “I think everything is just about the hockey, so I try to focus on that. I always say that everywhere I go, it’s just hockey. Of course, if we don’t play well people are upset, so then we just try to do better. Every day is a new day to be better. So I try to think about it like that.”

As with most Finns, he speaks English rather well, and in preparation for life in the second-largest French-speaking city in the world, he’s studying French.  (Will someone please tell our Latin-American baseball players about that?)

The arena has a VIP section (Finns pronounce it “WEE-EYE-PEE”) which even has a sauna. (No, NOT “SAW-nuh.” It’s “SOW(as in how now brown cow)-nuh.”)  There, spectators combine two pleasant experiences - hockey and sauna.  Yes, sauna is in the nude (always), but the sauna is high enough up in the rafters that while the bathers can see down to the rink, no one can see them.
port sauna



https://theathletic.com/502669/2018/09/05/a-boy-and-his-rink-jesperi-kotkaniemis-childhood-and-how-it-prepared-him-for-montreal/


*********** WORTH WATCHING THIS WEEK (I'll be out of town, but these are the ones I'm recording.)

9 AM PACIFIC
HAWAII AT ARMY
FLORIDA STATE AT SYRACUSE
RUTGERS AT KANSAS
TEMPLE AT MARYLAND
9:30
GEORGIA TECH AT PITT
11:30
VANDERBILT AT NOTRE DAME
12:30 PM
BYU AT WISCONSIN
LSU AT AUBURN
DUKE AT BAYLOR
SOUTH FLORIDA AT ILLINOIS
1:00
COLO STATE AT FLORIDA
1:15
HOUSTON AT TEXAS TECH
3:00
EASTERN MICHIGAN AT BUFFALO
4:00
ALABAMA AT OLE MISS
OREGON STATE AT NEVADA
4:30
NORTH IOWA AT IOWA
5:00
OHIO STATE AT TCU
USC AT TEXAS
EASTERN WASHINGTON AT WASHINGTON STATE
7:00
WASHINGTON AT UTAH
7:30
ARIZONA STATE AT SAN DIEGO STATE
FRESNO STATE AT UCLA

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

Enjoyed reading your news today.  Just so you know I was one of those Americans who was furious, still am, and will ALWAYS remember.

Notre Dame was terrible on Saturday.  If Ball State finds a running game they could be real tough in the MAC.

Fresno State found out what happens when you give the ball to a fullback to throw a pass from the 4 yard line instead of giving him the ball to either run it in, or block for the guy who does.  Fresno gave an ND performance on offense, but give credit to Minnesota though, they're young and talented, and hung in there even after losing their best RB.


Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER - Greg Landry is a native of Nashua, New Hampshire, where he played high school football, and he played his college football at UMass.   As the QB of the Redmen (since changed to the Minutemen) he led the team to records of 7-2, 6-3 and 7-2 and was named All-Yankee Conference QB in his junior and senior seasons.

He was the first draft pick of the Detroit Lions, the eleventh pick overall and the first quarterback chosen in the 1968 draft.

He started two games his rookie year when starter Bill Munson was injured, but by his fourth year 1971, the starting job was his, and in his first year as the Lions’ full-time starter, he threw for 2237 yards and 16 TDs and a league-leading 16.4 yards per completion. He was big and strong and fast, and he ran for another  524 yards and 9 TDs.  That season earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl.

In 11 seasons as the Lions’ QB, he completed 957 of 1747 for 12,451 yards and 80 TDs.  He ran 389 times for 2502 yards and 19 TDs.

His record as the Lions’ starter was 40-41-3.  His passing yardage ranks third all-time among Lions’ QBs, and his 80 TDs rank second.

The Lions made the playoffs in 1970, 1971 and 1972, but those were the days when Minnesota dominated the division, and the Lions couldn’t get past the Vikings.

After being traded to Baltimore to serve as a backup and mentor to Bert Jones, he was pressed into service in 1979 when Jones was injured, and started 12 games. Those Colts were bad, and he wound up  throwing 457 times - the most by far of any season in his career.  He completed 270 passes for 2932 yards and 15 TDs, but  to no avail:  the Colts lost 10 of those games, and in the process he was sacked 42 times.

After the Colts’ Frank Kush let him go, he spent two years in the USFL and then returned to finish up with the Bears. In his final game, he threw a touchdown pass to Willie Gault.

In his 15 year NFL career, he completed 1226 of 2300 passes for 16,052 yards and 98 TDs. He rushed 430 times for 2655 yards and 21 TDs.

After retiring as a player, he coached for 12 years with the Browns, Bears and Lions as a QB coach, and five years with the Bears and two years with the University of Illinois as offensive coordinator.

Despite his French-Canadian surname, his maternal grandparents were Polish immigrants (his mother’s maiden name was Felixia Worsowicz) and he is in the Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.


********** CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING GREG LANDRY
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA - “Nice Polish kid”
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
JOE BREMER - WEST SENECA, NEW YORK
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

*********** MORE ON GREG LANDRY

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

http://www.nflplayerengagement.com/next/articles/where-are-they-now-greg-landry/

CATCHING UP WITH FORMER COLTS

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/nfl/bs-sp-catching-up-landry-20170907-story.html

*********** QUIZ - In 64 years of coaching college football, he coached at only two schools -  both of them small Catholic colleges -  and spent the last 60 of those years at one of them.

One of nine children of an Italian immigrant coal miner in Trinidad, Colorado, he first became a head coach in 1943, at the age of 16 -  when his high school coach went off to war and there was no one else to coach the team.  It was during that time, as he had to learn on the fly, that he began to question - and reject - many of the rituals and practices long thought sacred in the football coaching fraternity.

While attending Colorado College,  he didn’t play football. Instead, he coached a local high school team the entire time.

At 22, he got his first college head coaching job, at Carroll College in Helena, Montana (where Bob Petrino’s father would later become the couch). In four years there, his record was 24-6-1.

That led to the head coaching position at St. John’s University, in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he would stay for 60 years.

His coaching philosophy, at which coaches of all levels marveled,  was, to say the least, “different.” He came to call it “Winning with NO,” which meant no titles (such as “Coach”), no whistles, no hollering at players, no blocking sleds, no tackling in practices, no slogans or signs in the locker room, no playbooks, no grading films - that’s a sample.  The list of his “No’s” was long and impressive.

His practices were 90 minutes - no practice on Sundays or Mondays - and just 45 minutes on Fridays.

All his seniors were captains (“that way they can all put ‘captain’ on their resumes”).

“Calisthenics” might consist of “One perfect jumping jack.”

How did it all work out?

Well, first of all, how many other guys can you think of who lasted 60 years at the same place?

When he retired in 2012, he was the winningest coach in college football history.

At St. John’s, from 1953-2012, he was 465-132-10, with 27 conference titles

His Johnnies won national titles - NAIA 1963 and 1965 and NCAA D-III in 1976 and 2003.

In his entire career he had just two losing seasons - 3-4-1 in 1956 and 3-5 in 1967.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame - he and Bobby Bowden were the first active coaches to be inducted.

Since 1993, a Trophy in his name has been awarded annually to the outstanding player in Division III.




american flagTUESDAY,  SEPTEMBER 11,  2018 -        "We've seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with." Hillary Clinton,  Sept. 14, 2012

*********** September 11, 2001 is one of those dates that you’ll remember all your life.  The events of that day were so powerful, so moving, so emotion-evoking that they’ve enabled you to remember even tiny details associated with what you were doing when you first heard the news.

I’m still angered by it, and I remember how, from the very first, it was called a “tragedy.” 

Tragedy, my ass.  A tragedy is when a flash flood sweeps away a family’s loved one; when a young couple learns that their baby is terminally ill. 

This was no “tragedy” - it was an act of war.

I remember asking, “Where’s the rage?” We’d been attacked on our own soil - and nobody in authority seemed pissed.  Just sad. 

Google “9-11 Quotes” some time, and it’s all about sadness and tragedy and unity and blah, blah, blah. No “Remember the Alamo.” No “Remember Pearl Harbor.” 

Just crap like this:

“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.”

I voted for George Bush - like I was supposed to vote for Al F—king Gore? - but I was expecting him to sound pissed, and instead what we got was a plea not to take out our anger on the Muslim community. And a pledge to get the people behind it all and “Bring them to justice.” (Right, George.  In today’s United States that would have resulted in their being put on probation and given community service.)

No sense making Americans mad, right?  Remember the video of the Palestinians dancing in the street at the news of the attack?  Has anyone seen it, even once, in the 17 years since?  Wait - you say that it showed originally on CNN?  That explains everything.

Maybe if we can no longer get pissed about the World Trade Center, we can still summon up a bit of rage over Benghazi and  those lying bastards in Barack Hussein's administration ("that awful Internet video...").

*********** Four weeks before the official start of football practice, a local Washington high school, Ridgefield,  hired a new AD.  Two weeks later, now just two weeks before the start of practice, the new AD fired the head coach.

Too late to conduct a search for a new head coach, she installed one of the current assistants as the interim head coach.

I’ve taught and coached in Ridgefield, and I know the place.  But it’s undergone a lot of change since I was there. Ridgefield is now the fastest growing district in the entire state, and its growth has mainly been due to an influx of relatively affluent Portlanders, bringing with them all the high expectations for their entitled children that that connotes. It has become a notoriously bad place to coach - unreasonably demanding parents with an administration known to, shall we say, “listen to them.”

Ridgefield has gone through five coaches in the last ten years.  The one just fired had lasted two years, going 4-5 and 1-8. HIs predecessor stayed for four years and went 19-19 during that time. He certainly could have stayed longer, but after going 8-2 in 2015, he decided to wash his hands of it all and walk away from the job, blaming parental interference.

So I had my Ridgefield story all written, deploring the situation and predicting a train wreck.

The fired coach had been a Wing-T guy, and, I figured, that was part of the problem.  I imagined a community, no doubt led by the father of a quarterback, wanting him to spread it out and throw the damn thing. 

So now, with a new guy promoted from the staff, we should expect four wides and a gun, right?

But then I read an interview with the interim coach - who happens to be the father of a player on the team - and he sounded like a knowledgeable sort. And a sensible one - to his credit, he didn’t badmouth the previous coach.  And he was close-mouthed about the offense he intended to run, other than saying that he didn’t feel he knew enough about the Wing-T to stay with it.

A little over a week ago,  they played their first game - and shocked everyone.  They defeated a neighboring school, one which consistently fields good teams, and shut them out, 19-0.

The coach’s 5-9, 200 pound son carried 30 times for 193 yards and two touchdowns.

What’s going on here? I thought.  I had to take a look at the video.  That I did, and damned if they weren’t running from I formation,  with the coach’s son at tailback.  Most of the time they had a wingback, and often they had two tight ends. They were playing pure power football.

The second game, this past Friday, was against a city school, with a much larger enrollment but very little talent.  The result was a second straight shutout, 42-0.

This time, the coach’s son ran the ball 19 times for 191 yards and three touchdowns.

Next week comes a real test, against a larger school with a great football tradition.  It’s off to a 1-1 start, but its loss was to an even bigger program, a regional lower.

That article I’d written?  I trashed it.

http://blogs.columbian.com/high-school-sports/2018/08/20/q-and-a-catching-up-with-ridgefield-interim-football-coach-chris-abrams/

http://www.maxpreps.com/high-schools/ridgefield-spudders-(ridgefield,wa)/football/home.htm

*********** I’m sorry, she might be a very nice person, but if the NFL intended to pursue political correctness at the expense of its TV audience, it’s certainly done that, forcing on it the harsh, abrasive voice of Beth Mowins.

*********** Amid all the football this past Saturday, I “allowed” my wife to watch the women’s final of the US Open Tennis on one of our sets; so I got to see all of Serena Williams’ tirade against a tennis official who’d made a controversial call against her.

And sure enough, one of the commentators said something along the lines of “you don’t make that kind of call at a time like this, with so much at stake, blah, blah, blah.”

Which got me thinking - how many times have you heard an announcer say.

“You don’t make a call like that in a game/match of this importance…”

or

“You don’t make a call like that this late in the game…”

How many times have you thought, “Why not?”

Is it a game, where the rules are applied consistently, or is it a scripted play, where things play out the according to design?

Well if you don’t “make a call like that” under certain conditions,  and it becomes known that that’s policy... wouldn’t that knowledge be factored into a team’s strategy?

Wouldn’t you call time out and remind your team, “Okay, guys - just like we discussed… it’s the last two minutes of the Game of the Century, and everybody knows they’re not going to call things close... so __________.” (You fill in the blank: FOUL, HOLD, INTERFERE)

For the good of a game’s integrity, it seems to me we shouldn’t expect officials to officiate differently depending on the conditions. Instead, we ought to turn this back on the players and coaches and tell them:

You don’t DO something like that in a game/match of this importance...

You don’t DO something like that this late in the game...

*********** With Florence appearing to take dead aim at the Carolinas and Virginia, and heavy rain expected way up the coast - how many games are going to get rained out this weekend?

*********** COLLEGE FOOTBALL THIS PAST WEEKEND


PREDICTED BLOWOUTS THAT WEREN’T-
NOTRE DAME OVER BALL STATE — But not by much.
OLE MISS OVER SOUTHERN ILLINOIS - Rebs had all they could handle.
FLORIDA STATE OVER SAMFORD - In the fourth quarter. Willie, try being a little humble. You might need it.
TEXAS OVER TULSA - Barely. The  narrow win is not exactly an encouraging result for Longhorns fans.
EASTERN MICHIGAN OVER PURDUE: Boilermakers now 0-2.  At home.  Scary start.


OTHER GAMES I WAS WATCHING
(IN ORDER OF TV APPEARANCE)
MISSISSIPPI STATE OVER KANSAS STATE - With NIck Fitzgerald at QB, the Bulldogs are really good; with OC Dana Dimel gone, Cats looked anemic on offense
ARMY OVER LIBERTY - Liberty has a QB named Buckshot Calvert;  It sort of described his accuracy
VANDERBILT OVER NEVADA  - Vandy showed that it might give Notre Dame a game on Saturday
HOUSTON OVER ARIZONA - Glad I picked Houston. Arizona looked bad, played worse. Houston is good.
DUKE OVER NORTHWESTERN - Duke is real, but lost QB Daniel Jones to a broken collarbone
SOUTH FLORIDA OVER GEORGIA TECH - Couldn't get this on TV for some reason and sorry I missed it.  Bulls proved once again that Tech can’t win on offense alone
FLORIDA ATLANTIC OVER AIR FORCE  - Hmmm. Air Force isn’t as tough as Oklahoma, and Lane Kiffin is now 1-1.
KANSAS OVER CENTRAL MICHIGAN - Could there be a streak in the making? KU hosts Rutgers Saturday.
GEORGIA OVER SOUTH CAROLINA - Definitely not the test I thought it might be.
COLORADO OVER NEBRASKA - One of the best games of the day. Cancellation of their opener meant this was the Huskers’ first game.
NAVY OVER MEMPHIS - Navy’s great second half and closing-minutes win shows that the Mids are tough
EAST CAROLINA OVER NORTH CAROLINA  - The Pirates OWN the shoe peddlers
IOWA OVER IOWA STATE - Kirk Ferentz has now won four straight over the Cyclones
MARYLAND OVER BOWLING GREEN - Maryland is now 2-0 and looking good
CLEMSON OVER TEXAS A & M - Tigers went into College Station and beat Aggies in front of 100,000+
MISSOURI OVER WYOMING - No upset as I’d hoped.  Mizzou may be a bottom SEC team, but they're still an SEC team.
KENTUCKY OVER FLORIDA - What should have been a big win for the Gators was a HUGE win for the Wildcats.
INDIANA OVER VIRGINIA - Hoosiers are now 2-0, with Ball State coming in this week
COLORADO STATE OVER ARKANSAS - Hogs led 27-9 in the third quarter, but Rams scored 26 straight to win 35-27.
MINNESOTA OVER FRESNO STATE - Gophers had to come from behind, then interecept Bulldogs in the end zone at the end.
PENN STATE OVER PITT - It was close for a half but the driving rain and the powerful Lions sent Pitt fans home in the second half.
STANFORD OVER USC - Trojans could manage only a single field goal as USC’s freshman QB took a pounding. What happened to all the great tailbacks they used to have?
CAL OVER BYU - Cal changed QBs and played great defense to down the Cougars.
ARIZONA STATE OVER MICHIGAN STATE - Hard to say how much of a role the heat (103 at kickoff) played in the upset. Good news for MSU: they held ASU to just 44 yards rushing; bad news for MSU: they rushed for only 63 yards themselves.
WASHINGTON STATE OVER SAN JOSE STATE - Cougs now 2-0 after the shutout. Eastern Washington next Saturday could be tough
HAWAII OVER RICE - Unless you stayed up late - Hawaii won 43-29 to go 3-0.  Quarterback Cole McDonald is getting well-deserved attention, and slot receiver John Ursua, a native Hawaiian who played his high school ball in Utah and has served a two-year LDS church mission, is really good.  NEXT WEEK: AT ARMY.


SPECIAL MENTION
NICHOLLS STATE AT TULANE - CAN THE COLONELS MAKE IT TWO IN A ROW AGAINST FBS TEAMS? NO

*********** With South Florida’s win over Georgia Tech,  East Carolina’s over North Carolina, Houston’s over Arizona and Colorado State’s over Arkansas, I think it’s time to take a shot at the monopoly of the so-called Power Five conferences on the big TV money.

I propose a European-type relegation system, but not for teams - for conferences.

For example, the weakest of the Power Five conferences would drop out, and the strongest of the Group of Five - in all likelihood either the American Athletic or the Mountain West - would move up and take its place (and its share of next year’s TV revenues).

*********** Think big-time football isn’t a heartless business?

After starting every game last year and throwing for more than 3,000 yards, then starting in this year’s opening-game win over North Carolina, it appears that Ross Bowers is done as the starting QB at Cal.

Saturday, former backup Chase Garbers threw for two TDs as the Bears defeated BYU Saturday night, 21-18.

“This is nothing Ross hasn’t done,” said Cal head coach Justin Wilcox.  “He’s disappointed and it’s tough. I don’t blame him one bit. He’s handled himself extremely well. It’s not the easiest position to be in.”

*********** Maybe it’s global warming - maybe not - but an awful lot of high school teams in various parts of the country had to cancel or curtail practices this past preseason because of extreme heat. Player safety and all that.

Now, I don’t know whether you would consider 103 degrees to be “extreme heat,” but I would, and that was the temperature in Sun Devil Stadium when Arizona State and Michigan State kicked off Saturday night.  It was 110 down on the field. 

But evidently, when TV says to play, you play.  What was that you were saying about player safety?

Could the effect of the heat have had anything to do with the fact that Arizona State outscored Michigan State 13-0 in the fourth quarter, kicking a last-second field goal to upset the Spartans, 16-23?????

*********** When was the last time Michigan got more votes in the weekly poll than Michigan State?

*********** Gee - I wonder where I got that idea not to kickoff deep  (haven't done it since 1980)…

Last Friday night, Union High of Vancouver was down in the San Francisco Bay Area playing El Cerrito High.

El Cerrito scored late to take a 23-20 lead.

And then they kicked off.  Deep.

And the Union return man brought it all the way back.  Final score: Union 27, El Cerrito 23.

*********** Adam Hunsucker needs to get out of North Louisiana once in a while.

I took a look at this week’s Football Writers’ Super 16 Poll, sponsored by the National Football Foundation,
and as I looked through the balloting, I noticed the listing - “Others Receiving Votes” - that followed the Top 16.  And I’ll be a son of a gun if I didn’t see “USC” in there.  And “Miami.”

Hold everything - you mean to tell me that after they managed just three points in a loss to Stanford, there was a “football writer” somewhere in the United States so clueless that he’d give the Trojans a place in his Top 16?  And what about Miami?  Did somebody see their impressive 77-0 score against mighty Savannah State and forget the way LSU abused them two weeks ago?

Fortunately, the National Football Foundation not only shows its ranking, but it shows how every one of its participating “football writers” votes.

And damned if it wasn’t one guy - one Adam Hunsucker, of the Monroe (LA) News-Star - who was responsible for both of those farcical votes. Not only did he have Miami in 16th place (West Virginia,  Mississippi State, UCF were nowhere to be found on his ballot) but he had USC in 15th place.  And in 12th place, just three places higher, was Stanford, the team that had just waxed USC Sunday.

And to think that there are people in Monroe who read this guy’s stuff in the News-Star and take it seriously.

*********** IS THIS A BAD LOOK OR WHAT?

janikowski bad look


*********** QUIZ - Joe Greene (“Mean Joe”)  is one of the greatest defensive linemen ever to play the game and is considered to be the key building block  in turning the Pittsburgh Steelers from an NFL joke into one of the most dominant dynasties in league history.

Not heavily recruited out of high school in Temple, Texas, he wound up attending North Texas State.

As a defensive tackle there from 1966 through 1968, he was a three-time All Missouri Valley Conference selection, and in his senior season, despite playing for a lesser-known school,  he was a consensus All-American.

Drafted first by the Steelers - the fourth player overall - in 1969, he and a new head coach, Chuck Noll, arrived in Pittsburgh at the same time.  They would both have Hall-of-Fame careers.

He didn’t initially like the idea of being drafted by a loser - the Steelers were really bad, then - but Noll saw in him the foundation of the strong defense. 

Noll was correct.  Although Pittsburgh was only 1-13 in his first year, his new defensive tackle was NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and earned a spot on the Pro Bowl.  He would go on to play on four Super Bowl champions… he went to TEN Pro Bowls… He was chosen  first team All-Pro five-times, and second team All-Pro twice…He was the NFL Man of the Year in 1979… He was twice named NFL Defensive Player of the Year… He was named to the NFL 1970’s All-Decade Team.

He became a team leader,  demanding the best from teammates who feared displeasing him.

From Wikipedia: He is widely considered one of the greatest defensive linemen in league history.His durability allowed him to play in 181 of a possible 190 games, including a streak of 91 straight to begin his career. The Steel Curtain defense is consistently ranked among the top defensive groups of all time.

Many people who didn’t even now him as a football player remember him for a famous Coca-Cola commercial in which a little kid offers him a drink of Coke after a game and he repays the kid by taking off his game jersey and throwing it to him. (KID: “Gee, thanks, Mean Joe.”)

At some point in his career, he earned the nickname "Mean Joe," a nickname that he didn’t particularly care for, saying years later, “I just want people to remember me as being a good player and not really mean.”

********** CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JOE GREENE
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
RODNEY LUNSFORD - WESTFIELD, INDIANA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
DAVE KEMMICK - MT. JOY, PENNSYLVANIA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
SHEP CLARKE - PUYALLUP, WASHINGTON

*********** QUIZ - He’s a native of Nashua, New Hampshire, where he played high school football, and he played his college football at UMass.   As the QB of the Redmen (since changed to the Minutemen) he led the team to records of 7-2, 6-3 and 7-2 and was named All-Yankee Conference QB in his junior and senior seasons.

He was the first draft pick of the Detroit Lions, the eleventh pick overall and the first quarterback chosen in the 1968 draft.

He started two games his rookie year when starter Bill Munson was injured, but by his fourth year, 1971, the starting job was his, and in his first year as the Lions’ full-time starter, he threw for 2237 yards and 16 TDs and a league-leading 16.4 yards per completion. He was big and strong and fast, and he ran for another  524 yards and 9 TDs.  That season earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl.

In 11 seasons as the Lions’ QB, he completed 957 of 1747 for 12,451 yards and 80 TDs.  He ran 389 times for 2502 yards and 19 TDs.

His record as the Lions’ starter was 40-41-3.  His passing yardage ranks third all-time among Lions’ QBs, and his 80 TDs rank second.

The Lions made the playoffs in 1970, 1971 and 1972, but those were the days when Minnesota dominated the division, and the Lions couldn’t get past the Vikings.

After being traded to Baltimore to serve as a backup and mentor to Bert Jones, he was pressed into service in 1979 when Jones was injured, and started 12 games. Those Colts were bad, and he wound up  throwing 457 times - the most by far of any season in his career.  He completed 270 passes for 2932 yards and 15 TDs, but  to no avail:  the Colts lost 10 of those games, and in the process he was sacked 42 times.

After the Colts’ Frank Kush let him go, he spent two years in the USFL and then returned to finish up with the Bears. In his final game, he threw a touchdown pass to Willie Gault.

In his 15 year NFL career, he completed 1226 of 2300 passes for 16,052 yards and 98 TDs. He rushed 430 times for 2655 yards and 21 TDs.

After retiring as a player, he coached for 12 years with the Browns, Bears and Lions as a QB coach, and five years with the Bears and two years with the University of Illinois as offensive coordinator.

Despite his French-Canadian surname, his maternal grandparents were Polish immigrants (his mother’s maiden name was Felixia Worsowicz) and he is in the Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.




american flagFRIDAY,  SEPTEMBER 7,  2018 -   “A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.”   Steve Martin

*********** At press time... Falcons 6, Eagles 3... Could the NFL have scripted a duller, more inept performance to kick off their season?

This is what you get when you don't play your precious starters in preseason games:

17 penalties between the two teams... The Eagles averaging 4 (FOUR!) yards per pass attempt, the Falcons  averaging just more than 5.

Two of the supposed best teams in the NFL  and between them, in one half of football, they can't score ONE F--KING TOUCHDOWN.

Could it be?  Could  the players be boycotting us?

("We'll show those damn Republicans.  They think that just because they buy tickets  they can make us play hard.")

*********** Went out Tuesday and bought me a “couple pair” (as they may still say in Philly) of New Balance shoes.

*********** I once worked with a guy who said to a kid on the scout team who didn’t want to carry the ball, “don’t be such a little vagina.”

That was a key  piece of evidence in the guy’s firing.

If only he had said, “don’t be such a little front hole.”
That’s what the folks at a health website called Healthline have used interchangeably with “vagina,” in  something they put out called the LGBTQIA Safe Sex Guide.   Their explanation was that in addressing members of the “trans community,”   they found it preferable to use the term “front hole.”

What a bunch of backholes.

https://www.healthline.com/health/lgbtqia-safe-sex-guide/response

************ GOT THIS FROM A FRIEND…

Coach I hope you guys had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend. And we got pummeled pretty bad 55 to 13.  We showed our youth and inexperience. More missed assignments that I can remember and as you know with this offense it’s the little things. I’m watching the film made me feel both better and worse. Better because  I can fix a lot of the problems. Worst because it’s hard to watch the team play that bad twice. I don’t think we’re going to be very good this year, I already kind of knew that. However I think I can help this team improve tremendously as the season goes on and a lot of these guys will be back next year. We found one great wing back  Just a sophomore. I have a few other young kids who I think are going to wind up taking over for my seniors as the season goes on. Still a good group of kids as they almost always are at this school.  We will get better.

Coach-

I saw the score and was disappointed.

You’re right that the beauty of what we’re doing is that you can identify most of what’s wrong - and then fix most of that!

And fortunately you’ve been through enough of this that you know that and can get at it.

As I enter old age, I am totally convinced that being able to coach football is a blessing, and that while some season’s records are better than others, with good kids, it’s always a good season.

You’ll make it a good season.


*********** When Oregon State travelled to Columbus to play Ohio State last weekend, Portland newspaper columnist and radio guy John Canzano ran into former Ohio State coach John Cooper, got him on his radio show and came away with some interesting observations.

"Why in the world,” asked Cooper,  “would Oregon State come 2,000 miles back to Columbus and play a game against Ohio State and not get a return game? Get beat that bad? You must need the money."

Well, in fact, they do.

Wrote Canzano in his column, back when it  agreed to the game back in 2014, “Oregon State was still paying off fired basketball coach Craig Robinson, (Michelle Obama’s brother) who was owed $4.2 million when he was fired in May of 2014. Also, fundraising fell short on the athletics building projects. Also, the Pac 12 Network windfall wasn't as lucrative as expected.”

Ohio State made it a payday game by paying the Beavers $1.7 million.

Never again, says Oregon State AD Todd Barnes.

From now on, they’ll follow the lead of his predcessor,  Bob DeCarolis.  Wrote Canzano,

I'll admit, I used to roll my eyes when former Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis would lay out the master plan for sustainability in his athletic department.

Now, I realize he was a genius.

De Carolis wanted the Beavers to be bowl eligible. That's it. Be bowl eligible and the OSU machine would run well because playing in the postseason boosted season-ticket sales and helped grease the gift-giving wheel. It's why De Carolis designed his football coach's contract to add one additional year of job security every time Mike Riley qualified for a bowl game.

The Ohio State game, said Barnes, was “a one-off, payday against a perennial top-five team.  That's not our philosophy. Our philosophy is that we'll play the middle of the Big Ten, the middle of the Big 12, we'll play a group of five team and a FCS team... building momentum means everything right now."

https://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/john_canzano/index.ssf/2018/09/canzano_oregon_state_football_5.html

*********** My friend, Mike Lude, who as AD at Washington and Auburn has seen his share of coaches who could have run up scores and didn’t, said he was “really pissed,” (he’s not given to gratuitous swearing) at the Ohio State coach for putting 77 points on Oregon State.

*********** Charlie Wilson, of Crystal River, Florida, sent me a link to a very good article in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine about Dartmouth’s head coach, Buddy Teevens.

Coach Teevens, a Dartmouth alumnus, has been very successful lately, but it hasn’t always been that way.

This is his second go-round as head coach at Dartmouth, the Ivy League school  once known - before it admitted females in the late 1970s - for its drunken rowdyness and - in the days before Interstate Highways - for its remoteness. 

In his first time there, he put together two 7-2-1 seasons,  enough success to earn him a shot at a bigger-time school - Tulane.  He wasn’t succcessful there (11-45 in five seasons), but that didn’t seem to matter to the AD at Stanford, who hired him anyway. (Perhaps it will help to explain the hiring if I mention that the AD at Stanford had previosuly been his AD at Dartmouth).

He was no more successful at Stanford than he’d been at Tulane, going 10-33 in a dreary spell at The Farm between the successful stays of Tyrone Willingham and Jim Harbaugh.

And although he was rehired at Dartmouth, his second coming did not get off to an auspicious start.

In four years there, he went 2-8, 2-8, 3-7 and 0-10.  That’s 7-33 in four years. At most places, he’d be gone.

But Dartmouth isn’t “most places.”  Dartmouth can afford to do things differently.   From the article in the magazine:

Dartmouth did what institutions often do when they need to fire someone they don’t really want to fire.

The College hired a consultant.

His name was Rick Taylor. An assistant coach at Dartmouth in the 1970s, he’d had a long career as a football coach and athletic director, finally retiring from Northwestern.

Taylor’s report noted improvements to facilities and in admissions. But Dartmouth’s nonconference schedule was too difficult. The team needed more money for recruiting. And Teevens, who also served as quarterback coach and offensive coordinator, needed to relinquish those duties and concentrate on being head coach.

In other words, the College didn’t need to fire Buddy. It needed to help him. The team lured two longtime Ivy League assistants to Hanover by offering them better salaries: Don Dobes came from Princeton to be defensive coordinator, and Keith Clark came from Yale to coach the offensive line. Teevens, who admits he can be “a micromanager,” says being forced to step back from a more hands-on role was “frustrating at times, professionally.” But it also freed him to focus on his strengths: recruiting and fundraising. “I was very, very fortunate to be allowed to continue,” he says. “If it wasn’t my alma mater, and if people didn’t look deeply in terms of what we were doing, I would have been unemployed.”

Teevens remained, and he changed.  In the first year post-Taylor, Teevens and the Big Green went 2-8, but in the eight years since then, they’ve gone 52-28.

They went 8-2 in 2014, went 9-1 and won the Ivy Title in 2015, and went 8-2 last season.

Good for Dartmouth for making the effort to turn their coach’s career around.  Not many schools would have done that, and he recognizes that his being an alumnus was a major reason why they did it.

The article is about more than Teevens’ resurrection, though.  It’s about his approach to tackling.  He doesn’t practice live tackling - ever. (The entire Ivy League now prohibits it except during spring and pre-season.) 

One of his innovations that you may be aware of is the MVP - the Mobile Virtual Player. Essentially a remote-controlled robot tackling dummy, it’s the result of a collaboration between Teevens and a Dartmouth classmate of his who was then a research engineer at Dartmouth.

The  MVP shows promise, for sure, but…

So sad that things that could make our game safer - helmets with chips in them to measure impact... robot tackling dummies… artificial turf (the robot dummies won’t work on grass)… are all way beyond the budget limitations of most high school programs.

Not to spoil Dartmouth’s - and Teevens’ - party, but I have to ask… didn’t somebody - I’m thinking youth, middle school and high school coaches - have to teach those Dartmouth kids how to tackle in the first place?

https://dartmouthalumnimagazine.com/articles/how-buddy-teevens-79-transformed-football-forever


*********** Most national college fraternities have met and agreed that beginning Sept 1, 2019, their 6,100 individual chapters (on 800 college campuses) will no longer serve hard liquor.

This means a lot less alcoholic candy - fewer sweet, fruity, go-down-easy drinks.

Since those are the kind of drinks mostly  imbibed by women, it’s going to be tough on the ladies at first.

They still won’t drink beer.  They’ll still drink sweet-tasting sh—, like hard cider and wine coolers and malt beverages made to taste like cocktails, but at least those drinks won’t have the wallop of the hard stuff they’ve been drinking.

In the long run, that’s going to be good for them.

Anything that results in fewer drunken women is likely to mean fewer “rapes.”


*********** Hugh,
 
How are you? Hopefully all is well…
 
Kaepernick  the revolutionary… sacrificing it all to sell out to corporate America for the all mighty dollar. And hypocrisy of Nike being so concerned with  “human rights”, when their shoes are made in low wage sweat shops in Asia, it’s extremely comical.   
 
And I rarely pay attention to anything coming out of Hollywood but it’s nice to see the liberal D-bags can take a break from sexually assaulting each other to make a movie on the moon landing & rewrite American history in process by not showing the planting of the American flag on the moon. It’s also refreshing to hear some Canadian actor refer to it as a “human achievement” rather than an American one.  
 
As I’m sure NASA’s research & development for those missions were funded with that “human achievement” currency & not  US taxpayer dollars. So we might look at it just a little differently.
 
Just my two cents,
Sam DuMond
Philadelphia

Sam,

I’m well and I hope you are, too.

Some “sacrifice” when it turns out that all this time he’s been on Nike’s payroll.

And Hollywood deliberately belittling the idea of American exceptionalism by depicting  the moon landing as a “global achievement” is just one more shot at us.

Nice to hear from you. 

DEER ON THE BEACH AT OS
ON THE BEACH AT OCEAN SHORES WEDNESDAY...


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

It’s been awhile, I hope you and Connie are doing well. I went to my first Penn State game this week and it was a good one. The best part for me, though, was the pregame atmosphere. I loved watching the lion run out just before the band. The band was fantastic, it’s a shame they don’t show that on TV. Listening to 105,000 sing Sweet Caroline was just awesome.

I can honestly say that my favorite part of the game wasn’t the game. I love the way McSorley plays but I would be more interested in the football if they put a fullback in there, or even lined up with a running back on either side of Trace.

While at the game I told my friend that the TV timeouts were awful, then I read your news from last week and you were spot on about how they ruin the pace of the game.

I definitely need to go again, maybe a night game next time. My friend had season tickets - very good seats in the corner of the end zone, opposite the student section.

Hope all is well

Dave Kemmick
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Coach,

Great hearing from you.  That’s a game experience I’d love to have.

There’s nothing like a college game, and I think that’s one reason why a game at Green Bay is such an experience - the pregame atmosphere on the way to the stadium and outside Lambeau are a lot like a college game.

(Actually, with more and more noon  kickoffs,  thanks to TV,  the college atmosphere isn’t what it used to be at a lot of places either.)


*********** I think the Nike decision to feature Kaepernick in its newest ad campaign is just part and parcel of the divide in our culture between traditional old and brainwashed young.

In fact, I believe that this is - figuratively - the Shot Heard ‘Round the World: the start of the Revolution.    

It’s not black vs white, as it would appear to be, with all the Nike-endorsed black athletes who’ve been popping off lately - Curry, Serena, LeBron. (You don’t suppose Nike coordinated this, do you?)

No, it’s young vs old - look how many young white people (Mollie Tibbetts, for one), profess to hate whites, when what they’re really saying is that they hate us old, conservative (they prefer “racist, fascist”) whites. Interestingly, older black people for the most part don’t seem to have a dog in the fight.

I think that Nike knows exactly what they’re doing.  They’re aligning themselves with those who see us as the enemy.  They’re giving Trump and the Deplorables the finger.

Yes, Nike stock will take a small hit in the short run, but I suspect it will roar back as the Revolution gains momentum. 

NIke has no qualms whatsoever about blowing us oldsters off, in favor of a younger demographic that hates us and our politics.   I’m sure they’ve calculated that for every one of us who burns his Nikes, there will be two members of the 15-34 age group that will buy more Nike products, whether or not they need them, just to support The Cause.

And those people will be around to buy Nike products a lot longer than we will.

As long as the public schools do their job and keep turning out mindless social justice warriors, Nike’s strategy will hold up.

Soon enough, the Nike swoosh on one’s shoes will be the badge of membership that allows one safe passage through much of urban America.  The old “which side are you on?” business. 

Soon, it may be dangerous to wear a pair of non-Nike sneakers in public.  And since I don’t plan to wear Nikes, maybe I ought to go get a pair of Florsheim wingtips.

*********** COLLEGE FOOTBALL THIS WEEKEND

LOTS OF BLOWOUT GAMES THAT ONLY A DEVOTED FAN OF EITHER TEAM WOULD WATCH
AKA - "YOU MAIL US THE WIN AND WE’LL MAIL YOU THE CHECK"
(IN ORDER OF TV APPEARANCE)
NEW MEXICO AT WISCONSIN
WESTERN MICHIGAN AT MICHIGAN
GEORGIA STATE AT NC STATE
UCLA AT OKLAHOMA - COULD BE UGLY
WILLIAM AND MARY AT VIRGINIA TECH
PORTLAND STATE AT OREGON
ARKANSAS STATE AT ALABAMA
RUTGERS AT OHIO STATE - HARD TO BELIEVE THIS IS A BIG TEN GAME
BALL STATE AT NOTRE DAME
WAGNER AT SYRACUSE
LAMAR AT TEXAS TECH
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AT OLE MISS
EAST TENNESSEE AT TENNESSEE
NORTH DAKOTA AT WASHINGTON
YOUNGSTOWN STATE AT WEST VIRGINIA
SC STATE AT CENTRAL FLORIDA
SAVANNAH STATE AT MIAMI
SE LOUISIANA AT LSU
BAYLOR AT UTSA
SAMFORD AT FLORIDA STATE - THE HOKIES ARE GONE; YOU CAN GO BACK TO YOUR SWAG SURFIN’ NOW, SEMINOLES
ALABAMA STATE AT AUBURN - ARE YOU SERIOUS?
SOUTH ALABAMA AT OKLAHOMA STATE
TULSA AT TEXAS
SOUTHERN UTAH AT OREGON STATE
UCONN AT BOISE STATE - HOPE YOU ENJOY THE SIGHTS, HUSKIES; THE GAME WILL BE BAD

DISH PIP
WATCHING FOUR GAMES AT A TIME WITH DISH P-I-P


GAMES I’LL BE WATCHING - (at least in part)
(IN ORDER OF TV APPEARANCE)
MISSISSIPPI STATE AT KANSAS STATE
LIBERTY AT ARMY - MY UPSET PICK OF THE DAY
NEVADA AT VANDERBILT
ARIZONA AT HOUSTON - I’M PICKING HOUSTON
DUKE AT NORTHWESTERN - BOTH TEAMS COMING OFF GOOD OPENING GAME WINS
GEORGIA TECH AT SOUTH FLORIDA
AIR FORCE AT FLORIDA ATLANTIC - LANE KIFFIN COULD BE 0-2 BY SATURDAY EVENING
KANSAS AT CENTRAL MICHIGAN - I’M BETTING ON THE CHIPPEWAS
GEORGIA AT SOUTH CAROLINA - COULD BE A REAL TEST FOR THE BULLDOGS
COLORADO AT NEBRASKA - HUSKERS GOT RAINED OUT; BUFFS OPENED WITH A BIG WIN
MEMPHIS AT NAVY - NAVY IS STILL STRONG OFFENSIVELY, BUT CAN THEY STOP MEMPHIS?
NORTH CAROLINA AT EAST CAROLINA - ONLY BECAUSE I WANT TO SEE UNC GET BEATEN
IOWA STATE AT IOWA - A RIVALRY THAT’S UNDERAPPRECIATED ELSEWHERE; ALWAYS A GREAT GAME
MARYLAND AT BOWLING GREEN - JUST TO SEE IF EVERYBODY ON BOWLING GREEN IS PROPERLY EQUIPPED
CLEMSON AT TEXAS A & M - HOPING THAT DABO CAN PUT ONE ON JIMBO
WYOMING AT MISSOURI - AN UPSET PICK
KENTUCKY AT FLORIDA - SHOULD BE A BIG WIN FOR DAN MULLEN
VIRGINIA AT INDIANA - TWO HALFWAY DECENT POWER FIVE  PROGRAMS TRYING TO RISE
ARKANSAS AT COLORADO STATE - I THINK THAT THE RAMS WILL GIVE THE HOGS A GAME
FRESNO STATE AT MINNESOTA - GOPHERS MAY BE VERY GOOD
PENN STATE AT PITT - THEY’RE PLAYING IN PITTSBURGH, AND I THINK PITT WILL FIND A WAY
USC AT STANFORD - AWFULLY EARLY IN THE SEASON FOR THIS LONG-TIME RIVALRY - GO CARD!
CAL AT BYU - CAL BEAT UNC, BYU BEAT ARIZONA - I’M GOING WITH CAL
MICHIGAN STATE AT ARIZONA STATE - MARK DANTONIO, A REAL COACH, BEATS HERM EDWARDS, A CEO
SAN JOSE STATE AT WASHINGTON STATE - CAN THE COUGS AND THEIR NEW QB OPEN THE SEASON 2-0?
RICE AT HAWAII - YES, THIS WILL BE A BLOWOUT, BUT HAWAII’S OFFENSE MAKES IT WORTH WATCHING


SPECIAL GAME
NICHOLLS STATE AT TULANE - CAN THE COLONELS MAKE IT TWO IN A ROW AGAINST FBS TEAMS?

*********** RIP Burt Reynolds.  I’m not what you’d call a movie goer, but damn, I loved his films:  Deliverance… Smokey and the Bandit… Cannonball Run… and, best of all, The Longest Yard - that rarest of all creations, a good football movie.

Will there ever be another like him? A likeable movie star, a man’s man who the whole time he was acting seemed to me to be ready at any time to turn to us, his audience, and laugh and say, “Can you believe they pay me to do this sh—?”

And never forget, he did play football at Florida State - well before it became a football power.  His roommate there, the legend goes, was Lee Corso.

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

Had a great time in South Bend this past weekend.  The pep rally on Friday night was pulsating and put Irish fans in a festive mood.  Tailgating Saturday afternoon got them feisty.  And by game time they were in a downright fervor!  I've attended 5 ND games in the past, and in this one the Irish fans were the loudest and more into the game than I've ever seen before.

It was great to see the Irish beat Michigan but they still have work to do.  Michigan on the other hand needs to get back to what Michigan teams have done best over the years...run the dang ball.  In the second half I saw more of it but for some reason they didn't stay with it.  It cost them the game.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** Mater Dei of Santa Ana, California, the top program in Southern California - and perhaps in the country - is back at it.  Last week, it beat national power Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas, 42-0, and  it’s outscored its three opponents 133-14. 

But its record is just 2-1  after it had to forfeit its opening game, a 42-14  win over Bishop Amat,  after discovering - and reporting - that it had used an ineligible player  in the game.

Cryptically, a news release from the school attributed the player’s ineligibilty to a misunderstanding of “transcripts from his native country (not the United States).”

Hmmm.  This is not soccer.  Or basketball.  And it’s not like the kid was a Dominican, here to play baseball.  So where TF do you suppose he came from?

The worst part of it is, as usually happens in these case, the kid probably got in at the end of the game, when - or should I say “if”? -  the coach cleared the bench.

WHY I DON’T REFER TO THIS FEATURE AS “TRIVIA” AND why I WISH YOU WOULDN’T, EITHER.

(I wrote this back in 2000, when I started “A Look at Our Legacy” and it still bears repeating.)

I sat down with my Board of Directors* and decided that the word "Trivia" in association with the sort of people I've featured here was doing them a disservice.   Since it’s my hope that this feature might interest coaches in the rich history of our game, it seemed to me that "trivia", a word associated with normally useless but occasionally interesting facts, was undercutting my intentions.  I definitely  don’t consider the people I write about, or their contributions to our game,  to be trivial. 

*No such thing; it’s just play-acting on my part.

*********** QUIZ ANSWER - John Merritt was known in the coaching profession as “Big John.”

He spent his entire career coaching HBCU (look it up) programs, and in head-to-head meetings with the great Eddie Robinson, he was 11-9-1.

He was a native of Kentucky and a graduate of Kentucky State, where he played his college football, and his first head coaching job was at Jackson State. In 11 seasons there, he compiled a record of 63-37-5; his best-known player there was future all-pro Willie Richardson.

But he’s best  remembered for his accomplishments in a 21-year career at Tennessee State, from 1963 through 1983, where he won 172 and lost only 33, with 7 ties.

Tennessee State tried hard to entice him to leave Jackson State, and when he finally accepted their offer, he took along with him both offensive coordinator Alvin Coleman and defensive coordinator Joe Gilliam, Sr. "It was probably the biggest move in black collegiate athletics," he later recalled. "Never before had an entire coaching staff left a (black) school and gone to another."

At Tennessee State he had five undefeated seasons and five one-loss seasons. His “worst” season was 1975, when the Tigers went 5-4.  He produced such standout pro players as Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Eldridge Dickey, Richard Dent, Waymond Bryant, Cleveland Elam, "Jefferson Street Joe" Gilliam, Jr., Claude Humphrey, Joe "Turkey" Jones, James Marsalis, and Israel Lang. (Richard Dent would become the first player from a historically black college to be named Super Bowl MVP.)

He was a legendary PR man, who spent countless hours out in the community promoting his program. His work took him into the white community as well, where he was well liked and respected; the Mayor of Nashville and the Governor of Tennessee were regulars at Tiger games.

In 1982, Centennial Boulevard, which runs through the Tennessee State campus, was renamed to honor John Merritt.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

When he retired, he was ninth all-time in career wins at all levels of college football, with 235.


********** CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JOHN MERRITT
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

*********** In his book "Black College Football" (1992), Michael Hurd relates the oft-told story  of the time coach Merritt was at Jackson State, and the bus was about to pull out on a road trip. Trouble was, star receiver Willie Richardson wasn't on board; now Coach Merritt was on the spot, because he had threatened the team earlier in the day, "The bus is leaving at 7:30, and I don't care who's not on it." Suddenly declaring that he had forgotten his cigars (he was rarely seen without one, even on the sidelines), Coach Merritt ducked inside his office, where for the next several minutes players watched him peeking out through the drapes until finally he saw Richardson board the bus. Then he emerged from the building, got on the bus himself, and barked out to the driver: "Let's go! I don't give a damn who's not here!" No one ever said Coach Merritt was stupid. Forgetful, maybe, but not stupid.

*********** QUIZ - He is one of the greatest defensive linemen ever to play the game and is considered to be the key building block  in turning the Pittsburgh Steelers from an NFL joke into one of the most dominant dynasties in league history.

Not heavily recruited out of high school in Temple, Texas, he wound up attending North Texas State.

As a defensive tackle there from 1966 through 1968, he was a three-time All Missouri Valley Conference selection, and in his senior season, despite playing for a lesser-known school,  he was a consensus All-American.

Drafted first by the Steelers - the fourth player overall - in 1969, he and a new head coach, Chuck Noll, arrived in Pittsburgh at the same time.  They would both have Hall-of-Fame careers.

He didn’t initially like the idea of being drafted by a loser - the Steelers were really bad, then - but Noll saw in him the foundation of the strong defense. 

Noll was correct.  Although Pittsburgh was only 1-13 in his first year, his new defensive tackle was NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and earned a spot on the Pro Bowl.  He would go on to play on four Super Bowl champions… he went to TEN Pro Bowls… He was chosen  first team All-Pro five-times, and second team All-Pro twice…He was the NFL Man of the Year in 1979… He was twice named NFL Defensive Player of the Year… He was named to the NFL 1970’s All-Decade Team.

He became a team leader,  demanding the best from teammates who feared displeasing him.

From Wikipedia: He is widely considered one of the greatest defensive linemen in league history.His durability allowed him to play in 181 of a possible 190 games, including a streak of 91 straight to begin his career. The Steel Curtain defense is consistently ranked among the top defensive groups of all time.

Many people who didn’t even now him as a football player remember him for a famous Coca-Cola commercial in which a little kid offers him a drink of Coke after a game and he repays the kid by taking off his game jersey and throwing it to him.

At some point in his career, he earned a nickname by which everyone knew him - one that he didn’t particularly care for.  Years later,  he said, “I just want people to remember me as being a good player and not really mean.”







american flagTUESDAY,  SEPTEMBER 4,  2018 -   "All that I know I learned after I was thirty."  Georges Clemenceau, French Prime Minister


*********** Props to Josh Montgomery, of Berwick, Louisiana a Nicholls State grad who picked Nicholls State to beat Kansas.  I had my doubts, but he persisted.

Meanwhile, a professor at the KU School of Law is proposing that KU give up football.  There are those who will say that they already did so, unofficially, years ago.

*********** COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP

OPENED AGAINST A POWER 5 OPPONENT AND WON

ALABAMA (Louisville)  - Alabama is in a class all its own
AUBURN (Washington) - If they can get their offense up to the level of their defense, they'll be very tough
BYU (Arizona) - Surprised an Arizona crowd expecting big things from the new coach
CAL (North Carolina) - Bears could be good.  UNC missing a lot of shoe salesmen
CINCINNATI (UCLA) - Cinci rode the horse - Michael Warren rushed 35 times for 141 yards and three TDs
LSU (Miami) Unspectacular QB play - it is, after all, LSU - but great defense and a decent running game
MARYLAND (Texas) - An inspired performance by the Terps + a great coaching job by interim head coach Matt Canada + a classic Texas underperforming by the Longhorns = two straight Maryland opening game wins over Texas
NOTRE DAME (Michigan) - Irish looked good
OHIO STATE (Oregon State)  - Buckeyes are very good. Beavers are not.  Yet.  For what it’s worth, though, Oregon State’s Artavis Pierce rushed for 168 yards on 11 carries and two TDs (of 80 and 78 yards).
OLE MISS (Texas Tech)  - An upset and a convincing win for Matt Luke in his first season as the head coach with the “interim” removed.  Especially after MIchigan poached his QB, Shea Patterson.
VIRGINIA TECH (Florida State) -  a Top Ten performance on both sides of the ball
WEST VIRGINIA (Tennessee) - The ‘eers are a scoring machine

*********** GOT EVERYBODY’S HOPES UP, THEN LAID AN EGG

ARIZONA - Loss to BYU a huge disappointment for Zona fans who’d been promised new and spectacular things with QB Khalil Tate and new HC Kevin Sumlin
FLORIDA STATE - Couldn’t have happened to a nice guy than new Seminoles coach Willie Taggart
LOUISVILLE - Not sure why Bobby Petrino thought it was a good idea to talk trash beforehard.
MIAMI - And Mark Richt thought his QB postion was settled and solid.
MICHIGAN - A Bo Shembechler or Gary Moeller or Lloyd Carr team that can’t run the ball? Unthinkable.
TEXAS - Tom Herman can’t be resting easy in Austin.
UCLA - A big letdown for Bruins’ fans who’d been expecting to see offensive fireworks, if not a win

*********** SPECIAL MENTION: PENN STATE, which had to score with :42 remaining to go into overtime against Appalachian State.  Yes, the Lions won, and no, this wouldn’t have been as big an upset as App State’s historic win over Michigan. Back then, App State was an FCS school - now it’s an FBS member.

