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

Betsy Ross FlagFRIDAY,  AUGUST 16,  2019  “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” William F. Buckley, Jr. (Who died never imagining  that liberals would one day believe  that anyone disagreeing with them is a Nazi/racist.)



open wing 5 DVDs
THE OPEN WING - A "VIRTUAL CLINIC" -  5-DVD SET -



If you've been following my site for any length of time, you know that I worked for some time to combine the solid, sound blocking and running game of the Double Wing with the passing game of the Run and Shoot that I once ran - way back in the early 80s.  
 I came to call what resulted the "Open Wing" (thanks to my friend Brian Mackell for the idea), and in our first year of running it at North Beach High (Ocean Shores, Washington), while testing it and refining it,  we finished 7-3, only the school's second winning record in ten years.  The next two years, as we got better at what we were doing, we had back-to-back unbeaten regular seasons, finishing 10-1 and 9-1.  In the 2015 regular season, we were the highest-scoring team in the state of Washington at all levels. 
OPEN WING PLAY
It's a series of five DVDs, each roughly an hour in length: the first one gets you started with the basics, and from there, each DVD can stand on its own - the second one offers a basic offensive package to run (if that's all you need);  the third introduces the basics of our passing game; the fourth shows how we have expanded the offense through formationing; and the fifth gets into employing the Open Wing principles with a QB under center - plus an overview of the very basic but solid Double Wing package that we jump in and out of.



$150 - TO ORDER http://www.coachwyatt.com/OPEN%20WING%20CLINIC%20DVDS.html

dynamics 3 cover
THE  ULTIMATE DOUBLE WING PLAYBOOK!

This book represents the knowledge and experience I've accumulated in my more than 25 years of running and teaching the Double Wing. 

It's the most detailed "how-to" book on the Double Wing ever published - 250 pages long,  with more than 150 plays, and more than 150 photos of drills and plays.


$39.95  - TO ORDER - http://www.coachwyatt.com/DYNAMICS3.html


LINE SPECIAL DISCSLINE COACH'S SPECIAL - TWO GREAT O-LINE VIDEOS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!

We Double-Wingers take pride in doing things differently - especially  on the offensive line

We employ blocking schemes that have stood the test of time

And we teach  real blocking -
none of this shove-and-grab stuff that the pros call "blocking."

SHOW THE LINE COACH  WHAT TO TEACH -  AND HOW TO TEACH IT

Regularly $39.95 EACH - NOW BOTH FOR $39.95 - http://www.coachwyatt.com/LINESPECIAL.html



"DOUBLE WING DUO" -  2 GREAT VIDEOS! 1 GREAT PRICE!
DOUBLE WING DUO
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*********** My son Ed - and a lot of other Australians - lost a friend named Damien Lovelock, a former Australian rocker (his group was called Celibate Rifles) who loved sports. Ed describes him like this:
 
 a good friend who I worked with at SBS. An amazingly unique character. Loved soccer but also loved the NFL. I had him co-host a few Super Bowls with me because he was passionate, funny and just because I liked him. Got sick years ago during his rock and roll years in the 80s (he’d been clean for decades) and it finally caught up with him. Fascinating guy – His Dad brought him a Jets helmet from NY after Super Bowl III so he was a lifelong Jets fan. I got a tip from a friend that he wasn’t well so I called him and spoke to him for 4-5 minutes. Told me he ‘always rated me very highly’ which I took as a big compliment. Always had pugs that he took on air with him sometimes. World will be worse off without him.

In this great piece written about him, I came across this:

Once, in the 1990s, a highly influential ABC radio manager was giving him some unsolicited advice about how he could improve his regular segment on (a network).

"In my experience as a producer…" he began.

Damien did not like what he was hearing and cut him off mid-stream.

"Mate," he said in that distinctive drawl, "I don't think you could produce a turd with a bowl of All-Bran."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-03/celibate-rifles-frontman-damien-lovelock-dead/11373500
 

*********** I’ve read that with more and more states legalizing “recreational” marijuana, the NFL may wind up taking a more relaxed stance toward its players’ use.

That brings up the matter of sports gambling, soon to become a growth industry to rival legalized pot.  How will legalized sport gambling affect the subject of gambling by players, which for most of the NFL’s existence has been completely taboo. 


*********** A Baton Rouge attorney who is defending a guy on murder charges is looking for jurors who won’t prejudge his client based on his facial tattoos.

facial tattoos

Good luck.

https://www.fox8live.com/2019/08/06/attorney-wants-jurors-who-wont-judge-clients-face-tattoos/

*********** Wednesday, I had to drive up to Aberdeen (where I coach) and on the way - a 2-1/2 hour drive - I kept hearing updates on the police-shooter incident that was going on at the time.
Couple of things:

Those radio “news” people are real bad.  They must be cranking them out  so fast in those “schools of journalism” (talk about an oxymoron) that they’re a dime a dozen.

There is no such thing as “northern Philadelphia,” and in Philadelphia there is no such thing as a “northside,” two ways in which I heard the location of the incident described.  It is North Philadelphia, or - to the locals - North Philly.

In Philly, all you have to say is “North Philly” and they see the picture: block after block of beaten-up (and in some cases boarded-up) old row houses,  lining narrow streets that were laid out long before there were  such things as automobiles and  therefore long before everyone would own an automobile and need a place on the street to park it. As with most slums, North Philly is crime-infested.  Most of its people have no hope of ever making it out of there.

One of Philadelphia’s main drags, Broad Street, runs right through it.  I strongly advise anyone driving on Broad Street, even in the light of day, to keep moving - red lights be damned. 

Temple University is a good school.  But it has the misfortune to be located in the heart of North Philly, right smack on North Broad Street.   (Now do you see why it’s tough to recruit kids to Temple?  Now do you see why any time a coach is successful at Temple - Al Golden, Steve Addazio, Matt Rhule - he gets the hell out as soon as he can?)  Some geniuses have actually proposed building an “on-campus” stadium.  Sheesh - no one who knows the area would ever think of driving to a game, parking his car and then walking the rest of the way to the stadium.  In the daytime, even.  That leaves taking public transportation.  Right. Taking the subway.   So that leaves the visiting teams’ fans, who when they made their travel arrangements were thinking of  Betsy Ross-Benjamin Franklin-Independence Hall-Liberty Bell.  That Philadelphia.  Boy what a story they’re going to be able to tell the folks back in Memphis, or Orlando, or Dallas about their trip to watch their team play Temple.  Assuming they make it out of North Philly.

If there’s anything at all positive that could come from this guy - anyone -  shooting at police, it’s this:  After watching all sorts of TV footage of the Philadelphia standoff, I’d have to say that after seeing the massive number of police cars and armed officers being held at bay for some 12 hours by just one shooter,   anyone who worries that Big Government will one day try to confiscate the close to 400 million firearms out there in the US can rest easy.

*********** Ohio State is by any measure a major university. One of the nation’s largest institutions of higher learning, it's  a major research university offering quality graduate education in dozens of fields.

Its athletic teams are top-notch, whatever the sport.  Its band is one of the nation’s finest.

Its graduates, its students, and loyal Ohioans everywhere have a right to be proud of their state’s flagship university.

Yet with all that their college has going for it,  they have this need to remind us, one and all, that they graduated from, or go to, or play for, or root for, THE Ohio State University.

Come on, Buckeyes - you’re not like upstate New Yorkers insistent on distinguishing themselves from New York City-dwellers by saying they’re from “New York - State.”  You don’t face what we Washingtonians do when we’re away from home, having to tell people that we’re from “Washington  - State.”

It's not as if you have to say, “We’re the REAL Ohio State University," to separate yourselves from some fly-by-night online college down in Chillicothe.

No, there’s no possibility of  confusion.  There’s only one Ohio State.

Which means that either you’re suffering from the World’s Largest Inferiority Complex, or you’re hopelessly addicted to a display of unsurpassed arrogance.

With the recent  news that the University has applied for a trademark on the word “THE” (I am not making this up) - ostensibly so it can begin selling apparel with simply the word “THE” on it - the answer would seem to be the latter.

*********** Maybe Ohio State people, with all that their school has going for it, with all the national titles it’s won, still feel a little insecure - still feel a need  to be reminded of the successes.

It brought to mind  the following exchange that took place in a Senate committee hearing a few years ago…

BRIGADIER GENERAL MICHAEL WALSH: Ma'am, at the LACPR ...
SENATOR BARBARA BOXER (D-CA): You know, do me a favor, could you say “Senator" instead of "ma'am"?
GNERAL WALSH: Yes.
SENATOR BOXER: It's just the thing. I worked so hard to get that title, so I'd appreciate it. Yes, thank you.
GENERAL WALSH: Yes, Senator.

Ohio State has worked so hard to be called THE Ohio State University…

*********** Charges against Georgia Southern’s starting quarterback, arrested earlier this summer for possession of cocaine, were dropped when the white powdery substance found on the hood of the car proved to be bird um, “droppings.”

Let this be a lesson to all real cocaine users - always carry a baggie of bird sh— with you.  Just in case.

Anticipating a big demand,  my wife and I have been busy filling plastic bags with locally-sourced bird droppings.  We’re getting ready to advertise. We’re going to call it Crow-Caine. (Trademarked.)

Distributorships are available in your area for an initial purchase of 100 baggies.(And then you sell sub-distributorships for 100 baggies each, giving us 10 per cent of the sale. And so it goes.)

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/timothymeads/2019/08/09/drug-charges-dropped-after-cocaine-on-college-quarterbacks-car-turns-out-to-be-bird-crap-n2551473


*********** With football not due to start officially  until next Wednesday (the 21st) we’re currently in the “dead period” that started on August 1,  during which time we can’t coach football. But we CAN condition them, and that we do.  Our workouts are extremely strenuous. We had 40 kids at the field on Wednesday night, and at the end, the sunset was so pretty that head coach Todd Bridge decided to conclude the workout with a John Gagliardi-inspired “Nice Day Drill.” 
Nice Day 1nice day 2


*********** Got this from our friends at USA Football (You know - the self-styled “National Governing Body for Amateur American Football) inviting me to a free Webinar entitled “Building Players and Participation.”  You probably got one, too.

USA FOOTBALL AD

Talk about clueless:   Wouldn’t you say September 24 is a little late to be talking about increasing participation?

And that time - a Tuesday at 2 PM Eastern (11 AM Pacific) - just might catch a few coaches at work.

(I looked in vain for a button that says “Kiss My Seat.”)

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

I will talk with our HC about the Black Lion award.  Only problem I can see is that he is a former assistant coach at the Air Force Academy, and his son just graduated from the Naval Academy this past spring.  However...he IS a strong advocate for the military, and especially for the academies football programs.  I'll let you know.

Can't help but wonder about #2 regarding Jeffrey Epstein.  

Having raised two daughters who are full grown adults now they have made me well aware of the numbers of predatory girls that exist in this society, and that the numbers are increasing.  They are master manipulators and we need to help our sons identify and avoid them.  

After watching that video on football in Finland I have to wonder when American college coaches will start taking a serious look at some of those Finnish offensive linemen!  Or, will those Finnish offensive linemen ever consider spending time in the U.S. getting a college education??

We both know the inner-city high school coach of whose email you highlighted.  We both know he is a coach who has always been an advocate for his kids no matter where he has coached.  He's a teacher/coach who works for the red-headed stepchild of the district, but unlike most in his situation he has chosen to remain because too many run out on those kids.  The parents support him 100% (for obvious reasons), and I told him that it's just a matter of time that the word will get out in his community that he is a coach who TRULY CARES.  In time those kids will WANT to be there with him, and some who left will want to return.

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Joe, being a former Air Force guy didn’t prevent your HC from sending his son to another service academy, so he’s obviously a service academy guy.  There is no connection between the Black Lion Award and the USMA  other than the fact that the Army Football Club (the association of former Army football players) sponsors the Black Lion Award to a West Point football player.

*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  One day, maybe we’ll know the real story - why Anthony Davis, who may have had the most impressive college career of all the great USC Trojan tailbacks, flamed out so quickly.

In his three years at USC, the Trojans were 31-3-2, and won two national championships.

He became the first player in the history of the (then) Pac-8 Conference to rush for more than 1,000 yards in three straight seasons (in those days of freshman ineligibility).

In all, he rushed 784 times for 3,772 yards and 44 touchdowns, and overall he amassed 5,400 all-purpose yards and 52 touchdowns.

In 1972, as a sophomore, in a 45-23 rout of Notre Dame, he scored six touchdowns -  a school record -   two of them on kickoff returns of more than 95 yards.

Two years later, against a 10-1 Notre Dame team, he thrilled a huge crowd in the Coliseum when he led the Trojans back from a 24-0 second-quarter deficit to an almost unbelievable comeback that turned into a  trouncing of the Irish.   With the Trojans trailing 24-6 at the half (he’d scored just before the half),  he returned the second half kickoff 102 yards, then scored twice more before the third quarter was halfway over - accounting for 26 of USC’s 27 points - as the Trojans took the lead.  The stunned Irish never recovered, and the Trojans pummeled them, 55-24.

If ever there was a “Heisman Moment,” that was it.  The game of a lifetime in the comeback of a lifetime - not to mention 10 touchdowns  in two games against Notre Dame -  and on national television to boot.  But he finished second to Archie Griffin of Ohio State.  You see, his big game against Notre Dame,  on national television, and all that,  had taken place late in the season - November 30 - and because of the Heisman voting rules at the time, all the ballots had been cast before the USC-Notre Dame game took place.

Never again.  From that point since, balloting isn’t concluded until the last regular season game has been played,  and for that alone, football fans should thank him.  (In my opinion, they should wait until after the bowl season, which would allow voters to take into account a player’s refusal to play in his team’s bowl game.)

In addition to the two national championship football teams he played on, he played outfield on three winning College World Series teams, giving him a total of five national championships!

He declined to play professional baseball, and chose instead to play football, and when the Jets, who had drafted him,  would not meet his salary demands, he opted instead to sign with the Southern California Sun of the World Football League. 

He wound up leading the WFL in rushing, putting up some good stats - 239 carries for 1200 yards and 16 touchdowns - and caught 40 passes for 381 yards and a touchdown. And he returned nine kickoffs for 235 yards.

But the WFL folded after 12 games, and the following season he was in Canada, where the Toronto Argonauts me him the CFL’s first Million Dollar Player.

He didn’t play well, on the field or with others, and he lasted just the one season up North.

He returned to the US for a brief and undistinguished career in the NFL.

His life since then has been a series of ups and downs, mostly downs, with a long list of people who claim he owes them money.

Perhaps this will cast a light on things:

“There’s a natural tendency among Trojans to overestimate who we are,” said former teammate Marvin Cobb. “It comes with the swagger, the legacy, the tradition you try to live up to.

“You can get carried away sometimes.”

Or this:

In 2005, after being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, he received a blazer and a ring.  After he gave up the ring to a collector, he was asked why he did so, and he said the ring “looked like it’s come out of a bubble gum machine.  I felt if we were going to be honored that way, we deserved something better than that.”

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING ANTHONY DAVIS:

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MIKE FORISTIERE - TOPEKA, KANSAS
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA


*********** On the subject of Anthony Davis...
Please give whatever good feelings I get for giving my correct answer to some collector.  I got a lot of good things from the penny bubble gum machine in my youth.  It never let me down...

Charlie Wilson
Crystal River, Florida

*********** Those of us who are Domers will never forget that game.  Thankfully USC gave up on tailbacks, and Irish fans are grateful.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** I realized that I have been derelict in my fatherly duties when neither one of my boys had ever heard of the “real” Anthony Davis (Not the b-ball player with the unibrow).

The World Court should have put him on trial for genocide, because he KILLED the Irish.  Worst thing to happen to mah peeps since the Potato Famine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=304&v=iceQZSOGH-8
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=91&v=S6ivTXDWZZw

Shep Clarke
Puyallup, Washington

*********** QUIZ - He blew his $350,000 NFL signing bonus… stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from family,  friends and employers…  wrote hundreds of thousands of dollars in bad checks…  defrauded a wealthy widow out of everything she had. 

There’s more, and it’s all bad.

He is currently serving time in a federal prison in South Carolina.

All because of a gambling addiction.

But at one time he was an outstanding high school quarterback, one who never lost a game.

He was a four-year starter at Ohio State.

He was Woody Hayes’ last quarterback.  That’s because he threw the interception late in a bowl game against Clemson that resulted in Hayes’ firing for taking a swing at a Clemson player.

In his sophomore year, under a new head coach, he led the Buckeyes to within a one-point Rose Bowl loss of a national title.

in his final three years in Columbus, he finished no worse than sixth in the Heisman balloting.

In his four year college career, he threw for 7547 yards and 50 touchdowns, and ran for 1,303 yards and 35 touchdowns.

He was taken in the first round of the NFL draft - the fourth player picked - by the Baltimore Colts.

He never won the starting position with the Colts, although it was his for the taking. Gambling had taken hold of his life.

He had numerous  chances (and “second chances”),  but his gambling addiction kept him from  becoming even a mediocre NFL quarterback.

He played only parts of three seasons and appeared in only 13 games.  He had only six NFL starts and lost them all. He threw just three touchdown passes, to go with 11 interceptions.

He was the first NFL player to be suspended for gambling since Paul Horning and Alex Karras in 1963.

He is consistently ranked along with JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf as one of the three worst quarterback draft busts in NFL history.

He is due to be released from prison a year from now, in October, 2020.



Betsy Ross FlagTUESDAY,  AUGUST 13,  2019  “Talkers are usually more articulate than doers, since talk is their specialty.” Thomas Sowell

*********** Tough choices…

(1) Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide. (But he had so much to live for.)

    Conclusion: The government is incompetent, which is totally believable

(2) Jeffrey Epstein was offed.  Dead Men Tell No Tales.

    This means it was either done on the inside by our government or, even worse, by forces of evil more powerful than our government

(3) Jeffrey Epstein has already sung, and he’s now in the witness protection program

(4) Jeffrey Epstein has already unpacked his bags and sent for a planeload of (very) young ladies to be delivered to his private island somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

I absolutely do not believe that (1) was possible, and I don’t want to consider the possibility that it could be (2) so until I (or someone I trust explicitly) positively identifies the body, I’m debating between (3) or (4)

*********** General Perry Smith, who as a young Air Force jet pilot flew combat missions over North Vietnam was Don Holleder’s roommate in college.

Sine his retirement from the Air Force as a Major General, General Smith has had a long and career as an author, speaker and TV commentator or military affairs.

I have been informed that he has been nominated for membership in the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame, and I have offered to assist him.

General Smith is a real gentleman who been extremely helpful to me in promoting the Black Lion Award, and it’s the least I can do to ask my readers to consider voting for him.

Go here and read about the qualifications of this outstanding man.

https://www.gaaviationhalloffame.com/nominations/2020-gahof-nominees/

If you feel that you can vote for him,  a “4” is the correct vote.

*********** I kept seeing the movie “Brian Banks” being promoted, so I checked it out.

Since they assure us that it’s based on a true story, it has to be (somewhat) about the promising young athlete whose career came to an end when he was convicted of rape and sent away, spending six years in prison before his accuser admitted that she’d lied.

I don’t know how they managed to make this without massive protests by the MeToo gang, so I’m suspicious that somehow, as they do with everything else, they’ll make this about race (Brian Banks is a black man).

I hope not.  Instead, I hope they’ll use this story to deal with an issue that plagues today’s  young men.

I used to look back at when I was young and think how great it would have been if we’d had the “hook-up” culture when I was in college.  I mean, none of that “first date, second date” crap.

No sir.   If it’s the way I hear it is now, it’s just a matter of taking your pick.  (And well before closing time at that.)

But not so fast.  After stories about what’s been happening to young men falsely accused of rape - sometimes long after the “event” has taken place (or at least long enough for buyer’s remorse to set in), I’ve changed my mind.

So, nah.  I grew up at the right time. 

*********** “We all wore number 11.  Three brothers, all at the same university, all at the same position, all wearing the same number - it’s the only situation like that in history, anywhere.  Our number 11 is one of only five numbers that have been retired for eternity at Michigan.  That’s as good an honor as you can have.”

That was Al Wistert, who played at Michigan, like this two brothers, and went on to play in the NFL and captain the 1948 and 1949 Eagles’ championship teams.

“Eternity,” eh?

At the time he said that, Al Wistert couldn’t have foreseen the “Legends” program, thought up by an ambitious AD named Dave Brandon,  who evidently tired of waiting for this eternity thing to pass,  and decided to bring Michigan’s retired jerseys out of retirement.  The idea was to use the jerseys as glorified Buckeyes, awarding them to special players.  Who knows?  Maybe next, they’d use them as inducements to come to Michigan.  That was 2011.

As a result,   the “immortal” Devin Gardner was allowed to wear the previously-retired-for-eternity number of Old 98, Tom Harmon, one of the greatest Wolverines ever.

Who can forget Junior Hemingway? Good enough football player, but sheesh - in 2011, they let him wear the Wisterts’ number 11.

Give Jim Harbaugh credit.  Being a Michigan man himself, he agreed with the suggestion that the Legends program come to an end.

In 2015, the numbers were retired again, this time for a more permanent eternity.  They’re now four years into this one.

https://www.mlive.com/wolverines/2015/07/michigan_officially_ditches_le.html


*********** If you know Finnish but don’t know American football, this video will help greatly.

But if, as is more likely,  you don’t know Finnish but you do know football, you won’t understand a damn word of it but it will give you an appreciation for the level of football being played in that small country near the Arctic Circle, with a population about the same as the state of Minnesota.

I can’t believe the improvement in the quality of play since I coached there some 25 years ago..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=460&v=frKAk0DwbjI

*********** Purple Heart Day was last week, , and my friend Tom “Doc” Hinger, of Winter Haven, Florida, was good enough to send me a nice article on the Medal.

Some interesting facts about the Purple Heart:

Established by George Washington in 1782,  it is the oldest of the awards presented to members of our armed forces.

It is one of the first awards in history given to lower-ranking soldiers (those below the rank of officer).

It was originally only for members of the Army, until changed by President Franklin D, Roosevelt during World War II.

It was originally for “meritorious service” until World War II, when the criterion was changed to being wounded or killed in combat.

It is the only award service members do not have to be recommended for. If they meet the requirements, they have earned it.

http://www.dodlive.mil/2015/08/07/the-purple-heart-how-it-has-changed-over-time/

***********  “Michigan State’s Lime Green Uniforms are the Ugliest Things I’ve Ever Seen” goes the headline. 

I wouldn’t go that far - Maryland retired that trophy a few years ago - but these gooney guys sure as hell ain’t the Spartans I’ve enjoyed rooting for.

Line-green my ass.  That's road-crew green.

But either way - A road-crew green  Spartan on the helmet???
MSU Uniform

https://fanbuzz.com/college-football/big-ten/michigan-state/michigan-state-alternate-jerseys/

*********** Growing Pains, related to me by a coach who’s getting ready for his second year at  an inner-city school. (This is for those people who think that football coaching is just drawing up plays and telling kids to run those plays.)

Hugh,

There are many reasons why this is a losing program, but I am going to let you know on a daily basis or weekly what I would deal with, and as you well know it basically had nothing to do with football. As we talked before there are really no standards that have been set here. For the first year as always I let kids come out when we officially started in August and true to form most of them quit  in the preseason or within the first few games because they were not starters.

Now as we progressed to the first game things were ok,  but  the time from after school ended to when we went thru walk-thrus at 5 pm was when I knew there were going to be issues. First, the players didn't know how to prepare, so I had to constantly fill them in.

Then at 4:30 a starting D lineman got in a fight - an actual fight - with his girlfriend in the hallway. He punched her 3 or 4 times and, yes, the cops came and arrested him, and of course I kicked him off.

Then the following week I lost my starting safety and C back after he  got in a fight Thursday at lunch and was suspended for the next game.

Then on the Friday my starting A back did not bring his cleats and so I sat his ass.

Hugh, this stuff went on daily, every week,  for the entire season., wth the concussions we had, to the dramas of the players who would walk off the field not wanting to be disciplined - and I wouldn't go after them to bring them back as the previous coaches had done.

So we dropped in number of players from low 40's to upper 20's by mid-season and beyond. As I was told by the seniors, they had never been disciplined before in their entire playing days. In addition,  I also had a very young staff that thought telling a kid to do something was actually coaching him. As you well know, telling and coaching are two separate things.

Not to make this any longer but as I look back,  I have to do a better job of coaching my coaches and establishing an atmosphere of success. The hardest part for me was realizing very early in the season that you can talk all you like about commitment, honor, accountability, being a great teammate, etc.,  etc.,  but my players had no idea what any of those things were because they had never been modeled or displayed to them before.  90 per cent of my players have no fathers to show them anything.  

So we as coaches here have to model these things and constantly - talk the talk and walk the walk of what we are looking for.in this program. I know this all sounds negative, but it is reality, and it can be changed.

In my evaluation they really liked how I have brought standards where they had not been before. This is going to be a slow process, but I feel I am up for the challenge. As you well know, nothing good comes easy.

*********** Isn’t it funny how,  with all the books on leadership and all the talk about leadership, there are fewer and fewer examples of it in our everyday lives?

***********  Hugh,

I enjoyed the picture of the restored police cruiser.  I am a die hard car and train guy.  You mentioned the Lemay automobile museum and it brought back memories of my trip to Tacoma in 2017.  It was the first place that I went on my trip.  I spent 90 minutes there before we had to leave for the next stop on our guided tour.  I purchased a very nice DVD of the museum that I still enjoy.  They never giveyou enough time on a tour in a great museum.

Last month on my trip to Reno I took a tour of Harrah's auto museum.  It was great, but not as good as the Lemay museum!  I will send you three pictures that I took at Harrah's.  One of them is of John Wayne's favorite sports car.

I completely agree with your admiration for Dr. Sowell and Dr. Williams!!  Two great men that I admire and so did my Late mother.  For a number of years our local paper carried Dr. Sowell's column in our local paper as the conservative counterpart to the worthless Leonard Pitts column that they still put in our paper.   I believe that Dr. Sowell retired from doing a syndicated column.  Once in a great while we will get an article by Dr. Williams.  Your are correct that Dr. Williams does have a great sense of humor!

I still need to send you the video that I shot of the train exhibit that I took in Abilene that is next door to the Eisenhower Museum.

David Crump
Owensboro, Kentucky

PS.  I still would love to have a restored 1957 Chevy convertible black, with a red interior and lots of chrome!  Maybe if I hit the lottery!!!

*********** Lotsa empty seats in NFL stadia this past weekend.

***********  Coach Wyatt,

Strange situation this year. I was put in charge of an 8th grade team. However old offensive coordinator stayed and was incompetent. Turned team into a disaster. Next Saturday I have to have this team ready to play. They are a talented group and well sized. The old coach tried to put in wishbone with option, but they had zero QB talent.

I am going to put in Power, Counter and Wedge from the DW, i feel three plays is about the most i can get in. With limited time, should i teach all three plays against air, then go live best i can on Thursday? Or start out against a manned defense, not tackling then work up to live?

What works fastest? I dont expect miracles here, but know i do not have much time.

Thank You,

P.S. boys already know how to wedge on O-line as I had many of these kids last year.

Coach,

The short answer is “YES.”

My progression in teaching is
(1) Team against air
(2) Team against a defense holding shields
(3) Team against a defense in “THUD” tempo (hard-hitting but no one gets taken to the ground)

We spend a long time in phase (1) before moving to phase (2)

We may go a whole season without ever getting to phase (3)

In your early stage, the important thing is teaching them WHAT to do.  Next, you teach them HOW to do it.  But I think you teach the HOW in individual drills.

When you take a bunch of kids who still aren’t confident in WHAT they’re supposed to do and then you complicate things by throwing in a defense before they’re ready, you’re going to have chaos.  That’s not conducive to teaching.

And if they get into a game and they’re confused they won’t be able to compete.

My advice to the kids would be to tell them exactly what you’re doing, and why. And tell them that you know it’s going to be different for them at first, and they’re going to get better week by week, and right now the main thing you want to see from the game is how hard they’ll compete.

Hope that helps.


***********  Hugh,

Enjoyed reading your take on how to teach a "newbie" the game of football.  Holds true for any youngster picking up the game for the first time.

Why is it that I have not heard Dr. Sowell and Dr. Williams' names mentioned in the social and racial "discussions" taking place throughout this country?  Hmmm.

Now I know why those Army fullbacks play the way they do.  Watching them play over the last couple of years reminded me a lot of Mike Viti when he played.  Of course... it makes sense to me now!

Would it be correct to assume that Donnell Cooper would fit the description of a "knucklehead".

Have to admit...I've been guilty of using the word SO to start a sentence on occasion.  Something I need to work on.  But...like...I'm not like trying make excuses...it's like I sometimes...like...come up with like the right word.

Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

PS  First week of practice almost under our belts.  Enjoying being back on the field again!  Nice to be coaching at a school that truly supports, and appreciates football.

*********** QUIZ ANSWER.  Gene Mingo never played college football. In fact, he although he’d been a good football player in high school, he dropped out and joined the Navy.

He played service ball in the Navy, but when he got out he returned home (Akron, Ohio) and got a job working for Goodyear.

Hearing about the formation of a new football league (The American Football League),  and about a guy he’d played against who’d signed with the new Denver team, he wrote the team and got a tryout.

He made the team as a running back and return man - his punt return for a touchdown provided the winning margin in the first-ever AFL game, between the Broncos and the Boston Patriots.

He also scored the Broncos’ first points on their home field, then called Bears’ Stadium, when he kicked an 18-yard field goal.

He still holds the Broncos’ record for the longest run from scrimmage, an 82-yard touchdown gallop against the Raiders in 1962.

In all, he played ten years in the AFL and then NFL with five different clubs.  He is a member of the Broncos’ Wall of Fame.

He was twice an AFL All-Star:  in the league’s first year (1960) when he led the AFL in scoring with 123 points, and in 1962, when he again led the league in scoring with 137 points.

(In addition to being a good runner and receiver, he was also a good placekicker, an especially useful skill at a time when rosters were small and teams couldn’t afford to keep specialists.  Gene Mingo is generally considered to be the first black place kicker in professional football history.)

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING GENE MINGO:

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

*********** A nice article about Gene MIngo...

https://www.wbur.org/onlyagame/2018/01/19/gene-mingo-football-broncos

*********** QUIZ. One day, maybe we’ll know the real story - why this USC tailback, who may have had the most impressive college career of all the great Trojan tailbacks, flamed out so quickly.

In his three years at USC, the Trojans were 31-3-2, and won two national championships.

He became the first player in the history of the (then) Pac-8 Conference to rush for more than 1,000 yards in three straight seasons (in those days of freshman ineligibility).

In all, he rushed 784 times for 3,772 yards and 44 touchdowns, and overall he amassed 5,400 all-purpose yards and 52 touchdowns.

In 1972, as a sophomore, in a 45-23 rout of Notre Dame, he scored six touchdowns -  a school record -   two of them on kickoff returns of more than 95 yards.

Two years later, against a 10-1 Notre Dame team, he thrilled a huge crowd in the Coliseum when he led the Trojans back from a 24-0 second-quarter deficit to an almost unbelievable comeback that turned into a  trouncing of the Irish.   With the Trojans trailing 24-6 at the half (he’d scored just before the half),  he returned the second half kickoff 102 yards, then scored twice more before the third quarter was halfway over - accounting for 26 of USC’s 27 points - as the Trojans took the lead.  The stunned Irish never recovered, and the Trojans pummeled them, 55-24.

If ever there was a “Heisman Moment,” that was it.  The game of a lifetime in the comeback of a lifetime - not to mention 10 touchdowns  in two gaames against Notre Dame -  and on national television to boot.  But he finished second to Archie Griffin of Ohio State.  You see, his big game against Notre Dame,  on national television, and all that,  had taken place late in the season - November 30 - and because of the Heisman voting rules at the time, all the ballots had been cast before the USC-Notre Dame game took place.

Never again.  From that point since, balloting isn’t concluded until the last regular season game has been played,  and for that alone, football fans should thank him.  (In my opinion, they should wait until after the bowl season, which would allow voters to take into account a player’s refusal to play in his team’s bowl game.)

In addition to the two national championship football teams he played on, he played outfield on three winning College World Series teams, giving him a total of five national championships!

He declined to play professional baseball, and chose instead to play football, and when the Jets, who had drafted him,  would not meet his salary demands, he opted instead to sign with the Southern California Sun of the World Football League. 

He wound up leading the WFL in rushing, putting up some good stats - 239 carries for 1200 yards and 16 touchdowns - and caught 40 passes for 381 yards and a touchdown. And he returned nine kickoffs for 235 yards.

But the WFL folded after 12 games, and the following season he was in Canada, where the Toronto Argonauts me him the CFL’s first Million Dollar Player.

He didn’t play well, on the field or with others, and he lasted just the one season up North.

He returned to the US for a brief and undistinguished career in the NFL.

His life since then has been a series of ups and downs, mostly downs, with a long list of people who claim he owes them money.

Perhaps this will cast a light on things:

“There’s a natural tendency among Trojans to overestimate who we are,” said former teammate Marvin Cobb. “It comes with the swagger, the legacy, the tradition you try to live up to.

“You can get carried away sometimes.”

Or this:

In 2005, after being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, he received a blazer and a ring.  After he gave up the ring to a collector, he was asked why he did so, and he said the ring “looked like it’s come out of a bubble gum machine.  I felt if we were going to be honored that way, we deserved something better than that.”

THANK TO SHEP CLARKE OF PUYALLUP, WASHINGTON, FOR SUGGESTING THE TOPIC

Betsy Ross FlagFRIDAY,  AUGUST 9,  2019  “I'll always want them to be tougher.  I'll always want them to play harder. I'll always want them to play better. I'll always want us to execute better than we did. You never play perfect, but you have to strive for that." Army coach Jeff Monken

***********  Knowing that I had once coached overseas, and coached a team of newcomers to the game at that, a coach in Europe faced with the same task wrote me for some ideas.  He’s not an American, and his football background is scant, but his English is quite good, so I was able to pass along a few things that he could do immediately to introduce his players to the game.  Here’s what I sent him,  as bare starters:

In introducing a player to the game, there are three basic categories of things that a beginner needs to know.

I would call them TECHNIQUES, TERMINOLOGY (football terms), TEAM (the actual playing of the game).

TECHNIQUES must come first -

The player has to learn how to use his body to deal with an opponent who is using his body in opposition

Stances

Hit Position (sometimes called “2-point stance”) It’s  the basic stance common to many sports, such as basketball, baseball and tennis

Three-point stance

Four-Point stance

Receiver’s stance

Defensive back’s stance

Blocking

    Open Hands Method (this is now by far the most common)

    Arms and Shoulders Method (I prefer this method)

Form Tackling

    In its simplest form, it is just like Arms and Shoulders Blocking
    You contact the opponent in the exact same way, but -
    You can use your arms and hands to grab the opponent

Shedding Blockers

    Shiver Technique -  “bench-pressing” the blocker, then throwing him aside

    Shoulder Rip Technique -  Striking the blocker with one shoulder or the other, keeping the hand    
    and elbow of the striking side close to the body and striking upward into the blocker

Movement

    Run Forward;  then Run Forward, stop and change direction
       
    Backpedal -
        Backpedal and turn and run in the same direction
        Backpedal, then stop and run forward

    Shuffle sideways -
        In hit position, move sideways without turning the shoulders and without crossing the feet

    Combine Movements
        “Wave Drill” : Run Forward, stop, shuffle side-to-side on visual command

    Bear Crawl - 4-point crawl forward, head up and eyes up
        Bear Crawl then get up and run forward
        Bear crawl side-to-side on visual command, then get up and run forward

Combined movements with a form tackle at the end

Ball Carrying

    Learn to carry the ball with “4 points of contact” at all times
    (1) The hand is over the point
    (2) The ball touches the forearm
    (3) The ball touches the biceps
    (4) The ball touches the ribs

Have players do a variety of body movements (forward and side rolls,     for example) while carrying the ball correctly without fumbling

That’s a start.  When combining a newcomer (a “rookie”) with veteran players, it is wise to assign a veteran to a rookie as his “battle buddy,” to help him with things he is still learning.  (It also helps the veteran to learn better.)


*********** Dr. Walter E. Williams and Dr. Thomas Sowell are two of my most respected and admired people.  They are brilliant men.  They are educated men.  They are eloquent men.  They  came from humble backgrounds to achieve success in their fields - and to become  no-BS conservatives. Oh- and they happen to be black.

I don’t refer to them as “black economists,” as if they belong in a special category. They are economists. Period.

To me, about the only thing more interesting than something written by Dr. Williams  is something written by Dr. Williams  about Dr. Sowell.

Discrimination and Disparities
By Walter E. Williams - May 1, 2019

My longtime friend and colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell has just published a revised and enlarged edition of "Discrimination and Disparities." It lays waste to myth after myth about the causes of human differences not only in the United States but around the globe. Throughout the book, Sowell shows that socioeconomic outcomes differ vastly among individuals, groups and nations in ways that cannot be easily explained by any one factor, whether it's genetics, sex or race discrimination or a history of gross mistreatment that includes expulsion and genocide.

In his book "The Philadelphia Negro" (1899), W.E.B. Du Bois posed the question as to what would happen if white people lost their prejudices overnight. He said that it would make little difference to most blacks. He said: "Some few would be promoted, some few would get new places -- the mass would remain as they are" until the younger generation began to "try harder" and the race "lost the omnipresent excuse for failure: prejudice."

Sowell points out that if historical injustices and persecution were useful explanations of group disadvantage, Jews would be some of the poorest and least-educated people in the world today. Few groups have been victimized down through history as have the Jews. Despite being historical targets of hostility and lethal violence, no one can argue that as a result Jews are the most disadvantaged people.

Jews are not alone in persecution either. The number of overseas Chinese slaughtered by Vietnamese mobs and the number of Armenians slaughtered by mobs in the Ottoman Empire in just one year exceeds the number of black Americans lynched in the history of the U.S. From 1882-1968, 4,743 total lynchings occurred in the United States, of which 3,446 of the victims were black. Sowell concludes this section suggesting that it is dangerous for society to depict outcome differences as evidence or proof of malevolent actions that need to be counterattacked or avenged. Politicians and others who are now calling for reparations to blacks for slavery should take note of Sowell's argument.

There's considerable handwringing among educational "experts" about the black/white academic achievement gap. Part of the persistence of that gap can be laid at the feet of educators who replaced what worked with what sounded good. One notable example of success is the achievement of students at the all-black Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., from 1870 to 1955. During that period, Dunbar students frequently outscored white students on achievement tests in the Washington, D.C., area. Sowell, who studied Dunbar and other high-achieving black schools, says Dunbar "had unsparing standards for both school work and for such behavioral qualities as punctuality and social demeanor. Dunbar's homework requirements were more than most other public schools. Some Dunbar parents complained to the D.C. Board of Education about the large amount of homework required."

Dunbar High School was not the only black school with a record of success that would be the envy of today's public schools. Schools such as Frederick Douglass (Baltimore), Booker T. Washington (Atlanta), PS 91 (Brooklyn), McDonogh 35 (New Orleans) and others operated at a similar level of excellence. By the way, these excelling students weren't solely members of the black elite; most had parents who were manual laborers, domestic servants, porters and maintenance men.

Observing the historical success of these and other black schools, one wonders about the catchwords of Chief Justice Earl Warren's statement that separate schools "are inherently unequal." That vision led to racial integration going from being a means to an end to racial integration becoming an end all by itself. Sowell doesn't say this, but in my view, integration becoming the goal is what has made diversity and inclusion the end all and be all of today's educators at many levels.

Dr. Thomas Sowell's "Discrimination and Disparities" is loaded with pearls of wisdom from which we can all benefit, and as such, this will not be my final discussion of his masterpiece.

https://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2019/05/01/discrimination-and-disparities-n2545550

If you ever heard Dr. Williams  speak, you’d know immediately that he’s not a liberal because he has a  sense of humor.  Evidence of the way he’s able to introduce humor into his work is his “PROCLAMATION OF AMNESTY AND PARDON” for All Persons of European Descent.  (I would consider printing a bunch of them to hand out to sufferers from White Guilt - except that I do everything in my power to avoid those self-loathing fools.)
Dr Williams Amnesty

http://walterewilliams.com/WalterWilliamsAmnestyProclamation.pdf

FOR SOME IN-DEPTH LOOKS AT THESE TWO REMARKABLE MEN,  DR. WILLIAMS AND DR. SOWELL…
CAUTION: THEY WILL MAKE YOU THINK!

DR. WILLIAMS:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZGvQcxoAPg

DR. SOWELL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS5WYp5xmvI


*********** Marshawn Lynch may be a beast and all that, but once he decided to pass himself off as a youth coach, he stepped into the same arena as anybody else who’s ever coached little kids.

And,based on his, uh, “manner,” I’d have to say that he’s got a lot to learn about dealing with mommas.

https://youtu.be/L6BDnHrwOys


*********** One-time Army fullback Mike Viti was a Black Lion Award winner.  Unfortunately, he played on some bad teams, but he was one tough sucker, and after he graduated and Army went to running a triple option offense, I’d get pissed off every time I thought about how great he’d have been in some sort of the ‘bone.

But  justice has been served, to an extent, because now he’s the coach of  Army’s fullbacks, and anyone who saw last year’s Armed Forces Bowl  demolition of Houston knows that they’ve got some big dudes who can pack it up the middle.

I found some things he said in  a recent interview to be very instructive.

First of all, there’s no such thing in the Army scheme of things as “the” fullback.  There’s the “fullback unit.”  There may just be one position, but Army puts such a focus on power football that, says Viti, “If we are going to play that brand of ball, then it’s not just going to be one guy.  So, Coach Monken and Coach [Brent] Davis (offensive coordinator) and myself  really believe in that philosophy. It’s a 3-4 people position.”

He talked a little about how he manages that “fullback unit,” and brings up a point that I’d never considered - that no team is as deep in linebackers as Army is in fullbacks, and running fresh fullbacks into the game can wear down the opposition’s best defenders:  “I always talk about those linebackers (opposition) that are in the game that are in there for a 15 play drive which is like a 15-round fight. So now you put a fresh Sandon McCoy in round 8 and Connor has been busting them up for 7 rounds and then you get Rashaad Bolton in for 11 and 12 and closing back up with Slomka against that same linebacker who has been in there for the whole 15 rounds/15 play drive.”

Managing a group of guys who all want to play has become a skill in itself: “We make a big emphasis that the yards are our yards; the touchdowns are everybody’s touchdowns; and whoever landed that knockout blow ... that’s not just you, but it’s the collective group.”

He talked about returner Connor Slomka and the importance Army places on the 10-yard dash.  Slomka, he says, “he has THE best get-off and 10-yard time on the team. That’s a really important time for us. Many guys talk about 40 times, but I really put a lot into that 10-yard time. They are getting to the line to get a 5-yard running head start and we are expecting that group to average 4-5 yards collectively to have the team we want. So, Slomka has one of the best 10’s in the entire program and so his explosiveness and get-off, and his yards after contact and once he gets that bout with a guy, he’s really a powerful dude. He’s 240 pounds and he is one of the strongest guys on the team and he is tough to bring down.”


The kind of guy their coach was.

https://army.rivals.com/news/gbk-exclusive-q-a-with-fullback-coach-mike-viti

*********** A basketball player named Donell Cooper, who’s been playing in various places overseas, has been banned by FIBA, the international governing body, after failing a drug test.

He didn’t fail it exactly.  But it did raise eyebrows when it showed that he’s pregnant.

You be the comedy writer.  All I did was give you the setup.

https://news.yahoo.com/donell-cooper-basketball-star-banned-151542433.html#

*********** A friend who’s a retired Army officer told of the time the Congressman from his area suggested fudging a story in order to get government funding for a project he needed.

When he declined to do so, the Congressman said,  “It’s just a white lie.”

Replied my friend,   “That’s the difference between your job and mine.”

*********** Watching this Marianne Williamson woman who’s “running for president” as a way to become famous so she can sell books and go on a lecture tour, I’m reminded of some of the most dismal days of my teaching career, “in-service” days, when the faculty would be herded into an auditorium to hear how to become better teachers from a succession of Marianne Williamson types who’d never spent a day in a classroom full of kids.

*********** The people at Clemson are holding their breath, hoping that the NCAA won’t vacate their national championship after they self-reported a serious violation: “improper use of confetti during a recruiting visit.

https://sports.yahoo.com/clemson-football-selfreported-an-ncaa-violation-involving-the-improper-use-of-confetti-221759854.html


*********** There’s a new Trump story every day.  Back when I wrote this, the Story of the Day was the guy who was being barred from  White House press conferences.

That led someone whose name I don’t know to write about Olympic ice hockey coach Herb Brooks’ experience with the whiners in the news media…

When the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team was playing its way through the tournament that would eventually result in their "Miracle on Ice" gold medal, coach Herb Brooks held a press conference every day where the media could ask him questions. He had a standing policy of refusing to allow the players to speak to the media. He had spent months molding these players into a team, and he never wanted them to be in a position where one player would be in the media spotlight while others were not.

The reporters covering the Olympics weren't happy about this -- especially after the team began to play far better than anyone expected and attracted more and more public attention. At one of his press conferences, a reporter basically accused Brooks of implementing this policy so he could have all the glory while his players remained in obscurity.

Brooks -- who was a bit of a prickly character on his best day -- got so pissed off at this suggestion that he simply stopped showing up at the press conferences after that. He'd send an assistant coach or trainer out to do it instead.

The way to deal with an @sshole in the media is to stop doing the events at all. Let the other reporters in the White House press corps stew on that for a while, and maybe they'll get rid of the @sshole themselves.