*********** EXTRA SPECIAL MENTION: FCS power Villanova, the suburban school, beat FBS Temple, the city school, in the Philadelphia college football championship.  BIG win for the Wildcats, after four straight losses to the Owls.

*********** MEH - Auburn-Washington was not a classic.  It was more like a pro game - a lot of passing, very good defense, not much rushing.  God, I hate to watch a “running” game that doesn’t have a Tight End… or an H Back… or a “Sniffer”… or a Fullback.   (Will somebody please pass that along to Washington coach Chris Peterson?)

*********** BOY AM I HAPPY - I never have liked Florida State - not entirely sure why - but I definitely dislike their new coach, slickster Willie Taggart, who so graciously consented to spend one whole, entire season at Oregon before bailing to take the Seminoles’ job.  He’s the definition of a snake oil salesman.

So as I type this I’m taking great pleasure in watching Virginia Tech dominate Mr. Taggart’s new team and embarrass (if that’s possible) Mr. Taggart.

*********** WHO’S DOING THE COACHING? AWARD - To whoever is coaching the Michigan QBs.  It can’t be Jim Harbaugh, because the guy can coach quarterbacks, and I believe that if he had been coaching Shea Patterson, the much touted QB transfer from Ole Miss, Patterson would have had two hands on the ball, and he wouldn’t have fumbled, killing the Wolverines’ final drive with :45 left.

*********** GOLDEN KNUCKLEHEAD AWARD - To the player from Bowling Green whom I’d rather not name - he knows who he is - who to my knowledge was the first college player whose fashion sense was so strong that he simply had to challenge the rule - one year old but only now being enforced - that players must wear knee pads and the knee pads must cover their knees.

But in challenging the rule, he  had to go and compound his offense by adding in a bit of the anti-authority attiude that’s all too common today.

I damn near split a side when I heard the official announcing an unportsmanlike conduct penalty against him (and Bowling Green) - for “Refusing to comply with official’s instructions to leave the game.”

There he was, caught being illegally equipped, and when he was told he had to leave the game because he was improperly equipped, he had to go and cop an attitude.  What the hell - isn’t that the way everybody responds to authority thse days?

Not that Oregon needed any help, but the penalty kept a Ducks’ drive going.

*********** HAWAII is real… The Warriors (is it still “Rainbow” Warriors?) jumped out to a 28-0 lead over Navy at the end of the first quarter, and they had them 38-14 at the half.

The Middies did fight back, but when you’re a running team, you can’t afford to get behind like that.

(More about the Warriors’ run and shoot on Friday.)

*********** I was very disappointed with Todd Blackledge’s comments on the ABC telecast of the Miami-LSU game when the officials were reviewing whether a Miami defensive back was guilty of targeting.

To me, it was clearly targeting, and I’m all for throwing guys the hell out until they and their coaches get serious about eliminating it.

But Blackledge, who saw the same thing I did, had to play defense attorney and show the hardship card: “Sure would be a shame to have him ejected from his first start.”

Shame, my ass. I say it sure would be a shame to see him get away with a shot like that.  Guaranteed, if he did he’d do it again.

What you tolerate, you encourage.

I still think that football needs a penalty box.  Watch how fast coaches clean this sh— up when they have to play with 10 men for two minutes.

*********** If there’s such a thing in the world of sports as a Deep State, the apparel companies have got to be at the very bottom of it.

It’s really hard to think of anyting that a single one of them has done for the good of sport itself.

Now come strong rumors, as yet unconfirmed by Nike,  that Colin Kaepernick has been signed to a new contract with the shoe giant that will feature him in an ad campaign, create his own an apparel line, and make donations to something called a Know Your Rights “charity.”

The ad campaign slogan:
“Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Right.  Sacrificing everything.  So how much of all that NFL money he made do you suppose Mr. Kaepernick put away before voluntarily ending his NFL career?

Would he be of any interest at all to the sh— disturbers at Nike if he’d just decided to remain a relatively unknown (and uncontroversial) backup quarterback, instead of  “sacrificing everything” to put on his side show?

I have no idea whether there’s any truth to the rumors, but knowing Nike, it makes sense.  I’ve worn Nike for years - support the local company and all that - but if this is true,  I’ll go barefoot before I’ll wear anything made by those turds.

https://www.sltrib.com/sports/2018/09/03/nike-gives-colin/

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

A slow start to our first game last Friday, but we got things rolling as the double wing kept pounding.  It was 6-6 with three minutes to go in the half and we put on a great end-of-half drive.  Capped it with bootleg for a touchdown with :04 on the clock.  The second half was all Trojans football, and the final score was 40-6. 

Offense is great, but defense is what won the game for us.  We allowed 4 yards on 24 rushes.  Less than 75 total yards.  This against a team that had 22 seniors and had projected this to be a "statement" game for them. 

We have loads of work to do, but none of it is effort.  Fine tuning.  And we have kids who will do just that.  I love coaching these guys.

Todd Hollis
Elmwood High School
Elmwood, Illinois

Coach,

That’s a great start, especially on defense.

I hope you continue to get better

Have  a great game tonight!



*********** Friday night there was good football -

Northwestern and Purdue put on a good show in front of a good crowd at Purdue.  The Wildcats’ 31-27 win gives them a 9-game win streak.

Wake Forest, led by a true freshman named Sam Hartman, scored at the end to force overtime, then beat Tulane 23-17 in OT.

Stanford avenged last year’s loss to San Diego State.

Then there was the  Army-Duke game. 

I was conflicted.  I have a daughter and son-in-law who are Duke grads, and after suffering with the Devils’ football program over the years I greatly admire Coach David Cutcliffe for what he’s done there, and for the kind of man he is.  But I have also suffered for years along with other Army football fans, and I was awaiting a good showing from the Army team, and a good game,

I didn’t get either.  I left at halftime to go watch a high school game, then came home and watched the remainder.

Sheesh.  It was an ass-kicking. The boys in blue took it to the future soldiers.

Duke had superior receivers, an outstanding running back, a solid quarterback and a good offensive line and they pretty much stayed vanilla.  I think that they could have put a score on Army if it weren’t for "Coach Cut’s” sense of sportmanship.

As for Army’s offense (or lack thereof - Duke actually outrushed them) I can’t understand how a team that runs the triple option and knows its unique needs and can choose from among dozens of good high school option quarterbacks just can’t manage to find - and then prepare - two of them. (Navy seems to be able to.)  Or even just one.   It was great to have Ahmad Bradshaw the last couple of years, and they made great use of him, but everybody in the world knew that they were going to have to replace him - and when they had to, it turns out they didn’t.

Their new QB throws well enough, but so what? He’s playing on a triple-option team.  His passing is only going to help augment a strong running game, which wasn’t in evidence.

I’ve heard a lot about how strong the fullback position is - it really is -  but I don't see how having four good fullbacks is a particular strength, in an offense that only uses one of them at a time.

The problem is quite likely the offensive line.

Duke certainly did have a good defense and a good scheme - but Army did not look to me like a potential 10-3 team.  Not with Hawaii, Oklahoma, Air Force and Navy left to play.  Actually, Liberty, the next opponent, will not be easy.

One final quibble: why, when you’re a ball control team as Army is, and you’re playing a quick-strike passing team, as Army usually does, do you win the toss and defer?????

*********** A youth team in Western Pennsylvania filed false papers so that a kid who was too old - and also lives outside the team’s assigned boundaries - could play.

As a result, the kid, who’s 14, had been playing with mostly 10- and 11-year olds. And injuring several of them.

Oh - and not that anyone would have been suspicious of wrongdoing, but  in addition to being three years older than the other kids, he’s 6-2 - and he weighs 275.

https://triblive.com/local/regional/14031897-74/west-mifflin-youth-football-team-banned-after-falsifying-forms-for-too-old-player

*********** I watched a high school game Friday night and came away as convinced as ever that one of the major ways a team beats itself - besides turnovers, stupid penalties and poor tackling - is stupid play calling.

Two examples:

(1) 3rd and 1 - You’re at midfield.  You’ve just made nine yards on two running plays.  So what the hell - why not throw a bubble screen? (Brilliant call.  It fell incomplete.)

(2) On your own 20, 4th and long, wind at your back, 20 seconds left until the end of the quarter.  CALL A TIME OUT IF YOU HAVE TO!!!  But, no-o-o-o-o.  Let’s let the clock run out so we can change ends - and punt INTO the wind. (The punt travelled 14 yards.  Set up with good field position, the opponent scored in four plays.


*********** On the August 24 page I included the following correspondence from a former player who’s now coaching his son’s youth team…

Need some advice. So my team of 8 year olds is very small in numbers - just 13 kids. It's youth football so I need to play everybody. I am struggling mightily to put together an o-line with some of kids being insanely green and still learning contact. I can get to a 5, maybe even a 6 man decent line(I'm including Ends in that.) So I'm thinking the best thing I could do is run out of spread formation. So I wanted to get your thoughts. Do I run just everything out of spread? Or would you run open wing? I always remember you telling me you could line a guy up at receiver with no arms and the defense would still cover them. Well I got a couple that might as well have no arms!

Also should say that we had our first scrimmage yesterday, and despite huge pressure from wherever I hid these kids on the line we moved the ball against a really good experienced team. But once they found my weak kids they blitzed them the whole time and penetration killed us. My thought is if we can bring it down to 9v9 or better yet 9v8 we can really do well.

Thank you Coach!

Welcome to adaptive coaching!   I would venture to say that 90 per cent of whatever “innovating” I’ve done over the years was simply adapting to the talent on hand.  (Several years ago a couple of disaffected kids quit the team on the Tuesday before Homecoming, leaving us with only one running back. And running from Stack formation, that one running back ran for more than 250 yards - and we won the game.)

Your thinking is spot-on.

My suggestion in this case is that you go to Open Wing, and use the Twins to get “must-play” players into the game.  That means that you now only need nine bona fide players.  There is always the chance that defenses will cover both of them, making it a 9 on 9 game, and they might even drop a safety back, making it 9 on 8 in your favor.

(If they don’t cover your twins with two people, and you have a player who can throw, you can always sub in a couple of better players at the twins for a play or two  and throw a bubble or smoke to that side.)

Now, if you need to “hide” yet a third kid, you can  widen your wingback as a “wide wing” - a flanker - to his side.  Now, you’re playing with only 8, really - and you may find the defense facing you with 7 (3 cover guys and a safety).


West Wing



The first results are in…

Coach Wyatt,

We went on the road for our first game ever last night. 3 practices in the Open Wing under our belt. We fought like hell, but came up a PAT short, lost 20-18.

Despite being dramatically smaller in size and numbers we physically took it to them with the wedge. It demoralized the other team and fired our guys up. 3 times they had to change nose tackles, because they left the game. Then we scored all 3 touchdowns on XX45C. I set it up time and time again and it worked every time. Tons of things to work and improve, but we have a strong game to build on.

Thank you for your help!!


*********** Read this on the Internet: I can’t believe Trump is going to run for a second term in 2020 with McCain’s funeral not finished yet.

*********** I could actually support some parts of Shariah Law that called for cutting off the hands of the damned speech coaches and all the TV  types they've taught to use their hands when they talk.


*********** Can't wait till  the next time the Seahawks play at home…

Paul Allen, whose $20 billion net worth makes him one of the richest owners in all of pro sports, owns teams in two of the most f—king left wing cities in the United States - the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks - and it’s just become known that back in July he donated $100,000 to help elect Republicans in the House of Representatives.

Seattleites, especially the multitude of them who’ve moved in from elsewhere in the last 20 years, will ignore the fact that in 1996 he stepped up to buy the franchise to keep it from being moved to Southern California.

Even those who love the Seahawks  and know what he did to keep them in Seattle will now automatically hate him because he donated money to those fascist Republicans.

Expect protests and demands that he sell the team.  Now.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/seahawks-owner-paul-allen-gives-100000-to-help-republicans-keep-control-of-u-s-house/



*********** Good afternoon Coach,

I hope you are enjoying your weekend. I am just giving you an update of our game last night. It was not good. We were able to move the ball at anytime. We had over 250 yards rushing, completed 1 of 4 passes. Honestly Coach, we should have won. We had 6 turnovers, the QB either fumbled the snap, or the backs would drop the pitch or muff the Super XX handoff. Those 6 turnover led to all of their touchdowns. I am super frustrated with the turnovers. I tried 3 different QB's and went through every single A and C back I had, and the results were all the same. I am not sure what I am going to do. During practice the backs spend anywhere from 20-30 minutes in group time before spending another 20 minutes in team. What am I doing wrong? I wish I could send some film your way but our youth league doesn't allow us to film. I have thought about punishing the kids in practice for the the fumble snaps and dropped exchanges, but I don't want to run them off.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Coach,

I hope it’s not too late, but this is something that should start on day one, as a part of team culture. You have to start out eliminating the ways that any team - even a good one - will beat itself, and the first one on the list is turnovers.  

I am always amazed at the number of practices I watch where people - coaches as well as players - accept fumbles casually.

This tells me that they are not addressing this major cause of losses.

Fortunately for you, it’s still early in the season. And following a game which demonstrates how fumbles can destroy a good team effort, this is a perfect time to institute your  brand-new Zero Tolerance for Fumbles policy.

You have to instill in your team the idea that turnovers are repugnant and won’t be tolerated.

That means that you must convince anybody who carries the ball that he’s privileged to carry the TEAM’S ball - that there are plenty of others on the team that would love to have that chance, but they have less glamorous jobs. They have grunt work to do - they have to block for him. Until it’s drilled into them, ball carriers have  to be reminded - often - that they owe it to their teammates to protect “the team’s ball,” that that is their Job One, and that it is selfish of them not to do so. Say it until they get sick of hearing it. And then say it some more.

ANY time the ball falls to the ground, coaches have to pitch a fit. It is not something that you ever accept casually and then go on about your business as if nothing happened. You have to deal with it RIGHT NOW.  Do not be casual and accepting. It will not cure itself. I don’t normally want players getting on each other but I make an exception where fumbling is concerned. I don’t mind at all when teammates get on a guy who fumbles. That runner simply must move “Don’t Fumble!” to the front of his brain, ahead of anything else that might be going on in there.

When there is a fumble, pitch a fit - then  remind everyone on your team of how serious you are and how serious fumbles are by having everyone on the team do five up-downs or five pushups ANY time there is a fumble of ANY sort in practice. The point is that the entire team suffers when someone gets careless with the ball.

Convince your running backs that you are serious by making it an absolute , consistently enforced rule that if anyone fumbles, he comes out of the game - for a time that’s up to you to decide.

No runner is so good that he’s earned the right to fumble. I once pulled my star running back, a 1000-yard rusher, from the last game of his senior year and sat him down for the rest of the game after he’d fumbled for the third time. How could I face my team if I’d let him stay in and he’d fumbled again and we’d lost? He was pissed, of course, but just as I preach, the team comes first.  My obligation was to the team. We didn’t fumble again. We won.

That’s the mental part of it. Never let up on this, because even veteran players can get complacent. Condensed: you have to be willing to be anal and tough. It’s an unpleasant but sometimes necessary part of being a leader.

After work on the attitude toward fumbles  comes work on the mechanics.

You have to teach the proper way for the center to snap and for the QB to take the snap and to protect the ball and make the handoff or toss. And you have to rep these things until they’re almost automatic. And then continue to rep them.

Any time you run a play, even in group work, you need to have a center snapping to the QB. For the center, making a consistent  snap is far more important than blocking drills. Occasionally, put a nose man on the center.

For the exchange, handoff and toss mechanics, you can refer to  my new playbook.  It’s also covered in my QB Hockey Stick video...

You have to teach the running backs to take handoffs, catch tosses, carry the ball in traffic (both hands covering both points of the ball until they’re in the clear) and in the open field (the four points of contact: hand covering the point, ball touching forearm, biceps, ribs).  The coaches have to be insistent on their carrying the ball in the outside arm. Runners have to be drilled on being able to hang onto the ball when someone’s trying to pry it from their grasp.  And they have to learn how to fall without letting go of the ball or trying to break their fall with the arm that’s carrying the ball.

For fumble-prevention drills, look at my Practice Without Pads video.

In my opinion, 20 minutes is way too much group time when you’re only spending 20 minutes on team time. I wouldn’t know what to do with backs only for 20 minutes.   Spend way more time in team work.

In sum:  not nearly enough coaches devote nearly enough effort to prevention of fumbles, when they’re a major cause of losses.

Old football truism: First avoid losing - then win.

Good luck as always and let me know how it goes.


*********** QUIZ ANSWER :  Len Dawson is a great example of the importance of persistence, and of   being in the right place at the right time.

He played 19 years as an NFL quarterback for three different teams, but he failed with the first two teams and didn’t experience success until he landed with the third one - and once he did, he spent 14 years with them. 

In high school in Alliance, Ohio, he was the outstanding back in the state his senior year, but he passed up Ohio State - “That wasn’t me - I was a passing quarterback!” he would say years later -  to play college ball for Purdue, where they threw the ball.

In his three years at Purdue, playing both ways, he led the Big Ten in passing.  It was also while at Purdue that he met an assistant coach named Hank Stram whom he would join up with years later, to their mutual advantage.

He was a first-round draft choice of the Steelers, the fifth player taken overall, but after the Steelers acquired Bobby Layne, he became expendable, and he was traded to the Browns.

His luck was no better in Cleveland, and after two seasons, they released him.

That’s when he reunited with Stram, by then in his third year as head coach of the Dallas Texans in the American Football League.

And that’s when things turned around for him.  In his first season with them, the Texans defeated the Houston Oilers to win the AFL title, and he was named League MVP.

In all, in his 14 seasons with the team - most of them after the franchise moved to Kansas City - he led it to three league championships and a Super Bowl victory, in which he was named the MVP.

He was twice named first team All-AFL and twice named second team All-AFL.  He led the AFL in passing touchdowns four times, and six times led the league in passer rating.

He was named quarterback on the All-Time AFL team.

In 1973, he was named NFL Man of the Year.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

For years after he retired as a player Len Dawson was a TV sports guy in Kansas City, and served as a color commentator for the Chiefs’ radio network.

********** CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING LEN DAWSON
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA - Another great Strat-O-Matic card Len Dawson
DENNIS METZGER - RICHMOND, INDIANA
MIKE BENTON - COLFAX, ILLINOIS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
SHEP CLARKE - PUYALLUP, WASHINGTON

*********** What a guy!

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/just-because-len-dawson-enjoys-a-sweet-cig-during-super-bowl-i/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9iGf0DMpwA

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

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

I still find this picture hilarious.  Years ago, when I competed in olympic weightlifting, there was an old masters lifter at one meet.  Great guy.  Just before we started warming up, he was outside in the parking lot, smoking a couple of Marlboros.  One of the guys called out to him "Hey Don, time to start warming up"  Don casually stubbed out his last cigarette and replied "Ok".  He won his division.

Mike Framke
Green Bay, Wisconsin

LEN DAWSON SMOKING
Len Dawson catching a puff on the sidelines

Coach-  Those were different times, as this photo of me (the guy with the ’stache) from 1971 will attest.

Me smoking on sidelines

And,  back before they let the TV cameras in the locker room, here’s Chuck Bednarik celebrating the Eagles’ 1960 NFL championship game win over the Packers - after having played every down on both offense and defense…

Bednarik smoking

WHY I DON’T REFER TO THIS FEATURE AS “TRIVIA” AND I WISH YOU WOULDN’T, EITHER.

(I wrote this back in 2000, when I started “A Look at Our Legacy” and it still bears repeating.)

I sat down with my Board of Directors* and decided that the word "Trivia" in association with the sort of people I've featured here was doing them a disservice.   Since it’s my hope that this feature might interest coaches in the rich history of our game, it seemed to me that "trivia", a word associated with normally useless but occasionally interesting facts, was undercutting my intentions.  I definitely  don’t consider the people I write about, or their contributions to our game,  to be trivial. 

*There's no such thing; just play-acting on my part, pretending to be big-time.

*********** QUIZ - He was known in the coaching profession as “Big John.”

He spent his entire career coaching HBCU (look it up) programs, and in head-to-head meetings with the great Eddie Robinson, he was 11-9-1.

He was a native of Kentucky and a graduate of Kentucky State, where he played his college football, and his first head coaching job was at Jackson State. In 11 seasons there, he compiled a record of 63-37-5; his best-known player there was future all-pro Willie Richardson.

But he’s best  remembered for his accomplishments in a 21-year career at Tennessee State, from 1963 through 1983, where he won 172 and lost only 33, with 7 ties.

Tennessee State tried hard to entice him to leave Jackson State, and when he finally accepted their offer, he took along with him both offensive coordinator Alvin Coleman and defensive coordinator Joe Gilliam, Sr. "It was probably the biggest move in black collegiate athletics," he later recalled. "Never before had an entire coaching staff left a (black) school and gone to another."

At Tennessee State he had five undefeated seasons and five one-loss seasons. His “worst” season was 1975, when the Tigers went 5-4.  He produced such standout pro players as Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Eldridge Dickey, Richard Dent, Waymond Bryant, Cleveland Elam, "Jefferson Street Joe" Gilliam, Jr., Claude Humphrey, Joe "Turkey" Jones, James Marsalis, and Israel Lang. (Richard Dent would become the first player from a historically black college to be named Super Bowl MVP.)

He was a legendary PR man, who spent countless hours out in the community promoting his program. His work took him into the white community as well, where he was well liked and respected; the Mayor of Nashville and the Governor of Tennessee were regulars at Tiger games.

In 1982, Centennial Boulevard, which runs through the Tennessee State campus, was renamed to honor him.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

When he retired, he was ninth all-time in career wins at all levels of college football, with 235.


american flagFRIDAY,  AUGUST 31,  2018 -   “When a coach starts talking about why he did a certain thing, why he installed a certain play, that's when I perk up and start listening.  Not how he did it, but why." Darrell Royal



YEE-HAW! - THE LONG WAIT IS OVER!   FOOTBALL - REAL FOOTBALL  - IS BACK!


*********** Hi Coach.
 
Just curious to know how much of your offense is now “Open Wing” compared to “Double Wing?”
 
Would you say it’s about 80% Open Wing and 20% Double Wing????
 
Just curious.

Mike,

This is not going to help, but…

It depends entirely on the personnel - and on the opponent.

We have gone some games 90-10 Open Wing and the next week 90-10 Double Wing

We could go a whole season of 90-10 Open Wing or 90-10 Double Wing.

I think its beauty is its adaptability to what you’ve got and what you’re facing.



*********** Washington, thanks in large part to the heavy concentration of its population in the Seattle-Tacoma area, is a left-leaning state. (I refuse to use the “red” and “blue” business because I grew up in the “better dead than Red” days, when “Red” meant communist, going all the way back to 1917 and the Russian Revolution.)

There’s so much about living in the Northwest that I love, but living among the lefties can cause me to shake my head excessively.

Take “our” Governor, Jay Inslee.  Please take our governor.

Of course, he’s a Democrat.  He’s a big states-rights guys when it comes to Washington deciding on its own to legalize pot, not so much when it comes to other states having the right to exercise control over emissions from coal-fired power plants within their borders.

See, he’s also a big climate-change guy, and he really, really knows his science.

As evidence, there he was recently, as smoke from wildfires enveloped the Northwest and fouled our air, talking to reporters about smoke, and about coal-fired power plants.

Our state’s air, he told them,  was being fouled. From the outside.

Well, yeah, from British Columbia.  But from Mississippi?

Yes, Mississippi.

“We’re breathing smoke from Mississippi,” he told them.  “We’re breathing smoke from the rest of the United States.”

I don’t know why His Eminence chose to pick on Mississippi, but in defense of the Magnolia State, Jim Camden, a reporter from the Spokane Spokesman-Review, noted that weather patterns in general go from west to east, so that “for Washington to get smoke from Mississippi, it would have to make its way to the East Coast, travel across the Atlantic, across Europe, across Asia, and across the Pacific.  At that point, there would be at most a few molecules of Mississippi smoke in Washington air.”

This was confirmed by a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, who told Camden, “We clearly are not breathing air from Mississippi. I don’t think coal burning over the U.S. has any impact on us.”

Realizing that the Governor’s credentials as a climate scientist were endangered, a spokesman for The Great Man tried mightily to save the day, saying that the governor didn’t mean that we were literally breathing smoke from Mississippi.  He was just trying to make a point: “air pollution doesn’t stop at state borders.”

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

You've created "a disturbance in the force" by telling me of Michigan Football's visit to Normandy.

I loathe Michigan Football, and especially their fans. As a Purdue fan I'm supposed to loathe IU, but I attended Indiana University South Bend for an entire month, so I have just a little IU in me. Yes, I want Purdue to beat IU, but that's to win the best trophy in the Big Ten, The Old Oaken Bucket. However, I grew up in Kentucky and used to be a UK basketball fan. Trust me, there are very few Kentucky Football fans!  But I will not root for Kentucky Basketball as long as their current coach remains in Lexington.

Now, in the same way, I will not root for aO$U* as long as their current football coach remains in Columbus, and for many of the same reasons. As UK Basketball is bigger than the university, so also is aO$U Football bigger than its university. Maybe someday both schools will get me back.  But my money and my son went to Purdue, so they have my loyalty.

It took Jim Harbaugh, JIM HARBAUGH for crying out loud, to bring me to this conclusion. Oh the shame of it!

Have a great day, Coach.

Jim Franklin
Flora, Indiana

*NOTE: The term aO$U needs a bit of explanation. It comes from Hammer and Rails, the Purdue Sports blog. The "a" is for "an." They argue that THE Ohio State University is one of many Ohio state universities such as Wright State, Kent State, Cleveland State, etc. Some state community colleges also have "state" in their names. The "$" needs no explanation. Ohio State football is a cash cow, even more so than Michigan and Penn State.

Jim, as you no doubt know from reading my page, I’m not disposed to favor Jim Harbaugh, but given a choice between a team coached by a guy I don’t particularly care for who’s done a patriotic thing and one coached by a guy I don’t care about one way or another who’s a liar, it’s an easy call.  Go Blue.

I do like Purdue, in large part because like other schools I favor that wear the the black and gold - Army, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest - they share the unenviable task of competing against people whose academic standards don’t align with theirs.  And I do like the job that Coach Brohm is doing.

I sure do like that “aO$U”

*********** Speaking of Ohio State, whose idea of a "suspension"  of their head coach is letting him coach all week long as if nothing had ever happened, then sit back on game day and turn the game over to his assistants…

Why do you suppose someone there chose to drag Texas coach Tom Herman into the mud along with the now-notorious Zach Smith?  Unless it was to deliberately besmirch Herman, why would they have made public the fact that he was the “other coach” who accompanied Smith - and, allegedly, some high school coaches - to a strip club in 2014?

*********** From time to time I’ve watched the tennis at the US Open, in New York.

It’s been hot as hell, and humid on top of it all, and it’s brutal on the players.

They are sweating profusely, and their outfits, provided by different apparel companies, droop and sag on them.

So here’s my question: Underarmour, isn’t the ability of your “performancewear” to keep athletes warm when it’s cold out and cool when it’s hot out  the reason you got your start in the business?

And what about the rest of you apparel makers?  Is it really good for your business to have those high-priced models out there wearing your sweaty clothing and dropping out from the heat?

***********  We are getting a great illustration this week of the old proverb, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Liberals are not noted for their adoration of our armed forces,  and once derided the late Senator John McCain when he ran for President against the much-adored Barack Hussein Obama.  But to show how quickly they can turn, his fierce opposition to their bete noire*, Donald Trump, earned him a place in their (relatively empty) Pantheon of War Heroes.

*An object of intense dislike… a major annoyance… (In French, it means “black beast.”)


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

Finally caught a little bit of a break this morning!  Been pretty busy.  After four years of being called the Assistant Principal I'm actually doing the work of an Assistant Principal this year.  At least I can go out knowing I made a contribution after all.

Mike sent me a picture of the ring.  I can't imagine how proud he and Cielo must be of their son.

I can only echo the sentiments of Brad Knight.  If we ever needed our fellow conservatives to get out and vote it would be this November.  And unbeknownst to most liberals there are a helluva lot more of us out there than they think.

Yes...that Hawai'i - Colorado State game was as exciting as it gets.  Hopefully the game I'm going to this Saturday will have that same kind of excitement.

We are having our own St. Frances controversy down here:

https://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/high_school/high_school_football/article/Cornerstone-asks-to-be-released-from-TAPPS-sports-13172995.php

https://www.expressnews.com/sports/high-school/article/Cornerstone-brings-in-Booty-family-to-boost-12869879.php

They have dropped four of their originally scheduled football opponents for this year (including us) and picked up a few higher caliber teams from Texas and Mississippi to replace them.  Won't be surprised to see St. Frances, or IMG Academy on their schedule next year.

One of the toughest parts of coaching the DW is teaching the O Linemen to not chase defenders.  Especially the Center and the uncovered linemen.  That is why I never left the O- Line coaching responsibilities to an assistant.  I preferred to coach the O Line.

Have never had a conversation with a crustacean so I have no idea what PETA is talking about.

Gonna miss tomorrow's news.  Will be kicking off the college football season this year in grand style. 

My eldest daughter and I will be traveling to South Bend tomorrow at O Dark Hundred.  Going to the pep rally on Friday night, get to tailgating and TRY to get up close to the Game Day stage on Saturday, and have tickets for the ND-Michigan game on Saturday night.  Will be sitting about 12 rows up from the ND band.

She was able to score the tickets through the Austin ND Club of which she is a member, and officer.

QUIZ:  Hook 'em!  That would be none other than Darrell K. Royal of the University of Texas Longhorns, and that 100,000 seat stadium is affectionately known as "DKR" 'round these parts.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Joe,

I’d say that that earns you a pass on the news! You are granted a dispensation.

Have a great time, and if you want to get on TV, get near the guy(s) with the WSU flag(s).



*********** You think you’re the only one who has problems with today’s young people wanting instant success without paying the price?

Fender, the guitar maker, sells almost half of its instruments to new guitar players. Within a year, 90 per cent of them have given up guitar playing.


*********** When he was asked Sunday about his friendship with President Trump, Tiger Woods said,  “He’s the president of the United States. You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”

Oh, dear. On Monday, a guy named Kellerman, who’s described as an “ESPN commentator,” went off on Woods for saying that, in a rant worthy of a high priest of Antifa.

"It either holds in contempt the intelligence of people who hear it or else it’s just a stupid thing to say,” Kellerman said of Woods’ comments.


Now, if you’d asked me four days ago who the hell Max Kellerman was, I couldn’t have told you.  Maybe that’s because I only watch ESPN for the games they televise, and not for their (leftist) political commentary, including the old liberal concept that all black people must think the way ESPN thinks.

Keep digging your hole, ESPN.


https://townhall.com/tipsheet/laurettabrown/2018/08/28/espn-host-angered-over-tiger-woods-calling-for-respect-for-the-president-n2513779


*********** My God.  The lefty weenies have established a beachhead in one of the last places you’d have expected it -  Alabama!

Physical education teachers in Alabama should avoid such recess staples as tag, dodgeball and Duck, Duck Goose due to the games' lack of physical stimulation and high chance of embarrassment for students, according to a guidance document from the Alabama State Department of Education.


https://www.al.com/expo/news/erry-2018/08/00d517d6fe1227/tag-kickball-red-rover-musical.html



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

Spent time with you at Chippewa Falls, Wi. Ran the offense for six years in Blackduck Mn

After retirement other coaches moved on to other systems. This yr. former jr high coach
Convinced new head coach to talk to the old man’s staff. Switched and won their first game 34 to 12.

Still keep up with your website. I find it ironic that you have run and shoot integrated.  Mouse Davis sent me his Denver playbook and I ran that for yrs prior to double wing. Keep up the good work.

Jerry Sonnek
Blackduck, Minnesota

Hi Coach-

Great to hear from you!

I well remember you from the first time Paul Herzog told me about the great job you were doing with the Double Wing up in Blackduck!

Sure hope that whoever’s running the show now is taking advantage of your know-how.

Thanks for writing - please keep in touch!

(Coach Sonnek refers to a Double Wing camp we ran in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin in 1998 - hard to believe it was 20 years ago.  There were about eight schools at the camp.  It was during the state’s “dead period” prior to the official start of fall practice when coaches couldn’t coach their own teams, but - since everybody there was running the same system, and using my terminology, coaches just swapped teams.  A few coaches came with just a handful of kids, so we combined them into one team - a motley crew - and they were coached by a Double Wing coach from Iowa named Don Capaldo. I should add that the host coach, Chuck Raykovich of Chippewa Falls, High, ran the Double Wing to a place in the Wisconsin High School Coaches Hall of Fame, located in the atrium of Lambeau Field.)


*********** I came across a youtube video in which a high school coach named Joe Daniel, whom I’ve spoken with on his podcast, does a nice job ranking the top play drawing apps.

His top 3:

1. Playmaker Pro
2. Go Army Edge
3. Hudl

I have no experience with Hudl in that regard, but I have a LOT of experience with Playmaker Pro and Go Army Edge, and I concur.  Playmaker Pro, the work of a Michgan guy named Bruce Williams whom I’ve gotten to know over the years, is the gold standard in my book; In fairness, Go Army Edge, which I was privileged to help beta test, is not strictly a play drawing app -  its primary function is to enable you to show your players, in fairly realistic video game format and from several different  perspectives and camera angles, the on-field execution of the plays you’ve drawn.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d_zEFUSikI.


*********** (You wrote) After years of pushing that obnoxiously pretentious “THE” Ohio State University on us, Ohio State and the people who ostensibly run things had to go and let Urban Meyer pull a Hillary, you know - with problems remembering, and all that…

Meanwhile, on ESPN2, there’s Jim and Dad Jack Harbaugh, with the MIchigan team at Normandy, placing a wreath at a memorial to the brave Americans who gave their all…

No need for me to explain why I’ve made the switch to Michigan.

Welcome aboard!

John Zeller
Tustin, Michigan


***********  If you like to watch two diametrically opposed offenses - and if you can stay up late enough to watch it - the best game of the weekend might very well be Saturday night when Navy plays at Hawaii. 


*********** QUIZ  ANSWER- Darrell Royal was born in Hollis, Oklahoma.  His family moved to California during the Dust Bowl, but when his high school coach told him he was too small to play, he returned to Oklahoma to play high school ball.

After service in World War II, he played football at the University of Oklahoma, where he was a very good defensive back, setting two records - 18 interceptions in a season and three in one game - that still stand. He shared time at quarterback in Coach Bud Wilkinson’s split-T offense.  Several of his teammates, including Dee Andros, Jim Owens and Wade Walker, would go on to become college coaches.

After college he spent three seasons as a college assistant, then was hired as head coach at Edmonton in the CFL.

He left after one year to take the head job at Mississippi State. In two years at Starkville, he went 12-8 and in one year at Washington he went 5-5.

He’d moved around, he hadn’t stayed long in any one place, and his overall record as a college head coach was an undistinguished 17-13.

But the big Southwest Conference school, coming off a 1-9 season, was desperate.

It turned out to be a great hire.  He finished 6-4-1 in his first season, and in 20 years there, he never had a losing season.

He won three national championships, and won or shared 11 SWC titles. 

He was twice named AFCA Coach of the Year.

Darrell K. Royal Texas Stadium is named in his honor.


********** CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING DARRELL ROYAL
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA - Went to a NIU clinic when Pat Culpepper was coach in the late 70s…an evening full of Darrell Royal stories!
DENNIS METZGER - RICHMOND, INDIANA
MIKE BENTON - COLFAX, ILLINOIS
SHEP CLARKE - PUYALLUP, WASHINGTON
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON


*********** There may never have been a better writer of football - at least Texas football - than Dan Jenkins, and it took a little digging, but I found it: a piece he wrote for Sports Illustrated many, many years ago. 

In honor of Sports Illustrated's 60th anniversary, SI.com is republishing, in full, 60 of the best stories to ever run in the magazine. Today's selection is "The Disciples Of St. Darrell On A Wild Weekend," by Texas native Dan Jenkins. Though he had joined SI just the year before, Jenkins was already building a reputation as the nation's finest college football writer. In this piece he returns to his home state and tags along with some die-hard fans of the Longhorns -- some of whom just happened to be high school friends of his -- as they engaged in a weekend of partying and pigskin. It originally ran in the Nov. 11, 1963 issue.

You probably have to be of a certain age to remember when many Catholics had little statues of the Virgin Mary on the dashboards of their cars. 

Jenkins used that image to show that the Longhorn fans he writes  about are, to say the least, worshipful.

But they worship “St. Darrell.”  The hero of his piece jokes about having Royal's statue on his dashboard, and sings, as he drives to the game,  “I don't care 'bout my gas and oil,/Long as I got my Dare-e-ull Royal,/ Mounted on the dashboard o' my car…”

https://www.si.com/college-football/2014/10/17/si-60-disciples-st-darrell-wild-weekend-dan-jenkins

*********** Sent by Greg Koenig - a beautiful gesture to honor Coach Royal

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=util9KJPfYk

*********** Coach Royal, in “Darrell Royal Talks Football,” had some very interesting things to say, including ways to make the game better.

He talked about watching the 1953 Orange Bowl game as a spectator, and noticing for the first time how time outs ruin things -  “Just when the game got to a fever pitch, when a team got on the move, and the band was playing and everybody yelling - somebody would call a time out. The most thrilling part of the game would be soused in a bucket of water.”

His suggestion? Do away with time outs.

“I had never  realized what an injustice (it is)  to spectators, when you cut right into the most exciting part of the game with a two-minute interruption when nobody does anything.

“In boxing, when you have an opponent a little groggy and on the ropes, he can’t blow a whistle and say, wait a minute - you have the advantage now.  Stop. I want to rest and regroup.”

“Basketball is the same way.  A team gets going strong and a player pumps in a couple goals and suddenly there’s a time out, which kills all the action.

"I believe a rule eliminating time outs would liven up our game.”

He said that in 1963, before the advent of the damnable TV timeout, so his comments are more appropriate than ever.

*********** QUIZ :  He is a great example of persistence, and of the importance of being in the right place at the right time.

He played 19 years as an NFL quarterback for three different teams, but he failed with the first two teams and didn’t experience success until he landed with the third one - and once he did, he spent 14 years with them. 

In high school in Alliance, Ohio, he was the outstanding back in the state his senior year, but he passed up Ohio State - “That wasn’t me - I was a passing quarterback!” he would say years later -  to play college ball for Purdue, where they threw the ball.

In his three years at Purdue, playing both ways, he led the Big Ten in passing.  It was also while at Purdue that he met an assistant coach named Hank Stram whom he would join up with years later, to their mutual advantage.

He was a first-round draft choice of the Steelers, the fifth player taken overall, but after the Steelers acquired Bobby Layne, he became expendable, and he was traded to the Browns.

His luck was no better in Cleveland, and after two seasons, they released him.

That’s when he reunited with Stram, by then in his third year as head coach of the Dallas Texans in the American Football League.

And that’s when things turned around for him.  In his first season with them, the Texans defeated the Houston Oilers to win the AFL title, and he was named League MVP.

In all, in his 14 seasons with the team - most of them after the franchise moved to Kansas City - he led it to three league championships and a Super Bowl victory, in which he was named the MVP.

He was twice named first team All-AFL and twice named second team All-AFL.  He led the AFL in passing touchdowns four times, and six times led the league in passer rating.

He was named quarterback on the All-Time AFL team.

In 1973, he was named NFL Man of the Year.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

For years after he retired as a player he was a TV sports guy in Kansas City, and served as a color commentator for the Chiefs’ radio network.



american flagTUESDAY,  AUGUST 28,  2018 -   “There are no boring subjects - only disinterested minds.”  G. K. Chesterton


*********** A little-known fact: the concept of the class ring was born at West Point, the United States Military Academy, in 1835.

Randy Foristiere, son of Kansas high school coach Mike Foristiere, is about to become a first classman (senior) at West Point,  and this past weekend he and his classmates got their class rings.

The West Point class ring, bearing the class’ distinctive seal, is a VERY big deal.  

It symbolizes the wearer’s membership in the “Long Gray Line,” the centuries-long chain of West Point graduates, and one of the ways it does so is through a tradition begun for the Class of 2002, the 200th anniversary of the Military Academy’s founding.

It’s known as the ring melt.  Every spring, in a foundry in Rhode Island,  class rings donated by older graduates - or, more often, by the survivors of deceased graduates - are melted in a crucible and formed into an ingot of pure gold.  This “memorial gold” will be melted again along with “new” gold, and made into this year’s rings.

A small amount of the gold from each year’s melt is retained and used the following year, so that all new rings contain gold from all the rings that have been donated.

This year, there were 69 rings donated, a record number.  As each is placed into the crucible, a biography of the donor is read.

In all, 520 rings have been donated so far, including  rings from 10 four-star generals, one Medal of Honor recipient, one U.S. Congressman, one member of the National Basketball Hall of Fame.  One ring was worn in  space aboard Space Shuttle Discovery.  When the Class of 2019 put on their rings recently, the gold on their fingers came from rings worn by West Point graduates in battle in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, and the War on Terror.

https://www.westpointaog.org/ring-memorial-program-class-of-2019

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2017/02/28/class-rings-from-west-point-grads-are-melted-for-new-rings/


*********** Before going into alcohol rehab, a Pendleton, Oregon guy and his buddy were on a “last hurrah” tour  of national parks.  Something on the order of a bachelor party,  except no wedding.

The tour came to an unplanned ending in Yellowstone, where the guy was pinched for waving his arms to try to get a bison out of the road.  Uh- oh.  (That’s “harassment of wildlife,” if you didn’t know).

Turns out he’d already had a few drunken run-ins with the law at a couple other national parks, as a result of which he was out on bond for public intoxication and interfering with police officers.

When the police nabbed him in Yellowstone they found an open container in his car - and one of the conditions of his bond was that he not consume alchohol.

So he was sentenced to five years’ probation, among the conditions of which are that he is banned from three national parks and - get this - he’s not allowed to drink alcohol. For FIVE YEARS.

Good luck with that one.

If that idiot judge (but I repeat myself)  really thinks that’s going to work, maybe we should just send all our problem drinkers to him and he can order them not to drink for the rest of their lives.

The bison botherer is going to have the last laugh, though - he was going to go into rehab anyway, presumably at his own expense,  and now it looks as if the taxpayers - you and I - are going to be paying for it.

*********** After years of pushing that obnoxiously pretentious “THE” Ohio State University on us, Ohio State and the people who ostensibly run things had to go and let Urban Meyer pull a Hillary, you know - with problems remembering, and all that…

Meanwhile, on ESPN2, there’s Jim and Dad Jack Harbaugh, with the MIchigan team at Normandy, placing a wreath at a memorial to the brave Americans who gave their all…

No need for me to explain why I’ve made the switch to Michigan.

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

As an Iowan and a Republican I am angry.  Very angry.  Our immigration system is PUTRID.  ONE GIRL would not be dead (brutally murdered, stabbed several times after being abducted and who knows what) at the hands of an ILLEGAL ALIEN who had no right to be in our country.  The Liberal crowd says it is about human decency, this man had none, and several legal citizens in the US do not either.  I agree, citizens of the US can and often do bad things as well, and I am not forgiving that, but THIS GIRL is dead because our immigration system is non existent.  It failed to protect HER.  ONE death of an American Citizen is ONE DEATH TOO MANY (and she is not the first).  It is time to Build The Wall, DEPORT EVERY ILLEGAL, AND FIX IMMIGRATION.  You can bet your sweet a$$ I am voting for EVERY TRUMP AGENDA SUPPORTER in the upcoming elections so we can FIX THIS ISSUE.

Hope you are well, I'll end my rant and wish you and Connie the best.  Can't wait to see you soon!  Been way too long.

Brad Knight
Clarinda, Iowa

Knighter,

I am a Washingtonian, and I, too, am angry.

It’s always been something of a comfort to me, living in the liberal-infested West Coast, to think that there was always the Heartland - there was always Iowa, with its small towns like Holstein and Clarinda, where little kids could ride their bikes to the pool, and young women could go running - with never a worry about their safety.

In those small Iowa towns, people could still do the things that, thanks to our liberal friends and their attitudes toward borders and punishment of criminals, we haven’t been able to do on either coast for years.

And now, evil has been brought to those lovely little towns.

It's so sad and so wrong on so many levels, and maybe the worst thing of all is what it’s done to places like Holstein and Clarinda  that will never really be the same again.

That REALLY pisses me off, because small town America was just about all that was left of the old America that I grew up in - an America that was GREAT because of AMERICANS that made it great.

Love to you all and hug your girls!



*********** The NFL doesn’t have enough problems, between its ongoing feud with the President of the United States, the perception among many of its core followers that its players don’t like them or our country, and the empty seats at pre-season games.

On top of that, they’ve a problem that’s at least as unfixable as the national anthem issue: their product is dull.  Tune in an NFL game and you’re surprised when it’s a good one.  Tune in a college game and you’re surprised when it’s not.

Saturday, with the college season not yet even officially under way,  Hawaii and Colorado State drove that point home, with a game that the NFL will be hard put to match in an entire season of play.

Hawaii, with QB Cole McDonald executing their run and shoot offense to near-perfection, seemingly had the game in hand with a 37-7 second half lead.  And then, behind the throwing of K.J. Carta-Samuels, a graduate transfer from Washington, the  Rams began a stunning comeback, driving 99 yards in four plays to make it 37-20 after three quarters. (Carta-Samuels wound up throwing for a school-record 537 yards.)

The Rams scored twice more, with a Hawaii field goal in between,  to make the score 40-34 with 4:42 remaining.

Suddenly, though, Hawaii came alive again, and drove into range to  kick another field goal and put the game out of reach at 43-34 with only seconds remaining.

Here’s the scary thing about Hawaii: think of all the great run and shoot quarterbacks and all the huge numbers they put up - throwing the ball.  Now think of how dangerous they could have been if they could have run even a little.

Hawaii’s QB, Cole McDonald, can run, either when flushed from the pocket, or when running a read-option.  He rushed for 96 yards and two TDs.

In a post-game interview, he sounded like a good kid, humble enough and eager to spread the credit around.

Seems to me that makes Cole McDonald the (very) early leader in the Heisman race.  Besides his 96 yards and two TDs rushing,  he threw for 418 yards and three touchdowns, and Hawaii beat Colorado State in Fort Collins for the first time in 30 years.  If that ain’t a “Heisman Moment,” what is?

So what the hell - Cole McDonald for the Heisman.

*********** In two weeks we play a team that has had three kids ejected in two games. They are not very good or well coached, so I don’t see this trend changing by time they face us. If fact, it may be worse, as they may act out in frustration to losing. You had a drill in the Practice Without Pads video which simulated taunting scenarios. Can you walk me through that? Telling kids to walk away is like telling them not to fumble. It has to be practiced.

We call it the “Walk Away” drill.  At first, we show it to kids by having one player shove another (who knows that he’s about to be shoved), perhaps accompanied by an insult of some sort.  The person who’s been shoved is required to back up,  put his hands up in the air, and turn and walk away, saying nothing.  We accompany this demonstration with the time-tested information that more often than not it’s the person who responds who gets caught.  We point out that retaliation is a selfish act, and we remind them, as always, that no one has the right to do something selfish that can hurt the team.

As we go on, from time to time we’ll take a player aside during practice and tell him to instigate something.  Nothing dangerous, but we’d like it to be realistic - like after another guy has just blocked or tackled him or knocked down a pass.

(Once, a guy who’d been accepted to the University of Washington, shoved a teammate from behind and delivered the ultimate insult, “You’re going to WSU!”)

I’ve always heard that you know you’re running the right drills when you see them in games, and I guarantee you’ll see this one!


*********** Very interesting article on football oddities, sent me by Tom Walls, of Winnipeg.

  https://www.google.ca/amp/s/wlogblog.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/15-strange-things-that-can-technically-happen-in-football/amp/

Tom writes,

I liked the section in today’s NYCU about “They Also Play Football”. We are taking a road trip to Fargo on Sept. 22nd to see #16 Delaware take on #1 North Dakota State. It is a sold out homecoming and the tickets were quite pricey.

However, we are excited to be the four blue specks in a sea of green.

It would also be neat to see the DIII rankings. You know DIII, where the starting quarterback is majoring in civil engineering and the opposing linebacker is an aspiring chemist?

(Yes - D III, where it’s still football the way it was meant to be played.  No need to apologize for the brand of football played in Division III. HW)

*********** I am familiar with the issue with St. Frances Football, their coach and the MIAA. St. Frances has built a power by recruiting kids from out of state and overseas. They resemble a college team and don’t follow the league rules. They have no academic standards and will take anyone who can play football. In addition, they take senior transfers unlike the rest of the teams they play.  It’s a complete joke! The rest of the coaches in the league were well aware of the recruiting violations that were taking place at St. Frances and decided collectively to drop them. Every coach knew they would be accused of racism because St. Frances is a predominantly black school.  It had nothing to do with the make up of the school. It had to do with a coach that is financially wealthy with a huge ego who didn’t think the rules should apply to him.  He decided he wanted to build a national power with top players from Maryland and the surrounding states without following the league rules and policies.  This issue actually came to light  because the St. Frances coaches were trying to pluck all the best players from the public schools in the Baltimore area. The public school coaches began to complain to the private school coaches regarding St. Frances and their recruiting.  As you can Imagine, they were violating all kinds of MIAA recruiting rules. They were way over the top with text messages to recruits, giving away gear and making crazy promises to kids. I saw some of the text messages and it was crazy to say the least. It’s a shame and not what high school sports should ever be. The league was smart to break ties and move on. No one within the MIAA was willing to respond to the media’s request for their side of the story because of fear of lawsuit.

NAME WITHHELD

*********** I love to walk along the beach in Ocean Shores, Washington.  It’s still fairly rough and rugged, never the slghtest bit crowded, and the action of the tides and winds and currents makes it a different beach every time I see it.

I really enjoy the wildlife I see, especially  the sandpipers.  They’re some of the damnedest things I’ve ever seen.

There are some great examples of teamwork in the animal world  - ants, bees, geese, wolves come to mind - but I can’t think of any better than sandpipers.

They tend to cluster together near the surf as they busily peck away with their long, pointed bills at whatever it is in the sand that provides nourishment.  They’re careful to avoid having to swim, so they race away from any incoming waves as fast as their spindly legs can take them, then, just as fast, they chase the wave as it recedes.

But every so often, suddenly, someone - I suspect it’s God - gives a signal, and they’re off the beach and in the air.  All together.  Every single one. Not one outlier saying, “You go ahead - I think I’ll stay here on the beach.”

And off they go, flying in a huge swarm, all close together, all going in the same direction at the same speed.

Then suddenly, as if God’s out in front of them conducting a wave drill,  arms over his head to send them in the opposite direction, whoosh - just like that - the entire flock, every single bird, swerves and turns as one. And there’s never a collision!

They do some more of the sort of coordinated aerobatics that would put Blue Angels or Thunderbirds to shame until someone - perhaps still God - decides it’s time to land. That  they do.  Again, as one, every bird with its own landing spot.  There’s not a single collision, not a single instance of one bird landing on top of another. It’s as if it had all been rehearsed.

And then, as if they’d merely stepped away for a moment, they’re back to pecking away in the sand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpAxz2xkhrs


*********** A long-time friend and Double Wing coach - one of the best in the business - texted me to say that while his Super Power looks good both ways, he has been having trouble getting his center to stay home when his assignment is to block “area away.”  He was making contact and chasing the defender, which as we know creates a big hole for the defense to run through.   He asked if I’d ever run into this issue.

Oh. boy, have I - which is why there is a distinction between blocking “Area Away” and “Man Away.”

The first thing we tell the center to do is not to go after anyone - to stay in his area and block anyone who tries to come through.

We tell the center  to keep his heels on the ground and his head up and tail down before, during and after the snap. He should be in the same stance throughout. That reinforces the idea that “Area Away” is not an aggressive move.

As he snaps, he jabs anyone to his backside with his backside hand and arm; he steps, slightly back, with his butt pointed to playside. (It’s not unlike hinging - “Ass to the pass.”)

As we texted, my friend said, “I’ve been texting him about it this afternoon as he's watching film. He said, ‘I get so excited to hit. I just have to slow down and think.’”