*********** After he told the cook at our favorite hangout in Ocean Shores (the Porthole Pub) that his oyster po’ boy was even better than the ones back home in Louisiana,  Josh Montgomery became a minor celebrity. David, the manager, was pleased because he’d put the item on the menu not knowing how it would do, and Mike the cook was so proud he was smiling from ear to ear.

A great line: David, the manager/bartender, said he knew about po’ boys because he had once run a restaurant in Mobile.  Being an LSU guy, Josh of course had to give him some crap about that, and David replied that first wife was from Alabama - said he’d met her on "Incestry dot com."

*********** Is there a person under the age of 40 who can answer a question or give an explanation without starting out,  “So…” ?

*********** A Pennsylvania school district has found an environmentally beneficial way to keep down the weeds on a steep hill.  The workers don’t have to be paid minimum wage, and there is no chance they’ll quit until they’re finished.  They’re goats.

Just don’t stand behind them while they work. (If you know what I mean.)

https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/goats-munching-on-norwin-hillside-brush/

*********** The Montana State Patrol car in the background of Tuesday’s photo was part of the impressive car collection of an Ocean Shores resident named Ed Duncan.  When we saw the car, it was parked outside his garage along with several other beautifully restored cars - all of them with keys in the ignitions.

Doing some research, Josh Montgomery - himself a car fan -  went on YouTube and discovered that Ed Duncan had been featured on a car collector’s show called Vintage Vehicles.

https://youtu.be/uQ86LYf4o1A

In the interview, you may hear Ed mention “LeMay.”  He’s talking about the late Harold LeMay, noted collector who once amassed the world’s largest car collection,  much of which formed the nucleus of LeMay-America’s Car Museum, in Tacoma, Washington.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America%27s_Car_Museum

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

It's a shame that most of everything we read, or see today is false, or some version of the truth and not the whole truth.  It's a shame that society as a whole can't handle the truth anymore!  Every time I turn around there is something negative about being an American being thrown in my face.  Whether it has to do with our own history, or how the social ills of this country are being blamed on those of us who honor our heritage, or just the simple fact that many in this country want the freedoms of what this country offers but are too selfish to fully become immersed in the culture of what it truly means being a "proud" American.

The days of Navy's domination over the academies in football is over.  It has become fairly obvious to me that coach Niumatololo has become "bored" with the option, and with "academy" football.  His foray into the Arizona job proves his restlessness.  On the other hand Coach Monken at Army (I know...Army West Point...but I know where they are so it's still Army to me), Coach Monken will have to do his absolute best to prevent his cadets (and he and his staff) from getting too full of themselves after being ranked in the pre-season Top 25.  

It was great to see those pictures!  Coach, you're still looking pretty fit and trim!  I was sorry to hear that Carson Ketter was let go by BC.  After watching a few CFL games this summer there are a few teams up there that could use a good young safety!  Hopefully he gets picked up soon.

Had our first day of practice yesterday.  It was nice to get back on the field, and even better having 60+ bodies out there!  Previously I was lucky to approach 40, and typically had between 30 and 35.  We even have a full-time trainer with a staff of 6!  I have 15 linemen to work with, and the older kids have good size with good feet.

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ: Ryan Leaf led his Montana high school to a state title and was heavily recruited.  Miami wanted him to play linebacker.

He chose to play quarterback at a Northwest School and in his junior year he threw for 330 yards per game and set a conference record with 33 touchdown passes.  He also led his team to its first Rose Bowl appearance in 67 years, and finished third in the Heisman balloting.

Passing up his senior year, he entered the NFL draft and was the second player - and the second quarterback - taken. There was considerable debate as to which of the two quarterbacks was better, and the team that chose him actually traded up in order to make sure it got him.

He turned out to be the ultimate jerk, disliked by teammates, coaches, fans and the media. On top of his personality defects, he proved to have a terrible work ethic.  He missed all of his second season with a shoulder injury, and after his third season,  tired of his act, his team released him.

He barely made it through one more season, and then his NFL career was over. He retired.

His name is sure to be near the top of any list of “greatest busts of all time.”  In his brief NFL career, he started 21 games - nine of them in his first season. He completed 48 per cent of his passes, and threw for 14 touchdowns - and 36 interceptions.

A former teammate summed up the feelings of most NFL people when he said, “Personally, I could never rest good at night knowing my career ended like that. Normally in this game, you get back what you put into it, and he pretty much got back what he put into it."

And then he embarked on a weird odyssey that included a series of different jobs punctuated by a series of drug-related incidents that culminated in his serving time in a Montana prison for breaking into a home in search of drugs.

Now, based on his word that he is clean, he is involved in helping others deal with drug abuse.

We will see.  He has been hired by ESPN to do college games this fall.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING RYAN LEAF:

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
JASON MENSING - WHITEFORD, MICHIGAN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
COLE SHAFFER - BOULDER, COLORADO
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
JOHN IRION - GRANVILLE, NEW YORK
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
SHEP CLARKE - PUYALLUP, WASHINGTON


*********** QUIZ.  He never played college football. In fact, he although he’d been a good football player in high school, he dropped out and joined the Navy.

He played service ball in the Navy, but when he got out he returned home (Akron, Ohio) and got a job working for Goodyear.

Hearing about the formation of a new football league (The American Football League),  and about a guy he’d played against who’d signed with the new Denver team, he wrote the team and they mailed him a contract - for $6,500. But he still had to make the team.

He made the team as a running back and return man, and his punt return for a touchdown provided the winning margin in the first-ever AFL game, between the Broncos and the Boston Patriots.

He also scored the Broncos’ first points on their home field, then called Bears’ Stadium, when he kicked an 18-yard field goal.

He still holds the Broncos’ record for the longest run from scrimmage, an 82-yard touchdown gallop against the Raiders in 1962.

In all, he played ten years in the AFL and then NFL with five different clubs.  He is a member of the Broncos’ Wall of Fame.

He was twice an AFL All-Star, in the league’s first year (1960) when he led the AFL in scoring with 123 points, and in 1962 when he again led the league in scoring with 137 points.

(The scoring came about because  addition to being a very good runner, receiver and return man, he was also a very good placekicker, an especially useful skill at a time when rosters were small and teams couldn’t afford to keep specialists.  He is generally considered to be the first black place kicker in professional football history.)

Betsy Ross FlagTUESDAY,  AUGUST 6,  2019  “Laws should be so appropriate to the people for whom they are made that it is very unlikely that the laws of one nation can suit another.” Montesquieu


*********** A peek into the future under the Government of the People…

It’s that time of the year again:  on Monday my wife mailed out the Black Lion Award annual reports to Black Lions, and to friends and supporters.

The postage for each booklet (it goes up every year) is now $1.75, and  rather than pay more postage than necessary, she makes it a point to figure out the right combination of stamps to use.

With some 21-cent stamps left over from last year’s mailing,  she used three of them (63 cents combined) for each booklet, until she ran out.

And then she headed for the Post Office.

There, she was told that there wasn’t enough postage on some of the booklets - the ones with last year’s 21-cent stamps on them.

It seems that since she bought them (for 21 cents apiece, in full expectation that in return we’d receive 21 cents worth of postage), they’ve been devalued - they’re now worth just 15 cents each.

WTF? They increase the postage and devalue the stamps? What a business plan!  Why haven't restaurants who sell gift cards thought of this? ("Sorry, sir - I know that your friends paid $50 for the card, but that was last year. It's only worth $35 now.")

Hmmm. Maybe this is how the Dems plan to pay  for Reparations, Forgiveness for student loans and Medicare for illegals.

I know, I know - it’s only pennies.  But you young guys better pay attention - one of these days, when you’re not looking, they’re going to figure out how to do this with your social security.

*********** I took your advice from your Open Wing DVD to stop in Abilene and visit the Eisenhower Presidential Library on my way home from Reno.  I really enjoyed my visit there.  However, you messed up on your visit to the library.  For me as a train guy you failed to mention that a train museum shares the SE. boundary of the library.  I had spent 2-1/2 hrs. at the Eisenhower Library and was in a time crunch to leave, but when I saw the train through the fence on the boundary of the property, I knew I had to go there!!  I drove over and spent a quick 15 minutes there.  I am going to text you a couple of pictures of what you missed.  Many thanks for the suggestion to stop in Abilene!!

David Crump
Owensboro, Kentucky

********  When Don Holleder was cut down in the jungle in Vietnam in October of 1967, he was a young Army Major, just 33 years old. Had he lived, Saturday would have been his 85th birthday.

Don Holleder birthday

Those were the days when the quarterback called the plays. And in the upset of Navy, Don Holleder, in the final game of his only season as a quarterback,  called for runs, runs and more runs.  He threw only one pass, and it fell  incomplete.

 (Even at the time, 64 years ago, they called it “old-fashioned football.”)

Explaining his play-calling to reporters after the game, he sounded like a Double Wing coach:

“I remembered what the Colonel (Army players always referred to Coach Blaik by his military rank) always told me: 'If it works, stick with it.' So I did."

 https://www.si.com/vault/1955/12/05/596421/the-army-arrived-by-land


*********** Gordon “Gordie” Buslach  died recently.   He was a career Washington coach, with head coaching positions at White Pass, White Swan, Mountlake Terrace and Prairie High.

It was at Prairie, in nearby Brush Prairie, Washington, that he built a new program from scratch. He believed in the Veer and the 5-3 defense, and he knew his stuff.  His teams were very sound.

Something he did when he first got the Prairie job has always stuck with me: in the summer prior to the start of football, he met with every potential player and their families - in their homes.  He would schedule two or three appointments every evening, and he’d sit down with the parents just as if he were a salesman - which, in fact, he was - and explain to them what football would do for their sons, and what they could expect from him.  And then he’d answer their questions. 

It took him weeks, but his initial turnout was impressive, and he built a program that was solid for years, under him and then under his successor, Butch Hill, his longtime offensive coordinator.

Butch Hill’s son, Zak, went on from Prairie to star at D-II Central Washington (where he passed for 8,882 yards and 76 touchdowns from 1999-2003, with 11 games of more than 300 yards passing and 24 games of more than 200 yards) and he’s now offensive coordinator and QB coach at Boise State.


*********** A recent study by some organization called US Foods found that 28 per cent of food delivery drivers admitted to tasting the food they’re delivering.  Seems they’re “tempted by the smell.”

The article I read went on to say that “the survey found that most people think it’s unacceptable for drivers to sample the food they’re delivering.”

Uh… “Most people?”


*********** Coach,
1. When you go live on tackling, are most of your drills just pop and drive for 5, or are  the players trying to take man to ground?

2. When you first go live on drive blocking, do you allow D to use hands or not? We did first time and O knocked kid on butt because I just made D stand there and get blocked because I have to get them used to blocking a real man now and not just shields.


1. Coach, we seldom if ever tackle a teammate “live” (without a shield between the players) and we never take a man to the ground.

2. Occasionally when we scrimmage (thud) we get rid of shields but we seldom block without shields and we never block in drills without them.

If the defender is using his hands, then it’s no longer a blocking drill - it’s now a competition. When we’re teaching something, we don’t want  interference. When we use drills to teach blocking and tackling, we structure them so that it’s either “offense wins” or “defense wins.”

I would venture to say that, given relatively equal ability,  a defender who knows when, where and how he’s going to be blocked - and by whom - will win most encounters. But that’s not how our blocking works in real life. So what would our blocker be learning?  If people say “toughness,” I’ll tell them we have other ways of doing that. But right now, we’re teaching how to block.

Safety is a major reason for our using shields. So is helping newbies overcome their unfamiliarity with contact.  So is teaching kids to “bring it” without their holding back. With shields, a twink can take on a stud.

Others will disagree with our methods. We don’t care. We are perfectionists in our drills and I know we hit harder in practice than those who are hitting teammates “live” (and without risk of injury),  and I bet we block and tackle in games better than most.  As one example, you seldom see one of our players on the ground.

Most important of all, though - we have drastically reduced practice injuries. Having all your players ready to play on Friday night is an important advantage.

Just because “everyone does it” doesn’t mean the guy who does it differently is wrong.



*********** The headline stated, “Navy football Going to the Run and Shoot? Not Really, But this Year it Will Come to Pass.”

Wrote Gene Wang in the Washington Post…

Navy football coach Ken Niumatalolo, following the program’s worst season since 2002, spent a significant portion of this past offseason considering ways in which the Midshipmen could become less predictable on offense.

The broad conclusion he reached was the need for more effective passing plays.

Last season the Midshipmen averaged 72.8 passing yards per game, which ranked last among 129 schools in major college football. They finished with a 3-10 record.

“They’re crowding the line of scrimmage. They’ve got 11 guys up there,” Niumatalolo, referring to opposing defenses, said Saturday during the team’s media day at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. “You run out of hats. You can’t block everybody. You can’t crack everybody. You run out of people.”

What - is this something new, crowding the line of scrimmage against a triple option team?  You telling me defensive guys are so stupid it took them this long to think of that?  Funny - they crowd the line against Army, too - and Army still runs.

My suspicion?  After the way Arizona QB Khalil Tate reacted ("I didn't come to Arizona to run the triple-option”) when Coach Ken’s name was mentioned in connection with the job out there, my suspicion is that Coach Ken realizes that he’s going to have to throw the ball to make himself marketable.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/08/03/navy-football-going-run-shoot-not-really-this-year-it-will-come-pass/

*********** I’m not sure what the commercial is for, but it features American businessmen dealing with foreigners through an interpreter. A poor interpreter. One who misinterprets the desire of Americans to agree on a merger and tells the foreigners that the Americans want hugs.

Big problem here.  The interpreter is interpreting “Dutch.”

The problem?  It’s not believable.

I have no idea why they chose “Dutch,” but from long experience, I’ve found that the Dutch all speak English, they do so quite fluently, and they do it with  little discernible accent.  I wouldn’t think that there would be much work for  English-to-Dutch interpreters.

On top of that, the Dutch are the world’s tallest people, and the “Dutch” businessmen in the commercial are short.

They are also swarthy.  Dutch tend to be fair haired.

But other than that…


*********** FROM CNN.com

Gen. David Berger, the new Marine Corps. commandant, said he was "troubled by the extent to which drug abuse is a characteristic of new recruits and the fact that the vast majority of recruits require drug waivers for enlistment." He also said over the last ten years more than 25,000 Marines were dismissed from the service for misconduct, and drug and alcohol offenses.

coaches at banning lewis

*********** Old friends Greg Koenig and Brad Knight got together a week ago, as they’d been doing for the past 13 summers, this time in Colorado Springs, where Greg has taken on the assignment of building a program at Banning-Lewis Prep Academy.  Adding to the excitement - for me - was the inclusion of one of my former players and assistants, Cole Shaffer, who now runs a number of NAPA stores out of Boulder, Colorado.  Now that he’s coaching his own son in youth football,  he jumped at the chance to help Greg.  That’s Coach Shaffer on the left, then Coach Knight, then Coach Koenig in the middle. Next are Coach Koenig’s two assistants at Banning-Lewis, Mike Cortesi and Wayne Freeman.

josh me carson at OS


*********** Last week we held a 3-day mini-camp at Aberdeen (Washington) High and were joined by two guest coaches. On the left, Josh Montgomery, from Berwick, Louisiana did a great job coaching, and as a bonus he introduced our kids and coaches to a real Cajun accent. In return, he got an introduction to non-humid Northwest summer weather - and a crash course in deep snapping from our head coach, Todd Bridge (who'd deep snapped at the UW). I never saw a guy pick it up faster than Coach Montgomery, and I'm sure it'll come in handy in his coaching. I'm in the middle, and on the right is Carson Ketter, a former player who'd just been released a few days before by the BC Lions. We're all hoping that he gets picked up by another CFL club, but if not we have a place for him on the Aberdeen staff. (The photo wasn’t taken  in Mayberry. That's a beautifully-restored Montana Highway Patrol car in the background.)

*********** I got the sad news this past weekend that Jack Dolbin died.

I first heard of him when he played against my team, the Hagerstown Bears, in 1971.  Twice. 
 
He played for a team from his hometown of Pottsville, Pennsylvania called the Schuylkill (pronounced “SKOO-kull”) Coal Crackers.  The season before he’d played for possibly the best minor league team ever, the Pottstown Firebirds, the subject of an NFL Films documentary, but with the Firebirds out of business in 1971, he was keeping his pro football hopes alive by playing minor league ball.

A Cowboys’ scout once told me that when he was scouting lower-level teams, all he looked for was someone who dominated the competition.

At our level, that was certainly Jack Dolbin.  Although a running back in college (Wake Forest), he was small, but with his blazing speed, he was well-suited to be a receiver.

In 1971, he caught 53 passes for 1134 yards (21+ yards per catch) and 14 touchdowns. (Stats provided by old friend Don Shipley.)

I never got to know him, but he impressed me as a class act.

When the World Football League got under way in 1974, he signed with the Chicago Fire, and after one year, he was signed by the Denver Broncos.

He played five years with the Broncos, and in the 1978 Super Bowl (XII) he was their leading receiver.

After pro football he became a chiropractor with a practice in his native Pottsville.

Rest in peace.

https://godeacs.com/news/2019/8/2/football-in-memoriam-jack-dolbin.aspx

*********** You knew it was just a matter of time… In Massachusetts, there is now a rehab center for video game addiction.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/treatment-center-for-video-gaming-addiction-proposed-for-western-mass/ar-AAF5R1M


*********** I've had a longtime affection for Mike Leach, admittedly without detailed knowledge. I had a friend (he died at 85 about five years ago) who knew Texas football well. He said that before one big game, the cagey Leach knew there were spies somewhere in the stadium, so at the end of practice he made it appear that he'd unintentionally dropped a sheet of paper...that contained what were putatively the opening offensive plays for the upcoming game. The spies, of course, snagged the paper gleefully, only to learn too late Leach had tricked them.

John Vermillion
St. Petersburg, Florida

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

Just returned from a two day team retreat.  No X's and O's, no practices, and no film, just a team-bonding experience that included team-building exercises, ropes course, water sports, and...a lot of giving thanks to our Savior.  Got to know the coaching staff.  We have 7 coaches.  Combined we have over 200 years of coaching experience at the collegiate and high school levels!  Our head coach is a former FBS assistant (Air Force among others) and head high school coach.
 
One of our assistants is also a former FBS assistant (Tennessee, North Carolina, and Texas).  Another assistant has been a high school head coach and assistant coach in Texas for over 40 years.  Another assistant has also been a high school head coach and assistant in Texas for over 25 years.  Another assistant has been an assistant coach at our school for eight years (his dad is currently on David Shaw's staff at Stanford), and our "young" guy is a former UT defensive lineman with a couple of years of coaching under his belt.  Then there's me...48 years of coaching at both the collegiate and high school levels.  Heck...our head coach quipped if schools could count years of experience in the won-loss record we'd have most of them beat!  I'm really excited to be part of this group and looking forward to the season.

Ironically, one of the many "stories" shared at the retreat had to do with what Mike Locksley talks about.  Doesn't matter what level of football you're in character and relationships are what truly matter when it comes to building a coaching staff.  Like most everything it has a direct impact on the relationships and character of the team being coached.  Young people are imrpessionable.  Give them a good impression and they are likely to mimic that impression.  Give them a bad impression and they are likely to mimic that impression.  It's not rocket science.  Although...there are many in our society today who would argue that.  And...likely...they get an argument back.

Sports Illustrated has evolved into the true meaning of its title.  Covers everything, yet doesn't for "some" things.  Covers things that it has no business to cover, yet doesn't cover them equally.  Turns out it has become just another casualty of liberal journalism practices which equates to a lack of journalistic quality and ethics.

Did you also notice in one of those debates that one of the candidates didn't place his hand over his heart?  Actually I was waiting to see if anyone would kneel.  If one of them had I would bet he/she would have been given a "standing" ovation.

As quirky a guy as Mike Leach is you just gotta love that dead-pan demeanor.

QUIZ:  Carl Weathers  (I saw him play against Fresno State in 1967 at Ratcliffe Stadium in Fresno.  San Diego State was voted the number one "small college" team in the country that year).

Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

(That "candidate"  - yeah, right - was that a$$hole Ryan, from Ohio.)

*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Carl Weathers was born and raised in New Orleans, and played his high school football there. At the same time, he was involved in boxing, wrestling, and martial arts.

He played JC ball at Long Beach City College, then transferred to San Diego State, where he played defensive end for two seasons under the great Don Coryell.

After graduation, he signed with the Raiders as a free agent, and played in eight games in two seasons before being released.

He played three years in the CFL with the BC Lions, and then retired and took up an acting career.

He appeared in a number of so-called blaxploitation films, and landed his first big role as boxer Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” films.

Carl Weathers has appeared in films such as “Action Jackson,” “Semi-Tough,” and “Happy Gilmore,” in  a music video with Michael Jackson,  in TV series such as “Street Justice” and  “In the Heat of the Night,  and in a series of Bud Light commercials.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING CARL WEATHERS:

KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
SHEP CLARKE - PUYALLUP, WASHINGTON
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MIKE FORISTIERE - TOPEKA, KANSAS

*********** Any self respecting Philadelphian or fan of malt-liquor, knows your quiz answer is Carl Weathers. I didn’t know, but am not surprised, that he was a professional football player.

Tom Walls
Winnipeg, Manitoba

*********** Predator:  “What’s the matter, Dillon?  They got you pushing too many pencils?”

Shep Clarke
Puyallup, Washington

*********** You left out my favorite film with Carl Weathers in it.  My favorite film with him was the film Predator with Arnold Schwarneger. It has the greatest space alien of all time in my opinion and the ugliest!!

David Crump
Owensboro, Kentucky


*********** QUIZ: He led his Montana high school to a state title and was heavily recruited.  Miami wanted him to play linebacker.

He chose to play quarterback at a Northwest School and in his junior year he threw for 330 yards per game and set a conference record with 33 touchdown passes.  He also led his team to its first Rose Bowl appearance in 67 years, and finished third in the Heisman balloting.

Passing up his senior year, he entered the NFL draft and was the second player - and the second quarterback - taken. There was considerable debate as to which of the two quarterbacks was better, and the team that chose him actually traded up in order to make sure it got him.

He turned out to be the ultimate jerk, disliked by teammates, coaches, fans and the media. On top of his personality defects, he proved to have a terrible work ethic.  He missed all of his second season with a shoulder injury, and after his third season,  tired of his act, his team released him.

He barely made it through one more season, and then his NFL career was over. He retired.

His name is sure to be near the top of any list of “greatest busts of all time.”  In his brief NFL career, he started 21 games - nine of them in his first season. He completed 48 per cent of his passes, and threw for 14 touchdowns - and 36 interceptions.

A former teammate summed up the feelings of most NFL people when he said, “Personally, I could never rest good at night knowing my career ended like that. Normally in this game, you get back what you put into it, and he pretty much got back what he put into it."

And then he embarked on a weird odyssey that included a series of different jobs punctuated by a series of drug-related incidents that culminated in his serving time in a Montana prison for breaking into a home in search of drugs.

Now, based on his word that he is clean, he is involved in helping others deal with drug abuse.

We will see.  He has been hired by ESPN to do college games this fall.

Betsy Ross FlagFRIDAY,  AUGUST 2,  2019  - Remember, half the doctors in this country graduated in the bottom half of their class. " Al McGuire

*********** Just got back home in Camas from a mini camp that we held over the last three days of July, before our state-enforced “dead period” that runs from August 1 until the first day of state-sanctioned practice on August 21.  During the next three weeks we are barred from doing anything with our kids other than conditioning.  It’s the old concept of kid-ball-coach - any two of them can be together at any time, but if all three are together, it’s a violation.

I’ll write more about the camp on Tuesday, but at this point I’ll say that I have been quite impressed by the way our kids have responded to the demands we’ve place on them.

*********** Call it an unforeseen consequence of the death of American journalism…

Every Baltimorean knows that eating steamed crabs requires newspapers.  You spread them out on the table, then drop the red, hot, spicy crabs on the papers and - with wooden mallets and knives - have at ‘em.

My daughter said she was invited to a party recently at which the hostess planned on serving steamed crabs.

As everyone got ready to sit down, someone pointed out that they needed to spread newspapers on the table.

Horrified, the hostess exclaimed,  “We don’t have any newspapers!”

*********** While still on the subject of steamed crabs…

Years ago, when I was coaching a minor league football team in Hagerstown, Maryland, we would run all sorts of promotions, including drawings for valuable prizes. 

At one game, one of the drawings was for a couple dozen steamed crabs from a local restaurant.

When the winning number was announced, the guy whose number had been called leaped up and ran up the steps to the press box, shouting “I got the crabs!”

From somewhere else in the crowd another guy yelled, “Try Blue Ointment!”

*********** Historian Wilfred McClay has taught at Tulane, Johns Hopkins and Tennessee, and now he teaches at the University of Oklahoma.

I recently came across an interview of him in a May Wall Street Journal issue.

He is very hard on today’s history textbooks.

“They’re completely unreadable because they’re assembled by committee, by graduate students who write little bits and pieces of them. I’m not convinced  that most of the textbooks that have the names of very eminent historians on the cover were actually read by them, let alone written by them.”

Many of the recent history books, he said,  are “somewhat disfigured” by ideological bias - “especially once you get past, say, 1960 or 1964” - and the  authors’ attempts to project current beliefs and values onto their writings about the past.  (George Washington owned slaves.)

He explains students’ “enthusiasm for socialism” and their “apocalyptic language” regarding climate change (or Donald Trump) as “a hunger for something that can have about it the nobility that the civil rights movement had in its prime.”

Unfortunately, he points out, “Very few moments of conflict have the moral clarity of that particular historical moment.”

*********** On taking over a new program, Lou Holtz would ask his players to determine where they wanted to be a year from now - academically, athletically, socially, financially, spiritually - and then to answer the following questions…

1. What price are you willing to pay financially to achieve it?
2. What sacrifice are you willing to make to do it?
3. What skills and talents do you have to acquire to have it happen?
4. Who do you have to work with to have it done?
5. What problems and obstacles are you willing to overcome to get it done?
6. What is your plan to do it?
(Numbers One and Two are related to the matter of commitment, and I suspect that they are a  problem in a lot of high school programs -  kids who expect YOU to be the one making the sacrifice so that they can hold jobs and buy the goodies they want, while still playing football.)

*********** Not so many years ago,  you wouldn’t have bet that Mike Locksley would ever again be a head coach. He’d just been fired as New Mexico’s head coach.  In three years he’d won just two games, but on top of that,  there were some ugly off-the-field issues as well

For some reason, he decided, while things were still fresh in his mind, to keep a journal.  And as he wrote, he began to reflect on things that he should - and shouldn’t - have done.

A stay on Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama went a long way toward revitalizing him and solidifying his philosophy and now, as the head coach at Maryland, he spoke to The Athletic about some of the things he’d learned from Saban and entered into his journal:

One of the most important : HIRE THE RIGHT PEOPLE

Locksley realized he needed to be more meticulous in his hiring process. He needed to do his due diligence. This particular lesson was reinforced during his three years at Alabama under Nick Saban, as an offensive analyst, then as the wide receivers coach, then as the offensive coordinator. Saban has lost multiple assistants each of the past few years, but he has never panicked about replacing them. He never rushes the hiring process.

“I remember him telling me it’s like a puzzle,” Locksley says. “You just can’t hire a guy because he’s supposedly the best receivers coach. It’s, how does he fit in this culture? And how does he fit with the philosophy of our program and how we do things? He was really meticulous with how he went about it. We all had to sit through numerous interviews. He’d fly a guy in on a one-way ticket and the guy will be there for three days. Basically, he’s trying to figure out, is he a fit. A guy would come with one suit, thinking he’s flying in and flying back. And he’ll be there for two, three days, and then you’re speed dating — (Saban) wants you to meet everybody in the program that’s going to be there and get everybody’s opinion.”

*********** If you’re a longtime reader of my page, you’ve probably heard of Jake Gaither. Coach Gaither spent his career coaching at Florida A & M, most of it in the days before desegregation, when he was able to recruit the best black players in the state of Florida.

Coach Gaither wasn’t just a winner, either.  He was a surrogate father to his players and he was an unapologetic patriot who preached the American message of rewards through hard work and doing things the right way.

Here’s a pretty amazing story about a FAMU grad who bought a home in a tax sale, and then learned that it had been Coach Gaither’s home.

Aware that this was more than just a house, he has turned it into something of a museum and a tribute to a great man of our game.

https://www.pbs.org/video/reviving-legacy-jake-gaither-fbt69m/

*********** I’m not going to tell you where I got this bit of coaching wisdom, and I wouldn’t advise you to use it in your coaching - which is too bad.

A friend who was a very good receiver in college - an All-American, actually - said that when he was a coach himself, he would say, “If God wanted you to catch the ball with your tits, he’d have put fingers on your tits.”

*********** Last week’s Sports Illustrated hit a new low. 

On the cover was a photo of Serena Williams, in a rather revealing pose showing off an enormous pair of Thunder Thighs.  (Gross. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.)

They describe her as “Strong, Sexy, Sensible.”

Well, at least they got one out of three.

Inside, she keynotes a large fashion article.  I use the word “fashion” loosely, as it seems to be the fashion of dog fighters and procurers.

In other parts of the mag…

The “Faces in the Crowd” are all female. (During the entire week previous,
in a nation of 300,000,000 people, not a single young male athlete  did anything worthy of recogniton)

There’s an article entitled “Backcourt Mates,” about two members of a WNBA team’s backcourt who - I am not sh--ting you - are  married to each other.  If one of them ever gets cut - or traded -  will the media complain about “family separation?”

And then there’s a pre-Olympics article that dwells on the question that’s on every sports fan’s mind:  “How many athletes will use their visibility to criticize Trump?

I’ve been a subscriber since 1956, and it’s been sad for me to see what’s been done to a once-great publication.

*********** As he was carted off the field with a broken leg, (former) Seattle Seahawks’ safety Earl Thomas gave the finger to his coach, Pete Carroll.

He was pissed, see, because after all his bitching and complaining about wanting a contract extension,  the team hadn’t yet caved. And now he was injured.

According to the genius who wrote a recent article on Thomas,  “He admitted that might have kept him from getting a new contract with the Seahawks.”

Well, duh.

Thomas is now with the Ravens.

*********** I was thumbing through my copy of Athlon’s 2019 College Football Magazine and for some reason I started looking at the Big Ten schools’ lists of recruits.

I came away convinced that something is wrong - definitely wrong - with college football, when state schools’ football teams scarcely represent their states.

Michigan?  Exactly TWO of their signees  are from Michigan.

How can that be? I thought.  Michigan is a good football state.   You wouldn’t see Penn State going out of state to that extent, would you?

Well, actually, you would. Penn State signed THREE kids from the Keystone State, a state which once prided itself on being a recruiting mecca.

Same with Wisconsin - three in-state recruits.

Minnesota?Nebraska? Indiana?  Four each.

Iowa and Illinois signed five each. Likewise mighty Ohio State. (Maybe that’s because Michigan beat them to six Ohio kids.)

Purdue is bringing in seven in-state kids, as is Maryland.

Rutgers signed eight kids from New Jersey.

Of all the Big Ten schools, only Michigan State, with ten in-state recruits, could plausibly say that it represents the state whose name it bears.

So, Go Spartans.

*********** Shep Clarke, of Puyallup, Washington, sent me a screen shot of the Thursday night “debate” of the ten Democrat “presidential candidates,” asking “Sayyy…Where’s that – whaddayacallit – that starry, stripey thingy?”

Yeah.  Kind of funny.  Usually, proving Samuel Johnson's  point that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,” Democrats make it a point to drape themselves in the flag.

Demo Debate

I did, however,  see something circular overhead  - something that  looks a lot like the EU flag, with the addition of a few more stars- I’m thinking for California, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Illinois, Oregon and yes, sadly, Washington.

*********** UConn is going to have to pay the AAC a $17 million severance fee, just so that it can become a basketball school. 

 http://a.msn.com/02/en-us/AAEUs4c?ocid=se

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

I was moved reading that first bit of news you shared today.  I couldn't help but be reminded of a young man I coached in high school in Fresno.  His name was Justin Garza.  Justin was one of those smaller quiet kids on your team who just worked his tail off every day to improve his strength and his skills.  A good natured kid who you couldn't help but like...a lot.  By his junior year he was a starter on both sides of the ball.  Smart, tenacious, and a real student of the game it didn't surprise me to find out years later that my daughter, who had graduated from that high school with Justin in 1994 had told me that Justin had become a very successful teacher and a football coach.  And a darn good one at that.  I followed his progress when he became a head coach early in his career, re-building two struggling programs, and eventually became the head coach at Fresno Central High School where he turned the Grizzlies into a powerhouse program.  He could have been one of the best the Central Valley has ever had.  Unfortunately, after a long six year battle with Hodgkins (they thought he had beaten it, but it returned), Justin stepped away from coaching in 2016 to continue his fight, but passed away in 2017 at the age of 41.  May he also rest in peace.

Heck, 9 am kickoffs may be tough to get the cameramen to show up on time!  Wonder how that will affect the College Game Day crew?

How much you wanna bet Washington will start to consider eliminating that spring jamboree rule?

I belong to the other PETA:  Prefer Eating Those Animals.

Did I mention the acronym for the SQUAD?  Socialist Queens Undermining American Dreams.

Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** Mike Leach’s other occupation and how he got banned from it - from The Athletic

By Bruce Feldman

LOS ANGELES — This year marks the 30th anniversary of the most bizarre tenure of a sports information director perhaps in the history of college athletics. At the time, the guy also held five other jobs at the same NAIA program — and he taught two classes. He was the school’s offensive line coach, the offensive coordinator, the recruiting coordinator, the equipment manager and the video coordinator and did at all for a $12,000 salary. The guy’s name? Mike Leach.

Yeah, that Mike Leach.

In addition to helping his boss Hal Mumme set offensive records at Iowa Wesleyan, Leach had proven to be quite adept at his new job, doubling as the school’s SID and spreading the gospel about the Tigers. The 28-year-old Leach even got them mentioned in USA Today several times. The only problem was the school’s Director of Public Relations who oversaw Leach’s job as the SID didn’t appreciate the national attention from USA Today. In her mind, the SID was supposed to write a press release about the game’s outcome, and because this was in the days before email, Leach was to mail that release to the papers around the state. Her system made no sense, Leach thought.  The mail wouldn’t go out until Monday and the papers wouldn’t receive it until Tuesday or Wednesday. By the time they got the score, statistics and information on the game, it was no longer relevant. Because the information was so untimely, they wouldn’t write a story.

Leach had a better idea, he says.

He’d call the main newspapers locally with their score from Saturday so that their readers — and Iowa Wesleyan’s recruiting targets — would know how the team did.

The Tigers were breaking all kinds of school records and led the nation in passing.

“I kept reaching out to the USA Today, and soon they began writing about us,” Leach said. “Well, someone tells her that her school is in the USA Today and she gets all flustered. She calls me screaming: ‘How dare you contact the USA Today?’

“Mike, I know you’ve been talking to other newspapers, and that’s bullshit. I told you that you have to write a press release and mail it out, so that it’s fair for everyone. So everyone gets the information at the same time. It’s not fair to the weekly newspapers. I know for a fact there was an article in the USA Today about Iowa Wesleyan.”

A number of times Leach had explained to her how ridiculous it was for them to get the Iowa Wesleyan score on Wednesday. By then, he pointed out, they’re supposed to be talking about who you’re playing next, not who you played five days ago. It is called “news” after all.

She was still incredulous. “That’s bullshit, Mike!”

Mumme, who was in the next office to Leach, could overhear the conversation.

“It was one of those deals where she was yelling at him for like 30 seconds straight and he has the phone pulled away from his ear,” Mumme says. “And then Mike, in that monotone voice of his goes, ‘Iowa Wesleyan sports information had gotten Iowa Wesleyan into the USA Today three times this year. Your office couldn’t get Iowa Wesleyan into the USA Today unless there was a mass murder on campus.’ And then she really lost it.

https://theathletic.com/1096673/2019/07/26/mike-leachs-other-occupation-and-how-he-got-banned-from-it/


*********** QUIZ ANSWER: It’s not often that I honor a high school coach, but this guy was something special.

Coaching his entire career at one high school in a small city in south Georgia, Wright Bazemore spent 28 years as its head coach, building it into a state power that judged by today’s standards would have had it playing on national TV a couple of times a year.

In his 28 seasons - from 1941 through 1971, with three years off to serve in the Navy in World War II - his teams won 14 state titles.

When he retired after the 1971 season (in which he won his 14th and last state title), he had won 265 games against just 51 losses and 17 ties - an .833 winning percentage.

So consistently did his Valdosta teams win that from the time of his first state championship in 1947 until his retirement, his teams never went more than two seasons without a state title.

He never tapered off, either: over his last seven seasons, his teams won five state titles and made it to the final game once.

It took him only 70 games to win his 50th game, only 129 games to win his 100th, only 253 games to win his 200th, and only 310 games to win his 250th.

Check out this astounding fact:  From the time Wright Bazremore won his first state title until his retirement - a span of 25 years - not a single football player graduated from Valdosta High School without having played on at least one state championship team.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING WRIGHT BAZEMORE:
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY


*********** The football stadium used by Valdosta High and Valdosta State are named after him and another great VHS football coach

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

(More about that other great VHS coach on Tuesday. HW)

*********** It would take me about 270 years to approach that winning record number!

Charlie Wilson
Crystal River, Florida


*********** QUIZ:  He was born and raised in New Orleans, and played his high school football there. At the same time, he was involved in boxing, wrestling, and martial arts.

He played JC ball at Long Beach City College, then transferred to San Diego State, where he played defensive end for two seasons under the great Don Coryell.

After graduation, he signed with the Raiders as a free agent, and played in eight games in two seasons before being released.

He played three years in the CFL with the BC Lions, and then retired and took up an acting career.

He appeared in a number of so-called blaxploitation films, and landed his first big role as boxer Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” films.

He has appeared in films such as “Action Jackson,” “Semi-Tough,” and “Happy Gilmore,” in  a music video with Michael Jackson, in TV series such as “Street Justice” and  “In the Heat of the Night, and in a series of Bud Light commercials.



Betsy Ross FlagFRIDAY,  JULY 26,  2019  - “The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.” Aristotle

THREE-DAY MINI-CAMP (MON-TUES-WED) HAS ME TIED UP - SEE YOU FRIDAY AUGUST 2

*********** When I decided, at the age of 30, to go back to playing football, it was with the newly-formed Frederick (Maryland) Falcons, and Don Boyer was one of the first teammates I met.

We were both defensive backs.  I’d played in college -  ten years before.  Back then, you had to play both ways, and although I was much better on offense than on defense, I was smart enough to know by age 30 that I’d get killed playing running back at the semi-pro level.  (Not that it was exactly a smart move to even be playing semi-pro ball at my age.)

Don had never played football.  His small-town high school didn’t play the sport.  But he was a good athlete and very fast - he’d run track at Maryland.

He was a few years younger than me, but at the same time, he was older than some of the really young guys, who were just a year or two out of high school, and I became something of a mentor to him.

He played just the one year, and then his first love - track - took over, when he wound up coaching cross country at two different high schools. Simultaneously.

But we stayed in touch - for a while - and several years after that, in 1976, after I’d moved west, he and his wife and son stopped by our place on their way to watch the Olympic Trials in Eugene.

That was our last contact, and since then I’ve depended on Don Shipley, son of our late coach, Dick Shipley, to keep me up to date on the old teammates.

Sadly,  he informed me recently that Don Boyer had died at the age of 75, after dealing with dementia for some time.

In Don’s nearly 50-year career  as a coach at Middletown, Maryland High, 76 of his former athletes became state champions, and ten of his track teams and six of his cross country teams won state titles.

His wife, Sharon, whose interest in track began early in their courtship as his personal timer for his workouts, became a coach herself, and her Middletown girls’ cross country teams won six state titles.

Their kids, Monte and Donna, were among the state champions they coached.

Job well, done, Coach. Rest in Peace.

https://www.fredericknewspost.com/sports/level/high_school/don-boyer-titan-of-track-and-field/article_f76f5569-5cc2-5ec8-be9d-96cd51e560f3.html

*********** Larry Scott, Commissioner of the Pac-12, has to be the dumbest sumbitch ever  to run a sports conference.

He no doubt expected to excite the writers on hand at the conference’s annual pre-football media gathering with the announcement that instead of playing the conference title game in the unexciting environs of Silicon Valley, the Pac-12’s championship game would now be played in - tada! - LAS VEGAS!

But then,  before the writers could even send in that story, he went and trumped that big, glorious  announcement - the one that he hoped would finally show that the Pac-12 is serious about football - with one guaranteed to steal the headlines, and at the same time to enrage anyone with even the slightest interest in the Pac-12. 

Desperate to get more exposure for the conference in the major markets of the East and Midwest, he said that he and Fox had been kicking around the idea of scheduling a conference game or two (or three or four) with a Noon Eastern kickoff.

In fact, he said, they might even give the idea a try as early as - this season.

Wait, I thought.  Surely Commissioner Larry knows “Noon Eastern” translates to a 9 AM kickoff on the West Coast, which for players means waking up at 6 AM (at the latest).  But what the hell. Because TV money, blah, blah, blah.

For season ticket holders,  it means playing the fool for the TV people,  given less than two weeks’ notice that that “TBA” next to the “TIME” on their tickets now means having to leave at the crack of dawn to drive to the game and, for most of them, foregoing the usual pleasures of tailgating.  But what the hell. Because TV money, blah, blah, blah.

For casual “walk-up” fans, it means looking at the alarm clock and saying, “screw it.” But what the hell. Because TV money, blah, blah, blah.

Commissioner Larry probably sees such a scheme as a win,  because it shows everyone how he’s thinking “outside the box.”  Fox probably does, too - I think - because this would give it a Pac-12 game to start off its Saturday programming.  But the biggest winners are sports columnists all over the Pac-12’s big footprint, as they outdo each other looking for clever ways to say “WTF can the Pac-12 be thinking?”

Ultimately, for all those SEC, Big Ten, ACC and Big 12 fans a couple of time zones to the east - the ones Fox and the Pac-12 really think will switch over to watch their early game -  it means “ho-hum.”

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2846948-pac-12-commissioner-larry-scott-reveals-discussions-for-possible-9-am-pt-games


*********** Coach, one more question:

Do you have WR (SE) and Slots (wings) block with hands out or “picks in pecks” on bubbles, smoke screens, and downfield blocking?

Thanks,

Coach,

When we are passive on the line, and when we are outside the box or downfield, we use hands.

There is no limit on the questions if they can help.


*********** Dr.  Seuss (aka Theodore Seuss Geisel) is a perfect example of Going through the door that’s open.

He was producing advertising, mainly for Standard Oil Company and its big spray called “Flit” and he was good at it - so good that he made a lot of money, which led to an employment contract that prohibited him from working with a competing firm.

He thought he saw an opportunity in a completely different area - children’s books - and after a number of near misses, became a great success, so much so that his publisher stopped counting  the fan letters it received, and instead, weighing it. In one year, it received 9,267 pounds of mail.

“I would like to say I went into children’s book work because of my great understanding of children,” he said before he died in 1990. Actually, though,  “I went in because it wasn’t excluded by my Standard Oil contract.”

 In football terms, it’s called, “Taking what they give you.”

*********** Hockinson (Washington) High’s chances to win a third straight state 2A title took a terrific hit when Sawyer Racanelli, a 6-3, 200 pound University of Washington commit who in 13 games last season caught 101 passes for 1700 yards and - rushing and receiving combined - scoreD 35 touchdowns, tore his ACL in a spring jamboree.

He has had surgery, and he’ll miss the entire 2019 season.

“I feel more that God has a plan for this,” he told the Vancouver Columbian. “He’s all-knowing and He knows this would’ve happened before it happened. I put trust in Him that this happened for a reason.”

Washington said it will honor its scholarship commitment.

https://www.columbian.com/news/2019/jul/18/torn-acl-means-hockinsons-racanelli-will-miss-2019-season/

*********** Good God - will there ever be an end to the PETA inanity?

As part of a wider campaign, they spent the money of the people that donate to their cause to buy billboards in Baltimore showing a crab (a great delicacy in Baltimore and the rest of the Chesapeake Bay region) with the message “I’M ME, NOT MEAT!”

Native blue crabs, when steamed in a large pot, turn bright red, and seasoned with lots of Old Bay, and accompanied by lots of ice-cold beer, they make a feast much loved by Marylanders.  (in the "photos" below, the bottom billboard has been photoshopped to look just like the ready-to-eat crabs that generations of Marylanders have enjoyed.)

Good luck with this one, PETA.

steamed crab billboard




*********** Tim Brown, of Florence, Alabama, sent me a collection of quotes from Cleveland Browns’ coach Freddie Kitchens, a former Crimson Tide quarterback.
Good Lord, there are some good ones.

"If you've ever been around a loud coach, one that just screams & yells, listen to what he's saying & see if he's even teaching."

"We have players that need to be taught & we need teachers."

"There aren't any bad days, only hard days"

"One of the greatest signs of bravery is asking for help. To me, probably the biggest form of being selfish is not asking for help when you won't even admit it to yourself that you need the help."


"As coaches, we're teachers. I'm sure you've all had a teacher in your life who's made you a better person. As a coach and a teacher, I'm invested in people. Not players. People."

"I grew up the son of a tire maker at Goodyear Tire and Rubber plant in Gadsden, Alabama. Benjamin E. Mays said 'Those who start behind in the game of life must run faster to catch up,' and I feel like I've been running fast my whole life."