That’s when the coach got an idea.  He texted me, “Hugh, the pictures in your playbook are priceless. I just sent page 48 to our center.”

The center’s reply to page 48: "That's what I needed. Now I see what I have been doing to our backfield. It won't happen again.”

Said my friend: “I’ve never had a center this aggressive. I'll reward him by running more Wedge.”

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

Really appreciated your description of the research process Mr. Maraniss used for his book They Marched Into Sunlight.  It really brings home the difficulty he faced and gives me another level of appreciation for dedicated writers of history. 

Also, please keep including more youtube links like the ones you did for Jim Parker.  I'm only 36 so my first real memories of the NFL start around Super Bowl 25 when I was 8.  I love hearing about and seeing footage of the guys that dominated the game before today's era of "superstars."  I do think it would make the game more interesting if lineman today had to play back like they did in the early days. 

Thanks for your time and effort in putting together the blog.  It's also a great read and something I look forward to on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Joel Mathews
Independence, Missouri


*********** The early-season high school games on TV have one thing in common: commentators obsessed with telling us how many  college offers this kid or that kid has.  Almost invariably, the kid in question is an underclassman.

Funny, I hear college coaches bitch about the influence of the NFL - they complain about their guys leaving early for the pros, and they go to great lengths to keep their players from talking with agents. They don’t like others interfering in “their” programs.

All the while, they’re out offering high school players before they’ve even played a high school game.

So there are the college coaches, blowing smoke up high school kids’ asses, while the kids’ high school coaches try to convince them of the importance of team play.

Tell me that isn’t interfering with high school programs.


*********** PETA Puts Up Billboard Telling Marylanders to Stop Eating Crabs

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) put up a billboard in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor featuring a picture of a blue crab with the message “I’m ME, Not MEAT. See the Individual. Go Vegan.”

“Just like humans, crabs feel pain and fear, have unique personalities, and value their own lives,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman commented. “PETA’s billboard aims to give Charm City residents some food for thought about sparing sensitive marine animals the agony of being boiled alive or crushed to death in fishing nets simply by going vegan.”

However, Twitter users and locals reacted pretty much as could be expected to PETA’s efforts to get them to stop eating the Maryland specialty.

“I thought it was fake, honestly,” Tony Minadakis, owner of Jimmy’s Famous Seafood told the Baltimore Sun of the billboard. “I was shocked. It was pretty tone-deaf.”

They probably decided to try their stuff against  Maryland and its trademarked hard shell crabs (damn, they’re good) before moving on to the big time - South Louisiana and crawfish boils.  Surely those folks in Cajun Country would appreciate being informed that, just like blue crabs,  crawfish “feel pain and fear, have unique personalities, and value their own lives.”

Personalities you say? Crabs and crawfish? What about clams?  Maybe a legendary Philadelphia sports writer named Stan Hochman meant something different from what I thought when he once wrote that Bill Arnsparger had all the personality of a cherrystone clam.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/laurettabrown/2018/08/24/peta-puts-up-billboards-telling-marylanders-to-stop-eating-blue-crabs-n2512772


 fisher bunnies
COACH: When you are the Fisher Bunnies I guess you find ways to embrace your mascot name.  I thought you might get a kick out of these decals… I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about the Carrot Sticker for positive reinforcement.  

Regards,

Bill Lawlor
Palatine, Illinois

Bill,

That’s making lemons out of lemonade.

If Oregon can do it with the Ducks, you can do it with the Battlin’ Bunnies.

The carrot is hilarious!

Good Luck!



************ Pine-Richland High, a defending Pennsylvania state champion, opened up against IMG Academy - and got dismembered.

Pre-game…

A roster from IMG lists the hometowns of every player. IMG has players from — get this — 18 different states and also from Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario. Consider that Florida State’s roster this season has players from only 17 states.

Only 12 of IMG’s players are from Florida. Among the Ascenders’ other players, five are from California, three from Washington, four from Texas, six from Georgia and one each from Oklahoma, Nevada, Colorado and Delaware.

IMG does not have a player from Pennsylvania.

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/high-school-football/2018/08/23/img-academy-football-pine-richland-wpial-2018/stories/201808230169

Post-game…

IMG 42, Pine-Richland 0)

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/high-school-football/2018/08/24/Pine-Richland-Rams-blown-away-by-IMG-Ascenders-42-0/stories/201808240180

IMG IN NO WAY RESEMBLES A CONVENTIONAL HIGH SCHOOL, WHOSE TEAMS ARE MADE UP OF THE KIDS WHO LIVE IN THE AREA (THAT INCLUDES THE DREADED CATHOLIC SCHOOLS)…

SO WHY ARE CONVENTIONAL HIGH SCHOOLS CONFERRING LEGITIMACY ON IMG BY SCHEDULING IT?

*********** The PAC 12 is using Virtual Reality as part of its concussion protocol

https://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/08/23/pac-12-trialing-new-concussion-protocol-involving-virtual-reality-goggles/


QUIZ ANSWER:  The most fortunate NFL franchises are blessed with the halcyon days of a luminary like Tom Brady, Joe Montana or Johnny Unitas. The Bengals are cursed with the myth of  Greg Gook, the kind of transcendent talent every offensive mastermind hopes to find once in a lifetime.

A local hero drafted No. 5 overall out of the University of Cincinnati in 1969, Cook  shook off a Week 3 muscle tear in his throwing arm to author the greatest rookie quarterback season in pro football history, leading the AFL in completion percentage, passer rating and yards per attempt -- while playing for an expansion team in its second year of existence. His 9.411 yards-per-attempt figure and 17.5 yards-per-completion mark are rookie records that remain unsurpassed in the NFL. In fact, among veteran quarterbacks since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, only Kurt Warner (9.9, 2000) and Chris Chandler (9.6, 1998) have bested Greg Cook in yards per attempt, and only Craig Morton (17.8, 1970) has topped him in yards per completion.

Driven by the swashbuckling young quarterback, Cincinnati knocked off the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in that Week 3 game and handed the Oakland Raiders their only defeat of the regular season a couple of months later. The newly founded Bengals were off and running -- until  Cook was struck down by the football gods.

It turned out Cook had played most of that year with a rotator-cuff injury suffered against the Chiefs. Though it was similar to what Drew Brees overcame in 2006, early-1970s medical technology had no answer for it, and Greg Cook attempted just three more passes after his rookie season.

"I think Greg Cook would have been mentioned, had he had a full career, with the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the league," said Sam Wyche, Cook’s backup and eventually the Bengals' head coach. "He had everything. He had size, a rifle arm, he had a Terry Bradshaw kind or release. ... He had running ability, he was good-looking. He would have had the endorsements."

Wyche might actually be underselling that unique talent. Greg Cook was viewed as Football Adonis. Sports Illustrated's Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman once described him as a "blond-haired football god." Legendary Dallas Cowboys talent scout Gil Brandt casually refers to  Cook as "the golden boy from Chillicothe, Ohio."

“Greg Cook was, I believe, the greatest talent to play the position," Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh once said. "He was Steve Young, but bigger."

Bengals owner Mike Brown -- Paul's son -- believes his organization, and not the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, would have been the team of the '70s if not for Cook’s tragic injury.

Greg Cook ’s success had contributed to a palpable sense of excitement. The Bengals could boast back-to-back AFL Offensive Rookies of the Year (Paul Robinson and Cook), the AFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (Bill Bergey) and the reigning AFL Coach of the Year (Paul Brown). Baseball's Reds were set to open the sparkling new Riverfront Stadium and host the 1970 MLB All-Star Game. The "Big Red Machine" would go on to dominate the National League just as "WKRP in Cincinnati" ruled television's airwaves.

"He gave us hope -- we went from the expansion team to a team that could beat anybody," Brown told Cincinnati's City Beat after Cook’s death in 2012. "Then you had the story of recovery, getting better and not getting better. He was prominent in the news for four or five years and then it faded it away, and the myth never faded away. People still had him in their minds.

"He was the prince who never became king."

Former Bengals teammate Bob Trumpy, a four-time Pro Bowl tight end, captured the lost opportunity on NFL Network's "Top 10 One-Shot Wonders": "I don't know what he would have done if he'd have played 10 or 12 years. I think my fingers would have been filled with Super Bowl rings."

There are moments when the fortunes of an NFL franchise can pivot on one play. The Bengals had tied their future to a generational player, only to see their window for greatness slammed shut on a routine quarterback sack.

"What a great, great talent," a nostalgic Walsh expressed to Zimmerman in 2001. "What a terrible shame."

But Greg Cook’s legacy isn't limited to his unofficial status as the best there never was. He is forever intertwined with Walsh, with his fate serving as the impetus for the misnamed West Coast offense.


When Walsh first arrived in Cincinnati as Paul Brown's assistant in 1968, he was steeped in the vertical stretch offenses of Sid Gillman and Al Davis, two of the most influential minds of the era. Greg Cook’s ability to "throw the ball from one end of the field to the other" was ideal for that downfield attack.

The architect of the West Coast offense acknowledged years later that his famed scheme would have been "completely different" if not for Cook ’s injury.

"It would have started with the deep strike," Walsh said, "and everything would have played off that. It would have set records that never would be broken."

Read the entire Greg Cook article from NFL.com (it’s really good)

http://www.nfl.com/ohioriveroffense?campaign=Ext_Email_1st10_20150522&cvosrc=Ext_Email.Epsilon.1st10_20150522

*********** Courtesy of Greg Koenig, Cimarron, Kansas

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

********** CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING GREG COOK
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
DENNIS METZGER - RICHMOND, INDIANA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
DAVE POTTER - CARY, NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

*********** QUIZ - He was born in Hollis, Oklahoma.  His family moved to California during the Dust Bowl, but when a local high school coach told him he was too small to play, he returned to Oklahoma to play his high school ball.

After service in World War II, he played football at the University of Oklahoma. He was a very good defensive back, setting two records - 18 interceptions in a season and three in one game - that still stand. He shared time at quarterback in Coach Bud Wilkinson’s split-T offense.  Several of his teammates, including Dee Andros, Jim Owens and Wade Walker, would go on to become college coaches.

After college he spent three seasons as a college assistant, then was hired as head coach at Edmonton in the CFL.

He left Edmonton after one year to take the head job at Mississippi State. In two years at Starkville, he went 12-8 and in one year at Washington he went 5-5.

He’d moved around, he hadn’t stayed long in any one place, and his overall record as a college head coach was an undistinguished 17-13.

But a big Southwest Conference school, coming off a 1-9 season, was desperate, and it hired him.

It turned out to be a great hire.  He finished 6-4-1 in his first season, and in 20 years there, he never had a losing season.

He won three national championships, and won or shared 11 SWC titles. 

He was twice named AFCA Coach of the Year.

The school’s stadium is named in his honor.



american flagFRIDAY,  AUGUST 24,  2018 -   "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen Covey

*********** For someone like me who hates hot weather, this has been a bitch of a summer in the Portland area. 

Tuesday was the 28th day this year in which the temperature reached 90 or more, breaking the century-old record of 27, set in - 1906! And just to put an exclamation mark on it - Wednesday’s temperature made it to 90 degrees, too, making it 29 days. 

Thursday didn’t make it to 75, though, and we may not see another 90-degree day the rest of the year, so 29 will have to be it.  At least until next year.

*********** After watching the Browns' stirring 5-0  win over the Eagles, in front of a lot of  orange-clad empty seats in Cleveland, it's time for me to do what the slavish  sports media won't do, and that's mention all the empty seats I've seen at  all "pre-season" games that I've watched.   I can come to one of only two conclusions: either (1) those seats were already purchased as season-ticket packages, and their owners just couldn't find anybody to give their tickets to, or (2) season ticket sales are way, way off.

Either way, it's a sign of a serious problem that the haughty NFL has brought on itself, and either way, it pleases me.

*********** Todd Hollis’ question about a “favorite book list” (which, I confessed, I don’t have), led me to do a little thinking on the subject…

Along with David Maraniss’ “When Pride Still Mattered,” I include “They Marched Into Sunlight” on my literary summit,  partly because I’ve come to know David himelf as well as some of the soldiers in the Vietnam action that he writes about, the 1967 Battle of Ong Thanh;  but also because of what I know about how he researched it.  He had to talk to the primary sources - the men who fought, and survived the battle.  To do that, he first had earn the trust of those men, many of whom had spent years trying to forget it. 

Years later, those soldiers - Black Lions - were still reluctant to talk with anyone about the horrors they’d witnessed and experienced in an ambush which had cost the lives of dozens of their friends and fellow soldiers. 

After countless interviews,  David,  a master of the writer’s art,  was able to make the battle understandable to the reader.  Imagine yourself having to write  a story about a long-ago football game that no one had ever written about and you hadn’t seen yourself. Trust me - an offensive tackle’s description of a game differs greatly from that of the safety.  Imagine piecing it together from interviews with players from both sides - allowing for the toll that has taken on memories, and for the fact that many of the people you needed to talk to were no longer alive.  Take that situation and then add dense jungle, heat, the deafening clater of automatic weapons fire, exploding hand grenades and RPGs, smoke, fire, and the screams of the wounded and dying, and you’re beginning to approach author Maraniss’ assignment. Imagine interviews with participants whose experiences and exposure to the fighting may have varied greatly from one to another, and who have spent years trying to avoid talking about those experiences, and making the battle come alive.

I’ve come to know many of those Black Lions and they pay David the ultimate compliment -  he treated them fairly and did his best to tell the truth as he found it,  and he didn’t betray their trust.

Now throw in a literary device he uses, alternating chapters between living and dying with the grunts in the jungle in Vietnam, and then with scruffy, anti-war, quasi-anarchists at the University of Wisconsin. At the same time that American boys  were fighting an implacable, cruel enemy, privileged, protected college kids were plotting to blow up an on-campus laboratory.  Jumping back and forth as he does, from one extreme to another, David has recreated a time that even now, 50 years later, stirs up deep feelings or resentment among the soldiers. (I have no idea how the “activists” feel, nor do I care.)  The irony, of course, is that it’s the rich, privileged kids who are the malcontents - the ones attacking the establishment, and not their less privileged counterparts sent to suffer and die for a cause they know next to nothing about.  It’s an irony that we now see acted out daily, an on a scale far greater than anything we ever imagined in the 1960s.

In fiction, I like anything by John Irving, and I like Philip Roth. One of my all-time favorites is his “The Great American Novel,” a hilarious work which can loosely be described as a story about a fictional baseball team (and league) during World War II, when able-bodied men were away at war and organized baseball had to make do with the less than abled. I like anything by John O’Hara because much of his work was set in the Northeastern Pennsylvania coal regions, and area that has always interested me.  He had a keen eye for the finest details and a keen ear for dialogue. Very few even good writers can do dialogue - and dialect - well.

Speaking of dialogue and dialect…  One of my favorite novels is “A Confederacy of Dunces,” by John Kennedy Toole. It’s hard to say what it’s “about,” really, other than to say that it’s set in New Orleans in the 50s or 60s and it's about a bizarre character named Ignatius Reilly, who is… well, it’s impossible for me to describe him, except to say that the author knew his New Orleans and knew his New Orleans dialects, and brings it all alive in his characters.

Behind the book is a sad story.  Briefly, author O’Toole grew so distraught at the rejection of his novel by various publishing houses that he committed suicide.  Years after his death, his mother brought his novel to the attention of an author named Walker Percy, who agreed to read it.  And after reading it, he wrote,

… I read on. And on. First with the sinking feeling that it was not bad enough to quit, then with a prickle of interest, then a growing excitement, and finally an incredulity; surely it was not possible that it was so good.

Percy finally managed to persuade the Louisiana State University press to publish a small press run.  In sum,  the book was a success, and In 1981, Toole was awarded - posthumously - the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

*********** The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said,  “No man ever steps in the same river twice,  because it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

In that vein, I get great enjoyment from reading a good book more than once.  If you’ve never done it, try it some time.  It’s like returning to a place you haven’t been to in years: you’re delighted by things that you remember fondly from before, you find yourself looking differently at some of them, and you  notice new things - things that you didn’t remember from your first reading.

*********** THESE GUYS PLAY REAL FOOTBALL, TOO...

FCS TOP 25D-II TOP 25 

*********** Washington will open the season next Saturday against Auburn in Atlanta, in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.

There’s a lot at stake - for Washington, which has been picked in the Top Ten in most pre-season polls, and for the Pac 12, which made a mess of things in last year’s bowl games and desperately needs to regain some credibility.

Should the Huskies lose, and then dominate play in the Pac 12, the loss would almost certainly be used against the Huskies and the rest of the conference at playoff time.

Should they win, Auburn is down, blah, blah, blah.

So why would they do this?  Why wouldn’t they just open at home against, say, Montana State?

The cliche answer, of course, is, “We want to play the best.  If you’re going to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.”  Yak, yak, yak.

The real answer is: “For the same reason why Montana State would have come to play at Washington.”

Translation: Money.

The only difference: Montana State would get maybe $600,000 to play the Huskies in Seattle.

Washington is going to get $4.1 million to play Auburn in Atlanta.

*********** Think they don’t want you to know what really happened?

This was the headline in the Portland Oregonian (on Page 16, I might add):

MAN ADMITS KILLING IOWA COLLEGE STUDENT

“Man,” eh?

And this was the first sentence of the AP story that followed:

“A man from Mexico living in the U.S illegally has confessed to killing college student Mollie Tibbetts.”

“A man from Mexico living in the U.S. illegally,” eh?

What is half truth, but fake news?

*********** Next time you take a break from trying to save our planet… did you ever think how much fossil fuel has to be burned, spewing noxious fumes into the atmosphere, in order to produce the electricity consumed by schoolkids’ texting and videogames?

*********** I’m still trying to figure out what went on at Ohio State.

Urban Meyer got a three-game suspension.  For what? 

From what I could read in the AP story it was because investigators determined that Meyer and the AD  “seemed to misunderstand their obligation to tell compliance officials about alleged misconduct.”

WTF?  “Seemed to misunderstand?”

Wait.  If I’m correct,  those “compliance officials” being referred to are Title IX compliance officials.  Those people are tough.  They’re dealing with federal regulations.  I went on to read that Ohio State’s Title IX sexual misconduct policy requires reporting, and that violating that policy could be grounds for firing Meyer with cause - meaning he don’t get none of the $38 million remaining on his contract.

But not to worry.  Coach Urbs and his AD got a pass, because they “seemed to misunderstand their obligation to tell compliance officials about alleged misconduct.”

Yeah, and Hillary didn’t remember.

Give me a break.  Those two guys were fully aware of their obligations.  Every college athlete and administrator is.  It’s part of their orientation.  Title IX violations - including the possibility of sexual misconduct among  “student-athletes” on major-college football teams - are of such concern to college athletic programs that it’s beyond my ability to believe that there is a single big-time college coach or AD that isn’t aware of his or her obligation to report.

(You do remember, right,  that Joe Paterno, who DID inform his AD about Gerry Sandusky, was reviled - his statue torn down - because he didn’t do MORE?)

Interesting.  Let’s suppose, you’re a $60,000-a-year school teacher who “seemed to misunderstand” your reporting obligations in a matter such as this - let’s say that you’ve been told that one of your players slugged his girlfriend, but you didn’t tell anybody - do you think they’d give you a pass on your obligation to report?

So!  The double standard in American justice applies in the world of football, too.

Oh - and if you’re such a Buckeye Believer that you buy that “seemed to misunderstand” argument, then I guess you have no problem believing Meyer when he says he wasn’t aware of text messages that his assistant’s wife sent to Mrs. Meyer.

Again, this kind of crap is bad for all of football - even ours - and I say that the further we can distance high school football, where coaches are still teachers, from lowlifes like this the better our chances  of surviving the coming collapse.

*********** Matt Brown, in The Athletic, writes,

“Since 1989, 21 of 33 national champions have started the season ranked in the top five in the pre-season AP poll.”

(This year’s Top Five: Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Wisconsin, Ohio State.)


*********** Boy, talk about the Welfare State - if you wondered where the normalization of the single-parent (okay - fatherless) household was taking our country, check this out…

52 per cent of kids 18 and under live in households that take some kind of “means-tested assistance” from the government.

That includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (EBT, or food stamps), Medicaid, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the National School Lunch Program.

That last one’s the one that still gets me.   They qualify for Free or Reduced-Price Lunch, right?  But wait - doesn’t their family also qualify for food stamps?  They already get paid to feed their kids, right? So how come they’re still sending their kids to school hungry?  How come our schools are now expected to feed their kids even in the summer?  Hmm.  Now, what do you suppose those taxpayer-paid “SNAP” benefits, intended to keep little children from going to bed hungry, are actually being used to buy?

https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/terence-p-jeffrey/521-percent-kids-live-households-getting-means-tested-government

*********** One Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic opponent of Ted Cruz in the race for the US Senate in Texas has made absolutely sure that there will be no fence-sitting in Texas on election day.

Asked about NFL players kneeling for the national anthem, he said, “I can think of nothing more American than to peacefully stand up, or take a knee for your rights anytime, anywhere, any place.”

Yeah, Beto.  And protesting is the highest form of patriotism.

(By the way, what “rights” is he talking about? Did I miss something in the Constitution about a  right to disobey your employer?)

*********** Good God.  Can it get any worse?

cfl screen shot

Yeah.  Diversity is strength.  Guess they have to put this on CFL telecasts to try to catch those who didn’t have it driven into them in public school.

Coming Up: War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. (1984)

Arbeit Macht Frei  (Auschwitz)

(Screen shot sent to me by Shep Clarke, of Puyallup, Washington)

*********** A former Texas A & M player who transferred to Arizona when former A & M coach Kevin Sumlin was hired there is hoping to get a waiver on the usual requirement that he sit out a year.

Much of his argument is based on his accusations that new coach Jimbo Fisher and his staff have committed recruting violations and held illegal out-of-season practices.

Who to believe?  A kid who wants to transfer or a coach making upwards of $6 million a year?

Easy call. I'll take the kid over an apologist for Jameis Winston.

http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/08/21/former-texas-am-linebacker-alleges-recruiting-practice-violations-by-jimbo-fishers-staff/


*********** NINE MILLION DOLLARS to watch two has-beens play golf?

Phil Mickelson versus Tiger Woods?

On Pay-per-view?

On Thanksgiving weekend?

Who TF is going to pay to watch that?

http://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/24448692/tiger-woods-phil-mickelson-set-nov-23-date-9-million-match-play-event-las-vegas

***********  Good morning coach,

Need some advice. So my team of 8 year olds is very small in numbers - just 13 kids. It's youth football so I need to play everybody. I am struggling mightily to put together an o-line with some of kids being insanely green and still learning contact. I can get to a 5, maybe even a 6 man decent line(I'm including Ends in that.) So I'm thinking the best thing I could do is run out of spread formation. So I wanted to get your thoughts. Do I run just everything out of spread? Or would you run open wing? I always remember you telling me you could line a guy up at receiver with no arms and the defense would still cover them. Well I got a couple that might as well have no arms!

Also should say that we had our first scrimmage yesterday, and despite huge pressure from wherever I hid these kids on the line we moved the ball against a really good experienced team. But once they found my weak kids they blitzed them the whole time and penetration killed us. My thought is if we can bring it down to 9v9 or better yet 9v8 we can really do well.

Thank you Coach!

Welcome to adaptive coaching!   I would venture to say that 90 per cent of whatever “innovating” I’ve done over the years was simply adapting to the talent on hand.  (Several years ago a couple of disaffected kids quit the team on the Tuesday before Homecoming, leaving us with only one running back. And running from Stack formation, that one running back ran for more than 250 yards - and we won the game.)

Your thinking is spot-on.

My suggestion in this case is that you go to Open Wing, and use the Twins to get “must-play” players into the game.  That means that you now only need nine bona fide players.  There is always the chance that defenses will cover both of them, making it a 9 on 9 game, and they might even drop a safety back, making it 9 on 8 in your favor.

(If they don’t cover your twins with two people, and you have a player who can throw, you can always sub in a couple of better players at the twins for a play or two  and throw a bubble or smoke to that side.)

Now, if you need to “hide” yet a third kid, you can  widen your wingback as a “wide wing” - a flanker - to his side.  Now, you’re playing with only 8, really - and you may find the defense facing you with 7 (3 cover guys and a safety).


west wing

This is all predicated on keeping the line of the Open Wing - five offensive lineman and a tight end - intact.

You’d be surprised at how much running that you can do with only two backs.  Obviously, your QB now has to be a runner.

The only thing preventing you from doing this would be your center’s ability to make the snap, which I’m sure you can deal with.

The rest of the exchange shouldn’t be an issue. I believe that it’s easier for a little guy to catch the direct snap of the Open Wing than to take the under-center snap.

I don’t think you’ll find it difficult to teach this, and I think you’ll have fun doing it.



*********** KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THIS LONG-OVERDUE NCAA RULES CHANGE...

Explanation by Roger Redding, national coordinator of College Football Officiating,

 
Uniforms: Knee Pads and Pants
 
Over the past several years, we have seen a trend in players' pants getting shorter. This has a safety component as exposing the knees without padding means a risk of knee injuries and lacerations, and it is detrimental to the look of the game. In 2017, the rules committee declared that beginning this year, the legal uniform will include knee pads in the pants with the knee pads and pants completely covering the knees. Officials are mandated to enforce this rule strictly by not allowing players to be in the game with pants that do not completely cover the knees. Uncovered knees indicate illegal equipment: players must leave the game for at least one down, and they may not return until the equipment is legal.
 
*********** When our kids were small and my wife would take them grocery shopping, she’d buy them Animal Crackers (technically, “Barnum’s Animals”), never thinking for one minute that she was promoting the cruelty of keeping wild animals in cages.  (As opposed, I guess, to turning tigers loose on the streets once it was time for the circus to leave town.)

From now on, though, thanks to our friends at PETA, there will be no cages on the boxes of Animal Crackers.

Not in the real circus, either:  thanks to assorted do-gooders, including PETA, there is no more real circus.

https://canadafreepress.com/article/finally-peta-frees-animal-crackers-from-the-cages-on-their-box-yes-really


*********** GOOD ADVICE FOR ANY YOUNG ATHLETE (OR, FOR THAT MATTER, ANY ATHLETE.  ACTUALLY, ANY PERSON, PERIOD)

“If you’re on Twitter, please spend the next 5 minutes it takes to scrub your account of anything you wouldn’t want plastered next to your face on the front page of a newspaper. Better yet, don’t say stupid things in the first place.” 

Tweeted by Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs’ pitcher


*********** THE FRAGILE GENERATION:

Bad policy and paranoid parenting are making kids too safe to succeed

By  Lenore Skenazy & Jonathan Haidt

One day last year, a citizen on a prairie path in the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst came upon a teen boy chopping wood. Not a body. Just some already-fallen branches. Nonetheless, the onlooker called the cops.

Officers interrogated the boy, who said he was trying to build a fort for himself and his friends. A local news site reports the police then “took the tools for safekeeping to be returned to the boy’s parents.”

There’s more - lots more…

https://www.theburningplatform.com/2018/02/02/the-fragile-generation/

*********** QUIZ ANSWER - Jim Parker is a member of the Ring of Honor of both the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens -  although he never played for either team.

He played on a national champion in college and on two NFL championship teams.

He made All-Pro at two different positions.

And he was the first “pure” (full-time) offensive lineman inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He was born and raised in Macon, Georgia, but he played his senior year of high school ball in Toledo, Ohio.

At Ohio State, he was a two-time All-American, playing on both sides of the ball.  In his sophomore year, the Buckeyes won the national title.  In his junior year, his blocking helped Hopalong Cassidy win the Heisman Trophy, and in his senior year he won the Outland Trophy and finished eighth in the Heisman voting.

He was a first round draft pick of the Baltimore Colts, the eighth player taken overall, in 1957.
Jim Parker played ten years and a part of another with just one team - the BALTIMORE Colts, and was best known  for the outstanding job he did protecting Johnny Unitas

He was a nine-time All-Pro, making it at two positions, first as a tackle, and then as a guard

He was selected to five Pro Bowls as a Tackle, and three as a guard.

The story goes that he agreed to move to guard as a favor to his college coach, Woody Hayes, to allow another Buckeye, Bob Vogel, to play tackle.

He said that while he didn’t like all the running required of a pulling guard, he did prefer to deal with the bigger, stronger defensive tackles - who in those days lined up on the guards - than to have to block the quicker defensive ends.

A very big man for his time - 6-3, 275 - a time before linemen were permitted to use hands, he is still considered by many to be perhaps the greatest offensive lineman of all time.

In 1999 he was on Sports Illustrated’s College Team of the Century.

In 1994, Jim Parker was selected to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, and in 1999 the Sporting News ranked him Number 24 on its list of the 100 Greatest Pro Football Players ever.

********** CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JIM PARKER

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA (Actually I had to look up his first name.  But I knew who you were talking about and figured Ravens because they stressed the honor of the original Baltimore team when they took over.  And I knew the Irsays needed some type of history when they slunk out of Baltimore so they just took the Colts.)
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
DAVE POTTER - CARY, NORTH CAROLINA

*********** Big Jim Parker….one of the few that could handle all my heroes -  Henry Jordan, Hawg Hanner, Willie Davis, Bill Quinlan, Lionel Aldridge & Ron Kostelnik

Mark Kaczmarek
Davenport, Iowa

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

Jim Parker was quite a football player. Just looking at the few clips available below makes me think that he would have been the prototype DW lineman.

By the way, were the Baltimore Colts running the Wing T back then?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhXQPF9ADqk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIV4lkBaqE0 -

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

You look at those videos and you see him putting on a clinic for Double Wing linemen.  I doubt that there is an offensive lineman in today’s NFL  who could do the things he’s shown doing on those films - drive block, drop back, trap, kick out, pull and lead. God, he was good.

What you saw the Colts running was the standard pro set, with the split end to one side, the tight end and flanker to the other (the strong side). It was definitely what we’d call a “wing -T backfield,” though, with the fullback behind the QB and the halfback set behind the weakside tackle.  The only thing missing is the “wing.”



QUIZ:  The most fortunate NFL franchises are blessed with the halcyon days of a luminary like Tom Brady, Joe Montana or Johnny Unitas. The Bengals are cursed with the myth of __________ , the kind of transcendent talent every offensive mastermind hopes to find once in a lifetime.

A local hero drafted No. 5 overall out of the University of Cincinnati in 1969, __________  shook off a Week 3 muscle tear in his throwing arm to author the greatest rookie quarterback season in pro football history, leading the AFL in completion percentage, passer rating and yards per attempt -- while playing for an expansion team in its second year of existence. His 9.411 yards-per-attempt figure and 17.5 yards-per-completion mark are rookie records that remain unsurpassed in the NFL. In fact, among veteran quarterbacks since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, only Kurt Warner (9.9, 2000) and Chris Chandler (9.6, 1998) have bested __________  in yards per attempt, and only Craig Morton (17.8, 1970) has topped him in yards per completion.

Driven by the swashbuckling young quarterback, Cincinnati knocked off the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in that Week 3 game and handed the Oakland Raiders their only defeat of the regular season a couple of months later. The newly founded Bengals were off and running -- until __________ was struck down by the football gods.

It turned out __________ had played most of that year with a rotator-cuff injury suffered against the Chiefs. Though it was similar to what Drew Brees overcame in 2006, early-1970s medical technology had no answer for it, and __________ attempted just three more passes after his rookie season.

"I think __________ would have been mentioned, had he had a full career, with the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the league," said Sam Wyche, __________’s backup and eventually the Bengals' head coach. "He had everything. He had size, a rifle arm, he had a Terry Bradshaw kind or release. ... He had running ability, he was good-looking. He would have had the endorsements."

Wyche might actually be underselling that unique talent. __________  was viewed as Football Adonis. Sports Illustrated's Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman once described him as a "blond-haired football god." Legendary Dallas Cowboys talent scout Gil Brandt casually refers to __________ as "the golden boy from Chillicothe, Ohio."

“__________  was, I believe, the greatest talent to play the position," Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh once said. "He was Steve Young, but bigger."

Bengals owner Mike Brown -- Paul's son -- believes his organization, and not the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, would have been the team of the '70s if not for __________’s tragic injury.

__________ ’s success had contributed to a palpable sense of excitement. The Bengals could boast back-to-back AFL Offensive Rookies of the Year (Paul Robinson and __________), the AFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (Bill Bergey) and the reigning AFL Coach of the Year (Paul Brown). Baseball's Reds were set to open the sparkling new Riverfront Stadium and host the 1970 MLB All-Star Game. The "Big Red Machine" would go on to dominate the National League just as "WKRP in Cincinnati" ruled television's airwaves.

"He gave us hope -- we went from the expansion team to a team that could beat anybody," Brown told Cincinnati's City Beat after __________’s death in 2012. "Then you had the story of recovery, getting better and not getting better. He was prominent in the news for four or five years and then it faded it away, and the myth never faded away. People still had him in their minds.

"He was the prince who never became king."

Former Bengals teammate Bob Trumpy, a four-time Pro Bowl tight end, captured the lost opportunity on NFL Network's "Top 10 One-Shot Wonders": "I don't know what he would have done if he'd have played 10 or 12 years. I think my fingers would have been filled with Super Bowl rings."

There are moments when the fortunes of an NFL franchise can pivot on one play. The Bengals had tied their future to a generational player, only to see their window for greatness slammed shut on a routine quarterback sack.

"What a great, great talent," a nostalgic Walsh expressed to Zimmerman in 2001. "What a terrible shame."

But __________’s legacy isn't limited to his unofficial status as the best there never was. He is forever intertwined with Walsh, with his fate serving as the impetus for the misnamed West Coast offense.


When Walsh first arrived in Cincinnati as Paul Brown's assistant in 1968, he was steeped in the vertical stretch offenses of Sid Gillman and Al Davis, two of the most influential minds of the era. __________’s ability to "throw the ball from one end of the field to the other" was ideal for that downfield attack.

The architect of the West Coast offense acknowledged years later that his famed scheme would have been "completely different" if not for __________ ’s injury.

"It would have started with the deep strike," Walsh said, "and everything would have played off that. It would have set records that never would be broken."




american flagTUESDAY,  AUGUST 21,  2018 -   “Almost 350 newspapers banding together against President Trump to declare themselves free and independent of groupthink and bias.” Derek Hunter, townhall


*********** Back in my one-time home of Frederick, Maryland, the local newspaper noted that this past weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the first-ever game of the Frederick Falcons.

It was August 18, 1968, in  Red Lion, Pennsylvania.  I was there.

It was a hot, humid Sunday afternoon in south-central Pennsylvania.  Somehow, we pulled off a 6-0 win.  I played corner, and I even intercepted a pass - it must have been thrown right at me - but all I can remember was the hit at the end of the play.  I’d never been hit that hard in all my years of high school and college.  “What the hell is this?” I thought.

After the game, I thought I’d pass out from the heat.  Fortunately, I was working for a brewery at the time, and I had a large supply of ice-cold National Beer in the trunk of my (company) car.  A true marketing person, I liberally sampled my teammates - and myself - with my company’s product.  (They all agreed it tasted “great.”)

The next week we tied the Baltimore Eagles, the defending league champions, 6-6 on our own home field.  McCurdy Field was a rickety old minor league baseball park, and some of the stands were condemned, but curious fans packed the rest of the place.

We wound up winning our next ten games in a row to finish 11-0-1. There was no championship game, but at the end of the season we beat a collection of league all-stars in front of a nice crowd of appreciative fans.  We were the toast of the damn town.

The Falcons had formed earlier that year, and I remember reading about a local semi-pro team being organized, and going out to Baker Park and watching their early practices, then saying to my wife, “I could play with these guys.”  (Bear in mind, I hadn’t played an actual game of real, tackle football since being injured early in my senior season, nine years earlier.)

I guess I must have said that more than once or twice, because finally my wife said something like, “If that’s what you think, I wish you’d get out there, because I don’t want to hear you bitching all season long about how you should have been out there playing.”

Now, that’s a wife!

By such little measures are peoples’ entire lives changed.  I turned out for the team and I made it.   I played two years for the Falcons and got some recognition, which led to my being offered a job as general manager of a team in Hagerstown, just to the west, and when my coach quit on me and there was no money to hire another one, I hired myself.  Simple as that, I became the coach.

Boy, would I learn hard and fast.  I didn’t know, and I didn’t know that I didn’t know.

I inherited a team that was really bad, but  in retrospect, I must have made it even worse, because we lost our first seven games.  And then I changed quarterbacks.  I benched the guy I’d been forced to play at QB for the last two games in the streak  - a guy named Wyatt - and inserted a kid named Chuck Reilly from Peekskill, New York.  He’d played some at Kent State and was currently in the Army, stationed at nearby Fort Ritchie. 

Hell of a move.  Chuck Reilly was the real deal.  The team caught fire and we WON seven straight and made the playoffs.  We lost in the first round, but I got Coach of the Year honors.  That  hooked me on coaching.  Hell, it was easy:  just get good players.

https://www.fredericknewspost.com/sports/level/amateur/falcons-railroaders-ushered-in-county-football-years-ago/article_9b5f5d68-c634-5381-be93-772e1bc1bacd.html

*********** The Bills’ Nick O’Leary caught a pass against against the Browns and scored, after  the safety, with a clean shot at him, dove and  whiffed on a Hawk tackle.

But remember - player safety is first and foremost, and I can assure you that his head was BEHIND O’Leary, just as they teach it, so there was no chance of his suffering a concussion.

Of course, there was no chance of his making the tackle, either.

*********** Speaking of Nick O’Leary, grandson of the great Jack Nicklaus, I heard one of the talking heads say,

“His grandfather was a great athlete - track and football.”

Sorry, fellas.  Grandpa Jack was a hell of a golfer, from the time he was a little kid, but as far as I can tell, that was it.

In fact, those of us old enough to go back to when he first started on the tour remember that he was called, not without reason, “Fat Jack.”

Fortunately, he earned enough money to engage an agent who spent a lot of money on a PR campaign to re-nickname him the “Golden Bear.”

*********** As an old fart myself, there aren’t many things that bother me more than young coaches resisting the wisdom of older coaches who’ve been through the wars themselves.  It may be awakening for someone who already has all the answers to discover that he doesn’t.

But one thing that bothers me even more than the young coach who thinks he can’t benefit from the knowledge of an older coach is the older coach who doesn’t seem to know who the head coach is.

A young coach I know has just taken his first head coaching job, and although I’ve said time and time again that one of the things you really need to demand is the right to hire and fire assistants, he’s inherited a full staff.  Already hired before he arrived. So there you are.  It is what it is.

But complicating things even more is the fact that one of the assistants he’s been “gifted” is the former head coach, an older fellow who has immediately gone negative (“high school kids can’t pull,”  as one example).

In addition, he has a tendency to speak at length during coaches’ meetings, not necessarily on topic.

My advice to bring the old coach under control in meetings is to publish an agenda before every meeting.  It doesn’t have to be a handout - you can just put it up on the board.  You remind everybody right at the start that time is precious and you have a lot to cover - and then you stick to your agenda.  You refuse to introduce an off-agenda topic at the meeting.

When someone starts to get windy, you say, “I don’t mean to cut you off, Coach, but we have a lot to cover.”

Establish as policy that if there’s something they think ought to be on the agenda next time , they need  to see you first.  Control the agenda - first talk it over with them before deciding  whether it’s worth the staff’s time.

*********** What were the Saints thinking???

https://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/article_f92b64b0-a27a-11e8-acc8-3370f562b4e6.html


*********** Between allowing players to kneel during the anthem, and hiring gays to dance with the cheerleaders, you have to wonder what sort of people inhabit the offices of the NFL and its teams these days.

I was watching a Browns’ game this past weekend, and to show what good corporate citizens they are, the Browns told us about all the money they’d spent on new fields for high schools in Northeast Ohio.

And then they showed us one of the fields - and damned if they weren't  playing  soccer on it.


*********** Which is worse - a baseball pitcher hitting a batter on the elbow, or a profesional football player, running at full speed, hitting a quarterback in the jaw with his helmet?

Last week, a pitcher got a six-day susponesion for the former act.

A Jets” rookie defensive linemen hit Colt McCoy after he’d thrown,  just as described above, and got a roughing the passer penalty.

https://www.nbcsports.com/washington/video/our-redskins-crew-gets-fired-reacting-big-hit-qb-colt-mccoy


*********** “If journalists really want to take the sting out of Trump’s charge that fake news is the enemy of the people, perhaps they should stop engaging in it. If chants of ‘CNN sucks’ really are keeping reporters up at night, maybe they should stop sucking.”   Derek Hunter, Townhall

*********** Damn - the Chargers have a rookie named J. J. Jones, from West Georgia, who absolutly blew by the Seahawks on a 72-yard punt return.

https://www.chargers.com/video/j-j-jones-races-to-72-yard-return-td-1


*********** Nobody will ever accuse Zach Smith, “former” Ohio State assistant coach, of being  smart.

While still on the staff, he had “sex toys and erotic apparel”  delivered to his place of work: The Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

What a genius.

I don’t know anyone  got  hold of it, but one of the Amazon shipment notifications evidently read,

“Hello Zach Smith,  Thank you for shopping with us. You ordered "Almost Naked Dare Thong … and 4 other items.”

Now, if you know me, you know I HAD to go right to Firefox and look up “Almost Naked Dare Thong.”  Big mistake, Hugh.  Now,  I’ll be getting pop-up ads on my screen for all sorts of sickass devices and paraphernalia.

Meantime, Ohio State plays at Penn State on September 29.  After all the sh— that Ohio State people have thrown at Penn State over the Sandusky scandal, I expect to see scarlet-and-gray  inflatable sex dolls being passed around the PSU student section.

*********** I was sent this in an email from a correspndent whom I would prefer not to identify:

I was an official for many years and learned early on that the preservation of the integrity of the game lies within officiating. If that institution becomes biased the integrity of the game will be lost.  The founding fathers instilled the freedom of the press, in a way, as the"officials" to preserve the integrity of our democracy. It clearly has failed.  Trump may be right "they are the enemy of the people".


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

My parents are both Ohio State grads and live about thirty miles from Columbus.  They are pretty die-hard, but I'd like to think my dad, at least, has a level head.  I asked him on the phone "so how about your football coach?"  He let out a sigh and then said "but I've heard these reports that this guy's wife was (and out came a list of unsavory details)."  I stopped him in his tracks.  "Dad, it doesn't matter what that woman's character is.  What matters is if Urban Meyer did his job.  He is a mandatory reporter and if he know of an incident his only allowable action was to immediately contact the Title IX office.  Not his AD. Not the president of the university.  That is federal law.  That is the only issue on the table and the rest of this is just muddying the water."  After a pause he said "yes, you are right."

For $7 million a year, the man needs to do his job. I only make a fraction of that and my job would be on the line if I didn't perform my duties as a mandatory reporter. 

Todd Hollis
Head Football Coach
Elmwood, Illinois


Coach,

That’s the toughest part.  You and I (when I was teaching) would have been gone in a heartbeat if we hadn’t reported  what we knew.

And we wouldn’t have had hordes of protective admirers marching in support of us, either.

Good Luck this year!


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

Last spring I read Bill Curry's "Ten Men You Meet In the Huddle."  It was incredibly engaging. 

Right now I'm reading George Plimpton's book "One More July" that details Curry's last training camp as he tries out for the Packers one final time.  What an intelligent book.  It's refreshing to see football players as educated and articulate people.  It's fascinating to read about the inner-workings of NFL clubs (both good and bad).  I could go on and on about how much I like the book.  Mostly, though, I become a bigger and bigger fan of Bill Curry as I read it. 

What's tops on your list of suggested books???

Coach,

I’m a big admirer of Bill Curry, and a big fan of George Plimpton. He’s really a good writer.  I just finished his book, “Open Net," about his experience “playing goalie” with the Boston Bruins.

Interestingly, while re-reading “One More July” a few years ago, I came across the story of Roberto Clemente’s hitting a line drive so hard that it whizzed past Don Drysdale’e ear and actually cut the ear, which Drysdale didn’t even know it until he reached up and saw blood on his fingers.

I sent the passage off to David Maraniss, who at the time was writing his biography of Clemente - and damned if he didn’t use it in his book.

I couldn’t begin to compile a list, or try to rank books. I like to read, and I’m pretty omnivorous.  I do favor biographies, and historical works, and things related to football history.  I lean to non-fiction, but I can get lost in a good novel as well as anyone.  If we were talking sports books, I’d put David Maraniss’ “When Pride Still Mattered,” his biography of Vince Lombardi, among the group at the summit.  David is a consummate professional, in his writing and in his research. Knowing how thorough he is in his research (he spent a winter in Green Bay to learn more about Lombardi, and he learned Spanish so that he’d be able to talk to people in Puerto Rico who knew Roberto Clemente “back when”) I find “When Pride Still Mattered” to be a great resource that I go to often.



*********** According to a local recruiting expert named Ryland Spencer,  there are 377 athletes from Washington currently playing D1 (both FBS and FCS) football.

Eastern Washington (FCS) has 82 Washington kids on its current roster.  Washington has 51 and Washington State has 24.

High schools producing the most:

Bellevue: 18
Eastside Catholic: 14
Camas: 11
O'Dea: 10
Archbishop Murphy: 9
Kamiakin: 8
Juanita, Gonzaga Prep, Bothell, Federal Way, Kentwood, Woodinville: 7

If you’re a college recruiter, it’s not hard to decide where to expend your efforts most fruitfully: only Camas (in the Portland-Vancouver area), Kamiakin (Kennewick, in Central Washington) and Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, in Eastern Washington) are not in the Seattle-Tacoma area.

https://247sports.com/high-school/washington/Article/Where-Are-They-Now-In-state-D1-120718519/

*********** It was appropriate that this year’s Monday Night Football crew would have its debut far away from Monday night - on Thursday, to be precise.

It made sense, because this crew - Tessitore, Whitten and McFarland -  is as far as you can get from Gifford, Cosell and Meredith.

As a sideline guy, Booger McFarland may work out, especially since they’ve got him up in a crane overlooking the play.

But the two guys in the booth are less than first-rate.  Tessitore is okay - that’s about it - doing play-by-play, but as an analyst, Jason Whitten is a great tight end.

*********** Tom Walls, an American by birth who married a Canadian girl,  lives outside Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He’s coached American football and Canadian football, and in the youth organization that he and his wife, Shandy, established, he has also coached a girls’ 6-man (oops - “person”) team and a boys’ 9-man team.

I first met his son, Tommy, five years ago when I spent a few days working with Tom and his team at Winnipeg’s Churchill High School.  Tommy was 10 then, and really into football.  Now, he’s 15 and still into football.  He plays quarterback and does a very nice job.

To give you an idea of how into the game Tommy is,  he’s devised a mechanical center - a foot-powered machine to snap a ball to a quarterback.  And since, like me, Tom has his quarterbacks take both shotgun and under-center snaps, Tommy Walls' Automatic Center does both.

Automatic Center

The design and the assembly are all Tommy’s - all Dad did was provide the financing.

Here, the Shotgun snap:   https://youtu.be/LOfcptAJcjg

And here,  the Under-center snap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_km2ipwAjfM


*********** QUIZ ANSWER - Frank Clarke (Franklin Delano Roosevelt Clarke) was a native of Beloit, Wiconsin where he was all-state in football and track.

He played football for two years at Trinidad (Colorado) JC, and in 1954 he became the first black player at the University of Colorado.

He ran, received, and returned kicks.  In his senior year, he scored two second-half touchdowns to beat Missouri and earn CU a spot in the Orange Bowl. There, the Buffaloes beat Clemson, which at first had said it wouldn’t play against a team with a black player,  then thought better of it.

He was chosen in the fifth round by the Browns, and he made the team, but after three seasons he was taken by the new Dallas Cowboys in the expansion draft.

He became the Cowboys’ first deep threat. His record of seven straight games catching a touchdown pass still stands, having been tied by Bob Hayes, Terrell Owens and Dez Bryant.

He had the best opening game ever in terms of receiving yards when in 1962 against the Redskins he caught 10 passes for 241 yards.

That same year he became the first Cowboys player to gain 1,000 yards - rushing or receiving - in a season, and he led the NFL in touchdown catches.

In 1964 he was named All-Pro.

In 1962 he was on the receiving end of a play that would have put him in the record books forever - a 99-yard touchdown pass.  But the Cowboys were holding in the end zone, which nullified that play and awarded the opponents, the Steelers, a safety.  It was the first time in NFL history that a team was awarded points on a penalty and it resulted in a 30-28 Steeler win.

He retired after the “Ice Bowl” game against Green Bay.

After his retirement from football,  Frank Clarke became Dallas’ first black TV sports anchor.


********** CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING FRANK CLARKE
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
JERRY LOVELL - BELLEVUE, NEBRASKA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA

*********** From Greg Koenig

https://www.ralphiereport.com/2018/7/27/17620724/cu-hall-fame-legend-frank-clarke-dies-at-84

*********** From Jerry Lovell

Pretty interesting life after football story.

https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-cowboys/cowboys/2018/07/26/former-receiver-frank-clarke-member-original-cowboys-team-1960-dies-84

*********** Frank Clarke…another good Strat-O-Matic card…I echo the things that you said regarding the wonderful men we’ve both worked with in the priesthood!

Mark Kaczmarek
Davenport, Iowa

*********** QUIZ - He is a member of the Ring of Honor of two different NFL teams - neither of which he ever played for.

He played on a national champion in college and on two NFL championship teams.

He is a member of the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

He made All-Pro at two different positions.

He was the first “pure” (full-time) offensive lineman inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He was born and raised in Macon, Georgia, but he played his senior year of high school ball in Toledo, Ohio.

At Ohio State, he was a two-time All-American, playing on both sides of the ball.  In his sophomore year, the Buckeyes won the national title.  In his junior year, his blocking helped Hopalong Cassidy win the Heisman Trophy, and in his senior year he won the Outland Trophy and finished eighth in the Heisman voting.

He was a first round draft pick, and the eighth player taken overall, in 1957.

He played ten years and a part of another with just one team, and was best known  for the outstanding job he did protecting Johnny Unitas.

He was a nine-time All-Pro, making it at two positions, first as a tackle, and then as a guard.

He was selected to five Pro Bowls as a Tackle, and three as a guard.

The story goes that he agreed to move to guard as a favor to his college coach, Woody Hayes, to allow another Buckeye, Bob Vogel, to play tackle.

He said that while he didn’t like all the running required of a pulling guard, he did prefer to deal with the bigger, stronger defensive tackles - who in those days lined up on the guards - than to have to block the quicker defensive ends.

A very big man for his time - 6-3, 275 - he played  before linemen were permitted to use hands, but he is still considered to be perhaps the greatest offensive lineman of all time.

In 1999 he was on Sports Illustrated’s College Team of the Century.

In 1994, he was selected to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, and in 1999 the Sporting News ranked him Number 24 on its list of the 100 Greatest Pro Football Players ever.



american flagFRIDAY,  AUGUST 17,  2018 -   "You can motivate people without engaging in bullying behavior.”  Wallace D. Loh, President, University of Maryland

*********** Thursday morning I heard from the wife of my boyhood friend, George Tattersfield, that he’d passed away.

George lived in St. Charles, Illinois and we hadn’t seen each other in some time, but in recent years I delighted in corresponding with him.  He sounded happy -  and happily married -  with grown kids and, now a successfully retired businessman, he was involved in a number of community activities, such as taking his yellow lab, Dickens, to schools where kids could read to him.

Growing up, George and I were as close as two kids could be.  We lived next door to each other (in a Philadelphia row house, that means you share a wall) for 14 years.

Although I was almost a year older and we were in different grades all the way through school,  we went to the same grade schools and high schools. We went to camp together, we were in Boy Scouts together, we spent time at “the shore”(Ocean City, New Jersey) in the summers, and we played football together. 

He put the latter two things together one day on the practice field when  he got knocked cold.  When he came to, he was shaking his head and muttering, “Ocean City… Ocean City… Ocean City…”

We, of course,  all thought it was hilarious.  So did our coach, who began to call him the “Ocean City Terror.”

(As far as I can tell, football - and an obvious concussion - didn’t interfere with his ability to  live a long and productive life.)

God rest you, George.