"Right now we're just a bunch of good players, a bunch of good individual players....until we do something, that's all we are"

 If they're  reflective of what this guy is all about, he’s got a fan in me.

*********** That witch from Michigan - the one whose first speech as a US Representative included “Impeach the Motherf—ker!” - was caught on video being ejected from a 2016 Trump rally after trying to disrupt it.

As she’s being escorted out, much more gently than I would have prescribed, she hollers out, “You guys are crazy!”

An onlooker retorts,  “You’re an animal!” and follows up with “Get a job!”

Sure wish he hadn’t said that, because she did get one.  (If you call being a congressman a job.)

https://www.mediaite.com/news/watch-rashida-tlaib-was-once-dragged-out-of-trump-speech-as-supporter-yelled-youre-an-animal/

***********  Hugh,

First, congratulations on your anniversary.  But you failed to mention how many glorious years.  My wife and I just celebrated our 44th. (Number 6-0. HW)

Having worked in Catholic education for over 35 years I have met a number of really wonderful religious folks including priests, nuns, and brothers.  One of the priests, Rev. Fr. Eric Schild at Cardinal Stritch High School in Toledo was one of my faves.  He was a young, enthusiastic priest who was our school president, and was a former All-Ohio offensive lineman.  Another gentleman was a La Sallian Christian Brother, Brother Rafael Phillip Thez who became an administrative mentor for me, not to mention that the brothers would invite the football staff and faculty to their house after home football games to imbibe in celebration (win or lose).  And another was a Holy Cross nun Sister Elizabeth who not only helped get my daughter into St. Mary's -Notre Dame but also indirectly gave me an opportunity to meet Coach Lou Holtz.

Can't say I've experienced your procedure, not sure if I want to!  But I have experienced CT Scans with injections that gave me a warm feeling below the belt that the nurse said "will feel as if you peed your pants."  She was right.  And while I don't recall ever peeing my pants it gave me pause.

I truly believe that many power 5 schools do everything they can to avoid playing the academies for fear of what Oklahoma faced against Army.  Especially when the academies have really good teams.  I bet when Navy had those outstanding teams they didn't get many offers from the power 5 guys, and now that Army is good I bet that's part of the reason why only Michigan shows up on their 2019 schedule.

I had a subscription to Scholastic Coach.  It piqued my interest in your Double Wing offense and got me started researching it.

Don't get me started on the Kennedys.  Suffice it to say that I can attest to how they were revered in MA while coaching in NH.  One of our social studies teachers (from MA) had a very large crucifix hanging in his classroom (all rooms had a crucifix but not nearly as large as his), and right next to the crucifix was a framed picture of JFK that was just as large.

What matters most to PAC 12 schools is winning the OVERALL sports award.  In the meantime their $$ sports are losing $$.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Chuck Muncie came out of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, where injuries caused him to quit football and concentrate on basketball.

He came from an athletic family: three of his brothers also played professional football, but although they all had the same surname, his brothers spelled it “Munsey.”

He went to Arizona Western to play basketball, but the football coach persuaded him to play football, and he did so well as a running back that he dropped  basketball entirely, and wound up getting a scholarship to Cal.

He was big - 6-3, 225, and fast.  And because of a nearsightedness condition, he wore dark-rimmed glasses that became something of a trademark.

At Cal he was spectacular - the rushing side of Cal’s nation-leading total offense (Joe Roth was the passer). He set school season records for rushing yards (1460), all-purpose yards(1871) and rushing touchdowns. (13), and in his senior year he was runner-up to Archie Griffin of Ohio State in the Heisman Balloting.

Drafted first by the Saints, in 1979 he became the first Saint to rush for 1,000 yards and was named to the Pro Bowl, but eventually coach Dick Nolan grew tired of his undependability and traded him to the Chargers.

In San Diego, he rushed for 1144 yards and 19 touchdowns in 1981.

He helped the team win two AFC West championships.

A San Diego newspaper called him “the most talented running back of his era.”

And then…

In 1984, he missed the team flight to Seattle, and when Chargers’ coach Don Coryell didn’t buy his story - “vandals slashed my tires” - he was sent home and two days later (first, remember, Coryell had a game to play) he was traded to the Dolphins.

But when he tested positive for cocaine, the trade was voided, and he was suspended by the league.

He went into drug rehab, and when his suspension was lifted, he was traded to the Vikings. There, after failing to attend drug therapy required by the league, he retired.

In nine seasons in the NFL, he rushed for 6,702 rushing yards.  He caught 263 passes for 2,323 yards,  and scored 74 touchdowns. He completed four passes, all of them for touchdowns. And he returned 20 kickoffs for 432 yards.

The great Jim Brown, to whom he was at times compared, once said, “the only thing holding him back is his head.”

That, and cocaine.

He had evidently started using while at Cal, and while with the Chargers he once called himself “a functioning addict.”

After football, he experienced homelessness, and was sent to prison for dealing drugs.

When he was released, he devoted his life to good causes, especially those related to helping young people.  Chuck Muncie died in 2013 of a heart attack at age 60.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING CHUCK MUNCIE:
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY (Coach Crump made it under the usual wire with Bo Reign last week but I had to upload the site earlier than normal)
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA

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

Chuck Muncie was very talented. I remember watching him late in his career with the Vikings. These highlights from his college career are fun. Watch the physicality of the offensive line.

https://youtu.be/83hCwqwFQ9A

Greg Koenig
Colorado Springs, Colorado

*********** QUIZ: It’s not often that I honor a high school coach, but this guy was something special.

Coaching his entire career at one high school in a small city in south Georgia, he spent 28 years as its head coach, building it into a state power that , if judged by today’s standards, would have had it playing on national TV a couple of times a year.

In his 28 seasons - from 1941 through 1971, with three years off to serve in the Navy in World War II - his teams won 14 state titles.

When he retired after the 1971 season (in which he won his 14th and last state title), he had won 265 games against just 51 losses and 17 ties - an .833 winning percentage.

So consistently did his Valdosta teams win that from the time of his first state championship in 1947 until his retirement, his teams never went more than two seasons without winning a state title.

He never tapered off, either: over his last seven seasons, his teams won five state titles and made it to the final game once.

It took him only 70 games to win his 50th game, only 129 games to win his 100th, only 253 games to win his 200th, and only 310 games to win his 250th.

Check out this astounding fact:  From the time he won his first state title until his retirement - a span of 25 years - not a single football player graduated from Valdosta High School without having played on at least one state championship team.


Betsy Ross FlagTUESDAY,  JULY 23,  2019  - “They all have their own ideas about what’s good for them, and you have to sell them on the idea of what’s good for everyone.”  Chuck Daly, Hall of Fame coach of the Pistons, talking about putting together a championship NBA team

*********** Happy Anniversary (Wednesday) to my wife, Connie. Marrying her will always be the best thing that ever happened to me.

*********** Years ago, when I taught and coached at Central Catholic High in Portland, I used to love talking with the priests.  I came to really like and respect those men - Father Dernbach, Father Murphy, Father Forbes, Father Karath.

Father Karath spent one summer in the Holy Land, and he made a point to tell everyone that he packed two suitcases.  One of them was full of toilet paper.

Yes, there were places in the world - still are - where one of life’s simplest luxuries is absent.  (That’s for the edification of any America hater who might be reading this.)

But maybe I’m already too late.  Now comes word that the lefties are after our toilet paper. (Save the trees, don’t you know.)

If you hit the link and don’t feel like reading the entire story, go right to the comments.  They’re well worth the read.

Meantime, I’m stocking up on Charmin.


https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/07/making_america_venezuela_the_left_is_coming_for_your_toilet_paper.html


*********** What’s the number one career choice for America’s kids?

Hint: It’s not Astronaut.  It’s not Fireman (sorry - firefighter). It’s not even rapper or pro athlete.

Get ready for this.

It’s “YOU-TUBER.”

God help us all.

https://summit.news/2019/07/19/survey-number-one-career-choice-for-american-kids-is-to-be-youtubers-for-chinese-kids-its-an-astronaut/


*********** (If you don’t like some of the drug ads on TV, you might not want to read any further)

Friday, I had a cystoscopy.

For those who don’t know what that is, it’s an inspection of your urethra and your bladder by means of a tube with a camera in it.

A friend refers to it as the “Upthedickascope.”

I usually hate having to wait in the waiting room, but this time I was hoping I could maybe wait a little while.  That was not to be.  I was seated for maybe three minutes when I was hailed and led into a room in the back by a very pleasant woman who proceeded to check my pulse and blood pressure.

And then she informed me that she was going to leave for a few minutes, and while she was gone,  I was to remove all my clothes from the waist down, and have a seat on a table. She handed me a surgical gown and told me just to put it over my lap.

And as she headed for the door she added, matter-of-factly,  “Then I’ll be back to wash you…”

“Okay,” I said,  as though there was nothing at all unusual about that - as though every night before I go to bed a different woman stops by the house and washes my privates.

But she wasn’t done.  “And then,” she said,  “I’ll inject an anesthetic into your urethra.”  Inject?  I thought.  Inject to where?  Whoa.  There’s only one way that can be done.

“It won’t hurt,” she assured me, “But it may feel as if you’re peeing backward.”   Never having had that experience,  I didn’t especially care to.  She spoke as if she had, which I doubted.

I took my time getting ready, but soon enough, there came a knock on the door, and instead of saying, “There’s no one here!” I made the mistake of saying, “Come in.”

She entered the room and after asking me to lie down on the table,  she lifted the gown and began to - wash.  “This isn’t really happening,” I told myself, but then I began to feel something strange happening at that most sensitive of locations on the male body, and damned if I wasn’t getting this strange sensation, as if I were - peeing backward.

Now that I was properly prepared, the urologist came in and proceeded to, um, run the camera all the way into my bladder.  The only good thing about the whole deal was that I could watch on the monitor.  Talk about an idea for Disney: the UrethraSlide - thrills galore as you slide, your special suit coated with a surgical lubricant,  between the lobes of the enlarged prostate all the way into… Lake Bladder!


*********** Going through an old program - 1954, Pitt at USC - I came across a photo of a Pitt player whose name seemed familiar: Gene Steratore.
Pitt Players

Gene Steratore… Gene Steratore… Where have I heard the name?

And then it hit me - is it possible to watch a big game without at some point hearing  an  explanation of a rule or ruling from...
Gene Steratore?

That Gene Steratore is a long-time NFL official, and he’s the son of the Pitt Player - the late Gene Steratore, Sr., who passed away this past June.  Gene, Sr. was quite an official himself.

Tony and Gene Steratore

By Harry Funk

On any given Sunday – or Monday, Thursday or the occasional Saturday these days – you’ll be treated to the spectacle of National Football League officials taking earfuls from exasperated coaches.

One of them is back judge Tony Steratore, and he’ll field the more-than-occasional question about how he handles such tirades.

“I tell ’em, ‘I’m from Western Pennsylvania. I’ve seen all this stuff before.’”

So has his brother, Gene, who served as an NFL official for 15 years prior to transitioning to the TV booth. And if the surname sounds especially familiar, sports enthusiasts will remember their father – Washington native Gene Sr., who passed away recently – as a college football official and basketball referee.

Gene Senior: https://observer-reporter.com/sports/gene-steratore-sr-dies-at/article_cbd7158c-8fa9-11e9-aefb-bf8a82fd7769.html

The sons:

https://observer-reporter.com/publications/shl/brother-act-tony-and-gene-steratore-have-followed-in-their/article_446e7d3c-910d-11e9-8cc4-1faa092ba224.html

(Bob Grier, also pictured, was a fullback/linebacker from Massillon, Ohio whose mere presence on the Pitt roster was enough to make Georgia Governor Marvin Griffin fight to prevent Georgia Tech from playing Pitt in the 1965 Sugar Bowl.  Georgia Tech played despite the Governor’s wishes, and Grier made history by breaking the Sugar Bowl’s long-held color barrier.)

*********** Mike Mussina was just elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, which beside the fact that he was a hell of a pitcher pleases me in many ways.  First of all, he’s a Stanford guy, and I’m a Stanford dad.  Second of all, he’s from Montoursville, Pennsylvania, and one of the best players I ever coached in the minor leagues, a guy named Wayne Liddick, came from there also. Third, in addition to twice being named the state baseball player of the year, he was a starter on the high school football team and the leading scorer on the basketball team.  For a brief time, during one of the player strikes, he went back to Montoursville and helped coach the football team. And now, retired from baseball, he’s the school’s head basketball coach.  He and his wife have two sons and a daughter.  Their oldest son, Bryce, is a QB at D-II Shippensburg.


*********** A number of Los Angeles-area churches have declared themselves sanctuaries for migrant families.

Might as well. 

Given the continued decline in church membership and attendance,  and the number of near-empty churches on Sunday mornings, I’m sure they have plenty of room.


http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3764042/posts


***********  Army’s taking Oklahoma into overtime last season (before losing 28-21) was a classic 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 that day  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.

How about these stats:  Army ran off 87 plays to Oklahoma’s 40, and had the ball for nearly 45 minutes (44:41 to Oklahoma’s 15:19.

*********** There was a time, before the Internet, when Scholastic Coach was THE publication for coaches.

For years, Scholastic Coach was the only consistent publication in which a coach with something to say could make it known.

It was edited by a grand old man named Herman Masin, whose knowledge of sports went back into the 1930s.  I owe a lot to Herman, whom I could talk to for hours - and sometimes did - about the people he’d known in his more than 70 years (read that again - it’s not a typo) as the magazine’s editor-in-chief.

Back in 1995 or so - he was then “only” 83 - I sent him a copy of my first video, “Dynamics of the Double Wing.”  He called me back the next week and said that he and a friend had gone to his beach house for the weekend, and while there, they looked at my tape.  All of it.  It was (is) 2-1/2 hours.

He said that what impressed him was his friend’s comment afterward.   His friend, who knew almost nothing about football, said, “ I can understand this.”

Herman encouraged me to write some articles for SC, including the one that established my claim to having named the Wildcat.

Herman died in 2010, just a week or so shy of this 97th birthday.  He was a true sports treasure.

One thing he told me that I’ll never forget:  there is a huge audience for football articles.  No other sport comes close.  In no other sport is there such interest in reading about the intricacies of the game, and so no matter what the season, he always made sure to include at least one major football article.

But this article  is about basketball...

I wrote last September about the time that Dr. Jack Ramsay and his chief assistant, Jack McKinney, helped get me a job. 

Jack Ramsay at that time was the biggest sports figure in Portland’s history.  He had just coached the Trail Blazers to their first (and only) NBA title, and just a few weeks later I had the privilege of working at his camp in Forest Grove, Oregon.  Those were the days when coaches actually worked at the camps that bore their names, so in one week I got to see and hear a lot of what made this great coach special.

And then, I happened to come across an old SC article (Scholastic Coach now operates as “Coach and Athletic Director,” but these are different times, times when no one publishes a monthly coaches’ magazine any more).  It’s by Jack Ramsay, and it’s a history of the game of basketball as he experienced it.

Dr. Jack Ramsay: My 60 years in basketball

By Coach and Athletic Director

This article, written by Hall of Fame basketball coach Dr. Jack Ramsay, was published in our October 1994 edition.

My interest in basketball began as a youngster in Milford, Connecticut, where the father of one of my friends was headmaster of a private prep school. On Saturday mornings, he would allow a bunch of us to play “basketball” in the gym.


It was totally unsupervised — wild, error-filled forays up and down the court, the player with the ball dribbling at top speed toward his basket, his eyes riveted on the ball. Teammates ran after him, shrieking his name, begging him to pass the ball. The only time the dribbler gave up the ball was when defenders knocked it loose or cut off all possible avenues to the hoop.


I learned that a major part of coaching was teaching, not just showing and telling.


The process was then repeated by the next player with ball possession until someone took a shot. Occasionally, a goal was scored. After everyone had had a chance with the ball, the process was repeated. Basketball it was not, but we had fun and kept at it until totally exhausted.


As crude as those efforts were, I felt a great fascination for this game. My dad attached a hoop to the barn behind our house and I spent hours out there, year round, learning to dribble and shoot. My backyard soon became a kind of center for other kids who liked basketball.


We played half-court games, and like most kids in rural lots or urban playgrounds all over the United States, we accidentally learned to pass, screen, rebound and defend, as well as dribble and shoot. That experience helped prepare thousands of kids like myself for organized basketball at the school level.


My family moved to the Philadelphia area when I was in 10th grade. I enrolled in a larger school and faced a much stronger level of basketball competition. The reigning power in Pennsylvania at the time was Lower Merion High School, a conference rival of my school, Upper Darby. In my three years of basketball, Lower Merion won the State Championship each year.


The experience taught me what kind of impact a coach can have on his team. Lower Merion’s coach, Bill Anderson, played the same game every year, executing crisp passes, quick give-and-go cuts, flash post-ups, and tough man-to-man defense. No frills or gimmicks. Just good, solid, fundamental basketball. Years later, I heard that style referred to as “eastern” basketball.


Other area teams tried to emulate Lower Merion, but never came close, It was clearly the coach who was responsible for the team’s exceptional success. His players were sound and well-schooled fundamentally — good enough to make All-State, but rarely all-anything as college players. Coach Anderson made an indelible impression on me.


My coach at St. Joseph’s College was Bill Ferguson, who was also a math teacher and part-time banker. Fergie was not much of an X and 0 exponent. He allowed his teams to create their own play action, but he did insist on hard, aggressive effort.


In those years (early 1940s), St. Joe’s hosted double-headers along with La Salle and Temple in Philadelphia’s Convention Hall. They were part of a regional program organized by Ned Irish for Madison Square Garden. Irish scheduled the best college teams in the country to play first in Buffalo (against Canisius, Niagara or St. Bonaventure), then to meet our group in Philadelphia, and finish in New York (facing St. John’s, CCNY, Manhattan, NYU, or LIU).
 

The program provided great intersectional competition. UCLA, Southern Cal, Oklahoma A&M, Texas, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Tennessee, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Rhode Island State, and other perennially strong teams appeared regularly at the three sites. The host colleges also played each other.


During my four years at St. Joseph’s, interrupted by three years of Navy duty during World War II, I played against some of the best teams, players and coaches of that time. It was fascinating to see the different styles that some of the giants of the coaching profession brought to Philadelphia.


Coach Frank Keaney’s Rhode Islanders were the first to race up and down the floor with what he called “Firehouse” basketball. In contrast, Coach Hank Iba’s Oklahoma A&M teams played a physical, bruising defensive game; then stressed a ball-control offense.


Eddie Diddle combined the two styles at Western Kentucky, with an array of tall, talented, agile players; and CCNY’s Nat Holman had a slick, quick game that won both the NIT and NCAA championships in the same year (1950) — the only grand slam in history.


My Navy duty gave me the chance to play briefly with the San Diego Dons while awaiting re-assignment on the west coast. The Dons were a strong AAU team that featured the great Jim Pollard. It employed a “western” style, using weak-side screens and ball reversals rather than the give-and go “eastern” style I had grown up with.


I was lost in the system, and was transferred before I had time to really adjust to it. But I learned again, this time from first-hand experience, that there were other ways to play the game effectively. I also left the Dons with a deep appreciation of Pollard’s tremendous skills. He was the Michael Jordan of his era.


Before my playing days ended, I also managed to play against Bob Kurland, Dick McGuire, Slater Martin, Paul Arizin, Joe Fulks, and Neil Johnston — like Pollard, future Hall of Famers who had an impact on how the game was played. I learned something from each of them.


I came out of those years with a strong desire to coach. There was something intriguing about taking a group of players, teaching them to play your game, and finding a way to win with it.


I wanted the opportunity to help increase the player’s skills; to get them to play selflessly as a unit; to demand that they go at it with intensity and poise; and to play only to win in the same way those great coaches appeared to have done.
The game is always being played in greater numbers and with constantly improving skills — everywhere.


By combining high school teaching­-coaching jobs with playing in the Eastern Professional League for the next six years, I was able to continue my awareness of the game from a player’s perspective while teaching the game and developing an effective system of play.


Two of my teammates in the Eastern League were Jack McCloskey and Stan Novak, also high school coaches in the Philadelphia area who went on to have distinguished NBA careers. We traveled together by car to weekend pro games and, during the long rides, we shared ideas about how to coach the game and discussed strategies that had or had not worked for our high school teams. The trips became a kind of coaching clinic on wheels.


I needed all the help I could get. My adjustment to coaching was more difficult than I had expected. I had thought because I played against great teams, players and coaches, I could easily transfer those experiences to my players. It wasn’t that simple.


I learned that a major part of coaching was teaching, not just showing and telling. I found that, although all coaches had a system of play, the good ones often adapted it to fit the special skills of their players. Well-coached teams were never surprised. They seemed prepared for anything that happened in a game. They could make an effective adjustment for any quickly changing situation.


I watched opposing coaches do a better job of motivating their players and teams. And I wanted my players to exhibit more poise under pressure, but understood that I could not expect it from them until I could demonstrate it myself. I needed to become a better coach.
   

After my St. James (Chester, Pennsylvania) H.S. team struggled through a couple of seasons in the tough Philadelphia Catholic League, I increased my intensity to improve. I saw as many games as I could — high school, college and professional — live and on television. And I carefully observed coaches and noted their attention to detail and their inner team relationships.


I sent to the NCAA office for game films of the tournament finalists and pored over them, I attended coaching clinics to hear the great coaches speak about their techniques.


Defense, these coaches said, was the key to winning. And it didn’t have to be the conventional man-to-man. At that time, teams were having success with various zone defenses — matchups, traps, and combinations, like box-and­-one. These were different tactics from those I had experienced as a player, and so I gave them full attention — ultimately incorporating some of them into my system.


The first zone trap I ever saw was used by Coach Woody Ludwig at Pennsylvania Military College (now Widener College) in 1949. Legendary coach John Wooden achieved enormous success with it during his incredible run at UCLA and it helped my teams win a ton of games at St. Joseph’s College and in the NBA.


The matchup zone defense, popular among Philadelphia area high school coaches, reached its peak of effectiveness with Harry Litwak’s great Temple teams of the late ’50s. Then Frank McGuire won an NCAA title with North Carolina in 1957 with a standard 2-1-2 zone defense.


Aggressive, jump-switching man-to-man defense — which I first saw used successfully at the college level by Pete Newell at California (1959 NCAA champions) and by Eddie Donovan at St. Bonaventure — wrought havoc with the opponents’ carefully executed plays.


Dean Smith did the same thing at North Carolina, and added an in-and-out, shuttling system of substitutions.
Red Auerbach’s Boston Celtics brought pressure defense into the NBA, and combined it with the shot-blocking and intimidation threat of Bill Russell to win eight consecutive titles (1959-66).


Russell was the first player to make the blocked shot an offensive as well as defensive weapon. He blocked the shots and his teammates ran for fast breaks with the possessions. Big Bill was also the mainstay of Coach Phil Woolpert’s San Francisco team that won back-to-back NCAA titles in 1955 and ’56.


I believe Bill Russell had a greater impact on the game than any other player in history. Offensive styles also changed during my period of observation. In the late 1940s and early ’50s, the half-court series run by Adolph Rupp at Kentucky was totally different from the five-man weave of Ken Loeffler at La Salle — but both won NCAA championships.


Ed Juecker showed it wasn’t necessary to fast break to win, when he took his Cincinnati team to consecutive NCAA championships in 1961 and ’62 with a ball-control game similar to that of Newell’s at California.


Bob Knight used a passing, screening game — somewhat related to the old, “eastern” style — to win three NCAA titles for Indiana; while Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke teams won back-to-backs with a combination passing game and pro-type screening offense. Both schools played rock-ribbed, man-to-man D.


In the NBA, the Celtics used the same six half-court plays during their reign of terror, on those occasions when they weren’t fast breaking. The plays were fundamentally sound, yielding shots well-suited to the abilities of their players.


My championship Portland team ( 1977) used the consummate passing skills of Bill Walton to feed cutters at the basket. Magic Johnson was the master floor general of Pat Riley’s fast-breaking Lakers that dominated the 1980s; although Boston bounded back to win two championships sparked by the all-around wizardry of Larry Bird.


Then Detroit won back-to-back titles with a productive, three-guard attack orchestrated by Chuck Daly; and later Chicago won its celebrated “Three-peat” with Jordan, the game’s greatest player, at center stage.


Bulls coach Phil Jackson didn’t just give Michael the ball and clear the floor, Chicago used an offense that assistant Tex Winter developed at college. It designated spot positions on the floor and required specific screen, pass and cut continuities. The positions were interchangeable to accommodate Jordan’s considerable skills, and the offense was flexible enough to afford M.J. some one-on-one bursts to the hoop.


Those varying, sometimes conflicting, styles of offense and defense proved once again that theory, however sound, is less important than execution in determining success … And that attention to detail is the key to good execution.
Since ending an active coaching career, I have stayed close to the game, mostly as a television analyst, but also giving coaching clinics around the world for the NBA.


The level of international basketball has greatly improved, and so have its players. The number of great NBA players whose roots are in foreign soil attest to that: Olajuwon, Ewing, Schrempf, Petrovic, Kukoc, Divac, Mutombo, Marciulionis, Herrera, Smits, and Seikaly have made their marks in the NBA — and more will come.


The game is always being played in greater numbers and with constantly improving skills — everywhere. But no matter where or when I have seen the game played, it has always had constants — indigenous, never-changing concepts. I have thoroughly enjoyed playing this great game and have always felt honored to be known as one of its coaches.


https://coachad.com/articles/dr-jack-ramsay-my-60-years-in-basketball/

*********** All the hubbub about the 50th anniversary of the moon landing gave the liberal media (but I repeat myself) all the cover it needed to bury another 50th anniversary: Ted Kennedy’s leaving a young woman to die.

Late on the night of July 18, 1969, Ted Kennedy, youngest of the four Kennedy brothers, left a party at which drinking had taken place, and in the darkness drove his car off a bridge and into the waters off a Massachusetts island called Chappaquiddick.  He was able to get out and swim - quite a distance in fact - to safety, but he “forget” something: in the car with him (he was married at the time) was a young Senate intern named Mary Jo Kopechne. The bastard left that young woman behind, to die in the submerged car.

He wound up skating, because, you see he was a Kennedy, in Massachusetts. That meant that he was royalty.

There he was, the very definition of today’s so-called “White Privilege,” and yet the 50th anniversary of his foul deed was scarcely noted, because - white male or not - he was a member of the Democrat tribe.

https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2019/07/chappaquiddick-anniversary-kennedy-kopechne


*********** Damn shame how you correspond with someone, and perhaps because you have nothing urgent to write to each other about,  you stop corresponding for a while, and then - after not hearing from the person for some time -  you discover that he’s died.

So after going back and forth with Bob Barton in a two-man effort to get Yale to honor a great graduate named Levi Jackson, I hadn’t heard from him in some time, and I only learned in the latest Alumni Magazine that he’d passed away in January.

No one - no one - knew as much about Yale sports, especially Yale football, than Bob Barton.  I know  I am not the only one who misses him.

Some excerpts from an article on his passing in the New Haven Register, where he worked for years as a sports writer and editor:

(Steve) Conn, who has worked at Yale since 1986 and has been in his present role as Yale’s sports publicity director since 1993, has used scores of features from Barton in the program guides for Yale game programs over the years. And he always has been mesmerized by Barton’s ability to keep score, even against computer programs.

“It was amazing to watch him chart a football game, especially while our stats team was inputting every play on a computer,” Conn said “If we thought we missed something, we could always go to Bob for confirmation … and detail. Speaking of detail, he blew our minds every time he came to a Yale Football Media Luncheon at Mory’s. Almost regularly, Bob would be asked to shed some light on a game of the past. He would provide the weather, the score and significant details.”

***

Barton, a member of the New Haven Gridiron Club Hall of Fame, voted in the first New Haven Register Top 10 high school football poll in 1961, and in the final GameTimeCT/New Haven Register Top 10 poll this year — despite not officially working in the sports department. Ned Griffen, who now works at the Day of New London, recalled Barton calling in from Europe to submit his ballot early for the Register poll after Barton’s flight was diverted due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Griffen was one of countless young football reporters Barton mentored, teaching many the importance of attention to detail, both with statistics and grammar.

Griffen recalled a play in a state championship game in 1994, when Ansonia used a trick play including a lateral from one receiver to another that led to a touchdown. There was confusion in the press box on how to award yardage.

Then, Griffen said, a calm, deep voice came from the back:

“The receiver gets credited with a catch and the yardage to the spot where he pitched the ball,” Barton said. “The second player gets credit for the yardage where he got the pitch, but not for a catch.”

***
He also was approached by different authors chronicling the history of Yale football, including Ansonia’s Rich Marazzi.

“When I wrote a ‘Bowl Full of Memories: 100 Years of Football at the Yale Bowl,’ Bob was my guiding force along the way,” Marazzi said. “One of the best decisions I ever made in my life was reaching out to Bob for his help. My original intent in writing the book was to recall my memories of Yale football and the Yale Bowl. When I sent him the first 100 pages of the manuscript, I was expecting a “job well done,” response. Instead, he candidly said, “Nobody cares about your memories.”

“That was the best advice I ever got,” Marazzi said. “From that point, I decided to solicit the memories of decades of former Yale players going back to the 1940s to the present, the coaches, the fans, the media, etc. It totally expanded my thought process. If I was the heart of the book, he was the soul.”

https://www.nhregister.com/news/amp/Bob-Barton-longtime-copy-editor-Yale-and-high-13533781.php


*********** With all the talk about the supposed “weakness” of the Pac-12, Chantell Jennings writes in The Athletic that what might be the conference’s downfall is the very parity that its commissioner takes such great pride in:

Through five seasons of the Playoff, three teams — Ohio State (2016), Alabama (2017) and Notre Dame (2018) — advanced to the semifinals without a winning a conference title, but no team has earned a bid with more than one conference loss.

The message is clear: To best position yourself for a Playoff bid, teams should win the conference title, but they must win big in conference play.

And in the CFP era, four Power 5 teams have done this better than anyone else: Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma. Those four programs have won at least 80 percent of their conference games over the past five seasons and, unsurprisingly, they’ve accounted for 70 percent of the Playoff bids.

Meanwhile, only one Pac-12 team, Stanford, has even won 70 percent of its conference games during the Playoff era. That kind of parity has hurt the conference’s perception on a national scale.

https://theathletic.com/826338/2019/07/18/pac-12-football-playoff-perception-scheduling-personnel-finances/

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

Been pretty busy around here.  Meeting my daughter's in-laws, and moving the kids (I say "kids" - they're in their early 30's), into their new apartment.  She's my youngest and is expecting her first child, our first grandchild.

One of the very basic problems with our educational system today is that those on the left want desperately to deny our history, no matter how great, or painful.  Many of our teachers, college professors, and general "educators" lean sharply left, and as a result our children have been receiving a skewed version of our history based upon left wing interpretations.  Therefore, our youngsters receive a very different take on the history of America, and to many it has become less important/significant. 

Which leads to the next generation of children who will never truly know the meaning of what it is to be "American".  Truly sad.

My comment above leads me to Hillsdale College.  Thank God for Hillsdale College and those bastions of higher education that espouse conservative values, and teach the significance of historical events.

I identify with that coach at Penn State.  While I had ambition to be a coordinator at the college level, becoming a head coach was something I considered but could never pull the trigger.  Being the head coach of my family was enough.

The WNBA never considered the actual definition of the word "domestic".


Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Joe,

You didn’t mention the sex of your anticipated grandchild.  Can it possibly be that your daughter is that old-fashioned? (To an old fart like me, the most exciting thing about the birth of our kids was finding out whether we’d had a boy or a girl. It didn’t make a damn bit of difference - we were then and still are delighted with the results all four times - but the mystery seemed to be part and parcel of the miracle of birth itself.)

The older I live, the more convinced I am that Joe McCarthy was right. If Stalin were alive today, he would smile (I can see his self-satisfied smile at knowing he’d got the best of his enemy) at what has happened to the United States, much of it at the hands of public education.  

You look at the huge gap in opinions on key issues between generations to see what 50+ years of indoctrination has done.

As my friend Shep Clarke put it so eloquently, “As soon as I find my passport, I’m going back to America.”

Shep's son, as you probably read, attends Hillsdale.   And his daughter just graduated from the US Air Force Academy. - proudly shook the President’s hand after receiving her diploma!

You have a great weekend, too!



***********  QUIZ ANSWER: It’s an almost unbelievable tale…

Bo Rein was only 30 when he was named head coach of an ACC team.

And he was only 34 when he was handed the keys to one of the nation’s premier football programs. 

And then…

But to start at the beginning - he was a two sport star.  In high school in Niles, Ohio, he played on a state championship team coached by Tony Mason (the same Tony Mason who would go on to coach at Cincinnati and at Arizona).

At Ohio State, he was the starting tailback from 1964 to 1966 on  the football team, and he played shortstop and left field on the Buckeyes’ baseball team that went to the College World Series in 1965 and 1966 and won it all in 1966.  He was named to the All-Tournament team both years.

Drafted by both the Baltimore Colts and the Cleveland Indians, he tried both sports - baseball first -  but injuries brought his playing career to an end, and,  a year out of college, he turned to coaching.

Lou Holtz, who had been at assistant at Ohio State while he was there, had just been hired as head coach at William and Mary, and Holtz offered him a position on his staff.  After two years at William and Mary he moved on to Purdue,  but after a year there he rejoined  Holtz when  Holtz was offered the North Carolina State job. 

He spent three years at NC State before taking the offensive coordinator job at Arkansas under Frank Broyles, but after just one season, when Holtz jumped to the NFL, he was offered the head job at NC State.  He was just 30 years old, the youngest major college head coach in America.

He did well in Raleigh, compiling a 27-18-1 record in four seasons - 24-11 in his final three years - and State’s  ACC first-place finish in 1979 brought him to the attention of LSU when Charlie McClendon “retired” after 18 years as the Tiger’s boss.

Paul Dietzel was the LSU AD at the time, and he remembered checking him out:  “I talked to Woody Hayes about (him), and he said he's one coach who in my mind is going to be a great success.”

Maybe so. We’ll never know.

When LSU hired him, he was 34 years old.   He had been on the job less than two months,  his wife and kids still back in Raleigh, when on January 10, 1980, after a long day of recruiting in Shreveport, he got into a private plane for the 40-minute trip back to Baton Rouge.  Just he and the pilot were on board.

En route, anticipating turbulence, the pilot called to request permission to climb to a higher altitude. Permission was granted, and that was the last anyone heard from the plane.

The plane did, indeed,  climbed - to 40,000 feet - and was intercepted by military jets as it headed east, way off course and, ironically, over North Carolina, where Bo Rein's  wife and kids slept.  They followed it 100 miles out over the Atlantic Ocean until it ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea.

The cause of the crash remains a mystery.  Although the pilots of the military jets said they spotted debris in the ocean, no wreckage was ever discovered.

Dietzel, a World War II pilot,  surmised,  “At about 20,000 feet, without enough oxygen you pass out and don't know it. You drift off. Something went wrong with the pressurization in what was a brand new airplane."

Former LSU great Jerry Stovall was appointed as the Tigers’ new head coach, but it was a tough time in Baton Rouge.   "We were in a state of shock," said Dietzel, “It was the saddest scenario I was ever associated with in athletics."



CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BO REIN:
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

*********** Sent along by LSU Tiger fan Josh Montgomery, of Berwick, Louisiana

Bo Rein named LSU coach:

http://ladigitalmedia.org/video_v2/asset-detail/LSWI-0315-02_Rein

A great look back, by a veteran writer who was on the job at the time

http://www.lsusports.net/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=5200&ATCLID=210347188

*********** From Greg Koenig

https://fampeople.com/cat-bo-rein


*********** QUIZ: He came out of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, where injuries caused him to quit high school football and concentrate on basketball.

He came from an athletic family: three of his brothers also played professional football.  Although they all had the same surname, his was spelled differently from theirs.

He went to Arizona Western to play basketball, but the football coach persuaded him to play football, and he did so well as a running back that he dropped  basketball entirely, and wound up getting a scholarship to Cal.

He was big - 6-3, 225, and fast.  And because of a nearsightedness condition, he wore dark-rimmed glasses that became something of a trademark.

At Cal he was spectacular - the rushing side of Cal’s nation-leading total offense (Joe Roth was the passer). He set school season records for rushing yards (1460), all-purpose yards(1871) and rushing touchdowns. (13), and in his senior year he was runner-up to Archie Griffin of Ohio State in the Heisman Balloting.

Drafted first by the Saints, in 1979 he became the first Saint to rush for 1,000 yards and was named to the Pro Bowl, but eventually coach Dick Nolan grew tired of his undependability and traded him to the Chargers.

In San Diego, he rushed for 1144 yards and 19 touchdowns in 1981.

He helped the team win two AFC West championships.

A San Diego newspaper called him “the most talented running back of his era.”

And then…

In 1984, he missed the team flight to Seattle, and when Chargers’ coach Don Coryell didn’t buy his story - vandals slashed his tires - he was sent home and two days later (first, remember, Coryell had a game to play) he was traded to the Dolphins.

But when he tested positive for cocaine, the trade was voided, and he was suspended by the league.

He went into drug rehab, and when his suspension was lifted, he was traded to the Vikings. There, after failing to attend drug therapy required by the league, he retired.

In nine seasons in the NFL, he rushed for 6,702 rushing yards.  He caught 263 passes for 2,323 yards,  and scored 74 touchdowns. He completed four passes, all of them for touchdowns. And he returned 20 kickoffs for 432 yards.

The great Jim Brown, to whom he was at times compared, once said, “the only thing holding him back is his head.”

That, and cocaine.

He had evidently started using while at Cal, and while with the Chargers he once called himself “a functioning addict.”

After football, he experienced homelessness, and was sent to prison for dealing drugs.

When he was released, he devoted his life to good causes, especially those related to helping young people.  He died in 2013 of a heart attack at age 60.



Betsy Ross FlagFRIDAY,  JULY 19,  2019  “People who think they are wise because they excel at something unrelated to wisdom are fools.” Dennis Prager


*********** In “A Bowlful of Memories,” a history of Yale football by Rich Marazzi, I came across this… a story about Ben Balme, whom I played with.  Ben was a year behind me, and he was an All-American in 1960.  It’s true.  He had a shot with the Eagles, but they were the defending NFL champs, and it was a long shot.  So he went off to medical school.  For most of his football career at Yale, he would arrive late to practice, driven there by a manager who’d picked him up after an afternoon lab class, while he dressed in the back of the station wagon.  A native of Portland, Ben’s now retired after a career as an orthopedic surgeon in Klamath Falls, Oregon.  The story tells about Ben’s chance “meeting” with another former Yale player, a quarterback named Watts Humphrey, who’d been a few years behind Ben.

I’ll quote author Marazzi…

As the story goes, Balme became an orthopedic surgeon. In 1967, he volunteered for a mobile Army surgical hospital unit in Vietnam. After graduation, Humphrey joined the Marines and was sent to Da Nang, where he was riddled with shrapnel during a rocket attack.

While stretchers of wounded Americans were being left at his unit, Balme's orders were to prioritize the injured and leave Humphrey to die -- he was too far gone.

But Balme looked at the Marine and recognized him as Yale's former QB, who he'd watched play.

"He not only didn't let Watts die, he saved his life and his arm," Marazzi said. "Watts is now a businessman in Pittsburgh."
Yeah, “businessman in Pittsburgh.”  And Babe Ruth was a baseball player.

After recovering from his war wounds, Watts Humphrey went to Harvard Business School and then into business.

And now, he’s  president of GWH Holdings, Inc., a private investment company, as well as the chairman and CEO of International Plastics Equipment Group, Inc. and Centria, an innovator in metal buildings exteriors.

He’s a member of The University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees and is a director of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

He raises Thoroughbreds  at his 1,000-acre Shawnee Farm near Harrodsburg, Ky., and he has a long list of stakes winners to his credit, including 1985 Belmont Stakes winner Creme Freche.

As a partner in the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team,  in 2011 he was named  “Leading Thoroughbred Owner title” at the prestigious Keeneland Race Course fall meeting, one day after watching his Cardinals win the World Series.

I’d say that was quite a save for Dr. Ben Balme.

*********** How’s this for a balanced offense?  In 1975, Cal led the nation in total offense.  They threw for 2,522 yards and they rushed for - exactly 2,522 yards.

*********** ”Let's be real: Anyone who can study a playbook can study a textbook. Americans didn't get to the moon on a quarterback sneak." Texas Governor Mark White, replying to opponents of Texas’ “No Pass, No Play” Law.  1987

*********** A coach asked me a question recently about whether on a particular pass play I wanted the QB to set up or to roll outside.

I said that I hadn’t run the play enough times to have a firm opinion, and suggested he work with his QB and see what works best for him.

I think he was a bit surprised that I wasn’t more dogmatic in my answer.

If that sounded wishy-washy on my part, I told him, it goes back to something that  has stuck with me over the years, before I got into  coaching, from my days in sales - listen. Listen to the customer.

What does that mean to a coach?  Listen to the players.

An awful lot of what I teach - and how I teach it - was learned from listening to players.


*********** Shep Clarke, of Puyallup, Washington wrote me excitedly, telling me that Hillsdale College is ranked #25 in D-II by Street and Smith, “based on nine returning defensive starters!”  Shep’s son, Wain, a senior linebacker, happens to be one of those nine.  (Wain wears Number 37 as a tribute to Mike Lude, a former Hillsdale player who started his coaching career at Hillsdale under Dave Nelson.)

Mike, by the way is amazing.  He just turned 95. In the past few months he has taken a Mississippi River cruise, been to Branson, Mo., to New Jersey to visit his daughter and attend the annual reunion of his Delaware players, and to the NACDA (Athletic Directors) convention in Florida.  And this past Friday he was at Arlington for the burial of  General Jim Shelton, one of his former players,  who was of great assistance to me in establishing the Black Lion Award.

*********** Colin Kaepernick and Megan Rapinoe can disrespect the flag or anthem but they’re merely exercising their right to free speech, we're told.  Meantime, several Philadelphia cops are about to be fired (or purged, I suspect) because of some (evidently  obnoxious) things they posted on a Facebook account.

Please explain.

Meantime, if you ever needed an answer for the kneelers and assorted other flag-anthem-pledge disrespecters, you might want to have a reprint of this article handy.   It's from  National Review and it's by Rich Lowry.


They risked everything for it, not for some idea or abstraction but for the piece of fabric itself.

The American flag’s place in our culture is beginning to look less unassailable.

The symbol itself is under attack, as we’ve seen with Nike dumping a shoe design featuring an early American flag, Megan Rapinoe defending her national-anthem protests (she says she will never sing the song again), and protesters storming an ICE facility in Aurora, Colo., and replacing the U.S. flag with a Mexican flag.

U.S. soccer had a pretty good statement a while back setting out, in response to Rapinoe, why it has an expectation that players will stand during the national anthem (which, of course, is all about the flag):

Representing your country is a privilege and honor for any player or coach that is associated with U.S. Soccer’s National Team. Therefore, our national anthem has particular significance for U.S. Soccer. In front of national and often global audiences, the playing of our national anthem is an opportunity for our Men’s and Women’s National Team players and coaches to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country.

(Rapinoe called the sentiment “cowardly.”)

The U.S. soccer statement could have added that men have fought for the flag, and not just in the sense of fighting under it as members of the U.S. armed services. Our troops have literally fought for the flag, for its physical advance and preservation. This is the story of color sergeants during the Civil War.

Color sergeants carried the flag —typically, both the U.S. flag and the regimental flag — into battle, and not a weapon. They depended for protection on the color guard, a small contingent of troops dedicated to the task. The flag, held aloft and leading the way, was important as a matter of tactics (to mark the location of the unit in the confusion of battle), of morale (to provide a rallying point for the troops), and of devotion and honor (to lose the flag to the enemy was a deep disgrace).

Needless to say, this was hazardous duty that demanded the utmost bravery and dedication. According to Michael Corcoran in his book on the flag, For Which It Stands, the 24th Michigan Regiment lost nine color bearers on the first day of Gettysburg alone.

The commander of the the Sixth Wisconsin Infantry Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Rufus Dawes described his unit’s charge at Gettysburg:

Any correct picture of this charge would represent a V-shaped crowd of men with the colors at the advance point, moving firmly and hurriedly forward, while the whole field behind is streaming with men who had been shot, and who are struggling to the rear or sinking in death upon the ground. The only commands I gave, as we advanced, were, “Align on the colors! Close up on that color! Close up on that color!” The regiment was being broken up so that this order alone could hold the body together. Meanwhile the colors were down upon the ground several times, but were raised at once by the heroes of the color guard. Not one of the guard escaped, every man being killed or wounded.

Corcoran notes of the inception of the Medal of Honor during the Civil War: “Nearly one thousand of the medals were awarded and, in a great many cases, they were bestowed upon men who had carried the Stars and Stripes into battle or who captured Confederate flags.”

Consider a few examples. There’s John Gregory Bishop Adams, awarded the Medal of Honor for his conduct with the 19th Massachusetts Infantry at Fredericksburg. As the citation recounted, he “seized the 2 colors from the hands of a corporal and a lieutenant as they fell mortally wounded, and with a color in each hand advanced across the field to a point where the regiment was reformed on those colors.”


There’s John Gilmore, awarded the Medal of Honor “for extraordinary heroism on 3 May 1863, while serving with 16th New York Infantry, in action at Salem Heights, Fredericksburg, Virginia. Major Gilmore seized the colors of his regiment and gallantly rallied his men under a very severe fire.”

There’s William Carney, the first black serviceman to perform an act deemed worthy of the Medal of Honor, who saved the flag during the doomed but valorous assault on Fort Wagner in South Carolina.

Part of the famous Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Colored Regiment, the exploits of which were depicted in the movie Glory, Carney saved the flag when the unit’s flag-bearer was wounded and, despite getting shot up himself, kept it aloft. He supposedly said when he finally turned the flag over to his comrades, “Boys, I only did my duty; the old flag never touched the ground!”

There are countless such stories of men risking everything, not for the idea of the flag or any abstraction but for the actual piece of fabric itself.

Ancient history, you say? Regardless, the sacrifice and blood of these men are inextricably caught up in the meaning and moral status of the American flag. The historical illiteracy of those who protest it is perhaps understandable and on some level forgivable; their rank ingratitude and disrespect are not.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/american-flag-men-died-for-it/

*********** Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock, commenting on whether the ACC Network would still be a success, considering that it was late getting started…

“I’d rather be the last one in the door at a great party,” Babcock said, “than the one who shows up early to the wrong party.”

*********** Not sure if any people have better senses of humor than Australians.

My son, Ed, lives in Australia and he passed along this tweet from a friend:

"One unexpected benefit of chemo is that this morning, in the car, a mosquito bit me and it was dead by the time I got to work."


***********  Penn State’s offensive coordinator, Ricky Rahne, is a rare bird.

First of all, he’s an Ivy-Leaguer - from Cornell.

Second of all, he claims he has no ambitions to be a head coach.

Says Penn State head coach James Franklin,  “When you can get a guy who wants to be a coordinator and wants to be the best coordinator in college football and doesn’t want to be a head coach, that’s like finding a unicorn.”

https://theathletic.com/1073814/2019/07/12/penn-states-ricky-rahne-prefers-coaching-thats-ideal-not-a-big-deal/?source=dailyemail

*********** Hugh,
 
I hope this message finds you well. Its been a few years since I last saw you.
 
To make a long story short, I retired from the federal government and am now starting a small farm in ——
 
Last season I sold a house to the head coach at the local high school. Of course we began talking about football and I had to offer my assistance running a DW if he needed it. He originally stated he was good with the offense he was planning to run (he was a first year head coach).

Needless to say, he started the season 1-3 and was in jeopardy of losing his first  head coaching job half way through the season. He called me one night and asked if I could teach him the DW. In just one 4 hour evening on a Monday night, I taught him enough to install 6 plays that week and we built as much as we could each week thereafter. He finished the season with a winning record and a playoff berth.
 
He wants me to come coach full time this season and run his offense. I just have a question. Over the years I became a pretty good DW coach in the style I originally leaned from you, and the team last year had good success with just the basics. I now see you have an “open wing” system. Is it worth exploring and learning, or should I stick with the old school system I know quite well?
 
I am happy to see you still on the field and still having success.

NAME WITHHELD

Coach,

You have already made the argument for sticking with the “old system” - the one that you “know quite well.”

No matter what you decide to do differently, there is sure to be a bit of a learning curve as you stay a chapter (or a page) ahead of the kids.

The Open Wing is designed to take advantage of the Double Wing terminology and the Double Wing blocking, so you would have less of a learning curve if you were to decide to go with it.

But it is somewhat late at this point, and you didn’t mention whether your talent suggests “opening it up” somewhat.  For example, if your QB can’t run, he can still run a good Double-Wing offense.  But without a running QB, you won’t get the most out of the Open wing.

If you do have the talent, you can sneak into Open Wing, a bit at a time.  You can have a nice package that complements your Double Wing.

But since you have a group of kids - and a head coach - who are believers in the Double Wing, and since you know how to coach it, I would be hesitant to impose change on them.

“Where it’s not necessary to change, it’s necessary not to change,”  is an old quote that comes to mind.


*********** Got a little girl?  You might want to keep her away from the WNBA. Either that,  or you’d better be prepared to explain Riquna Williams  to her.  (Please don’t hold me responsible for spelling Ms. Williams’ first name correctly.)

This from NPR:

According to an arrest report, Williams showed up at a residence in Pahokee, Fla. where Alkeria Davis was on Dec. 6, 2018. Police say Williams tried to get in by hitting the outside door with a skateboard.

Davis came to the door and there was a struggle as Williams tried to force her way into the residence, according to the report. It says Williams managed to get inside and then punched Davis multiple times in the head and pulled her hair.

Two men spent 10 minutes attempting to break up the fight before they were able to separate the two women and get Williams outside.

At that point, according to the report, Williams walked to a blue Camaro, grabbed a gun and pointed it at one of the men, saying "You'll get all 18" before speeding away.

Wow.  Second “domestic violence” issue to hit the WNBA this week.

She’s been suspended for 10 games, but the WNBA Players’ Association is contesting the punishment.

It seems that the WNBA has no rules specifically addressing domestic violence.

(Who could have foreseen, when they drew up their rules of conduct,  that the WNBA would one day be having to deal with domestic violence?)


QUIZ ANSWER  - Dan McGugin was a lawyer first and a football coach second. He was a practical joker who was beloved in Nashville social and business circles.

He was regarded as one of the best attorneys in Nashville, and his success as a coach there has not been matched. He was a charter member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

He came from an Iowa town so small that it couldn’t field a football team.

He attended Drake and played football there, but after two years he was admitted to Michigan Law School. While at Michigan, with two years of eligibility remaining, he played for the Wolverines.

Those were the “Point-A-Minute” teams of the great Fielding H. Yost (they outscored opponents 1211 to 12 in the years 1901-1902), and as a guard he opened holes for the great Willie Heston.  A 14-man Wolverine squad went west to play in the first-ever Rose Bowl game, and defeated Stanford, 49-0.  Perhaps because of the beating, it was another 14 years before the next Rose Bowl Game was played.

In 1903 he was an assistant to Yost, and in 1904 he got his first head coaching job, at Vanderbilt - one that he would hold for 30 years.

He learned well from Yost - his first team outscored opponents 454 to 4.

His 30-year record of 197-55-19 is still among the NCAA’s 25 best in terms of winning percentage. Four of his teams were undefeated,  11 more lost just one game. 

He coached his entire 30-year career at Vanderbilt.  When he retired, no coach had coached longer at one place. 

He was one of the first coaches to schedule intersectional games, his teams traveling far and wide by train. He was the first coach to pull guards to block,  the first to employ the onside kick successfully, and one of the first to emphasize the forward pass.

In 1922,  18 years after he’d become their head coach,  Vanderbilt dedicated Dudley Field,  whose capacity of 22,000  made it the largest in the South.

Grantland Rice,  the most influential sportswriter of the 20th Century and a Vanderbilt graduate, once remarked, “I didn’t have anything to write about in Nashville until Dan McGugin came to town.”

It was well-known that the University of Tennessee hired General Robert Neyland with one order: “Beat McGugin!”

He and coach Fielding Yost married twin sisters from Nashville and lived there as neighbors during the off-season.

Even then, Vanderbilt was not an easy place to win at, and there came a point, as there does in almost every coach’s career, when dissatisfied alumni wanted him fired. The university president’s response to them: “If Dan McGugin isn’t good enough for football at Vanderbilt, then football isn’t good enough to be played at Vanderbilt.”

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING DAN MCGUGIN:
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
VICKY TIMBERS - ENGLEWOOD, COLORADO


*********** Part of Dan McGugin’s legacy:  he coached the great Red Sanders, who would go on first to coach at Vandy himself, and then to build UCLA into a national power in the 1950s;  and one of McGugin’s assistants was Wallace Wade, who left Vandy to take the head coaching job at Alabama, and later moved to Duke.


*********** Going to school at Western and getting Vandy games on radio and tv Dan McGugin’s name is mentioned all the time.  It is usually used when  whoever is the current Vandy coach is in trouble.

David Crump
Owensboro, Kentucky


***********  QUIZ: It’s an almost unbelievable tale…

He was only 30 when he was named head coach of an ACC team.

And he was only 34 when he was handed the keys to one of the nation’s premier football programs. 

And then…

But to start at the beginning - he was a two sport star.  In high school in Niles, Ohio, he played on a state championship team coached by Tony Mason (the same Tony Mason who would go on to coach at Cincinnati and at Arizona).

At Ohio State, he was the starting tailback from 1964 to 1966 on  the football team, and he played shortstop and left field on the Buckeyes’ baseball team that went to the College World Series in 1965 and 1966 and won it all in 1966.  He was named to the All-Tournament team both years.

Drafted by both the Baltimore Colts and the Cleveland Indians, he tried both sports - baseball first -  but injuries brought his playing career to an end, and,  a year out of college, he turned to coaching.

Lou Holtz, who had been at assistant at Ohio State while he was there, had just been hired as head coach at William and Mary, and Holtz offered him a position on his staff.  After two years at William and Mary he moved on to Purdue,  but after a year there he rejoined  Holtz when  Holtz was offered the North Carolina State job. 

He spent three years at NC State before taking the offensive coordinator job at Arkansas under Frank Broyles, but after just one season, when Holtz jumped to the NFL, he was offered the head job at NC State.  He was just 30 years old, the youngest major college head coach in America.

He did well in Raleigh, compiling a 27-18-1 record in four seasons - 24-11 in his final three years - and State’s  ACC first-place finish in 1979 brought him to the attention of LSU when Charlie McClendon “retired” after 18 years as the Tiger’s boss.

Paul Dietzel was the LSU AD at the time, and he remembered checking him out:  “I talked to Woody Hayes about (him), and he said he's one coach who in my mind is going to be a great success.”

Maybe so. We’ll never know.

When LSU hired him, he was 34 years old.   He had been on the job less than two months,  his wife and kids still back in Raleigh, when on January 10, 1980, after a long day of recruiting in Shreveport, he got into a private plane for the 40-minute trip back to Baton Rouge.  Just he and the pilot were on board.

En route, anticipating turbulence, the pilot called to request permission to climb to a higher altitude. Permission was granted, and that was the last anyone heard from the plane.

The plane did, indeed,  climbed - to 40,000 feet - and was intercepted by military jets as it headed east, way off course and, ironically, over North Carolina, where his wife and kids slept.  They followed it 100 miles out over the Atlantic Ocean until it ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea.

The cause of the crash remains a mystery.  Although the pilots of the military jets said they spotted debris in the ocean, no wreckage was ever discovered.

Dietzel, a World War II pilot,  surmised,  “At about 20,000 feet, without enough oxygen you pass out and don't know it. You drift off. Something went wrong with the pressurization in what was a brand new airplane."

Former LSU great Jerry Stovall was appointed as the Tigers’ new head coach, but it was a tough time in Baton Rouge.   "We were in a state of shock," said Dietzel, “It was the saddest scenario I was ever associated with in athletics."



Betsy Ross FlagTUESDAY,  JULY 16,  2019  “I put my foot in the tracks of our forefathers, where I can neither wander nor stumble.” Edmund Burke


*********** Alert reader John Vermillion  brought to my attention the fact that I’d failed to mention the death of Jared Lorenzen (“probably the most exciting football player in Kentucky Wildcat history”), and I have to admit, ruefully, that it was, indeed, a failure on my part.

I’d seen Lorenzen,  the “Hefty Lefty”, play of course, and I appreciated his agility and  mobility,  especially given his enormous size.  And I rooted hard for him because  he played for Rich Brooks at Kentucky, and I wanted desperately for Rich to succeed.  (Rich, whom I’d gotten to know when he was Oregon’s coach, is one of the men I most admire from my time in the game.)

I read the nice things that good people who knew Jared Lorenzen had to say about him, but it was only after John Vermillion jogged me that I did some digging, and - wow - what a story.

He was always bigger than other people - he weighed more than 13 pounds at birth.

He was an exceptional high school athlete.  At Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, Kentucky (an across-the-river suburb of Cincinnati) he was all-state in football and basketball.

At Kentucky he set all sorts of passing records, but it was the fact that he was bigger than a lot of his linemen that really caught the nation’s attention.

After Kentucky, he played two years with the Giants as Eli Manning’s backup, and although he seldom played,  he earned a Super Bowl ring.

He played a couple of seasons of indoor football after that, but that came to an end when a low tackle (one that in his more agile days he would have escaped from) broke his ankle. Badly.

His playing days were at an end.

Yes, there was the ankle. But more than that, there was the weight.

The story of his struggle with his weight is a tragic one.

He admitted that as long as he was able to perform athletically, he didn’t worry about his weight.

Unfortunately, once it became apparent that he could no longer perform at his usual high standard, it was too late for him - and he was too far gone - to do what he had to do to prolong his life.  His weight - he was now more than 500 pounds - was killing him.

Before anyone casually demeans someone who has to deal with obesity, he (or she) ought to take the time to watch this several-part documentary that Jared Lorenzen made, not long before death took him.  It evolves from a personal campaign to lose weight into a campaign to bring to others’ attention - especially school kids - the importance of exercise. 

I watched every minute of it - you can’t watch it and not like the guy - and I felt a terrible sense of sadness, knowing the fate that awaited him.

THE JARED LORENZEN PROJECT

EPISODE ONE: https://youtu.be/mFSJrpCwvnk
EPISODE TWO:https://youtu.be/84YwEsF7Nmc
EPISODE THREE: https://youtu.be/bBALcfUDjK4
EPISODE FOUR: https://youtu.be/2fHYPtEiM9Q
EPISODE FIVE: https://youtu.be/WRYGXvKUD-A

https://www.courier-journal.com/picture-gallery/sports/college/kentucky/2019/07/02/jared-lorenzen-look-through-his-career-kentucky/1617943001/image/1619362001/#slide:1619362001


*********** While we’re talking about sad stories…

I was browsing through some 1976 coaches’ clinic notes and I came across something Cal coach Mike White said.  “I hate to make comparisons, but Joe Roth is the quarterback we have now and he is probably going to be a better quarterback than (Jim) Plunkett or (Steve) Bartkowski.” (Mike White had coached both Plunkett and Bartkowski.)

For those of you not old enough to know about Joe Roth…
He was a California kid who after leading his JC team to an undefeated season transferred to Cal.

By the fourth game of his first season, he was the starting QB, and Cal wound up as co-champions of the (then) Pac-8, leading the nation in total offense. Coming back for his senior year, he was a pre-season Heisman favorite.

Approaching the midway point of the season, the Bears were 3-2, but the losses were in the first two games, to Oklahoma and Georgia, both ranked, so there was still reason to be optimistic.

Over the last six games, though, Roth’s performance fell off some, and the Bears  finished the season a disappointing 5-6.

His performance was not so bad that he wasn’t named to some All-American teams, but after the final game, he disclosed that in the middle of the season he had been diagnosed with melanoma, and told that it was terminal.

He’d been playing for half a season knowing that he was dying of cancer. Only his coach and his closest friends, including his girlfriend, knew.

“He didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for him,” recalled his girlfriend, Tracy McAllister. “He told me about the melanoma when we started dating, but he played it down, saying ‘I’m fine.’ And he told everyone else it was nothing. He totally lied about it. His main concern was making it easier for everyone around him.”

He was picked to play in three post-season all-star games : the East-West game in San Francisco, the Hula Bowl in Hawaii, and the Japan Bowl in Tokyo (they were still a big deal in those days, back  before agents advised players not to play in their own teams’ bowl games, much less all-star games).

Mike White, his coach at Cal, was also named to be head coach in all three games, and White recalled, “His back hurt too much to play in the East-West game, but he was determined to honor his commitments.  He played pretty well in the Hawaii Bowl, and when we got to Japan the people fell in love with him, despite the language barrier. When the time was up at one autograph-signing session, he noticed that hundreds of kids were still waiting. So he kept signing until every one had an autograph. He just smiled and thanked them. Then he went outside and vomited in the bushes.”

In February he was hospitalized.

When doctors suggested amputating his legs,  Roth would have none of it.  He knew he was dying,  and he wanted was to die at home, surrounded by friends and family.  At his insistence, he was discharged from the hospital and  taken home by ambulance.   There, teammates carried him up the three flights of stairs to his Berkeley apartment.  The next day -  February 19, 1977 - he was dead.

He was 21.

“He never complained, never made excuses, never took a day off, no matter how bad he felt,” White said. “I learned more about life from him than any other player I’ve been around. After he passed away, his teammates wore a patch on their uniforms with his number—No. 12—and the words ‘Faith, Humility, Courage.’ That was Joe.”

He was a devout Catholic and such a good person that he was loved by teammates and students alike.

“I was a lowly freshman when he was a senior,” remembered wide receiver Matt Bouza, who after Cal would play eight seasons in the NFL. “Most seniors wouldn’t even talk to freshmen, but on the first day of practice he came over to me, shook my hand, and said, ‘How are you doing, Matt? I’m Joe. Where are you from? What high school did you go to? Do you need anything?’ And it wasn’t just me; that’s the way he treated everybody.”

And on top of it all, he could play.  “He definitely would have been the first quarterback taken in the NFL draft, “ said White.  “He had all the skills, plus a great work ethic. But most important, he had the temperament. The only other quarterbacks I’ve ever seen with a temperament like that were Joe Montana and Tom Brady.”

Every year, Cal presents the Joe Roth Award  to the player “who best demonstrates courage, attitude, and sportsmanship.”

And every year,  Cal designates that year’s home game against either USC or UCLA as the Joe Roth Memorial Game.

https://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/just-in/2015-11-02/selfless-quarterback-cancer-intercepted-joe-roths-career-not

***********  In the New York Post...

Thousands of people in Sweden are having futuristic microchips implanted into their skin to carry out everyday activities and replace credit cards and cash.

More than 4,000 people have already had the sci-fi-ish chips, about the size of a grain of rice, inserted into their hands — with the pioneers predicting millions will soon join them as they hope to take it global.


“It’s very ‘Black Mirror,’” Swedish scientist Ben Libberton told The Post of the similarity to the TV series highlighting futuristic scenarios.

Like glorified smartwatches, the chips help Swedes monitor their health and even replace keycards to allow them to enter offices and buildings.

They have particularly caught on, however, by enabling owners to pay in stores with a simple swipe of the hand, a big deal in a forward-looking country that is moving toward eliminating cash.

There is, however, the concern that the embedded chip in the hand might give others access to our innermost information.  Literally innermost.
Asked one skeptic, “Do I get a letter from my insurance company saying premiums are going up before I know I’m ill?”

(I can see stupid Americans trying unsuccessfully  to stick their fingers into the credit card slots at convenience store gas pumps.)

https://nypost.com/2019/07/14/swedish-people-are-getting-chip-implants-to-replace-cash-credit-cards/

*********** Jim Caldwell, the Dolphins’ Assistant Head Coach and Quarterback Coach, has taken a leave of absence for “health reasons.”

I worry.

Coach Caldwell is 64 years old. He has spent 17 years as an NFL coach, seven of them as a head coach, with the Colts and then the Lions. His overall record as a head coach is 62-50, and in 2009 he coached the Colts to the Super Bowl.

Before coming to the NFL, he spent 24 years as a college coach, including seven years as Penn State’s quarterback coach, followed by eight years as head coach at Wake Forest.  (When he was hired by the Demon Deacons in 1993, he became the first black head football coach in the ACC.)

***********  On Sunday, Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer at Wimbledon, in a tennis match for the ages.

Djokovic is perhaps the best tennis player of all time.  Anybody who knows tennis knows the name “JOE-koh-vitch.”

Yet only two days before the match, I heard Rece Davis, a guy who certainly should know these things, pronounce it  “joe-KOH-vich.”

*********** I hate soccer.  I hate soccer parents and I hate their attitudes.  I hate to watch those obnoxious a$$holes as they sit in their lawn chairs and in a form of child worship cheer on their little pantywaists.  I especially hate the way soccer reflects - perhaps contributes to - our changing  culture;  I hate the way soccer is helping turn our kids into gutless little Europeans.

(Just so you know where I stand.)

But that doesn’t mean that soccer coaches can’t be good coaches, and it doesn’t mean that we can’t learn things from them.

One of the best soccer coaches ever is Anson Dorrance.

From 1977 until 1988 he coached the University of North Carolina men’s soccer team, compiling a 175–65–21 record.  His 1987 team won the ACC Championship and he was named NCAA Mens Soccer Coach of the Year.

But from 1979 through 2017, he also coached the Tar Heels’ women, and it was there that he achieved phenomenal success.

Under him, the UNC women won 21 of the 31 NCAA national championships. His overall record was 809-67-36, including at one point a 101-game unbeaten streak.  He was named Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year seven times.

And he coached the USA Women’s National Team to its first-ever World Cup championship.

I cam across a piece he wrote about the differences between coaching men and women, and I picked out a couple of interesting excerpts:

Although I was young, when I was first asked to coach the University of North Carolina (UNC) men's soccer team in 1974, I was prepared. Being male, and a devoted athlete and scrappy soccer player myself, I understood training men. The shock came in 1979, when I was asked to coach the women. The feminist literature at the time was telling me there were no differences between men and women; however, I have spent nearly my entire career discovering, and appreciating, those differences.

***

Men need videotape; women don’t. If you make a general criticism of a men’s team, they all think you are talking about someone else. Videotape is proof of the guilty party. You don’t need that proof with a woman. In fact, if you make a general criticism of women, everyone in the room thinks you are talking about her. If you tell a woman she made a mistake, she’ll believe you. Seeing it on tape often only makes it worse.

However, because I have found that a lot of women do not have the confidence to feel they are as good as they actually are, we use our videos as highlight reels to build their confidence. This doesn’t mean you can’t help an individual player to improve her game using negative videotape. And it doesn’t mean a female player doesn’t want or need criticism. It is simply that it is important to choose the appropriate method with which you deliver that critique.

***

Praise has to be doled out differently. Men love public praise. But if you praise a young woman publicly, every woman in the room now hates her with a passion, and every woman in the room also hates you, because you have not praised her. To top it off, the young woman you’ve praised hates you for embarrassing her in front of her teammates. However, a sincere and well-timed individual comment, such as “You were awesome,” can be very effective and meaningful for any player.

http://www.amherstsoccer.com/coaching-corner/coaching-women-going-against-the-instincts-of-my-gender


*********** The NFL’s current contract with the NFLPA doesn’t expire until 2020, but there’s strong feeling, at least on the owners’ side, for getting things done well before the expiration date.

One of the items that very well may come up will be the idea of going to an 18-game regular season.

There are many reasons for doing so:

1. The League would receive more television money, which means the owners and players would share more money.
2. The League would receive more television money, which means the owners and players would share more money.
3. The League would receive more television money, which means the owners and players would share more money.
4. Veteran players’ sparing appearances  in pre-season games has made them a joke
5. Fans are becoming increasingly upset about having to pay for pre-season games as part of their season ticket packages.

There are, however, some very compelling reasons not to do so:

1. Two more games would mean a 12.5 per cent increase in exposure to injury.
2. The chance of injuries later in the season would be greater.
3. With only two pre-season games (rather than the current four) to prepare for the regular season, coaches would have fewer chances to evaluate newcomers.

There’s lots to work out.

One suggestion that makes some sense, at least on the surface:  Pay the players for 18 games, but permit them to play in only 16 games.  For the sake of their bodies, they would have to be held out of two games.  Won’t that play hell with gamblers?

*********** For those of you whose prayers were answered when Tropical Storm Barry turned out not to be quite so bad as feared…  I don’t suppose you would consider saying a prayer for me.  See, I live in Washington, where we - the few, the proud, the conservative - live in constant fear of Windstorm Jay. 

That would be “our” governor,  Jay Inslee, who's been out masquerading as a “presidential candidate” even though he polls less than 1 per cent.

Perhaps after making the following statement, his standing in the polls will rise, which, come to think of it, means YOU will be needing MY prayers:

“My first act will be to ask Megan Rapinoe to be my secretary of state. I haven’t asked her yet so this could be a surprise to her,” Inslee said at the progressive Netroots Nation conference in Philadelphia.

The governor explained that he wanted a secretary of state that leads with “love rather than hate.”

https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/reign/soccer-star-megan-rapinoe-will-be-secretary-of-state-if-jay-inslee-has-any-say/

*********** It didn’t last long, did it?  That warm glow after the USA Women’s Soccer Team’s win? It  lasted just about a week before a domestic “squabble” involving a star WNBA player pushed the women’s soccer team off the front sports page…

According to the Seattle Times, "Domestic-abuse allegations against Storm All-Star forward Natasha Howard were made by Howard’s wife, Jacqueline Howard, via Twitter Saturday morning."

(The squabble, according to wife Jacqueline,  consisted of wife Natasha  stabbing her in the chest and leg.)

Oh, dear.  And Natasha was just named to play in the WNBA All-Star game.

https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/storm/storm-wnba-looking-into-domestic-abuse-allegations-against-all-star-forward-natasha-howard/

*********** Maybe you’re into mysteries… or conspiracy theories.  Or maybe you're convinced  that football is a sinister plot to kill our young men.

But no matter - you’ll find this story about the deaths of nine former football players from Don Bosco Prep, a nationally-known  New Jersey high school program, to be interesting.

Thanks to John Rothwell from Corpus Christi, Texas for the link.
 
https://expo.nj.com/sports/g66l-2019/07/1aab74958c6745/9-exathletes-from-a-top-nj-school-have-died-since-2014-why.html

*********** Major League Soccer (an oxymoron if ever there were one) has evidently given its teams approval  to wear patches of gambling-oriented sponsors.  Not that there’s necessarily any connection between advertising through a sport and gambling on it, but given all the ways one can now (or soon) gamble on sports, I have to wonder who would gamble on soccer. (Talk about excitement: "The over/under is two.")

*********** England defeated New Zealand in the World Cup cricket final, and evidently it was owing to a freakish play or set of plays.

I probably know a lot more about cricket than most of my readers, but I don’t understand what happened, so I certainly couldn’t explain.

All I know is that after the bitter loss, New Zealand’s captain, Zane Williamson,  put on a display of sportsmanship for the ages in accepting the fact that sometimes, no matter how well you prepare and how well and how hard you play, something random - call it luck if you wish - sways the day.

This beautiful article transcends cricket and applies to all who play a competitive sport.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/27191480/what-luck-new-zealand-randomness-life-world-cup-final?platform=amp


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

Coach Latham's advice is a good reminder for me as I look forward to installing the DW at the end of July.

Coach Greg Koenig
Head Football Coach, Banning Lewis Prep Academy
Colorado Springs, Colorado

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

There are still many old-timers here in Texas that see H. Ross Perot as the catalyst for what they viewed as the eventual demise of Texas high school football.  While it isn't what it once was, in many respects Texas is still the stronghold of high school football in America, however...after living and coaching football here for the past nine years Texas hasn't become immune to the perils of what the game faces today.  Participation numbers in the public schools has noticeably dropped, and many private schools have been forced to go to the 6-man game.  The only schools that appear to have escaped the trend are the largest schools in 6A and 5A.

Met Don Brown many years ago attending a clinic while he was the head coach at Plymouth State (NH).  Amiable personality, but one intense coach (in a good way) on the field.  Recruited a couple of my Trinity boys.

Haven't met a hockey coach I didn't like.

If not for a lapse in judgement I still consider Joe Pa to be one of the top college football coaches of all-time.

Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Despite playing in a conference long dominated by Oklahoma and Nebraska, Kansas was once pretty good.  It was good while Bobby Douglass was their quarterback.

A native Kansan, he played high school ball for his dad, and as a Jayhawk he was twice named All-Big Eight and QB, and was the All-American QB in 1968.  The ’68 Jayhawks finished 9-2, losing the Orange Bowl to Penn State and its first-ever unbeaten team when the Lions scored at the end of the game and went for two and the win - and were stopped.  But after the officials counted 12 Kansans on the field, Penn State tried again, and this time they got the two points and the win.

He was drafted in the second round by the Bears, for whom he played from 1969 to 1975. 

He was 6-4, 225 and a great all-round athlete. A left hander, he had a strong but somewhat inaccurate arm, but he remains one of the best running QBs in NFL history.

In 1972 he rushed for 968 yards on 141 attempts, a yardage record that lasted for 34 years - until Michael Vick broke it by 71 yards, with a two-game longer NFL regular season.

In 1973, against the rival Packers, he ran for four touchdowns, an NFL record he still shares with Billy Kilmer.

Unfortunately, with him as their starter, the Bears’ record was just 13-31-1.

In 1975 he was traded to the Chargers, and in an 11-year NFL he career he also played for the Saints, Raiders and Packers, before retiring after the 1979 season.
Despite his running ability, he had his problems as a passer: in his career he was 507 of 1178 (well under 50%) for 36 touchdowns and - get ready for this - 64 interceptions.

At the end of his football career, Bobby Douglass was signed to a minor league baseball contract by Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck, who saw a possible chance to sell a few tickets, but evidently his control was still a problem, and the experiment was cut short.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BOBBY DOUGLASS:


JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
SHEP CLARKE - PUYALLUP, WASHINGTON
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

*********** My cousin who lived in Chicago his entire life, and who owned popular eating/drinking establishments in the city that catered to Chicago pro sports stars, once quipped about Bobby Douglass that he couldn't throw a beach ball into Lake Michigan but could probably run around it a few times.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** As a Bears fan, Friday’s answer is Bobby Douglass.  He was asked to switch to running back, but stayed at quarterback.

Mike Framke
Green Bay, Wisconsin

*********** At first, I saw "Kansas"..."Quarterback"... and thought, "YEAH!  Nolan Cromwell..."
NO!!"

The Bears?  Slightly less than 1000 yards RUSHING?  It could only be Douglass.
As long as there is a Douglass somewhere working 'n clawing 'n scratching, there's hope.  The NFL is in the business - especially these days - of selling a PRODUCT.  A Douglass is not a Product, not a part of the NFL System.

Charlie Wilson
Crystal River, Florida

*********** being from southeastern indiana our regional team on tv most weeks was "da bears'....so i got to see the trials and tribulations of bobby douglas.....i remember the 12 on the field game and reading about it in sports illustrated.....no picture but some type of drawing of how Kansas lined up.....i'm researching for that pic
Kevin McCullough
Lakeville, Indiana

Thanks to Coach McCullough’s research, we have the Sports Illustrated story on the Kansas 12 man defense - which the Jayhawks apparently had been using for Penn State’s entire final drive, and not just the final two-point conversion.

https://www.si.com/vault/issue/43416/25

*********** From Greg Koenig - a great NFL feature on Bobby Douglass

https://youtu.be/oo9Drv_HZow


QUIZ - He was a lawyer first and a football coach second. He was a practical joker who was beloved in Nashville social and business circles.

He was regarded as one of the best attorneys in Nashville, and his success as a coach there has not been matched. He was a charter member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

He came from an Iowa town so small that it couldn’t field a football team.

He attended Drake and played football there, but after two years he was admitted to Michigan Law School. While at Michigan, with two years of eligibility remaining, he played for the Wolverines.

Those were the Point-A-Minute teams of the great Fielding H. Yost (they outscored opponents 1211 to 12 in the years 1901-1902), and as a guard he opened holes for the great Willie Heston.  (A 14-man Wolverine squad went west to play in the first-ever Rose Bowl game, and defeated Stanford, 49-0.  Perhaps because of the beating, it was another 14 years before the next Rose Bowl Game was played.)

In 1903 he was an assistant to Yost, and in 1904 he got his first head coaching job, at Vanderbilt - one that he would hold for 30 years.

He learned Yost's lessons well - his first Vandy team outscored its opponents 454 to 4.

His 30-year record of 197-55-19 is still among the NCAA’s 25 best in terms of winning percentage. Four of his teams were undefeated,  11 more lost just one game. 

He coached his entire 30-year career at Vanderbilt.  When he retired, no coach had coached longer at one place. 

He was one of the first coaches to schedule intersectional games, his teams traveling far and wide by train. He was the first coach to pull guards to block,  the first to employ the onside kick successfully, and one of the first to emphasize the forward pass.

In 1922,  18 years after he’d become their head coach,  Vanderbilt dedicated Dudley Field,  whose capacity of 22,000  made it the largest in the South.

Grantland Rice,  the most influential sportswriter of the 20th Century and a Vanderbilt graduate, once remarked, “I didn’t have anything to write about in Nashville until (he) came to town.”

It was well-known that the University of Tennessee hired General Robert Neyland with one order: “Beat (him)”

He and coach Fielding Yost married twin sisters from Nashville and lived there as neighbors during the off-season.

Even then, Vanderbilt was not an easy place to win at, and there came a point, as there does in almost every coach’s career, when dissatisfied alumni wanted him fired. The university president’s response to them: “If (he) isn’t good enough for football at Vanderbilt, then football isn’t good enough to be played at Vanderbilt.”



Betsy Ross FlagFRIDAY,  JULY 12, 2019  “We never turn down a kid because he ran 4.8 when we were looking for a 4.7.  You’re talking about three feet in a 40-yard dash." Joe Paterno

***********  I was sorry to learn of the death of H. Ross  Perot.  

A one-time youth coach with whom I became friends turned out to be a highly-trusted executive of Mr. Perot.

From my friend’s devotion to the man,  it was obvious how much he respected him.

I certainly respected and admired Mr. Perot.  He was a great American - a man of vision and accomplishment.

He created more real jobs and more real wealth than any dozen politicians.

But there was a lot more.  My friend wrote,

“Sure, he created a ton of jobs... but even in his final days he was at his office looking for ways to help veterans and their families.  I doubt that any human that has walked this earth has done more for veterans than Ross.  What I loved about him was that he always put honor and integrity at the forefront of it all, and didn't make a big deal out of any of it.” 

May he rest in peace.


***********  H. ROSS PEROT WAS NOT ALWAYS LOVED BY TEXAS FOOTBALL COACHES...

By JIM VERTUNO, Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Part of late billionaire H. Ross Perot's legacy is a clear-cut rule about Texas high school sports: If a student can't pass class, they can't play.

The law, with its catchy "No Pass, No Play" nickname, has been in place since 1984. When first signed by Gov. Mark White, coaches and communities worried their best players, most notably in football, would be sidelined and troubled students would drop out of school.


The resulting firestorm helped lead to White's re-election defeat in 1986. Although softened a bit to help students get back on the field quicker if their grades improve, the law is still in place.

Perot, who died Tuesday of leukemia at 89, was appointed by White in 1983 to lead an initiative to improve Texas public education. The result was a series of proposals to reduce class size and to create both teacher merit pay raises and a high school basic skills graduation test.

But in the land of "Friday Night Lights," where coaches were often paid more than principals, and the excesses of high school football saw some wealthy schools charter airliners to state championship games, it was No Pass, No Play that sparked an uproar.

Failing students had to sit out for six weeks. Not just games, but practice too. Until then, local schools decided eligibility and the Texas law was hailed as the first of its kind in the nation.

"If the people of Texas want Friday night entertainment instead of education, let's find out about it," Perot said at one public hearing.

The impact was immediate. The first semester it was in place, more than 15 percent of all varsity football players and 40 percent of all junior varsity and freshman players statewide were benched. One Houston school lost 90 out of 190 players.

Charles Breithaupt, executive director of the University Interscholastic League , the governing body of Texas high school sports, was a basketball coach in 1984. He said coaches resented the diminutive big city businessman with the quirky voice telling them what to do.

"They looked at him as an affront. We were all offended. We were trying to protect our turf," Breithaupt said. "What was lost was that his message was 'school is first.' He was one of the few people who had the courage to say what he said. No one else would have gone against the coaches association."

D.W. Rutledge, who had just been promoted to head coach at a state championship program near San Antonio, said while some coaches worried about winning and losing, others didn't want struggling students booted out of their programs entirely.

"I lost a couple," said Rutledge, who would go on to win four state titles. "They dropped out of the program, dropped out of school and got in trouble with the law. We were taking them out of a wholesome environment and putting them on the street."

Legal challenges followed. A lawsuit to overturn No Pass, No Play reached the state Supreme Court in 1985 and the law was upheld. The next year, the state's influential coaching community mobilized to support Republican Bill Clements in a successful bid to unseat White.

"It was heated," Rutledge said. "We had a deal where every coach wore a red dot on their watch to remind them not to vote for White."

White implored lawmakers to leave No Pass, No Play intact when he left office.


"Leave it alone," White said in 1987. "Let's be real: Anyone who can study a playbook can study a textbook. Americans didn't get to the moon on a quarterback sneak."

Within a decade, lawmakers reduced the law's punitive measures. Failing students are allowed to practice even if they are suspended from competition. And they can return in three weeks instead of six if they show progress academically.

"Perot, his heart was in the right place," Breithaupt said. "He was trying to raise the standard of education in the state ... It was best for Texas in the long run."

http://www.fox4news.com/sports/high-school/-no-pass-no-play-rule-part-of-ross-perot-s-legacy-in-texas

*********** Philadelphia thought it had found a way to keep feral teens out of their parks at night - a device that makes an obnoxious noise that can only be heard by teens and young adults (whose hearing hasn’t yet been damaged by listening to loud music).

Predictably, the city’s action has produced the usual bleeding hearts, complaining that the city is illegally profiling  “teens,” who they say are as entitled to use the parks as anyone else.

(Actually, after seeing the “teens” and “young adults” storming and looting a downtown Philadelphia Walgreen’s last week, maybe the city would be better off with them in the parks.)

https://www.npr.org/2019/07/10/739908153/can-you-hear-it-sonic-devices-play-high-pitched-noises-to-repel-teens

*********** Allysia Finley, in the Wall Street Journal, notes that there is actually a positive side to the fact that women on the U.S. women’s national soccer team are paid less than their counterparts on the U.S. men’s team:

“Nearly every woman on the U.S. team is a college graduate. That’s the flip side of the pay-disparity coin: women have no financial inducement to skip college for the pros because the maximum salary in the National Women’s Soccer League is $46,200, less than a scholarship.

“As a result, America’s female soccer players have greater career possibilities and earnings potential than members of the U.S. men’s team or players in other countries after their days of playing soccer are done.”

Megan Rapinoe’s response (my best guess):

“Just gimme the f—kin’ money.  Now.”


*********** A little background…

I got the following from an old friend named Kevin Latham.  I first met Coach Latham at one of my clinics in Atlanta, and we hit it off right away.  At the time, he was coaching a middle school team in Decatur, Georgia, and he bought into the Double Wing concept all the way.

At around that time,  another coaching  friend from Washington, DC named Dwayne Pierce happened to mention to me that he was going to Atlanta for a few days.  Coach Pierce had been running my system for a few years and he’d been through the wars with all the naysayer parents,  and I suggested that he while he was in Atlanta, he ought to get in touch with Kevin.

Coach Pierce did just that, and in the process helped Coach Latham out of a jam common to a lot of young coaches.  It made all the difference in what turned out to be a nice career for Coach Latham, culminating in the head coaching job at Decatur’s Columbia High School.

I had the pleasure of working with his kids on a couple of occasions, and I was really impressed with the job he did.

Coach Latham and I have remained close friends over the years. Now retired,  he wrote me to pass along some of the wisdom he acquired, starting with the day he met Coach Pierce…

Hi Coach Wyatt,

I wanted to share a little bit about my story with the first year double wing coaches. Feel free to repost any or all of it that you think would be valuable to a young coach getting started in our system.

As the season approaches, I’ve been reflecting a lot on my very first year running the offense way back in 2000. It was quite a year. After attending my first double wing clinic I was sold. I worked hard learning the offense, installed it by the book and proceeded to go out and get killed.

And to make it worse, I had no idea how to fix the problem. I would study our games and was baffled at how little the kids seemed to be retaining. We were all over the place.

Well, to make a long story at least bearable, it was a very timely visit from Coach Dwayne Pierce that got our team moving in the right direction. After watching about an hour or so of practice Coach Pierce’s diagnosis was a simple one. He told me “Coach, I think you’re trying to do too much.” The rest of it he was nice enough not to say. Of course that was that we weren’t very good at all at the things we were doing.

We immediately threw out about 80% of the playbook and he helped me get serious about teaching the kids how to run 3 or 4 plays well. I believe we started with a wedge, a power, a counter, and one pass. That was it. After just a few days we started to look like a solid double wing football team. And all it took was to have someone that knew what it was supposed to look like, take a look. I’ll never forget Coach Pierce’s kindness and willingness to help a first year guy.

Looking back on it, my struggles were pretty natural. Everything I knew as a player and a coach led me to believe that I would need a weighty playbook if I was going to compete at the high school level. So I took my fresh Double Wing playbook and proceeded to teach  (along with the base stuff) a screen, a shuffle pass, a trap,and  an option play with G blocking all because I thought I needed that variety to win.

Of course this was totally the wrong approach. It was waaaay too much, waaaay too soon. I hadn’t even learned how to teach the fundamentals properly. It was only when I went back to basics that our kids started to turn it around. They weren’t punks. They didn’t lack heart. They weren’t lazy, or forgetful. They just needed better coaching. They needed more reps, fewer plays, greater attention to detail, and a wealth of encouragement and we got better pretty quickly.

I say all that to say this to the first year guys. Take it one step at a time, and get damn good at running a good power play before you do anything else. Make sure you get the fine line DVD, it’s as important as the playbook.

I’ve been studying the Open Wing dvds recently. It’s a great addition to what we already do. But even if you plan to use it, please get good at running the core double wing package from under center. It will provide the necessary context you need be be a successful Open Wing team AND you will have the sheer power of our beloved core double wing system at your disposal.

One more thing.. The best thing you have at your disposal is a community of coaches that love the offense. And if you reach out to them,  they will gladly help get your team going. We can’t help it. We love it that much.

I can’t forget your friend and mentor Coach Wyatt who backs up his system with the best customer service you could ever hope for. Reach out to him and I can promise you he’ll reach back. Thanks for everything, Coach.

Have a great season guys! If you’re doing it right, in every game you’ll either win or learn. Hopefully both!

If there’s anything I can do to help, you can reach me through Coach Wyatt or email me at bkevinlatham@mac.com

All the best,

Coach Kevin Latham
Decatur, Georgia

Man, he nailed it.  Beautifully written and well said.  Maybe coming from Coach Latham, a guy who’s been there and done that, it will help drive the point home to younger coaches who’ve been convinced they need 50 or 60 plays: keep it simple and teach it well.  I try to say it in my playbook, but I probably ought to say it even more frequently and emphatically - nobody can run every play in the playbook.  Yes, you can win with just four plays - wedge, power, counter, pass.  Nothing wrong with adding a new play - but just one - every week. But first, make sure that your kids can run those four plays VERY well and that they’re VERY confident in their ability to run them. (If I were a young coach in the Atlanta area,  I’d want to tap into Coach Latham’s wealth of knowledge.)

*********** It’s a good thing that Yale didn’t hire Don Brown…

Yale twice had a shot at him but for reasons known only to those in the inner sanctum who make the big decisions, he was found wanting.

Instead, in 2009 they hired a guy named Tom Williams.  At the time, Don Brown was DC at Maryland, after having spent  five years  as head coach at UMass - the most successful five-year run in that school's history.  Under him, the Minutemen had gone 43-19, and never had a losing season.

In three years at New Haven,  Tom Williams, with no previous head coaching experience,  went 16-14. But the 14 losses including three straight to Harvard.  In one of them, the Bulldogs led, 10-7, late in the fourth quarter when, deep in their own territory, Williams called for a fake punt.  It failed.  And 53 seconds later, Harvard threw for a score to make the final Harvard 14, Yale 10.

Williams was fired after three seasons when his claim of having been a Rhodes Scholarship finalist proved to be spurious.

With the Yale job open once more, this time it went to an unknown assistant named Tony Reno.  In his seven years at Yale, Reno has gone 38-32.  Yes, he did win one Ivy League championship, and he has beaten Harvard twice, but he’s had just three winning seasons,  and he’s only 2-5 against Harvard.

The word at the time was that Don Brown, then the DC at UConn, was offered the job - and turned it down. 

Good move, coach.

He’s now Michigan’s DC - has been since 2016.  Michigan pays a lot better than Yale.

He just signed a new three-year contract extension that’s said to be worth $4.9 million.

In addition, he’s eligible for up to $500,000 a year in incentive pay, based on these potential bonuses:

$50,000 if Michigan finishes in the top four in the Big Ten in scoring defense
$50,000 if Michigan finishes in the top four in the Big Ten in total defense
$50,000 if Michigan finishes among the top 20 in the Power Five in the Big Ten in scoring defense
$50,000 if Michigan finishes among the top 20 in the Power Five in the Big Ten in total defense
$75,000 if Michigan wins nine regular season games
$75,000 each for wins Number 10, 11, and 12

My intimate, personal encounter with Don Brown:  It was the Friday before a UMass-Army game, and I was in Michie Stadium following Army’s workout when the UMass team came onto the field.  I wanted to stay and watch,  but obviously I wouldn’t do so without permission, so I managed to find the head coach - Don Brown -  and I introduced myself and asked him if it was all right for me to watch.  No problem at all, he said.  He was very cordial.

That was my only exposure to the guy.  He could just as easily have been a prick.  But he wasn’t.  So I came away liking him. And now I'm glad he's making maybe four times what he'd have been making as head coach at Yale.

*********** What few people know about Michigan DC Don Brown is that in 1992,  after Yale fired its head baseball coach right before the season, he was named as the replacement.

He didn’t have a lot of baseball experience - he’d played in high school, he’d been an assistant coach at a high school, he’d thrown batting practice occasionally at Yale.  And he was a big Red Sox fan.

But Yale didn’t want to be rushed into making a hasty hire, so Brown,  then a Yale football assistant, was asked to take the job on an interim basis.

In his first meeting as a head coach, he told the players not to worry about his lack of baseball experience: “I’m a good coach, and you’ll enjoy playing for me.”