How close were we?  George was Catholic and I was a Protestant, but for a couple of summers I went with him to Holy Cross Church for instructions, I think they were called.  The nuns taught us a few things I didn’t pay much attention to, and they taught us to sing some strange hymns - in Latin - but I wasn’t there to convert to Catholicism. I was just putting in my time, because afterwards we’d play softball in the churchyard.  That was a blast.  Father Griffin was really cool.  A great athlete and a lot of fun.

Which brings me to my next point.  I’m sickened by the news out of Pennsylvania that 300-some priests - people loved and trusted by kids and their families - may have been involved in disgusting betrayals of that trust.

Other than revulsion at what those men are charged with, I’m deeply dismayed when I think of the wonderful men of the Roman Catholic faith whom I’ve known - from Father Griffin long ago, to Father Jim Sinnerud, a dear friend from Oregon who’s coached at a number of Jesuit high schools, to the great people I worked with at Central Catholic High in Portland - Father Dernbach, Father Forbes, Father Murphy, Father Karath.  I pray that they remain the men I loved and respected and are not tainted in any way by scandal.

They were great men and they were dedicated to teaching young men.

I’ll never forget the night our coaching staff first met with the Central Catholic Ram Boosters.  (As I observed,  there was a bit of drinking going on, and we came to call them the “Ram Boozers.)  We coaches were all asked to stand up and introduce ourselves and tell a little bit about our families.  You know how it goes: “I’m Hugh Wyatt, I coach the defense, my wife, Connie,  and I have a son and three daughters…”

When we got to Father Tim Murphy, our team adviser, he stood up and said, “I’m Father Murphy - and I have 450 sons.”


*********** I’m visiting family in Northern Michigan - though not Upper Michigan - and have had the TeeVee on a time or two for the...uhhh...NFL Network, watching replays.

Coupla' games had penalties for the "Leading with the head" Horror Show Penalties.  Only, the Safeties tagged with this Crime weren't trying to cause concussions or Hi-Lite Show hits.

They were trying to tackle the runner's legs, wrapping up and bringing down the runner using good ol' football tactics from a hunnert years back.

I've said it before - the last form of American Football allowed will be a curious form of Greco-Roman Football.  No legs, no head activity to be seen.  One day there will be a HS Football Game where a small HB will not be able to initiate contact with a String Bean DE without leaving his feet, and drawing another penalty for Spearing or Who-Knows-What.

Mebbe it's not so "Unintended".

Charlie Wilson
Crystal River, Florida

Maybe it’s all designed to push Pete Carroll’s bogus “Hawk Tackling,” also known as dive, duck and grab.

Or maybe it’s designed to take tackling out of tackle football. (Quick - find out who owns the “Flag Football” trademark.)

Funny how the NFL invested all that money in USA Football, which proceeded to force “Heads Up Tackling” on all the state associations, which proceeded, (since sh— flows downhill) to force it on us ignorant schlubs.   Now they’re saying “Never mind.”  I wonder if they’ll give us our money back - along with an apology for implying to all those mothers out there that their little boys’ coaches weren’t to be trusted unless they were “USA Football-Certified.”



*********** Teddy Greenstein, in the Chicago Tribune,  predicts…

Urban Meyer will keep his job, probably with some sort of slap-on-the-wrist suspension - but AD Gene Smith will go.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb/teddy-greenstein-urban-meyer-may-face-suspension-but-dont-expect-him-to-lose-his-job-at-ohio-state/ar-BBLXfUI

*********** Former Michigan player Jabrill Peppers, now with the Browns, remembers Maryland coach D.J. Durkin from when he was defensive coordinator at Michigan and he told Rich Eisen that DJ Durkin’s tactics were  “extreme at times.”

Describing Durkin’s style as “bully coaching,” he said, “Coach Durkin, he was a different guy, you know what I mean. His tactics were different. It felt extreme at times. I’m just as shocked reading all the stuff that’s going on now. I thought he was only like that because it was his first time coaching us. He was the defensive coordinator so he was just trying to get us to buy-in to how he wants his defense to play. I thought once he became a head coach that he would calm down a little bit, become more of a people person, a player’s coach.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb/former-michigan-star-jabrill-peppers-ex-coordinator-dj-durkins-tactics-felt-extreme/ar-BBLWzyZ

***********  Maryland acknowledged it made errors, and accepts responsibility for the death of 19-year-old player Jordan McNair.

"We have learned Jordan did not receive appropriate medical care, and mistakes were made by athletic training personnel," Evans said.
Evans and university president Wallace D. Loh met with McNair's parents earlier Tuesday, and Loh repeated to reporters what he told them: "The university accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made on that fateful workout day of May 29."

Maryland did the only thing it could do.  Not only was it simply the right thing  - not making the kid’s parents go through a trial -  but  whatever it’s going to wind up costing the university, it’s nothing compared to the damage that would have been done to it by the testimony sure to come out in a jury trial.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/bigten/2018/08/14/maryland-officials-take-responsibility-jordan-mcnair-football-death-heatstroke/987340002/

*********** It’s a damn shame that Jordan McNair had to die.  But it would be an even greater shame if he were to have died in vain.

Jordan McNair is the 19-year-old Maryland football player who died, as the University’s president has conceded, as a result of “mistakes that our training staff made.”

The death of a young player should sadden everyone who loves our game,  but it appears that Jordan McNair's death led to the  discovery that Maryland’s football program has been shot through with abuse, humiliation and degradation of its players.

If his death can lead to an end to the sort of “coaching” that’s been taking place at Maryland, it would at least mean he didn’t die in vain.

If it causes colleges elsewhere to take closer looks at what’s going on in their own football programs, and cleans out the uglier actors in our game, then he would be appropriately memorialized.

(Maybe it’s because we’re getting close to election time, but I’m surprised that with 435 Representatives in Congress not a single one has recognized an opportunity and jumped on this issue yet; I’d suggest that colleges get off their asses and get moving on this before the government gets involved.)


*********** My freshman-year dorm room looked across a busy street to the New Haven Green, a lovely place in an otherwise busy, industrial city.

Like New Haven, dating back to colonial times, every New England town, large and small,  had  at its center a large, flat, grassy area known as the town green, or simply “the green.”

Few sights are more beautiful to me - more redolent of an earlier time.  

The green was a “common” area - it belonged to everybody and nobody.  In modern terms, it would be a park. 

The green was a gathering place for a number of purposes.  Facing the green, sometimes on the green itself, would be a church. Many of them, often as old as the towns themselves, have survived.  They’re usually painted white, always with a steeple.  In the really old towns, they once represented the established Church:  you either belonged to it - and worshipped there and accepted its teachings and laws - or you were relegated to a sort of second-class citizenship. (Or, in some cases, run out of town.)

On the outside chance that perhaps your “American History” teacher skipped through the colonial era in his or her rush to get to the History of American Evil-doing:  It was on the green where the town militia trained.  In colonial times, before there was a United States, before there was a police force or an army, every town had a local defense force called a militia.  It was expected that every man over a certain age would own a rifle;  and it was expected that he’d belong to and drill with the militia.  (There was no place in any town for a “conscientious objector.”)

Without doubt,  no green was ever intended to be a place for “self-medication,” but that’s what the Fire Chief of New Haven, Connecticut called it on Wednesday when 70 people overdosed on “synthetic marijuana.”  (They didn’t have “synthetic marijuana” - or, for that matter, drugs of any sort - in colonial days, but public drunkenness could get you run out of town.)


*********** If our country’s increasing disunity - its splintering into hundreds of different “identity groups” (or “communities” as we often hear) based on race, religion, sex, gender, national origin, political party, etc. etc. - pleases you, you’ll be delighted to hear what Derek Jeter, now that he’s part owner and general manager of the Miami Marlins,   is doing…

ESPN reports that throughout the Marlins’ minor league system,  the club will OFFER English lessons for Latin American players, and REQUIRE English-speaking players and coaches to learn Spanish.

Get that?  While English remains OPTIONAL for Spanish-speaking players, Spanish-speaking will be REQUIRED of English speakers. 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/marlins/2018/08/14/derek-jeter-miami-marlins-players-coaches-learn-spanish/993300002/


*********** Writes D. C. McAllister in pjmedia, America’s problem is one of privilege - but it’s not white privilege or money privilege. It’s celebrity privilege.

We hear a lot about white privilege from liberals, but no one on the Left wants to talk about the most glaring privilege infesting our nation today: celebrity privilege.

Let’s start with football players who use company time to protest — what? I’m not quite sure what they’re protesting and what it has to do with football or the flag, but they’re out there raising their fists and bending their knees. While they’re being paid by their bosses to play football and abide by team rules, they inject their politics into the sporting experience and alienate customers.

Only someone with celebrity privilege could get away with that. The lowly office worker can’t speak his mind whenever and however he wants. The cashier at Chipotle can’t spout off about his political views and drive customers out the door. The assembly line worker can’t walk off the job to protest his latest beef with society. If he did, he’d get fired in a heartbeat — justifiably so.

***
Our culture is riddled with celebrity privilege, from sports to publishing. Actors, singers, and athletes who know nothing about a particular topic get to publish books while unknown writers with stellar skills and expertise are passed by because they don’t have a “platform” — another word for a pre-packaged marketing strategy so lazy, cheap publishers don’t have to create one.

When Kendal and Kylie Jenner, Madonna, Snooki, and Nicole Richie — to name a precious few — get to publish drivel while talented writers resort to self-publishing on Amazon or nothing at all, you know you’re in the midst of cultural rot.

***
Ironically, these idols of fame are often the first to complain about "white privilege" or "male privilege," completely ignoring the fact that they are the ones benefitting from actual privilege. They can snap their fingers and industry dogs will come running no matter their qualifications — that’s the essence of elite privilege.

We shouldn’t blame the celebrities, though. It’s not their fault that grotesque privilege lines their pockets and expands their already inflated egos. We have only ourselves to blame. If our culture didn’t reek of celebrity worship and society weren’t littered with celebrity suck-ups, we wouldn’t have this problem.

https://pjmedia.com/trending/america-is-plagued-by-privilege-but-its-not-what-you-think/


*********** Instead of shunning IMG Academy for the way it’s introduced professionalism into high school football, new Florida State coach Willie Taggart has chosen to legitimize it by taking his Florida State Seminoles there for pre-season practice…

https://www.tampabay.com/sports/fsu-seminoles/2018/08/13/willie-taggart-doesnt-see-recruiting-perks-in-fsus-img-academy-trip/

*********** Baseball guys always loved to praise the never-changing nature of their game: you still get three strikes and four balls and three outs; the bases are still 90 feet apart and the pitcher’s mound is 60 feet, 6 inches from home plate.  And the home plate, of course, remains (as we all know) 17 inches.

There have been changes to the game, of course, such as the lowering of the pitcher’s mound, moving fences in and out, the juicing up of the ball (and the players) and the introduction of gloves as big as jai alai baskets.

By and large, though, the baseball guys were right.

Until now, that is.  Suddenly - who knows why? - there are way more guys than ever who can throw the ball at speeds that not so very long ago no more than one pitcher on a team was capable of.

Combine that with hitters who swing for the fences - since analytics have shown is the fastest way to score runs -  and you get strikeouts or home runs. Which means fewer and fewer balls in play. Which makes for a boring game.

This year, for the first time in baseball history, it’s possible that strikeouts will exceed hits.

I call that changing the nature of the game.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/16/sports/baseball-mlb-strikeouts.html


***********I should have made this a quiz question, (although this is trivia, while I would never refer to the people whose names I try to keep alive as "trivia")

Q. Only three FBS schools have NEVER played a football game against an FCS opponent:

A. USC, UCLA and Notre Dame

*********** QUIZ  ANSWER- Jim Tatum was 6-6 and at least 260.  They called him Big Jim.

Born in McColl, South Carolina, he played college football at North Carolina under Carl Snavely, then assisted Snavely when he moved on to Cornell.  He also coached the Cornell baseball team and in the summers, he played minor league baseball.

In 1942 he was hired as head coach at North Carolina, but with World War II going on, he joined the Navy, and had the good fortune to be assigned to the Iowa Pre-Flight school to assist its football coach, Don Faurot.

(At North Carolina, his top recruit was the son of one of his cousins, a big running back from Bishopville, South Carolina named Felix “Doc” Blanchard, who at the outbreak of World War II would enlist in the Army and as “Mister Inside” would win a Heisman Trophy at West Point.)

In pre-war days, Faurot was head coach at Missouri, and in 1941 he had introduced a new, option-type offense which featured large line splits, and came to be known as the Split-T.  It would take the post-war football world by storm.

Working side by side with Faurot, he learned the ins and outs of the new split-T, and the offense would serve him well  the rest of his career.

Following the war, he took the head job at Oklahoma, taking with him as an assistant a young Minnesotan named Bud Wilkinson, who had also learned the Split-T under Faurot.

After going 8-3 in 1946, he left after one season to take the job at Maryland.  Although Oklahomans were miffed at his sudden departure, he left a stacked lineup and that young assistant, Bud Wilkinson, who would succeed him as head coach and - running the Split-T - go on to become one of the greatest college coaches of all time.

In his nine years at Maryland he compiled a record of 73-15-4 (that’s .815, approaching Knute Rockne’s all-time leading .881).  His 1951 team was undefeated and beat national champion Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl, and after his 1953 Terps won the national championship, he was named AFCA Coach of the Year.

In 1956, he accepted the head job at his alma mater, North Carolina, and in three years,  he compiled a 19-17 record.

In July of 1959, he was hospitalized with a mysterious infection and died five days later.  Jim Tatum was just 46.

His overall record as a college head coach was 100-35-7.

Several players Jim Tatum coached would later become head coaches themselves:

    •    Dee Andros, Oregon State and Idaho
    •    John Idzik, Detroit
    •    Jim LaRue, Arizona
    •    Dick Modzelewski, Cleveland Browns
    •    Dick Nolan, San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints
    •    Jim Owens, Washington
    •    Darrell Royal, Texas
    •    Wade Walker, Mississippi State
    •    Ron Waller, San Diego Chargers
    •    Bob Ward, Maryland


********** CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JIM TATUM

GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS

https://newsok.com/article/2752360/tatum-ous-vain-attraction-they-called-the-big-guy-coach-among-other-things


*********** QUIZ - He was a native of Beloit, Wisconsin where he was all-state in football and track.

He played football for two years at Trinidad (Colorado) JC, and in 1954 he became the first black player at the University of Colorado.

He ran, received, and returned kicks for the Buffs.  In his senior year, he scored two second-half touchdowns to beat Missouri and earn CU a spot in the Orange Bowl. There, the Buffaloes beat Clemson, which at first had said it wouldn’t play against a team with a black player, but then thought better of it.

He was chosen in the fifth round by the Browns, and he made the team, but after three seasons he was taken by the new Dallas Cowboys in the expansion draft.

He became the Cowboys’ first-ever  deep threat. His record of seven straight games catching a touchdown pass still stands, held also by Bob Hayes, Terrell Owens and Dez Bryant.

He had the best opening game in NFL history in terms of receiving yards when in 1962 against the Redskins he caught 10 passes for 241 yards.

That same year he became the first Cowboys' player to gain 1,000 yards - rushing or receiving - in a season, and he led the NFL in touchdown catches.

In 1962 he was on the receiving end of a play that would have put him in the record books forever - a 99-yard touchdown pass.  But the Cowboys were holding in the end zone, which nullified that play and awarded the opponents, the Steelers, a safety.  It was the first time in NFL history that a team was awarded points on a penalty and it resulted in a 30-28 Steeler win.

In 1964 he was named All-Pro.

He retired after the “Ice Bowl” game against Green Bay.

After his retirement from football, he became Dallas’ first black TV sports anchor.


american flagTUESDAY,  AUGUST 14,  2018 -   "Courage - a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to endure it." William Tecumseh Sherman

*********** How good is St. Frances Academy?  This good:  St. Frances, a small, private Catholic school in the heart of inner-city Baltimore, is so good it’s already won this year’s conference championship.

Okay, okay.

St. Frances is so good that not a single team in their league, made up of rather prestigious private schools, will schedule them.  So by default, they’ve been awarded a bunch of wins. 

That leaves St. Frances with no choice but to play a national schedule.  They’re good enough to do it, and their coach has the money to make it happen.

To look at it on the surface, you’d have to say that St. Frances is an amazing example of what a change in coaching will do.

They were 2-10 in 2015, but in came the new staff and presto - 10-2 in 2016 and 13-0 last year.

Coincidentally, Gilman school, where the new staff had coached previously and built a regional powerhouse, went from 10-1 in 2015 to 2-9 in 2016 and 5-8 last year.

Hmmm.

The coach in both cases - at Gilman and at St. Frances is a successful businessman/coach named Biff Poggi.  Having lived in Baltimore and knowing people there,  I know that Biff Poggi can take a program and build it into a power.

How he does it is another matter.

There are those who’ll claim that he’s a miracle worker - that after his success at Gilman he went to an inner city school in desperate need of a lift, gave its kids motivation to succeed, added some good coaching, and what do you know - things turned around.

And then there are those who will argue that he’s spending his way to success - that in a city that has some good players scattered around, he’s buying talent.

Who knows?  The simple fact is that the schools on St. Frances’ schedule have had enough.  They won’t play them.

And why is that?

St. Frances’ principal says it’s racism.  (St. Frances’ roster is almost totally black kids.) I call bullsh—.

The other schools say it’s a matter of their players’ safety. Come on. Unless the St. Frances players are taking weapons out onto the field, I call bullsh— on that, too.

I say that it’s about ostracism - that the other schools don’t wish to confer legitmacy on a school that they suspect is skirting the rules on recruiting.  But they know that that’s hard to prove, and they know that state associations are famously reluctant to follow up on charges. And, of course, they know that their accusations would just play into the racism argument.  So they simply choose not to play St. Frances, and having to come up with an acceptable reason, they say it’s about their player’s safety.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/high-school/bs-va-sp-miaa-football-ruling-0812-story.html

ESPN’s version of the Biff Poggi story http://www.espn.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/24263583/the-football-team-won-league-lost-opponents

*********** I didn’t realize just how good a man Stan Mikita was - and why - until my wife found this 40-year-old story in the Chicago Tribune…

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/ct-spt-blackhawks-stan-mikita-verdi-20180810-story.html

*********** When you find yourself in a hole, the saying goes - stop digging.

Seems there are still NFL players who insist on continuing to dig.

Surely there can’t be more than a half-dozen people in the United States who’ve watched NFL games over the last few years and aren’t yet aware that these NFL players have been kneeling and giving the Black Power salute during the national anthem because of police killing unarmed young black people… and mass incarceration… and white privilege and…

It’s been made clear on numerous occasions that large numbers of Americans - most of them white, it appears - have interpreted the anthem protests as giving them the finger,  never a good business practice when your customers are 70+ per cent white and  deluded into thinking that when they get to the stadium,  everyday matters are put aside aside - that black or white, you’re all Packers, or Seahawks, or Bears.

That myth of racial harmony in pursuit of a team goal has been exploded, and the NFL, the game of football, and our country itself are poorer for it.

Now we’re at the point where the protestors have dug themselves in, but for them to stop the digging - to no longer kneel or hold up the clenched fist - would be seen as a sign of weakness.

So they keep digging.

Meanwhile, In Tennessee, a 10-year-old boy with braces on his legs insists on getting up from his wheelchair and standing, hand over his heart, for the anthem.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2018/08/07/boy-in-wheelchair-pulls-himself-to-feet-for-national-anthem-at-tennessee-fair.html

*********** Someday, archaeologists will struggle to find out who Nick Saban was…

Says a sculptor who has several sports statues to his credit, ”To study a culture, you study the statues. So I want to create artwork that people will come back to in the future to study what happened to us,  just like we study Leonardo da Vinci today."

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/24266446/bronze-epidemic-college-football

*********** Ordinarily you couldn’t get me to watch the Browns or the Jets, but I needed a football fix, so there I was last week, watching two of the worst teams in the NFL.

And I’ll be damned if they didn’t both look halfway decent.

The main reason was the play of their quarterbacks.

The media - and probably tens of thousands of Browns’ fans - went nuts over the play of much-hyped rookie Baker Mayfield, ignoing for the most part the job done by Tyrod Taylor, the starter presumptive.   All Taylor did was go 5 for 5 for 99 yards and a touchdown in two series of plays.

I heard some radio guys say that the Browns should just admit that Mayfield is their quarterback of the future, and go ahead and make him their starting quarterback.

I almost went off the road.

Future?  Don’t talk to the Browns’ coach, Hue Jackson, about the future. His record in Cleveland is now 1-31.  HIs only win came in 2016 - on Christmas eve - when the Chargers, down 20-17, missed a 45-yard field goal with no time remaining.

Hue Jackson doesn’t have the luxury of thinking very far ahead.  He knows that if he’s going to keep his job, he has to win THIS YEAR.  Future, may ass.  Put your money on Tyrod Taylor.

The Jets already have Josh McCown, who isn’t bad.  But also in the QB fight are Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Darnold, and they both were  spectacular. 

*********** I didn’t see it or hear it, but a friend and fellow coach whom I trust to tell me straight said he just happened to have the TV on Monday morning, and Megyn Kelly was talking about the guy who hijacked the airliner from SeaTac Airport.  My friend swears he heard her say, “I heard he played high school football…”

So there you have it.  Football made him do it!  He got hit in the head playing football!

Don’t let your little boy play football!

At least she didn’t say it was Trump’s fault.

*********** As a warning against giving in to someone who’s making demands, there’s an old French saying - l’appétit vient en mangeant.  Translated, it means, ”appetite comes with eating.”

It made me think of John L. Lewis.

John L. Lewis was once one of the most powerful men in America.  He was President of the UMW - the United Mine Workers, the people who dug most of our coal - from 1920 to 1960.   At a time when much of America’s power was generated by coal, when much of its industry was fueled by coal, and most of its railroad traffic was hauled by coal-burning steam locomotives, a man with the power to shut down the supply of the nation’s coal was a man with the power to shut down our country.

That was John L. Lewis, and he wasn’t afraid to use his enormous power, calling a nationwide miners’ strike, tieing up the nation’s economy if need be, in order to get what he wanted.

Once, when asked what he’d ask for it ever got everything he wanted, he answered, “More.”


***********  Hi Coach. Hope all is well.

How physical would you say your practices were?   Especially with smaller rosters. I know you had a really good group a few years ago with only a dozen or so kids.

Trying to get ideas for thinner rosters.

Thanks

If it’s at all avoidable we’re not going to lose a player in practice. But  I’d say we’re fairly physical otherwise.

In all of our blocking and tackling drills, we hit each other hard as hell, but always with a pad between the players. It seems to me that using a shield in our blocking and tackling drills enables the players to go a lot harder than they might otherwise.

We never take a man to the ground in tackling drills.

I have never seen any evidence that this adversely affects our blocking or tackling in games.

All scrimmages are THUD.  We hit and wrap up.  But no one hits low - no scramble blocking against a teammate - and no one is taken to the ground.  

We never have full-out scrimmages, and very little Oklahoma Drill or West Point drill.

We pitch a fit on violations of safety rules.

Hope that helps.


*********** A Steelers’ fan sneaked onto the practice field before he was nabbed.

The guy had on a Steelers’ uniform - actually it was more like a costume - but the dumbass made the mistake of wearing jersey #43, which hasn’t been worn since Troy Palomalu retired in 2014.

Also, it was a no-pads practice and the guy was wearing shoulder pads.

But he probably won his bet that he could get onto the field with the Steelers.

https://triblive.com/sports/steelers/13963536-74/steelers-fan-in-full-uniform-sneaks-onto-field-with-team

*********** As someone who lived in Maryland for 14 years, I’m disgusted by what’s been exposed at the University of Maryland.  The only way to describe the place is FUBAR.

It all started when they fired Ralph Friedgen (a Maryland alum) after a 9-win season, when he was voted ACC Coach of the Year.

They’ve since hired a string of ineffective coaches.  And then, facing financial disaster, they followed the money where it led - to the Big Ten - casting aside a 50-year association with the ACC and jumping into a conference where they might win a championship if they can ever arrange for Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State to be put on probation simultaneously.

Their current coach, DJ  Durkin, sounds like a guy with serious issues.

By all accounts, he and his staff were at best cold and callous in the way they treated a young man who died during conditioning drills.  They were, it seems to me, downright negligent in waiting a full 58 minutes after he had a seizure to call 911. The kids’ parents’ are suing the university, of course, and if their suit ever gets to a jury, the stuff that’s been coming out about an overall climate of player abuse and degradation is going to sway any jury and cost Maryland big. As well it should.

And then there’s the Maryland AD, Damon Evans.  Read this (from Wikipedia) about how he lost his job as AD at Georgia, and please tell me how he got hired at Maryland:

"Evans was arrested for DUI on June 30, 2010. Evans tried to bribe his way out of the arrest and had a pair of red panties between his legs when he was pulled over. The passenger in the car, 28-year-old Courtney Fuhrmann of Atlanta, was arrested for disorderly conduct. Evans was asked for his resignation and agreed to resign."

*********** Several high school coaches have written me to deplore what’s coming out of Maryland.  The ugliness that’s been reported as routine treatment of Maryland players has them concerned, rightly, that it reflects on them, too.  And on our game.

And that’s when it hit me.  Yes, just like the Big Guys, we put 11 man teams on 100-yard-long fields and we have four downs to gain ten yards and we award six points for a touchdown, and a few other things like that.

But otherwise, we have NEXT TO NOTHING in common with big-time college coaches. We don’t coach the same game.  There are good people who coach the college game - let them be embarassed by what their millionaire brothers are doing.  Let them deplore what the lowlifes among them are doing to their game.

They make millions of dollars a year.  Some of them, for God’s sake, have underlings - assistant coaches - making more than a million dollars a year.  They have dozens of people kissing their rings and fawning over them, willing to do at the snap of the head coaches’ fingers whatever they’re told to do, right or wrong.

Not all of them are greedy.  Not all of them are liars.  Not all of them are cheaters.  Not all of them are pimps.  Not all of them are consumed by blind ambition.  But they’re all surrounded and protected by sycophants whose families depend on their ability to suck up to the boss and willingness to do his bidding.

I laugh when they try to pass themselves off as their players’ surrogate fathers.  As moral exemplars.  As teachers. 

Some of them actually claim that to be teaching kids about “life.”  Please.  Sure, there are a handful who once knew what it’s like to have to teach a full day of high school classes and then coach a team. But for the most part, they’ve spent their entire lives in the confines of a college football program. Tell me what a guy who’s now  a millionaire but never earned a dime outside of college football knows about life in the real world.

They’re enriching themselves, but they’re doing it at the expense of our game, and as high school and youth coaches, we ought to distance ourselves from them. 

We aren’t in the same profession as big-time college coaches - and we ought to take great pride in that.

*********** The story that broke things open at Maryland…

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/24342005/maryland-terrapins-football-culture-toxic-coach-dj-durkin

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/terps/tracking-the-terps/bs-md-ben-jealous-maryland-football-20180811-story.html

*********** AS THE PIGSKIN TURNS…

On last week’s episode, URBAN MEYER faced the possible loss of his job as head coach of THE Ohio State Univerity Buckeyes after accusations that he had covered up the fact that one of his assistants, Zack Smith, a former player of his and the grandson of his coaching mentor, had beaten up his wife.  The battered wife, who evidently had had previous go-rounds with the guy,  didn’t press charges, but she said that she made Meyer’s wife - and other coaches’ wives - aware of what was going on.  It’s not certain whether Mr. and Mrs. Meyer, who presumably sleep together as man and wife, ever discussed a matter as important as that, but Meyer did say that he told the AD about the incident back when it happened (2015).  If the AD knew, you’d think he’d have fired the guy back then, but he didn’t, and Ohio State didn’t get around to firing him until a week or so ago. After making a statement to the press (“I know nothing”), Meyer has since been lying low.  (Or maybe just lying.)

Meantime, DJ DURKIN, a former player and assistant under Meyer, did his former coach and boss the favor of pushing him off the front page.  To do so, he had to come under accusations of running a brutal, degrading operation as head coach at Maryland, something that might not have come to light had a player not died during summer conditioning drills - and had they not handled the young man’s case  in a way no parent would expect their son to be treated.  When last we paid a visit to Maryland, Durkin and his strength coach and a couple of members of the training staff were on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation.

But wait - out of Columbus came a story that the “unnamed source” whose tip started the original wife-beating story rolling was none other than a former Ohio State assistant named TOM HERMAN, who just happens to be the head coach at Texas.  The story goes that he was miffed because Texas lost a recruit to Ohio State - and the guy who recruited him was Zack Smith. 


(From the “One a’ youse is a f—kin' lahr” Department… Herman denies that he was the source, as does the writer of the story.)

For what it’s worth: Maryland opens its season September 1.  Against Texas.  Damn shame they can’t bring in Ohio State and make a jamboree of it.

*********** With all the creeps coaching big-time college football, and  all the out-of-work sportswriters looking for the big story, don't be surprised to see another sordid Maryland-type story or two break in the next couple of weeks.

*********** There are two sports events that make me hit the “MUTE” button:

1. Any women’s tennis match when the players sound like they’e going through childbirth every time they hit a shot

2. Any football game with Beth Mowins doing play-by-play

*********** A few weeks ago I wrote about former Army linebacker Chuck Schretzman and his buddy Greg Gadson, who was severely injured in Iraq.  Just in case no one remembers the special magic that Colonel Gadson brought to the Super Bowl Giants…

https://youtu.be/ku7J3Nt7O2I



*********** Lacrosse people love their sport.  Only wrestling people compare in their passion.

Me?  I’m an outsider. I look at lacrosse and think of how much better it could be.

I’ve had three grandsons play high school lacrosse, and I’ve watched their games, and I’ve been quite impressed by the skills of the players and the speed of play as they move the ball up the field.

And then, for the most part, I’ve found myself shaking my head at how slow and dull it has suddenly become -  once upfield and in position to attack the other team’s goal, it turns an old-time basketball stall, with sticks - as they play keep away.  Remember Dean Smith’s four-corner offense?  Finally,  for some reason, someone decides to shoot.  The result is either a goal,  a resumption of the stall, or a turnover, which results in a race to the other end.  Where another stall begins.

That’s greatly oversimplified, of course, but it’s my perception.  And it’s the perception of people like me, not the passion of the true believers, that will increase  spectator interest in lacrosse.

Finally, colleges have decided to take action: college lacrosse is adopting a shot clock.

Teams will have 20 seconds to clear the ball. The shot clock would start after the ball crosses midfield, the story said. Any reset, whether it's a shot on goal or a loose ball push, will reset the clock back to 60 seconds.

Currently, officials can start a 30-second shot clock if they rule that a team is stalling. But teams can generally avoid a stalling call by firing shots over the net and getting in position to retain possession.

Every sport has its purists, people who believe that their game is perfect as it is, that any alteration is a sacrilege, and diehard lacrosse people will undoubtedly complain about this new rule, but as an interested outsider, I think it’s great.

Now, there’s one more thing they need to deal with,  a relic from the days when following a goal in a basketball game, the ball was put back into play with a center jump. (Gee, you think the team with the  big guy had an advantage?) 

In lacrosse now, after every goal, there’s a face-off. This means that a team with a good faceoff man - and I’m told that there are guys who seldom lose a faceoff - will score and then maintain possession, score and then maintain possession, etc.  To me, that goes against the concept of team play, and puts way too much importance on one player with a specialized skill.

I’d like to see them do away with the face-off after every goal and just inbound the ball from behind the goal, as basketball has done for years; at the very least, if they insist on retaining the face-off, I’d want them to require players to rotate at the position.

My apologies to lacrosse people for intruding on their sport.   It’s a good game but it could become much better - much more interesting to the casual fan - without drastically affecting its basic structure.


https://www.syracuse.com/orangelacrosse/index.ssf/2018/08/ncaa_mens_lacrosse_will_implement_60-second_shot_clock_report.html

*********** QUIZ ANSWER: As an offensive lineman at Pitt, Bill Fralic was a three-time first team All-American, and a unanimous choice in his junior and senior years.

He was the first offensive lineman to finish in the Top Ten of the Heisman Voting twice.

HIS CLAIM TO FAME:  For his senior season, the Pitt Sports Information Office created the “Pancake,” awarded each time he  put an opposing defender on his back.

In one 1983 game at Maryland, Pitt ran 11 straight plays over him.

He was the Atlanta Falcons’ first pick in the 1985 NFL Draft, the second player taken overall.

He played nine years in the NFL - eight with Atlanta and one with Detroit - and was selected to the Pro Bowl four times.  He was twice named All-Pro.

He was one of the first players to take advantage of the new NFL rules on free agency and nearly doubled his salary when he left Atlanta and signed with Detroit.

In 1998 he was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

He has testified in Congress against the use of steroids in pro football.

He has competed as a pro wrestler.

https://pittsburghpanthers.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=8668

********** CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BILL FRALIC
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
SHEP CLARKE - PUYALLUP, WASHINGTON
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

*********** QUIZ - He was 6-6 and at least 260.  They called him Big Jim.

Born in McColl, South Carolina, he played college football at North Carolina under Carl Snavely, then assisted Snavely when he moved on to Cornell.  He also coached the Cornell baseball team and in the summers, he played minor league baseball.

In 1942 he was hired as head coach at North Carolina, but with World War II going on, he joined the Navy, and had the good fortune to be assigned to the Iowa Pre-Flight school to assist its football coach, Don Faurot.

(At North Carolina, his top recruit was the son of one of his cousins, a big running back from Bishopville, South Carolina named Felix “Doc” Blanchard, who at the outbreak of World War II would enlist in the Army and as “Mister Inside” would win a Heisman Trophy at West Point.)

In pre-war days, Faurot was head coach at Missouri, and in 1941 he had introduced a new, option-type offense which featured large line splits, and came to be known as the Split-T.  It would take the post-war football world by storm.

Working side by side with Faurot, he learned the ins and outs of the new split-T, and the offense would serve him well  the rest of his career.

Following the war, he took the head job at Oklahoma, taking with him as an assistant a young Minnesotan named Bud Wilkinson, who had also learned the Split-T under Faurot.

After going 8-3 in 1946, he left after one season to take the job at Maryland.  Although Oklahomans were miffed at his sudden departure, he left a stacked lineup and that young assistant, Bud Wilkinson, who would succeed him as head coach and - running the Split-T - go on to become one of the greatest college coaches of all time.

In his nine years at Maryland he compiled a record of 73-15-4 (that’s .815, approaching Knute Rockne’s all-time leading .881).  His 1951 team was undefeated and beat national champion Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl, and after his 1953 Terps won the national championship, he was named AFCA Coach of the Year.

In 1956, he accepted the head job at his alma mater, North Carolina, and in three years,  he compiled a 19-17 record.

In July of 1959, he was hospitalized with a mysterious infection - most likely Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - and died five days later.  He was just 46.

His overall record as a college head coach was 100-35-7.

Several players he coached would later become head coaches themselves:

    •    Dee Andros, Oregon State and Idaho
    •    John Idzik, Detroit
    •    Jim LaRue, Arizona
    •    Dick Modzelewski, Cleveland Browns
    •    Dick Nolan, San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints
    •    Jim Owens, Washington
    •    Darrell Royal, Texas
    •    Wade Walker, Mississippi State
    •    Ron Waller, San Diego Chargers
    •    Bob Ward, Maryland


american flagFRIDAY,  AUGUST 10,  2018 -   “In time, people will begin to realize it’s an important issue, CTE exists, but it’s much more rare than we thought,” Barry S. Willer, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Buffalo

*********** HOPE IS NOT YET LOST

A couple of recent articles give us hope that in the rush to end football as we know it, the science is NOT settled.

But don’t expect to see any mention of them in your local newspaper or any of the “national media,” because unfortunately, since they don’t help advance the argument that football is evil, that football fuels toxic masculinity, that football promotes domestic violence - they must be “fake news”

*** Politicians, Media Unfairly Single Out Football's Concussion Risk

Townhall - August 6
John R. Lott, Jr.

With the pro-football season starting this coming week for most teams, media outlets have returned to their steady drumbeat about concussions. Despite the excitement of kickoff returns, college football has bowed to pressure with a new rule this year to discourage kickoff returns.  

But if the media really cares about concussions, they shouldn't be singling out this uniquely American sport.

Women’s soccer players suffer a higher concussion rate than do male football players. A woman's soccer player who plays 10,000 games or practices would on average suffer 6.3 concussions. Compare that to 6.1 for men's football. But men’s wrestling and hockey have even much higher concussion rates of 12.4 and 8.4, respectively.

Concussions aren't the only problem. Both men's and women's soccer exceed men's football in total injuries. The injury rate is 11.14 per 10,000 athletic exposures for men's soccer and 9.7 for women's soccer. For football, it is 9.5 per 10,000.

***********
Unfortunately, soccer players are much less likely than football players to recognize that they have suffered a concussion. So, they are less likely to take the time to rest and get treatment. Perhaps players aren’t aware of the dangers because the media only fixates on concussions from football.

***********
Politicians have helped create the perception that football is particularly risky. Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), the second-ranking Democrat, has introduced legislation mandating research on concussions in football, hockey, basketball, and baseball.   But there is no mention of soccer.   Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) want to pass stricter safety standards for high school football helmets.  Former President Obama went so far as to say in 2014, "I would not let my son play pro football."

If football is such a scourge, where is the concern over even riskier sports such as soccier, hockey, and wrestling?

Soccer might currently be the "in" politically-correct sport that is played by supposedly culturally superior Europeans, but parents who push their children into playing it for safety reasons are in for an unpleasant surprise.

https://townhall.com/columnists/johnrlottjr/2018/08/06/football-concussions-n2507163

*** UB study of ex-Bills, Sabres finds CTE 'much more rare than we thought'

Buffalo News - August 7
Sam Ogozalek

After examining 21 retired Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres players, a team of University at Buffalo researchers has published a series of academic papers dealing with CTE.  They contend that their evidence shows that, for some professional athletes, the risk of developing CTE is “not as great as once believed.”

While not disputing the existence of CTE, the team said that based on their finding no evidence of early onset dementia in 21 former Bills and Sabres players,  they don’t believe that CTE is as dangerous as previously thought, and, in the words of the lead investigator,  “it’s much more rare than we thought.”

***
Barry S. Willer, a UB professor of psychiatry who was lead investigator and co-author of the papers, said he started his work at UB expecting to find high rates of early onset dementia among the Bills and Sabres players.

His expectations didn’t pan out.

“We got caught up in the ‘CTE wave.’ It was, ‘Oh, God, this is serious,’ ” Willer said.

***
“News coverage has given the public the impression that CTE is inevitable among professional contact sport athletes,” the researchers wrote.
 “The results of our comprehensive investigation … do not support this notion.”

***
And based off the UB study, Willer and Leddy (John Leddy, a UB professor of orthopedics)  said they believe there’s possibly a genetic trigger, or predisposition, that makes some athletes particularly prone to CTE.

“In time, people will begin to realize it’s an important issue, CTE exists, but it’s much more rare than we thought,” Willer said.


https://buffalonews.com/2018/08/07/ub-researchers-no-signs-of-early-onset-dementia-in-21-former-bills-and-sabres/

*********** My first exposure to the Baltimore accent was an eye-opener.  At first it sounded like Philadelphian, mainly in its rather cockney pronunciation of the long “O.”

But there were many differences, some subtle and some not so subtle, that made “Baltimorese” a dialect all its own.

The city was BAll-i-mer. The state was MER-lin.

Our brewery, in Highlandtown, was in HOLLandtown. FARS were put out by the FAR Department.  Saint Patrick was AHR-ish. My brother is a PO-lice. He went to the hospital in an ambu-lantz. Long John Silver was a parrot.  You cut the grass with a paramour.

Shortly after my arrival in town, I witnessed a near bar fight being settled by an impromptu arbiter who suggested that perhaps one of the two parties in the dispute was being less than truthful: “One a' youse is a f—kin lahr (liar). Make up your f—kin minds who it is.”

Which brings me to Ohio State.

Urban Meyer is still the Buckeyes’ head coach and I’m still unwilling to make any predictions.

But I sure do have to wonder…

If it’s true that he told his AD back in 2015 of the “issue” concerning his assistant coach.

And if so, ,  how the AD can explain the lack of any action against the “alleged” perpetrator of the “alleged” domestic violence until just a couple of weeks ago, when he was suddenly fired.

And why, assuming that the (“allegedly”) battered wife is to be believed, during the investigation (assuming there was one) no one ever contacted her (as she says). 

There are now three people involved here, and all I can say is, “One a' youse is a f—kin lahr.”

Actually, in this case, maybe more'n one.


*********** One of the NCAA’s answers to the basketball recruiting mess is to allow kids to hire agents.  High school kids. 

If the NBA and National Basketball Players Association change their rules and make high school basketball players eligible for the draft at age 18, as expected, players will be allowed to sign with an NCAA-certified agent starting July 1 before their senior year of high school, once they have been identified as an "elite senior prospect" by USA Basketball.


***********   Thirteen North Carolina football players will be suspended for anywhere from one to four games this season for selling shoes issued them by the school.

It all sounds so innocent, but these are not just “shoes.”  These are Air Jordans.  And they’re not any old Air Jordans, either.  They’re special, limited edition, retro, made-for-North-Carolina Air Jordans.

That might not mean sh— to you, but there are people out there, I’m told,  who will pay big money for a pair of special, limited edition, retro, made-for-North-Carolina Air Jordans.  Not to knock around in, dummy.  Not to play basketball or touch football in.  Just to have. 

And evidently these people will pay as much as $2,500 just to have a pair. 

Now, if you’re a typical college kid - football player or not - and somebody gives you a pair of shoes that you KNOW (kids are petty savvy about these things) somebody will pay you $2,500 for - what are YOU going to do?

And if you’re a college football coach and you give (sorry - “issue”)  a kid a pair of shoes that you  KNOW he can sell for $2,500 - what do you THINK he’s going to do with them?

The headline read, “North Carolina Suspends 13 Players for Selling Shoes.”

It should have read, “North Carolina Caught Laundering Money.”

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/24302808/north-carolina-suspends-13-football-players-least-one-game

*********** Tom Sorensen, writing  in the Charlotte Observer about the latest North Carolina scandal…

If North Carolina had been clean, the shoe sale might not have attracted so much attention.

But I do give the Tar Heels credit for their timing.

Pro football exhibitions are starting. Former Carolina Panther receiver Kelvin Benjamin criticized Carolina quarterback Cam Newton. NASCAR CEO Brian France was charged with DWI and criminal possession of a controlled substance. And about 450 miles from Chapel Hill are Urban Meyer and Ohio State and their burgeoning scandal.

For what should be a slow sports week, there’s a lot going on. As is their custom, the Tar Heels contributed.

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/tom-sorensen-blog/article216352270.html#storylink=cpy

*********** It’s sad that Bobby Petrino seems to be such a sleazy sort, because he’s a coach’s kid, and I wouldn’t want to blame the way he’s turned out on his upbringing.

His father, Bob Petrino, Sr.,  the head coach at Carroll College,  in Helena, Montana for 28 years,  died July 26 at his home in Helena.

In his 28 years at Carroll, from 1971 through 1998,  he had 24 winning seasons.  Nine of his teams made it to the NAIA playoffs.
With an overall record of 163-90-2, he ranks 24th all-time in NAIA wins.

Besides Bobby, head coach at Louisville (so far), another  son, Paul , is the head coach at Idaho.

http://carrollathletics.com/news/2018/7/27/football-hall-of-fame-coach-bob-petrino-sr-passes-away.aspx

*********** I'd like to see every FBS team have to open the season against somebody tough - another FBS team and better yet, in the case of a  Power 5 Conference team, another Power 5 Conference team.  That way, when players    misbehave in the off-season and they're suspended for the first game, it'll hurt. 

*********** I do want to ask about something that I have noticed with all of your teams. When your teams score, the ball carrier is met in the end zone by the rest of the team. I admired this because of all the obvious reasons, but how did you coach this? Was there some kind of incentive or rule that you used to get all 10 players around the ball carrier when he scored?

You have to teach it.

I noticed years ago on one of my teams that a kid would score and everyone else would just head for the bench, leaving him by himself in the end zone.  I showed that to my players on video - first showing them a couple of college teams, and then our team.  I asked if anybody noticed anything strange, and one kid picked it up immediately.

It was the kid who’d scored our touchdown.   He said, “Nobody congratulated me.”

That’s when I realized that we had to coach them to  stop being cool.  To stop acting as if scoring a touchdown was no big deal. To break down their inhibitions.  (Or whatever it was.)

I told them that it didn’t make sense, as hard as they’d worked, to finally succeed and then go all ho-hum.

I told them that I was going to introduce them to being emotional - that from that point on, when a guy scored a touchdown - even in practice - I expected to see everybody on the team celebrate with him in the end zone.

I told them that everyone on the field had all had a hand in what happened, and they had all earned a right to be there in the end zone celebrating.

We practiced it.  Maybe it was fake at first.  Didn’t matter. (As my friend Greg Koenig likes to say, “Fake it till you make it.”)

We looked for it and commented on it in film sessions.  

(Of course, I constantly remind our ends and backs that a lot of people have put in a lot of effort - in practice and on that particular play - to make it possible for them to score, and I expect them to share the celebration with their teammates.)

The effect is something I’m quite proud of.   I think it helps emphasize that a touchdown is a team achievement.   I try to make sure to let a clip of a scoring play run a little longer to illustrate the end zone celebration.

I also tell players them to be on the lookout for guys who can’t be bothered doing the team thing.

Here’s how that helps:  Over the years I’ve seen guys hanging back and not taking part, and I’ve called them out on it.  I've actually  had guys who were glad to accept their teammates’ accolades when they scored, but couldn’t be bothered with going and congratulating a teammate when someone else  scored. I would take those guys aside and point it out to them and tell them it was a bad look, and that if I noticed it, teammates almost certainly did, too.

Maybe it’s a phony thing to those guys, but that doesn’t bother me.  I’d rather have them pissed off at me for making them do it than have them openly displaying their selfishness and pissing off other guys on the team.



*********** There’s been a lot in the news about “craft breweries.”  If you’re like me, you hear “craft brewery” and you think of a guy who this time last year was making home brew in his garage; or a brewpub that makes everything it sells and sells everything it makes, in a few shiny stainless steel kettles in the back.  Maybe, if it gets successful, it  bottles and cans its brews, and begins to sell its product outside its own market.  Maybe it gets so successful that it acquires - or builds -another brewery in another market, and becomes almost big-time.

For sure, though, a craft brewer will never be confused with an Anheuser-Busch.

But you might be surprised at how big some of these suckers can be.
 
A “craft brewery” is defined by the Brewers Association as having a capacity of 6 million barrels a year or less.  WTF? I thought.  That’s HUGE!

(A “barrel” - 31 gallons in size - is used as a standard of measurement of brewery capacity.  In actuality,  you can’t buy a “barrel” of beer. When you buy a “keg,” you’re buying what’s called, in the trade, a “half” -  a half-barrel, or 15.5 gallons)

The brewery I once worked for, the National Brewing Company of Baltimore, had a capacity of about 1,000,000 barrels.  That’s how much beer its Baltimore brewery  could put out in a year, running at full capacity.  We had three other breweries  in addition to Balimore - in Detroit, Miami and Phoenix - and altogether, our company’s capacity was a little over 1.6 million barrels.

By the Brewers Association’s ridiculous standards, National would have been a “craft brewer.”

My ass.  We were BIG.

How big were we?

We sponsored the Baltimore Colts.  We owned the Baltimore Orioles.   We had more than 100 trucks delivering beer in the Baltimore area alone, where we had more than a 50 per cent market share.

An average day for us in our Baltimore branch alone (we also had dozens of distributors from Pennsylvania to North Carolina) was about 30,000 cases, plus a large number of halves.  One barrel of beer yields 13.77 cases of 12-ounce bottles or cans. So 30,000 cases would amount to 2174 barrels of beer every work day. 2174 barrels times 260 work days (52 weeks x 5 days) would mean 565, 240 barrels of beer bottled and sold in the Baltimore area alone.  Add in our other markets and we came close to running at capacity.

We were pretty big, as the beer business went - but according to the Brewer’s Association, today we would be a  “craft brewery.”

Lemme tell you - 30,000 cases a day is a LOT of beer for a “craft brewery.”

In 1975, National ceased to exist. It was down to two breweries - Baltimore and Phoenix - when it merged with the Carling Brewing Company.  The new company, Carling-National, had nine breweries in all, with a total capacity of 1.9 million barrels a year.  At that time, it was the 9th largest brewing company in the US.  But like so many other good-sized brewing companies of those days, it was unable to compete with the Big Guys - Coors, Miller or Anheuser-Busch - and it went under.

But it was plenty  big.  It was no craft brewer.

*********** I know I’ve been on this topic a bit lately, but on Tuesday my wife and I went up to our place in Ocean Shores for a few day to escape the heat.

When we left Camas at 1:30 in the afternoon it was 92 degrees.  When we got to Hoquiam, Washington, the nearest sizeable town to Ocean Shores, at 4 PM it was 82 degrees. When we got to Ocean Shores, 18 miles away, it was 64 degrees.

In 18 miles, the temperature dropped 18 degrees.

*********** Stan Mikita died Tuesday.  He was 78.  Sent in 1948 at the age of 8 to live with an aunt and uncle in Canada by parents who saw no future for their son behind the Iron Curtain, he grew up to become the first Czechoslovakia-born player in the NHL.

He played 22 years in the NHL, all of them with the Chicago Black Hawks, and most of them with the legendary Bobby Hull.

He is considered one of the top 100 players in the history of the NHL.

He won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer four times.   He is the only player in the history of the game to win the Art Ross Trophy, the Hart Trophy (MVP) and the Lady Byng Trophy, for gentlemanly play in the same season.

(His winning the Lady Byng award is a story in itself.  While Mikita was not very big - about 5-8, 150 - he was  very tough, and often described as “fiesty.”  Early in his career, he was heavily penalized, but after realizing that it was hurting himself and his team, he cleaned up his act and twice won the Lady Byng Trophy.)

He also revolutionized the game.  He is given credit for inventing, quite unintentionally, the curved blade that’s now standard on most hockey sticks.  After accidentally bending the blade on his stick during a practice, he played on, and discovered that it not only gave his shots greater speed, but caused them to dive.

Using a propane torch,
he proceeded  to bend the blades on all his sticks. His teammate, the great Bobby Hull, also liked the idea, and between  the two they terrorized NHL goalies (Hull's shot was clocked at 120 mph). Finally, the NHL had to pass a rule limiting the severity of the curve of the blade.

In 1967, he became one of the first players to wear a helmet full-time, after nearly having an ear torn off by a flying puck.

From his obituary in the New York Times:

He later worked as a golf pro at a course in Illinois and founded a hockey school for the hearing-impaired in Northbrook, Ill., at which teammates were fellow instructors. A son of a friend of his was partly deaf.

“These kids have been rejected so many times in their lives,” Mikita was once quoted as saying by The Chicago Tribune. “You know how cruel kids can be. We like to think we can help them believe in themselves.”

He also was instrumental in bringing the Special Olympics to Chicago.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/07/obituaries/stan-mikita-78-dies-hockey-hall-of-famer-lifted-blackhawks.html

*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Bob Lilly was the first draft choice in the team’s history.  He came to be known as “Mister Cowboy, ” and his was the first name to go up in the Cowboys’ “Ring of Honor.”

In high school, in Pendleton, Oregon, he was an All-State two-way lineman his senior year.

He went to TCU, , where he was a consensus All-American defensive lineman his senior year.

He was named All-Pro seven times and played in 11 Pro Bowls.

He played in 196 consecutive regular season games.

He missed only one game in his career - a championship game.

He was named to the NFL All-Decade teams for both the 1960s and 1970s.

He has been named one of the top 100 players in the history of the NFL.

The Sporting News called Bob Lilly the Greatest Defensive Tackle in NFL History.”

********** CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BOB LILLY
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MIKE BENTON - COLFAX, ILLINOIS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
SHEP CLARKE - PUYALLUP, WASHINGTON
JERRY LOVELL - BELLEVUE, NEBRASKA
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK - (I had a poster of him in my bedroom as a kid)
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

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

Today's quiz was one of the few that I didn't need to Google other than to confirm my response. Bob Lilly is Mr. Cowboy. I'm struck by how many of the players whom you select just seem like regular guys away from the field, which reminds me that most of them played before the huge contracts and endorsement deals of today's NFL.