How’d he do? Not bad.  The Bulldogs were 26-10, and made it to the  NCAA post-season tournament, their first appearance in 44 years.  The last time it happened was 1948, when the Elis made it to the College World Series. where they lost to USC, three games to one. The captain of that Yale team was a Navy veteran named Bush.  George H. W. Bush. (In the photo below, with baseball immortal Babe Ruth.)
babe ruth and GHW BUsh

https://www.toledoblade.com/College/2018/04/13/Season-as-Yale-baseball-coach-left-lasting-impact-on-Don-Brown-players.html


*********** I think the simplest solution to the “equal pay for equal play” crap that’s been occupying the minds of every fan of the US women’s national soccer team is to cut the pay of the men’s players.

Number one, it would shut the women up. Maybe.

Number two, considering the mildness of Americans’ interest in American men’s soccer, and considering how many of the American men are minor leaguers by world standards, it would pay the men what they’re really worth.

*********** John Krupinsky is an assistant coach with a minor league hockey team in Danbury, Connecticut, and before the team’s first practice, he set a few things straight.

“We’re not women’s soccer. We’re not the NFL,” he starts out. “If there’s anybody here that’s going to be disrespectful to either the American or the Canadian national anthem, grab your gear and get the f–k out now ‘cause you’ll never see the ice in this arena.”

He goes on…

“We don’t have that problem in hockey.  We’re better than that, but there was no sense in wasting anybody’s time if that shit was going to happen. I don’t believe it would happen here. We’re the most patriotic sport that they have out there, so just keep that in mind. Thank you.”

Of course, he’s addressing minor league hockey players, most of whom will never see an NHL arena except as spectators.   In women’s soccer and the NHL, though, they NEED their star players, so they tolerate them, whether they be America haters or wife beaters.

https://sports.yahoo.com/hockey-coach-respect-the-anthem-or-get-the-f-out-were-not-womens-soccer-220707485.html

*********** Jim Bouton died.  Blame him and his book, “Ball Four,”  for opening the door to the baseball clubhouse and letting the public see for the first time what jerks professional athletes could be.

In his New York Times obit:

“Ball Four,” published in 1970, reported on the selfishness, dopiness, childishness and meanspiritedness of young men often lionized for playing a boy’s game very well, and many readers saw it, approvingly or not, as a scandalous betrayal of the baseball clubhouse.


*********** There once was a time when Penn State turned out great linebackers, year after year, earning it the nickname “Linebacker U.”

To name the best of them:  LaVar Arrington, Ralph Baker, Greg Buttle, Shane Conlin, Dan Connor, Jack Ham, Sean Lee,   Ed O’Neill,  Dennis Onkotz,  Paul Posluszny,  Dave Robinson and Brandon Short  (Matt Millen could be in there, too, because he played linebacker in the NFL, but he played on the defensive line at Penn State).

How did it happen?  For one thing, great coaching.  First there was Dan Radakovich, who went on to coach the Steelers’ defensive line.  He was followed by  a guy named - sorry, but he was a really good linebacker coach - Jerry Sandusky.

But then there was the recruiting, and it was, as the cliche goes, “outside the box.”

In the clinic notes from the 1976 “All Sports Clinic” in Anaheim, Joe Paterno said some interesting things about Penn State’s approach.

(Some of the heights and weights and times, it should be understood, have changed considerably since he spoke, but you’ll get the point.)

“I always get a kick out of these pro people.  If a guy is 6-3, weighs 240, runs 4.8 - he’s a hell of a prospect.  He comes out of the computer great.  But if he’s 6-2 and 240 and runs 4.9, he’s way down in the middle, and it doesn’t make any sense to me.

“There is an intangible involved in football and I think especially in linebacking.  If there is any one position where athletic sense and judgement is important it has to be linebacker.  When we recruit football players for linebackers we would rather see them play basketball than clock them.  We like to see them jump a little, take the ball down the floor, use a little judgement when he is caught in a fast break, and see if he can accelerate to the ball when he’s free.

“All of these things are important in an athlete and I’m not going to judge an athlete by his 40 yard dash time.  We time them and all that kind of stuff because the pros want it. We have a pro day and all that kind of stuff, but we aren’t looking for track people when we recruit.”

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

Thank you for sharing Lainey's story, and the relationships that can develop between us humans and dogs.  Your story validates the statement... "A dog IS a man's (and woman's) best friend."  

Lee Iacocca could have been President.  Unfortunately he would likely have had to endure the same treatment as our current President.

Megan Rapinoe is the ultimate Democrat (and ultimate hypocrite), and she proves it each time she opens her mouth.  Those morons in the bistro (I doubt THEY were in a pub) must have been her close friends.

Coach Crump and I share a commonality.  Years ago when Lou Holtz was the HC at Notre Dame, and I was coaching high school football in California, I had the opportunity to fly to South Bend and attend an ND Spring Coaches Clinic.  It was early April so it was cold.  I thought I brought enough warm clothing with me, and while watching practice on Friday afternoon I felt comfortable.  After practice the ND staff hosted a barbecue chicken dinner for all the coaches.  Unbeknownst to me my name was called to join the ND staff at their table for having traveled the furthest to attend the clinic.  So...there I was...having dinner with Coach Holtz, Joe Moore, Tom Clements, Rick Minter, and a few other Irish coaches answering questions about what school I coached, what positions, and just football talk in general.  Not sure if I actually carried on a conversation because I was so overwhelmed by it all.  However...that wasn't the end of it.  After the evening was over I left to catch the shuttle to St. Mary's where I was staying.  By now the weather had turned, started snowing, and I was getting colder by the minute.  I had been waiting for about 10 minutes when out walked Coach Holtz.  He asked what I was doing standing in the snow and I told him.  He told me to jump into his car and he would give me a ride!  On the way over he asked if I was having a good time, and how I liked the clinic.  He then asked me "from one coach to another" after watching practice that day what I thought would be his toughest task with the offense.  I was fumbling around for an answer and he said, "Don't give me something you think I want to hear.  As a coach what do you think?"  I said, "Kevin McDougal (he was the heir apparent to Rick Mirer), if Kevin can learn to manage the offense, and not imitate Mirer, I think you guys will win a lot of games."  He looked at me and said, "you must be a mind reader!"    It was a short drive to St. Mary's and as we arrived at the guest house  he shook my hand, told me to see one of his coaches in the morning, and that the coach would get me a pass to be on the field for the Blue and Gold game.  Needless to say...one of THE highlights of my coaching career!

Army better win 10 games with that schedule!  Anything less would be disappointing.

Talk soon.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** I’m not done with Bump and Pete Elliott yet.  I failed to mention that Pete Elliott remains the only 12-letter winner in University of Michigan history, with four each in football, basketball and golf.

*********** QUIZ ANSWER (He has already been a quiz subject, but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to include some amazing facts about Jim Crowley, who not only was one of the famous Four Horsemen at Notre Dame,  but during his career worked very closely with some of the most legendary coaches in football history:

His high school football coach was Curly Lambeau, one of the  founding fathers of the NFL and  a longtime NFL coach (for whom the Green Bay Packers' field is named).

His college coach was Knute Rockne, one of the greatest coaches of all time.

His line coach at Fordham (where he was the head coach) was Frank Leahy, who went on to win four national championships as head coach at Notre Dame.  (Leahy’s record at Notre Dame - 107–13–9)

And his right guard, Vince Lombardi,  became a pro football legend.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JIM CROWLEY:

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

*********** Adam Wesoloski writes,  from Pulaski, Wisconsin (near Green Bay)…

Jim Crowley played at GB East and was part of the long standing GB East vs. West rivalry -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Bay_East%E2%80%94Green_Bay_West_football_rivalry 

City Stadium is still in use too. Packers played there before moving to Lambeau.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_Stadium_(Green_Bay)

*********** Greg Koenig writes…  “he must have been able to tell some amazing stories.”

He sure could.  For years “Sleepy Jim” Crowley was in great demand as an after-dinner speaker.

https://www.upi.com/Archives/1986/01/15/Jim-Crowley-legendary-football-star/1572506149200/

*********** BONUS QUESTION ANSWERED (Colleges that produced both a President  and a Super Bowl winning QB)

"sleepy jim" crowley.....three schools easy...michigan...navy...miami of ohio(visited there a lot when terry hoeppner was assistant and head coach + had to take indiana history in sixth grade....did not know president hoover was a stanford grad....you could write a lot of football history about those four schools - Kevin McCullough, Lakeville, Indiana

Miami U Harrison Roethlisberger
Stanford Hoover Elway & Plunkett
U Michigan Ford Brady
Navy Carter Stauback
Ken Hampton, Raleigh, North Carolina

*********** QUIZ- Despite playing in a conference long dominated by Oklahoma and Nebraska, Kansas was once pretty good.  It was good while he was there and he was their quarterback.

A native Kansan, he played high school ball for his dad, and as a Jayhawk he was twice named All-Big Eight  QB, and was the All-American QB in 1968.  The ’68 Jayhawks finished 9-2, losing the Orange Bowl to Penn State and its first-ever unbeaten team when the Lions scored at the end of the game and went for two and the win - and were stopped.  But after the officials counted 12 Kansans on the field, Penn State tried again, and this time they got the two points and the win.

He was drafted in the second round by the Bears, for whom he played from 1969 to 1975.

He was 6-4, 225 and a great all-round athlete. A left hander, he had a strong but frequently inaccurate arm, but he remains one of the best running QBs in NFL history.

In 1972 he rushed for 968 yards on 141 attempts, a yardage record that lasted for 34 years - until Michael Vick broke it by 71 yard (aided by a two-game-longer NFL regular season).

In 1973, against the rival Packers, he ran for four touchdowns, an NFL record he still shares with Billy Kilmer.

Unfortunately, with him as their starter, the Bears’ record was just 13-31-1.

In 1975 he was traded to the Chargers, and in an 11-year NFL career he also played for the Saints, Raiders and Packers, before retiring after the 1979 season.

Despite his running ability, he had his problems as a passer: in his career he was 507 of 1178 (well under 50%) for 36 touchdowns and - get ready for this - 64 interceptions.

At the end of his football career, he was signed to a minor league baseball contract by Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck, who saw a possible chance to sell a few tickets, but evidently his control was still a problem, and the experiment was cut short.


Betsy Ross FlagTUESDAY,  JULY 9, 2019  -  "If you're not loaded down with reasons why something won't work, the reasons why it can work become much clearer. " MIke Leach

Lainey collage

********* I’ve already mentioned that we lost our dog, Lainey,  a week ago.  I know.

I’ve been really bummed - as has my wife - and I’m sorry to say that the following is by no means written to amuse or enlighten.  Feel free to skip over it as you wish.   I simply had to write it, and as I did, it seemed to write itself.

Lainey hadn’t been her usual active self for the last month or so, and we’d had no success finding out what was wrong.  In fact, the afternoon before she died,  we’d had blood drawn for testing.  We’d resisted having the radiographs that the vets recommended to see if there was something seriously wrong internally, because we didn’t want to have her put under.

After the sedation required to draw blood, she was quite lethargic, which was understandable, and she went to sleep early.  But a little after  midnight she began breathing heavily and was barely able to move.  When she didn’t improve, we rushed her to the 24/7 emergency veterinary hospital at about 3:30 AM, where they admitted her - as critical (!).  They even asked, as they wheeled her away, if we wanted them to perform CPR if necessary.

Come on, I wanted to say.  Just fix her up and let the three of us go home and go back to bed.

But as we waited for word,  a vet came out and said that Lainey had a fair amount of fluid in her abdomen, and there was blood in the fluid, which indicated a bleeding tumor, likely malignant.  Surgery was an option, but she wasn’t in great shape at that point, and with the likelihood of the tumor being malignant,  even “successful” surgery - followed by chemotherapy - meant at most another six months of life, and probably a miserable  life at that.

It took me a few moments to digest what we’d just been told. But I just couldn’t accept  that it was over - that suddenly, our beloved dog was at her life’s end.

Near shock at the realization, we nonetheless elected to have her put to sleep.

We petted her and kissed her and watched her leave us.  We kissed her again and left her forever.  Just like that.

It was in the fall of 2010 that we “met.”  We were back in Durham, NC for the Duke-Army game, and our daughter and son-in-law, who live in Durham, were fostering this dog, one of many they’d had over the years,  a dog with one blue eye and one brown. She was a year or so old.  Her name was Lainey.  I took her for a walk and played with her, and before the weekend was over I was in love with her. I even mentioned offhand to my wife the ridiculous idea of adopting her and somehow getting her to the Northwest.

Shortly after we flew home,  someone actually did adopt her.  I was upset.  But as luck would have it,  the adopting party found herself allergic to Lainey and had to return her.  This time we went for it. Lainey was flown across the country in the hold of a plane (or two), and when we went to get her  the air freight people warned me that there might be some skittishness on her part after the trauma of the long flight.  But as I approached her kennel, all I could hear was the thump-thump-thump - of her wagging tail.   That was Lainey.  Whenever her tail wagged, the whole dog wagged.  (And as we were to discover,  her tail was usually wagging.)

Maybe most amazing of all - after she’d spent more than 10 hours in a crate, everything inside it was dry.

One of the first things she did was to teach our Cairn Terrier - whom we’d rescued after she’d outlived her usefulness to a  puppy mill in Missouri, and who was still scared of her own shadow - how to be a dog.  Lainey’s influence on that poor, little, much-abused dog was near-miraculous.

I had almost nine years with Lainey.  I wouldn’t exactly say that she was a one-man dog, but  being a pack dog - a Carolina Dog -  I was definitely her pack leader. (My wife thinks she may have worked her way up to second in the pack).  In Lainey’s eyes I could do no wrong, and she lived to please me. She wasn’t entirely happy when I was out of her sight, and when I was away, she would camp by the front window to wait for my return.  When I would sit down to write, she would lie down under the table.  When I would talk on the phone, she would lie down under a nearby desk.  When we ate dinner, she lay at my feet.  (We found ourselves doing a lot less traveling over the last few years because I just couldn’t bear to leave her alone in a kennel for any length of time;  in truth, I was hers as much as she was mine.)

She was well trained. She never tried to get on furniture, never took food that wasn’t hers, never ate anything on the ground outside, and never had an “accident” indoors.  She was able to learn all sorts of things (and words) because she had the key ingredients of coachability - intelligence and a desire to please the coach.

She had a marvelous disposition.  Extremely affectionate, she wanted to meet - and be liked by - everyone she saw.  The most common word used to describe her by those she met was “sweet.”

I’ve never seen a dog so capable of fixing you with a stare.  She would paw me to get my attention, then sit and gaze at me with those two eyes - the blue one could bore a hole in you - as if to ask, “Whaddaya want to do?”  She was up for anything, but she’d happily settle for a protracted petting:  “How about I just sit here for an hour or so and you pet me while you think of something to do?”

She was curious and always wanted to know what I was doing, often standing on her hind legs to see what I might be holding in my hand.

She was the most athletic dog I’ve ever seen.  She could go bounding into the woods and out of sight and then, five minutes later, show up someplace totally unexpected - and  a considerable  distance from where I’d last seen her.  She would jump into the river or a lake or plow into surf to retrieve sticks or balls.  She was always the fastest dog at the dog park, exasperating other dog owners by chasing down their dogs’ balls - then taking them back to the owners and sitting, waiting patiently for them to throw again.  

A pack of dogs like Lainey could rid us of soccer.  She could spot a soccer ball left behind on a field from a quarter mile away, and once she did, that ball was hers. She’d proudly trot home with the damn thing in her mouth, and over the years our back yard resembled a soccer ball graveyard.  In the spring, when we’d walk past a softball field, she’d disappear into the woods for a few minutes and invariably return with a long-lost softball in her mouth. 

She was my constant companion on our three walks a day.  We walked the hilly streets of Camas, we walked the wooded trails around our home, we walked along the river, and we walked the beach at Ocean Shores. I figure that in our time together, she and I walked well over 6,000 miles - that’s the equivalent of walking across the US and back).  She was my constant companion, as close as I’ve ever come to having a bosom buddy. Now, I find I can’t walk anywhere without remembering having walked there with her.

A few years ago, she tore ligaments in her right stifle (hind knee), and with surgery required,  the vet recommended doing both knees at the same time, given the strong possibility of imminent injury to the other knee as well.  The surgery went well and so did the rehab process, a long and slow test of my patience and persistence, and she returned to maybe 90 per cent of where she’d been before.  It was the most we were told we could expect, and we were delighted with the outcome. So, too, was she.

Last Thanksgiving, we lost our little Cairn, who had grown to be a very nice dog.  My wife really loved her, and missed her dearly, but at least Lainey was there to pick up the slack, and she did her damnedest.

Now, with Lainey gone, for one of the few times in our married life we’re without a dog. There’s a great emptiness in our lives.  We turn back, hoping to see her lying there in our Expedition.  Our house, which seemed perfect for the three of us, now seems unreasonably large for only two.

I could go on, but there’s no point - other than catharsis.  Everybody loves their dog, or should, the way I loved Lainey, and everybody who’s ever loved a dog has felt the pain we feel, and understands.

I’m heartbroken. But I’m grateful to God that He lent Lainey to us for all those wonderful years.

*********** Lee Iacocca died recently. 

He was blunt and straight-spoken, and although he was a rising star at Ford Motor Company, evidently he pissed off Henry Ford II, which is not a wise career move.

One Iacocca story: After he had managed to get huge concessions from the United Auto Workers in their bargaining,  a reporter yelled at him:

“You got what you wanted from the workers, but what did the workers get?”

At that, Iacocca stopped, turned around to face the guy, and said,  “A job, you idiot!”

At one time, he was one of the most famous men in America, and was even suggested as presidential material.

A reporter happened to ask Mrs. Pat Nixon what she thought of his prospects.

As I remember the story, she said she didn’t think his prospects were very good, because he was a lot like her late husband.

How so? asked the reporter.

Well, said Mrs. Nixon, just like her husband, Mr. Iacocco didn’t suffer fools gladly.

The problem with that, she said, was first of all, there are so many fools.

And second of all, not everyone that you think is a fool turns out to be one.

*********** I’ve read a good deal about Ike, but my attention never has been drawn to his abilities as a coach. That was fun and enlightening reading. Off topic a bit, but I knew well a really fine tackle on the 1969 Army team (Bob Ivany) who I thought was president of St Mary's of San Antonio. When I double checked, though, he's president of St Thomas in Houston. In any case, I've never met a man of stronger character than Bob Ivany.

Guess I'm surprised at all the comments about Dan Riley.

Megan Rapinoe: since this round of women's soccer started, I've been looking closely at the media coverage. Every day in this state's largest-circulation paper, there are two photos of her, and every story centers on her, almost to the exclusion of the other players. They love her because of her sexual preference, but mainly because she's anti-Trump.


John Vermillion                                
St Petersburg, Florida

*********** I had breakfast with coach Wilkinson, Duffy Daugherty and Lou Holtz one early morning in Louisville at the old Kellogg's Clinic that coach Wilkinson and Daugherty started.  I had a table by myself in the corner and it was standing room only at the time for the breakfast buffet.  I was reading and eating when a voice from behind, asked me if I was eating alone and when I said yes he asked if he and two friends could join me at my table.  Without ever looking up I said certainly be my guest.  The voice that asked me for a seat had been Lou Holtz, he sat down on my right, followed by Duffy Daugherty who sat in front of me and last to sit on my left was coach Wilkinson.  Needless to say I was speechless!!  I was surrounded on three sides by three famous college football coaches. 

Coach Wilkinson asked my name and where I coached and I stammered thru who I was and that I had just gotten my first paying job.  Coach Daugherty told some jokes and talked about Michigan State and Coach Holtz was asking if I knew of any good players in western KY. that he might recruit to come to Arkansas. I gave him the name of a running back who was all state that played for a school that had kicked our varsity teams butt the last game of the season.  Here's the kicker, coach Holtz recruited this kid and gave him a scholarship to play.  The kid played for coach Holtz and graduated and became a doctor!  That was the most amazing breakfast that I have ever had!!!

David Crump
Owensboro, Kentucky


*********** Army’s former AD, Boo Corrigan (really? a grown man named “Boo?”) is now off to NC State, but his legacy will be a lasting one. It will be years before Army sheds the football schedules he left them.

Sure, it’s nice to schedule people you can beat, but check out this analysis by Jack Morrison, a former Army football player who writes a very incisive newsletter for Army fans:

This is  follow-up to several of my earlier emails lamenting the weak Army 2019 schedule (especially at Michie).

FYI, as a self-confessed college football stat Junkie, I subscribe to several pre-season College Football Preview magazines, including Street & Smith, Athlon, and Lindy's. IMO, Phil Steele's is far and away the most complete and accurate. It is available in most Book stores, Drug stores, and Super markets.  At $16.95 it ain't cheap, but IMO it is worth every penny.

I just bought Steele's 2019 Preview issue and was blown away by his Strength of Schedule listings for both 2018 and 2109:

                           Army         Navy        AF
          2018        #112          #81         #41
          2019        #128          #71         #81

Guys, there are only 130 FBS teams total. Army's 2019 SOS beats only TWO other FBS teams: UAB (which dropped football completely after the 2014 season, then went on hiatus for 2 years before returning in 2017); and Appalachian State (which just joined the FBS in 2016 after a 2-year probationary period.)

Army plays 13 games this season since teams traveling to Hawaii are permitted an extra game (ostensibly to help defray the travel costs to play in Hawaii). Just one team on Army's 2019 schedule (Michigan - #6) is rated above Army in the final 2018 Sagarin ratings:

Michigan #6
Army #44
AF #77
Tulane #86
Navy #107
Hawaii #117
W. Kentucky #130
UMass #138
San Jose State #145
GA State #147
UT San Antonio #169
Rice #178
Morgan State* #227
VMI* #232
    * = FCS/Div. 1AA

While using last year's ratings may not be a totally accurate reflection of the respective teams in 2019 ( ie:  doesn't reflect number of returning starters or loss of key players to graduation/NFL, etc.), it is one way to make direct comparisons.

Using Sagarin, after #6 Michigan Army should be favored in every game with the possible exceptions of AF (at Colorado Springs/altitude/travel), Tulane (one of only 3 Army 2019 opponents who played in a 2018 Bowl game, but we get them at Michie), and possibly AT Hawaii (long travel/time zones).  Of course, the A/N game is always a toss-up.

Most 2019 Previews have Army winning at least 10 games.

*********** From a coach…
Couple questions:

1.      Out of shotgun on the ‘Switch’ play, how many steps is the QB taking?

This was Mouse Davis’ companion play to his all-verticals “Touchdown” Play. He called it “Touchdown SWITCH.” (We call it “RED SWITCH” or “BLUE SWITCH.”

We’re trying to fill all the deep lanes, forcing a single deep safety to choose between two men running up the seams.In both cases, the QB takes three steps as he reads the safety.

Since catching the snap requires the QB to take his eyes off the coverage briefly,  he needs to take those three steps after catching the snap (which equate to five steps from under center) in order to make his reads. Any more steps, though, would mess up the timing. 


2.      “SWOB”- can you explain?  I must be overlooking it in my materials.

Sorry for not making that clear.  It’s an acronym for “Score Without the Ball.” I believe the first person I heard use it was my friend Greg Koenig, and I have found it to be a most effective way to describe how a fake should be carried out.

3.      On the 6/7C, when the QB ‘rides’ is he sliding at all, or does he simply open up, extend arms and stay in the mesh for a step while pointing ball at backside DE trying to bait him?  Wasn’t sure if there were any slide steps like on the 6/7 G-O.
6-C

The QB doesn’t slide on 6-C (or 7-C). There is not a true “ride.” The QB only “rides” the ball in the running back’s pocket from the time the ball first contacts the back’s belly until the ball is even with the QB’s front hip. So it’s no more than a back-hip-to-front-hip “ride.” The QB opens to face the key (in this case the backside defensive end) and extends the ball at him. He doesn’t move his feet, and only “rides” the ball far as that front hip. (If he still has his hands on the ball beyond that point there’s a good chance of a bad exchange.)  One thing that does buy the QB a split second more timing to make his backside read is that we don’t allow the running back to start until the ball has hit the QB’s hands.

*********** I am at the tail end of a vacation in Lewes Delaware. We went to the U of D today and looked at my dad’s trophies and plaques. We found the Director of Football Operations and he toured us around the facilities. Here is a picture of Tommy, myself and my father at the player exit from the locker room to the stadium. The DFO let Tommy throw some passes on Tubby Raymond field. It was a good day.

My father hears about you and your blog often. He wanted to contribute a possible quiz question:

Identify four universities that have produced a president and a Super Bowl winning quarterback. Hint, Delaware is not one of them (yet).

Tom Walls
Winnipeg, Manitoba

(The first three were easy, but I had to do some digging to come up with the fourth:  MIAMI (OF OHIO). Readers are on their own for the others!)

Walls boys at Delaware

*********** At the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Brad Henton, director of tourism and admission sales, says he’s seen more than a 19 percent increase in the last year in international visitors. The British Airways flight has helped.

Interestingly, behind Canada and the UK, the museum’s third-largest international market is Australia.

It might surprise you to know that Australia, one of the world’s most urbanized nations, has long had a solid country music tradition of its own.

Slim Dusty and his classic "The Pub With No Beer." -----

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1l40SUGabg&list=PLzQXqXHFdDKo8rA5S2pehtHwtcbyb3TV3&index=10

*********** IN 1935, ’36 and ’37, three straight games between eastern powers Pitt and Fordham ended in 0-0 ties.

In the 1937 game, Pitt fumbled the ball eight times,  five of them by their star running back, Curly Stebbins.   A few days before the game, he’d suffered a broken hand when someone had stepped on it, and to protect the hand, he was wearing a leather glove, similar to those that boxers wear to hit a light bag.

Pitt coach Jock Sutherland was the classic dour Scotsman,  often called - behind his back - The Great Stone Face.

"He never smiled," said one of his former players. And if he did, he never laughed. Football came first."

He was also a man of few words who did not suffer fools gladly.

Asked why he hadn't pulled Stebbins  after his fourth fumble, Sutherland replied,  "I had no way of knowing that he was going to fumble a fifth time.”

*********** “Did the Russians pay the 2020 Democratic candidates to throw the 2020 election to President Donald Trump? Watching all four hours of the first Democratic debates, it became increasingly difficult to reach any other conclusion.” Larry Elder

*********** Drowned out by the clamor by the members of the USA women’s soccer team to be paid the same as their men’s counterparts  was the whining coming out of college baseball.

Mike Bianchi, of the Orlando Sentinel, with one of the most idiotic articles I’ve read in a long time, gave the whiners a voice.

The gist of his article  was that college baseball - a non-revenue sport at all but maybe a dozen major colleges - should have more money.

Well, yeah - and so should track and field, and rowing, and swimming, and beach volleyball and gymnastics and - you get the idea.

Big college baseball programs,  should they get the money,  would use it to to hire a third assistant, and to provide more scholarships.

Bianchi calls the current system, with “only” two paid assistants and a dozen or so scholarships - divvied up among a squad of 30-some players -  a “monumental injustice.”  He could be perhaps  forgiven the hyperbole if baseball were a moneymaker - but it’s hard to justify even two paid assistants not only when you’re losing money, but when there are D-III colleges that don’t lose nearly as much money as their D-I counterparts - and their HEAD baseball coaches aren’t full-time employees.
 
Writes Bianchi,  “NCAA member schools should be ashamed of themselves for the cheap, chinchy way they treat college baseball’s players and “volunteer” coaches. This was brought to light by two of the most prolific figures in the sport during the just-completed College World Series in Omaha.”

Bianchi quotes a Vanderbilt "coach," who tells of his plight: “I’m 32 years old,” he said.  “I’m married, I have a child, I leave the home at 7:30 every morning, I come back at 8, 9 at night. I do it Sunday through Sunday. I don’t get paid. I don’t get compensated. My wife stays home with a baby, can’t afford daycare. And God forbid he goes to daycare, gets sick; I don’t have benefits, so I can’t pay for that.

“Can't get a ticket to a football game, can't get a ticket to a basketball game, can't eat with a recruit.

“Why? I'm a volunteer.

“I stay all year, I work; I've got to go off in the summer, work camps.

“Why? I can't recruit. I'm a volunteer.

“I make camp money, I come home, put stress on my wife, can't have another child. Costs money to have children; can't do it.

“I’m a volunteer."

He wrapped it all up, saying, “It's the most short-sighted-thinking aspect of our game that we've been a part of. We lose good people to other jobs, other sports. … They leave baseball because they can't afford to stay in it. … Why that hasn't been changed, why that hasn't been turned over in the last couple of years is really, really sinful. It's dehumanizing in so many different ways.”

I mean, come on, man.  "I'm a volunteer," you say? You’re 32 f—king years old! You’ve got a family to feed!  And you’re still a volunteer?  WTF is wrong with you? 
Has it ever occurred to you that maybe it’s time to get a job? There’s a reason why interns and graduate assistants are young, single guys just out of college. 

Bianchi plays the envy game, comparing baseball to football and basketball :

"In college football and basketball, essentially every contributing athlete is on a full-ride, full-cost scholarship. In college baseball, the 35 players on a typical roster must split 11.7 scholarships. Most players get about 40% of a scholarship; some players get none. And almost all players leave college tens of thousands of dollars in debt."

Well, yeah.  I would imagine that holds true for  women’s softball and volleyball as well.  They don’t make money, either.  You think that they sympathize?

Finally, nearly out of ammunition, Bianchi had to resort to virtue signalling:

“And you wonder why baseball is the whitest of all the major “ball” sports in college, with less than 3% of rosters made up by African-Americans? It’s pretty easy to figure out, isn’t it?”

Well, Mike, it's not as easy as you suggest. And despite the suggestion, it's not racism.  It has a lot to do with the fact that young black guys simply  PREFER to play football and basketball - which, last I heard, was their right to do -  and I don’t think it has a damn thing to with whether college baseball teams have two or three paid assistant coaches, or 12 or 15 or even 20  scholarships to give out.

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/mike-bianchi-commentary/os-sp-college-baseball-injustice-unpaid-assistants-player-scholarships-20190629-5e73fpngk5chjjvhj6zrhyjsqy-story.html

*********** Mike Rowe tells a great story…   As John Vermillion puts it, “Mike Rowe is one of us.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOormXjFpG8&feature=youtu.be

***********  “He wins his battles by making no mistakes.  Making no mistakes is what established the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.”  Sun Tzu.

Coach,

What you teach and preach is supported by thousands of years of known and accepted military knowledge and philosophy. Sun Tzu would have been one heck of a football coach.

Todd Hollis
Elmwood, Illinois

*********** PETA wants Caldwell, Idaho to change the name of “Chicken Dinner Road.”

https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/northwest/idaho/article232238047.html

*********** They were white, they were young, and they had the money and time to go to France to watch a soccer game. Now, THAT’S what I call white privilege.

And there they were in a French pub (is that an oxymoron?), the women’s World Cup soccer match having just concluded,  and as the Fox commentator talked, in the  background they gleefully chanted “F—K TRUMP! F—K TRUMP! F—K TRUMP!”

Just minutes before, these well-to-do, privileged, white a$$holes had momentarily set aside their hatred for our racist, sexist, homophobic country, just  long enough to chant, “USA! USA! USA!”

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jul/7/us-soccer-fans-chant-f-trump-live-tv-shot/

*********** How in the hell do you win a football game by missing a field goal?  Canadians can tell you.

Toronto and BC came into Saturday night’s CFL game looking for their first win, and they fought to a 17-17 tie with 0:00 showing on the clock.

But BC had made sure it had time for one last play when it called a time out with a fraction of a a second left, and when the Lions attempted a 37-yard field for the win, their kicker nailed it.

But wait - a BC linemen was detected flinching, and after the five-yard penalty, the Lions lined up for another try, this time from 42 yards away.

But this kick, with 11 Toronto players - all but one - rushing, was wide, and sailed deep into the end zone.

There, Chris Rainey, the lone Toronto player who wasn’t rushing, waited to field the ball.  He still had to run it out of the end zone to avoid giving BC a “rouge” - a single point - but with all the opponents 40 yards upfield blocking, that wasn’t a tall order.

In fielding the kick, though, Rainey, who earlier in the contest had thrilled the crowd with a punt return for a touchdown,  inadvertently  stepped back over the end line - and scored the winning point for BC.

https://www.facebook.com/TSN/videos/wild-finish-between-lions-and-argos/883655515302674/


*********** QUIZ ANSWER: In the history of football, few men have accomplished anything close to what Pete and Bump Elliott did. The fact that they were brothers makes them all the more remarkable.

They were born less than two years apart.  They were teammates in high school in Bloomington, Illinois,  and at Michigan, where they played in the same backfield.  They were both named All-American, and they are both in the College Football Hall of Fame.

At Michigan, they played together for two seasons, Pete at quarterback (blocking back) and Bump at right halfback (wingback) in Fritz Crisler’s single wing.  In 1947, with both of them in the same backfield,  the Wolverines went undefeated, and won the 1948 Rose Bowl over USC, 49-0.

After college, they were assistant coaches at Oregon State for two years before going their separate ways.  Eventually, they wound up as head coaches at Big Ten schools, Pete at Illinois and Bump at Michigan,  the first pair of brothers to do so, and at the same time.

They both took their respective teams to Rose Bowl victories, and remain the only brothers to have won Rose Bowls as both players and as coaches. Pete is the last Illinois coach to win a Rose Bowl (in 1964).

After their coaching days, they both became athletic directors, Pete at Miami,  Bump at Iowa (where he hired coaching greats Dan Gable, Hayden Fry, Lute Olson, C. Vivian Stringer, and Dr. Tom Davis,)  For 18 years, Pete served as Executive Director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Their first game coaching against each other was on November 5, 1960, and their last game against each other was exactly six years later, on November 5, 1966.  (On that day, Pete’s Illini finally beat Bump and the Wolverines, after six straight losses.)

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING PETE AND BUMP ELLIOTT:

GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA - Pretty easy for a Hawkeye...Pete & Bump Elliot...2Ls...not to be confused with the Illini's Ray "The Proper State of Mind" or "Send Ameche at Me" Eliot...Side note: I heard that Eliot speech is still available, but on a podcast today!
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - Pete Elliott’s 1964 Illinois team had Dick Butkus as the MVP.

https://gobluefootballhistory.com/november-5-1960-bump-pete-elliott-made-big-ten-football-history/

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

*********** QUIZ (He has already been one of my  quiz subjects, but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to include some amazing facts about a guy who worked very closely with some of the most legendary coaches in football history:

* His high school football coach was Curly Lambeau, one of the  founding fathers of the NFL and  a longtime NFL coach (for whom the Green Bay Packers' field is named).

* His college coach was Knute Rockne, one of the greatest college coaches of all time.(His record at Notre Dame : 105-12-5)

* His line coach at Fordham (where he was the head coach) was Frank Leahy, who went on to win four national championships as head coach at Notre Dame.  (Leahy’s record at Notre Dame : 107–13–9)

* His right guard, at Fordham,  Vince Lombardi,  became a pro football coaching legend.

american flagTUESDAY,  JULY 2, 2019  -  "In a sane universe, dogs would live as long as we do." Shep Clarke, Puyallup, Washingto

********* We lost our great dog, Lainey,  early Saturday.  We are shattered.

*********** Joe Paterno was once partway through a canned answer to a reporter’s question about what caused him to make a call that resulted in a come-from-behind touchdown (you now how it usually goes: “well, we saw the strong safety creeping up…”) when he suddenly stopped and made a startling admission: “I’m afraid I can't tell you why,” he confessed.  “After spending over 20 years on the sideline, you go with a certain call you know is right."

*********** Because nature abhors a vacuum, I will be coaching our club bantam team this summer. Bantam is age 14-15 (think of it like JV football). Because numbers are so low, the league has decided we will be playing 7 man football. That means my latest adaptation of your program will be for 7 man, Canadian rules. “For those of you following along at home,” that means, I have adapted your program to the following scenarios:

    •    12 man Canadian football
    •    11 man American football (not much to do there)
    •    6 “man” Canadian football
    •    9 man Canadian football
    •    7 man Canadian football

Oh, and this makes it even more fun, the league has passed a new rule where we have to throw once every three downs. I plan to run Double Wing, Wild Cat. From there, I can use a shovel pass for Reach, Power and Criss-Cross, which would allow me to “pass” but still run the ball. Tommy will also be helping me coach this team. Things are very busy, but good football busy. I am heading home to Delaware on Monday. We will stay there for July 4th week. My father is getting on and it's important for the kids to spend time with him. I am planning on a trip to Newark, so Tommy can see his grandfather’s name on some trophies.

Hope all is well with you and Connie, and happy bleated birthday.

Football is fun.

Tom Walls
Winnipeg, Manitoba

PS. Attached is a picture of our prototype helmets for the high school team. Please tell Coach Lude that our kids will know the story of where that funny looking helmet design comes from.
winnipeg delaware helmet


DID YOU HAPPEN TO CATCH COACH WALLS’ CLEVER WAY OF DEALING WITH THAT IDIOTIC RULE THAT HE HAS TO THROW THE BALL AT LEAST ONCE EVERY THREE DOWNS?  Outstanding!  Several years ago, a coach named Mike Emery won a state championship or two in Groton, Connecticut running my Double Wing from “slot” formation - and one of his best plays was a shovel pass to a wingback.  In the game stats, it was recorded as passing yardage, which helped his QB lead the league in passing,  much to the chagrin of the other coaches (and their quarterbacks).

PS - Coach Walls is a Delaware guy, which explains the helmet.  "Coach Lude - Mike Lude -  who played for Dave Nelson at Hillsdale, then became his line coach and moved with him to Maine and then to Delaware, would know for sure!   Dave Nelson, the coach who put Delaware and the Wing-T on the map, was a Michigan man to the core, and when he took over in 1951 as head coach of the Blue Hens - whose colors are yellow and blue - it was only natural that he adopt the helmet design - originally brought to Michigan by coach Fritz Crisler, who’d first used it at Princeton. (The yellow “wing” in the front was the main front panel of the old leather helmets,  and the yellow “stripes” were actually narrow leather battens that held the wider leather panels together.)


***********  Whenever I think of taking a bunch of high school kids to an overnight camp, I think of the perverted things some kids decide to do with broomsticks.

And then I read about some criminals-to-be who branded other kids on the buttocks. 

Branded them, for God’s sake!

https://www.nj.com/news/2019/06/high-schoolers-who-branded-students-buttocks-during-trip-to-nj-military-base-sentenced-to-jail.html


*********** Why is it so often a football coach?

A Tennessee football coach, while on vacation in Panama City, Florida, saved a seven-year-old from drowning in the Gulf of Mexico.

https://usatodayhss.com/2019/tenn-high-school-football-coach-saves-life-of-7-year-old-on-florida-beach

*********** UConn’s men’s and women’s basketball may be better off in the big East, but now that they’re no longer in the AAC, things don’t look promising for UConn football as an FBS independent: they just put a damper on future season ticket sales by scheduling games against FCS opponents Central Connecticut and Lafayette.

*********** The thought had never occured to me, and it had to be one of the strangest things I’d ever known an athlete to say:

“You can’t win without gay players,”  said Megan Rapinoe.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/jun/28/cant-win-without-gays-usa-megan-rapinoe

*********** The Man puts on a wing-T clinic.

The Man is none other than the great Eddie Robinson - Coach Rob himself - and he’s out on the field, getting down and coaching players in a way that I suspect few of today’s head coaches can no longer do.

(One thing worth noticing is how he managed to keep his composure after discovering that he is attempting to teach shoulder blocking to players - the ones he’s been provided with for the clinic - who’ve been thoroughly trained to block with their hands. I guarantee you that if that had been his Grambling players, he’d have pitched a fit.)

https://youtu.be/jueKHlC2Tzo

*********** The BC Lions lost their third straight on Saturday, and they really blew this one.

Up 32-20, and with some three minutes to play, they allowed the Calgary Rough Riders, with their starting QB out of the game, to put on a nice drive.

Meantime, the clock was stopped after every play.  How could that be?

And then, uh-oh, they scored with 1:20 to play, and after a successful two-point conversion, they trailed by only three.

And then they onside kicked - and recovered.  And now, said the announcers, they had plenty of time - not just to kick the tieing field goal, but to drive for the winning touchdown.

WTF???  I kept saying. Why isn’t the clock running?

And after all that, BC still had 21 seconds left to run a couple of plays.

WTF???  Why didn’t the clock run?

My wife, who was watching with me, decided to do a little research, and came up with this…

In the last three minutes of each half, the clock stops at the end of every play. If the ball goes out of bounds, there's an incomplete pass, or there's an accepted penalty, the clock starts again at the next snap of the ball; otherwise, the clock starts again when the next play is whistled in.

Said Calgary coach Dave Dickenson, “That clock goes slow in those last three minutes and we were able to take advantage of it."

Hmmm.  Maybe the Canadians are on to something.  At least they're honest about it, which is less than you can say about  spiking the damn ball.


*********** Years ago, when  Hayden Fry took over at Iowa, one of the first actions of his great turnaround was copying the Steelers’ black-and-gold uniforms.

It was a great move, and to their credit, the folks at Iowa have stuck with that same look for the last 40 years or so.

Few NFL uniforms are, in my opinion, as elegant as the Steelers’.  For years, they played - and dressed - like ragmen, but once they finally got it all together back in the 70s, they looked - and dressed - like the sharpest team in football.

Over the years since, for the most part, that’s the way they looked -  and, the way they played.

But every so often, perhaps in a money-grubbing attempt to sell apparel to all the fans who already have their classic jerseys, they’d go back in history to their ragmen days, and dress in uniforms so ugly that all they lacked to win an all-time Ugly Uniform Contest was vertical-striped stockings, like those once worn in their early days by the Denver Broncos.

Now, sadly, comes news that the Iowa Hawkeyes have decided to go all-Oregon on their fans, and - at least for one game a year - come our wearing all yellow.

https://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/06/27/iowa-unveils-new-alternate-all-yellow-uniform/


*********** This was written just before the 75th anniversary of D-Day, to celebrate a one-time Army football player who once had aspirations of becoming a coach…

Before the world knew him, Ike was a five-star football coach
By John Henry

Staggering is a word often associated with the largest seaborne invasion in history, marking the beginning of the end of the horrors of Nazi Germany.

In one night — 75 years ago this week — 175,000 men and equipment, including 50,000 vehicles, made the journey across upwards of 100 miles of open water for the beaches and cliffs of Normandy’s Côte Fleurie. The operation also included thousands of sea vessels, 11,000 aircraft and the coordination of 350,000 soldiers of the French Resistance.

That makes moving 22 players around in football schemes seem as uncomplicated as doing nothing, even at the speeds they play these days, compared to what Dwight Eisenhower and his staff achieved on June 6, 1944.

History leads to the belief that the commander of Operation Overlord would have been quite the football coach.

And, in fact, Ike was a football coach, a very good one, according to two assessments, most often with intramural Army teams at various posts during a career that before the war wasn’t anything of the stuff of the best-selling non-fiction books he became.

“Coaching more football” was a phrase seen often in accounts of his stops as an Army officer.

He possessed, as good leaders do, all those things good football coaches excel at.

An uber-organized, strategic thinker with a tactical view and a relationship builder whom coaches and players trust.

It takes a special leader to blend the personalities of Patton and Montgomery and all the other Type A’s into a cohesive, effective force.

The subject matter is one few historians have explored.

Ike’s football career is known. He played parts of one season on the West Point varsity before a knee injury ended that pursuit. He almost left the academy because he couldn’t play football anymore.

But the sport, as well as baseball, was important to him, so much so that as a high school freshman he preferred to risk death than lose a leg because of an infection that had become so bad a doctor recommended amputation.

“I’d rather be dead than crippled, and not be able to play ball,” Ike recalled in his memoir At Ease: Stories I Tell my Friends. “Doctors were frustrated by my attitude. But my parents understood. While they were against such contact sports as football, they agreed to accept my decision.”

Ike missed so much time at school because of the infection that he had to repeat his freshman year.

It would be difficult, he said years later, “to overemphasize the importance I attached to participation in sports.”

“I believe that football, perhaps more than any other sport, tends to instill in men the feeling that victory comes through hard — almost slavish — work, team play, self-confidence, and an enthusiasm that amounts to dedication.”

Ike was the subject of controversy over alleged participation in a semi-pro baseball team in Kansas during or just after high school, thereby compromising his amateur status. The accusation was either denied or ignored by the general and his staff over the years, but Mel Ott, the major-leaguer, swore that “the General admitted that as a youth he had [played semi-pro ball] under the assumed name of Wilson.”

After graduation from West Point in 1915 – the class the stars fell on … 59 of the class of 164 attained the rank of general — the newly commissioned lieutenant was assigned to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. The city was also home to the Peacock Military Academy, designated an honor school in 1908 by the Department of the Army.

Peacock administrators asked Eisenhower to coach the football team, an overture Ike initially declined, believing he lacked the time to be both an exceptional Army officer and a football coach.

Gen. Frank Funston, the post commander, ordered Ike to take the job. Any chance to lead young men is an opportunity to grow.

The topic is one the San Antonio Express News has explored.

“Those who have seen this officer operate with a football squad believe him to be one of the best coaches in Texas — bar none,” a correspondent wrote at the time of Ike’s season at Peacock.

The next season, Ike moved up to the college level, again encouraged by a superior to take the job offered by St. Mary’s of San Antonio.

Then St. Louis College had been dreadful. Cleveland Browns terrible. The Catholic brothers and priests who had coached the team literally turned the other cheek, going winless in the school’s first four seasons. Losses included margins of 50-0 and 80-0.

Ike, however, turned them around.

After tying its opener under Supreme Commander Eisenhower, St. Louis won its next five games and closed 5-1-1.