This interview is interesting, especially the part where Bob Lilly discusses how he didn't like football at first, but he was too afraid to quit. It also includes a clip of his famous sack of Bob Griese in the Super Bowl.

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zBHZJonIe4

*********** I have a hell of a time trying to picture Bob Lilly doing a sack dance.

*********** Because of drought in Texas, Bob Lilly’s family moved to Pendleton, Oregon (as much a cowboy town as anyplace in Texas) for his senior year.

*********** Bob Lilly has earned a reputation as an outstanding photographer.

It all started when he was named to the 1961 All-American team -  The Kodak All-American team.

Kodak gave every member of the team a 35 mm camera - “a very advanced model for the time,” in Lilly’s words - and 200 rolls of film.

From there, wrote Lynn Eodice in shutterbug,
Lilly set out about photographing his teammates, and games that took place at the Hula Bowl in Hawaii and the Shriners' All-Star game in San Francisco. By the time he became the number-one draft choice of the Dallas Cowboys, he was hooked on photography. He shot candid photos of the Cowboys and their coaches, and generally had a camera with him wherever he went.

https://www.shutterbug.com/content/bob-lilly-hall-fame-football-player-bob-lilly-shoots-scenics#68JIjwjWaZESkLky.99

*********** At one time,  Bob Lilly owned a Coors distributorship, but he gave it up after coming on the scene of a traffic accident caused by drunk driving.

"A whole bunch of Coors cans had fallen out on the highway, and he realized, 'Those young boys were drinking my product'," Ann Lilly told the Dallas Morning News in 1998.

https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-cowboys/cowboys/2018/06/09/20150713-10-things-to-know-about-cowboys-legend-bob-lilly-including-his-super-bowl-legacy-famous-photography

*********** QUIZ: As an offensive lineman at Pitt, he was a three-time first team All-American, and a unanimous choice in his junior and senior years.

He was the first offensive lineman to finish in the Top Ten of the Heisman Voting twice.

A CLAIM TO FAME:  Before  his senior season, the Pitt Sports Information Office created the first  “Pancake” stat, which it awarded each time he  put an opposing defender on his back.

In one 1983 game at Maryland, Pitt ran 11 straight plays over him.

He was the Atlanta Falcons’ first pick in the 1985 NFL Draft, the second player taken overall.

He played nine years in the NFL - eight with Atlanta and one with Detroit - and was selected to the Pro Bowl four times.  He was twice name All-Pro.

He was one of the first players to take advantage of the new NFL rules on free agency and nearly doubled his salary when he left Atlanta and signed with Detroit.

In 1998 he was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

He has testified in Congress against the use of steroids in pro football.

He has competed as a pro wrestler.



american flagTUESDAY,  AUGUST 7,  2018 -   “When you strike at a king, you must kill him.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


*********** Do you suppose it could be fake news?

I don’t know whether I can believe this, since I read it on cnn.com, but if it’s to be believed, at least two NFL teams will employ male dancers - er, cheerleaders - this season.

Just what the doctor ordered to boost the NFL’s ratings among its core constituents.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/nfls-first-male-dancers-will-hit-the-sidelines-this-season/ar-BBLzMnx?ocid=spartandhp

*********** Old friend John Torres sent me an article in the Washington Post dealing with the proliferation of personal QB coaches.  Every kid, it seems, has one.  Many, it seems, have had one (or more) since they were seven or eight years old.

I don’t know how many of these guys have ever been head coaches themselves,  but I know an awful lot of them haven’t, because they have no idea what a pain in the ass they can be to high school coaches.  (I’ve heard horror stories about QB coaches walking right out onto the field, right in the middle of practice, to give a young client personal attention.)

Having done a bit of QB coaching myself,  I try really hard not to be “that guy” - the QB coach who interferes, maybe even hints that if a youngster were to play in another system he’d have more opportunties to show what he can do.  Maybe I’m limiting mtself, but I try to make sure that in my work to help a young player improve, I’m teaching him things that will help him make his team better - that will help, not undermine, his coach.

Trent Dilfer, who’s heavily involved in QB training, seems to get it:


“The pivotal conversation in quarterback training is which ones are teaching kids how to self-correct and become more coachable by their high school or college coach. All we are is a value add to their existing coaching.”


https://wapo.st/2voHqbl?tid=ss_mail&utm_term=.edc1c60f2127

*********** Well, here it is Tuesday, and Urban Meyer still is - or isn't -  the head coach of THE Ohio State University Buckeyes.

*********** I enjoyed the NYCU section on Mike Lude this week. I had just returned from a vacation visiting my parents in Lewes, Delaware. On a rainy day, we traveled up the U of D and walked the facility. My father found his name on two trophies in the Bob Carpenter field house and, because of construction, we were able to gain access to the football locker room and go on the field. At the team's exit point there is a giant mural of Delaware players. At the bottom it list off the years of their national champions. The final line reads: “One of America’s proudest football traditions.”

It was very cool for myself, my dad and my son to walk those halls.

Tom Walls
Winnipeg, Manitoba

***********  Interestingly, when you read the reminiscences of NFL oldtimers, the ones who built the pro game, you keep coming across nostalgia for training camp.  That was the time when grownup guys, away from their wives and families, could act like schoolboys again.

That was a time when training camp was designed to be a bit of a distance from the distractions of the big city - but not so far away that the team’s fans couldn’t make a nice day trip out of a visit.

It was football’s small-time version of baseball’s Grapefruit League, where hometown fans would escape the cold of Boston or Detroit or Philadelphia and slip down to Florida for a week or so to watch their team train.

Today, as the NFL becomes the IBM of the sports world, the whole idea of a team holding its “camp” anywhere but at team headquarters is becoming quaint and outdated.

Now, only 11 of the 32 NFL teams actually train at a place other than where they practice throughout the season.

There are all sorts of advantages to staying home: players can sleep in their own beds… there is much less chance of players acting like schoolboys again… equipment guys don’t have the hassle of having to pack up and move all that gear… there’s no worry about medical and training and rehab facilities… it’s a lot easier getting players in and out of a big city (How do you suppose the Texans get a guy out of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia - where they hold their camp - after they cut him?) and it’s easier getting the team to its “preseason” games.

Holding “camp” at the team’s practice facility, rather than out in the hinterlands, makes all sorts of sense.  Except…

It deprives fans of a unique opportunity to get close to their heroes - of a chance for little kids to see up close the guys they only know from TV.  It’s thinking in the short term, rather than investing in their game’s future.

Peter King, who’s been making the rounds of NFL training camps, did a nice video feature on the charms of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where for more than 30 years the Steelers have trained.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that doing this, continuing to give their fans far greater access than most other teams, has had something to do with the unusually strong attachment Steelers’ fans feel to their team, and with the fact that, based on apparel sales, the Steelers are consistently among the most popular NFL teams.

https://www.nbcsports.com/video/latrobe-holds-special-place-peter-kings-heart


*********** The Washington Post ran a recent article on 7-on-7, a growing offshoot of our game and a growing problem for high school coaches.

Just as AAU basketball has diminished the importance of the high school basketball coach in the recruting process,  7-on-7 is seen by many as a similar threat to the high school football coach.

College coaches find themselves faced with a classic dilemma as they decide whether to work with AAU coaches: do they cater to 7-on-7 coaches and piss off high school coaches, or do they continue to work with the high school guys - and miss out on some promising talent?

Says Todd Graham, most recently the head coach at Arizona State, “If you want to recruit the elite player, you have to be involved in it. You have to know the powers in all-star 7-on-7, whether you like it or not.”
Says  Stanford’s David Shaw, “I will also never ever, ever have a recruiting conversation with a 7-on-7 coach. I talk to high school coaches, counselors and parents.”

*********** Remember the baseball All-Star game that was stopped because they ran out of pitchers?  I remember saying at the time that surely, for the good of baseball, they could have done what anybody else who’s ever played the game has seen done - bring in a position player to pitch.

Interestingly, that’s what’s happening in everyday baseball this season.

Even though teams have large numbers of pitchers on their rosters, they’re still concerned about saving their arms, to the point where when they find themselves being blown out, they’ll say “what the hell,” and bring in shortstop, or a first baseman, or an outfielder to pitch.

As of last weekend, 39 different position players had been called in to pitch on 49 occasions.


*********** In case you still have any doubt about what’s been tearing our nation apart, look no further than the school where you teach.

 A coach wrote to tell me “I had new teacher meetings this week. Had to listen to a pussy talk about white privilege. Unreal.  These people will teach kids. Shoot me.”


*********** Talk about the undue influence of TV…

While we couch potatoes certainly enjoyed watching MAC games on week nights late in the season…

Not a single MAC game was played on a Saturday during the month of November.


*********** Bloomberg.com cites four reasons why taxpayers should never subsidize stadiums…

1. In an incredibly profitable business, if a sports team can’t make money in its current venue, that is proof that it’s poorly managed, and not something that taxpayers should be subsidizing

2. Rich owners avoid having to pay the full costs of their operations, while getting the full benefit of their team’s appreciation in value

3. There is no longer any question:  “Stadiums add little or nothing to the local economy. It certainly isn’t worth giving away billions of dollars to these businesses. The return on investment for the public is nil. These wasteful subsidies have demonstrated little if any positive economic impact on the municipalities and states.”

4. “Given the state of the nation’s infrastructure, one would imagine that there might be projects with higher priority for taxpayer dollars. Bridges are collapsing, tunnels are on the verge of failure, highways are not being properly maintained, rail lines are obsolete, the electrical grid is an antiquated patchwork and our ports are still vulnerable to terrorist attacks. This is before we even consider making our transportation system smart and capable of handling self-driving cars — or even just more efficient at traffic management. Anyone who thinks the taxpayer should be paying for building new stadiums should spend a little more time studying the state of America the rest of us deal with. Build all the stadiums all you want. But pay for them yourself.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-07-16/four-reasons-taxpayers-should-never-subsidize-stadiums


*********** Four servicemen were asked this question:  "What would you do if you found a scorpion in your tent?"

The sailor:  "I'd stomp on it and squish it."
The soldier: "I'd hammer it to death with my boot."
The Marine: "I'd catch it, bite the stinger off and eat it."
the airman:  “I’d call room service and ask why there's a tent in my room."

*********** When you know things are bad…

Nike has ended it relationship with Jameis Winston

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/24278086/nike-elects-not-renew-jameis-winston-contract


*********** Another reason to like the CFL…

Toronto came back from a 28-7 halftime deficit to defeat Ottawa, 42-41, with one second to play.

Game over, right?

Not exactly.  Ottawa fielded the “ensuing” kickoff,  and the return man, about to be tackled, didn’t try to lateral - he punted!

Here’s the deal - as with all kicks in the NFL, if the punt had gone beyond the goal line, Toronto would have had to return it back to the field of play;  and had they not been able to do so, it would have meant a point for Ottawa.  Tie score.

As it turned out, the punt wasn’t long enough.  But no matter - I’d like to see the NFL top that for an ending.


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

Well...turns out we had a "work day" today instead of an in-service, and appears likely this will be my last "regular" response to your News.  I'll continue to peek at it each week, and respond when I have the time.

The Hall of Fame game was played on Thursday night?  I did not know that.  Maybe a blessing??

I've convinced my wife that our next summer beach vacation will be in the Pacific Northwest somewhere.  She's all for it.  ANYTHING to get away from the sauna down here in Texas. 

My wife reminded me the other day of the comment I made to her years ago when Urban Meyer left Florida for Ohio State.  She said, "I remember you telling me that whatever trouble Urban Meyer is leaving behind in Gainesville, will eventually surface again in Columbus...at some point." 

You are fortunate to have met, and befriended, a man like Mike Lude.  Sounds like my kinda guy!

My youngest daughter worked in KC for awhile and told me she went to the coolest sports bar she had ever been in (wasn't sure if her frequenting sports bars was something I wanted to hear, but...).  Anyway...it was Chappell's.  Dang!  Missed out again!

Dwight Clark was the greatest receiver you never heard of until "the catch".  He was likely one of the first modern-day large body WR's that became more the norm for NFL teams to direct their scouts to look for.  Guys like Clark and Montana helped change the passing game.  I consider myself very lucky to have met Clark and Montana in their heyday.  I was a younger coach working Freddie Solomon's youth football camp in San Francisco at the time.  Dwight was a good guy taken away by a vile illness.  RIP.

I never really cared for Jerry Jones.  Until now.  And especially understand now why he insisted on taking Dak Prescott as his future QB. 

QUIZ:  Another of my paisanos!  AND a Domer!  Nick Pietrosante!

Have a great weekend my friend.  I'll stay in touch when I can.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** If it were any other team sport, the new guy would have been able to step right in, seamlessly.  It happens all the time in baseball, basketball, soccer - even ice hockey.

But this was football.  Football is different, and if you needed any proof, there was Friday night’s CFL game between Montreal and Hamilton.  Montreal’s QB, an American named Johnny Manziel (maybe you’ve heard of him),  had been with the team just over a week, but there he was, facing his first professional action in quite some time, playing with teammates whose names he hadn’t even had time to learn.

And, to put it mildly, he stunk.

His first pass, thrown on his second offensive play, was intercepted.  Fooled by a zone blitz, he threw right into the hands of a linebacker who’d faked a blitz, then dropped back, unbeknownst to Manziel,  into the middle.  Things didn’t get any better for him the rest of the game.  Yes, he showed some flahes of his old self when he had to scramble - “extending the play” is the popular cliche - but for the most part he seemed out of synch with the rest of the team.  Of course, even if he had been on the same page as everyone else, it wouldn’t have made a lot of difference, because when he did look comfortable and had time to throw, the passes he did throw were not of professional-quality.

Finally, when he didn’t show any improvement, he was pulled for Vernon Adams, the guy whose starting job he’d taken.  At that point in the fourth quarter, Montreal’s offense had produced just a field goal.

Believe it or not, I actually wanted to see him do well.  So, too, did a fairly large turnout of Montreal fans.  (I’m glad I’m not one of them, because their team is bad.  Really bad.) Hamilton won, 50-11.  Not even a Hall-of-Fame performance by Manziel would have been enough.


*********** QUIZ ANSWER - NIck Pietrosante is one of the greatest football players to come out of the state of Connecticut. 

A native of Ansonia, he attended Notre Dame High School in West Haven, where he helped establish the school’s reputation as a state power.  In his senior year, 1954, Notre Dame went undefeated, outscoring opponents 332-12.  Big (6-2, 220) and fast, “Big Nick” as he was know throughout the state scored 23 touchdowns in nine games, and would undoubtedly have scored many more had his coach not rested his starters in the second half of most games.

Heavily recruited, he chose Notre Dame (the university) and for three years (1956-1958) he was their starting fullback.  As a junior in 1957, he recovered a fumble on defense, and threw the block that enabled the Irish to score the game’s only touchdown as they beat Oklahoma 7-0 and ended the Sooner’s 47-game win streak.  He was named third team All-American that year.

As a senior in 1958 he was Notre Dame’s leading rusher and was named first team All-American fullback.

He was the Lions’ first draft pick - the sixth pick overall - and rushing for a league-high 5.9 yards per carry, was named the 1959 NFL Rookie of the Year.

In 1960, he was named the Lions’ MVP, and was named to the Pro Bowl team for the first time.  In 1961 he was once again named to the Pro Bowl.

In all, from 1959 through 1965, he played in two Pro Bowls, and set a franchise record of 3,933 yards rushing.

Placed on waivers before the 1966 season, he played sparingly for two seasons with the Browns before retiring.

In 1988 Nick Pietrosante died of prostate cancer.  He was 50.

https://www.nhregister.com/news/article/NEW-HAVEN-200-Ansonia-born-Notre-Dame-bred-11506244.php

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING NICK PIETROSANTE:
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUSIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
MIKE BENTON - COLFAX, ILLINOIS
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
MIKE FORISTIERE - TOPEKA, KANSAS

*********** I used to chuckle when I’d hear TV guys say “pee-ETT-ro-SAHN-tay,” which was probably correct Italian, and maybe that’s the way the family always pronounced it.  Maybe as he got older he thought it sounded more distinguished (remmber when Tony DOR-sett became Tony dor-SETT?).  But I remember the home folks back in the New Haven area, where he first became famous, pronouncing it “PETT-ro-SAHN-dee,” and as a general rule, I go with the locals.

***********   Good morning, Hugh. I hope you and Connie are doing well.

The answer to today's quiz is Nick Pietrosante. Here's a look at Notre Dame's big win over Oklahoma in 1957:

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

Did you know that Notre Dame gives the Pietrosante Award every year? The award is given to the player who best exemplifies courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication, and pride. It sounds rather similar to the Black Lion Award.

On another note, I agree with Mike Lude's take on 7 on 7 completely. We took 30-45 minutes of camp one day to work 7 on 7. I was amazed that guys who are north-south runners immediately became juke and jive guys in 7 on 7. It also brought out trash-talking among our players. I hate 7 on 7.

Coach Greg Koenig
Cimarron High School

Hi Greg-

I didn’t know about the Pietrosante Award.  Very impressive.  It does sound like the Black Lion Award.

Great video, too.  That old 16 MM film is as sharp as it was 60 years ago.

After looking at that, I found this… Army vs Notre Dame, 1957

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPqDL6VKytM

At the 1:19 mark, Nick Pietrosante runs right over an Army tackler and goes 65 yards for a TD.

Interesting how you saw 7 on 7 transform your kids right in front of your eyes!


*********** Another all-time great I know about due to good ol’ Strat-O-Matic Football…Great short yardage card! 
Mark Kaczmarek
Davenport, Iowa

*********** QUIZ: The first draft choice in the team’s history, he came to be known as “Mister Cowboy, ” and his was the first name to go up in the Cowboys’ “Ring of Honor.”

In high school, in Pendleton, Oregon, he was an All-State two-way lineman his senior year.

He went to a private college in Texas, where he was a consensus All-American defensive lineman his senior year.

He was named All-Pro seven times and played in 11 Pro Bowls.

He played in 196 consecutive regular season games.

He missed only one game in his career - a championship game.

He was named to the NFL All-Decade teams for both the 1960s and 1970s.

He has been named one of the top 100 players in the history of the NFL.

The Sporting News called him the "Greatest Defensive Tackle in NFL History.”


american flagFRIDAY,  AUGUST 3,  2018 -   "Leaders create culture. Culture drives behavior. Behavior produces results.” Urban Meyer


*********** Yes, yes, I know - it was only an exhibition (make that "pre-season") game.  The Bears scored with 2:44 left in the game to pull within one at 17-16. But then, rather than risk tying it up and maybe sending the game into overtime, they went for two.  Didn't make it. 

Whew. For a minute there, I'll bet the guys were worried they might  have to keep playing the GAME. Until somebody WON.

Yes, it's a GAME   But those a&&holes treat it as if it's work - something to be avoided at all costs.

And the point of a game is to WIN - unless it means having to play overtime.

And they wonder why  they're losing their audience.

*********** It was 85 in Camas, Washington on Wednesday, bringing an end to a stretch of nine straight days of 90-degrees or more in the Portland area.  July set a new all-time record with 15 over-90 days.   Damn, I hate hot weather. 

High temperatures are (or used to be) rare in the Pacific Northwest.  Seattle is the least air-conditioned city in the lower 48; even with all the newcomers that have been pouring in, no more than 30 per cent of its homes are air-conditoned.  Portland is the second-least.  Although only about 170 miles south of Seattle, its average temperature is a bit higher than Seattle’s, and more than half of its homes are air-conditioned.

Our house,  built in 1950, is like most of the houses built in that era, and doesn’t have air conditioning.  (Retrofitting it is not an expense we care to take on.)  It is, however, fairly well insulated, its large picture windows are double-paned, and it’s fairly well shaded by trees.

Because humidity is generally low all over the West, temperatures drop dramatically at night, so even after a 90+ day,  it’ll be down in the 60s at night.  When hot weather is expected,  we open all the windows and doors first thing in the morning to let the cool air in (no worries about bugs out here, either!).  We turn on our ceiling fans,  and around 11 or so, when the temperatures inside and out are about the same, we close everything up tight. 

Then, as long as we don’t open the doors too often, the place stays very comfortable, even on high-90 days. 

(Thursday’s high was 71.)

*********** As soon as you heard that colleges were considering adding esports (video games) teams, you just had to know what was next: parents hiring personal coaches for their little darlings.

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, parents cited two main reasons for doing so:  (1) they wanted to help their kids become winners in some game (of which I confess ignorance) called Fortnight; and (2) they hoped that it might earn their kids college scholarships.

(Does anyone realize that once, parents hired tutors to help their kids academically?  Does anyone still pay for piano lessons when they could be using the money to pay for esports coaching?)

The saddest part of the Journal article told of fathers who were paying for esports coaching for themselves so they could keep up with their kids - imagine paying to learn how to use a glove and a ball so you can play catch with your son.

https://www.workinsports.com/blog/the-rise-of-coaching-in-esports/

*********** Faced with declining turnouts for football, at least seven  Virginia private schools are planning to make the move from 11-man to eight-man football this year.

The plan calls for all teams to play eight-game schedules over 10 weeks, with a four-team playoff at the end.

*********** Hi Coach, I recently moved to another team that runs Markham’s dblwng and feel right at home.    Any advice when melding  to Don Markham’s system would be greatly appreciated.

Coach-

I don’t have a lot of experience in converting a Don Markham system, so I wouldn’t know where to begin.  Although the formations are virtually the same, there are significant differences in the systems.

For me, the difference in numbering systems and terminology would be the biggest obstacle to merging, and for someone who wants to get into my stuff and needs help, it’s essential that we speak the same language.

My best advice, though, would be that if you feel “at home” where you are and things are going well, it’s probably best not to tamper with what’s working!


*********** Rather than try to make sense of the Urban Meyer situation, I chose instead to disgorge the following not-necessarily-related thoughts…

Point Number One:  Everywhere he’s been a head coach, he’s won.

He ran an ugly program at Florida, recruiting bad people and - provided they were good enough players - excusing their behavior. 

Florida has yet to recover from what he did to win games there.

The poisonous culture he allowed - if not promoted - at Florida would ordinarily have made a guy untouchable by a top-notch progam like Ohio State, except for Point Number One.

The good name of Earle Bruce, a man who died not long ago with a good reputation, has been tarnished.

If Meyer’s wife didn’t tell him what she knew about Zach Smith’s marriage, it could only be because Meyer cleverly told her not to tell him anything he shouldn’t hear.

Police in Ohio evidently look out for the Ohio State football program the same way the police in Florida do for Florida and Florida State.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Meyer are employees of THE Ohio State University (can we finally put an end to that pretentious nonsense?), and under Title IX had mandatory reporting obligations.  Now, if he didn’t know, but she did - does this mean that she takes a federal rap to protect him?

If there’s proof that all the assistant coaches knew (since we are told that their wives did) would Ohio State fire the entire staff  for failure to report domestic abuse?  Could they retain Meyer but fire all his assistants?

Zach Smith is going to have a hell of a time finding a job that pays like this one did.  His 2017 contract called for a base salary of $300,000; if Ohio State had won the Big Ten East (8.5%)and then the Big Ten Championship (4.25%) and participated in the Playoff semifinals (21.25%) he would have received $105,000 in bonuses. 

Ohio State’s loyal followers, who’ve been through this twice before in the last 40 years, have to be looking for the slightest possible reason to avoid having to go through it for a third time.

Watch someone try to blame Zach Smith’s (“alleged”) violence  on concussions he suffered as a player.

At some point football will take a hit: enemies of the game will seize on the case as what naturally results  from the testosterone-fueled violence - the misogyny -  that is the football culture.

The Ohio State administration, already envisioning a season of #MeToo demonstrations outside the Shoe on fall Saturdays, will decide there is no way they can keep Meyer.

They will not hire Meyer’s successor yet.  They will do as they did when they had to let Jim Tressel go and appointed Luke Fickell as interim head coach.  This is Ohio State.  It’s one of the great jobs in college football and nobody is out of the running at this point.  Not even Saban.

My early guess is that they will hire Bob Stoops.  And he will step in and beat Jim Harbaugh’s ass.  After Ryan Day does it this year.

Big-time college football, flush with TV money, won’t miss a beat.  It will continue to pay its coaches and assistants - more and more of them every year - outgrageous sums of money that they couldn’t make any place or any way else legally, and they’ll do anything necessary, legal or not, to maintain their bloated lifestyle.  Which means using any  means possible to recruit people who have no business taking up space in any self-respecting college.

There still won’t be a single women’s sports program with a sign in its locker room exhorting its athletes to “TREAT MEN WITH RESPECT”

*********** I came across some article ridiculing Urban Meyer for  playing the “I’ll be a father to your son” when he’s out recruiting.

I agree.  Actually, shame on any of today’s big-time coaches who try to pull that crap.

Ever seen a team phootgraph of a modern-day big-time team?  Look at all the guys dressed up as coaches - they’re assistants, GA’s and “analysts,” and it looks like there’s 50 of them.

Then there are the players, 120 or so.

That’s one bigass family.

Are you telling me that any one of college football’s self-proclaimed father figures has ever, in a single player’s college career, spent more than five minutes alone with the kid, giving him “fatherly” advice?

They’re coaches and that’s what they’re paid to be. Why pretend otherwise?  In fact, some of them are so busy recruiting other people’s kids that they don’t have time to be fathers to their own kids.

In short:  Any time you hear one of those guys talking about being a father figure to his players he’s most likely a phony.


MIKE LUDE AND ME*********** MIke Lude and I had lunch Tuesday.  It’s become an annual event over the past ten years or so, when Mike’s in Portland to visit family.  Mike knows - and remembers - more about football, and college football in particular, than any three of us. He’s in great shape physically and, at 96, able to recall with amazing clarity events of 60 and 70 years ago - or things that happened yesterday. 

Although we talk frequently on the phone, these lunches are extra special because we have a lot of time and  because I never know where our talk is going to go.  Will it be to the Wing-T?  Mike, as Dave Nelson’s line coach, was its co-inventor: he was charged with adapting Fritz Crisler’s unbalanced single wing line blocking rules to Dave Nelson’s balanced line attack.  Many of the things that we do today are Mike’s translations of Fritz Crisler.

Will it be college football?  Mike still knows his subject.  He was a head football coach at Colorado State, and AD at Kent State, Washington and Auburn.  And he stays active in NACDA, the National Association of College Directors of Athletics.

Mike thinks that the college football structure is economically unsustainable.  He believes that the TV money won’t last, and he thinks it’s idiotic the way colleges spend the TV money as fast as it comes in.

He can’t believe the amount of money that college coaches - and not just the head coaches - are paid. (How about Iowa paying its strength coach $750,000 a year?)  We talked about how today’s salaries are NOT market-driven - that there are dozens of qualified applicants for any coaching opening, which blows up any argument about supply and demand - and said if he were an AD at a major college and looking to hire a head coach, he’d take a shot at one of the “really good” coaches at the non-Power 5 colleges.  He said there are plenty of them who wouldn’t need $3 million a year.  I said to him, “But if he wins, you’ll only keep him three years, and then he’ll be off.”  Replied Mike, “Yeah - and that would prove it was a good hire, wouldn’t it?”

Although in his entire career as AD he hired just two coaches, he did hire two pretty good ones.

At Kent State, he gave Don James his first head coaching job.  And when Coach James left for Washington, Mike joined him a year later as the Huskies’ AD.

At Auburn, he hired Terry Bowden, who went 47-17-1 before he lost out, after Mike left,  in a head-knocking contest with a powerful booster.

We got on the subject of the growth of 7-on-7.  Mike hates it.  Compares it to AAU basketball in its potential to undermine high school coaching.

We got on the topic of Hillsdale College, of which Mike is a strong supporter.  Hillsdale is where Mike got his education, where he met his wife, Rena, and where he played football for Dave Nelson, the only coach he ever worked for.  It’s fair to say that Hillsdale is a conservative college - it doesn’t take a dime of government money, which means it doesn’t have to comply with a single government order, including Title IX. 

We talked about more, of course - and then it was time to go.  Mike had to catch a flight to Tucson.

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

This latest email is coming from "Slapdick" Texas (aka Austin).  Could you imagine the confusion and chaos if lefty parents decided to start changing THEIR names?  Including FIRST names and LAST names?  Or even "blending" their names?  Austington?  Columberson?  Jackstin?  Hmmm.

Your comments on "I'll get back to you" prompted me to share this with you.  As you know, at one time I was interested in coaching in Europe.  My resume is registered with Europlayers.   I received a message from my Europlayers account saying if I'm interested in a head coaching job I would have to contact the club directly.  I viewed the site and there were a number of head coaching jobs and assistant jobs available in Europe.  For kicks I inquired about a few of them.  Had never heard back from any of them, and found out that most of them are now looking for coaches again.  Hmmm.

I've utilized the wrist band-no huddle method, AND, the huddle.  I actually combined the two when I found out I had a couple of kids who were hard of hearing.  Worked pretty well.  If or when we would get behind we would go no-huddle OR do it just to change the tempo and catch the defense sleeping.  When we were ahead we would always use a huddle and take our sweet time. 

The increase in rugby injuries can be directly attributed to the increase in size and speed of the players.  It would seem to me that physics has a lot to do with it.  When there's an increase in mass and an increase in velocity the result is in an increase in the impact.  Which results in an increase in damage.  It would then seem logical why American football came up with protective equipment to minimize the damage.  Hmmm.

Imagine if that openly gay Air Force cadet DID save a drowning child!  The other cadets would likely start doing backflips off of fighter jets!

I would be concerned if the Yale Bowl replaced the natural grass surface with a different type of natural "grass".

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** A few years ago I wrote about a visit to Chappell’s after a Kansas City clinic.  Chappell’s, in North Kansas City, is/was one of the nation’s best sports bars - except that it should be in a category all its own, as a sports museum. 

Along with a treasure trove of Kansas City sports memorabilia, owner Jim Chappell has at least 1,000 different football helmets - high school, college, pro - hanging from the ceilings.

Now comes news from Coach Sam Knopik at KC’s Pembroke Hill School that owner Jim Chappell has sold to an outside group.

They say they’re going to keep things as they’ve always been, but I doubt it.

For sure, they won't be able to replace jim Chappell and his special affection for all things regarding Kansas City sports.

http://www.chappellsrestaurant.com/


*********** Dwight Clark, hero of “The Catch,” is gone, dead of ALS.

In his eulogy, Joe Montana said, “Catch you on the other side.”

God, what a dreadful disease ALS is.  It’s right there with Alzheimer’s as the cruelest of diseases.

With Alzheimer’s, the patient can maintain physical health, while losing it all mentally; with ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease), the patient remains mentally alert,  well aware of the maddening and frustrating fact that  he or she continues to decline physically.

https://theathletic.com/455229/2018/08/01/joe-montana-to-his-fallen-friend-dwight-clark-i-will-catch-you-on-the-other-side-i-love-you-i-miss-you/

The Army football family has been hit hard by ALS, with former linebacker Chuck Schretzman now dealing with it.  He and teammate Greg Gadson, who lost both legs in Iraq to an explosion, were fellow linebackers, such close friends that they were in each other’s weddings; Chuck Schretzman was the one Greg Gadson’s wife turned to for strength when her husband was hospitalized after his injury.  Now, it’s Chuck fighting to keep his strength.

Chuck’s wife, Stacy, a former Army basketball player, is a tower of strength herself as Chuck fights the ravages of ALS.

https://www.nhl.com/bluejackets/news/blue-jackets-elk-and-elk-honoree-chuck-schretzman/c-296785324

https://youtu.be/u8rhtF2ESEY

*********** Funny how the NFL, that great bastion of Constitutional law, defends kneeling during the national anthem as the players’ exercising their freedom on speech, while imposing a gag order on Jerry Jones.  They could have cracked down on Kaepernick in the first place, and avoided all the ugliness since, but no…

*********** I was reading an article in the paper about the jersey numbers that have been retired by the Boston Bruins, when I saw, “Aubrey Clapper, Edward Shore, Milton Schmidt.”

WTF?  Wait, I thought.  They did NOT attain their Bruins’ immortality as Aubrey, Edward and Milton. 

They were Dit Clapper, Eddie Shore and Milt Schmidt. That was how they were known to the people who loved them.

But those people are all gone now, and today’s keepers of the torch couldn’t care less about the old timers.  Don't even know who they were, obviously.

So Aubrey, Edward and Milton they will remain, lost to history.

Applying the same disdain for the past to baseball:

George Ruth, Joseph DiMaggio, Louis Gehrig, Lawrence Berra

Or football:

Richard Butkus, Michael Ditka,  James Brown, Raymond Lewis


*********** A baseball player found to have texted objectionable things (“I hate gay people,” “KKK”) seven or more years ago, back when he was a dumbass teenager, is now required by Major League Baseball to cleanse himself of sin by undergoing sensitivity training.

Meanwhile, a woman “of color” who just four years ago was busily texting ugly racist things about white people - when she was 26 - won’t have to attend training.

She’ll be too busy.   She was just hired as an editorial writer by the New York Times.

https://twitter.com/ArminNavabi/status/1025015489729196032/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1025015489729196032&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nationalreview.com%2Fnews%2Fsarah-jeong-new-york-times-hires-writer-racist-past%2F

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/08/02/new-york-times-stands-by-new-tech-writer-sarah-jeong-after-racist-tweets-surface.html


*********** QUIZ ANSWER  -  Billy Shaw grew up in Vicksburg, Mississippi and played his college football at Georgia Tech, where despite weighing just 220, he was an All-America lineman (in the days of two-way play).

At the 1960 College All-Star Game he was switched  from defense to offense when a starter got hurt, and he spent his entire career on offense.

He was drafted by both Buffalo of the AFL, which planned to play him on the offensive line and by Dallas of the NFL, which wanted to look at him at linebacker. He chose Buffalo on the advice of his college coach, Bobby Dodd, who advised him that he’d have a better chance if he didn’t have to change positions.

Those Buffalo teams were good.  Although he was undersized at 6-2, 250, with him leading the running game as a pulling guard, the Bills won back-to-back AFL titles in 1964 and 1965.

From 1963 though 1966 he was a first team All-AFL guard, and in 1968 and 1969 he was named to the second team.  He is a member of the All-Time All-AFL team, and was named to the All-Decade All-Pro team for the 1960s.

How’s this for trivia: Billy Shaw is the only player in the Pro Football Hall of Fame who never played a down in the NFL.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BILLY SHAW
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN,  TEXAS
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTO
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
MIKE BENTON - COLFAX, ILLINOIS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA

*********** A look at Billy Shaw,  sent by Greg Koenig, in Cimarron, Kansas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4RRUhZmHhg

*********** QUIZ - He is one of the greatest football players to come out of the state of Connecticut. 

A native of Ansonia, he attended Notre Dame High School in West Haven, where he helped establish the school’s reputation as a state power.  In his senior year, 1954, Notre Dame went undefeated, outscoring opponents 332-12.  Big (6-2, 220) and fast, he scored 23 touchdowns in nine games, and would undoubtedly have scored many more had his coach not rested his starters in the second half of most games.

Heavily recruited, he chose Notre Dame (the university) and for three years (1956-1958) he was their starting fullback.  As a junior in 1957, he recovered a fumble on defense, and threw the block that enabled the Irish to score the game’s only touchdown as they beat Oklahoma 7-0 and ended the Sooner’s 47-game win streak.  He was named third team All-American that year.

As a senior in 1958 he was Notre Dame’s leading rusher and was named first team All-American fullback.

He was the Lions’ first draft pick - the sixth pick overall - and rushing for a league-high 5.9 yards per carry, was named the 1959 NFL Rookie of the Year.

In 1960, he was named the Lions’ MVP, and was named to the Pro Bowl team for the first time.  In 1961 he was once again named to the Pro Bowl.

In all, from 1959 through 1965, he played in two Pro Bowls, and set a franchise record of 3,933 yards rushing.

Placed on waivers before the 1966 season, he played sparingly for two seasons with the Browns before retiring.

In 1988 he died of prostate cancer.  He was 50.



american flagTUESDAY,  JULY 31,  2018 -   "Much good work is lost for the lack of a little more."  Edward H. Harriman, railroad tycoon

*********** I hear from time to time from coaches who tell me they’re waiting to hear about a job - but they never hear.  The people who tell them “I’ll get back to you” never do.

There’s a special place in hell for people who don’t get back to you. If you’ve ever been out of work, you’ll know what I mean.  Dashing a hopeful’s hopes is a form of torture.

If you’re one of those people I’m referring to - if a guy’s ever called you about a job and you told him, “I’ll get back you,” and you didn’t - my wish for you is an eternity of sitting near a phone, waiting for the word that your time in hell is up.

Better yet, you’ll be burning in hell and you’ll keep calling God and you’ll keep getting His secretary, who keeps telling you He’s been getting your messages…

Or, someone who says he’s “God” will keep telling you he’ll get right back to you about getting you out of hell and up to heaven, where he says you belong.  But he never does.  (It’s not really God, of course, because unlike you, He wouldn’t lie to people.)

***********  The Diversity Department (supported by  tuition dollars) at Bath University in England has asked lecturers to refrain from using the term “as you know.”

You see, according to the “co-chair of the university’s student union race equality group” (now that’s a title to put on your business card), “Some lecturers used commonly known references stating ‘as you know,’  which could make students feel at fault for not knowing and make it difficult to engage with the course content.”

One former lecturer disagrees,  suggesting that such ideas were coming from administrators “who need to justify their salaries and who planted them in the heads of student union activists.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5954595/Bath-University-academics-urged-stop-saying-know-case-students-feel-inadequate.html

*********** They were different times…

Next time you see some kids fixated on their smartphones, think about Jerry Lumpe.

Jerry Lumpe was a major league baseball player, and a pretty good one.  He playd second base for the Yankees, Kansas City A’s and Tigers.

In his obituary, I came across this:

Although he played solely in the American League, Lumpe grew up a St. Louis Cardinals fan, and his father, W. J. Lumpe, gave him his middle name to honor the star Cardinal pitcher Dizzy Dean. Father and son listened to Cardinal games on the network of the team’s flagship radio station, KMOX, in St. Louis. But it took some initiative to find a spot where the signal would come in clearly.

“We got the station in Sedalia, but it didn’t go very far,” Lumpe told The Springfield News-Leader in 2011. “But there was a hill about five miles north of town, and we’d sit up there in the car listening to the game, my dad and I. You tell the kids that now, and they think you’re crazy.”

*********** While reading an article in the Portland Oregonian about a commercial coding school and its efforts to recruit students from “underrepresented” groups, I came across this quote from an 18-year old graduate of the course, indicating his initial skepticism:

“I didn’t think, because I was Hispanic, I could have a career in tech.”

What?

Now, where the hell is that defeatist attitude coming from, and who the hell is filling  kids' heads full of that kind of sh—?

*********** In my latest playbook, I include a full section on my play-calling system, which uses “wrist coaches” (wristbands) containing “play cards.”  Every offensive player wears a wristband customized to his specific position.  The coach sends in a play not by name, but by co-ordinates showing its location on the play cards, and then on his play card the player locates the play and - better yet- his assignment.

Some people call this a “no-huddle” system, but I refrain from calling it that.  Sure, it allows us to run plays without a huddle, and I’ve done it on occasions.  But that was not my purpose.

One of my purposes was to streamline play-calling.  It’s a whole lot simpler to get a play from the coach on the sideline to the team in the huddle if instead of asking a substitute to transport jargon like “West Strong Liz Red Y Corner”  we reduce all that verbiage to the play’s coordinates on the card - something as simple as “20-4.”

The other purpose was to eliminate a major sticking point in teaching almost anything- the inability of some kids to memorize. In this case, it's their assignments.  Given the compact size of the play cards, we can’t explain assignments in detail, but we can give kids “cues and clues.” (Especially when you coach at a small school, you have to find ways for every able-bodied kid, even ones who are slow learners,  to contribute on offense, and this makes it possible.)

Once we discovered how the playcards got us past this sticking point, we found that we could expand the number of plays  we could run well (from a small handful to a larger handful).

As we’ve gone on, we’ve discovered other side benefits to the playcards:

We don’t huddle in practice.  We’ve found that by eliminating the unnecessary “huddling-up” between plays in practice, we’ve been able to run 50 per cent more plays in the same time period as before. (Put another way, if our aim is to run a specified number of plays, we can now do so in 2/3 the time we needed previously.)

Now, every coach knows the play that’s been called.  Coaches have wrist bands, too, and when they hear the coordinates, they know the play that’s been called.

If I want, I can stand on the defensive side of the ball while still being able to call out the plays I want to see without having to use a messenger.

In emergency situations (a common occurence in a small-school program) we can get by with one backup for the entire offensive line.  If  a player goes down, we give his wrist band to the sub, and he at least knows the assignments.

But there’s one use I never intended, and that’s to enable us to “hurry-up.”  If your intent is to do as so many college coaches have done, to emulate Chip Kelly and see how quickly you can run your offense, you’re going to need a lot more than a play-calling system.  For one thing, you’re going to have to have a hell of a staff, because you’re not going to have  much time to get coaching done during your team period. And you’re going to have to have some pretty good athletes, too, because if you don’t, you're going to find yourself punting without having taken more than a minute off the clock.  Uh-oh.  Now you’re back on defense.

My thinking, to be frank, runs counter to the race-horse idea.  My thinking is the thinking of any ball-control coach: the best defense is a ball-control offense.  If I have the ball, you don’t.  If you don’t have the ball, and my offense is taking care of the ball, you can’t score. 

What’s the hurry?  There have been many times that we’ve taken the opening kickoff and driven 70 or 80 yards for a score.  A drive like that can take seven or more minutes off the clock.  Would you rather be ahead 7-0 with five minutes left in the first quarter - or ten minutes?

Oh - and how does a seven-minute drive sound when you’re coaching youth ball and your quarters are only eight minutes long?  I’ve had many a youth coach tell me about eating up an entire quarter with one drive.

This leads me to a very thought-provoking article I found from a 1975 AFCA publication.  It’s by Pepper Rodgers, a wishbone coach who left UCLA to take the head coaching job at his alma mater, Georgia Tech.  What he discusses in the article was operating at the usual tempo, but not huddling - at least, not in a huddle. He's talking about ball control AND no huddle.
NINE GAMES WITHOUT A HUDDLE

By Pepper Rodgers
Head Coach, Georgia Tech

We went to the no-huddle offense last spring.  We thought that we would experiment with the no-huddle.  We would stay at the line of scrimmage.  We would run without a huddle, except that we would “huddle” just by standing at the line of scrimmage just as we would stand in the huddle.

Now, it did several things for us in terms of practice organization in that every player on the team watching the play being run knew the play.  You know how difficult it is at times to have a play called and the other players are standing around not knowing the play - not being able to observe what’s happening so they can learn by watching.  So when the automatic system goes in at the line of scrimmage, all the players who are watching that particular play being run know the play.  The coaches all know the play.  So that helped  us in that area.

Then, as we went through the no-huddle offense, we found that our players began to like it.  They liked what was happening because they actually could look at the defensive man while the play was being called, as opposed to going back into the huddle, then turning around and going back up there to the line. And they made calls at the line of scrimmage, like you do all the time.  They would know the play.  The play would be called by the quarterback, we’d go down, and we’d snap the football.

We went the entire spring without a huddle and we didn’t know, because we had no experience, whether in a game we could hear when we got to the line of scrimmage, and whether we could hear the entire ball game.

So we opened the season using the huddle against South Carolina and lost the football game.  Now that had nothing to do with losing.  They played better and deserved to win.

But what happened was that we didn’t know whether the no-huddle would work or not.  So now we read in the paper where a team that had been to our place and had watched our spring practice and picked up our no-huddle had used it and had been successful.  Said how many yards they made, how great it was, and so forth.  So we decided then and there that we would go into the no-huddle with the next ball game.

Well, we did, and we had a very successful no-huddle offense for the next nine football games.  And it was very effective.  And then for the last game of the season we had injuries that hurt our football team as far as the number of experienced players we had and we wound up playing with a lot of freshmen. We had not not had spring practice with them.  We lost. (To Georgia, 42-26.)

Our record using a huddle was 0-2.  Our record without a huddle was 7-2.  (Those two losses were to Auburn and Notre Dame. HW) So we did have some success without a huddle.  It was a different approach to the game for us, and I think because we used the wishbone we were able to do it because we had all our backs behind the QB.  We have not broken our wishbone.  We used two tight ends, although one of them was basically a split end.  Our ends lined up where they could hear the quarterback at all times and they could move in and out according to how the quarterback would signal to them.

So that was the concept of the no-huddle offense.  It was effective for us at Georgia Tech as we again established new rushing and total offense records.

Coach Rodgers didn't mention it, but because Tech was up at the line and ready to play, it cut down on defensive substitution and communication.

*********** Before you get all excited thinking that teaching tackling the way the rugby guys do is the answer to football’s problems - because, after all,  they don’t even wear helmets and they don’t have concussions, and blah, blah, blah… 

I’ve got news for you.   Rugby’s got problems of its own.

Actually, it’s not even news.  This is from a four-year-old article: 
"Everyone can see that rugby, at the top end, is becoming an ever more extreme sport. They know it demands particular resilience. What they still don't know is what physical shape the first generation of pro union players will be in when they hit 60. Hence the dark shadow of the concussion debate, which increasingly hovers over every contact sport.

"It's good that players are a bit more aware about concussion but it is definitely the biggest issue facing the game moving forward.”
And rugby’s problems haven’t gotten any better in the meantime.  (Maybe I should show them how we tackle?)
 

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2014/may/13/rugby-union-injuries-concern-grows-premiership?CMP=twt_gu

*********** A little note on Bob Greene…When we moved to DeKalb when I was in 10th grade, my family being relatively conservative, chose the Chicago Tribune (then a voice of the "Colonel" McCormick family, of the Cantigny Estate you’ve written about)) over the Sun Times…I would have chosen the Trib because of the Gil Thorpe cartoon…Bob Greene, then, was a young human interest columnist for the Trib and we all became big fans…he certainly can draw a tear from everyone in the family……My Mom, a librarian made sure I read his “Good Morning, Merry Sunshine” upon the birth of our 1st child, a daughter
 
Now for the 2nd part…Our daughter was born in Beatrice (bee AT triss), Nebraska, which was my 1st head coaching job…at that time Beatrice was in Class A (the big schools) classification…There were basically 3 conferences made up of the “big schools” then…Metro (Omaha area)…Capitol (Lincoln area)…and the Plains (the rest of Nebraska)…Both Beatrice & North Platte were a part of the Plains Division so there were plenty of long bus rides from Beatrice!...I now have added “Once Upon a Town” to my Goodreads list

Mark Kaczmarek
Davenport, Iowa

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

First, Happy Anniversary to you and Connie, and congratulations on ?? years of marital bliss!  My wife Bernadette and I just celebrated our 43rd in June.

Five out of six days of 100+ degree temps in Austin.  Thankfully the humidity has been low.  Unfortunately the beach is 3+ hours away and unlike the Pacific Ocean, Gulf temps in TX aren't much lower than what they have been where we live.  No getting away from the heat around these parts.

My grandparents were immigrants from Sicily.  LEGAL immigrants.  They did not speak English so they had to LEARN how to read, write, and speak English WITHOUT the government providing them materials written in Italian.  NOTHING was given to them, or any of the other millions of immigrants that came to this country at that time.  They WORKED for everything they had, and NEVER complained.  They were grateful to be here, proud to be called "Americans", and carved out a good life for themselves and their two boys.  They assimilated.

An old college football teammate of mine who had served two tours of duty in Vietnam once told me how he would have enjoyed having a face-to-face meeting with Jane Fonda but he would have had to wait in a very long line to have had that opportunity.

Will be very interesting to see if any of the Cowboys players "try" to test Jerry Jones, and even more interesting to see how he responds if they do.

No surprise to see "The Mad Bomber" Daryle Lamonica at the top of one of the lists.  The pride of Clovis, CA the high school football stadium was named in his honor...while I was still a student at the school!  And another no surprise is Steve Young.  I always thought he was one of the better QB's I've seen.

There are a lot of towns in this country that see things the same way as North Platte.  And there will be many more you hear of with this President in office.

Have a great weekend...and anniversary celebration.

John Harbaugh - Someone who is not afraid to call it what it is...but forced to "rearrange" his comments by snowflakes who think they know everything there is to know about everything.

http://footballscoop.com/news/john-harbaugh-shares-text-dad-comment-callusing-young-players-riled-people/

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Not even arguing whether for safety’s sake we should or shouldn’t have eased up some on training - but how can anybody say with a straight face that  you can ease up - whether in the military, in law enforcement  or in sports - and still turn out people every bit as tough and as hard as before?HW

*********** Where will Coach Joe Gutilla’s next letter come from?  Yesterday, it was Austin.  Tomorrow, who knows?

It started with Confederate statues.  Then street names.

Now, it’s the name of Austin, Texas.  See, Stephen F. Austin once owned slaves, so…

That’s what happens, Texans, when your capital city gets overwhelmed with transplanted liberal Californians.  They’re infesting the West.   We’ve seen it happen in Oregon and Washington.  It’s happening in Colorado and Nevada and, to a certain extent, Utah.

They flee the idiot politicians in Califiornia - but they bring their idiot politics with them.

https://www.frontpagemag.com/point/270873/left-wants-rename-austin-over-slavery-daniel-greenfield


*********** While the Big Ten is awash in TV money - more than $50 million a year per conference member (except Maryland and Rutgers, who don’t yet share fully in TV revenues) - the fans aren’t seeing any benefits.

Tickets, food and parking are expensive; to help bring in the TV money, kickoff times are moveable and often inconvenient; nobody likes Friday night games; non-conference games are more often than not useless schedule-fillers.

At the Big Ten media days, Matt Brown of SB Nation asked Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany what good all that TV money is going to do for fans, and this was the response:

It allows for the development of venues, academic support, psychological support, travel. So if you’re a fan of a Big Ten institution, typically fans support not only football and basketball but to a lesser extent Olympic and other sports ... I think it allows us to recruit nationally. It allows us to have financial aid packages to the maximum allowed by NCAA. It allows us to have the broadest base programs in the country. We have nearly 10,000 students participating and $250 billion of financial aid.

So it simply allows for a platform that provides high-quality educational and athletic opportunities. They’re really unequalled among the major conferences in the country. Without those resources, we’d be unable to have a presentation and an opportunity set that I just described.

WTF? I have read that, and re-read it, and I’ll be damned if I can find an answer to Matt Brown's question in there anywhere.

I think maybe the Commissioner is saying what the TV people have been saying:  “F—k the fans.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb/college-football%e2%80%99s-tv-gravy-train-is-slowing-so-focus-on-fans/ar-BBL5yLK

*********** Gays everywhere, rejoice! A defensive back at Air Force is the first openly gay player at a service academy!

Hey, gay kids - you can pursue your dreams!

Bradley Kim, a defensive back at the Air Force Academy, announced on Friday that he is gay. Kim, who shared his story on his Instagram account and through an interview with OutSports, is the first active player at a service academy to publicly come out.

"The biggest reason I want to share this is to be able to reach people who are in similar situations struggling with the same things I have struggled with," Kim told OutSports. "I want to be that example for kids that you can be gay, you can pursue your dreams, and you can have an athletic career.

Before going public with his story, Kim, a safety for the Falcons, informed his fellow defensive backs and received a standing ovation in response.

That can't be serious.  Future officers in the Air Force giving a guy a standing ovation for “coming out?”

I mean,  good for him and all that, but a standing ovation?   For revealing that he’s gay?

Those Air Force DBs sure set the bar low for  standing ovations.

I can only imagine what they'd have done if he’d rescued a baby from a burning building… or rushed into the surf to save a drowning swimmer.

https://www.stripes.com/news/air-force/air-force-defensive-back-is-1st-openly-gay-player-at-a-service-academy-1.540020

*********** The Yale Bowl was the inspiration for the Rose Bowl and for the Big House at Michigan - which in turn was the inspiration for Notre Dame’s stadium.  And it gave the term “Bowl” to the sport of football.  I thought you might enjoy this article that appeared in the New Haven register, on the 100th anniversary of the ground-breaking of the Yale Bowl.

https://www.nhregister.com/connecticut/article/YALE-BOWL-Celebrating-the-100th-anniversary-of-11426003.php

Now, it appears, the Yale Bowl will be among the last big stadia to make the conversion from grass to artificial turf…

https://www.gametimect.com/a-turfed-yale-bowl-could-look-to-host-ciac-football-championships/#photo-816382


***********  QUIZ ANSWER - Paul Warfield played on a national championship team in college and on two Super Bowl champions in the NFL.

In Warren, Ohio, as a running back on the football team, he scored 92 points as a junior and 93 points as a senior.   In track, he set state records in the broad jump, 100-yard dash and high hurdles.

At Ohio State, still a running back, he played on the Buckeyes’ 1961 national championship team.  He was named to the All-Big Ten team in both his junior and senior seasons, and was a first team All-American as a senior.  As a portent of his future career as a pro, he caught 22 passes his senior year.

He also continued to stand out in track, with a long jump of 26-2 (the world record at the time was 27-3).

He was chosen in the first round - eleventh overall - in the NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, and although he was originally projected as a defensive back, Browns’ head coach Blanton Collier saw greatness in him as a receiver.  With personal coaching by recently-retired Browns’ receiver Ray Renfro, he turned into a quality receiver with spectacular speed.

In his rookie season, with him on one side and All-Pro Gary Collins on the other and all-time great Jim Brown at running back, the Browns won the NFL title, upsetting the Baltimore Colts.  He caught 52 passes for 920 yards and nine touchdowns and was named first team All-Pro.

Following the 1969 season, desperate for a quarterback, the Browns tradedhim  to the lowly Miami Dolphins for a first round draft choice (which they then used to draft QB Mike Phipps).

The Dolphins he joined were about to become the power of the NFL.  In his five seasons in Miami, they played in three straight Super Bowls and won two of them.  Their 1972 season remains the only unbeaten team in NFL history.  During his time there, he caught 156 passes for 3355 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Prior to the 1974 season, he and teammates Larry Czonka and Jim Kiick made national headlines - and brought instant credibility to the World Football League before it had even played a down - when it was announced that they had signed “future” contracts to play in the WFL in 1975, after they had played out their option year in Miami.

Although they had signed with Canadian millionaire John Bassett to play for the Toronto Northmen, by the time they were free to play in the WFL the franchise had been moved to 1975.

When the WFL failed in 1975, he returned to Cleveland to play two more seasons.

In 13 NFL seasons, he caught 427 passes for 8565 yards and  85 touchdowns.

His 20.1 yards per catch remains the highest among all receivers with 300 or more catches.

He was a six-time first team All-Pro and played in eight Pro Bowls.

Paul Warfield was named to the 1970s All-Decade team, and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING PAUL WARFIELD:
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
JOSH COLE - ODESSA, NEW YORK
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
SHEP CLARKE - PUYALLUP, WASHINGTON
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE BREMER - WEST SENECA, NEW YORK


********* QUIZ -  He grew up in Vicksburg, Mississippi and played his college football at Georgia Tech, where despite weighing just 220, he was an All-America lineman (in the days of two-way play).

At the 1961 College All-Star Game he was switched  from defense to offense when a starter got hurt, and he spent his entire career on offense.

He was drafted by both Buffalo of the AFL, which planned to play him on the offensive line and by Dallas of the NFL, which wanted to look at him at linebacker. He chose Buffalo on the advice of his college coach, Bobby Dodd, who advised him that he’d have a better chance at making the squad if he didn’t have to change positions.

Good advice. He made the Buffalo team, and those teams were good.  Although he was undersized at 6-2, 250, with him leading the running game as a pulling guard, the Bills won back-to-back AFL titles in 1964 and 1965.

From 1963 though 1966 he was a first team All-AFL guard, and in 1968 and 1969 he was named to the second team.  He is a member of the All-Time All-AFL team, and was named to the All-Decade All-Pro team for the 1960s.

How's this for trivia? He is the only player in the Pro Football Hall of Fame who never played a down in the NFL.


american flagFRIDAY,  JULY 27,  2018 -   “The faithful see the invisible, believe the incredible and then receive the impossible.” Benjamin Franklin

*********** Happy Anniversary to my wife, Connie.  The early days of making the change from the business world to coaching weren’t easy, and I couldn’t have become a coach without her constant support and encouragement.

*********** Damn.  It was 93 in Camas today. Oh well - not to worry. Where we are, 3 hours away in Ocean Shores, the high today was 60.

*********** I like today’s quote by that great American, Benjamin Franklin, because so much of coaching depends on faith - a belief in the existence of something you can’t see.   Turning out for football requires a lot of faith on a kid’s part - he puts himself in your hands, trusting you to know what it is that you’ll be teaching him and to be patient with him while he’s learning it.  He has to have faith that you'll take him to where he needs to be - when he doesn’t have the faintest idea where that is.

Think about a kid when he first turns out for football: he places blind faith in you to treat him with respect and to see to it that others do, too; to teach him the game
and help him overcome his fears;  to leave him, when football's over, wishing it would never end.

*********** While America slept…

According to a report from the Migration Policy Institute, 22 per cent of the US population does not speak English at home.

Just keep telling yourself:  “Diversity is our strength.”

Meantime, I'm still trying to figure out why we print ballots in any language other than English.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/22-of-us-population-does-not-speak-english-at-home

*********** A recent  study shows that the best way for teachers’ unions to re-enlist those members who were cut free of mandatory union membership by the Supreme Court’s recent Janus v. AFSCME decision is to offer them more “professional development.”

Our results suggest that public sector unions are most likely to be successful not when they stress the political “voice” that unions provide, nor when they stress narrow job protections. Rather, unions looking to energize their members need to provide clear benefits that members value related to their identity as professional employees — benefits that those members can’t get elsewhere and that members have to pay dues to get.

For teachers, we found, that meant training (classes, conferences, and workshops) and classroom support on issues central to their jobs, like the use of technology and how to help students with mental health issues. Other public employee unions might offer similar benefits tailored to the jobs and skills held by their members; for state social workers, it might be trainings to better help their clients. The key seems to be assistance that helps people do their jobs better.
Based on my memories of "professional development," I have to admit to being a bit skeptical.

But then, I confess I wasn't paying careful attention.  I just saw something in there about “Classes, conferences and workships.”  Are you telling me that if I join your union you’ll work to do away with them? 

Sign me up.

https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2018/7/17/17578832/teachers-unions-janus-strategy-labor-movement-agency-fees

*********** Say the name “Jane Fonda” around a guy who served in Vietnam - and stand back.

And cover your ears.  The woman is hated.

Without spending a lot of time on the reason why -  Miss Fonda in her zealous liberalism not only opposed the war in Vietnam, but at a time when our soldiers were being reviled as “baby killers” (by pro-abortion types, for those of you who like irony), she actually travelled to North Vietnam,  posing for photos that most reasonable persons would interpret as showing support for our enemy.

So now, 45 years later,  comes an announcement from her acknowledging that some of what she did back then was “thoughtless.”

Yeah, thoughtless.  Next she’ll say that she was young and naive. (She was 35 at the time.)

Hmmm.  Think her announcement could have anything to do with the fact that she’s got a movie coming out soon?

https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/jane-fonda-vietnam-war-9-to-5-1202883934/

*********** Dale Murphy may be the best baseball player who’s not in the Hall of Fame.   The ironic thing is that although he was a back-to-back MVP and he’s got great stats, he might have stretched out his career a bit longer with a little, um, medicinal assistance.   Just enough to get him two more homers -  hung ‘em up with 398, just short of the magical 400 mark.  The question persists - while some guys are kept out of the Hall of Fame because they took PEDs, is Dale Murphy being kept out because he didn’t take them?

http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/24182944/where-braves-legend-dale-murphy-now

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

One of my former high school players was coached by Tony Sparano at BU.  Absolutely loved Coach Sparano and couldn't give him enough credit for his growth as a young man.  Coming out of a CA JC Anthony was drawn to Coach Spor immediately.   Both Italian.  Nuff said.

QUIZ:  Mark Moseley of the single bar facemask below his chin.

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

It may have been Lombardi who when he was asked if he was only playing a guy because he was Italian. Lombardi said, no - “I’m playing him because I’M Italian!”

*********** Enjoy all the "vintage" football clips you post, especially the Ruben Mayes highlight -- watching players with real shoulder pads doing real "football things" on the field...so different from today!  Yes, WSU did run a lot of veer with the "RPM" backfield (Rypien, Mayes and Porter).  Often, the two RBs would do a simultaneous spin move at the snap (one step to the right, then a 180-pivot to the left) before getting the handoff.  They looked like the Temptations at the Apollo Theatre, and of course they disguised the direction of attack as well as the blocking-back/ballcarrier assignments.  Good Times!

Shep Clarke
Puyallup, Washington

(That’s the counter option.  Great looking play!  Real choreography! HW)

*********** The fat’s in the fire…

Jerry Jones has announced that the Cowboys WILL stand for the national anthem - “Toes on the line.”

This could make a Cowboys’ fan out of me.  If nothing else, I’ll watch the start of the Cowboys’ games before turning them off.  (It is. after all, still the NFL.)

https://www.foxbusiness.com/features/dallas-cowboys-players-must-stand-for-anthem-jerry-jones-says


*********** A few years ago I came across an article in a pre-season football magazines from 1962. Its title: "Pro Football's Vanishing Breed: The Great Quarterback"

It lamented the fact that with Sid Luckman, Sammy Baugh, Otto Graham and Bob Waterfield already gone from the game and Charlie Conerly having just retired; with Y. A. Tittle, Bart Starr, Sonny Jurgensen and Fran Tarkenton yet to prove themselves and Bobby Layne nearing the end of the line, only John Unitas remained as a truly great quarterback.

Consider how much tougher it was for a passer then...
Linemen couldn't use their hands to block
The penalty for holding was 15-yards
There was no such thing as hook sliding; if you ran, you were fair game
Intentional grounding was intentional grounding; there was no such thing as a "tackle box" outside of which one could intentionally ground the ball with impunity
Spiking was unheard-of. If you wanted to stop the clock, you threw an "out" pattern over a wide receiver's head
Defensive linemen could use a head slap
Quarterbacks were routinely hit - anywhere on their body - well after they'd thrown
Defensive backs could hit receivers anywhere on the field until the ball was thrown
Hashmarks still divided the field into thirds - there was a definite short side and wide side
With the conspicuous exception of Otto Graham, NFL quarterbacks called their own plays
Of course, in the 50+ years since that article, there have been a number of quarterbacks who can be legitimately be called "great."

Obviously, there’s more to quarterbacking than passing, and stats can never reflect that intangibles that make one quarterback a winner despite so-so stats.

But using two stats generally accepted as evidence of a passer's effectiveness - yards per pass attempt and touchdown pass percentage (touchdowns per 100 passes thrown) -  it’s apparent  that in spite of all the things the NFL has done over that time to promote the passing game,  today's top quarterbacks are no more effective than the old guys.  Probably because  teams throw so much more than they once did, and because of the influence of the short passing game,  one thing that jumps out is the relative overall decline over the years in Touchdown Percentage.

The two top quarterbacks of the Pre-and Post-World War II NFL were Sid Luckman of the Bears, and Sammy Baugh of the Redskins.   With 7.5 yards per attempt and 5.5 touchdown passes per 100 considered superior, they would be head and shoulders above today’s quarterbacks.

Over his career, Luckman gained 8.4 yards per attempt, and 7.9 per cent of his passes were for touchdowns. For Baugh, it was 7.3 yards per attempt, and 6.2 per cent of attempts going for touchdowns.  (Baugh not only called the plays, but he punted and played safety on defense.)

Except in the case of modern times, I’ve only ranked those quarterbacks considered to be among the elite of their eras.

QBs of the 40s, 50s and 60s - (With the exception of Graham, all of these QBs called their own plays)

YDS PER ATTEMPT (7.5 considered superior)

Otto Graham 8.6   (Counting his 4 years in the AAFC, it would be 9.0)
Norm Van Brocklin 8.2 (In the years 1950 through 1954, his yards per attempt were 8.8, 8.9, 8.5, 8.4, 10.1)
Y.A. Tittle 7.5
—————————————————
Bob Waterfield 7.3
Bobby Layne 7.2
Charlie Conerly 6.9

TD PERCENTAGE  (5.5 considered superior)
Charlie Conerly   6.1
Norm Van Brocklin  6.0
Bob Waterfield  6.0
Otto Graham  5.6 (If you were to count his 4 years in the AAFC: 6.6)
YA Tittle  5.5
——————————————
Bobby Layne  5.3
 

QBs of the 50s, 60, 70s - The big surprise here is Earl Morrall, often thought of simply as a backup, seldom given  enough credit

YDS PER ATTEMPT

Ed Brown 7.9
John Unitas 7.8
Bart Starr 7.8
Earl Morrall 7.7
Roger Staubach 7.7
Sonny Jurgenson 7.6
———————————————————
Daryle LaMonica 7.4
Joe Namath 7.4 
Ken Stabler 7.4
Fran Tarkenton 7.3
Terry Bradshaw 7.2

TD PERCENTAGE

Sonny Jurgenson 6.6 (Sonny never played in a championship game, but he sure could wing it)
Daryle LaMonica  6.3 (They called him the Mad Bomber and he earned the title)
Earl Morrall 6.0
John Unitas 5.6
——————————————————————
Terry Bradshaw  5.4
Fran Tarkenton  5.3
Roger Staubach  5.2
Ed Brown  5.1
Ken Stabler  5.1
Bart Starr   4.8
Joe Namath  4.6  - Surprisingly low


QBs of the 70s-80s-90s

Interestingly, among the quarterbacks of what’s considered a Golden Age, only Steve Young really stands out

YDS PER ATTEMPT

Steve Young 8.0
Dan Fouts   7.7
Joe Montana 7.5
——————————————
Jim Kelly 7.4
Dan Marino 7.3
Phil Simms 7.2
John Elway 7.1
Troy Aikman 7.0

TD PERCENTAGE

Steve Young  5.6
—————————————————————
Joe Montana  5.1
Jim Kelly  5.0
Dan Marino  5.0
Dan Fouts 4.5
Phil Simms  4.3
John Elway  4.1
Troy Aikman 3.5 - absolutely shocking!


QBs from late 90s to the present

Among current modern-day quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers stands out.  Russell Wilson looks good, especially considering how anemic the Seahawks’ offense has been.

YDS PER ATTEMPT

Aaron Rodgers         7.9
Tony Romo              7.9 
Ben Roethlisberger   7.9
Matthew Stafford      7.9
Russell Wilson          7.8
Philip Rivers             7.8
Peyton Manning       7.7
Kirk Cousins            7.7
Drew Brees              7.6
Tom Brady               7.5
Matt Ryan                7.5
Jameis Winston        7.5
—————————————————————————
Marcus Mariota        7.4
Dak Prescott            7.4
Colin Kaepernick      7.3
Cam Newton            7.3
Carson Palmer          7.3
Jared Goff                 7.2
Brett Favre                7.1
Tyrod Taylor             7.1
Case Keenum           7.0
Eli Manning              7.0
Alex Smith               6.9 
Carson Wentz          6.8
Sam Bradford           6.6
Derek Carr               6.5 


TD PERCENTAGE - only five of modern QBs are better than 5.5 (and two of them are retired)

Rodgers         6.4
P. Manning     5.7
Romo             5.7
Wilson            5.7
Brady              5.5
—————————————————
Brees               5.3
Rivers              5.3
Roethlisberger 5.1
Stafford           5.1
Favre               5.0
Goff                 4.8
Cousins           4.7
Palmer             4.7
Prescott           4.7
Wentz              4.7
Carr                 4.6
E. Manning       4.6
Mariota            4.6
Newton            4.6
Ryan                4.6 
Winston           4.5
Kaepernick      4.3
Smith              4.0
Taylor              4.0
Keenum           3.7
Bradford          3.5

Quite surprising to me was seeing Matt Ryan and Eli Manning down there among the not-particularly-goods in TD percentage.

Not much to choose between Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick

Today’s young starters have their work cut out for them, but one or two really good seasons could greatly improve their stats, just as one or two really bad seasons could kill them.  For that reason,  without enough stats yet, I did not include DeShaun Watson or Jimmy Garoppolo. Dak Prescott and Jared Goff made the cut - just barely.

The highest yards-per-attempt among Hall of Fame quarterbacks belongs to an old-timer - Otto Graham of the Cleveland Browns, who averaged 8.6 yards per attempt. In his 6-year NFL career.

Counting his four years in the All-American Football Conference, which the Browns dominated, in his total 10-year career (1946-1955) he averaged 9.0 yards per attempt, with 6.6 per cent of his attempts going for touchdowns.

In his four years in the AAFC, he averaged 9.5 yards per attempt, and an astonishing 8.1 per cent of his passes were for touchdowns.

Graham's accomplishments were sometimes derided because he was unique among his peers. At a time when other pro quarterbacks still called their own plays, his plays were called by the great Paul Brown. Brown was miles ahead of his coaching contemporaries in his approach to offensive football, and Graham had such great receivers as Mac Speedie, Dante Lavelli and Dub Jones.

Special mention to Frankie Albert, who spent four years with the 49ers in the AAFC, and three with them in the NFL.  His career TD percentage - counting both leagues - is 6.9

*********** Tired of reading about all the creeps and crazies on the coasts who suffer from the delusion that they represent America?

There's still a Real America out there - the elites sneeringly dismiss it as Flyover Country.  Read an incredible story about the incredible people of an incredible Flyover Country town, from this week’s Wall Street Journal.

“A Soldier Never Forgets North Platte”
By Bob Greene
July 22, 2018

‘We were overwhelmed,” said Lt. Col. Nick Jaskolski. “I don’t really have words to describe how surprised and moved we all were. I had never even heard of the town before.”

Col. Jaskolski, a veteran of the Iraq war, is commander of the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade of the Arkansas Army National Guard. For three weeks earlier this summer, the 142nd had been conducting an emergency deployment readiness exercise in Wyoming, training and sleeping outdoors, subsisting on field rations. Now it was time for the 700 soldiers to return to their base.

A charter bus company had been hired for the 18-hour drive back to Arkansas. The Army had budgeted for a stop to get snacks. The bus company determined that the soldiers would reach North Platte, in western Nebraska, around the time they would likely be hungry. The company placed a call to the visitors’ bureau: Was there anywhere in town that could handle a succession of 21 buses, and get 700 soldiers in and out for a quick snack?

North Platte said yes. North Platte has always said yes.

During World War II, North Platte was a geographically isolated town of 12,000. Soldiers, sailors and aviators on their way to fight the war rode troop trains across the nation, bound for Europe via the East Coast or the Pacific via the West Coast. The Union Pacific Railroad trains that transported the soldiers always made 10-minute stops in North Platte to take on water.

The townspeople made those 10 minutes count. Starting in December 1941, they met every train: up to 23 a day, beginning at 5 a.m. and ending after midnight. Those volunteers greeted between 3,000 and 5,000 soldiers a day. They presented them with sandwiches and gifts, played music for them, danced with them, baked birthday cakes for them. Every day of the year, every day of the war, they were there at the depot. They never missed a train, never missed a soldier. They fed six million soldiers by the end of the war. Not 1 cent of government money was asked for or spent, save for a $5 bill sent by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The soldiers never forgot the kindness. Most of them, and most of the townspeople who greeted them, are dead. And now, in 2018, those 21 busloads from the 142nd Field Artillery were on their way, expecting to stop at some fast-food joint.

 “We couldn’t believe what we saw when we pulled up,” Col. Jaskolski said. As each bus arrived over a two-day period, the soldiers stepped out to be greeted by lines of cheering people holding signs of thanks. They weren’t at a fast-food restaurant: They were at North Platte’s events center, which had been opened and decorated especially for them.
“People just started calling our office when they heard the soldiers were on their way,” said Lisa Burke, the director of the visitors’ bureau. “Hundreds of people, who wanted to help.”

The soldiers entered the events center to the aroma of steaks grilling and the sound of recorded music: current songs by Luke Bryan, Justin Timberlake, Florida Georgia Line; World War II songs by Glenn Miller, the Andrews Sisters, Jimmy Dorsey. They were served steak sandwiches, ham sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, deviled eggs, salads and fruit; local church groups baked pies, brownies and cookies.

Mayor Dwight Livingston stood at the door for two days and shook every soldier’s hand. Mr. Livingston served in the Air Force in Vietnam and came home to no words of thanks. Now, he said, as he shook the hands and welcomed the soldiers, “I don’t know whether those moments were more important for them, or for me. I knew I had to be there.”

“It was one soldier’s 21st birthday,” Lisa Burke said. “When I gave him his cake, he told me it was the first birthday cake he’d ever had in his life.” Not wanting to pry, she didn’t ask him how that could possibly be. “I was able to hold my emotions together,” she said. “Until later.”

When it became time to settle up—the Army, after all, had that money budgeted for snacks—the 142nd Field Artillery was told: Nope. You’re not spending a penny here. This is on us.

This is on North Platte.

Mr. Greene’s books include “Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07DGeLvDw8I



*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Mark Moseley was the last of the full-time head-on/toe-punch placekicking specialists,* and the only kicking specialist ever to be named NFL MVP…

He grew up in Livingston, Texas, and played for two years at Texas A & M and two years at Stephen F. Austin.  Originally a quarterback, he didn’t become a full-time placekicker until his senior year at SFA.

He was drafted but then cut by the Eagles and cut the following year by the Oilers, and was out of football for two years - installing septic systems - until re-discovered and signed as a free agent by George Allen’s Redskins.  He kicked for the Skins from 1974 through mid-season 1986. He finished the season with the Browns and then retired.

Mark Moseley remains the Redskins’ all-time leading scorer.

*One lone toe-punch kicker, Dirk Borgognone, was on an NFL roster for two games in 1995, but he never attempted a kick.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING MARK MOSELEY:
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOHN ROTHWELL - AUSTIN, TEXAS

*********** Mark Moseley has done okay for himself.  He got in on the ground floor of a fast food chain that has grown rapidly in recent years - Five Guys.

https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/07/03/mark-moseley-redskins-straighton-placekicker-nfl-mvp-where-are-they-now


*********** Hi Coach, Tuesday's answer is Mark Moseley.  My parents grew up in Chicago-my dad graduated from Leo High School in 1954.  He tried out for the football team; one of the fitness tests was running the 220 yard dash in full football gear-he ran it in 23 seconds, but the head coach told him that he was too small to play football.  He never played any organized football, but I was fortunate to coach with him for over 8 years.  He will be 83 in September.  Before IBM transferred him to Green Bay, we lived in Mount Greenwood- South Siders!

Mike Framke
Green Bay, Wisconsin

Coach,

It was a blessing to be able to coach with your dad!

I hope that the move to Green Bay was good for the family. I once worked for IBM and the old-timers would joke about how the initials stood for “I’ve Been Moved.”



***********  QUIZ - He played on a national championship team in college and on two Super Bowl champions in the NFL.

In Warren, Ohio, as a running back on his high school  football team, he scored 92 points as a junior and 93 points as a senior.   In track, he set state records in the broad jump, 100-yard dash and high hurdles.

At Ohio State, still a running back, he played on the Buckeyes’ 1961 national championship team as a sophomore.  He was named to the All-Big Ten team in both his junior and senior seasons, and was a first team All-American as a senior.  As a portent of his future career as a pro, he caught 22 passes his senior year.

He also continued to stand out in track, with a long jump of 26-2 (the world record at the time was 27-3).

He was chosen in the first round - the eleventh player taken overall - in the NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, and although he was originally projected as a defensive back, Browns’ head coach Blanton Collier saw greatness in him as a receiver.  With personal coaching by recently-retired Browns’ receiver Ray Renfro, he turned into a quality receiver with spectacular speed, good enough to start right away.

In his rookie season, with him on one side and All-Pro Gary Collins on the other and all-time great Jim Brown to run the ball, the Browns won the NFL title, upsetting the Baltimore Colts.  He caught 52 passes for 920 yards and nine touchdowns and was named first team All-Pro.

Following the 1969 season, desperate for a quarterback, the Browns traded him  to the lowly Miami Dolphins for a first round draft choice (which they then used to draft QB Mike Phipps).

The Dolphins that he joined were about to become the power of the NFL.  In his five seasons in Miami, they played in three straight Super Bowls and won two of them.  Their 1972 team remains the only unbeaten team in NFL history.  During his time there, he caught 156 passes for 3355 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Prior to the 1974 season, he and teammates Larry Czonka and Jim Kiick made national headlines - and brought instant credibility to the World Football League before it had even played a down - when it was announced that they had signed “future” contracts to play in the WFL in 1975, after they had played out their option year in Miami. (At that time, once a player's contract expired, he had to play one more year with his team - an "option year" -  at the end of which he would become a free agent.  In reality, few players ever took advantage of the option, chiefly because Commissioner Pete Rozelle would order any team signing a free agent to reimburse his original team with a player of comparable value.)

Although they had signed with Canadian millionaire John Bassett to play for the Toronto Northmen, by the time they were free to play in the WFL the franchise had been moved to Memphis.

The three played the 1975 season with Memphis, but after the WFL folded, he returned to Cleveland to play two more seasons.

In 13 NFL seasons, he caught 427 passes for 8565 yards and  85 touchdowns.

His 20.1 yards per catch remains the highest among all receivers with 300 or more catches.

He was a six-time first team All-Pro and played in eight Pro Bowls.

He was named to the 1970s All-Decade team, and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.



american flagTUESDAY,  JULY 24,  2018 -   “Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” John Adams

*********** We may yet see Johnny Phootball on a football field this year.

After riding the pines in Hamilton, without seeing any action, Johnny Manziel has been traded to Montreal.

Montreal’s coach is Mike Sherman, and he has a bit of a history with Manziel.   Although Kevin Sumlin was the head coach at Texas A & M when Manziel made national headlines, Sherman was the head coach who preceded Sumlin, and he’s the one who recruited Manziel.


Montreal is now mired at 1-4, at the bottom of the CFL East, and they obviously need help on offense - they’ve scored just 69 points, lowest in the CFL. 

But the good news is that the first-place team in the East, Ottawa, is only 3-2.

I’m rooting for Manziel.  Not because I like him.  He’s a punk.  But I like Mike Sherman, and if Manziel can help Sherman win, well…

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/more-sports/montreal-wanted-manziel-for-a-while/ar-BBKZtLf?li=BBnba9I

*********** I spent four years in New Haven and I have a special place in my heart for the town. I went to school there, but just as important, it’s where my wife and I started our married life together, and it’s where our son was born.  Its people were special.  At one time, it had the highest percentage of Italian-born of any city in the US, and it had the great food to prove it. Our landlady, Frances Picagli, introduced us to her lasagna, a dish that still, nearly 60 years later, is a Christmas dinner tradition in our home and, now, in our kids’ homes.  You want pizza?  Frank Pepe’s “apizza” (“ah-BEETS”) on Wooster Street is world famous.

So I’m especially saddened by the news that a New Haven guy who made it big, Vikings’ offensive line coach Tony Sparano,  died unexpectedly Sunday morning.  He was 56.

He was a career coach who’d made plenty of stops along the way to Minnesota.  From 2008 through 2011 he was head coach of the Dolphins, and in his first year in Miami he shocked the football world by springing a “new” formation (one that I’d first run - and named - ten years earlier) on the Patriots.  He called it The Wildcat. Just like me.

For what it’s worth, he took the Dolphins to an 11-5 record that year, just the third time they’d won that many games in a season  since Don Shula did it in 1992.  And they haven’t won that many since.  For his efforts, he missed being named NFL Coach of the Year by one vote.

RIP Tony Sarano.

https://theathletic.com/441254/2018/07/22/tony-sparano-vikings-offensive-line-coach-dies-at-56/

*********** When a black man is willing to stand up and take a conservative position on things, I  stop and listen.  When I learn he’s a West Point graduate who spent eight years in the Army,  that he’s a family man and a Christian who’s pro-life, pro-second amendment and pro-business, I want to see how far he’ll go in government.  His name is John James and he’s running for the Senate in Michigan.

https://johnjamesforsenate.com/meet-john/


*********** Wow. Major League Baseball is requiring Brewers’ pitcher Josh Hader to undergo sensitivity training - because of something he evidently said seven years ago, when he was 17.

Wow.  Sure glad they didn’t have email… twitter… Facebook… texting… back when I was 17.

Hell, only rich people could afford reel-to-reel tape recorders.

We didn’t even have copiers, for God’s sake.  What we had were carbon copies, made by putting a sheet of carbon paper (look it up) between two sheets of white paper, and inserting the three-sheet combination into our typewriter (please - don’t ask me to tell you what a typewriter was).

Whatever we typed onto the top sheet would be copied onto the bottom sheet, by the pressure of the keystrokes on the sheet of carbon paper between them.  If we really pounded on the keys, it might be possible to make two, or even three carbon copies from one original!

You only made a carbon copy if what you were writing was important.  Mostly, typewriting and carbon copies were for something formal and official.

Otherwise, when you wanted to write something to someone, you wrote it, using something called “handwriting.” (They used to teach it in schools.)  And then you’d insert what you wrote (called a “letter”) into an envelope, address it to the person you wanted it sent to, put a three-cent stamp on the envelope, then seal the envelope and put it in the mailbox down at the corner. And that would be that. 

Chances are that after your letter was read, it was thrown away. 

Maybe, if you sent it to the woman who would eventually become your wife, it would be saved, wrapped along with others like it with a ribbon and stowed away in the back of a drawer somewhere that only she knows about. 

Maybe you sent it to someone you promised to love forever - and you broke off with her not long after.  And maybe she’s kept it, too. Hmm. (There was a reason the old-timers would tell us, “Be very careful what you put in writing.”)

What I’m getting at is that it was extremely difficult, even if I wanted to, to produce any clear evidence to convince future generations that I was the crude, vulgar, unmannerly, sexist and - yes - racist a&&hole that I may have been.  Notice I said, “may have been,” because I’m not about to confess to anything.  Oh, no. You’re not going to force me to listen to some 40-year-old a&&hole telling me what I already know - that I was an a&&hole when I was 17.  Not without some proof.

Besides,  I'm now in recovery.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/mlb/la-sp-josh-hader-brewers-20180718-story.html

*********** “Handwriting has lost its importance in society.  Some schools don’t even teach cursive anymore. Yet studies have repeatedly shown that writing by hand can help you process and remember information far better than typing.  A 2014 study found that when students typed notes, they tended to scribe whatever the professor said, while those working with pen and paper were mentally summarizing and paraphrasing, which led to better test scores.” David Pierce, Wall Street Journal (Personal Technology)

*********** Randy Edsall, UConn coach 2.0,  has been making noises about paying players…

“The money is out there,” Edsall says. “You take a look at what’s happened, and they don’t get anything. You can put in there that student-athletes get a (larger) stipend. If you’re a full scholarship student-athlete, you get this. If you get a percentage, you get the percentage. And football should get more, because that’s the one where all the money is being made from. If you’re going to use their likeness and jerseys, people should get things from that. In this day and age, don’t sit there and call it ‘student-athlete’ when you’ve made all these changes and you’re making all this money. To me, it’s professionalism.”


Well.   First of all, he seems remarkably unaware of the existence of Title IX.  No one should think for a minute that the football players, even if they are the ones who bring in the dollars, are going to get paid if the softball players and volleyball players aren’t.

Second of all, there’s simple economics. Last season, UConn averaged 20,334 in six home games, the worst attendance in its history. That was down 24 per cent from 26,796 in 2016, the previous low.

UConn struggles to compete in a second-tier conference;  Edsall makes less money than some Power 5 Conference assistants.  Where the hell is UConn going to find the money to pay football players?

Edsall hasn’t coached a winning team since 2010.  That was the year he let his UConn team fly back home from the Fiesta Bowl without him, while he flew to Maryland to take over for Ralph Friedgen, who’d just been fired despite going 8-4 and being named ACC Coach of the Year.

Not sure what Randy Edsall’s purpose is, exactly, but it seems to me that after going 22-34 at Maryland and 3-9 in his first year back at UConn, he’d better spend more time worrying about whether Randy Edsall ought to get  paid.

https://theathletic.com/422378/2018/07/22/randy-edsall-uconn-football-coach/?redirected=1

*********** I suggest that college football players who are concerned about getting paid ought to look on their college careers as internships, without which the NFL won’t hire them. Internships that also provide them the opportunity, if they choose to take advantage of it, to get a college degree.

It could be a lot worse.  They could be minor league baseball players.

Many minor leaguers make less than fast food workers.  They’re paid at most $2,000 a month, and that’s just for a four-month season.  And after four years of baseball they’re no closer to a college degree than when they graduated from high school.

https://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/03/minor-leaguers-working-poor-lawsuit-mlb-bud-selig

*********** Robin Jones died Monday in Chicago.  He was 64.

He backed up Bill Walton and Maurice Lucas on the Portland Trail Blazers’ team that won the 1977 NBA title.

Shortly after the Blazers’ win, I happened to be coaching at a basketball camp at Pacific University run by Blazers’ head coach Jack Ramsay, and his chief assistant, Jack McKinney.

They were both HUGE proponents of team play, and they were infuriated by something they’d seen on TV replays of the final game: as the victorious Blazers ran off the floor and up the concourse to their locker room, hooting and hollering and hugging and pumping their fists, there was Robin Jones, sullen and alone, trudging along with his head down.

Sure, the team won. Yes, they were NBA champions. - but Robin Jones wasn’t happy. He didn’t get enough PT.   (He was playing behind two of the greatest big men ever, and he wasn’t smart enough to recognize that.)

That was enough for Coach Jack. At camp a few weeks later, he and Jack McKinney were still steaming. 

And that was it for Robin Jones.  He never played another game in a Portland uniform.

By August, he’d been traded to Houston. Shortly into the next season, he was cut,  and he never played in the NBA again.

*********** John Phillips, writing in LA Daily News about San Francisco mayor’s refusal to do anything about the city’s ever-worsening quality of life...

Who has time to crack down on the louts who are littering the streets with hypodermic needles or defecating in public?

Someone, somewhere might be using a plastic straw!

Priorities, people!


*********** A writer on the Internet who calls himself metallicman, is not high on the average American…

Somehow, this land of rugged individuals has become populated with scared children. Tiny babies with the outside appearance of an adult, but with the emotional needs of a five year old. They are taught from an early age not to deal with conflicts. They are taught to be coddled and to hide. They are taught to be sheltered. Their ability to deal with interpersonal relationships and conflict is shot, and as a result they are now a nation of crybabies that demand that their feelings be preserved and not hurt.

These fellow citizens now expect to be cared for, fed, protected, and made to feel good about themselves, all by government mandate.

What this is, it is a manufactured reality. It is a reality where only a small handful of people control the entire nation, the wealth and all the power. The rest of the people are but serfs (at best) and mostly indentured slaves, forever conditioned to behave like children reacting to their overlords with awe. It’s manufactured INTENTIONALLY.

Now, he is attempting to educate those same American people about the nature of our constitutional republic and why our constitution came to be.

It’s a fool’s errand, of course, because those most in need of understanding what he’s written have already decided that our constitution, drawn up by old white males, is outmoded and no longer appropriate to govern America in the Twenty-First Century.

https://metallicman.com/laoban4site/how-they-get-away-with-it---the-manufactured-ignorance-of-the-state-constitutions./


***********  Hugh,

Outstanding work on the updated playbook!  Thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and discovering some of the changes, improvements, and new terminology.  All that's left now is to get your DVD's on the Open Wing and I'm all set!

As a Cubs fan, I don't follow Mike Trout too closely, but IF he ever becomes available I know the Cubbies would LOVE to grab him, and that a lot of us Cubs fans would be thrilled to have him.

Staying with baseball...I missed the All-Star game...again.  Apparently so did a lot of other Americans.

The NFL backed off its "anthem rule".  The monster is quickly devouring itself, and with it, the game we love.

I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt I will not be going to see "By Reason of Sex" whether it is based on a true story or not.  Just sayin.

Whether Larry Fedora is a big-time college coach or not, I have to agree with his intention of bringing the topic to the attention of those who either don't pay attention to what's happening to our game, or those who refuse to believe it's happening.  I do agree with you that it will take a greater effort from organizations like the NFFHOF, and similar groups, to provide positive reflections on the game.

Hate to admit it, but @$$hole parents aren't exclusive to soccer.  I've seen my fair share of them in football.  Both my daughters were athletes (gymnastics and softball) and I ran into a number of clueless jerks in those sports as well.

It's hella hot here too!  Temps in the 100's all week.

QUIZ:  Frank Varrichione Another of my paisanos.

Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Joe,

I remember that Irish team - they were REALLY good - and I remember the Varrichione incident.

Notre Dame was loved by its fans and hated by everyone else (not unlike the Yankees) and Leahy was not a very likeable coach.  He was humorless and he was a whiner and a complainer and the Varrichione incident just confirmed his detractors’ opinion of him.

Growing up a Protestant in a Philly Irish neighborhood, I was surrounded by Irish Catholics who LOVED Notre Dame. They were obnoxious.   I saw several Penn-Notre Dame games, and those damn drunk ND fans were everywhere.  Leahy’s teams were REALLY, REALLY good. Johnny Lattner remains one of the greatest players I have ever seen in person.

Weather Alert:  It barely made it to 70 here yesterday!

Interesting how the most successful ND coaches were EITHER, not very likable, humorless, whiners, or complainers.  As Jay Leno would say...Hmmmm.

I grew up in a mixed north side Chicago neighborhood (Italian, Polish, German, Irish).  The Catholics outnumbered the Protestants, so most of our neighbors and my friends were huge ND fans.  I can still remember not only watching the Irish play on live TV (in Chicago the ND games trumped all the other college games); we would also watch a replay of the game on Sunday listening to the great Lindsey Nelson.

My dad knew Johnny Lattner in high school.  Dad was the starting HB at Chicago Austin High when Lattner was at Fenwick.  Back then Chicago was a bit smaller than it is now, and many of the neighborhood kids still "hung-out" with one another even though they attended different schools.  I don't believe they ever played against one another in high school, but my dad's team did play in the Prep Bowl in 1947 at the old Soldier Field in front of 90,000 fans.  Austin beat Leo HS 13-12.  Lattner's Fenwick team went to the Prep Bowl the following year.  The Prep Bowl pitted the Chicago Public School League champs against the Chicago Catholic League champs.  They still play the game today but it is a much watered-down version compared to the glory days of the 40's, 50's, 60's.


One exception - Ara was personable and had a good sense of humor.  While he was there, I actually found myself rooting for ND  because I grew to admire him so much.

The strange one was Lou.  He proved your point.  The minute he took over at ND he went from being a laugh-a-minute comic act to Mr. Sobersides the Philosopher.  From a guy that I’d drive three hours to hear to one who caused me to turn down the volume whenever he came on the tube.

I had a teammate at Yale named Art LaVallie, from Fenwick.  Needless to say he was quite proud to say he came from Johnny Lattner’s high school.  The Chicago area has always had great Catholic school teams.


*********** One of my favorite TV shows is Barnyard Builders, a group of West Virginians who make their livings acquiring and tearing down old cabins and barns all around Appalachia, and “repurposing” them - building things that range from little cabins to large chalets using the wood they’ve recovered.

Having travelled through West Virginia, and sold packaging  in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, and having once lived in Western Maryland for almost ten years, I’ve come to love the regional  drawl and patterns of speech.

“Over there” will come out, in speech, as “Over ‘air.”

An example from Sunday night’s show: “You ever used one ‘em?” (“One of them?”)

*********** Q. HOW DO YOU COACH THE WINGBACK’S “FBI” BLOCK?

Since the blocking technique is the same technique we teach every day, nothing special there. The trick is in getting to the FBI (First Backer to the Inside). Since there is usually a defensive lineman between the wingback and the FBI, he has to get there without hitting (or being hit by) that DL. He is seldom able to go in front of that DL without hitting him or being hit, so I advise going “over the top” to get to the FBI.  (This is one of the reasons why our Wing is split one man wider than the TE.)

*********** Bad enough that Charlie Weis has been paid more for not coaching than most people will make in their lifetimes.

But the condition in which he left Kansas is almost criminal.

Essentially, he went so heavily for Juco transfers  that when he was fired he left his successor, David Beaty, with just 38 scholarship players.


https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb/after-inheriting-only-38-scholarship-players-david-beaty-hopeful-kansas-is-up-to-70-in-2018/ar-BBKUoQo


*********** It has been so hot here in Alabama I saw a squirrel soaking his nuts in Gatorade.

Tim Brown
Florence, Alabama

*********** Think baseball doesn’t have a problem?   30% of at-bats this season have resulted in strike outs or walks.

*********** QUIZ: Frank Varrichione  grew up in Natick, Massachusetts,  the son of Italian immigrants, and the youngest of ten children.

After graduating from high school in Natick, Massachusetts, he was a teammate of Don Holleder for one season at Aquinas Institute, in Rochester, New York.  Aquinas was something of a national power, travelling hundreds of miles to take on the best competition it could find.

(In the East,  there was nothing comparable to California’s junior college system, and it was not that unusual in those days for promising high school graduates to spend a year as a “P-G” (post-graduate) at a prep school.) 

His one season at Aquinas brought him to the attention of Notre Dame’s Frank Leahy.

At Notre Dame, he quickly earned a starting position at offensive tackle, and earned notoriety - and a nickname - his junior year when, just before halftime against Iowa, with time running out and Notre Dame out of timeouts, he faked an injury. The clock was stopped, the Irish managed to score a touchdown, the game ended in a 14-14 tie, and Notre Dame went on to finish the season - Leahy’s last - with a 9-0-1 record and a piece of the national championship.

He received flowers from sarcastic Iowa fans; he received an “Academy Award” for Best Actor from his teammates; on a television show, he explained, “If you were on the ground and looked at the scoreboard and saw you were trailing and running out of time,  wouldn’t you feel hurt?”

And he received a nickname - “Faintin’ Frank” - one that would stick with him through an 11-year career in the NFL.

An All-American at Notre Dame, he was a first-round draft pick of the Steelers, and was named to the Pro Bowl after his rookie season.

After six seasons in Pittsburgh, he was traded to the Rams for Lou Michaels because the Steelers needed a defensive lineman and a kicker - and Michaels gave them both.

He was durable - he missed only two games in 11 seasons.  And he was good - he was named to five Pro Bowl teams.   Steelers Hall-of-Fame teammate Ernie Stautner remembered, “In all the years Frank played for the Steelers,  he was very seldom beaten outright. He had the respect of all the defensive linemen who played against him.”   Baltimore Colts’ Hall of Famer Gino Marchettti said, “Frank was among the best I ever faced.”

Frank Varrichione is a member of the Steelers’ All-Time team and in his 11th season he was the Rams’ offensive captain.

Probably the highest praise he ever received came from the great Paul Brown.

From an interview with Pro Football Researchers’ Jim Sargent…

“Probably the best game I ever played came with Pittsburgh in 1957, when Buddy Parker was coaching and we beat the Colts, 19-13.  A guy by the name of Gino Marchetti was tearing everybody up.

“Johnny Unitas was passing everybody crazy, and they had Alan Ameche and Lenny Moore as running backs.

“Buddy Parker was so worried about stopping Marchetti that he had two or three linemen alternate at right tackle in practice that week  That was my position, and I was required to block Marchetti.

“To make a long story short, it became quite a challenge to me to block Marchetti. I had a terrific day. Marchetti didn't touch our quarterback, Bobby Layne, once. I got a pretty good writeup in the Pittsburgh paper after the game.

"Later on, I heard more about it at the 1958 Pro Bowl game, from one of the Cleveland players, tackle Mike McCormack.

"’Frank,' he said, ‘We were playing Pittsburgh the Sunday after you played the Colts.  When Paul Brown got out the film to show us that week, he said, ‘Gentlemen, I'm going to show you one of the greatest exhibitions of blocking I have ever seen in my life. I want you to watch the right tackle of the Steelers, the kind of job he did on Gino Marchetti.'

McCormack said that was the first time Paul Brown ever announced, before a game film was shown, to watch the performance of a particular player. I'll never forget that."


*********** CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING FRANK VARRICHIONE…
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA

*********** Former Ram Merlin Olsen, a longtime friend of Varrichione, recalled his favorite story about the former  Notre Dame star, which occurred late in the 1962 season.

"Coach Svare was berating the team and it became an ugly kind of situation" Olsen said.

"Svare was saying, ‘You're a bunch of quitters  and cowards,'  when an ash tray sailed by his head, and Uncle Frank said, ‘Are you calling me a coward?'

"Svare quickly replied, ‘Not you, Frank.”

http://www.profootballresearchers.org/archives/Website_Files/Coffin_Corner/21-05-814.pdf


*********** Mark Kaczmarek writes…
iowa-nd program

I don’t have the ‘53 program, but I inherited the ‘59 program from my in-laws...this too was close loss for the Hawks...I was 8 yrs. old rooting for Milt Bruin’s Badgers with Dale Hackbart & Jim Bakken that went to get creamed by Washington in the Rose Bowl...The 1st time I ever saw a color TV was the parade & game

Interestingly, that was just about the time that programs stopped showing players without face protectors of some sort. HW

*********** Greg Koenig passes along a great story by an Iowa Hawkeye writer about the Faintin' Frank incident…

Good morning. "Faintin' Frank" Varrichione is the answer to today's quiz. His faint was quite a headline story. It appears that Varrichione wasn't the only Irish player to have a questionable injury in that game. The second link below is a fun read.

https://coachreese.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/the-fainting-irish/

http://nealrozendaal.com/2013/01/04/hawkeye-flashback-1953-notre-dame/

This was the first time I had ever heard that Leahy’s subsequent missing of games for “health reasons” might possibly have been tied to the embarrassment that his win-at-any-cost antics was causing a university whose president, Father Theodore Hesburgh, was determined would one day be known as much for its academics as for its football. HW

aquinas 1950


*********** QUIZ: He was the last of the full-time head-on/toe-punch placekicking specialists,* and the only kicking specialist ever to be named NFL MVP…

He grew up in Livingston, Texas, and played for two years at Texas A & M and two years at Stephen F. Austin.  Originally a quarterback, he didn’t become a full-time placekicker until his senior year at SFA.

He was drafted but then cut by the Eagles and cut the following year by the Oilers, and was out of football for two years - installing septic systems in his hometown - until re-discovered and signed as a free agent by George Allen’s Redskins.  He kicked for the Skins from 1974 through mid-season 1986. He finished the season with the Browns and then retired.

He remains the Redskins’ all-time leading scorer.

*One lone toe-punch kicker, Dirk Borgognone, was on an NFL roster for two games in 1995, but he never attempted a kick in the NFL.



american flagFRIDAY,  JULY 20,  2018 -   “A boy shows how much he wants to play in the spring, when it's tough, and during two a days, when it's hot and tough.” Darrell Royal

*********** Where Mike Trout is concerned, I’ll admit to being partial.  

First of all, he’s from Millville, New Jersey, a small city in South Jersey where I spent a bit of time during summers while I was in college; second, his dad’s a high school football coach and guys I know from that area said he - and Mike - are very good people;  third, he’s been very generous toward his old high school; fourth, he’s a long-time Eagles’ fan; fifth, he’s the best player in baseball right now and on target to be one of the best ever; sixth, he’s a good team man;  and seventh, he always has time for kids who want autographs.

So what’s to criticize?

Well, according to Commissioner Rob Manfred, he’s not “marketable” enough:

“Mike is a great, great player, and a really nice person, but he’s made certain decisions with what he wants to do and what he doesn’t want to do, and how he wants to spend his free time and how he doesn’t want to spend his free time.  That’s up to him. If he wants to engage and be more active in that area, I think we could help him make his brand really, really big, but he has to make a decision that he’s prepared to engage in that area. It takes time and effort.”

Commissioner, please. Give. me. a. break.

Call me an old fart - I plead guilty -  but in an age of look-at-me athletes,  baseball has, in  Mike Trout ,  another Stan Musial… another Bob Feller… another Hank Aaron - good guys who played the game as well as it could be played, and didn’t spend a minute on their “brands.”  Of course, there were other guys like DiMaggio and Williams, really good players, who not only didn’t care about their brands, but at times could be real pricks.

Baseball didn’t do a thing to “help them make their brands really, really big,” yet somehow, baseball did okay back then.

Now, with baseball fighting to stay relevant, the commissioner’s answer is for Mike Trout to “engage?” To “be more active?”  Is it Mike Trout that has a problem, or is it baseball?

Does the commissioner think it would be better for baseball if its best player were more like Terrell Owens?

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2018/07/19/los-angeles-angels-back-mike-trout-after-commissioners-comments-on-3-time-mvps-marketability.html


*********** The NFL’s death wish continues…

Steve Tisch is co-owner of the New York Giants, and another one of this new brand of NFL owners who really think that fans are interested in them.  He also seems to think that Giant’s fans all side with protesting players, saying that President Trump has “no understanding” of why NFL players kneel during the anthem.

“Hopefully he’ll have much more going on that he’s going have to deal with and should deal with and must deal with than worrying about what NFL players do,” Tisch said. “He has no understanding of why they take a knee or why they’re protesting. When the new season starts, I hope his priorities are not criticizing the NFL and telling owners what to do and what not to do.”

With those comments, Mr. Tisch has virtually assured that Mr. Trump will find time in his schedule to comment, if needed,  on the behavior of NFL players.

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2018/07/19/trump-has-no-understanding-why-nfl-players-kneel-during-anthem-giants-co-owner-says.html

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

Just returned home from my vacation.  Great time with family and friends.  

First thing I did was get my mail.  Got my playbook and will be taking a long, hard look at it this week.

Caught up on your Tuesday news.

France won the World Cup?  I did not know that.

Most high school All-Star football games have gone the way of the dinosaur.  I was involved in three.  The Central Valley City-County All-Star game; the California Shrine North-South All-Star game; and the TAPPS North-South All-Star game.  All three were fun to coach, and I enjoyed meeting all of the players and making new coaching friends.  Unfortunately all three had negative things in common.  

1. Some of those chosen to play...chose not to play.  Big names too.  They either didn't have the desire to play football anymore (lazy?); or were playing summer baseball or basketball or volleyball or wrestling (you get the picture); or were signed to play in college and either didn't want to risk an injury, OR the college wouldn't let them play for fear of risking injury.

2. Marketing the game was not done very well either by the sponsors, or the media, or both.  Thus some of the expense of putting the game on fell on the shoulders of the players and their families (and another reason why some kids chose to pass on the game).  Two of the three of the games I coached in are still alive and kicking because of major sponsors still involved,  One lasted only three years.

3. When to play the game, and where.  Most took place in the summer.  Either right at the start of June, or in July, or early August.  If held in early June, depending upon where, some of the best players AND coaches were still in school.  July games, depending upon where, were unbearably hot for practices and the game itself.  By the time August rolled around most of the luster of the previous season had already worn off, and some of the best players weren't playing if their college told them not to play.

4. And finally...the "concussion" issue.  Whether real or implied, whether true or misleading, any attempt by a biased media to promote the game of football in one form or another is going to favor the game's risks rather than its rewards.

Papa John is feeling the brunt of our "new" social justice norms.  God forbid any of us quote another person verbatim if they used an "offensive" term.  If we do...the word becomes ours.

If more people truly listened to what Shelby Steele and Mark Levin have to say about our human condition we would have less division, and more unity.  Unfortunately there are too many people who would rather be sheep and follow those with the loudest mouths and larger platforms.

Terrell Owens.  When he showed up my support of the 49ers declined.   When Kaepernick showed up he made me give them up completely, and the NFL altogether.

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

PS  Going to the playbook right now!!

*********** FREE ROAD TRIPS!!!  TO EXOTIC LOCATIONS!!!

Durham, North Carolina (DUKE)… Norman, Oklahoma (OKLAHOMA)… Buffalo, New York (BUFFALO)… San Jose, California (SAN JOSE STATE)… Ypsilanti, Michigan (EASTERN MICHIGAN)… Philadelphia (NAVY)

THIS IS NO JOKE!!! (IF ONLY I WERE YOUNGER…)

We need someone to drive the Army West Point Football Equipment Tractor Trailer for all of our away games.