“We thought more of him than we did of any other coach we ever had,” said quarterback Jim Sweeney, a quote found in the archives of the San Antonio Express. “We respected him from the time he showed up until he left. He was very frank and honest, and we learned more about honor and discipline from him than we did anywhere else.”

Watching every minute of every game that season were Ike’s new bride, Mamie, so adored she remains the only woman to receive a St. Louis or St. Mary’s football letter, and her parents.

“We fought as much for Mamie and the Douds [Mamie’s parents] as we did the school,” Sweeney said.

That was his only season at St. Mary’s. Officer life demanded Ike and Mamie move.

If the coaching profession paid as well then as now, who knows? Ike might have been Bill Parcells.

No one will ever know.

It’s fairly clear, though, that Ike’s coaching stints in San Antonio were part of his evolution as the man who saved the world from the designs of evil men.

https://www.pressboxdfw.com/before-the-world-knew-him-ike-was-a-five-star-football-coach/

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

I will be sharing those Bud Wilkinson gems with many coaches (and administrators) I know.

The NCAA will eventually consume itself, but only after we all watch California do it first!

California governor Gavin Newsom wouldn't know how to "man-up" if his miserable life depended on it.

Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


QUIZ ANSWER: It’s been said of Dan Riley that he…

“probably was more responsible than any other single person for making weight-training a regular part of an NFL player’s training. Until he left Penn State to join the Washington Redskins in 1981, weight-training had been a crude, occasional off-season routine.

“Players did sometimes get strong in the off-season, but they lost that strength as the season wore on because coaches refused to give up their precious practice time for training they didn’t understand.

“Joe Gibbs did understand. He gave Riley the power of a coordinator. If Riley told Gibbs a player lacked the right kind of work ethic, Gibbs usually got rid of that player.

“Gibbs was the first NFL coach to give up practice time to allow players time to lift. He also made weight-training sessions mandatory during the regular season. Gibbs would be the first to tell you that  Dan Riley was a huge reason the Redskins won three Super Bowls.

“Some Dallas Cowboys would tell Washington players, ”We can dominate you guys physically early in the season. We hate playing you late because you’re still strong, and we’ve lost something.”

The back story - by Josh McCain in Bleacher Report…

In the heyday of the 80s and early 90s, there were four constants with the Washington Redskins.

Three are well known to the fans; RFK stadium, owner Jack Kent Cooke, and head coach Joe Gibbs.

However the fourth constant with the Redskins was a little known strength and conditioning coach named  Dan Riley.

And here is where my own little theory of the Redskins' fall comes in.

Dan Riley began his sports training career at West Point as the strength and training coach for Army football during the 60s and early 70s.

While there, Army's football team participated in a strength training experiment conducted by Dr. Ellington Darden and Arthur Jones.

The experiment was based around a weightlifting program invented by Jones called High Intensity Training, or H.I.T.

The training's premise is that the person lifting does twelve one-set exercises using enough weight to do eight-10 reps with the last rep resulting in complete muscle failure. The idea is that you are intensely working the muscle, but not overworking them, giving them more than enough time to heal and rebuild.

Don Shula was an early adopter of Jones' training in the late 60s and early 70s and during the 1972 season (the only perfect season in the Super Bowl era) H.I.T was the standard in Miami.

Jones' experiment was performed on second and third-string players. The second-string players were the control group and trained in the normal Army fashion.

The third-string players, however, were turned over to Jones and Darden, and after six weeks the third-string players saw an increase of strength by 59 percent where the second-string players (who trained the normal way) saw almost no gains in strength.

Riley became a believer in H.I.T and wrote his own book on the workout that became standard while he was at West Point. Then in 1977 he became the strength and conditioning coach for Penn State.

In his time there teaching the players about H.I.T., the Nittany Lions never had more than four losses in a season and were 3-1 in Bowl games.

Then in 1981, Joe Gibbs became the head coach of the Washington Redskins and interviewed (——) for the job of the Redskins strength and conditioning coach.

Riley was worried that coming to the NFL would mean he'd have little control over the players' workouts and told Gibbs that if he took the job he'd have to have complete control over the players for H.I.T to work.

Gibbs agreed and hired him.

I think the results of the 80s speak for themselves.

With the exception of that first year under Gibbs, and with (——) as the strength and conditioning coach, the Skins didn't miss the playoffs.

Now, I'm not giving all the credit to  Dan Riley, but great coaching mixed with strict training will always yield results.

After Gibbs retired in 1993,  Riley was kept on as the strength and conditioning coach.  However, unlike with Gibbs, the new coaches who were brought in didn't afford  Riley  the strict control over training he needed.

So, in 2001,  Riley (the last remnant of the glory days) left for Houston where he's trained All-Pros like Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, and Mario Williams.
So maybe when Gibbs came back in 2004 maybe his first call should have been to his former conditioning coach  Dan Riley.

(Actually, Gibbs did call him.  But he was set in Houston.  And then, two years later, the Texans hired Gary Kubiak, and in 2008 Kubiak fired him.)

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING DAN RILEY:

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

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

The answer to today's quiz is Dan Riley. This is a very insightful interview: https://www.houstontexans.com/video/your-texans-dan-riley-2649654


Coach Greg Koenig
Head Football Coach
Banning Lewis Prep Academy
Colorado Springs, Colorado

*********** Regarding the quiz, the answer is Dan Riley. I actually remember him at West Point. Ellington Darden also. When I was on the faculty, I went to the gym daily, where in one large room sat every piece of Nautilus equipment made. It was, I was told, new, meaning only a year or two old. Arthur Jones - in return for the experiment you mentioned - donated a complete set to the Academy. Today, I don't see much Nautilus equipment around, although it fostered many imitators.

John Vermillion
St. Petersburg, Florida

*********** Arthur Jones, the guy behind the “HIT” program and the inventor of Nautilus strength training equipment, was quite a character…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78rnHfUArd4

*********** True confession: I’ve long been a big Dan Riley fan, going back to when he was at Penn State and he wrote a monthly article in “Scholastic Coach,” which was once THE coaching publication. At the time, I was teaching weight training and I had most of  my football players in my classes. I especially thought his idea of “negative” lifting - taking twice as long to lower the weight, rather than dropping it - made a lot of sense, but it was a tough sell to kids. It meant going against the far more popular “how much can you bench?” thinking. He was more of a functional strength guy, which still makes sense to me.

*********** Along with Boyd Epley  he really "professionalized" the strength coach position!
Mark Kaczmarek
Davenport, Iowa

Boyd Epley became the first paid COLLEGE strength and conditioning coach in 1969 when Bob Devaney hired him at Nebraska.  Hard to say how much effect he had on an already-successful program, but in the first 10 years after he was hired, the Huskers lost just 22 games; over his first 20 years, they lost just 42 games; and over his first 30 years at Nebraska, they lost a total of just 58 games - less than two games a year.  Other colleges, of course, took notice.

https://www.cscca.org/about/awards/legendsaward/2007/epley


*********** Easy one with Dan Riley.....was able to start using HIT training in the 70's with info provided from my college coach....plan came from Dan Riley....have been using it ever since.....still have the article from Coach Of The Year back in the 80"s....

Kevin McCullough
Lakeville, Indiana

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

The quiz answer is Dan Riley. Lots of interesting thoughts about weight training and football. Playing high school football in the 80s and then college in the 90s we trained in the offseason, but never did much during the season. I remember how weak I felt when coach would throw us in the weight room on a day when there was lightening and the field hockey team had already signed out the gym. Today, not only do teams lift smarter, but there is so much more awareness around things like hydrating and sleep that we never had. I remember a linebacker in university who used to stay out all night and sleep on the bench outside the doorms. We would wake him for the morning run during camp.

Tom Walls
Winnipeg, Manitoba


*********** QUIZ: In the history of football, few men have accomplished anything close to what these two men did. The fact that they were brothers makes them all the more remarkable.

They were born less than two years apart.  They were teammates in high school in Bloomington, Illinois,  and at Michigan, where they played in the same backfield, and were both named All-American.  They are both in the College Football Hall of Fame.

At Michigan, they played together for two seasons, one at quarterback (blocking back) and the other right halfback (wingback) in Fritz Crisler’s single wing.  In 1947, with both of them in the same backfield,  the Wolverines went undefeated, and won the 1948 Rose Bowl over USC, 49-0.

After college, they were assistant coaches at Oregon State for two years before going their separate ways.  Eventually, they wound up as head coaches at Big Ten schools, becoming the first pair of brothers to do so, and at the same time.

They both took their respective teams to Rose Bowl victories, and remain the only brothers to have won Rose Bowls as both players and as coaches. The younger one remains the last Illinois coach to win a Rose Bowl (in 1964).

After their coaching days, they both became athletic directors, the younger one at Miami, the elder at Iowa (where he hired coaching greats Dan Gable, Hayden Fry, Lute Olson, C. Vivian Stringer, and Dr. Tom Davis,)  For 18 years, the younger brother served as Executive Director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Their first game coaching against each other was on November 5, 1960, and their last game against each other was exactly six years later, on November 5, 1966.  (On that day, the younger finally beat the older brother, after six straight losses.)

american flagFRIDAY,  JUNE 28, 2019  -  "If the government can make you say, 'Bruce Jenner is a woman,' they can make you say anything."  Author Jennifer Roback Morse

*********** Going through some old clinic notes, I came across some gems of wisdom from the great Bud Wilkinson, whose Oklahoma teams were legendary:

There are some basic axioms about what it takes to win in football. There are things I believe in and I believe in them even more now than when I was coaching.  It really has nothing to do with the style of offense you are running or the type of defense you are using.  I think the reason you are inclined to overlook the points I am going to make is because you do get so involved in teaching the techniques and the patterns and you overlook the hard rock fundamentals.

The first one is this: If you can’t play defense, you can’t win.  It is the essential of the game.

If you have your best athletes on offense and you can’t stop the other team, it’s because 70 per cent of the time that good athlete is sitting on the bench beside you.  Then another thing happens.  When they do get in, they subconsciously recognize that they’d better do something pretty damn good because they may not be in there very long. They don’t patiently play offense - they press, and that is never going to give you a consistent attack.

The second point is that your offense should be based on a running attack. I recognize that you have to be able to run and pass  if you are going to win. The overriding factor here is that if you don’t base your offense on running, there is no way you can be a good defensive football team.  That is the real reason I think it is so important.

The third basic to me is to make a first down.  I know that probably sounds stupid as hell, but there is a vast difference in the mental attitude of your team if when they get the ball, everyone is thinking that they have to score.  If they are thinking in terms of getting a first down, it’s not too hard to make one when that is your objective.  It is very obvious that if you make one, then two or three, you have field position, even if they stop you; make another one and you have a field goal; make one more and you have a touchdown.  From the standpoint of your team’s morale and mental approach, you have to convince the offense that their purpose is to make a first down.  That is a lot different than if they have the attitude that they have to score.

*********** More Wilkinson wisdom...
Eighty-two percent of games are won by the teams that have the fewest turnovers.  That really ought to tell you something about how you are going to run your offense. If you can review your past season and and say you didn’t have a kick blocked, you didn’t fumble, you didn’t throw an interception, you didn’t get a penalty - those things are in control of you, as a coach.  If you add to that no missed assignments - they tried to block the right man; on defense, they covered who they were supposed to cover - they tried to do the right thing, no assignment errors - if you avoid those five things, you are never going to get beat. This has to tell you something about how you are going to approach things from the basic fundamentals.

My number one yardstick in judging the effectiveness of the job a coach is doing has nothing to do with the games they won that they should have won. It’s just one yardstick: how many games did they get beat that they should have won?  They had the better team, and they lost.  That, to me, is how you measure the performance of coaches.

If you do the things that I just mentioned, that is not likely to happen to you.

*********** Still more Wilkinson wisdom...
Every time we started a new season, we got the team together and I would ask them how good they wanted to be. I would explain to them that I had no choice over this.  If they wanted to be mediocre, they would be mediocre. If they wanted to be pretty good, they would be pretty good.  If they wanted to be good, they would be good.  If they wanted to be as good as they could be, we had a coaching staff that could achieve whatever potential they had physically.

The point is, it is the team’s choice on how good they really want to be.

*********** And more yet...
The key factor in an effective football team is everybody doing the best they can on every single play - a total, all-out every time the ball moves. I think you should be frank and tell them this is a damn tough game to play. Physically, it is the most demanding game there is.  You have to be a man if you are going to play this game. Anybody can play when they feel good.  It is something else when you have gone all-out five or six times and you still have to do it one more time.  The break-off point is what I call the “quitting down.” At what point do they no longer give their best? Do they go three plays - or four, or five - before they come to the “quitting down?” No one can tell, but the player knows, the first time he doesn’t make the big effort.

Everyone goes like hell on the first play and maybe the next one, but somewhere along the line you have this problem - three guys so tired they just won’t give it full out. On the next play, those three guys are rested enough that they’re going to go like hell again, but four other guys who weren’t tired before are now going to coast a little.  Instead of getting everyone going all-out, all the time, you get a mixture.  The point is they should be trying to never let this happen.

The idea is to convince these people of consistency of performance.  Football is not a game played against an opponent; football is a game played against yourself.  The purpose of the game is to find out what kind of a man you are. The whole purpose of the game is for you to find out about yourself.  It doesn’t matter if he is a super athlete or a mediocre athlete.  If he does the best he can at all times - if he can beat himself - he has won.  If you can get a team to believe this, you will be consistent.  You won’t have the ups and downs.

*********** The introduction in 1970 of Monday Night Football was one of the most significant moves in the history of the NFL.  In its early years - and for many years thereafter - Monday Night Football was the talk of the football world.

Don Meredith and his back-and-forth with Howard Cosell were a big part of what made the show great, and when Meredith finally decided it was time to move on, there was a scramble to replace him.

The network’s first choice was Joe Namath, but there was one complication - he was still playing for the Jets.

Choice number two, inexplicably, was Fred Williamson.   Williamson had been a decent enough defensive back for the Chiefs, but he was not exactly well known, and what he was known for was not a positive.  He was a mouthy player.  Among today’s jackasses, he wouldn’t have stood out, but back in the 1960s, men didn’t lip off the way they do today, so when he began to boast about what would happen to the Packers in the Super Bowl when he put “The Hammer” to them (referring to his method of “tackling”by delivering a forearm shot to the head), you could almost predict what would happen.

What happened?  The Packers whipped the Chiefs, 35-10, and early in the game, Williamson was knocked cold tackling the Packers’ Donny Anderson.  As he lay on the field, the Packers on the sideline were unrestrained in their gleeful mockery, shouting “We got the Hammer! We got the Hammer!”

After retiring  from football, he became an actor, starring in a series of what were known as “blaxploitation” movies - films aimed at a black audience, heavy on the violence, with a mostly black cast.

And then somebody got the bright idea of putting him on Monday Night Football.

According to the book “Monday Night Mayhem,” when Williamson showed up for his interview with producer Roone Arledge, he was heavily bejeweled, wearing two pendants around his neck: one was a clenched fist - the black power salute; the other was a penis.

His time on MNF was short.  He made it through three exhibition games before being replaced by Alex Karras.


*********** Hello Coach:
 
I am a first-year offensive coordinator for a youth football team (8U) and we run the single wing offense.  I like the elements of the double wing—double pulling guards and easier passing attacks. As this team grows, I would like to “merge” both offenses.  Any advice?  “Don’t do it” is an option as well.

Coach,

It can be done. I’ve gone back and forth numerous times.

When you employ the basic Double Wing blocking rules  you can run from a variety of backfield looks.

The important thing, though, is to have a serious reason to run an offense. Usually that means whatever best fits   your personnel and your ability to teach it.

I’m not sure if by “merge” you mean running a little of both offenses at the same time. That, I would advise against.  Time is the enemy of every coach and we seldom have enough time to run one offense well, let alone two.


*********** The NCAA has heard the college football coaches - loud and clear - on the subject of the so-called Transfer Portal, and has attempted to do something about the de facto free agency it threatens to create…

The NCAA announced “minor adjustments” to the immediate-eligibility waiver process — adjustments that will make it more difficult for athletes to get waivers approved. These include more documentation, such as previous schools needing to detail whether or not an outgoing player has been run off a team, and, in cases involving family members with illnesses, “an explanation of the student-athlete’s role in providing care.”

These “minor adjustments” come 14 months after a tweak in transfer policy allowed waivers to be granted on a case-by-case basis by the Committee on Legislative Relief if the athlete could demonstrate “documented mitigating circumstances outside of the student-athlete’s control and directly impacts the health, safety or well-being of the student-athlete.”

This essentially created a loophole, one used by high-profile quarterbacks Shea Patterson, Justin Fields and Tate Martell and their lawyers, to allow star players to transfer and play right away — so long as their previous schools OK’d it.

This created a headache for the NCAA.

“It’s a topic that’s been very sensitive to everybody. There are a lot of different ideas. Some people like things other people don’t like,” Shane Lyons, athletic director at West Virginia and head of the NCAA football oversight committee, told The Athletic. “There isn’t consensus across the board. Some people in the media say everyone should transfer and become eligible. That becomes free agency and I don’t think there’s a comfort level there at this point.”

It didn’t matter what the actual rate of approval was for waivers like this, or how many were denied. When quarterbacks at Michigan, Ohio State and Miami receive a golden ticket to play immediately, it creates a perception that these waivers are being handed out like candy. It also didn’t matter that the NCAA rules governing most non-revenue sports allow for athletes to move more freely with a one-time transfer exemption, which lets them play without sitting out a year at their next school.

https://theathletic.com/1048789/2019/06/26/auerbach-minor-tweak-to-ncaa-transfer-waivers-is-in-favor-of-ncaa-not-athletes/?source=dailyemail

*********** California’s legislature appears set to pass a grandstanding bill that could make it impossible for California colleges and their athletes to compete for NCAA championships…

In a new letter to the California Senate, NCAA president Mark Emmert warns that if the Fair Pay to Play Act becomes law, it would become “impossible” for the NCAA to deem California colleges eligible to participate in national championships.

As explained in a Sports Illustrated story published last month, the Fair Pay to Play Act would require that California colleges treat its student-athletes along the lines envisioned by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon in his historic case against the NCAA.

Specifically, California colleges that receive an average of $10 million a year in media rights revenue would be statutorily prohibited from denying their student-athletes the chance to earn compensation derived from the use of their names, images and likenesses. Consequently, UCLA men’s basketball players, Stanford women’s volleyball players, USC football players, Cal women’s swimmers and other athletes at California schools would be authorized by law to join advertising campaigns, sign endorsement deals, negotiate for inclusion in video games and sign countless other types of licensing contracts. They would also be able to hire agents to represent them in these dealings.

https://www.si.com/college-football/2019/06/25/ncaa-california-championships-fair-pay-play-law

*********** We have had very few practices, but have started implementing the Open Wing.  I plan to run a trap on the nose guard with the wing crashing down -  just needs to make sure he gets his head across.  Do you have video or a suggestion on a way to teach the cross-arm double cradle handoff?  I think that is deceptive as heck when you fake it to your B back on C or GO plays as it covers up the ball and protects it in traffic.  I have just not used it in awhile.  I mean the handoff into the gut where the runner brings both arms down on the ball and locks his arms across it and grips each point.  Just looking for a few tips on making this work . . .

Thanks.  We usually get 50 kids, but this year we have 20, very very unusual.

I have video of what you want. Somewhere.   Just a question of finding it.

If by chance you have my “Practice Without Pads” video, there’s some footage of the handoff technique on there.

Basically, we have the arm nearest the QB up, with the hand rolled back  so that its back is against the opposite collarbone.  That forces the runner to “open wide."

The arm farthest from the QB is the lower one.  That hand is against the belt, on the opposite side of the buckle.

The coaching point is not to grab the ball with the hands, but to first “fold over” the ball with the upper arm as the hands grasp the opposite ends.

A drop in participation seems to be the norm everywhere, what with the concussion hysteria, the increasing addiction to video games and a general softening of our culture,  but 50 down to 20 is an unusually large drop.


*********** You no longer wonder what’s wrong with our country today when Gavin Newsom, the Governor of our largest state, comes out and  says, “The two most dangerous words in the English language are ‘man up.’”)

*********** “Are you a veteran… own a home… and need cash?”

Every time I hear that unbelievably ungrammatical question on  that TV commercial, it’s like fingernails scraping on a blackboard. (You younger guys are going to have to ask some old geezer what that refers to.)

*********** I stumbled across “Peyton Manning’s Summer School,” a documentary intended to  show how much Manning had put into coming back from surgery to renew his career.  But even more than that, it shows how hard he worked at every conceivable aspect of being a quarterback.

Besides having great size and talent, a dad who was a wonderful example for him, and great coaches (including Duke’s David Cutcliffe, who was his QB coach at Tennessee), there was an internal drive to be great that reveals itself throughout.

I think every youngster who aspires to be a quarterback should see how much went into making Peyton Manning the great quarterback that he was.

One great takeaway quote:  “For any player to watch film without a pen and paper is a waste of time.  To not write anything down, what you’re seeing, then you’re really not studying. You’re just watching it.”

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

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

Sounds like your Aberdeen Bobcats had a productive finish to spring ball.  Apparently the results were encouraging, and while the team still has a lot of work to do you guys have a lot to look forward to in 2019.

"Administrators" trying to control the game inevitably lose control of everything.

I agree with Jack Morrison's opinion regarding Army joining the AAC.  They are much better off in athletics as an independent, especially in football where they can "hand-pick" their opponents, and upgrade to a few Power 5 schools to enhance their schedules. 

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** QUIZ ANSWER - As a pro running back, Paul “Tank” Younger was big - 6-3, 225.  In the Los Angeles Rams’ backfield with him were Deacon Dan Towler (6-2, 225), and Dick Hoerner (6-4, 220).    They were all so much bigger than most running backs at that time (and even today)  that a sportswriter called them the Bull Elephant Backfield, and the name stuck.

They augmented a great passing game that was way ahead of its time to give those Rams one of the greatest offenses in the history of the game.

What made him especially significant in the history of the NFL is that he was the first player from an all-black college to play in the NFL (and the first in a long line of NFL players produced by the great Eddie Robinson at Grambling).

A native of Grambling, Louisiana, he arrived in college as a lineman. But “Coach Rob” moved him from the line to the backfield, and the way he ran over tacklers soon earned him the descriptive  nickname  - “Tank” - that would follow him throughout his career. (Few sports fans knew his given name was Paul.)

At Grambling, he was a do-everything player who ran for an NCAA-record 60 touchdowns and passed (he threw for 11 touchdowns), as well as returning kicks and punts and, in those two-way days, playing linebacker. He was named Black College Player of the Year by the Pittsburgh Courier - then the go-to source for information on black college football.

Although he wasn’t drafted by an NFL team,  his signing by the Rams was considered a major event throughout black college football.

(For anyone who tries to tell you how bad things are in American today, tell them that in 1948 when he got on the train in Grambling, Louisiana, destination Los Angeles, he had to board the car “for coloreds only” - it was the law.)

In a ten-year NFL career with the Rams and then the Steelers,  he rushed 770 times for 3640 yards and caught 100 passes for 1167 yards. In all, he scored 35 touchdowns.  He also intercepted three passes on defense. He played in four Pro Bowls.

Following his retirement, Tank Younger became a scout and a personnel administrator with the Rams, and in doing so became the first black NFL executive.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING TANK YOUNGER:


KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA “(Pretty easy for followers of the Hawkeyes, who with Dubuque native Dick Hoerner & Deacon and Deacon Dan Towler made up the "Bull Elephants!”)
SHEP CLARKE - PUYALLUP, WASHINGTON
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA

*********** Good morning, Hugh. The answer to today's quiz is Tank Younger.

http://mydamrams.tripod.com/index-216.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/19/sports/tank-younger-73-first-star-from-black-college-to-play-in-nfl-dies.html

By the way, thanks for the article about Sudden Death Sabol. I'm going to have to find time to visit Colorado College.

Coach Greg Koenig
Colorado Springs, Colorado

In the New York Times’ obit, Collie Nicholson, Grambling’s sports information director for years, claims credit for giving Tank Younger his nickname. 

’’It was just after World War II,'' remembered Collie Nicholson, who was Grambling's sports information director. ''I was watching him run over everybody he couldn't run around. I'd been a Marine in the South Pacific, and it reminded me of what I saw those tanks doing down there.''

He is believable.  Eddie Robinson gives Mr. Nicholson considerable credit for helping  Grambling, a small school in north Louisiana, gain national renown.


*********** QUIZ: It’s been said of him that he…

“...probably was more responsible than any other single person for making weight-training a regular part of an NFL player’s training. Until he left Penn State to join the Washington Redskins in 1981, weight-training had been a crude, occasional off-season routine.

“Players did sometimes get strong in the off-season, but they lost that strength as the season wore on because coaches refused to give up their precious practice time for training they didn’t understand.

“Joe Gibbs did understand. He gave (——) the power of a coordinator. If (——)  told Gibbs a player lacked the right kind of work ethic, Gibbs usually got rid of that player.

“Gibbs was the first NFL coach to give up practice time to allow players time to lift. He also made weight-training sessions mandatory during the regular season. Gibbs would be the first to tell you that (——)  was a huge reason the Redskins won three Super Bowls.

“Some Dallas Cowboys would tell Washington players, ”We can dominate you guys physically early in the season. We hate playing you late because you’re still strong, and we’ve lost something.”

The back story - by Josh McCain in Bleacher Report…

In the heyday of the 80s and early 90s, there were four constants with the Washington Redskins.

Three are well known to the fans; RFK stadium, owner Jack Kent Cooke, and head coach Joe Gibbs.

However the fourth constant with the Redskins was a little known strength and conditioning coach named (——).

And here is where my own little theory of the Redskins' fall comes in.

(——) began his sports training career at West Point as the strength and training coach for Army football during the 60s and early 70s.

While there, Army's football team participated in a strength training experiment conducted by Dr. Ellington Darden and Arthur Jones.

The experiment was based around a weightlifting program invented by Jones called High Intensity Training, or H.I.T.

The training's premise is that the person lifting does twelve one-set exercises using enough weight to do eight-10 reps with the last rep resulting in complete muscle failure. The idea is that you are intensely working the muscle, but not overworking them, giving them more than enough time to heal and rebuild.

Don Shula was an early adopter of Jones' training in the late 60s and early 70s and during the 1972 season (the only perfect season in the Super Bowl era) H.I.T was the standard in Miami.

Jones' experiment was performed on second and third-string players. The second-string players were the control group and trained in the normal Army fashion.

The third-string players, however, were turned over to Jones and Darden, and after six weeks the third-string players saw an increase of strength by 59 percent where the second-string players (who trained the normal way) saw almost no gains in strength.

(——) became a believer in H.I.T and wrote his own book on the workout that became standard while he was at West Point. Then in 1977 he became the strength and conditioning coach for Penn State.

In his time there teaching the players about H.I.T., the Nittany Lions never had more than four losses in a season and were 3-1 in Bowl games.

Then in 1981, Joe Gibbs became the head coach of the Washington Redskins and interviewed (——) for the job of the Redskins strength and conditioning coach.

(——) was worried that coming to the NFL would mean he'd have little control over the players' workouts and told Gibbs that if he took the job he'd have to have complete control over the players for H.I.T to work.

Gibbs agreed and hired him.

I think the results of the 80s speak for themselves.

With the exception of that first year under Gibbs, and with (——) as the strength and conditioning coach, the Skins didn't miss the playoffs.

Now, I'm not giving all the credit to (——), but great coaching mixed with strict training will always yield results.

After Gibbs retired in 1993, (——) was kept on as the strength and conditioning coach.  However, unlike with Gibbs, the new coaches who were brought in didn't afford (——) the strict control over training he needed.

So, in 2001, (——) (the last remnant of the glory days) left for Houston where he's trained All-Pros like Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, and Mario Williams.

So maybe when Gibbs came back in 2004 maybe his first call should have been to his former conditioning coach (——).

(Actually, Gibbs did call him.  But he thought he was set in Houston.  And then, two years later, the Texans hired Gary Kubiak, and two years after that, Kubiak fired him.)




american flagTUESDAY,  JUNE 25, 2019  - "I would advise you that a haircut still looks a lot better than a beheading.”  Robert G. Flanders Jr., Rhode Island state-appointed receiver asking  Central Falls city pensioners to agree to cuts in order to avoid a complete failure of their pension system

Aberdeen team spring
THE END OF SPRING PRACTICE - THE ABERDEEN BOBCATS POSED FOR A TEAM PHOTO ON SATURDAY.



*********** In preparing for a first scrimmage with a new team, I often use the analogy of the old fire hose that’s been lying there unused for some time.  You know there are going to be leaks,  but you don’t know where they’re going to be - or how many there are going to be - until you hook it up and turn on the water.

This past weekend, we turned on the water, and in their first live experience with their new system,  I’d have to say our Aberdeen kids handled themselves well.

We were especially pleased with our performance in the areas where games are pissed away: we had zero penalties… We had one turnover, an interception. (We had two bad snaps - covered them both, fortunately - but otherwise there were no fumbles)… We had far fewer blown assignments than might be expected. 

We ran the basic four - wedge, power, counter, sprint-out - pretty well.  Our first play, 2 Wedge, went for 10 yards, and while in a game I might have just stayed with a play that was working,   there were other plays that we had to see - trap, G, bootleg, drop-back - in the limited time we had.

Overall, I was pleased, especially with the play of our line and a rookie QB who was facing his first taste of varsity football.

 I think we’d have done okay
if we’d just stayed with the basic four.  At the end of one session, against a big, tough team, we each ran five plays going in from the five, and running just wedge and power off-tackle, we scored three times.

Aberdeen JVs
THE ABERDEEN JVS LINED UP (ALMOST - CHECK THE RIGHT END)  - TO RUN A PLAY

*********** We did have what appeared to be some bad tackling on defense, but it was impossible to know how much of it was really poor tackling and how much could be attributed to the camp administrators’ well-intentioned decision to impose a “tackling protocol” on the scrimmages. 

In an effort to reduce injuries, coaches were advised that:

*There would be a fast whistle.
*Quarterbacks were off-limits.
*No one was to be taken to the ground.
*A head-up tackle was to be treated like “thud,” with the tackler making contact, wrapping the man up, and keeping him up. 
*In the open field, tacklers with an angle on a runner were simple to “tag” him with both hands, at which point the whistle would be blown.

Predictably, something was lost in relaying the instructions from the administration to some of the coaches, and then to some of the players, of some of the teams.

Some coaches totally disregarded the  wishes of the camp,  and soon enough, bodies were flying everywhere.  Whistles were seldom used at all, let alone quickly.

One opposing coach flatly told our coach that he had no intention of complying with the protocol; his players had been taught “Hawk Tackling,” which meant tackling low, and that’s by damn what they were going to do.  As you might expect, his kids acted like a**holes,  and on the second day, they hit an opponent’s quarterback, and hit him late at that. Big mistake.  The opposing team happened to be from a school near Fort Lewis (Army base), with a bunch of big, tough, service kids who quickly joined the fray.  Once cooler heads finally prevailed, that scrimmage was wisely concluded.

Good intentions? Absolutely. But the road to hell is paved with them.

*********** It was a hectic weekend for my wife and me. With our dog having some health issues,  we needed to get her to our vet near our home in Camas, Washington.  Trouble was, we were at our place in Ocean Shores, 170 miles away, and before we could leave I had practice in Aberdeen, Washington, about 30 miles along the way from Ocean Shores to Vancouver, until about 6 PM. 

So Thursday night, right after practice, we drove to Camas, and got home by about 9 PM.

Over the next two days,  I had to be at a “camp” at Tumwater, Washington, roughly two hours’ drive north of Camas.

Friday,  after a visit to the vet, my wife stayed home in Camas with our dog, while I left at noon for camp, 120 miles to the north.  When the last scrimmage was over about 8:30 that night,  I headed home for Camas.  I hate driving in the dark, but fortunately, it was the longest day of the year, and as far north and as far west as we are,  that meant daylight until at least 9:30.  Made it home by 10:30.

On Saturday, it was off to Tumwater at 10 AM, and back in Camas by 7:30.

Total miles: 650+

(Our dog is doing better, but she may be dealing with the pain of arthritis - dogs aren’t very good about telling us when something’s hurting -  which evidently is not unusual in dogs which have had the “TPLO” knee operation. A little over two years ago she had a TPLO on both knees.)

*********** Tumwater, Washington, a suburb of Olympia,  was once known as the home of Olympia Beer,  for a long time one of the best-selling beers in the West.

But Tumwater is also the home of one of the top football programs in the Northwest, thanks largely to the efforts of a coach named Sid Otton, who coached the Tumwater Thunderbirds from 1976 through 2016, and retired as the winningest coach ever in Washington high school football.

Coach Otton won 394 games against 131 losses.  His teams made the state playoffs 27 times and won 25 league championships - and SIX state championships.

Oh - and he was/is a Wing-T guy.

https://www.thenewstribune.com/sports/high-school/article98467632.html/video-embed/amp

*********** My affiliation with West Point and Army football has helped me become friends with Jack Morrison.  Jack played on the unbeaten 1958 Army team,  Coach Earl Blaik’s last,  and now retired after a long and successful career as an executive with Coca-Cola, he devotes his energies and his passion for Army football to producing a very informative newsletter for Army football alums and fans.

Jack is quite far-seeing, and for some time he’s been arguing that unless West Point begins taking steps to somehow find a way into a Power Five conference, Army football is doomed to irrelevance.

Now, with the announcement that UConn may be moving back to the Big East for basketball, the question arises as to what this means for UConn’s football program. Does it mean dropping out of the AAC?  If so, considering that Navy is already an AAC members, does that mean that the AAC will make overtures to Army? And if so, should Army join?

Jack says NO:

UConn may be considering leaving the AAC to join its old friends in the Basketball-only Big East Conference, leaving UConn football hanging in the AAC. IMO, it is doubtful that the ACC will accept UConn as a football-only member, resulting in UConn football having to find a new home, possibly the MAC or CUSA (or Independent?).

You will recall that several years ago the smaller basketball-only schools of the old Big East Conference broke away and kept the Big East name, while the remaining Big East football schools became the American Conference.  Since then, former AAC football schools Pitt, Syracuse, Boston College, and VT have all bolted to the ACC, as has Louisville more recently and WV left to join the far off Big 12 Conference.

Cincinnati and UConn, both strong B-Ball schools, reportedly have long been wanting to join the ACC, arguably the nation's strongest B-Ball Conference with Duke and NC as lead members.  It seems that UConn's recent major troubles on the gridiron have reportedly thwarted their efforts to join the ACC.

Navy decided to join the AAC several years back but delayed playing for three years, ostensibly to resolve scheduling commitments.  While Navy was waiting to begin AAC Conference play, Pitt, Syracuse, BC, and VT all left the AAC for the ACC, while WV bolted to the far off Big 12. I must question why Navy opted to stay with the new AAC, who filled the above vacancies with previously CUSA teams, greatly reducing the strength of the Conference and adding smaller football programs and TV markets. It was definitely not the same conference that Navy had originally signed with, thus giving Navy a legitimate out, IMO.

I understand that the AAC has recently been courting Army heavily to join the AAC.  I hope and pray that our new AD will not succumb to those overtures. The AAC has been touting its new TV contract which now generates $7 million per team, up from $3 million.  That may seem like a lot of money to someone from Furman, (Div. 1AA/FCS). (Army’s new AD comes from Furman - HW)  However, IMO that is merely tip money compared to the Power 5 Schools TV revenue:  

    •    Big 10 -  $51 million per school
    •    SEC - $43 Million per school
    •    Big 12 -  $35 Million pre school
    •    ACC -  $ 26-$31 million per school
    •    PAC 12 - $ 25 Million per school
    •   
Note:  the ACC's new TV Streaming Contract that will go into effect this season is forecast to increase their TV revenue by as much as 33-50 %, thus making it $35-45 Million per ACC school.

To put these numbers into better perspective, the BIG 10 generated just $25 Million per team as recently as 2013, thus doubling their revenue in just 5 short years. With the likes of giants Google, Amazon, Netflix, (and others not even in business now) possibly entering the competition for several of the new Conference contracts expiring in 2023, that BIG 10 figure could possibly double again to as much as $100 Million per team, according to some experts.
 
IMO, the financial gap between the Power 5 Conferences (the Haves) and the rest of the FBS (the Have nots) will widen even further post 2023.

Boo (Boo Corrigan, former Army AD, now at NC State - HW)  told me that the NC State Athletic budget was $89 Million compared to Army's $36 Million, with Army servicing 1,100 athletes vs. NC State's 540. Army could use the ACC's $40 Million in TV money to be financially competitive with NC State (and other ACC schools).

If Army remains Independent post-2023, IMO we will be relegated to the Have Nots and FBS irrelevance, playing the same weak teams we have on the 2019 schedule (and future schedules - see below).

IMO Michie Stadium will continue to remain half empty for Home games vs. the below future scheduled teams (with their 2018 Sagarin ratings in parenthesis and ranked in descending order):

FYI:  Army (11-2) was ranked #44 in 2018 by Sagarin.


2019 Schedule
    •    Michigan (#6)
    •    Air Force (#77)
    •    Tulane (#86)
    •    Navy (#107)
    •    Hawaii (#117)
    •    UMass (#138)
    •    W. Kentucky (#139)
    •    San Jose State (#145)
    •    UT San Antonio (#169)
    •    Rice (#178)
    •    Morgan State* (#227)
    •     VMI* (#232)
    •         * = FCS
    •   
Army should be favored in every 2019 game except Michigan.  Barring injuries to key players and/or a let down (or over-confidence) loss (or two), a 12-1 season is entirely possible, even before a potential Bowl Game.

Note: Since Army travels to Hawaii this season, the NCAA allows those teams to play 13 games (ostensibly to help defray the additional travel expense).

***********  It was one of those deals where you wonder if you - or the people you heard the news from - heard it wrong.

AFC Brothers,
 
It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the news of AFC Brother Richard Glover’s passing. (USMA 2015)

Richard Glover… Richard Glover… Wait, I thought.  Richard Glover?  Class of 2015?  Could it be?

I just happened to be at the Army football awards banquet, held in April 2014 on the Saturday evening following Army’s spring game, and so it was my good fortune to be on hand when Richard Glover, a nose guard and a a mechanical engineering major from Katy, Texas, US Military Academy Class of 2015, received Army football’s 2013 Black Lion Award.

Richard Glover

That’s he and I in the photo, with the beautiful silver plaque provided by the Army Football Club - the association of former Army football players - which has also donated a bronze plaque containing the names of all Army Black Lion Award recipients that’s prominently displayed in the team’s locker room.

Now comes word that Richard Glover died on June 20.  No further information is available.

God bless him and his family and bring them peace.

https://army.rivals.com/news/r-i-p-former-army-dt-richie-glover-jr-well-done-1992-2019-?yptr=yahoo

*********** Anybody else see that KIND Almonds commercial,  the one where a woman opens a KIND package and dumps its contents on… an airline tray table?

Wouldn’t you think the genius who dreamed up that commercial would know that people have been known to change their babies’ diapers on those tables?

*********** I get the creeps watching those Mayo Clinic commercials in which people from all walks of life - cancer sufferers, we deduce - make melodramatic long-distance trips fueled by hope.  The final stage of all those trips is a long walk up a path to a big, white building that to me looks scary, even if it does say “Mayo Clinic” on it.

The worst of all their several commercials is one where a young woman from farm country is driven there by a friend - who simply drops her off at the curb. Then, the “friend” drives away,  leaving young the woman to deal with her fears (not to mention possibly radiation and chemotherapy) all by herself.

*********** When people start to talk about the greatest NFL this or that, and they get around to talking defensive feats, they won’t get much further than the 1976 Steelers.

The two-time defending Super Bowl champs got off to a 1-4 start, with Terry Bradshaw being put out of action by a vicious sack in  game 5.

With rookie QB Mike Kruczek filling in for Bradshaw, the defense had to step up.  And did they ever.

In the final nine games of the season, they gave up just two touchdowns, held five teams to under 200 yards of total offense, and had five shutouts. 

They had 35 sacks and caused 28 turnovers.  They held opposing runners to an average of 3 yards per carry, and opposing passes to 40.8 per cent completions.

They allowed only 26 points - total.

They did NOT, however, make it to a third straight Super Bowl, losing the conference championship game to the Oakland Raiders.  (Thanks to Eddie Campbell, of Land o' Lakes, Florida, for bringing that to my attention.)

*********** ”When I was a boy growing up in Kansas, a friend of mine and I went fishing and as we sat there on the warmth of a summer afternoon we talked about what we wanted to do when we grew up.

“I told him I wanted  to be a major league baseball player, a genuine professional like Honus Wagner.

“My friend said that he'd like to be president of the United States.
 
Neither of us got our wish."

-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

*********** Major League baseball, stuck with a Florida team that just can’t entice people to come indoors to watch them - even when they’re pretty good - and suddenly aware once again of the existence of Canada,  thanks to the Raptors’ NBA title, has come up with a humdinger of an idea: sharing a single franchise between Tampa-St. Petersburg and (get ready for this) Montreal.

Writes Jason Gay,  in the Wall Street Journal, “How strange it is to see such out-of-the-box thinking from baseball, a fuddy-duddy sport that wants to hold a 30-year trial period before agreeing to a pitch clock.”

He goes on: “For the players, it sounds like there will be a few headaches. You’ll have to keep a place in Tampa, and a place in Montreal. If you have a family, you’ll probably have to move them around a bunch.  Your taxes are going to be a nightmare. Your kids will grow up speaking with a French-Floridian accent.” 

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

Have not watched the US women's soccer team play, and have no intention to watch.  First reason why...I'm not a fan of soccer (I'd rather watch paint dry).  Second reason why...Megan Rapinoe is on the team.

I like how you divide the field up by numbers to direct the kicker where to place the ball on a kickoffs. 

"Owners" will now be called "CEO's". 

Not a surprise to see the SEC lead the FBS in attendance.

Boise State's Bronco stadium only holds 35,000.  Their fans show up snow or shine.  Fresno State's Bulldog stadium holds 45,000.  Their fans show up when they win. 

The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) will no longer lead Division III in attendance now that St. Thomas is out.  God forbid St. John's goes on a tear.  They may be the next one kicked out.

Interesting that Texas was not one of those seven teams listed in that last bullet point.  Think that one sticks in their craw just a little??

Of course I remember John Trisciani.  Last I heard from Coach Trish he was an assistant coach at St. Anselm's College in Manchester, but that he was considering helping coach his son's Bishop Guertin team in Nashua.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Ed Sabol never played a down of football.  He never coached a game.  He didn’t own a team.  But he’s in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

A native of Atlantic City, he was a good swimmer at Ohio State, and after graduation he tried acting.

Following World War II service,  he worked for his father’s clothing firm as a salesman, but his life began to change when he was given a Bell and Howell motion picture camera as a wedding present.

He began shooting film of everything his kids did, including his son’s peewee games, and in 1962, at the age of 36, his recently-formed firm, called Blair Motion Picures after his daughter, Blair, bid $1,500 for the rights to film the NFL championship game.

When Commissioner Pete Rozelle questioned him about his experience, he said,“I filmed the games of my 14-year-old son.”

He got the job and from that point, he was on his way.

Two years later, Blair Motion Pictures became NFL Films.

In 1985, he handed over leadership of the company to his son, Steve, who had worked under him for years.

In 2011 Ed Sabol was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Under his management,  goes his HOF citation, “NFL Films has revolutionized the manner in which sports are presented on camera. Many firsts in film were introduced under his leadership ranging from the first use of a microphone on coaches, referees and players; use of a reverse-angle replay; adding popular music to footage; and the ever popular bloopers videos.”


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING ED SABOL


KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

*********** You’ll enjoy this great article from 1965 about Ed Sabol’s son, Steve, and how he went off to college and promoted himself as “Sudden Death Sabol” -  “The Fearless Tot from Possum Trot.”

https://www.si.com/vault/1965/11/22/621680/the-fearless-tot-from-possum-trot

*********** Kevin McCullough asks, “What would you do with a drunken sailor?”, a reference to one of NFL Films’ most-used pieces of background music.

Several years ago, my son and I had a tour of the NFL Films’ facilities in New Jersey.

Fantastic!  The place was like a museum, its walls covered with old program covers, posters and photos.  One entire room was devoted to Steve Sabol’s personal collection of every football board game ever produced.  And to provide the background music, they had a recording studio with room - and seating - for a full-size orchestra.

When I asked someone whether it was located where it was because of the Sabols’ residence in nearby Philadelphia, when you’d think it would be closer to New York, I was told the reason was that disposal of the chemicals required to process all the film meant that that this was one of the few places where they could locate.

*********** I think most would agree that if the NFL had gone looking for the kind of service Sabol provided, they couldn't have found it. The right man with the right idea at the right time. Those films still make for riveting television.

John Vermillion
St. Petersburg, Florida

*********** Growing up in the '70s and '80s, I couldn't wait for the Saturday NFL Films sessions on TV. "This Week in Pro Football" was always entertaining and definitely made me a big fan.

Here is one example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq_UXyRkbb4.

They also produced some very enjoyable features on VHS, like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SowCPPUjYU.

Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!

Greg Koenig
Colorado Springs, Colorado

*********** QUIZ - As a pro running back, he was big - 6-3, 225.  In the Los Angeles Rams’ backfield with him were Deacon Dan Towler (6-2, 225), and Dick Hoerner (6-4, 220).    They were all so much bigger than most running backs at that time (and even today)  that a sportswriter called them the Bull Elephant Backfield, and the name stuck.

They augmented a great passing game that was way ahead of its time to give those Rams one of the greatest offenses in the history of the game.