We need one or two drivers who have a license to drive a tractor trailer and are able to help load and unload the trailer.

Departure dates will be based on how long it takes to drive from West Point to where we are playing.

Please have anyone interested reply to me at Ben.Russell@usma.edu

If you have any questions either email or call me at 914 490 2053

Thanks
Ben Russell
Associate Athletic Director
Army West Point Athletics
639 Howard Road
West Point, NY 10996
Ben.Russell@usma.edu
914 490 2053


*********** The TV ratings for baseball’s All-Star Game continue to drop.  What a shame.  Once a mid-summer classic, it’s now something of a joke - “What the hell, as long as we have everyone here for the Home Run Derby, whaddaya say we play a ball game?”

Part of the problem is the changing nature of the game itself, more like a home run derby with real pitching.   The final score of the game was 8-6.  Consistent with today’s all-or-nothing lottery baseball, there were 10 home runs, and only one of the 14 total runs did not come as a result of a homer.

Suggestion: award a team TWO runs whenever a guy hits a triple - or steals home. (Possible four runs if he hits a triple AND steals home.)

https://deadline.com/2018/07/ratings-all-star-major-league-baseball-game-americas-got-talent-win-tv-ratings-1202428549/


*********** I’m seeing, ad nauseum, a trailer advertising a movie about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Titled “By Reason of Sex,” it’s another one of those ”Based on a True Story” Hollywood jobs, and if the trailer is any indication, it continues the Hollywood tradition of playing loose with the “True” part.

There’s a scene from early in her career in which a judge, apparently rebuking her, tells her, “The word ‘woman’ does not appear even once in the US Constitution.”

Standing up to the judge (an old, white male, of course) the young, perky (and uncharacteristically attractive) Ms. Ginsburg, played by one Felicity Jones, comes back with, “Nor does the word, ‘freedom.’”

Whoa.  Stop the presses.

I rather doubt that the young Ms. Ginsburg actually said that, because it’s simply wrong, and she’s not a stupid woman.  But it’s shocking, and consistent with Hollywood’s contempt for the truth and for its audience that in their attempt to demonstrate her fearlessness in the face of the white, male Establishment, the scriptwriters would take such liberty with the facts.

And one indisputable fact is, the word “freedom” is right there, in the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment became a part of the Constitution in 1791,  just a year and a half after the Constitution itself was ratified.

I realize that Justice Ginsburg is getting a little long in the tooth, but she certainly isn’t old enough to remember when the First Amendment wasn’t a part of the Constitution.


*********** If, like me, you appreciate the fine points of the English language, you’ll appreciate this, which appeared in the Coeur d”Alene, Idaho Press…


Today’s dilemma, dear Readers, is whether to die laughing, or from the abject horror of these grammatical faux pas

A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly.

A bar was walked into by the passive voice.

An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening.

A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite.

Hyperbole totally crashes into this insane bar and completely demolishes everything.

A non sequitur walks into a bar. In a strong wind, even turkeys can fly.

A mixed metaphor walks into a bar, seeing the handwriting on the wall, but hoping to nip it in the bud.

Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They converse. They depart.

A synonym strolls into a tavern.

At the end of the day, a cliché walks into a bar — fresh as a daisy, cute as a button, and sharp as a tack.

A run-on sentence walks into a bar it starts flirting. With a cute sentence fragment.

A figure of speech literally walks into a bar and ends up getting figuratively hammered.

An allusion walks into a bar, knowing alcohol is its Achilles heel.

The subjunctive would have walked into a bar, had it only known.

A misplaced modifier walks into a bar owned by a man with a glass eye named Ralph.

The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense. (Oldie but goodie)

An Oxford comma walks into a bar, where it spends the evening watching the television getting drunk and smoking cigars (thus entirely useless).

A simile walks into a bar, as parched as the desert.

A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to forget.

A hyphenated word and a non-hyphenated word walk into a bar; the bartender nearly chokes on the irony.

•••
Mrs. Language Person and Sholeh Patrick are columnists for the Hagadone News Network with a lame sense of humor. Contact them at Sholeh@cdapress.com.

http://www.cdapress.com/sholeh_patrick/20180717/grammarhumor_mlp_never_walks_into_a_bar


*********** Being the coach at a Christian college doesn’t guarantee that you won’t have ugly problems to deal with.

At Division III Wheaton College, a highly-rated Christian college in suburban Chicago, a nasty hazing incident has rocked the school’s football program.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-wheaton-college-hazing-fourth-guilty-plea-20180716-story.html

***********  When Larry Fedora,  North Carolina’s head coach, was asked about the new NCAA kickoff rule, he went off on how with the changes to our game it’s going to be unrecognizable in a few years, and then he got into the science (and non-science) of the CTE issue.

I wouldn’t expect any big-time football coach to be able to discuss the issue at a level that would challenge the people who make their livings either studying CTE or scaring the public, or both - and he didn’t disappoint.

And then he went even farther out on the limb, making a claim guaranteed to enrage much of today’s feminized society - that football is America, and America is football. That when football goes down, America goes down with it.   Actually, I happen to agree with him to an extent; there’s no question that America (and American kids) are getting softer. Military recruiters, and drill sergeants, will confirm that. Is the decline in kids playing football a consequence, a cause,  or a corollary?

No matter.  The point is,   a  Power-5 conference football coach making some $2 million a year is scarcely the spokesman you want for the game of football. It's  like an Iowa corn farmer touting the merits of ethanol.

Football definitely needs people to speak up for it - to tell of its unique benefits.  One group would be mothers of football players, talking frankly about the reservations they had initially, and then the growth that they saw in their sons as a result of football.  Another group would be successful men - in a variety of fields - who played football and believe that it was a strong influence in their lives.

The National Football Foundation has made an effort in the latter area, but its reach is  limited to its membership.  What’s needed is for some major corporation(s) to show the cojones to support an advertising campaign not unlike what the - gasp - NRA runs, showing people from all walks of life saying “I am the NRA.”

Instead, ours would say, “I played football.  Growing up, I needed football.  Now, more than ever, American boys  need football.”

*********** Well, T.O.’s plan’s working - he’s got us writing about him again.

The latest? He left open the possibility of his playing in the CFL next season.

Canada-based agent Jason Staroszik told TSN that his client "absolutely 100 percent" wants to play in the CFL.

"He still feels like he has some football years left in him," Staroszik said. "He just loves the game and wants to get back to playing whether it's the CFL or NFL."

The CFL's Edmonton Eskimos added the retired wide receiver to their negotiations list in June, giving the team his exclusive rights in the league. Owens then activated his 10-day clause with the Eskimos on July 14, which will give Edmonton until July 24 to either offer Owens a contract or release his rights.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/more-sports/terrell-owens-absolutely-wants-to-play-in-cfl-next-season-agent-says/ar-AAAd7X2?li=BBnb7Kz

*********** I’m beginning to think that T.O. is staying away from the Hall of Fame festivities because he knows he’d get booed.

Or, worse yet - for him -  ignored.

It’s customary, when guys get inducted, for large contingents of their city’s fans show up to honor them.  That’s the way it will be this year when Bears’ fans show up to cheer for Brian Urlacher and Ravens’ fans show up to cheer for Ray Lewis.

But think about it for a minute - who the hell would take time off and spend good money to go to Canton to honor Terrell Owens?  For what?


*********** The classic  illustration of the Yiddish word “chutzpah” was a guy murdering his parents, then asking the court for mercy - because he was an orphan.

Steve Sarkisian, ex-USC coach,  had chutzpah.  He didn’t murder anybody, but after being fired for some embarrassing drunken incidents, he  sued USC for wrongful termination because, well, the “drinking problem” that caused him to be fired was - I am not kidding - a disability.

That's chutzpah.

Actually, it was a well-publicized profane, drunken speech at a booster affair, and the suspicion that he might have been a bit tipsy during a game against Arizona State, that, among other things, led to his being fired by USC.  (In spite of his disability.)

So Sark sued USC for $30 million, claiming that USC didn’t allow him to get treated for his alcoholism (which, believe it or not, considering the insanity of our givernment, really is considered to be a disability).

No mercy for this orphan, though. An arbitrator ruled in USC’s favor.

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/24052127/arbitrator-rules-favor-usc-trojans-wrongful-termination-lawsuit-former-coach-steve-sarkisian

*********** An analysis by the Portland Oregonian found that in 2017 homeless people, while making up less than three per cent of the population, accounted for 52 per cent of all arrests.

In response, the powers that be are investigating the way the police have been “interacting” with the homeless.  The Mayor, bless his terminally liberal heart,  has suggested  that there might be “profiling” going on.

*********** Brian Barlow, an Oklahoma youth soccer referee became so disgusted with abusive parents that he set up a Facebook page - called Offside - and offered people $100 for videos of outrageous incidents.  He’s received plenty of them, and he’s posted them.

The idea was to shame the f—king fools, and to some degree it seems to be working.  When some idiot parent starts in on a ref,  those aware of Barlow’s project tend to move away, lest they become co-stars on a video clip.

It’s just one example of ways that leagues are trying to cope with the fact that officiating youth sports is more than thankless - it can be downright dangerous.

Most of the anecdotes in a New York Times article about a&&hole parents seem to be about youth soccer, but in fairness to the Beautiful Game, it may simply be because there are so many kids playing the game.

One method used by leagues in Virginia and Massachusetts deals with the irrational belief by so many parents that the time and money they invest in their little darlings will be repaid someday by a college scholarship.  Organizations in those place have posted signs at the entrance to their sports complexes reading:

“No N.C.A.A. scouts are looking at your child today”

and

“No N.C.A.A. scholarships will be awarded on this field today”

https://www.facebook.com/youreoffside/

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/18/sports/referee-parents-abuse-videos.html?emc=edit_sp_20180719&nl=sports&nlid=2369637720180719&te=1

*********** How you can tell it’s hot at our place…

hot squirrel

*********** QUIZ ANSWER - Paul Christman is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

He played at Missouri from 1938 through 1940. He was a two-time All-American at Mizzou, leading the nation in passing in 1940.  His school passing record stood for 36 years until it was broken by Steve Pisarkiewicz.

Interestingly, after losing him to graduation, his coach, Don Faurot, introduced his “Split T” in 1941, and after he refined it and shared it with other coaches through wartime football, it became the dominant offense of the post-war era.

For five seasons following World War II  he was the quarterback in the Chicago Cardinals’ “Dream Backfield,” along with Pat Harder, Marshall Goldberg and Charlie Trippi, and he led the Cards to the only title in their long history.

Following his career, he became one of the first ex-players to become a broadcaster, and he was so good - he attributed his abilities as a color analyst to his having had to call plays as a quarterback - that he rose to the top of his new profession.  In 1962 he teamed with legendary Curt Gowdy to announce AFL games after NBC bought the AFL rights  for enough money to assure the survival of the new league.  Together, he and Gowdy called Super Bowl I (which was telecast on both NBC, which had the rights to AFL games, and CBS, which had the rights to the NFL games).

For the next two seasons Paul Christman moved to CBS and worked NFL games with another legend, Ray Scott,  but in 1970, with a bright career ahead of him, he died of a heart attack.  He was just 51.

*********** CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING PAUL CHRISTMAN
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

*********** When I was an NFL fan I always looked forward to watching games Paul Christman was broadcasting.  Consummate pro.  And teaming up with Curt Gowdy made all of it even better.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** Paul Christman was Mizzou's record-setting QB in 1940. Check out this video from YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFxL7HgIKaI.

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

*********** I remember when CBS replaced Tony Canadeo with Paul Christman when they paired him with the great Ray Scott...kinda sad day for us Cheeseheads...

Mark Kaczmarek
Davenport, Iowa

(Tony Canadeo, long a favorite in Green Bay both when he played and then afterward as an announcer, was known as “Mister Packer.” HW)

*********** QUIZ: He  grew up in Natick, Massachusetts,  the son of Italian immigrants, and the youngest of ten children.

After graduating from high school in Natick, he was a teammate of Don Holleder for one season at Aquinas Institute, in Rochester, New York.  Aquinas was something of a national power then, travelling hundreds of miles to take on the best competition it could find.

(In the East,  there was nothing comparable to California’s junior college system, and it was not unusual in those days for promising high school graduates to spend a year as a “P-G”  - post-graduate - at a prep school.) 

His one season at Aquinas brought him to the attention of Notre Dame’s Frank Leahy.

At Notre Dame, he quickly earned a starting position at offensive tackle, and earned notoriety - and a nickname - his junior year when, just before halftime against Iowa, with time running out and Notre Dame out of timeouts, he faked an injury. The clock was stopped, the Irish managed to score a touchdown, the game ended in a 14-14 tie, and Notre Dame went on to finish the season - Leahy’s last - with a 9-0-1 record and a piece of the national championship.

He received flowers from sarcastic Iowa fans; he received an “Academy Award” for Best Actor from his teammates; on a television show, he explained, “If you were on the ground and looked at the scoreboard and saw you were trailing and running out of time,  wouldn’t you feel hurt?”

And he received a nickname - “Faintin’ Frank” - one that would stick with him through an 11-year career in the NFL.

An All-American at Notre Dame, he was a first-round draft pick of the Steelers, and was named to the Pro Bowl after his rookie season.

After six seasons in Pittsburgh, he was traded to the Rams for Lou Michaels because the Steelers needed a defensive lineman and a kicker - and Michaels gave them both.

He was durable - he missed only two games in 11 seasons.  And he was good - he was named to five Pro Bowl teams.   Steelers Hall-of-Fame teammate Ernie Stautner remembered, “In all the years Frank played for the Steelers,  he was very seldom beaten outright. He had the respect of all the defensive linemen who played against him.”   Baltimore Colts’ Hall of Famer Gino Marchettti said, “Frank was among the best I ever faced.”

He is a member of the Steelers’ All-Time team and in his 11th season he was the Rams’ offensive captain.

Probably the highest praise he ever received came from the great Paul Brown.

From an interview with Pro Football Researchers’ Jim Sargent…

“Probably the best game I ever played came with Pittsburgh in 1957, when Buddy Parker was coaching and we beat the Colts, 19-13.  A guy by the name of Gino Marchetti was tearing everybody up.

“Johnny Unitas was passing everybody crazy, and they had Alan Ameche and Lenny Moore as running backs.

“Buddy Parker was so worried about stopping Marchetti that he had two or three linemen alternate at right tackle in practice that week  That was my position, and I was required to block Marchetti.

“To make a long story short, it became quite a challenge to me to block Marchetti. I had a terrific day. Marchetti didn't touch our quarterback, Bobby Layne, once. I got a pretty good writeup in the Pittsburgh paper after the game.

"Later on, I heard more about it at the 1958 Pro Bowl game, from one of the Cleveland players, tackle Mike McCormack.

"’Frank,' he said, ‘We were playing Pittsburgh the Sunday after you played the Colts.  When Paul Brown got out the film to show us that week, he said, ‘Gentlemen, I'm going to show you one of the greatest exhibitions of blocking I have ever seen in my life. I want you to watch the right tackle of the Steelers, the kind of job he did on Gino Marchetti.'

"McCormack said that was the first time Paul Brown ever announced, before a game film was shown, to watch the performance of a particular player. I'll never forget that."



american flagTUESDAY,  JULY 17,  2018 -   “Without winners, there would be no civilization.”  Woody Hayes

*********** In case you  didn’t hear, France won the World Cup.  (That’s a soccer tournament that takes place every four years, see, and in most nations in the world, including all the sh—hole countries, it’s a very big deal.)

The French celebrated the win, of course - perhaps even overdoing it slightly, to the point where the gendarmes (French for PO-lice) had to step in and show a bit of force.

But deep down, they’re still not happy.  Not truly happy.

See, they won because their team played ball control - stayed in that damned tight, Double-Wing formation and ran the ball. Over and over. Ran it, and ran it, and ran it, seldom passing it, while monopolizing possession and relying on a tough defense.  All the while, French fans urged them to “open it up!” (in French, of course).

Okay, I lied.  They didn’t run the Double Wing.  Or the Wishbone.  Or the split-back veer.  They were, of course, still playing soccer.

But they weren’t playing it the way the French insist it be played.  As they headed into the final game, their coach was repeatedly criticized for his team’s stodgy play, with its heavy emphasis on defense.

One reporter, accusing him of wasting all the talent at his disposal,  compared him to a man driving a Ferrari at the speed limit.

Just like many American football fans who’d rather see an incomplete pass than a ten-yard run off-tackle, seemingly preferring to lose 42-40 than win 7-6, the French aren’t happy with just winning.  They insist that a French team - a real French team - must play with élan - with style, flair, dash.

“Three yards and a cloud of dust,” does not translate into French.

Perhaps this explains their lack of success in war.

*********** Gerald Eskenazi, long-time New York Times sportswriter and author of 16 books, wrote in The Wall Street Journal,   “I chuckle when I hear an American announcer give the result of a 1-0 soccer game as “1-nil.” Does he take a “lift” instead of an elevator in his office? The “tube” instead of the subway?”

*********** Our local newspaper, the Vancouver Columbian, is a poster child for why American newspapers are dying.  Its news is politically slanted (and to the left, it goes without saying); at least half of its front sports page typically consists of photographs - usually one large one - no doubt because it saves them from having to pay writers;  the writers they do pay seem to have slept through the part of journalism school where they taught about sentence structure; and they are severely lacking in judgement when it comes to what to write about.

Consider…

This past Saturday night, the annual “Freedom Bowl Classic,” a local all-star football game featuring the graduates of our county’s 17 high schools, took place.  But you’d never have known it if you depended for your news on the Columbian - which, unfortunately, most people in the county do.

Until Friday - the day before the game - not a thing was written about the game.  In other years, there would be a story or two every day about this kid or that kid and where he was going to college, blah, blah, blah.

But this year, nothing until Friday, when they chose to write a large article about one kid for whom the Freedom Bowl would be his last game.  (With a large photo, of course, accompanying the story.)

His last game?  Right.  Sure as hell, true to the standards of today’s journalism, the topic of that lone pre-game story, was concussions.

The story was about a kid who’d suffered three of them since eighth grade, and had finally decided that that was enough. Now, according to the story, he “got proactive about his health and well-being.”

He decided to turn down a scholarship to play football at NAIA Montana Tech.   No more football for him. 

Now, I was pretty pissed  at the idea that with maybe 70 kids, each with stories of their own, they had to go negative.  They just had to imply that football was dangerous, but this kid had come to his senses and decided not to play any more.

But to show how clueless the writer was, she totally whiffed on two great ironies in the story:

1. Two of the three concussions the kid had suffered since eighth grade occurred in one single “lacrosse match.”  In other words, he suffered not one concussion attributable to football during his entire high school career.

2.  If he’s through with football - if it’s so f—king dangerous - then how come he was taking his chances, playing in this “one last game?”

*********** “One of the secrets of Trump’s success is having really, really stupid enemies, enemies who are so tone-deaf and out-of-touch that they simply cannot adopt commonsense positions that resonate among normal Americans. The establishment instead insists on telling Americans that up is down, black is white, and girls can have penises. Nope. No wonder the Normals have gotten militant…”

Kurt Schlichter, townhall.com

***********  The University of Louisville, a proud academic institution - if you overlook the occasional use of whores to recruit illiterates to play basketball -  has taken the high road and removed the name “Papa John’s” from its stadium. 

If you hadn’t heard, John Schnatter, founder of the Papa John's pizza chain, dared to use the “N-word” - in quoting someone else who used the word.  Did you get that?  No one is saying that he said it!   Whew! That's it for me - No more standing on street corners and  reading aloud the lyrics of popular hip-hop “songs."

Zap!  Just like that, the guy’s a racist,  which means anything and anyone having anything at all to do with him becomes radioactive.

Racist, did I say?  To show you just how racist the guy is - why, he even objected to NFL players’ kneeling during the national anthem. (Which I suspect is what made him a target of the “who’s a racist?” crew.)

Louisville, being the proud academic institution that it is  (oh, wait - isn’t Bobby Petrino their football coach?) will no doubt offer to return the money they took from Papa John’s for the naming rights to the stadium.

*********** My son-in-law, Rob Love, an attorney in Durham, North Carolina, went to Duke, where he met my daughter.

He’s originally from Montclair, New Jersey, where one of his classmates, whom he visited while he was in Portland recently,  is the daughter of the great Jerry Izenberg.

A sports writer for the Newark Star-Ledger since 1951, Mr. Izenberg has won the Red Smith Award, presented by Associated Press sports editors in honor of the legendary sports writer, and he’s a member of both the National Sportscaster and Sportswriters Hall of Fame and the Boxing Hall of Fame.

He is one of only three people to have covered every single Super Bowl.


*********** Strange fact: An agent named Jimmy Sexton represents 11 of the 14 SEC coaches.

*********** In World Cup Soccer, they call it the Third-Place Match.  In Suomen Amerikkalaisen Jalkapallo (Finnish American Football) they call it the Bronze Medal Game.

In the NFL, they called it a lot of things.  From 1960-1969,  a time before playoffs, when the NFL championship was played by the champions of the two divisions, the second place teams met for the supposed third place in what was originally called the Playoff Bowl.

As with its European counterparts, there was never a lot of interest in the game - among players, coaches or fans. Despite the NFL's best efforts, it came to be called the “Runner-up Bowl.” 

Or worse:  In a team meeting, Vince Lombardi expressed his lack of interest in playing in it by calling it “A sh— bowl… a loser’s game for losers.”

With the merger of the NFL and AFL and the establishment of a championship game between the two leagues (which came to be known as the Super Bowl) interest in a game between runners-up declined from slim to none.

The game actually served a noble purpose.  At a time when there was no pension for the players, the  proceeds of the game went to establish a small pension plan from which has grown today’s rather generous plan.

Interestingly, the first three Playoff Bowl games were won by the Detroit Lions.  They were the last “championships” won by the Lions, a once-proud franchise.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playoff_Bowl

http://mmqb.si.com/mmqb/2017/06/22/nfl-playoff-bowl-garbage-time

*********** Shelby Steele is one of my intellectual heroes, and I think that if we could shut down all the politicians and two-bit race hustlers for 24 hours and put him - non-stop - on all TV channels,  listening to him could personally make America better by reducing the racial tensions in American and helping black urban citizens improve their lot in life.

Sunday night, Mr. Steele, a conservative author, columnist and speaker, and a fellow at Stanford’s respected Hoover Institution, spoke with Mark Levin.  Here are some excerpts…

LEVIN: Among other things you said, "It's not surprising then that these black football players would don the mantle of protest," because you say protest is something that black Americans have had to do for Civil Rights. You look at Martin Luther King. You look at Jackie Robinson in sports, and so forth and so on, and you say, the surprise was that it didn't work this time.

"They had misread the historic moment, they were not speaking truth to power, rather they were figures of pathos, mindlessly loyal to a black identity that had run its course," so you say in the article, "Look, protest is a good thing." Protest sometimes is necessary, right, to get vote, to get equal rights, to draw the attention of society and so forth, but this one fell on deaf ears. Explain.
 
STEELE: Well, protest is central to the evolution of black American culture. It was protest that really finally won our freedom for us. Beyond that, it's always interesting to note that it expanded the idea of democracy. Democracy had all of the theory, all of the thinking - before had never dealt with the clash between race and racism and democracy. Well, it was the Civil Rights Movement, it was Martin Luther King who said, "You have to take and go beyond race even, that democracy is universal."

So that is a big part of the black American identity, and it is sort of seen as the test of your authenticity as a black, yet this protest in the NFL made the point that this was kind of fruitless at this point, and I think that central issue behind what you are talking about is the fact that the oppression of black Americans is over with.
 
LEVIN: It's over with.

STEELE: It's over with. I grew up, I mean, it was - we never thought there would be an end to oppression. I remember being a teenager, I never thought that I'd live in a society that was not segregated. It happened. Now, are there exceptions? Yes, there are a few here and there. Will racism every completely go away? No, it is a part of the - as I say in that article, it is endemic to the human condition just as stupidity is endemic to the human condition. And so we'll always have to be on guard about it.

But we are at a point where the old fashioned method of protest is obsolete. We need a lot of things, but we don't need that any more. We're at a point now where we can - we are a free people and can pursue our lives as we would like to.

LEVIN: You point out in the article in your thought process is that, that's part of the issue. We are a free people. We are all a free people.

STEELE: Yes.

LEVIN: We are not an oppressed people. Blacks are not an oppressed people quite frankly, Jews are not an oppressed people and so forth. This is America now. There is a history where there is oppression, obviously, slavery and segregation and so forth, but that is gone. And you say - and so some people are having difficulty coping with liberty. What do you mean by that?

STEELE: Absolutely. Well, when you think about it black American culture evolved over three and a half centuries. Every minute under which they lived under oppression and they adapted to dealing with the fact that those freedoms were going to be cut off. They had to somehow make a life within all of those restriction, and they did. Part of the - one of the - I think black American culture is nothing less than heroic. I mean, they evolved - look at the - you know, the contribution like music and so forth. They achieved great things.

The one thing we never had to do was to deal with freedom. That was precisely the thing that we denied, so that's not in our culture, in a vivid clear sense as it would be if we had been free - truly free. Well, we now are free. Freedom is, as the existentialist I think rightly say, a burden, it's a difficulty. It puts the individual in a position of being much more responsible for themselves, their own development as individuals and that is new for us.
 
The idea is still that black unity, we just can't be unified. That is the way ahead. Not anymore. You take yourself ahead. That's the new and stunning really fact of American life that we're now facing and having to deal with.

LEVIN: How about social justice? And equality? And the phrases like that? I hear that is what people say they are protesting.
 
STEELE: You've got all the social justice you need. Again, I lived through segregation. The freedom we have today is absolutely remarkable. We, as a people have not yet absorbed that. We have not absorbed the fact that our problem is no longer racism, our problem is freedom. We have to learn to deal with freedom, and only way to do that is to - it's going to have to be grounded in individual responsibility. That is the only chance you have with freedom, it's to take charge of your life and make a life for yourself.

http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/2018/07/15/author-shelby-steele-on-race-relations-equality-in-america.html

*********** For the better part of a week, we were blessed with having our four kids and their spouses and our 11 grandkids visiting us in Camas. They came from Colorado and North Carolina, from Boston and Seattle, from Australia and Japan.  (In all, my wife and I made 14 airport runs.)  There was one brief time during which everyone was there, and we managed to take advantage of it with a family photo. (Having been through at least 30 team photos over the years, I confess to being the anal one who staged it.)
Family Photo 2018

There was plenty for them to do: hiking on the trails nearby, exploring Portland, kayaking and paddle boarding on the nearby lakes, fixing dinner when it was their turn, and then playing all sorts of games outside our house after dinner (this time of year, it doesn’t get dark out here until 9:30 or so).  And socializing - damn, it’s fun watching those cousins and the fun they have when they get together -
they're widespread, and they don't see each other more than once every two or three years. All but three are old enough to drink now, and as evidenced by the photo below,  they've inherited my love of  beer.  (The multi-colored label is - I think - not intended to be the dreaded rainbow flag, but instead, since it's a "Mexican lager"  brewed by the Full Sail Brewing Co., of Hood River, Oregon, and named "Sesion" as a takeoff on their popular "Session" lager, it's the red and green of the Mexican flag.  I think.  I hope.)

Beer bottles



*********** What is it that Terrell Owens is best known for?  If you said, “catching passes,” you must have been watching soccer for the better part of his 15 NFL seasons, because anyone who was paying attention during the T.O. Era knows that most of his name recognition is due to his being the biggest a$$hole in the game.

But he hasn’t played since 2010,  and with the exception of a few announcements from time to time that he was thinking of making a comeback, he’s been pretty much out of the public eye.

And then came his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I wasn’t the only one who was surprised - and disappointed - at the news, but I can’t say I was surprised when he then announced that he wouldn’t be attending the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, preferring instead to have his own personal induction ceremony in Chattanooga (where he’d played his college ball).

It didn’t surprise me because it was vintage “T.O.” - all about being the biggest a$$hole he could possibly be.

And it certainly wouldn’t surprise me to learn that this latest stunt came on the advice of an agent smart enough to realize that while receivers - even Hall of Fame receivers - are a dime a dozen, T.O., even in a league full of a$$holes, is in a class all his own.     

His football career is over;  he can’t do anything further to advance his image as a receiver. But being an a&&hole is the essence of the T.O. brand, and his shunning of the Canton festivities ought to cement his status as the GAOAT (Greatest A$$hole of All Time) -  which means we should prepare ourselves to see him on TV soon, endorsing products.

*********** The Good Old Summer Time…

Baseball gives us ball games.

The NHL sends the Stanley Cup around to the hometowns of the players on the championship team.

The NBA gives us the Las Vegas Summer League.

The NFL, with training camp just weeks away, gives us Jameis Winston in Sexploits 2.0, LeSean McCoy and his brutish efforts to evict his live-in girlfriend , Terrell Owens turning his back on the greatest honor that can be bestowed on a professional football player, Julian Edelman - and a host of other drug abusers, performance-enhancing and otherwise - being sat down for parts of the season.  No use even mentioning the social activities of NFL alumni, the most recent of which was  last week’s attempted murder charge against Brandon Browner.

Not even the vaunted NFL PR department can get the subject back on football.


***********   QUIZ ANSWER - Steve Worster may be the greatest college running back who never played a single down in the NFL.

In his junior year of high school, his Bridge City, Texas team made it to the Class 3A state final game (Texas had only 4 classes at the time)  before losing to perennial power Brownwood, 14-0.

But in his senior year, he rushed for 2210 yards as his team went undefeated, winning the state title with a 30-6 win over McKinney.  In the title game, he sat out the second half after putting the game away with four first-half touchdowns.

All told, in his three seasons as a starter for Bridge City, he rushed for 5422 yards.  He was all-state all three years, and he amassed what was then a state-record 38 100-yard games.

One of the most highly-recruited players in the history of Texas football, he finally settled on Texas.

It was a good choice, because shortly after he arrived, Texas adopted an offense that would use his power running ability to revolutionize the game of football.

His historic significance is that was the first in a great line of fullbacks - the first fullback around which Texas coach Darrell Royal and his offensive coordinator Emory Bellard built their innovative triple-option attack.  Originally called the “Y” formation because of the alignment of its backs, it became much better known by the name it goes by today, the wishbone, a name given it by - most people believe - a Houston sports writer named Mickey Herskowitz.

Based on the threat of his running up the middle, the new offense produced back-to-back national titles for the Longhorns in 1969 and 1970.  As Texas fans shouted “Woo! Woo!” (his name was pronounced “WOO-ster”) every time he carried the ball,  he rushed for 2313 yards and 36 touchdowns, and  was a three-time All-Southwest Conference selection and a two-time All-American. He was voted Texas Amateur Athlete of the Year, and finished fourth in the Heisman voting after his senior season.

In the 1971 NFL draft, he was chosen fourth by the Los Angeles Rams, but he would up signing with the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the CFL, where he played just one season before hanging them up and returning to school to get his degree and embark on a career in sales.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING STEVE WORSTER:
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MIKE FORISTIERE - TOPEKA, KANSAS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN


***********  Charlie Wilson, of Crystal River Florida, my resident expert on All Things Belly - Veer - Wishbone, found some great stuff on Steve Worster in the Beaumont Enterprise…

"A professional football career never came to much. The Los Angeles Rams picked him in the fourth round of the 1971 NFL draft, but they could never come to an agreement on a contract.

"Just every underhanded trick they'd play," Worster said. "To the point they even took me out to get me drunk to sign a contract... I just finally told them I wasn't interested."

I'm reminded of John Hannah here.  If memory serves, when negotiations were starting, the suits pulled Hannah off to the side and someone said something like, "We are prepared to offer you...TWENNY THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!"

With apologies to blood-suckers, the rise of blood-sucking agents came to the forefront because of nonsense like this (See also: The Rise of Hugh Culverhouse, given the Tampa NFL franchise for "only" several mil after someone else did all the work...)

https://www.beaumontenterprise.com/sports/article/On-Christmas-Eve-1966-Bridge-City-star-faced-10816030.php


*********** Steve Worster - SI Vault -

https://www.si.com/vault/2003/03/03/338912/steve-worster-fullback-december-14-1970


*********** QUIZ - He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

He played at Missouri from 1938 through 1940. He was a two-time All-American at Mizzou, leading the nation in passing in 1940.  His school passing record stood for 36 years until it was broken by Steve Pisarkiewicz.

Interestingly, after losing him to graduation, his coach, Don Faurot, introduced his “Split T” in 1941, and after Faurot refined it and shared it with other coaches during wartime football, it became the dominant offense of the post-war era.

For five seasons following World War II  he was the quarterback in the Chicago Cardinals’ “Dream Backfield,” along with Pat Harder, Marshall Goldberg and Charlie Trippi, and he led the Cards to the only title in their long history.

Following his career, he became one of the first ex-players to become a broadcaster, and he was so good - he attributed his abilities as a color analyst to his having had to call plays as a quarterback - that he rose to the top of his new profession.  In 1962 he teamed with legendary Curt Gowdy to announce AFL games after NBC bought the AFL rights  for enough money to assure the survival of the new league.  Together, he and Gowdy called Super Bowl I (which was telecast on both NBC, which had the rights to AFL games, and CBS, which had the rights to the NFL games).

For the next two seasons he moved to CBS and worked NFL games with another legend, Ray Scott,  but in 1970, with a bright career ahead of him, he died of a heart attack.  He was just 51.



american flagFRIDAY,  JULY 13,  2018 -   "Is this my best team ever? I won't know that for another 20 years or so." Amos Alonzo Stagg

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

Did manage to slip in some news today after all.  Enjoyed it as always.

Aside from that unfortunate incident I’m happy to hear your Fourth turned out to be enjoyable!

Especially sharing it with family!

Soccer...’nuff said.

Quiz:  Amos Alonzo Stagg  
UOP named its football stadium in honor of A.A. Stagg.  Unfortunately I believe the stadium no longer exists after UOP dropped its football program.  What an epitaph to a great, great man.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** What a sorry-ass excuse for a sports event that France-Belgium “soccer match” was. With the exception of one clever behind-the-back kick by some Frenchman with an African name, watching the clock was more exciting than the soccer itself.

Not that the England-Croatia game wasn’t also a snoozer.

Even with all those little American kids growing up playing soccer, I don’t see much future for it at the major league - REAL major league - level.  Not until they start letting guys pick up the ball and run with it… and letting the other team tackle the guy with the ball… and letting the guy with the ball pass it to someone else before he gets tackled… (I’m working on more rules like that to make soccer more exciting).

*********** Need a quarterback for your college program?  California is the place to look.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-california-quarterbacks-20180708-story.html


*********** My friend Tom Hinger sent me this story, adding “This is what a REAL coach does…”

University of Alabama freshman linebacker VanDarius Cowan has been dismissed from the team for violating team rules, coach Nick Saban said in a statement on Monday.

“VanDarius has been dismissed from the team and is no longer a part of our football program due to a violation of team rules,” Saban said. “Each of us has a responsibility to represent The University of Alabama in a first-class way, and failure to meet those standards can’t be tolerated. We wish VanDarius the very best in the future.”

Last week, Cowan was charged with misdemeanor assault in relation to an incident at a Tuscaloosa bar last month. He was charged with third-degree assault and turned himself in on Thursday.

According to Tuscaloosa News, Cowan was accused of punching a 26-year-old man in the face on the morning of June 23, resulting in broken teeth and nerve damage for the victim.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb/alabama-freshman-linebacker-dismissed-from-team-after-bar-fight-arrest/ar-AAzO90S

*********** Presidential advisor Kellyane Conway was at a Baltimore Orioles game when a stranger came up to her and took her photo and said something about her being famous “for all the wrong reasons.”

She walked over to him and said, “I’m fluent in ignoramus.  What did you say?”

She then took a photo of him and said she planned to add it to her “collection of underachieving men.”

*********** Found this on texassports.com…

Diron Talbert, who was an All-Southwest Conference selection as a junior defensive tackle in 1965 and a preseason All-American in 1966, was a three-year letterman (1964-66) and a tri-captain in 1966. A fifth-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Rams, he played four seasons there before moving to Washington in 1971. In his 10 years with the Redskins, Talbert played in a Super Bowl (in '73) and was Redskins’ captain for nine seasons, playing in more than 200 games.

On the 70th anniversary of the Redskins, Talbert was named one of the 70 greatest who played for the Skins.

He admitted he is not a regular in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium each fall.

He said he does get to one game a year.

"But, you have to remember," Talbert said, "between playing college football at Texas and playing 14 years in the NFL, well, that's 19 years of hunting seasons that I missed.


*********** NFF - New Programs added


IRVING, Texas (June 28, 2018) – The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) highlighted today that seven college football teams will take the field for the first time this season. Including the five other colleges and universities that will take the field in the coming seasons, the number of schools among all NCAA divisions, the NAIA and independents offering football has increased to an all-time high of 778.
 
Since 1978 when the NCAA changed its method for tracking attendance figures, the number of schools playing NCAA football (FBS, FCS, DII and DIII) has steadily increased by 182 schools from 484 in 1978 to 666 in 2017, or an average increase of 4.7 schools per year. Adding NAIA and independent schools playing football and schools launching programs in the coming years, the number of colleges and universities offering students an opportunity to play college football has been increased to the all-time high of 778.
 
In the past six seasons alone (2012-17), 35 football programs have been added by NCAA or NAIA institutions. Only 11 football programs have been dropped during the same span, including two at schools that closed and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which returned to the gridiron in 2017. All 778 schools that offer football will be represented on the three-story helmet wall at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
 
Universities and colleges are adding football at all levels, and administrators have developed sound plans, ensuring the new programs address the unique financial, academic and long-term objectives of their respective schools. The 74 institutions listed below, who have implemented firm plans during the past decade, coupled together with the more than 20 schools with exploratory committees, create a clear and undeniable trend that presidents and trustees nationwide see the value of a football program as part of their overall academic mission.
 
“No other sport contributes more to the vibrancy of a college campus than football, and we are very pleased to highlight those schools that have added our great game,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “University and college presidents clearly see the value of having programs on their campuses, and we applaud them for understanding the role football can play in the educational experience of all their students.”
 
The rationale for adding football varies at each institution, and all of the decision makers who helped develop a plan for launching a program explain that an in-depth study played a critical role in finding the right level of play and the proper financial balance. Small colleges may cite increasing enrollment and addressing gender imbalances while larger universities might highlight the role of football in raising the institution’s profile and its ability to attract research grants. All mention creating a more vibrant on-campus community and connecting with alumni.
 
“With more than one million high school students playing football and more than 75,000 spots on college teams, there is plenty of room for expansion,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “Many of these colleges clearly recognize that football can play an important role in encouraging students to continue their educations by enticing them to enroll.”
 
According to a 2015 study of five small universities published in College Planning & Management by Virginia Wesleyan College President Dr. Scott Miller and former Carlow University (Pa.) President Dr. Marylouise Fennell, adding sports teams and facilities, especially football and marching bands, can fuel an enrollment boost. According to the study, each of the five institutions experienced a six-year increase of 26 percent or more, with one school doubling its enrollment during that period.
 
The schools have added programs at every level of play and in every region of the country, experiencing successes that run the gamut. In all, the 62 programs that have added football from 2008-17 have combined for two national championships, 36 conference championships and 49 postseason appearances.
 
In 2017, UAB went 8-5 and earned a trip to the Bahamas Bowl in its first season after a two-year hiatus. Georgia State, which launched its program in 2010, won its first bowl game after a win in the AutoNation Cure Bowl and had its first NFF National Scholar-Athlete selection in Chandon Sullivan. At the FCS level, Kennesaw State (launched in 2015) claimed its first conference title in 2017 and reached the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs.
 
West Florida, which launched its program just two years ago in 2016, reached the Division II National Championship Game. Berry (Ga.), which kicked off its inaugural season in 2013, claimed its first conference title and first perfect regular season in its history and reached the second round of the Division III Playoffs. Reinhardt (Ga.), which also launched in 2013, posted a perfect regular season, won its conference division title and reached the NAIA National Championship in 2017.
 
These are just some of the impressive achievements at schools that have recently added football. Others include notching impressive attendance figures; attracting increased enrollment; garnering national publicity; expanding their donor bases; and receiving invitations to join conferences at the next level.
 
The planning and preparation of seven programs will come to fruition as they begin intercollegiate play this fall: Allen University in Columbia, S.C.; Alvernia University in Reading, Pa.; Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind.; Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Fla.; Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Mich.; Ottawa University-Arizona in Surprise, Ariz.; and the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine.


Allen University in Columbia, S.C., which had previously dropped its football program following the 2005 season, is among the new schools this season. The school announced in January plans to reinstate the program and that Teddy Keaton would be the team’s head coach as it begins its inaugural season this fall. The Yellow Jackets will compete at the NAIA level and will announce its 2018 schedule in the near future.  Allen also announced it would be bringing back its marching band program after more than 50 years. Administrators believe both programs will attract more students to the university, which has a current enrollment of around 600.
 
Alvernia University in Reading, Pa., will begin its inaugural season while competing as a member of NCAA Division III’s Middle Atlantic Conference under the direction of head coach Ralph Clark. Since announcing the addition of a football program, the school has changed its mascot to the Golden Wolves and made significant upgrades to its stadium.
 
Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind., which announced the launch of its program more than two years ago, will see its hard work pay off this fall as the Wildcats begin their kick-off season. A member of the NAIA’s Mid-States Football Association, Indiana Wesleyan will be playing its games in a brand new on-campus stadium. “We are really looking forward to competing in 2018 and this schedule will be a great test for our football program in our inaugural season,” said head coach Jordan Langs in March.
 
Keiser University will begin its first season in West Palm Beach, Fla., behind the leadership of head coach Doug Socha. Earlier this year, the Seahawks joined the NAIA’s Mid-South Conference as an affiliate member in football.
 
Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Mich., will return to the gridiron after a 70-year hiatus this fall and compete as an independent before joining the NAIA’s Mid-States Football Association in 2019. One of the university’s main objectives with the football program is to create an active student body.
 
“[Our student section, ‘The Pointe,’ will] give us that 12th man,” said Lawrence Tech head coach Jeff Duvendeck. “It’ll give us some extra support and make the stadium louder. It’ll bring the campus together, which I think is a big part of why you start an athletic program at a school is to bring the campus community together, and having that student section is a huge part of it.”
 
Ottawa University Arizona (OUAZ), a second campus of Ottawa University in Kansas, opened its doors in Surprise, Ariz., last fall. The school will kick off this season as a member of the newly formed Sooner Athletic Conference in the NAIA, and it will play its games at the brand new, state-of-the-art Spirit Field on campus. Veteran head coach Mike Nesbitt will lead the Spirit and is “extremely excited for this upcoming season.”
 
The University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, which announcing the addition of football in 2014 and played a junior varsity season in 2017, is prepared to play its first varsity season. A member of the Commonwealth Coast Football conference, head coach Mike Lichten’s UNE Nor'easters join Alvernia as the two NCAA Division III football programs kicking off their maiden seasons this fall. The two schools will conclude their 2018 regular seasons with a game against each other in Biddeford.
 
The number of football programs across the nation continues to grow, with four additional schools announcing the launch of future teams since last fall: Allen University in Columbia, S.C. (which was previously highlighted as launching this fall); Barton College in Wilson, N.C.; Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H.; and Keystone College in La Plume, Pa.
 
In January, Barton College in Wilson, N.C., announced the addition of an NCAA Division II football program with the goal of an inaugural season in 2020. The private, liberal arts college’s decision to integrate football into its athletics program is based on its mission of providing programs and opportunities to encourage the intellectual, spiritual, social and cultural development of its students.
 
According to the college’s announcement release, football will enhance campus vibrancy, community engagement and institutional growth while helping balance the current gender ratio of 70/30 women to men.
 
“This is an exciting time for Barton College,” said Dr. Douglas N. Searcy, president of Barton College. “We know that we also have to make choices institutionally that will continue to expand our footprint and provide new and exciting opportunities for our students as well as positively engage our friends and partners in the community. Bringing football to campus is exactly that kind of bold choice. Football will undoubtedly create a tremendous surge of energy and enthusiasm among students, as well as faculty, staff, alumni and the Wilson community.”
 
Like all colleges and universities that add football programs, Barton came to its decision on the heels of an in-depth feasibility study and detailed analysis. On June 19, the school announced Chip Hester, who coached the past four seasons at North Carolina A&T State, as the program’s new head coach. The next steps will be solidifying the timeline.
 
With an enrollment just under 2,000, Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H., has fielded a sprint football team (all players weighing less than 178 pounds) since 2012. In February, the university announced it would begin transitioning to an NCAA Division II program, and the Ravens will join the Northeast-10 Conference in the sport beginning with the 2019 season.
 
“Moving to NCAA Division II Football is a significant step for the University, and one that makes sense, given the growing similarities to rules governing our existing Sprint Football program,” Franklin Pierce President Dr. Kim Mooney said in a university news release. “In terms of eligibility and expenses, the gap between Sprint and NCAA Division II Football has never been so close. Now is the logical time for Franklin Pierce to make the transition to Division II with our football program, allowing us to capitalize on the enhancements to our on-campus student experience which will come with such a transition.”
 
The changes were the result of analysis by Franklin Pierce that aimed to ensure its athletics program “continues to grow in reputation and impact, regionally and nationally.”
 
“It’s exciting to be part of something new,” head coach Rashad Watson told The Keene Sentinel. “We want people to know we’ve got a football team over here, we have a great campus and a great school that people (in the region) can enjoy.”
 
Keystone College, a 1,400-student institution in La Plume, Pa., announced in January it was bringing back its football program after a 71-year hiatus. The program will operate as a club program and play a limited schedule in the fall of 2019 before switching over to a full-varsity schedule in 2020 as a member of NCAA Division III’s Eastern Collegiate Football Conference. The Giants will play their home games at the school's athletic field and track complex, which opened in 2014, and plans call for the construction of a new field house.
 
Keystone previously sponsored the football in the late 1800s through the 1947 season, and the college believes the new program will reinvigorate the proud tradition the sport once held on campus. Notably, Hall of Fame baseball player Christy Mathewson was a member of the Keystone football team from 1895-97.
 
“We are so excited to reintroduce football as our next varsity sport,” Keystone President David L. Coppola said in a news release. “This will be a wonderful experience not only for the student-athletes who come here to continue their education and compete on the NCAA Division III level but for our entire student body and alumni as well. We can’t wait to get started and we look forward to the day when we cheer for the Giants as they take the field for the very first time.”
 
According to the college, the success of other recently added sports made football the next logical step to continue the growth of the Keystone student-athlete experience. In addition to the benefits to the players, the college stated that football will provide an enjoyable and uplifting experience for everyone associated with the college, bringing people together to socialize and share common experiences. In March, the college announced that Justin Higgins would serve as the head coach of the revived program.
 
“My family and I are thrilled to be at Keystone College,” Higgins said in a news release. “I can’t wait to get started as we work to build a football program that reflects the values and traditions that have made Keystone what it is today. We are so very proud to be part of the Keystone community.”
 
The addition of a football program often entails a long, calculated process that frequently begins with studies conducted by task forces. Schools are more likely to begin the football feasibility process if there is significant support from the community.
 
Last year, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock announced it would conduct a football and marching band feasibility study following a student-created petition calling for the sport’s addition at the school. Already a member of the FBS’ Sun Belt Conference in all other sports, the university last fielded a football team in 1955 when it was known as Little Rock Junior College.
 
In October 2017, Little Rock chose a firm to conduct the study, which is evaluating whether a football program and marching band would be a fiscally responsible and meaningful addition to the university and the central Arkansas community. The study is examining every aspect, including costs, staffing, playing venue, facility construction and economic and enrollment impact. The study will put exact figures on both a startup and annual cost for Little Rock football, helping the university determine if it will move forward with the program.
 
In May 2018, Little Rock athletics director Chasse Conque updated the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees on the feasibility study, which he said would be completed by July 1.
 
“It’s all part of the bigger vision for the athletics department to compete at the Division I level,” Conque said, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
 
Another school taking a real look at adding football is the University at Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, Texas, which boasts an enrollment of more than 28,000 students after the consolidation of the University of Texas at Brownsville and the University of Texas-Pan American.
 
The football feasibility committee at UTRGV was created in 2016 with legendary coach Mack Brown, a 2018 College Football Hall of Fame electee, as its chairman. The committee has been looking at how other universities have set up football programs in recent years to determine best practices, including the University of Texas at San Antonio, which launched its program in 2011. The UTRGV feasibility study is expected to be released soon.
 
Rick Anderson, UTRGV’s executive vice president for finance and administration, explained to the Rio Grande Guardian in April what would happen after the study is released.
 
“We do expect a student vote coming this fall,” Anderson told the outlet. “If we assume that is positive it would go to the board. It would require student approval and then board approval sometime this fall. And then, of course, it takes several years to get up and running.”

http://footballfoundation.org/News/NewsDetail/News/record-778-colleges-and-universities-now-offering-football

RANDY F AND GEN FRANK

*********** While old friend Mike Foristiere works to turn things around at Highland Park High in Topeka, Kansas, his son Randy, a senior (first classman) to be at West Point, is spending his summer as an officer-in-training at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

Fort Polk happens to be the site of what’s called the Joint Readiness Training Center, designed to provide “highly realistic joint and combined arms training across the full spectrum of conflict.”

It is one of only three of what the Army calls “Dirt” Combat Training Centers, conducting realistic training exercises in order to prepare infantry units for actual combat operations.

And the Commanding General of Fort Polk happens to be Brigadier General Pat Frank, who just ten years ago was Lieutenant Colonel Pat Frank, the Battalion Commander of the Black Lions, at Fort Riley, Kansas.  He’s the guy who developed a working relationship with the Kansas State football program, and as a result, I’ve come to know him.

When he learned that Randy Foristiere was headed to Fort Polk, he arranged to have a picture taken with him, and that’s what you see.

If General Pat Frank looks like he’s in shape,  take it from Mike Foristiere, telling of Randy’s first morning at Fort Polk:

“Randy said he and the other cadets had PT (Physical Training) with General Frank this morning. Said the General is in great shape.”

When I passed along Randy’s compliments to General Frank, he wrote back…

We had a great PT session - wanted to ensure the Cadets knew how critical that first event with their Soldiers every morning is - got to attack PT, it sets the tempo for the entire duty day!Thanks for the note - BLACK LIONS!

Sure sounds to me like he’s saying, “LEAD FROM THE FRONT!”

http://www.jrtc-polk.army.mil/cg.html

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

Your commentary on eye contact is very timely. We decided at our coaches meeting last week that “listening with your eyes” would be this year’s character focus. Two years ago it was handshakes (before and after practice- perhaps the best and easiest teaching technique I have learned), last year it was grit (what it looks, sounds and feels like) and this year it is the mental toughness that constant eye contact develops.

Please communicate to your friend Joe Gutilla that his new HC’s son, Bryan Bennett, has a standing invitation to a home cooked meal or any other assistance that a young man in Winnipeg might need. You can provide him with my email. The end zones do take some getting used to, but the presnap waggle causes at least one offensive offsides per game. We don’t think it’s worth the risk.

Tom Walls
Winnipeg, Manitoba

*********** QUIZ ANSWER -  As a  college football player at Yale, Amos Alonzo Stagg was an end on the first-ever All-American team.

At that time, former Yale football players were in great demand as coaches, and he spent two years as head coach simultaneously at a Massachusetts prep school and  at Springfield College.

Then, for 40 years - from 1892 to 1932 - he was head coach at the academically elite University of Chicago, then a member of the Big Ten.  He was also the baseball coach for 19 seasons and the basketball coach for one season. At the age of 70, he was forced to retire by the university president, who in 1939 would discontinue football entirely at Chicago, and pull out of the Big Ten. 

After leaving Chicago, where his record was 244-11-7, he took the head coaching job at the College of the Pacific (now University of the Pacific) where he stayed for 14 years.

When he finally retired as a head coach, his overall record - at Springfield College, Chicago, and Pacific - was 314-199-35.

For the next six years, from 1947 through 1952, he assisted his son, who was head coach at Susquehanna University, in Pennsylvania, and from 1953 through 1960, he assisted at Stockton College. He finally called it quits at age 98.  He died in 1965 at the age of 102.

His contributions to the game, for which he is credited either as an innovator or a collaborator, are too numerous to list, (and some of them are attributed to others) but they include…

the center snap… the spiral snap… the onside kick… the short punt formation… the forward pass… the statue of liberty play…  the line shift… the place kick… the lateral… the tackling dummy… the unbalanced line… the Notre Dame box formation… the idea of varsity letters… the idea of numbers on uniforms… the T formation… the man in motion… the position of linebacker… the numbering of plays by players and holes

He is a charter member of the College Football Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach.

Two high schools - one in Illinois and one in California - are named for him, as is the annual game to decide the Division III National Championship.

A deeply religious man who had countless good influences on our game, was for good reason called the Grand Old Man of football.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING AMOS ALONZO STAGG:
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
JASON MENSING - WHITEFORD, MICHIGAN
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
MIKE FORISTIERE - TOPEKA, KANSAS
JOSH COLE - ODESSA, NEW YORK
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON


*********** On the subject of Amos Alonzo Stagg, Adam Wesoloski sent along a link to action between College of the Pacific and San Jose State.

Adam Wesoloski
Pulaski, Wisconsin

P.S. You will get a kick out of this game.

San Jose State vs College of the Pacific Football Game Oct 20, 1939 - 1st Half

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgAHaNpNPJY&t=623s

One of the teams - I think it’s COP - is running from Short Punt formation.


Yale

*********** Just like all of us, Amos Alonzo Stagg was young once.  That’s the Yale team of 1888, and that’s Mr. Stagg at the left of the back row.  The big guy in the middle of the back row is Pudge Heffelfinger, considered to be the first professional football player in America.  The coach of that Yale team was Walter Camp, the man whose innovations - such as the line of scrimmage and the concept of downs - created what became American football from the rugby that they had been playing.


*********** I learned about Coach Stagg in high school. My high school coach played in a couple of Stagg Bowls and won it in 1991 playing halfback for Jim Butterfield’s Ithaca Bombers.
Josh Cole
Odessa, New York

*********** As a former d3 center and a son of a long time Coach todays quiz is in my wheelhouse Amos Alonzo Stagg...   I grew up hoping to some day to get to the Stagg Bowl. The one year we had a shot - ’97 -  we fell one slot short of qualifying for the playoffs despite finishing 8-1 and winning our league (MIAA oldest in america) title...    Just prior to that I went to the University of Chicago to watch our (Adrian College) women’s Basketball team in the NCAA tournament (my father was also the athletic director) and I remember him showing me around the key historical spots of University of Chicago Football and Amos Alonzo Stagg.

God Bless,
Jason Mensing  
Whiteford, Michigan

*********** This may be the first quiz that I have not needed to “research”. Like every former DIII player, I know the name Amos Alonzo Stagg very well. My alma mater Brockport State made it to the semi finals this year.

Tom Walls
Winnipeg, Manitoba

*********** Wayne Hardin was a great coach.  He nearly won a national title at Navy (with a QB named Roger Stabauch) and in Stabach and Joe Bellino he coached two Heisman Trophy winners.

He also coached Temple for 13 years, and left with a record of 80-50-3.  (I’d like to see Nick Saban or Urban Meyer do that.) 

I heard him speak at several clinics, and one time he happened to mention Amos Alonzo Stagg, who was still the head coach at Pacific his first year there.

Hardin’s subject was over-coaching, and as he recalled, some young assistant coach, eager to teach a quarterback some of the finer points of throwing, had begun to tinker with his technique.  The only problem was, the guy wasn’t that bad a passer as it was.  Watching what was going on, Mr. Stagg, then 84 years old, had finally seen enough, and walked over to the young assistant and asked, “Son, did you see where the ball went?”

***********   QUIZ - He may be the greatest college running back who never played a single down in the NFL.

In his junior year of high school, his Bridge City, Texas team made it to the Class 3A state final game (Texas had only 4 classes at the time)  before losing to perennial power Brownwood, 14-0.

But in his senior year, he rushed for 2210 yards as his team went undefeated, winning the state title with a 30-6 win over McKinney.  In the title game, he sat out the second half after putting the game away with four first-half touchdowns.

All told, in his three seasons as a starter for Bridge City, he rushed for 5422 yards.  He was all-state all three years, and he amassed what was then a state-record 38 100-yard games.

One of the most highly-recruited players in the history of Texas football, he finally settled on Texas.

It was a good choice, because shortly after he arrived, Texas adopted an offense that would use his power running ability to revolutionize the game of football.

His historic significance is that was the first in a great line of fullbacks - the first fullback around which Texas coach Darrell Royal and his offensive coordinator Emory Bellard built their innovative triple-option attack.  Originally called the “Y” formation because of the alignment of its backs, it became much better known by the name it goes by today, a name given it by - most people believe - a Houston sports writer named Mickey Herskowitz.

Based on the threat of his running up the middle, the new offense produced back-to-back national titles for the Longhorns in 1969 and 1970.  As Texas fans shouted “Woo! Woo!” every time he carried the ball,  he rushed for 2313 yards and 36 touchdowns, and  was a three-time All-Southwest Conference selection and a two-time All-American. He was voted Texas Amateur Athlete of the Year, and finished fourth in the Heisman voting after his senior season.

IN the 1971 NFL draft, he was chosen fourth by the Los Angeles Rams, but he would up signing with the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the CFL, where he played just one season before hanging them up and returning to school to get his degree and embark on a career in sales.



american flagTUESDAY,  JULY 10,  2018 -   "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." George Orwell

*********** Welcome to Portland. My grandson and his band arranged a concert in Portland to coincide with our family’s reunion.  But while one of the members ducked inside a Portland coffee shop to re-caffeinate, someone on the unofficial welcoming committee smashed the back window of his car and stole his backpack, containing his computer and his contact lenses.  Our optometrist was able to replace the contacts, but the laptop is gone forever. 

And as for the cops - in Portland, where a recent report disclosed that the ever-growing number of homeless are now responsible for 52 per cent of police calls, good luck getting them to even take a report.

*********** Mike Foristiere writes from Topeka, Kansas…

Midwest is so much different than West Coast. A lot of people fly the American flag in their yards. As I have biked or driven around town it is something I really thought stood out. I wonder if other mid western towns are like this too.

(Taking over a program that has been down for years, Coach Foristiere has made it a goal to visit the home of every one of his players, starting with the seniors.  At last report, he had visited with the parents (or parent) of 21 of his prospective players. HW)

*********** When I coached in Finland, the American coaches and players over there would get together in the city of Tampere to celebrate the Fourth of July.  Those were memorable Fourths for my wife and me.

Last week, though, I had one of the most enjoyable Fourth of Julys in my memory.

We had a chance to introduce our nine-year-old Australian-American (dual citizenship) grandson to an old-fashioned American Fourth.

It started with a large neighborhood street party, with almost 100 people, many of them getting to know each other for the first time.  It ended with beer and food and football for the little kids - and my grandson’s first pass reception - at another neighbor’s place.  And then, when darkness set in (in the summer, it doesn’t get dark out here until about 9:30) came the fireworks.  They’re illegal in Australia, so this was a real first for the little guy, but after a while he was taking his turn at lighting the fuse and then running like hell.

In every direction we turned, the sky was alive with fireworks.  It was spectacular, possibly even more so for me as I had had a few beers by then.

For their traditional grand finale, they blew up a gingerbread house, made especially for the occasion.  I’m sure it made the crows happy the next day.

And, in true responsible American fashion, by noon on the Fifth, the neighbors had swept the streets clean of all debris.

Meanwhile, if you’re one of this growing number of a$$holes who don’t like the Fourth - who say you don’t like America - if your idea of a great Fourth is protesting, or putting on a look-at-me show by climbing up the Statue of Liberty, and in the process ruining the experience for all the real Americans  whose bucket list included spending the Fourth of July at the Statue… Screw you.

An awful lot of our country’s problems  are caused by you and people like you.

I would suggest you take your sorry-ass act someplace better, except (1) I doubt that any place would have you; (2) there’s no place better anyhow. 

*********** I’ve seen enough soccer flops to know one when I see one, but when I saw the goalie from Croatia dive to make a save on a Russian shot, then lie on the ground clutching the back of his thigh as he grimaced in pain, I knew this was the real thing.  This was a hamstring injury for sure,  and anyone who’s seen an Olympic sprinter suddenly pull up, in mid-race, knows how debilitating it can be.  Anyone who’s ever had a pulled “hammy” knows how long it can keep you out of action.

So out came the “physio” (what they call trainers) and a few others to assess the injury.  This was scary, because without him, Croatia had little chance against Russia.

Fast forward to live TV: in less than five minutes, the guy was back in goal, and he played well enough the rest of the way to help Croatia beat the Russkies on penalty kicks.

Another miracle cure on the soccer pitch.

*********** A FLORIDA MAN…

Was stopped by police Friday night  for driving with an expired tag.

When they searched his car, they found a razor blade and some cocaine in the cup holder.

When he was admitted to jail, he was caught hiding marijuana and cocaine in his pants.

Up until Friday night he was the football coach at Lakeland, Florida’s Tenoroc High School.

Nice, coach.  Nice.


http://www.newschief.com/news/20180707/tenoroc-head-football-coach-arrested-on-drug-charges

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

Just ordered your new playbook through PayPal.  Looking forward to receiving it, and hopefully will be able to use it very soon!

God forbid we should go out and play too many rounds of golf in a week!  Especially at OUR age!

Regarding the CFL, the son of our new head coach is a QB for the Winnipeg team.  He played at Montana State and transferred to Oregon for a one season a few years ago.  Saw him get some playing time a few weeks ago.  Still hard for me to get used to seeing all that pre-snap movement, and end zones that reach into the next province.

Continuing with football in general...that article was outstanding.  I will share it with a number of my colleagues around here.  Believe it or not, even here in football crazy Texas, many schools in and around liberal land Austin are experiencing a drop in participation numbers.  Mostly due to the misleading information being spread regarding concussions.

In complete agreement with you regarding the DW passing game.  We engaged in summer 7 on 7's every year to work on our passing game, and give our LB's and secondary work against the myriad of spread offenses we would see during the season.  The opposing coaches weren't thrilled having to defend us since most of them wouldn't see an offense like ours at all during the season.  

Apparently the Roosters haven't skipped a beat since you left Finland.  They were a monster back then right?  Speaking of American football being played overseas I understand that currently there is some brouhaha going on between various organizations that sponsor American football.  Something to do with the number of game being played??

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** As I’ve been listening to updates on Andrew Luck’s rehab, I keep hearing that he hasn’t been throwing an NFL ball yet.  Nope. He’s still throwing a “high school ball,” the implication being that it is smaller and lighter, a “youth” version of that bigass NFL ball.

Now, unless something happened to the rules while I was out in space, they’re basically the same ball.  No, an NFL team can’t use a “high school Ball” - the NFL requires teams to play with the official NFL ball - but there is no prohibition against a high school team using an official  NFL ball if they want.  (And if they have the budget  to pay the outrageous price of those balls.)

*********** Anybody see the “fight” in the Atlanta-area AAU basketball game?  The “fight” in which players whaled away at referees?

This is where the college stars of tomorrow are taught sportsmanship.

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2018/07/08/fight-at-aau-basketball-game-caught-on-camera-goes-viral.html


*********** One of the reasons why US soccer sucks internationally is that soccer doesn’t get the best American athletes.  Yes, it has them almost exclusively from the time they’re still babies, but at some point, for a variety of reasons,  other sports draw them away.  But organized soccer, meanwhile, insists at a very early-age on a soccer-only approach.  If you want to get anywhere, they tell kids and their parents, you’ve got to get on a travel team, and dedicate your life to soccer, year-round.

I don’t know that much about soccer, but over the years I have more than once maintained that the Beautiful Game would be better served in the US if soccer were played in-season rather than year-round, giving all those athletic kids who play other sports an opportunity to stay with soccer a bit longer.

Isn’t is possible that a great athlete who plays soccer as one of his two or three sports in high school can in the long run develop into a better soccer player than the good athlete  who has been playing soccer non-stop from infancy?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal notes that swimming, long a sport that demands a tremendous commitment from athletes, is trending toward sharing athletes with other sports.  For the sport of competitive swimming, it’s a matter of survival.

The Journal writes...

From 2013 to 2016, the number of competitive swimmers in the 10-year-old age group dropped by almost 10%, according to USA Swimming, the sport’s governing body. While sports leagues nationwide are facing overall declines in youth participation, nearly half of the swimmers who quit said they left swimming to play other sports. More than 40% said swim team was too much of a time commitment.

“We know that swimming can be perceived as an all-or-nothing type of sport, and we know that today’s families are busier than ever with activities,” says Matt Farrell, USA Swimming’s chief marketing officer. “So we were facing a choice: Do we want to fight that culture, or decide to own it?”

In early June, USA Swimming launched its new ad campaign showing young swimmers doing other sports, in a move to position itself as a home for multisport athletes and gain back some of the kids it has been losing. It is rolling out a new, entry-level membership program called FlexSwim for young swimmers ages 5-18 who want to try competitive swimming but can commit to only a few days of training a week and two swim meets a year. In contrast, traditional training for competitive swimmers often means practice every day—before school, after school or both, depending on the age group—plus swim meets many weekends.

With  this campaign, USA Swimming has joined the forces of those of us who argue that overspecialization in youth sports is bad for a number of reasons.

I would argue that swimming is a great additional sport for a football player to engage in because it is demanding while relatively injury-free, and it promotes flexibility like few other sports.


https://www.wsj.com/articles/usa-swimming-flips-for-multisport-youth-athletes-1530538198?emailToken=f862e5ced64343573cab9e746fc5d1edL9AxtwY8svFNusXEED0n7NAjW9ypXl3jYfK2kw3R6do/7BWGP8rN+06JxQ9gqHdb+5rRp446b0GBm/7IoPI2aOekcEjxLm/d7jSmhwICuWU%3D&reflink=article_email_share


************ I’ve mentioned this before.

We’ve had birds fly into our windows and knock themselves out cold.  They lie still on the ground but they’re not dead.  Sometimes, we’ll put a shoebox over them to keep them in the dark for a while, and eventually, they all manage to regain  their senses and fly away.  Clearly, they were concussed.

But what gives with woodpeckers?  They hammer away at trees and telephone poles, and when they’re done, they go about their business as if nothing had happened.

Why don’t woodpeckers knock themselves out?  Why don’t they at least get loopy from all that banging? Shouldn't they eventually suffer from all those "mini-concussions?"

It’s a question the NFL should be asking.

Why hasn’t it occurred to some genius on the League payroll that there’s something special about woodpeckers, something that might lead to a breakthrough that would reduce the risk of concussion?

*********** TEACHING ADVICE FROM AN OLD TEACHER-COACH…

In helping a friend get started with his new team, it has become apparent to us that there’s work to be done with the new players in the area of attention. As in paying attention.

Specifically, looking at the person speaking (in this case, the coach). 

As a longtime teacher, I urge you to look around you the next time you talk to your team. How many of those kids are making eye contact with you as you talk?

It the answer isn’t “all of them,” I guarantee you that you’ve got some kids on your team who aren’t hearing a word you’re saying.

If there’s anyone who’s sitting where you can’t see his eyeballs… if there’s anyone who’s tieing his shoes or messing with a glove or whatever… you are not getting across to those guys.

This is a problem I see frequently in my travels.  Coaches seem to think that if they’ve said it, it’s been heard.  But there’s a bit more to it than that, and that’s where teaching begins.

A very simple principle of teaching is that if the students aren’t making eye contact with the teacher, the odds are very good that they aren’t listening to what he’s saying:

If you see it, you hear it.  If you hear it, you learn it.  If you don’t see it, you don’t hear it.  If you don’t hear it, you don’t learn it.

As a coach, you have an obligation to those kids who are paying attention to INSIST that their teammates also look at you when you’re talking.   No exceptions allowed.

If you don’t, you increase the chances of two bad things happening: (1) You won’t get through to everyone, which could mean a blown assignment and a lost game; (2) you’ll blow the opportunity to teach your kids a valuable lesson in being good students.

And it will be your fault.


*********** I wrote a few weeks ago about Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan.

A two-time NCAA wrestling champion, he spent a couple of years at Ohio State as an assistant coach.

Now, with suspicious timing, there has come an accusation from a couple of former wrestlers that many years ago, an OSU team physician (who’s been dead many years) uh, “fondled” the privates of some of the wrestlers.  And, concludes the accusation, assistant coach Jordan knew about it.  Or, at least, he HAD to have known.

Sorry, former wrestlers - I ain’t buyin’.  I can’t picture any straight wrestler allowing anyone, team doctor or not,  to mess with his junk.  Not without incurring a serious ass-whipping.

It sure seems as if this “story” surfaced either because the former wrestlers are looking for big money a la the Michigan State settlement, or the lefties are trying to discredit Congressman Jordan because of the way he lit into that weasel Rod Rosenstein.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3668147/posts


*********** I was raised an Episcopalian.

To say that the Episcopal Church has veered to the left is to say that grass is green.  Social causes are much more important to its leadership than the gospel, and now comes the news that it is taking a look at the book of Common Prayer,  and whether it might be time to reconsider  whether God the father really is a male, or actually some gender-neutral being. 

The Lord’s prayer:  “Our parent, who art in heaven…”

Grace: “God is great, God is good, and we thank It for our food…”

In case you wondered why I haven’t had anything to do with the Episcopal Church in years.

http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2018/july/is-god-male-or-gender-neutral-episcopal-church-begins-debate-on-book-of-common-prayer


*********** It was “R-Day” Monday at West Point, the day that new cadets are officially sworn in, and the US Military Academy officially welcomed its newest freshman class for the start of Cadet Basic Training.

Included in the group are 79 football recruits from 23 different states.

(Since every cadet at a service academy is on a full scholarhip, the academies - Army, Navy, Air Force - do not have to adher to the usual NCAA limits on scholarships.

Georgia has the most incoming members of the Class of 2022 with 13. 12 players hail from Texas and 10 from Virginia. Six recruits are from Florida and five are from Louisiana. There are four from North Carolina and Maryland, and three each from Pennsylvania and California. The Black Knights also welcomed one recruit each from Arkansas, Connecticut, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.


*********** Adam Watters, an attorney and Justice of the Peace in Tucson, follows this page in his role as a high school coach, and he wrote, regarding Marbury v. Madison…

Some interesting trivia on this case, which I saw referenced in your News you Can Use blog:  When John Adams left office, and remember by that time he and Jefferson were extreme political enemies, he signed what were known as the Midnight Appointments naming about 20 brand new Justices of the Peace for Washington DC.  Marbury received one of those appointments, but, actually, he did not and that was the problem. 

With no Xerox machines, each appointment had to be copied and then signed and delivered before Jefferson took office.  Marbury and I believe three other new judges did not receive the appointments and Jefferson ordered that they be stopped. The subsequent shenanigans that took place would, if done today, probably result in both the impeachment of the President and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  Marbury sued to secure his appointment, but the actual appointment was never found - although it was undisputedly in the hands of Jefferson and his new Secretary of State Madison.  It is strongly suspected that Jefferson simply burned the document.  Chief Justice Marshall was a close friend of the attorney who represented Marbury. In violation of his authority, Marshall also allowed evidence to be heard on the case - as you know, the Supremes do not hear direct evidence.  The United States government went unrepresented at the hearings . . . that's right, no attorney appeared to argue the government's case that it did not have to deliver the appointments.  Marshall was Adams Secretary of State when the Midnight Appointments were drafted - so he was the person responsible for seeing they were delivered, but he failed, then heard the case on that same series of events.  Conflict of interest, anyone?

Madison attended the hearings, but never spoke, and when called as a witness regarding what happened to the actual documents appointing Marbury and the others, he plead the 5th Amendment - the first cabinet member to do so.  Can you imagine if all this took place now?

Anyhow, the decision simply stated that yes, Marbury was entitled to his appointment, but that the Supreme Court did not have authority, as detailed in the Judiciary Act of 1789, to order the government to take such action.  In other words, after almost three years of litigation, the Court punted.  But that punt was a big one.  The Court said it could not help Marbury because the portion of the Judiciary Act that granted it the right to order the appointment be delivered, was unconstitutional.  In short, Congress could not give the Court powers beyond those granted in the Constitution.  It was a genius compromise move that added power to the Court, and only mildly pissed everyone else off.  The repercussion is that we have judicial review of the constitutionality of Federal law, which now angers most everyone, unless you like the ruling that is.

Oh, and it would be another 50 years after the Marbury ruling before the Supreme Court used that power again.

Adam Watters
Justice of the Peace, Precinct One
Pima County Consolidated Justice Court
Tucson, Arizona


***********  QUIZ ANSWER:  A native of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Rueben Mayes led his high school team to the provincial championship, and in track he set a provincial record in the 100 meters that still stands, more than 35 years later.

As a running back at Washington State, he was twice named Pac-Ten Player of the Year.  He set an NCAA single-game rushing record with 357 yards against Oregon in 1984.  He was a consensus All-American and finished tenth in the Heisman voting.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

He was drafted in the third round - the 57th pick overall - by the Saints and was named the 1986 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.  He played five years with the Saints - he was named to two Pro Bowls - and finished his career with the Seahawks.

He is one of only five natives of Saskatchewan ever to play in the NFL.

While with New Orleans, Rueben Mayes was featured in a documentary entitled The Saint From North Battleford.

Credit for this QUIZ subject (I hate to refer to these stars of another era as “trivia”) to Josh Montgomery, Berwick, Louisiana

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING RUEBEN MAYES…
JOSH MONTGOMERY,
JOHN VERMILLION, ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA


*********** Had an interesting back-and-forth with Coach John Bothe, of Oregon, Illinois, who asked whether Washington State was running the split back veer when Rueben Mayes set his rushing record.

At first I said I doubted it, because Mark Rypien was the QB.  He was a very good passer, but I didn’t remember him as an option QB. But after seeing video of his big game against Oregon they were definitely running SOME veer.  Jim Walden was the WSU coach - had been for 13 years, but after Mayes left, Walden did, too, and he was replaced by Dennis Erickson - definitely not a veer guy.

Coach Bothe added…

Around that time I took a visit to Northern Illinois University and Golden “Pat” Ruel was the OC. At the visit he outlined the base of the veer offense that NIU was running. Jerry Pettibone was the HC. He transitioned to flexbone after that.

Ruel is with the Seahawks I think as OL coach.

I thought he mentioned that the veer was the offense that led to the rushing record for Mayes.

I was a high school senior at the time, I had no clue what a veer offense was. Or any offense. I was just worried about who to block on any play we ran. I always remember that coaching high school kids

*********** The video below is a fun look at Rueben Mayes’ record-setting game against Oregon. Watch the blocking: pads on pads and staying welded. Great stuff!

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

https://youtu.be/w-evS1wCpwg

*********** QUIZ -  As a  college football player at Yale he was an end on the first-ever All-American team.

At that time, former Yale football players were in great demand as coaches, and he spent two years as head coach simultaneously at a Massachusetts prep school and  at Springfield College.

Then, for 40 years - from 1892 to 1932 - he was head coach at the academically elite University of Chicago, then a member of the Big Ten.  He was also the baseball coach for 19 seasons and the basketball coach for one season. At the age of 70, he was forced to retire by the university president, who in 1939 would discontinue football entirely at Chicago, and pull out of the Big Ten. 

After leaving Chicago, where his record was 244-11-7, he took the head coaching job at the College of the Pacific (now University of the Pacific) where he stayed for 14 years.

When he finally retired as a head coach, his overall record - at Springfield College, Chicago, and Pacific - was 314-199-35.

For the next six years, from 1947 through 1952, he assisted his son, who was head coach at Susquehanna University, in Pennsylvania, and from 1953 through 1960, he assisted at Stockton College. He  finally called it quits at age 98.  He died in 1965 at the age of 102.

His contributions to the game, for which he is credited either as an innovator or a collaborator, are too numerous to list, (and some of them are attributed to others) but they include…

the center snap… the spiral snap… the onside kick… the short punt formation… the forward pass… the statue of liberty play…  the line shift… the place kick… the lateral… the tackling dummy… the unbalanced line… the Notre Dame box formation… the idea of varsity letters… the idea of numbers on uniforms… the T formation… the man in motion… the position of linebacker… the numbering of plays by players and holes

He is a charter member of the College Football Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach.

Two high schools - one in Illinois and one in California - are named for him, as is the annual game to decide the Division III National Championship.

A deeply religious man who had countless good influences on our game, he was for good reason called the Grand Old Man of football.



american flagTUESDAY,  JULY 3,  2018 -   “So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.”  George Orwell

*********** Football isn’t at the point - yet - where a running back has to be benched once he’s reached the maximum number of times he can be tackled.

But if baseball’s got the pitch count... 

Anyhow, in the College World Series final game, Oregon State coach Pat Casey left his starting pitcher, a 19-year-old freshman named Kevin Abel, go the distance.

Omigod.

Coach Casey said after the game that he’d told the kid in the sixth inning that he could stay in until Arkansas got a base runner. 

They didn’t - he wound up setting down the last 20 men he faced.

There was - still is - joy among Oregon State fans.

But there’s always one spoilsport.  This time it’s a guy who calls himself “Larry Brown” - and calls his blog “Larry Brown Sports.” And damned if he isn’t accusing Pat Casey of “borderline abuse” of his pitcher.  Those were the words he used.

(Larry Brown… Larry Brown…  Could it be the former Redskins’ running back?)

Whatever, this “Larry Brown” writes:

The usage and overuse of Abel over the past week was borderline abuse by Beavers head coach Pat Casey.

Abel pitched three times in a five-day span, including two starts in high-pressure elimination games. He threw a total of 247 pitches during that five-day span.
– 95 pitches in a win over Mississippi State on Saturday to reach the CWS finals against Arkansas
– 23 pitches during an inning of relief against Arkansas on Wednesday to keep it a 1-run game
– 129 pitches in Thursday’s shutout win over Arkansas

Abel is only 19 years old and still was asked to do that much.
Omigod.  Only 19.  Just a baby. (Will somebody please tell “Larry Brown” that an awful lot of 19-year-olds fought - and won - World War II?)

And that brutal Coach Casey, that abuser…

Casey showed that he was more interested in winning a national title than protecting the health of a valuable, young pitcher who has a promising future ahead of him. Unfortunately this is a story that is all too common in the world of selfish college baseball coaches.

Oh is that, so, “Larry Brown?”  Who are you, really?  Are you that basketball coach who can’t hold a job?

http://larrybrownsports.com/cbaseball/oregon-state-kevin-abel-pat-casey-abuse/451851


*********** I didn’t watch the first game of last Friday night’s CFL double-header, but since Jeremiah Masoli played an outstanding game in the Hamilton victory, I have to assume that Johnny Manziel isn’t pressing him very hard for the starting quarterback assignment.

A malcontent Manziel means trouble, and a sure sign that trouble lies ahead:  a friend who did watch the game said that when the camera showed Manziel, he was kneeling on the sideline, off by himself.  (For God’s sake, Johnny, grab a clipboard and stand near the coach and look like you give a sh—.)

*********** The Japanese lost their World Cup match to Belgium in the closing seconds of play, but despite the heartbreak of defeat, they set an admirable example of sportsmanship and class.

Other teams have lost in just such a manner and proceeded to trash their locker room.

Not the Japanese team.  Wrote Priscilla Janssens, FIFA (World Soccer Organization) Venue Director,

“This is the Japanese dressingroom after losing to Belgium in the 94’ minute. Thanked their fans in the stadium, cleaned up everything (bench and dressing room) and spoke to media. Even left note with ‘thank you’ in Russian. What an example for all teams!! Privilege to work with!”

Japanese Locker Room


*********** I mentioned that I’d been assisting a friend who just took another job, and for the past week, we’ve been mostly throwing the ball. 

Yes, yes, I know - the Double Wing is all about running, and passing is for cowards and blah, blah, blah.

But…

(1) A Double-Wing passing attack can be extremely productive in terms of percentage completed and touchdowns per attempt, and very sound in limiting interceptions and sacks.

(2) If you don’t have some kind of passing game, you will live to regret it.

(3) If you wait until official team practice begins to build your passing game, you’ll be too late.  The passing game is built in the summer.

(4) Not all that many kids show up for summer workouts hoping to run off tackle.


*********** I usually stay in double tight most of the time - sometimes using I-wing, Tackle over.  for an inexperienced team and I am the only DW coach what other formations would you recommend?

Coach,

My first changeup would be RAM

RAM


Chances are one of your runners is a good bit better than the other, and this way he’ll get most of the carries.

Not only that, but he has the ability to run anywhere along the line.

People may “know” that you’re going to run off-tackle right, but they still have to prepare for the counter.

The B-Back gets to his Super Power block faster, and the Wedge is really good.

Play action fakes are always better when you have a tailback to fake it to.


This is my first step in “opening” the offense to eventually become the Open Wing.


*********** You have to hand it to the NBA.  Here it is, just weeks before NFL players report to camp, and all you read about the NFL is this or that knucklehead being suspended for taking illegal drugs or - allegedly - grabbing the crotch of an Uber driver.

The NBA, meanwhile, has been sucking up most of the NFL’s oxygen with all the speculation about where LeBron would ‘take his talents” this time.

Los Angeles, is it? There,  I would say, he’s going to be under some pressure to produce. Los Angeles is a market that doesn’t tolerate mediocrity in its sports teams, with a newspaper whose sports columnists are not afraid to call out the emperor if he’s not wearing clothes.

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

Billy Joe Hobert?  Wow.  That's a blast from the past!

I did not know that about Finnish name pronunciations.  So how would one pronounce Teemu Selanne??  TEEmu SELanne?  (Wish he played for the Hawks).

Talk soon!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Hi Joe-

Great question -“Teemu Selanne” is a bit of a tongue-twister.

Most Americans get the first name correct - roughly, “TEH-moo.”

But the last name?  Correctly, it’s “SEH-lahn-neh,” but that’s too tough for Americans, so it wound up as “suh-LAHN-ee,” almost like a lunch meat!

Another Finnish tip:  just as in Hawaiian, EVERY letter is pronounced.

*********** Morning coach,

We had our Provincial finals yesterday and came out on top of a 46-38 victory. It was a back and forth affair with no turnovers and very few penalties. We had previously beaten the team by 30 points, but the night before the game our  A back (olympic hopeful speed skater) broke her hand at a skating meeting (How you break it at a meeting, I don’t know). So we had to substitute a linebacker at A and not ask her to do anything too ambitious. However, the opposing team, tightened everything up on the LOS in an effort to take away Power and Criss-cross. We managed to bludgeon our way to a few scores, but the power pass was always just a bit off the mark, even though it was open all day.

With the score tied 38-38 and two minutes left- here is what happened (see video).

The QB is not a great football player, but she is a tremendous competitor who worked on this pass for two months prior to the season. Notice how she gets her eyes around right away, hides the ball on her hip and attacks the LOS with her shoulders loaded.

After the game Shandy had an interesting comment. "Things have changed with your teams. They no longer hope to win. They go into games expecting to win. Even though that one was a nail biter, they looked like they expected to win.”

She’s right coach. We’re good (both our girls and boys teams), but there is this competitive confidence amongst the kids now, where even if the game is tight, they know it will turn out alright in the end. I’d heard of this before, but I have never been part of it for more than one season.

So now this season is over, I have an all star team to coach and then our boys season starts. I am looking at almost an entire calendar year coaching. I’m tired, but not tired of coaching.

Tom Walls
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Coach Walls, a former high school head coach coach in Winnipeg, and his wife, Shandy, started a youth football organization from scratch a few years ago, and have built it to the point where it now fields several teams at different age levels, including girls.  That was very perceptive of Shandy.  We often hear people talk about their kids having to “learn how to win.”  We don’t hear nearly so much about this positive attitude of “expecting to win” because it’s not nearly so common.  That is a huge bar to cross.

*********** I came across an interesting story about a couple living in Bainbridge Island, Washington.  It’s a rather affluent community, something of a suburb of Seattle except that Bainbridge Islanders commute by ferry.  The couple had decided to downsize, but the problem was that between their books, their art collection and the things they’d acquired in their extensive travels, they’d amassed quite a bit of “stuff.”

They decided to label everything either Red (not going with them), Green (going with them) and Orange (not sure).  Once they made their decisions  on the Oranges, they then left everything but the Greens on the shelves and tables and walls where they’d always been displayed.

And then they hosted a large party to which they’d invited friends and neighbors.  They served drinks and then held a drawing.  And in the order assigned them by the drawing, the guests were able to choose and keep the item of their choice.

This not only helped them "get rid" of things they treasured - it brought joy  to them to know those things now belong to  people who will also treasure them.


*********** I read this article on Twitter on Friday night, and then I read your NYCU this morning and had to share the article with you. It is in response to the news that Tyler Hilinski had CTE. It is a good read that points out the flawed science that is suggesting that football = CTE.

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

(It IS a good read. HW)

http://coachfore.org/2018/06/29/in-defense-of-football/


*********** In Finland, for some reason their football games consist of 12-minute quarters.

Nevertheless, in the country’s top league, the Maple League (so-named because in its early days, the Canadian ambassador donated a trophy for the winner), the perennially powerful Helsinki Roosters defeated the Seinajoki Crocodiles, 88-21.

It’s worse than it looks.  The halftime score was 60-7.  That’s eight touchdowns in 24 minutes. All came on passes by former Duke QB Brandon Connette, who threw for 443 yards before being lifted at halftime.

Believe me, when I coached there, no one had that sort of fire power - partly because the rules at the time prohibited playing an American at quarterback.

Game story + some decent highlights footage: http://www.americanfootballinternational.com/finland-helsinki-roosters-put-an-88-21-whupping-on-seinajoki-crocodiles/?utm_source=American+Football+International+Weekly&utm_campaign=3cb14a8337-American_Football_International_Weekly11_16_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_37995d0cb0-3cb14a8337-80500341


*********** QUIZ ANSWER : As a major college QB, Billy Joe Hobert   took over  when starter Mark Brunell was injured, and as a sophomore he quarterbacked the Washington Huskies to a Rose Bowl win and a share of the 1991 National Championship. He was voted MVP of the Rose Bowl.

As a junior, he continued on his hot streak.  In early November his team was 8-0, on a 22-game win streak, and was ranked Number One in the country. As a starting college quarterback, he was 17-0.

But he had a cowboy’s name, and his undoing came when he tried to live up to it.

Suddenly, the news broke that he had been “loaned” $50,000 by a football booster - which he blew, in the words of one Seattle writer, on “cars, guns, golf clubs and wild weekends with his buddies.” He was immediately declared ineligible, his college career over.  He never started another game, college or pro.  Washington , meanwhile,  lost three of its last four games to finish 9-3.

An NCAA investigation ensued, and just prior to the next season’s opener, the Pac-10 Conference placed such serious sanctions on the football program - which the University accepted with no protest or argument - that Don James, the most successful head coach in the school’s history, resigned in protest and never coached again.

Washington  has struggled ever since to return to the heights it had achieved under him.

Hobert, meanwhile, left the wreckage of the program behind and embarked on a pro career.

He was drafted in the third round by the Raiders, the third QB selected.  After four years as a backup, he was traded to the Bills, but they cut him loose when the starting QB got hurt and he admitted that he wasn’t ready - he didn’t know the plays.

He was acquired by the Saints, who kept him for a little more than two seasons, and he spent two years with the Colts without so much as taking a snap in a regular season game.

In eight years as an NFL QB, he threw for 23 TDs and 25 Interceptions.

Since his wild younger days, Billy Joe Hobert claims to have been born again.  Maybe so. Maybe so.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BILLY JOE HOBERT
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUSIANA (“When we were kids (and he was with the Saints) we called him ‘Billy Joe Hopeless.’)
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA (Almost forgot all about him…love your trips down memory lane!)
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS - Greg sent this clip about Billy Joe Hobert’s daughter: https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/high-school/kennedy-hobert-makes-a-name-for-herself-as-white-river-basketball-star/
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGON


***********  QUIZ - A native of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, he led his high school team to a provincial championship, and in track he set a provincial record in the 100 meters that still stands, more than 35 years later.

As a running back at Washington State, he was twice named Pac-Ten Player of the Year.  He set an NCAA single-game rushing record with 357 yards against Oregon in 1984.  He was a consensus All-American and finished tenth in the Heisman voting.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

He was drafted in the third round - the 57th pick overall - by the Saints and was named the 1986 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.  He played five years with the Saints - he was named to two Pro Bowls - and finished his career with the Seahawks.

He is one of only five natives of Saskatchewan ever to play in the NFL.

While with New Orleans, he was featured in a documentary entitled "The Saint From North Battleford."

Credit for today’s QUIZ subject (I refuse to use the term "trivia"  to refer to these people who passed our game down to us) to Josh Montgomery, Berwick, Louisiana



american flagFRIDAY,  JUNE 29,  2018 -   "Either love your players or get out of coaching." Bobby Dodd


*********** OREGON STATE WINS THE CWS!!!

To me, college baseball is baseball at its best, and the College World Series is its apex.

Did I tell you to watch Adley Rutschman, Beavers' catcher and grandson of the great Linfeld College football coach, Ad Rutschman? KId caught every game, batted .567 in the series, and set an all-time CWS record with 17 hits.

And then  their freshman starter went the entire way in the final game, pitching a two-hitter and  setting down 220batters in a row to shut out Arkansas.

But Arkansas would have been back in Fayetteville  on Thursday night, celebrating their sweep of Oregon State,  if it hadn't been for one of those freaks of the game of baseball - leading in games 1-0, and ahead by a run in the top of the ninth, with two outs and two strikes on the Beaver batter, the Razorbacks got him to hit a pop foul just past first base.  Three Razorbacks conveged in it - and it fell between them. GIven another life, the batter drilled one between short and third to score the tieing run, and damned if the next hitter didn't jack one into the stands to give Oregon State a 5-3 lead. The Razorbacks were set down in the ninth, and almost before they knew what had happened,  they'd gone from celebrating a World Series win to getting ready to play another game  - a game, as it turned out, that they were never in.

From  an empathetic point of view, I was glad that there were three Arkansas kids around  the ball on that blown play -  I'd hate for one kid to have to carry that burden.

But the highlight of the entire College World Series came for me  when the ditz with the microphone  (can a nice-looking woman still be  a jackass?) interviewed the winning pitcher after the game and asked, "Why is this emotional right now?"

*********** Jameis Winston, the poster boy for star football players who can't seem to function in civilized society, has just been suspended by the NFL for three games.  Just the kind of team leader you want.

*********** Comments on the new playbook:  “It was 105 degrees here Saturday. Sunday I was beat dead tired. My wife and family went to church and I spent 3 hours with the word.  Dynamics of the double wing. This book is that good.” JC, California

“I received the playbook yesterday and I was blown away by all the attention to detail and how the concepts are building onto each other.  Well done.  Every cold Chicago winter I putz around drawing variations of the double wing and the flexbone to keep my mind occupied......and then July comes and I bounce right back into tight double wing mode.  This book was like an adrenaline shot to the arm.” BL, Illinois

“Just received the playbook yesterday. Coach —— and I have been going through it and we cannot thank you enough. Great follow up to the original. Already plan to make some of the similar changes you note.” DB, New York


*********** INTERNET HUMOR: “If the Democrats thought that the illegals would vote Republican, you could see the wall from space.”


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

The PAC 12, and the PAC 12 network hangs its hat on the fact that PAC 12 schools (Stanford in particular) dominate the Director's Cup just about every year.  Must be a west coast thing.

http://pac-12.com/article/2017/06/29/stanford-wins-23rd-consecutive-directors-cup-five-pac-12-members-finish-among-top

Maybe Mike Riley felt he could go home again and realized his time there had passed him by.  No use beating a dead horse.

At one time Puma made a decent football shoe. 

It appears Penn State has recovered from Paternogate.

I always felt in order to run a successful DW you needed a stud at fullback, two solid TE's, and a big, strong center to eliminate any A gap penetration.  When I had those three components we were virtually unstoppable.

Scott Frost's comment "what you put on social media, that's your resume to the world." is priceless.  Every parent and kid in America should adhere to that statement just by itself.

Maryland will become another AD fiasco soon.  Wait and see.

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Stanford suffered for years with an AD named Ted Leyland who thought that the rest of the world really gave a sh— about the Director’s Cup, and that as long as The Card won the Director’s Cup  by taking soccer and tennis and golf and water polo championships, people wouldn’t notice that its football team sucked.  (Let’s not kid ourselves - when you’re Stanford, it’s not hard to be good in golf or tennis.  Football is a lot tougher.)

Finally, the Stanford alumni caught on.  Leyland left and Bob Bowlsby, a real AD - a guy from Iowa who knew what the real score was, came in and changed things immediately. He hired  Harbaugh, and thanks to him, Stanford's football team is  relevant once again.  As for the Director’s Cup - who cares?

Unfortunately, it’s what seems to drive The Pac-12 Network, which looks as if it’s being run to appease Title IX.  Its viewership reflects that.


*********** There seems to be a great number of instances lately in which one federal judge will decide that an action by the President in unconstitutional.  What this means, in effect, is that a single member of the judicial branch, unelected and with a lifetime appointment, has more power than the elected head of the executive branch.

Since so few Americans know the first damn thing about the Constitution (the same Constitution  that those same Americans wish we didn’t even have), it would come as a shock to them to learn that nowhere in the Constitution is the Judiciary given this power.  That power to decide whether a law or action is or is not constitutional was simply arrogated to itself by the Supreme Court, specifically Chief Justice John Marshall, in an 1803 decision known as Marbury vs. Madison.

It’s astonishing that that usurpation of power was permitted to happen, and the fear that unelected federal judges, totally beyond the power of the people to do anything about their actions, could overrule the acts of an elected Congress or an elected Chief Executive, was expressed by Thomas Jefferson, the President at the time, in this note to Justice Marshall…

You seem to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps.... Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.

So there we are, from no less than one of the most brilliant Americans who ever lived.

*********** President’s Trump and Putin will meet in Helsinki, Finland.

I guarantee you that not a single one of our uber-intellectual network news people will pronounce the name of the city correctly.

They will pronounce in Hel-SINK-ee.

But there is one absolutely inviolable rule in Finnish: the stress on every word - without exception - is on the first syllable.

Thus, “HELL-sink-ee.”

Of course, we say “Paris,” and not “Par-EE,” so what the hell.


*********** If it were possible for the unspeakably sad news of the suicide of Washington State QB  Tyler Hilinski to become even sadder, now comes the news that his autopsy has revealed evidence of CTE.

Deflate all the balls...  Hide the helmets...  Padlock the locker rooms... Pave over the football fields...  Don’t let your son play that awful game. 

Pass legislation requiring a trigger warning before the mention of the word “football.”

Provide federal funding to supply an iPad for every American boy on the day he turns 8, so that he'll become so engrossed in the screen that you couldn’t pry him away from it to play football anyhow.

Childhood obesity?  We’ll worry about that later.   CTE is a much more pressing societal problem.

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

I was having a football conversation - and the question was asked "What are passing concepts?" I've looked but never really knew what is the true definition of Passing concepts...


In my definition of the term,  Smash, as one example, is a “passing concept,” the idea of putting one receiver in front of a defender and another behind him. There are a number of ways you could do that - for example, on Brown, you could have your C Back fade and stop (rather than fade and out).

You are running Sprint Brown, which is another use of the smash concept.

I would call Choice to be a concept.

You could also consider bubble and smoke as different applications of the split-end screen passing concept.

The mesh is another concept, as is the Post-Dig-Drag.


*********** Greg Koenig writes - I enjoyed the picture of Jaylen Pickle at B-back and your words about him and our team last season. He will definitely be missed. He is doing well at K-State this summer. Coach Lattimore, K-State DL coach, reported to me yesterday that the strength and conditioning coach has been impressed with Jaylen, which confirms Jaylen's report that he has been "killing the workouts." He is practicing with the 1s and 2s, and they have him getting snaps at both 3 tech DT and 5 tech DE.

*********** Found this:

www.si.com/vault/1972/09/11/614047/new-tricks-for-an-old-bear .

We're living in a sophisticated time, as you say; more worldly-wise and knowledgeable all around. In that context, is football itself as important as it used to be?
"More important than ever. What else have we got to tie to? Where else can you walk out there even, same everything, even, and compete? I think it's 10 times more important. Let me ask you this. Have you taught your children to work? To sacrifice? Have you taught 'em self-discipline? Hell, no. They don't get it in the home, they don't get it in the school house, they don't get it in the church. Not anymore. I guarantee you this. You send your boy to Fran Curci at Miami—I use him as an example because he's right up the road here—and he'll teach him those things. Check up. Look around. Maybe the football field's the only place left." Bear Bryant

We're losing it everywhere else?    "We've already lost it."

Charlie Wilson
Crystal River, Florida


*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Eric Dickerson has to be considered one of the greatest runners in the history of the game.

He played his high school ball in Sealy, Texas, and in college, as a member of the notorious “Pony Express,”  he was an All-American, finishing third in the Heisman voting behind Herschel Walker and John Elway.

He was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft - second overall - and in his first eight seasons in the NFL he rushed for more than 1,000 yards.

In his 11-year NFL career, he played for four different teams. He rushed for 1808 yards as a rookie and was named  Rookie of the year.   He was named NFC Offensive Player of the Year three times, and NFL Offensive Player of the Year once. He was named to six Pro Bowls and was All-Pro 5 times.  He was named to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team.

He rushed for more than 13,259 yards total - 90 touchdowns - and in his second season he set a season rushing record of 2105 that still stands, 35 years later.

Eric Dickerson  is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING ERIC DICKERSON

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN (The 30 or 30: "The Pony Excess" was a good one.
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS (Can you imagine having to coach against him in high school? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWCMna59yCU)
MIKE FORISTIERE - TOPEKA, KANSAS
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TITO CORREA - NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT
DAVE POTTER - CARY, NORTH CAROLINA (A great RB but not worth the eight players it took for the Colts to get him.
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON


***********   Coach Dave Potter writes from Cary, North Carolina:

Coach Wyatt,

http://www.sportsgrid.com/real-sports/nfl/ranking-the-7-greatest-nfl-coaching-staffs-ever/

Like a lot of insipid "greatest ever" polls that rarely predate the authors' births, this list is just as flimsy.  He overlooks a 1968 Baltimore Colts staff that consisted of three Super Bowl-winning head coaches," 5 NFL head coaches, and 2 Hall of Famers.
Colts 1968 Staff



*********** What led to the trade of Eric Dickerson to Indianapolis…

Dickerson did not want to play in Los Angeles any more because he was distressed with his contract, which paid him a $682,000 salary, and which he insisted on renegotiating.

''No one player is bigger than the team,'' Robinson said yesterday in Los Angeles. ''When the contract begins to affect on-the-field activities, it's time to make a move.''

The Colts, meanwhile, have not had a player of Dickerson's magnitude since they traded their quarterback, Bert Jones, in 1981.

https://www.nytimes.com/1987/11/01/sports/dickerson-traded-to-colts.html

*********** Kevin McCullough writes from Lakeville, Indiana about Eric Dickerson’s time with the Indianapolis Colts:  “every time the ball was tossed back to him the Hoosier Dome rose in anticipation…..I  think his longest run with the Colts was less than 30 yards…..He did pass the eye test lined up in the backfield…John Robinson made good use of him with the Rams”

He’s pretty close to correct - in four and 3/4 seasons with the Colts, he had season long runs of 53, 41 21, 43 and 28.

In his four and 1/4 seasons with the Rams, he had long runs of 85, 66, 43, 42, 57.

*********** QUIZ : As a major college QB, he  took over  when starter Mark Brunell was injured, and as a sophomore he quarterbacked his team to a Rose Bowl win -
he was voted MVP  - and a share  (with Miami)  of the 1991 National Championship.

As a junior, he continued the way he left off.  By early November his team was 8-0 and  on a 22-game win streak, and was ranked Number One in the country. As a starting college quarterback, he was 17-0.

Suddenly, the news broke that he had been “loaned” $50,000 by a football booster - which he blew, in the words of one Seattle writer, on “cars, guns, golf clubs and wild weekends with his buddies.”
He had a cowboy’s name, and trying to live up to it proved his undoing.   

He was immediately declared ineligible, his college career over.  He never started another game, in college or in eight years as a pro.  His team, meanwhile,  lost three of its last four games to finish 9-3.

An NCAA investigation ensued, and just prior to the next season’s opener, the Pac-10 Conference placed such serious sanctions on the football program - which the University accepted without contesting - that the head coach, the most successful in the school’s history, resigned in protest and never coached again.

The school has struggled ever since to return to the heights it had achieved under him.

The QB, meanwhile, left the wreckage of the program behind and embarked on a pro career.

He was drafted in the third round by the Raiders, the third QB selected.  After four years as a backup, he was traded to the Bills, but they cut him loose when the starting QB got hurt and he admitted that he wasn’t ready - he didn’t know the plays.

He was acquired by the Saints, who kept him for a little more than two seasons, and he spent two years with the Colts without so much as taking a snap in a regular season game.

In eight years as an NFL QB, he threw for 23 TDs and 25 Interceptions.

Since his wild younger days, he claims to have been born again.  Maybe so. Maybe so.




american flagTUESDAY,  JUNE 26,  2018 -   "Better to lose with conscience clean/Than win by methods false and mean."  Edgar A. Guest

*********** Another  comment on the new playbook by a veteran successful Double Wing coach  “Wow! So happy I bought this. I feel re-energized.  It’s why I fell in love with the offense.” P.P., New York

*********** While listening to a Portland sports talk show a few days ago, I heard them mention how bad things really are for the Pac-12 relative to other networks, specifically the Big Ten.

It seems that in a recent year - 2016, I believe - every Big Ten member received upwards of $50 million as its share of revenue from the Big Ten Network; on the other hand, each Pac-12 member school received roughly $30 million from the Pac-12 Network.  In other words, Purdue and Indiana each received $20 million than, say, USC and Washington, to name the two most financially healthy Pac-12 schools. 

That’s $20 million extra that every single Big Ten school has at its disposal to pay coaches, fund minor (and women’s) sports, build facilities, and expand its athletic bureaucracy. (I added the latter item because history tells us that is sure to happen.)

And based on the revenue projections of the two conferences, that huge disparity will not narrow.

(Maryland and Rutgers are not yet receiving  full conference shares, or I would have mentioned them as examples as well. Rutgers?  USC? Gimme a break.)

*********** After six months on the job as a special assistant to new Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith, Mike Riley has pulled up stakes and left Corvallis.

For the third time.

The first time, it was to become head coach of the San Diego Chargers.  What the hell - he’d won two Grey Cups as a head coach in Canada, and in his two years at OSU he’d started to turn the program around: he’d gotten them to a 5-6 finish, pretty damn promising for a school whose streak of losing seasons was approaching 30.  So, especially after his successor, Dennis Erickson, broke the losing streak and took the Beavers to national prominence with a waxing of Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, he was forgiven.

The second time, after returning as Beavers’ head coach, it was to take the head job at Nebraska.  It seemed odd that Nebraska, hungry for a return to power, would tap a guy who’d been at Oregon State for 12 years and had done nicely enough that he would appear to be in a position to coach there until he retired.  (Did I mention that Corvallis, Oregon, home of Oregon State, is his hometown - where he went to high school, while his dad, Bud, coached at OSU?)  Beavers’ fans were split.  To some of them, he’d earned a shot at the kind of big-time job every ambitious coach craves.  To others, he was deserting a program and a school that needed the special attention that only a local guy or an alum could provide. To me, it was as if Nebraska had taken a guy who’d been winning stock car races on the dirt track circuit and handed him the keys to a Formula One machine.  It didn’t work, and after three years in Lincoln  in which he went 19-19, with two trips to minor bowls, Mike Riley was fired.

Which brought him back to Corvallis as a special assistant to new Beavers’ head coach Jonathan Smith.  What a deal - back in his hometown, with a chance to be the sort of mentor that every young coach could use - a guy who’s been a head coach in the CFL (Winnipeg), in the NFL, and at two major colleges.

Who knows how things were working out, but f