What made him especially significant in the history of the NFL is that he was the first player from an all-black college to play in the NFL (and the first in a long line of NFL players produced by the great Eddie Robinson at Grambling).

A native of Grambling, Louisiana, he arrived in college as a lineman. But “Coach Rob” moved him from the line to the backfield, and the way he ran over tacklers soon earned him a descriptive  nickname that would follow him throughout his career. (Few sports fans knew his given name was Paul.)

At Grambling, he was a do-everything player who ran for an NCAA-record 60 touchdowns and passed (he threw for 11 touchdowns), as well as returning kicks and punts and, in those two-way days, playing linebacker. He was named Black College Player of the Year by the Pittsburgh Courier - then the go-to source for information on black college football.

Although he wasn’t drafted by an NFL team,  his signing by the Rams was considered a major event throughout black college football.

(For anyone who tries to tell you how bad things are in America today, tell them that in 1948 when he got on the train in Grambling, Louisiana -  destination Los Angeles - he had to board the car “for coloreds only." It was the law.)

In a ten-year NFL career with the Rams and then the Steelers,  he rushed 770 times for 3640 yards and caught 100 passes for 1167 yards. In all, he scored 35 touchdowns.  He also intercepted three passes on defense. He played in four Pro Bowls.

Following his retirement, he became a scout and a personnel administrator with the Rams, and in doing so became the first black NFL executive.



american flagFRIDAY,  JUNE 21, 2019  “A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” Samuel Adams

*********** Friday and Saturday, we’re busing our kids about 1-1/2 hours east to Tumwater, a suburb of the state capital (Olympia), where we’ll see the kids in live action for the first time, in four scrimmages.

As a brand-new program coming off a 1-9 season, we’ve got a rough row to hoe - all of our opponents are bigger schools.

*********** My Finnish is a bit rusty but  I'm going to use it  to wish my Finnish friends Hauskaa Juhannusta.  It's my way of saying  "Happy Midsummer."  Midsummer, or Juhannus, is a celebration that predates Christianity, when the longest day of the year was an important occasion. This weekend, all over Finland, cities will be deserted as people flock to their "summer cottages," usually on lakes, where they'll stay up all night (the sun won't go down) celebrating midsummer with  fellowship, sauna, good food - and lots of strong drink.

*********** Watched some congressional hearings on TV and saw Danny Glover testifying.   The guy READ his testimony.  Every bit of it.  Looked down, and seldom looked up.

Wait a minute, I thought - he’s a f—king professional actor!  You telling me, if those words he had to say were so important,  he couldn’t have memorized them?

*********** Good for the USA Women’s Soccer Team and all that, but it burns the sh— out of me every time I see this Megan Rapinoe getting so much camera time.  She can phrase it any way she wants,  but the fact is that she shows open disrespect for our flag and our national anthem.

https://fanbuzz.com/national/megan-rapinoe-protest/


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

The quiz answer is Norman Kwong.  He was an interesting guy to research.

I wanted to ask how you teach the squib kick on kickoffs.  In my experience it either ends up looking like an onside kick or a tire flying off of an exploding car.  Hope spring football went well for you and you had some fun doing it.

Mat Hedger
Langdon, North Dakota

Hi Coach-

Good job on Normie Kwong.

I have found that it’s important to take careful aim at the ball and make sure that the kicker hits the upper half of the ball. That means aiming for just below the upper stripe.

A former all-pro named Jim Martin was an assistant on our Portland WFL team, and in his playing days,  addition to his duties as a defensive end, he did the Detroit Lions’ kicking.  He was a straight ahead, toe-punch kicker, and he said his secret for kicking an onside kick was to turn his foot outside just before impact and hit the ball with the inside of his heel.  I’ve tried it and it works. Never tried it with a soccer-style kicker.

The most important thing for us is for the kicker - and everybody else - to know where the ball is expected to go.

We divide the field into 9 squares, like a keypad - everybody understands that concept - and we practice kicking the ball to the square that’s been called (1-2-3 are deep, 4-5-6 are behind the front row, 7-8-9 are short and meant to be immediately fieldable.
keypad

Hope that answers it.



*********** The word “master,” in addition to meaning one who had authority over another, also meant one who was in charge of things, as well as one who was considered to be at the pinnacle of his craft, capable of teaching others.

There is still such a thing as a “harbormaster.” and there is a master plumber.
 
Many jobs  require a Master’s degree.

But,  oh dear - “master” was also the title give to a slave owner.

At least partly  for that reason - and also partly because “master” is a male title,  most elite private schools are no long run by a “headmaster, but by a “head of school.”

Yale, where residential houses were for more than 70 years headed by “masters,” has done away with the title.

Now, up to the plate steps professional sports.

Their eyes are on the word “owner.”

According to TMZ Sports, two NBA teams have already ditched the title.

Forget how much money a person paid to buy a team and “own” it.  The name “owner,” you see, is bad:

“We’re told the conversations essentially center around the idea that the term, owner - in a league where the majority of the players are black - feels racially insensitive,” TMZ reported.

*********** Interesting figures from the National Football Foundation…

    •    Overall attendance for NCAA football games across all divisions (FBS, FCS, Division II and Division III) drew 46,984,720 fans at home games, neutral-site games and postseason games in 2018. The number represents a 1.3 percent drop from the 2017 season, but it also represents a 25 percent increase from 1998 season and a 145.6 percent increase from the 19,134,159 fans that the NCAA reported in 1948* when they first started collecting attendance figures.
    •    The Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) drew 36,707,511 spectators for an average of 41,856 fans per game.
    •    The Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) pulled in 5,253,371 fans for an average of 7,853 followed by Division II with 2,751,966 for a 3,075 average and Division III with 2,135,065 for a 1,705 average.
    •    The SEC led all FBS conferences in attendance for the 21st straight year, averaging 73,994 fans per game or a total of 7,473,374 in 2018, followed by the Big Ten (65,376), Big 12 (56,986), ACC (48,820) and Pac-12 (46,442).
    •    Michigan led all FBS schools again with an average attendance of 110,737 fans per home game in 2018. Four other schools also averaged more than 100,000 fans per home game: Penn State (105,485), Ohio State (101,947), Alabama (101,562) and LSU (100,819). Rounding out the 2018 Top Ten leaders for average home team attendance were: Texas A&M (99,844), Texas (97,713), Tennessee (92,984), Georgia (92,746) and Nebraska (89,034). Other universities with more than 80,000 fans per home game included Oklahoma (86,735), Auburn (84,462), Florida (82,328) and Clemson (80,400).
    •    Michigan has led the nation in attendance for 42 of the past 44 seasons. (The two breaks occurred with a No. 3 ranking in 2014 and No. 2 ranking in 1997.) The Wolverines have now played before 100,000-plus fans for a record 286 straight home games, a streak that extends back to Nov. 8, 1975.
    •    Alabama led the nation for total fan attendance, attracting 1,313,670 spectators to all of their games in 2018, including home, away, neutral and postseason tilts. Thirteen other teams eclipsed the million mark in 2018: Ohio State (1,220,635), Michigan (1,200,619), Georgia (1,189,563), LSU (1,174,526), Texas A&M (1,114,219), Penn State (1,098,807), Clemson (1,077,480), Oklahoma (1,073,464), Texas (1,063,160), Auburn (1,032,450), Nebraska (1,031,202) and Tennessee (1,011,516).
    •    Nebraska continued its NCAA-record streak of 368 consecutive home sellouts, a stretch that dates back to Nov. 3, 1962, at Memorial Stadium. The stadium has a current capacity of 85,458, and the Huskers averaged 89,034 at its home games during the 2018 season for a total attendance of 623,240 at seven games. Notre Dame holds the second longest sellout streak, which started in 1974, continuing through the 2018 season and now at 268 games.
    •    The top 10 FBS schools with the largest increases in attendance all averaged more than 3,200 additional fans per game with Northwestern leading the way with 8,020 additional fans at each game, followed by UCF (7,173), South Florida (7,116), California (6,318), Pittsburgh (5,401), Buffalo (5,030), Texas (4,935), Louisiana-Monroe (4,282), Louisville (4,091) and Purdue (3,236).
    •    The top 10 FBS schools with the largest percentage increases in attendance included Louisiana-Monroe (43.1%), Buffalo (37.7%), South Florida (22.7%), Northwestern (22.4%), UCF (19.5%), Louisiana (17.8%), California (17.3%), Western Michigan (15.2%), Pittsburgh (14.9%) and Marshall (10.68.%).
    •    Georgia currently boasts a streak of 71 consecutive sell-outs.
    •    Boise State's average home attendance was 33,068, a 5.9 percent increase from the prior year and leading the Mountain West Conference.
    •    South Florida football posted its best home attendance average in six seasons with an average of 38,517 fans for six home games or an increase of more than 7,116 fans per game over the 2017 season.
    •    Troy set a single-season attendance record for the third consecutive year, averaging 24,527 fans during its six home games. The home opener between Troy and Boise State drew a record crowd of 29,612, and the season saw a record 147,160 fans attend games.
    •    North Texas attracted more fans (140,131) in 2018 than any of the previous eight seasons that Apogee Stadium has been open. The total marked a 4.4 percent increase above last season, which was the previous high-water mark. Average attendance equaled 23,355, also eclipsing the previous record of 22,362 set last season.
    •    Jackson State claimed the FCS attendance title attracting 99,079 fans for an average of 24,770 fans for the Tigers' four home games in 2018. Montana, which had claimed the FCS title for four consecutive seasons, came in at second with an average of 24,677 fans for the Grizzlies' six home games and 148,064 spectators overall in 2018. James Madison (20,911), Southern (18,803) and North Dakota State (18,106) rounded out the top five.
    •    Morehouse (Ga.) captured the Division II attendance title, attracting a total of 36,111 fans for a 12,037 average per home game. Tuskegee (Ala.) with 11,058 landed in the No. 2 spot, followed by Grand Valley State (Mich.), which had led Division II in attendance from 2014-16, with an average of 11,039. Pittsburg State (Kan.) with 8,715 fans per game and Midwestern State (Texas) with 8,284 fans round the top five Division II schools in 2018.
    •    Hampden-Sydney (Va.) finished first among all Division III programs in 2018 home attendance, with a total of 30,864 attending four home games for an average of 7,716. Saint John's (Minn.), which held the title for 15 of 16 years from 2001-16 and was second last year, again landed at No. 2 with an average of 5,912 fans per game. Rounding out the top five were Wisconsin-Whitewater with 5,198, Bethel (Minn.) with 4,436 and Trine (Ind.) with 4,234 fans per game.
    •    The Southwestern Athletic Conference earned its 40th FCS attendance title in 41 years, averaging 15,240 fans for a total of 746,760 in 2018.
    •    The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) netted its 15th Division II attendance crown in 16 years, averaging 6,252 fans and a total attendance of 287,589.
    •    The Minnesota Intercollegiate Conference grabbed the top spot for Division III attendance for the 13th time in the last 14 years with an average of 2,922 fans per game.
 
 
Regular Season Ratings and Digital Highlights
 

    •    The 366 regular season telecasts on ABC, beIN Sports, CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, FOX, FS1 and NBC during the 2018 regular season averaged 1,802,000 viewers per game while reaching more than 163 million unique fans†
    •    The SEC Championship on CBS between Alabama and Georgia was the most watched game of the season with 17,499,000 viewers on Dec. 1. The game was also the most watched regular season game in seven years and the second most-watched SEC Championship ever in the 26-year history of the game.   
    •    Top Ten for viewership (P2+) also included Michigan – Ohio State (Nov. 24 on FOX) with 13,200,000; Alabama – LSU (Nov. 3 on CBS) with 11,543,000; Texas – Oklahoma (Dec. 1 on ABC) with 10,155,000; Ohio State – Penn State (Sept. 29 on ABC) with Auburn – Alabama (Nov. 24 on CBS) with 9,132,000; Northwestern – Ohio State (Dec. 1 on FOX) with 8,659,000; Army – Navy (Dec. 8 on CBS) with 8,050,000; Notre Dame – Southern California (Nov. 24 on ABC) with 7,736,000; Ohio State – TCU (Sept. 15 on ABC) with 7,232,000.
    •    The top four games all eclipsed the 10 million viewer mark and the top 11 all exceeded 7 million viewers each. A total of 26 games had more than 5 million viewers.
    •    Seven teams played in three or more games ranked in the Top 25 for viewership: Ohio State (7), Alabama (5), LSU (4), Michigan (4), Auburn (3), Georgia (3), Oklahoma (3)
 

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

Normie Kwong. Check out this film from the 1955 Grey Cup. Notice the T formation being used. It's interesting that today, Canadian teams use offences that are noticeably different from American teams. Not so in the 1950s.

Tom Walls
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Interesting how they employed the multiple motion back when there was more emphasis on the running game! Very cool!

https://www.gettyimages.ca/detail/video/grey-cup-football-championship-game-between-montreal-news-footage/544788538

*********** Their janitor was a Medal of Honor winner - and they might never have found out…

https://www.warhistoryonline.com/world-war-ii/air-force-academy-janitor-medal-of_honor-x.html

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

My Trinity team in NH had the "pleasure" of facing Ryan Day's team when he was quarterback at Manchester Central.  We were out manned, out-gunned, and they were outstanding.  Two years later we played Central again after Day had graduated, and pulled off a 13-12 upset win over the Little Green in the Thanksgiving Day game.  They were the defending Division 1 state champs, and we lost in the Division 2 state semi-finals that year.  To this day still considered in Manchester one of the the best "Turkey Bowls" ever.

Rule addition #23...Like in rugby, (and where the word "touchdown" originated), the BALL must be touched down to the ground in the end zone for the score to count.  No more "did it cross the plane", or "did he get his foot down", or "was his knee down first" or any of that BS.

You are either born a male, or a female.  Deal with it.  Enough of this crap!! 

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas
Formerly of Manchester, New Hampshire

It really is impressive what kind of football guys have come out of little Manchester.

I think you remember John Trish - John Trisciani.

Haven’t heard from him in a while but his brother Tony is now HC at Elon, in North Carolina. One of my grandsons went there.

I like the idea of the "touchdown.”


*********** QUIZ: Nicknamed the China Clipper - a takeoff on the famous airplane - Normie (his formal name was “Norman” but no one called him that) Kwong was the son of Chinese immigrants to Canada, and is almost surely the first person of Chinese descent to play professional football.


He grew up in Alberta, and in 1948 went directly from playing high school football to playing professionally for the Calgary Stampeders.  The Stamps played in the Grey Cup his first season, making him, at 18, the youngest player ever to play in a Grey Cup game. Calgary won.  In all, he would play on four Grey Cup championship teams.


A short, stocky fullback (5-9, 190), he was extremely durable, and  in his 13 years in the CFL he would gain 9,022 yards and score 73 rushing touchdowns.  At the time of his retirement in 1960, he held 30 different CFL rushing records.


After playing three years in Calgary, he was traded to Edmonton, and his career really took off.


The Eskimos won three straight Grey Cups from 1954-1956, and he was a key factor.


In the 1954 Grey Cup game, he carried 30 times for 145 yards.


In 1956, he rushed for 1437 yards, a CGL record that lasted  until 2012 - by which time the CFL regular season was 18 games in length (he set his record in a 15-game season).


In 1955 and 1956 he won the Schenley Award, given to the Outstanding Canadian Player, and in 1955 he was named Canadian Male Athlete of the Year.


He went on to become a successful businessman, and in 1980 he was part of a group that brought the NHL’s Atlanta franchise to Calgary.


From 1988 to 1992, he served as President and General Manager of the Stampeders, and is credited with bringing financial stability to the franchise.


From 2005 to 2010 he served as Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Alberta.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING NORMIE KWONG


KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MAT HEDGER - LANGDON, NORTH DAKOTA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA


***********  MORE ON NORMIE KWONG

Terry Jones, Edmonton Sun September 03, 2016

CALGARY — Normie Kwong used to refer to me as ‘The Voice of Doom.’ When his phone rang and it was your correspondent on the line, his reaction was usually ‘OK, who died?’

Kwong was my go-to-guy to call to talk about an Eskimos teammate who had passed away. He was brilliant with the way he captured the essence of every one of them, offering a treasure trove of anecdotes and memories to celebrate the life of the latest absent friend.

When Kwong died here Saturday at age 86, there were almost no survivors of the 1950s Edmonton Eskimos glory gang to call to offer tribute to him. And nobody deserved the kind of eulogy that Kwong used to deliver only seconds after he absorbed the news of the death of a teammate, as the China Clipper deserves today himself.

He was one of the greatest Canadians ever to play the game and one of the greatest guys — one of the greatest characters — ever to walk through a clubhouse door.

The man who broke into the league with Les Lear’s celebrated 1948 Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders team that turned the game into the national celebration it is today, used to be a popular emcee on the sportsman’s dinner circuit, trumpeting himself as ‘The Living Legend.’

He was always making fun of himself when he went into that routine. But when Kwong died here yesterday there was no question that he’d been just that — an actual living legend in far more ways than just a football player.

In Edmonton he was, along with Jackie Parker, Johnny Bright and Rollie Miles, one of the Mount Rushmore figures of the 1954-55-56 Grey Cup champions.

Few teams loved life more than the Edmonton Eskimos glory gang of the 1950s.

“Rollie Miles thought of it as a game. Johnny Bright thought of it as a war. Normie Kwong thought of it as a way to promote his laundry business. Jackie Parker thought of it as something to get out of the way so he could get on with the rest of his evening,” said Don Getty, when he inducted them to the Eskimos Wall of Honour years later.

We lost Getty, who went on to become Premier of the province of Alberta, earlier this year.

Training camp was one of Kwong’s favourite times of the year. Being a Canadian, and one so obviously safe from competition, Kwong would tiptoe around the nervous Americans and have his fun.

“He knew he wasn’t getting cut, and he knew who was edgy,” said Morris. “He’d go to any length. He’d get road maps from every corner of North American, and he’d draw the best routes for the rookie to get home. He didn’t do anything halfway. He even gave rookies a list of three-star motels to stay at along the routes. Then he left the package in the player’s locker.

“He was at his best when Pop Ivy was coach. Pop didn’t like to call guys in to tell them they were cut. He’d just clean out their lockers. Normie loved that. He’d come to the locker room a few hours early and clean out a locker himself. He’d usually pick out a guy who was looking pretty good. I’ll never forget the time John Goff came into the dressing room. He was a good friend of Kwong, and he had the locker next to him. It was empty. He chased Kwong around the dressing room for half an hour trying to get him to confess where he hid his stuff. It really looked like Normie was playing this one to the hilt, and everyone was enjoying it. It turned out Ivy cleaned out the locker. Goff had really been cut.”

Frankie Anderson loved the time Kwong did it to Bob Heidenfelt.

“He was a pretty nice guy, and a pretty religious kid. He came into the room and saw his locker, and his face just dropped. It was the ultimate expression. He just couldn’t believe it. He trudged into Ivy’s office and said ‘Coach, I thought I was doing pretty good …’

“ ‘Kwong, you stupid …’ ” Ivy yelled instantly.

“One thing about Normie, he didn’t play a practical joke on somebody he didn’t like.”

You can’t spin stories about that team without mentioning gambling and drinking.

“I couldn’t believe some of those card games. The money just piled up. On a dead day, Jackie and Normie would play gin as long as they thought they could keep the bus waiting. I never saw two gamblers like them. They’d be standing by the elevators waiting for one to arrive at their floor, and would have a $20 bet on which one was going to stop for them.”

Bob Dean had one of the best stories along those lines.

“I remember one day it was so miserable outside that there just wasn’t anything to do. Nobody else was around. Normie and Jackie sat there and stared out the window. All of a sudden one of them says, ‘Ten dollars on the raindrops and I got this one.’ They sat there betting on which raindrop would get to the bottom of the windowpane first,” said Dean.

Jim Quondamatteo didn’t become one of the legendary names from that team, but in the fun and games department, Bugsy was big.

“Kwong called him ‘Bugsy’ because he looked like one of Al Capone’s boys,” said Frankie Anderson. “I was one of the losers in most of those card games. Kwong, Parker and Bugsy were usually the winners.”

“One day Quondamatteo confessed to me he was really worried he was going deaf,” remembered Kwong. “We were going on a road trip on one of those really noisy North Star planes, so I spread the word. Everybody went up to him and moved their lips as if they were talking to him. ‘Normie, I know I’m going deaf,’ he kept telling me. The topper was when Ivy came up to him and did it, too. Even the stewardess. Even better was the team meeting in Regina. We actually had a guy get up and mouth the whole talk. We had a signal for when to pretend to clap. It was beautiful.”

Bright, a player Kwong had nicknamed ‘Owl Brows’, in his first few years, had a problem of being easy to knock out.

“I’d go up to him and touch him on the head and say ‘Goodnight, John.’ The problem began at Drake University with a fellow named Wilbank Smith, who broke Johnny’s jaw in a famous incident in which the picture made Life magazine. I’d go up behind Johnny and just yell ‘Wilbank’ real loud sometimes.”

It was, perhaps, fitting that he should die on Labour Day weekend and the traditional Edmonton-Calgary game.

Calgary has an equal reason to celebrate the life of Kwong today, too.

He became a part owner of the Calgary Flames of the NHL, one of the original six businessmen who bought the Atlanta Flames, and moved it to Calgary.

When the Flames won the Stanley Cup in 1989, the man who had his name on the Grey Cup in 1948, 1954, 1955 and 1956, became one of a very short list of people who had their names on both trophies.

Kwong was made president and general manager of the Stampeders in 1988 after a SOS (Save Our Stamps) crisis, promising he’d bring Edmonton Eskimos stability to the organization, and hiring Wally Buono as his head coach. They had Calgary in the Grey Cup game by 1991.

And his life is to be celebrated by all Albertans as well.

Receiving the Order of Canada in 1998, Kwong became the first person of Chinese heritage to be accorded the honour when he was named the 16th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta in 2005. He finished his term in 2010.

Few people in the entire history of Alberta were ever loved by so many as Norman Lim Kwong.

********** Johnny Bright and Normie Kwong were the star running backs in the “twin fullback” formation employed by Edmonton Eskimos head coach Pop Ivy in winning three straight Grey Cups.

The two remained good friends, and over the years they would entertain banquet audiences with a routine that went something like this:

BRIGHT: “In 10 years, Normie scored seventy touchdowns, and if you looked it up, he only had seventy yards rushing. I’d lug it down to the one, and he’d carry it in.”

KWONG: “If Johnny blocked for me like I blocked for him, I’d have won the rushing title every year.”

An amazing fact: No one knows exactly how many yards Normie Kwong rushed for in his career, because for his first four years there are no records. Simple reason: he began playing in 1948, but no statistics were kept prior to 1952.

*********** **how did you know about this guy??

Bill Nelson
Thornton, Co

HAHAHA.  I remember as a kid reading in the paper about CFL games and being fascinated by the name!

*********** Learned something.....never heard of him....very accomplished

Kevin McCullough
Lakeville, Indiana

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

You completely stumped me on this one!  I know next to nothing about the Canadian football league.  Your man in this quiz sounded very interesting with the biography of his life.  I never dreamed that there was a professional football player that played in Canada or the United States that was Chinese!  This was such a well rounded individual that he piqued my interest in doing some research to find out his name.  I hate doing research! I got burned out on it in graduate school writing papers for professors that were using us to research the things that they wanted to research and publish in professional journals.  That is why I try not to research you quizzes.  This the third one that has stumped since I got this computer in March.

My research tells me this man's name is Normie Kwong.  I really enjoyed reading about him in Wikipedia.  Thank you for bringing to light such an interesting man to all who follow your news each week.

David Crump
Owensboro, Kentucky

*********** QUIZ: He never played a down of football.  He never coached a game.  He didn’t own a team.  But he’s in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

A native of Atlantic City, he was a good swimmer at Ohio State, and after graduation he tried acting, but World War II intervened.

Following World War II service,  he worked for his father’s clothing firm as a salesman, but his life began to change when he was given a Bell and Howell motion picture camera as a wedding present.

He began shooting film of everything his kids did, including his son’s peewee games, and in 1962, at the age of 36, his recently-formed firm, called Blair Motion Picures after his daughter, Blair, bid $1,500 for the rights to film the NFL championship game.

When Commissioner Pete Rozelle questioned him about his experience, he said,“I filmed the games of my 14-year-old son.”

He got the job anyway,  and from that point, he was on his way.

Two years later, Blair Motion Pictures became NFL Films.

In 1985, he handed over leadership of the company to his son, who had worked under him for years. (Hint - do not give me his son's name.)

In 2011 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Under his management,  goes his HOF citation, “NFL Films has revolutionized the manner in which sports are presented on camera. Many firsts in film were introduced under his leadership ranging from the first use of a microphone on coaches, referees and players; use of a reverse-angle replay; adding popular music to footage; and the ever popular bloopers videos.”



american flagTUESDAY,  JUNE 18, 2019  “The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.” Thomas Sowell

*********** From the time it was first announced that Saturday night’s CFL game between the BC Lions and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers would be televised on ESPN2 at 7 PM,  I started preparing. 

First of all, I set the DVR to record it.  And then, my wife and I made sure that we would be sitting down to eat when the game came on.

Just to be sure, of course, I sat down a few minutes early, and found myself watching one of the sports world’s least attractive events - a women’s boxing match. But what the hell - it would be over shortly, so that those of us who wanted to watch a live football game could watch it, start to finish.

Sure, it was only the end of the sixth round (of a 10-round fight) and I had no idea what the few viewers who were actually watching two women pummel each other were going to do, but that was ESPN’s problem.

But 7 PM came and went, with no sign of a football game.  And nothing from ESPN about WTF was going on, until after about five minutes had passed, when they informed us that the CFL game we’d turned in to watch could now be seen on ESPN News.  (Meantime, on ESPN2, We’d just recorded five minutes or so of a f—king women’s boxing match.)

After another 5 or 10 minutes of watching the CFL game on ESPN News, we broke for a commercial - and, it seemed, never came out of it.  Turns out that the geniuses at ESPN headquarters had gone to the programming originally scheduled for ESPN News - and, without any notice whatsoever, switched the game back to its original place on ESPN2.

Thanks a lot, World Wide Leader. 

*********** Meantime, former North Beach Hyak Carson Ketter played a fair bit of defense at outside linebacker in BC’s loss to Winnipeg.  I damn near hit the ceiling when he made a nice tackle near the end of the third quarter.

***********  Ben Bridge just graduated from Elma, Washington, High School, where his dad, my head coach Todd Bridge, was AD the last two years.  It was a great senior year for Ben.

He was starting center on last year’s 8-3 football team, a solid heavyweight wrestler, a state qualifier in the shot and discus, and second in the state in his class in powerlifting.

Ben’s older brothers, Caleb and Seth, stood 6-5 or better and weighed more than 260 each as seniors, and in addition to being all-state football players they were both exceptional discus and shot men. 

While not as big as his older brothers - he’s about 6 feet tall and he weighs about 240 -  and while not quite the weight man in track that they were,  Ben’s a better power lifter, surpassing all their records.

Oh - and on top of it all, he was class valedictorian.

No more “little brother.”

*********** If you’ve ever read something a school administrator has written, or if you’ve ever heard one speak, and found yourself going “WTF?” it’s probable that you’ve encountered “eduspeak.”

“Eduspeak” requires always using more words than necessary, and always using longer words even when shorter ones would make more sense.   Often, you’ll hear words you’ve never heard before - and likely never will again.

“Educators” have a language all their own, employing phrases, expressions and words crafted not only to show to other members of the educational bureaucracy that the speaker is one of them, but also to confuse the sh— out of anyone on the outside. (To “baffle with bulls—“ as the old expression goes.)

And so I laughed when I read an article in a local paper about a recently-hired principal at one of the area’s high schools.

One of his goals, he said, was  “refining perceptions of our campus from external stakeholders.”  WTF?

*********** In 2018, the state of Washington made the Strait of Juan de Fuca - which separates Washington from Canada - a “no-discharge zone” for boats.

But just  25 miles across the Strait from Port Angeles, Washington, Victoria, BC (in Canada, for God’s sake!) continues to dump its raw sewage  straight into the Strait - just as it has been doing since the late 1800s.

Local protests have included appearances by “Mister Floatie, “ a local schoolteacher dressed as, um, well, a piece of, um…

As he said to the CBC recently, “It was an embarrassment for the tourism industry and for local politicians to have this tall turd walking around.”

There is good news on the horizon.  A new $765 million sewage treatment plant is due to go on stream by the end of 2021.

In fairness to the people of that beautiful city, much of the “solid waste” gets caught by nets, but still…

Keep an eye out for Mister Floatie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-NWbzB3ut0

*********** The Las Vegas Bowl has its eyes on the prize.

Starting in December,  2020, it will be played in the Raiders’ new stadium.

And where in the past it has matched a Pac-12 team against the Mountain West or BYU, now, with a considerably higher payoff,  it will be played between a Pac-12 team and an opponent from either the SEC or the Big Ten.

The Pac-12 representative will be the highest-ranked conference team that’s not playing in either a Playoff game or a New Year’s Six bowl.

***********  If I were King of All Football… I would make some rules changes immediately, and I’d take a good long look at several others.

In the latter case, I would do my part to try to reverse the death spiral of the minor bowl games by proposing that they experiment with rules whose adoption might benefit the game of football:
       
1. Play the game on a larger - Canadian-sized - field
2. No one player can kick the ball in any way more than once a game
3. “Fifth Down” - If you run the ball twice in any set of four downs you get a bonus fifth down. This would encourage people to run the ball, and might discourage punts and field goals.
4. Only two points awarded for a field goal
5. Run or pass for a PAT: three points
6. Major penalties would result in a team having to play a man short for a specific number of plays
7. Offensive and defensive linemen must wear boxing gloves
8. Any defensive player penalized for holding would have to wear boxing gloves for a specified number of plays
9. To discourage offensive holding and encourage the teaching of legal tactics, the penalty for holding would be 15 yards and loss of down.
10. Targeting would require the ejection of a coach, starting with the head coach on the first offense
11.  No hooksliding beyond the line of scrimmage. The only purpose of a hookslide will be as a way for the QB to escape a hit when running out of the pocket.  On any play on which a QB gains yardage and then  slides, the ball would be brought back to the LOS.
12. From helmet to shoes to sox, the entire team must wear the same uniform.
13. Any celebration while being escorted from the field would result in the player’s having to wear a Dunce Cap on the sideline for the remainder of the game. 
14. No touchdowns on “flyovers” through scoring territory, or on reaching out.
15. A rugby rule - for the PAT, spot the ball on the three, directly back from where it was touched down or where the ball went out of the end zone (on a fade TD, or one of those fly-across-the-pylon TDs, the ball would be spotted five yards in from the sideline.
16. No intentional grounding unless there is an eligible receiver or a defender within 5 yards of the ball where it lands or goes out of bounds (this would also mean no spiking).
17. Limited rosters and limited substitution
18. No coaching from the sideline
19. No body-block or human missile tackling.  Arms must be used in any tackle or the runner will be awarded an additional 15 yards from the spot where he was brought down.
20. The ground CAN cause a fumble
21. No “starting the lawnmower” forced fumbles
22. Fumbles can’t be advanced.

Advantages:
1. Stimulate interest in the bowl
2. Field-test the rules.
3. Provide a ready-made excuse for losing teams

*********** Back in 1993, when Congress passed a law making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of “sexual identity and orientation,” no one, not even science fiction writers, could have predicted that one day, men claiming to be women would threaten to dominate women’s sports.

In recent years, boys claiming to be girls have won several state track championships.

And when organizations attempt to defend women and girls against men who call themselves women, they encounter legal challenges from advocates for “social justice.”

In Minnesota, a group that calls itself “Gender Justice” has filed a complaint with the state’s Department of Human Rights against USA Powerlifting on behalf of a born-male-but-wants-to-compete-as-female powerlifter who now goes by the name of JayCee Cooper.  Ms. Cooper, it seems, was banned from Minnesota’s state bench press championship back in January.

USA Powerlifting’s argument is that it is standing up for federal protections for women.

“At some point,” said Larry Maile, president of USA Powerlifting, "we are going to have to defend the biology and stand on women being a protected class, and it might as well start in Minnesota.

Boy - wouldn’t you just love to hear the Democratic candidates handle this one in one of their debates? (Don’t bet money that the topic will ever come up.)

https://thenationalsentinel.com/2019/06/16/usa-powerlifting-federation-will-defend-transgender-athlete-policy-in-court/


*********** In order to be cleared to coach in Washington, you have to get fingerprinted. I’ve had it done before, of course, but this being the 21st Century, and Washington being the home of tech giants Microsoft and Amazon, you can’t really expect the state to have a record of prior fingerprints, can you? (Especially when they can charge you $83 every time you get fingerprinted.)

Anyhow, before being fingerprinted last week, I had to answer a number of ID-related questions, one of which was “what is your hair color?”

Perhaps it’s explained by our proximity to Seattle, but there were - no lie - at least a dozen choices, including blue, green and orange. (I chose “gray or partially gray.”)

*********** The lead headline in The Athletic’s email said something about Ryan Day and his roots in his hometown of Manchester, New Hampshire, so I started reading the article. 

It was the “Manchester” business that grabbed me. Ever since I was a high schooler and my coach got me a summer job at a sports camp in New Hampshire,  I’ve had a special feeling for the Granite State, and besides, I knew that Chip Kelly and Dan Mullen are both from Manchester, so I read on.

Ryan Day?  True Confession: it didn’t ring a bell.

Pro golfer?  Sounded like one.  Maybe a baseball player?

The writer of the story  told about making a visit to Manchester, and telling people who asked that he was from Columbus, Ohio.  But I still had no clue until maybe a dozen paragraphs into the story, when he identified the story’s subject as “Day, the 40-year-old, first-year coach at Ohio State.”

I’ll take my share of the blame for not knowing the name immediately, but really - Ryan Day?  Come on - coaches used to have names like Woody. Bo. Vince.  Joe. 

“Ryan Day” sounds like the hero of one of those novels we used to read as kids, about some guy who’s the quarterback on the school football team, the catcher on the baseball team, the point guard on the basketball team. 

In Manchester, New Hampshire, that was Ryan Day.

Ryan,
the oldest of three brothers - all of them sports standouts - went on to star at quarterback at New Hampshire (UNH) where the offensive coordinator was Chip Kelly.  Several years later, unwilling to make a cross-country move away from family, he would turn Kelly down after being offered the job of offensive coordinator at Oregon.  (Kelly then gave the job to Mark Helfrich, who would become Oregon’s head coach when Kelly jumped to the NFL.)

Day has solid credentials, including that 62-29 win over Michigan when he was still the Buckeyes’ interim coach. After reading this article,  and with sleazy Urban Meyer gone from the scene, I find myself interested in Ohio State football.

And what if he wins a national title or two at Ohio State?  Then what? Asked where he goes from there - maybe to the Patriots when Bill Belicihick retires - Day knew what to say:  “In my opinion, and this is what blows everyone’s mind away -  this is a bigger job than the Patriots. You can be anywhere in the country and there are Buckeyes everywhere. This is the biggest and best job in football.”

But after all the feel-good, nice-guy, small-town-kid-makes-it-big stuff in the article,  one of his brothers summed it all up with a bit of harsh reality: “He better f—king win.”

https://theathletic.com/996896/2019/06/11/ohio-state-coach-ryan-day-manchester-identity/


*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Mike Curtis came out of the Washington, DC suburb of Rockville, Maryland, and was an All-ACC fullback at Duke.

Drafted in the first round by the Baltimore Colts, he was quickly switched to linebacker, where played 11 seasons in Baltimore, during most of which time he was team captain.

Feared by opponents and teammates alike, Curtis’ aggressive play - and his blitzing - earned him the nickname “Mad Dog.”

He went to four Pro Bowls and was twice named first team All-Pro. He remains the only player to have been named All-Pro at both outside and middle linebacker.

In 1970, his last-minute interception led to the winning field goal in the Colts’ Super Bowl win over Dallas.

In 1976, after a dispute with General Manager Joe Thomas (one of the most despised men in pro football), he was left unprotected in the expansion draft and was taken by the Seattle Seahawks.

Named defensive captain, he started every game for the Seahawks, and his block of a field goal saved the Seahawks’ first-ever win.

After being waived the next season, he ended his career  playing two more seasons with the Redskins.

Despite his illustrious career - many of his teammates felt that he was worthy of Hall of Fame membership - Mike Curtis is best remembered by many for the time he leveled a drunk who had run onto the field between plays and tried to make off with the game ball.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING MIKE CURTIS

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
GREG KOENIG - COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
MIKE FORISTIERE - TOPEKA, KANSAS
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA

*********** Thanks to Greg Koenig for this...

https://www.pressboxonline.com/story/10378/mad-dogs-last-blitz

*********** NFL Films' take on Mike Curtis (guy could hit)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkVficTFa9g

*********** QUIZ: Nicknamed the China Clipper - a takeoff on the famous airplane - he was the son of Chinese immigrants to Canada, and is almost surely the first person of Chinese descent to play professional football.

He grew up in Alberta, and in 1948 went directly from playing high school football to playing professionally for the Calgary Stampeders.  The Stamps played in the Grey Cup his first season, making him, at 18, the youngest player ever to play in a Grey Cup game. Calgary won.  In all, he would play on four Grey Cup championship teams.

A short, stocky fullback (5-9, 190), he was extremely durable, and  in his 13 years in the CFL he would gain 9,022 yards and score 73 rushing touchdowns.  At the time of his retirement in 1960, he held 30 different CFL rushing records.

After playing three years in Calgary, he was traded to Edmonton, and his career really took off.

The Eskimos won three straight Grey Cups from 1954-1956, and he was a key factor.

In the 1954 Grey Cup game, he carried 30 times for 145 yards.

In 1956, he rushed for 1437 yards, a CFL record that lasted  until 2012 - by which time the CFL regular season was 18 games in length (he set his record in a 15-game season).

In 1955 and 1956 he won the Schenley Award, given to the Outstanding Canadian Player, and in 1955 he was named Canadian Male Athlete of the Year.

He went on to become a successful businessman, and in 1980 he was part of a group that brought the NHL’s Atlanta franchise to Calgary.

From 1988 to 1992, he served as President and General Manager of the Stampeders, and is credited with bringing financial stability to the franchise.

From 2005 to 2010 he served as Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Alberta.


american flagFRIDAY,  JUNE 14, 2019   "Since well before 1787, liberty has been understood as freedom from government action, not entitlement to government benefits.” Justice Clarence Thomas

*********** It was 90 degrees at practice time Tuesday, and I imagine it was even higher on the turf of Aberdeen High’s Stewart Field.  It was the first day of our spring practice in which the temperature was higher than 80, and the surprising heat, along with the absence of several regulars for various reasons, combined to create our first sloppy offensive practice.

Having backups playing at several positions was certainly part of the problem, but our usually-dependable starters contributed their share of mistakes, too.

Running a play over and over and over (you get the idea), smacking pads again and again in an atmosphere of heat and frustration and shouting was evidently new to the kids, coming from a spread-it-out-and-throw-it offense. 

For us as coaches it was upsetting, but at the same time it provided a great opportunity to tell them that this is how the fourth quarter  of a tough game feels - not having been in many games down into the fourth quarter, they couldn’t be expected to know - and that the team that wins is going to be the team that can put aside how sore they feel and how tired they are and concentrate on their jobs while going balls-out.

To explain why I commute from our place in Ocean Shores: when I left Aberdeen after practice, it was 85 degrees. When I got to “the Shores,” just 27 miles away, it was a blistering 64 degrees.

The next day, Wednesday, practice was a complete turnaround from the day before. True, it was about five degrees cooler, but in our coastal climate, that’s still hot. I did make one slight adjustment that I’m sure made a difference - I had the team huddle-up.  Normally, we run plays in fairly rapid-fire order, trying to get more plays in.  But that’s done at the expense of teaching, and to be frank, I may have been committing the unpardonable sin of any teacher - testing before teaching.  In the huddle, I could do some teaching when necessary. The upshot of it was that, yes, we ran fewer plays - but with players making sure of their assignments before leaving the huddle, the plays that we did run were run much better.  Lesson learned.

*********** We had to get off to a late start on Wednesday because our juniors were being IMPACT tested.  (They take some sort of cognitive test that should they incur a concussion, will serve as the baseline for future tests to determine when a player can return to action.)  https://impacttest.com/

As a result, we ran over.  I mention this because a player’s mother came to the sideline to get her son, and when our coach went over to meet her, he apologized, saying, “We got started late and we ran over.”

Not happy, she replied, “You ran exactly 23 minutes over.”

*********** Long ago, when pro football players had to have real jobs in the off-season to supplement their football salaries, players would wait until training camp to get into shape.

Now, though, with players paid king’s ransoms, teams can’t afford to wait until camp. Now, they have off-season minicamps, euphemized as OTA’s (Organized Team Activities), as much to keep tabs on the players’ conditionings as anything.

And even now,  with millions on the line, there are still players who refuse to take care of the one asset they own - their bodies.

You have to dig way down into the lowest depths of stupidity to come across men making $3 million to play pro football who show up to a mini-camp, so out of shape, so overweight that they’re kept out of drills.

Such a man is Michael Pierce, of the Baltimore Ravens.

https://sports.yahoo.com/baltimore-ravens-minicamp-michael-pierce-pulled-out-of-shape-conditioning-john-harbaugh-031915540.html


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

Your piece on disappearing rivalries made me think about one rivalry that should be - but never was. (been sayin this for years)

Tennessee vs. Texas

Volunteers/Crockett/ the most state flags (for each one who died) at the Alamo, SAME school colors (just different shades of orange).

Somewhere in that historical computer you have for a brain, you could probably school me with some more reasons ha!
I can dream, can't I?

It's great news you're back to coaching, and also great to hear my pal Joe is back at Hyde Park - good luck to both of you! I look forward to hearing about your season(s)!

(I'm not in the Austin area any more, so I won't get a chance to catch a game)

Best regards to you!

John Rothwell

Hi John-

Don’t know where you are but I hope it’s nice and you’re doing well.

I don’t think that many people understand the history behind the “Volunteers” nickname, but it’s a matter of great pride to Tennesseans (who know their history) that so many Tennesseans answered the call in the War of 1812, and later in the Texas fight for its independence. Many of the men who died in the Alamo (including Davy Crockett - “born on a mountaintop in Tennessee” as Disney told it) were Tennessee men who had volunteered to fight.  Tennessee volunteers played an important role in the fight for Texas’ independence from Mexico.

Actually, for all the years that Texas was in the Southwest Conference, the only way the teams would have met was in a bowl game.  And in recent years, as tough as the SEC regular season is, it wouldn’t have made sense for Tennessee to schedule a really tough out-of-league opponent.

Now that Power 5 teams are coming under pressure to “schedule up” in the pre-season, it’s possible that sometime in the future (these games are scheduled way in advance) we could see an orange vs burnt orange rivalry.

Not that Tennessee needs another rivalry.  Surrounded as it is by SEC states, it’s got long-time rivalries with Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama and Auburn. Florida has always been a big rival. And there’s in-state rival Vanderbilt.

Actually, before Texas, I’d expect to see Tennessee get back to playing Arkansas, once a traditional across-the-Mississippi rival back when it was in the SWC.


*********** Call it The replenishment of The Swamp.

Have you noticed that of all the misfits “running” for the Democratic Presidential nomination, all but maybe one or at most two are mayors, governors, representatives or senators?  It means that unless, say,   Michelle Obama comes riding in out of the west, the Democratic nominee will be a "public servant," permanently attached to  the public teat.

And this is what  government “of the people, by the people, for the people” looks like?

Do you think if those misfits were gainfully employed in the “private sector” there would be 19 of them camped out in Iowa right now - drawing full pay and benefits -  while someone else back at the office does the jobs they’re being paid to do?


*********** Coming home from practice Wednesday night, I was listening to radio host named Jim Bohannon, whose guest was a man named Clifford Worthy, a retired  US Army Colonel who’s written a book entitled “The Black Knight - An African-American Family's Journey from West Point.”

Mr. Worthy is “up in years” as people used to say. He’s 91. He entered West Point after first attending Wayne State, and, after having to start all over, he graduated from the US Military Academy in the class of 1953.

He spoke slowly, as one might expect of a man of his age, but clearly and thoughtfully.   And factually.

It quickly became apparent to me that Bohannon wasn’t interested in Colonel Worthy’s story,  as told in his book, but instead in  mining him for details about how horribly he’d been treated by that bastion of white male supremacy known as West Point.

To paraphrase, he started out with “knowing how tough West Point is to begin with, I can only imagine how tough it was for an African-American cadet…”

To his disappoinemtn, though, the Colonel wasn’t taking the bait.  Actually, he said, after President Truman ordered the military integrated in 1948, the problem, as far as he was concerned, didn't exist.

Having struck out there, Bohannon did manage to get Colonel Worthy to tell the story from long ago, well-known among West Pointers, of Benjamin Davis, a black cadet in the 1930s - when Colonel Worthy was a little boy - who spent an awful four years at West Point during which he was ostracized by his fellow cadets.  (Benjamin Davis, to his great credit,  would go on to serve in the Army Air Corps and to retire as a Lieutenant - 3-star - General from the US Air Force.)

Seemingly frustrated at not getting the red meat he’d hoped to get from his guest, Bohannon continued pressing for more racial stuff. 

Asking Colonel Worthy what he remembered about the race riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Colonel replied, “I was in Vietnam.”

https://www.amazon.com/Black-Knight-African-American-Familys-Point/dp/1641800305

*********** There’s absolutely no post-game celebration in sports that compares with that of the Stanley Cup final game. I would rather watch it - the spontaneous celebration immediate afterwards… the skate-by of the two teams - the most sportsmanlike tradition in sports - as players who had been whaling away at each other for the past couple of weeks take time to exchange genuine, heartfelt congratulations and condolences (and probably asking if they’re up for a round of golf this weekend, eh?)… the presentation of the Conn Smythe Trophy to the MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs… the presentation of the Stanley Cup itself, and the “skate-around” by the members of the winning team as they hoist the cup overhead and  then - sanitation be damned - lower it to give it a big kiss.

*********** The Conn Smythe Trophy was awarded to the St. Louis Blues’ Ryan O’Reilly. 

What makes it unique among major sports is that it’s not a one-shot, one-spectacular-game deal. It’s awarded to the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs - the entire playoffs, from start to finish. 

Obviously, it’s to a player’s advantage to play on a good team: the trophy has never been awarded to a player whose team didn’t make it to the finals, and only five times has it been awarded to a player whose team lost in the finals.


*********** Draw your own conclusions, but isn’t it interesting that it took America’s Bolsheviks (look it up) as long as it did to discover the evil of “White Privilege?”  Hmmm.  You don’t suppose this indicates there’s some sort of orchestrated effort to promote the idea, do you?

graph


*********** My wife was reading Sports Illustrated and she just had to read to me something about Steelers’ backup quarterback Josh Dobbs.  He may or may not be much of a quarterback, but he did manage to graduate from the University of Tennessee with a 4.0 GPA - majoring in aeronautical engineering.

That brought to mind John Urschel, who played three years with the Ravens. At the time he played in the NFL, he had bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from Penn State and now he’s at MIT pursuing his doctorate.

Back in  1938, when the Steelers (then known as the Pirates) sucked, their owner, the late, great Art Rooney,  was an astute enough businessman to know the P.R. value of signing “Whizzer” White,  even though he knew that White would only play a year before leaving to study in England on a Rhodes Scholarship.

It prompts me to offer another  bit of free advice to the NFL (in addition to my long-held belief that their game would improve immediately if they were to play on a Canadian-sized field): secretly create two or three spots on every roster for players  whose conduct and background are beyond reproach, who are good family men and outstanding scholars, whom every parent can point to as examples for their own sons to follow.  They could constantly be trotted out in front of the  public as the kind of young men who play the Great Game of NFL football, visible distractions from the dregs of society who occupy so many on the places on NFL rosters.

Obviously, they’d have to have decent enough ability, to provide them - and the scheme - with cover.

It would be nice of the NFLPA to give the owners some sort of exemption from the contract so they could pay these guys somewhat less than a bona fide player gets, but if not, ipaying them full union scale would still be money well spent by a business that just can’t rid itself of lowlifes.

If they go ahead with it all I ask is that they call it the “Wyatt Rule.”

*********** The discussion about CFB conference realignment is to me part of a bigger picture. I've been bothered for years about the know-it-alls in every sport who set up matches few care about. In MLB we've had interleague for more than 20 years, now playing 20 such games per team. Who in SF cares when my team, the Rays, come into their park for a series? And sometimes the matchups are grossly unfair, with the Yankees getting more than their share of lower-tier teams. All this interleague courtesy of Bud Selig, the greatest commissioner in the history of sport. And now they send teams off to Cuba to play during spring training. Now there's a strong push for a team in Mexico City.

Just like the NFL playing a regular season game or two in Europe. And of course we have to further internationalize the NBA by sending it to China. In my view, the guys who manipulate their teams are the lib-progressives in sport who simply know best how everything should be done.

John Vermillion
St. Petersburg, Florida

(John Vermillion’s sixth novel, “Matai,” is now on sale. From the official review:

Josh Panchrest, at age 29 has ferried through foster homes, suffered physical and psychic wounds in combat, stuck with an injured smokejumper during a night of horror, walked through a field of flames to save a mother and son, and suffered a career-ending injury. Now he again fights through all the setbacks seeking fulfillment in some new challenge. He has eyes on big-time football coaching, but after realizing that’s a pipe dream, he lands a job teaching and coaching at a small town high school. The town requires rejuvenation as much as Josh. A one-time economic dynamo, the town has suffered a series of hard times in the past century. Can Josh resuscitate his future, and maybe the town’s as well? Both Josh and the town learn the true meaning of community, love, respect, and teamwork.

You’ll like it. A lot. There are elements in the story of a young coach in a small town that all of us can identify with. Trigger warning: There’s even a cameo appearance by an old coach named “Coach Wyatt.”)



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

Congrats on the job!  Don't you wish every interview would be that way?

I have to say that I have had some success with millenials.  They DO ask "why" a lot, and I've always been able to give them a reasonable answer.  At the same time, when they do something that doesn't make much sense to me I ask them "why"?  But the only answer they can give me is...UHHH...!  At that point I ask them if that's as good an answer as the one I gave them.  It's easy from there.

Such a great story about Carson Ketter.  I will be looking for him IF we can get the game broadcast down here.

On the other hand, the accidental death of Chris Morgan, Jr. is such a tragedy.

Can't agree more with that guy's take on college football attendance.  Those old conference alignments and rivalries is what made college football so attractive in the first place.  Imagine what a Texas-Texas A&M game on Thanksgiving Day would bring in today?

I’m attending the TAAPS (private schools) athletics convention.  Just got out of the football rules session.  HS football in Texas plays by NCAA rules.  Now I realize why we don’t see many teams running the DW at the HS level here because basically NCAA rules have virtually crippled the effectiveness of the DW offense.

Defenses are now allowed to “cut block” the offensive blockers as long as the defenders initiate contact from within a 10 yd. zone on either side of the LOS, and that the defenders initially were aligned in that 10 yd. zone.  Thus OLB’s/DE’s can legally take out pullers and the FB at the knees.  Which, essentially means we should be able to “shoeshine” on the backside.  But, while that may help prevent penetration on the backside it doesn’t necessarily help the FB or pullers on kick out blocks to the play side.

From my point of view the sweep becomes more of the bread and butter play in the DW, and sets up the power and counter in that scenario.  

Your thoughts??

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Joe, for sure it means that on powers and counters it will be necessary to cut down on the defender’s reaction time, either by moving the kickout blocker closer to the point of attack or by  disguising where the kickout block is coming from.

The problem with a sweep is that a sweep isn’t really a “bread and butter” play. It’s more a “reactive” play.  With the Double Wing it’s a reaction to defenses that squeeze.  With spread offenses, it works because of the threat of the pass.  To make a sweep a reliable play, you have to have great speed, and  one of the reasons why the Double Wing is appealing to a lot of people is that it doesn’t require great speed.

Even teams that run sweeps successfully use them mostly for their surprise value and don’t run them near to the extent that a good Double Wing team runs Super Power.

It shows the self-serving hypocrisy of the pass-first people on the NCAA rules committee when they’ll allow defenders to attack blockers’ legs while continually whining about the need for rules to protect defenders’ legs from those horrid wishbone people.

Well, at least you don’t have to play by NFL rules.



*********** QUIZ ANSWER: After his parents separated when he was seven, Timmy Brown grew up in the Soldiers and Sailors Children’s Home in Knightstown, Indiana.

Excelling in sports in high school,  he turned down a basketball scholarship at Michigan State and chose to go to Ball State, where he played both football and basketball.

An electrifying runner, he went 90 yards for a touchdown the first time he ever carried the ball in college, but he didn’t start until his senior year.

Offered an NBA contract by the Philadelphia Warriors, he was drafted in the 27th round by the Packers, and chose the NFL.

After the Packers cut him, the Eagles picked him up.

That was their 1960 championship season, and he saw mostly backup duty, but he did have two consecutive 100-yard receiving games at the end of the season.

Starting the next season, and for the next five or six seasons, he was the most versatile offensive player in the game.

During that time he was the NFL’s best kick returner, leading the league in 1961 and 1963, finishing third in 1962 and fifth in 1964.

Against the Cowboys in 1966, he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the first half, becoming the first player in the history of the NFL to return two kickoffs for TDs in the same game.  In all, he returned five kickoffs for 247 yards, then an NFL record.

In 1963 and 1965 he was third in the NFL in rushing - outrushed only by future Hall of Famers Jim Brown, Bobby Mitchell and Jim Taylor. In 1965 he out-rushed  Brown, 186 yards (on 16 carries) to 131 (on 20 carries).

But his greatest talent was as a receiver.  From 1962 through 1965 he led all NFL running backs in yards receiving.

In 1962, against the Cardinals,  he rushed 10 times for 50 yards and caught 7 passes for 199 yards, and returned four kicks for 92 yards.

He made the Pro Bowl in 1962, 1963 and 1965.

All this time, the Eagles were bad.  There were several games in which he personally accounted for more than half the team’s offensive output.

Traded to Baltimore near the end of his career, his final game as a pro was the Super Bowl in which the Joe Namath-led Jets upset the Colts.

As "Timothy Brown," he went on to a less than stellar career as a singer and actor.

At the time of his retirement from football , his 12,681 all-purpose yards was fourth highest in NFL history.  He scored 64 touchdowns, six of them on kick returns.


Among running backs in Eagles history,  he is 2nd in receiving touchdowns, 3rd in receiving yards and 5th in receptions.

Although not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Timmy Brown  was a member of the Class of 2007 of the Professional Football Researchers’ Association’s  “Hall of Very Good”

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING TIMMY BROWN

KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
DAVE POTTER - CARY, NORTH CAROLINA
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA (People talked in awe about him when i was growing up and when i started coaching and coached against The tigers)
MIKE FORISTIERE - TOPEKA, KANSAS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA (Those were tough years to make the Packers!)
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

*********** Thanks to Coach Greg Koenig, newly-appointed head coach at Banning Lewis Prep Academy in Colorado Springs, for this...

https://youtu.be/C8YlPG6qMFM


*********** QUIZ:  He came out of the Washington, DC suburb of Rockville, Maryland, and was an All-ACC fullback at Duke.

Drafted in the first round by the Baltimore Colts, he was quickly switched to linebacker, where played 11 seasons in Baltimore, during most of which time he was team captain.

Feared by opponents and teammates alike, his aggressive play - and his blitzing - earned him the nickname “Mad Dog.”

He went to four Pro Bowls and was twice named first team All-Pro. He remains the only player to have been named All-Pro at both outside and middle linebacker.

In 1970, his last-minute interception led to the winning field goal in the Colts’ Super Bowl win over Dallas.

In 1976, after a dispute with General Manager Joe Thomas (one of the most despised men in pro football), he was left unprotected in the expansion draft and was taken by the Seattle Seahawks.

Named defensive captain, he started every game for the Seahawks, and his block of a field goal saved the Seahawks’ first-ever win.

After being waived the next season, he ended his career  playing two more seasons with the Redskins.

Despite his illustrious career - many of his teammates felt that he was worthy of Hall of Fame membership - he is best remembered by many for the time he leveled a drunk who had run onto the field between plays and tried to run off with the game ball.



american flagTUESDAY,  JUNE 11, 2019   "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." – Winston Churchill

*********** Wednesday evening, I did something I never thought I’d do again.  No, I didn’t play a game of tackle football and I didn’t go for a ride on a motorcycle.   I had a job interview. 

It’d been a while since I had to sit there and talk about my qualifications, my philosophy of teaching and coaching, how I would handle a kid who was failing classes, how I would deal with a player who came to me wanting to know how he could improve, and why I wanted to coach there.

It was definitely the first job interview I'd ever had where I didn't wear a shirt and tie - I came right off the practice field.   I know, you're asking, wait - were  you intervewing for a job you were already doing?

Details, details.

The interview took 12 minutes. (Or so Todd Bridge, the head coach, who was on the interview panel,  told me.)

The next day, I was offered the job, and I accepted.

In fairness, I did have  a certain advantage. I was the only applicant for the position.

*********** At every practice we have a “word for the day.” We’ve had humility… obedience… opportunity. 

At our last practice it was synergy - the idea that in combination, two or more things (or people) can have an overall effect that’s greater than the sum of their effects.  It’s how a football team made up of a bunch of little kids from a Texas orphanage can beat teams from the biggest schools in the state.

The illustration that our coach, Todd Bridge, used was of two draft horses in a pulling contest: hitched up, they’re able to pull more than twice what they each would have pulled as individuals.

*********** I can’t imagine anything more painful than the death of a child, and my heart goes out to a gentleman in New Jersey whose son, Chris Morgan, Jr.,  was the West Point cadet killed in the rollover of a truck carrying him and other cadets to a field exercise.  The interview with Mr. Morgan, Sr. is heartbreaking.

https://youtu.be/aeboAFqPuas

*********** In the hills of Pennsylvania, about two hours west of New York City and about 10 miles from Pottsville along route 61 is the tiny hamlet of Deer Lake.

It’s historic among boxing fans as the place where Muhammad Ali trained - a secluded place where he could concentrate on his trade.  It’s where local guys remember how as kids Ali gave them a preview of the “rope-a-dope” tactic that he used to defeat George Foreman in Kinshasa (the “Rumble in the Jungle”).

Several years ago, on the advice of a friend in the boxing business, I visited the place.  It was deserted, and I was able to walk all around the grounds.  There was his cabin, and the gym, and - what impressed me the most - the large boulders, each with the name of a famous boxer - Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Jack Dempsey (and, of course, Ali) - painted on it.

Learning that Ali’s camp was for sale,  John Madden’s son, Mike,  bought it and renovated it, and now it’s open to the public. After seeing the photos, I’ve got to see the place again.

https://www.mcall.com/sports/mc-pictures-muhammad-ali-s-pa-training-camp-preserved-by-mike-madden-son-of-nfl-john-madden-20180531-photogallery.html

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/06/its-the-greatest-muhammad-alis-pennsylvania-training-camp-opens-to-the-public.html

https://www.inquirer.com/philly/sports/20160605_Jerardi__Just_three_young__zealots__at_Deer_Lake__hanging_with_Ali.html

***********  John Torres and I go back a ways.  When I first met him he was a higher-up in the ATF and coaching a youth team in Valencia, California.  Over the years, we’ve stayed in touch, and recently he sent me a very interesting article by Andy McCullough in the Los Angles Times  about the way baseball people find they have had to adjust to coaching millenials.

Some excerpts:

Ron Washington signed his first baseball contract in 1970. He played his final game in the major leagues in 1989. He became a coach in the 1990s. The Texas Rangers hired him to manage their team in 2006. He persists in this, his fifth decade in the sport, as a coach for the Atlanta Braves and a sage noted for connecting with players.

Earlier this year, Washington turned 67. He is a baby boomer surrounded at the ballpark each day by millennials. He traverses the generational gap by seeking to impart wisdom and unlock the potential of his pupils.

“Today, they don’t know what work ethic is,” Washington said. “They don’t know what consistency means. And consistency means you’ve got to go on the field and work at your craft. We worked at our craft consistently back in those days.”

The rhetoric espoused by Washington has been echoed, perhaps in varied tones, throughout the industry. During this decade, the landscape of advanced metrics has flattened; all 30 teams employ analytics departments. The latest advancements focus on player development rather than talent procurement. The best organizations strive to optimize their players. To do so requires communication above all.

***

“You really can’t make a lot of these guys do anything,” said Dave McKay, the 69-year-old first-base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks. “You have to find a way to convince them to play hard for you.”

***

The difference between the generations can be stark, indicated Ned Yost, the 64-year-old manager of the Kansas City Royals. Take the cinematic cliche of a skipper berating his team.
“The manager would come in, scream at you, and it was like water off a duck’s back: Who cares?” Yost said. “Now you scream at them, they’re butt-hurt for two weeks.”

***

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts canvasses his clubhouse hoping to speak with each player on a daily basis. This task arises in part from his upbeat disposition. But he also considers the consistency vital.

“If there’s not constant communication, then there’s a lot of ‘I was told this,’ ” Roberts said. “For me, millennials, being flexible, it seems harder.”

Roberts was born in 1972, a member of Generation X. His father was a Marine. Roberts considered instruction from superiors to be sacrosanct. When a coach directed him to perform a task, Roberts said, he rarely asked questions.

The current crop of players react more casually to authority, Bosche explained.

“Keep in mind: Millennials were parented in a very democratic way,” Bosche said. “Parents were like, ‘Where do you want to go on vacation?’ And my parents’ generation got in the back of a station wagon and went where dad wanted, and watched whatever dad watched. So our relationship to superiors is much more relaxed than past generations.”

***

“Whenever I’m talking to these guys and I’m trying to change a delivery or change a pitch usage or change a grip or whatever, if I don’t have the ‘why?’ they’re not going to buy in,” Johnson said. “So having an understanding of TrackMan and biomechanics — this and that and the other — is the way you connect with them today.”

***
The change has been subtle and incremental. The culture did not shift from cruelty to kindness overnight. But as teams seek to gain the advantages at their disposal, they learned to divest themselves of dogma and unproductive tradition.

The coaches who remember earlier eras may miss them. Those who remain in the sport understand their purpose is to aid their players above all.

“All I’m doing is trying to pass on what I know to be a fact to these young kids,” Washington said. “They need us. They need people like me. They need people like other coaches who have been through it, and can understand how to arrive at what they want to do in life — and that’s be a tremendous baseball player.”

 https://www.latimes.com/sports/mlb/la-sp-inside-baseball-managers-coaching-millennials-ron-washington-rick-honeycutt-20190608-story.html

Carson Ketter

*********** It’s official - Carson Ketter, who first played quarterback for us at North Beach High (Ocean Shores, Washington) as a 5-8, 140-pound sophomore, has made the final roster of the CFL’s BC Lions as a 6-3, 215 pound safety. 

I sure wish I could take credit for it, but the credit belongs to God - who seemingly overnight gave him size and speed during his senior season that he hadn’t had before - and to Carson himself, who has worked hard and kept his eyes on the ball and, given the opportunity, showed the Lions’ coaches what we knew went along with his great athletic ability - courage, intelligence, and a great work ethic. 

Now, having survived the final cut, there’s even a chance Carson could start in this Saturday night’s CFL opener, at home against Winnipeg.

*********** In case you didn’t think Washington (state) is a great place to live, just ask the homeless.  In ranking the homeless population of every state, there’s California out in front - way out in front - with 130,000. (There’s an estimated 60,000 in Los Angeles County alone.)

Next come the big states - New York, Florida and Texas.

But right there in fifth place - tada! - is the Evergreen State, with some 25,000.

I’m so proud.

*********** You may remember Tracy Rocker, who was one hell of a defensive tackle at Auburn. He won the Lombardi and Outland Trophies as a senior, and played a couple of years in the NFL.  He now coaches the defensive line at Tennessee.  That was his son, Kumar, a 6-4, 255 freshman pitcher for Vanderbilt who threw a no-hitter against Duke Saturday.

*********** College football’s attendance has been steadily declining. There are many reasons given, including the fact that people have lots of other, more convenient ways to watch games than to fight traffic and sit on hard seats.

But a guy who goes by the nom de plume of “adopted aggie” makes a strong case for the fact that in their insane drive to expand, major colleges committed suicide:

I believe we can attribute the attendance drop to one major issue: Conference alignment.

Since the beginning of the decade, conferences have realigned to create confusing and uninteresting match-ups. Schools have given up storied rivalries and anticipated games for TV money, sacrificing fan interest and student involvement.

Just take a second to Google “CFB rivalries killed by conference realignment” and you’ll get plenty of great examples.
 
The Border War against Kansas and Missouri is a perfect example. It’s a rivalry that started during the Civil War when both sides would cross state lines and destroy entire towns. In fact, the Jayhawk and Tiger nicknames originate from the Civil War militias from each state.

The Border War, one of the biggest and longest rivalry games in CFB, has turned Cold thanks to conference realignment.

***
Texas-Texas A&M? Gone. The Backyard Brawl between West Virginia and Pitt? Gone. Nebraska-Oklahoma? Forget about it.

***
The point is, these games were more than just games. They were part of our culture! Families get together during the holidays and bad mouth rival fans by passing down horror stories about them, they go to the games together to get bragging rights or just to get new reasons to hate the other team.

Rivalries are the essence of college football and, for me personally, are what got me interested in this sport to begin with.

Now, they are just memories. Leaving newer generations with made up rivalries and generic, uninspiring rivalry trophies like the “Freedom Trophy” that Nebraska and Wisconsin play for (BORING!).

***

“They just made some silly trophy,” said Dane Melby, 48, a server at Mickie’s Dairy Bar across the street from Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium. “This is, ‘Here, let’s make up a trophy until they remake the conference again.’ ”

You see? Nobody wants to be spoon fed a forced rivalry. They want authenticity. They want to see the rivalries they grew up with and heard their family talking about. They want to pass down the hatred to their kids.

***

The Civil Conflict Trophy, a made up rivalry between the UConn Huskies and UCF Knights, is perhaps the greatest example at an attempt (and failure) to create a rivalry with a new conference foe.

***

So, NCAA, you want people in the seats? Make rivalry games a priority. Restructure conferences like the AAC and C-USA. Rebuild the original Big 12, ACC and SEC. Who cares about a team from the Northeast playing in Florida (think Civil Conflict trophy, folks)? Nobody does. Because you don’t see or know any fans from the other team and won’t until the next year rolls around. You don’t have any pride to gain like you would if it was a local rivalry.

The point is, conferences should be kept local. Don’t make the sport about money. Make it about the rivalries and the fans that made this sport great and you’ll get your attendance, trust me.

https://www.underdogdynasty.com/2018/2/19/17010884/fbs-attendance-decline-why-its-not-a-surprise-college-football-rivalries-p5-g5-ncaa

*********** Tim Brown, of Florence, Alabama, commenting on my Al McGuire quote:

When you are crazy and poor, you are crazy.

When you are crazy and rich… you are eccentric.


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

It is hard to imagine we will have leaders like Dwight Eisenhower or Bear Bryant anymore.  But when I look at those young men at West Point, Annapolis, and Colorado Springs I still hold out hope we will.

Bad timing.  Had my daughter not been expecting her first child, and our first grandchild, and the coach at Hyde Park not extending me an offer to coach football again, I would have given serious thought to joining you in Aberdeen for this coming football season.

I actually took a few moments to watch the NBA finals the other night.  First time in a very, very long time.  It didn't take me long to know I haven't missed much.  Ten extremely tall guys that make the floor look small, and the baskets short, and basically play one on one on offense with the other eight guys watching and waiting for the ball to come their way so they can go one on one.  Yuck.  Ended up watching a rerun of the Stanley Cup instead.

Speaking of Lord Stanley's Cup...the Canadian teams are always competitive (with the exception of Ottawa).  I think Toronto and Montreal are in the toughest division of the NHL and the reason why both have struggled to raise the Cup.

When a coach has players who care, the coach is much more likely to trust.  When players have a coach they trust, the players are much more likely to care.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ: Jack Ham is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame,  and the Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame. 

Undersized coming out of Johnstown, Pennsylvania’s Bishop McCourt HS, he spent a year at Massanutten Military Academy in Virginia before going to Penn State.

At Penn State, the Lions were 29-3, and in his senior year, as co-captain, he had 91 tackles and four interceptions, and was named All-American.

In his sophomore year, he set a school record by blocking three punts.

Drafted in the second round  by the Steelers, he won a starting outside linebacker job as a rookie.

He had an amazing twelve year career, all as a Steeler.

He was a six-time All-Pro; he went to eight straight Pro Bowls;  he was a member of four Super Bowl championship teams; he had 25 sacks, 21 fumble recoveries, and 32 interceptions - the latter stat placing him third all-time among linebackers.

In honor of his Polish heritage, proud members of Pittsburgh’s large Polish population would hold up signs at Steelers’ games reading “DOBRE SHUNKA.” (Good Ham.)


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JACK HAM

KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA (“pretty dobre pilkarz...Dzien dobre”) Don't you just hate  these guys who can speak Polish and you can't?


*********** QUIZ: After his parents separated when he was seven, he grew up in the Soldiers and Sailors Children’s Home in Knightstown, Indiana.

Excelling in sports in high school,  he turned down a basketball scholarship at Michigan State and chose to go to Ball State, where he played both football and basketball.

An electrifying runner, he went 90 yards for a touchdown the first time he ever carried the ball in college, but he didn’t start until his senior year.

Offered an NBA contract by the Philadelphia Warriors, he was drafted in the 27th round by the Packers, and chose the NFL.

After the Packers cut him, the Eagles picked him up.

That was their 1960 championship season, and he saw mostly backup duty, but he did have two consecutive 100-yard receiving games at the end of the season.

Starting the next season, and for the next five or six seasons, he was the most versatile offensive player in the game.

During that time he was the NFL’s best kick returner, leading the league in 1961 and 1963, finishing third in 1962 and fifth in 1964.

Against the Cowboys in 1966, he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the first half, becoming the first player in the history of the NFL to return two kickoffs for TDs in the same game.  In all, he returned five kickoffs for 247 yards, then an NFL record.

In 1963 and 1965 he was third in the NFL in rushing - outrushed only by future Hall of Famers Jim Brown, Bobby Mitchell and Jim Taylor. In 1965 he out-rushed  Brown, 186 yards (on 16 carries) to 131 (on 20 carries).

But his greatest talent was as a receiver.  From 1962 through 1965 he led all NFL running backs in yards receiving.

In 1962, against the Cardinals,  he rushed 10 times for 50 yards and caught 7 passes for 199 yards, and returned four kicks for 92 yards.

He made the Pro Bowl in 1962, 1963 and 1965.

All this time, the Eagles were bad.  There were several games in which he personally accounted for more than half the team’s offensive output.

Traded to Baltimore near the end of his career, his final game as a pro was the Super Bowl in which the Joe Namath-led Jets upset the Colts.

He went on to a less than stellar career as a singer and actor.

At the time of his retirement from football , his 12,681 all-purpose yards, was fourth highest in NFL history.  He scored 64 touchdowns, six of them on kick returns.

Among all the  running backs in Eagles history, he is 2nd in receiving touchdowns, 3rd in receiving yards and 5th in receptions.

Although not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he was a member of the Class of 2007 of the Professional Football Researchers’ Association’s  “Hall of Very Good”


american flagFRIDAY,  JUNE 7, 2019   “When I was losing, they called me nuts. When I was winning they called me eccentric.” Al McGuire

*********** Bear Bryant often spoke about the importance of giving the credit to his players and his staff when Alabama won, and taking the blame himself when Alabama lost.

That’s the mark of a true leader of men.

As we honor those brave men who who made the D-Day landing successful, it’s important to know that, as in football, victory that day was not assured. 

Facing a foe as strong and as well prepared as the German forces, our leaders knew that there was no guarantee of victory.

No one was more aware of this than General Dwight Eisenhower, who bore the responsibility of planning and overseeing the invasion of Europe, an operation involving nearly 3 million men.

So realistic was he about the possibility of the invasion’s failure that he wrote a letter beforehand, intended to be released to the public in that event:
 ”Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do.  If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone."
General Eisenhower was prepared to take full responsibility - the mark of a true leader of men.

*********** HELP WANTED - At Aberdeen High School, a Washington Class 2A school,  we’re looking to fill one last position on the football staff.  The first day of fall practice is August 21, but of course it would be preferred that anyone hired arrive as soon as possible.  (We have a summer camp July 28-29-30 and then a “dead period” until the official start of practice.)

The person would work closely with me on the offensive side of the ball, with the strong possibility of running the offense for the JV team.

Depending on experience, the position pays a stipend of up to $4500 for the season and there is plenty of substitute work in the Aberdeen School District for anyone wanting to supplement his income.

Aberdeen is about 2-1/2 hours southwest of Seattle and about the same distance from Portland, Oregon.  It’s an hour west of Olympia, the state capital, and about 45 minutes east of Ocean Shores (where I live during the season).

It could be an ideal situation for a person whose business enables him to work anywhere, or for a retired coach looking to keep his hand in the game.

Obviously, experience with my terminology would be especially helpful.

If you’re interested in more information, email me - coachwyatt@aol.com

Aberdeen locker room

*********** (ABOVE) Not saying that our kids at Aberdeen are special or anything, but as I was getting ready to go home after Thursday’s practice, I just had to take this shot of two of our leaders sweeping the floor of the locker room - without being asked.

*********** The ratings, I read,  are down for the NBA finals.

Well, yeah - I guess they are.  And no, it’s not because LeBron James is missing.

Neither is it because there’s a “small market” team in the finals.  (Once their teams are out of it, the supposedly rabid fans in the big markets - New York, Los Angeles, Chicago -  quickly lose interest in basketball.)

This year, the problem is not that one of the teams is a small-market team.  It’s worse than that.  This year, one of team’s market doesn’t even count in the TV ratings.

That’s because one of the teams is the Toronto Raptors, and Toronto, for those who don’t know, is in Canada. That’s a foreign country, see.

Toronto is a huge market - fourth-largest in North America, behind only NYC, LA and CHI, and it’s  safe to say that a lot of people in Toronto are watching the NBA finals.  They’re obviously excited about their Raptors. Actually, it’s quite likely that the rest of Canada is at least somewhat interested as well.

But the TV ratings that the networks and their advertisers care about count only  US viewers.  It bothers the advertisers, who paid for their commercial time based on a guaranteed number of viewers, and it bothers the networks that carry the games, because when US viewership is down, they’ll have to give those advertisers “make-goods” (the industry term for free advertising time to make up for the lost viewers).

The important thing to know, when you see those headlines stating that TV ratings are down, is that there’s nothing wrong with the NBA.  Call it The Case of the Missing Market.

*********** It’s been 52 years since the Toronto Maple Leafs won a Stanley Cup.

An awful lot has happened to Toronto in that time.

In 1970, there were 2.7 million people in the Toronto Metro Area. In 2016, there were 6.4 million.

The Toronto area is the fastest growing in North America.  Most of its growth has been due to immigration - 50 per cent of Toronto’s population is foreign-born - and guess what?  Most of the immigrants had never even seen ice, much less skated on it, before arriving.

Of course ice hockey is still hugely popular - it’s the national sport, and Leafs (Canadians don’t say “The Leafs”) are hugely popular. But - this is difficult from me to type - no Canadian team has won a Stanley Cup since the Montreal Canadiens won it in 1993, and only five Canadian teams have been in the finals since then.

Meanwhile, while native-born Canadians were waiting patiently for another Stanley Cup winner (there won’t be one this year), their sports culture has been changing on them. Basketball is fast becoming the true international sport, and many of those millions of newcomers, who came to Canada knowing nothing of ice hockey, already knew basketball. 

And bit by bit, Toronto has become a hoop hotbed.

*********** With head coach Todd Bridge still working at another school and unable to make it in time for our team meeting, it’s been my job to start us off with a short talk.

I try to say something appropriate to football, of course, and something specific to our situation.

At our stage of the game, where we have yet to find the right places for everybody, I thought it appropriate to talk about guys who’d had to make changes of position at some point in their career - guys for whom the change meant winding up in a position which got them into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Russ Grimm… Jack Lambert… Paul Hornung…

And then I mentioned a couple of guys who played more recently, both of whom have decent shots as the Hall of Fame:

Julian Edelman… Kam Chancellor

They’d all been very good high school quarterbacks - Hornung and Edelman were pretty good college quarterbacks - but at some point someone convinced them that it was better for the team (and for their career) to move to another position.

And then, there was Tim Tebow.  Why, I asked the team, wasn’t he playing in the NFL?

One kid, a very bright one, said, “Because he wouldn’t change positions.”

Bingo.  I have utmost respect for Tim Tebow, but I guarantee you I’d rather be playing H Back, or linebacker, or whatever, in the NFL, than riding buses around the minor leagues trying to get the hang of hitting a big-time curve ball.

*********** Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but I find myself turning more responsibility over to players.  And they’re handling it.

As one example, every day I get together with the QBs and the centers.  We work on snaps, of course, and I work on the QBs’ footwork.  We had two decent snappers, but they’re both varsity-quality players, and we didn’t have any JV-level centers.  Until yesterday. The solution was simple: during our QB-center period, I asked our senior center, a very impressive young man, to spend a few minutes teaching three younger guys  how we snap the ball.   When I put our QB’s under center, every kid’s snap was good. Problem solved.

Second example.  We’ve got a pretty good-looking kid at C-Back (wingback) but we had nobody behind him, and quite frankly I’d been so bent on installing the offense at the varsity level that I hadn’t had a chance to take a look at all the younger kids.  After the C-Back had run several plays and several pass patterns - without complaint - I figured he must be getting close to wearing out, and I said, “Connor, we’re running your ass off.   We’ve got to get you some help.  Go find me another C-Back.”  He pointed to another kid named Robert. (Not his real name.)   I said, “Robert, get over here.” Robert was almost a twin of Connor - small, but quick and smart. Looks pretty good. Problem solved. (It might have taken me another week to discover the guy.)

(The kids must be wondering what kind of wishy-washy coach would be asking them for advice.)

*********** This coming season, for the first time since I’ve lived in the Northwest,  Washington’s six state football championship games will be held outdoors. 
 
From the big-time comfort of the now-imploded Kingdome to the relative comfort of the more spartan Tacoma Dome, watching high school football games in late November was a relatively pleasant experience.

Now, though, partly because of increased rent, and partly because of complaints about a new field arrangement that cut off a portion of the field for some spectators, the state association (WIAA) has decided not to renew its contract with the city of Tacoma.

This means finding six sites, or possibly playing double headers at three different sites.

But whatever they decide, it’s cold - and likely wet - consolation for those of us who got used to going to games and not having to worry about the weather.

The football is likely to suffer, too.

The dirty secret is that it’s all because the WIAA depends on income from the state playoff games to support championships in all the other sports that don’t bring in a damn dime.

*********** Love the photos of Aberdeen especially the older players helping the young!   Leaders teaching leaders is a beautiful thing!

God Bless,
Jason Mensing  
Head Football Coach
Whiteford High School
Whiteford, Michigan

*********** Found this on the Internet…

I grew up in a far away land called the "United States of America." We had prayer and scripture reading in school. Citizens had a strong moral and ethical code. As a nation, we were decidedly Christian.

But I haven't been back there for many, many years. Probably doesn't even exist anymore.

*********** Shep Clarke, of Puyallup, Washington, was at the Air Force Academy for his daughter Riley’s graduation, and after reading my comments about watching President Trump’s tour de force performance in handing out diplomas, shaking hands, and saying a few words - to every single one of the 990 graduates - he added this:
Great essay about The Don.  You actually soft-pedalled his stamina, because he did “all that” in the hot sun, in a suit (of course) and a ballistic vest (of course,), at 6600+ feet of altitude!  I guess Melania keeps him young…
Shep added,
I grew up with a plethora of Scottish schoolmarms in the family on my mother’s side, so I became a “grammar Nazi” by osmosis.  As such, I enjoyed the WSJ essay you posted.  I recommend a book called “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves” for your reading pleasure.
 
Happy Birthday to us!  (6-25-55 for me.)  Which leads to the list of “Fifties Things” which I recall so well.  (Spokane was always a few years slower to adopt  cultural trends, so our ’65 would have been the same as a more “sophisticated” burg’s ’55.)  As I tell the boys about the present sad state of cultural affairs: “We don’t have to live this way”.
 
If Blinky – er, Frank – er, Mr. Palermo were not at room temperature all these years, I would suspect his hand at work in the latest heavyweight championship bout.  A pudgy pugilist with no particular resume beats the pants off of a former Olympic champ who is built like a Greek statue (but not as mobile). It was like a Rocky movie, except that the plucky contender’s training montage consisted of him regretfully passing up a third box of doughnuts.

(Coaches - Save that story
to tell your team! Andy Ruiz, stepping in as a replacement and winning the world heavyweight title - on a month’s notice. It’s a great example of an underdog making it, but an even greater example of the importance of being ready for when opportunity comes knocking.)

***********  I enjoyed your list of 1950's "niceness!"  My mother drilled those into me every day and corrected anytime I did not do one of those listed, plus others not listed.

David Crump
Owensboro, Kentucky

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

Tonight is my first night back "coaching".  We have our first 7 on 7 and I'm coaching the ILBers.  It's not real football, but it's close enough for me to be excited about getting back into the game.

Banks is not the only school on the west coast that has been forced to change their mascot names and images.  In their infinite wisdom many school districts in California decided that political correctness trumped (how's that for a play on words?) traditions.  Keeping with the quiz theme I can think of two Central Valley high schools that succumbed to the pressure.  Tulare and Chowchilla (once called Redskins) are now both known as "the Tribe".  Tulare no longer uses the Indian mascot, but Chowchilla has at least maintained theirs.

One of those cadets that President Trump congratulated was the sister of one of my former football players (who is also in the Air Force).  Her/his mom texted me a photo of the congratulatory handshake.

Can't tell you how many times I have heard this from guys who only played one sport, "Coach...you were right.  I should've listened to you and played football."

Even growing up in the 60's my best teachers/coaches were ex-military.  I have also held firm in my belief that the best teachers are coaches, and I know I'm not the only one who sees it that way.  However...in the school I'm leaving I was told by every department chair they would never hire a teacher who was a coach.  They haven't.  Which begs the question.  Who's in charge??

QUIZ:  That would be Tom Flores.  After Flores left Oakland his successor at QB was a Notre Dame grad who also grew up and played high school football near Fresno, and who also has his high school's stadium named after him.

Have a great week.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Hahaha. That would be Daryle Lamonica, of course!


*********** QUIZ  ANSWER:  Tom Flores is a native of Fresno, California who played JC football at Fresno City College and then at U of Pacific (which no longer plays football).

He was cut by Calgary of the CFL and by the Washington Redskins and probably would never have had a pro football career were it not for the start-up of the American Football League in 1960.

He won the starting quarterback job with the Oakland Raiders, which made him the first Hispanic starting  quarterback in pro football history.

He played with the Raiders through the 1966 season, before being traded to the Buffalo Bills, where he backed up Jack Kemp, and in 1969,  as a free agent, he signed with Kansas City and backed up Len Dawson.  He also got to play in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win over the Vikings.

After retirement as a player, he served as an assistant in Buffalo and then in Oakland.  While on John Madden’s Oakland staff,  he won another Super Bowl ring in 1976.

In 1979, he succeeded Madden, and won TWO Super Bowls as head coach of the Raiders.

After a 5-10 season in 1987 he was moved into a management position, but after a year in that job he was hired as GM of the Seahawks, and in 1992 he took over as head coach in Seattle.  This time, things didn’t go so well, and he lasted just three years there.

He is noteworthy for a great number of accomplishments:

His overall record was 97-87, good enough - but his record in the playoffs was a very impressive  8-3.

He won two Super Bowls.

He was pro football’s first-ever Hispanic starting quarterback.

He was the first minority coach to have won a Super Bowl.

He is one of only 20 players to have been in the AFL for the entire ten years of its existence.

He is one of only two people to have won a Super Bowl as a player, as an assistant, and as a head coach. (Mike Ditka is the other.)

Yet for some unknown reason,  Tom Flores is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Somebody had better act soon, while he’s still remembered - and still alive.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING TOM FLORES

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JASON MENSING - WHITEFORD, MICHIGAN
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

*********** This was one of the few quiz questions that I didn't have to look up. It is a shame that Tom Flores isn't in the HOF.

http://www.espn.com/blog/oakland-raiders/post/_/id/22162/tom-flores-a-profile-of-perseverence-for-raiders-in-wait-for-canton-call

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

*********** QUIZ: He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame,  and the Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame. 

Undersized coming out of Johnstown, Pennsylvania’s Bishop McCourt HS, he spent a year at Massanutten Military Academy in Virginia before going to Penn State.

At Penn State, the Lions were 29-3 during his three years of eligibility, and in his senior year, as co-captain, he had 91 tackles and four interceptions, and was named All-American.

In his sophomore year, he set a school record by blocking three punts.

Drafted in the second round  by the Steelers, he won a starting outside linebacker job as a rookie.

He had an amazing twelve year career, all as a Steeler:  He was a six-time All-Pro; he went to eight straight Pro Bowls;  he was a member of four Super Bowl championship teams; he had 25 sacks, 21 fumble recoveries, and 32 interceptions - the latter stat placing him third all-time among NFL linebackers.

In honor of his Polish heritage, proud members of Pittsburgh’s large Polish population would hold up signs at Steelers’ games reading “DOBRE SHUNKA.”



american flagTUESDAY,  JUNE 4, 2019   “A truth that's told with bad intent, beats all the lies you can invent."   William Blake

*********** Our Friday practice at Aberdeen was a “Rookie Camp,” an introduction to high school football for our incoming freshmen. On hand to do an awful lot of the teaching were our seniors, and after only three days of their hearing us coaches teach things,  you could hear them using our same coaching points to teach 13- and 14-year-olds how we work on strength and agilities, how we get into a 3-point stance, how we block, and how we line up and run plays.

In one of the photos, they’re teaching the stance, using our “bench drill,” and in the other, they’re getting the kids into the “fit” position, the basis of teaching our blocking.

We taught the frosh the Holy Trinity - Wedge, Power, Counter -  and we were excited by how well they ran the plays.  To impress them with the power of the wedge, we had them line up along a yard line, looking straight ahead at the seniors, who were lined up in an offensive formation 10 yards away. Then - after warning the freshmen to get ready to get out of the way - we had the seniors run a wedge straight ahead.  At the freshmen.  You should have seen those kids scatter when the thundering herd came at them.
seniors teach stanceSeniors teach blocking



Banks Brave
*********** In 1977 and 1978, I coached at Banks, Oregon, a small farming town about 25 miles west of Portland, at the base of the Coast Range.  Nice enough town, with a decent football tradition.

Its population was about 500 back when I coached there, but now it’s close to 2,000, most of the growth coming from Portlanders looking for homes in the country.

Until this season, the Banks Braves (the state made them change their logo but thanks to an agreement with a local tribe they kept the nickname)  had never won a state title in any boys’ sport.

This year, though, they won state titles in football, basketball and baseball.

Confession: Back in 1977, when I was football coach and AD there, I designed the now-discredited logo that served Banks for years - until the state of Oregon in its infinite wisdom decided that it was racist. While I plead guilty to “adapting” the design, then used by Dartmouth College (which at that time was still the Indians), I am innocent of racism. I saw that Brave, the profile of a warrior of one of the Eastern Woodland tribes, as one badass dude. As a British officer once said of them, “They approach like foxes, they fight like lions, and they depart like birds.


***********  How to Weaponize an Existential Threat

I have problems—not ‘issues’—with the vogue words of today.

By Joseph Epstein

Wall Street Journal

April 28, 2019 3:33 p.m. ET


A man reads a copy of the Oxford Dictionary of English, May 14, 2007 Photo: Ian Nicholson/Associated Press
Those of us with the effrontery to set up as guardians of the English language find ourselves in the condition of the village idiot of the shtetl of Frampol, whose job it was to stand at the village gate awaiting the coming of the Messiah. The pay was low, the poor fellow was made to understand, but the work was steady. And so it is with us guardians—such are the relentless depredations upon the language that we are never out of work.

Not that our work is much appreciated. I have myself railed about the emptiness of the word “focus,” a weak metaphor taken from photography, when in all cases “concentrate” or “emphasize” will do nicely and serve more precisely. Despite my admonitions, the word continues to flourish in politics, sports and for all I know animal husbandry.

“Issue” is another word I have complained about. There are questions, problems and issues. Questions require answers, problems solutions. Issues are matters in the flux of controversy. So I implore you, don’t tell me you have “issues” with your knee or with your kids, when what you have are problems.

Then there is that hardy misplanted perennial, “charisma.” The word was made popular by the German sociologist Max Weber to refer to authority “resting on devotion to exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person.” Charisma has been steeply degraded to mean anyone with a pleasing personality. (It also happens to be the name of a perfume sold by Avon.) Moses and Christ had charisma. So, too, did Napoleon, Gandhi, perhaps Martin Luther King.Beto O’Rourke doesn’t.

Language guardians have long groused about turning nouns into verbs. An early example was “prioritize” from “priority.” This barn door should never have been left open, for from out of it have debouched the hideous “incentivize” and “weaponize.” The latter is especially popular just now, and pops up in such sentences as “They are weaponizing the Mueller report to use against the president” and “Weaponizing the Supreme Court against Congress is not what the Constitution intended.” It’s enough to disincentivize you from reading.

My favorite of the new empty words is the phrase “existential threat.” Existentialism was a modish philosophical school. It began in France and was primarily about “being”—for as Jean-Paul Sartre had it, “existence precedes essence.” That leads to the notion of “not-being” or “nothingness.” From this brief summary, you can see why as a philosophy existentialism went out of business. But the word “existential” continues to carry a heavy load of nonmeaning; to use another nonsense word, it is “fraught.”

“Existential threat” is chiefly put to use as a linguistic scare tactic. Sending American troops into Venezuela could represent an existential threat. Climate change is a permanent existential threat. The most threatening of all existential threats is of course—you will have guessed it—President Trump. The only genuine existential threat I can think of, a threat now long past, was of one’s daughter being seduced by Sartre, who had a taste for girls a third his age.

Weaponize, incentivicize, fraught, existential threat: These are all what H.W. Fowler, that god in the pantheon of language guardians, called “vogue words.” “Every now and then,” Fowler wrote, “a word emerges from obscurity, or even from nothingness or a merely potential and not actual existence into sudden popularity. It is often, but not necessarily, one that by no means explains itself to the average man, who has to find out its meaning as best he can. His wrestlings with it have usually some effect upon it; it does not mean quite what it ought to, but to make up for that it means some things that it ought not to, by the time he has done with it.”

Such was Fowler’s description. Now his judgment: “Ready acceptance of vogue words seems to some people the sign of an alert mind; to others it stands for the herd instinct and lack of individuality.”

No gainsaying that people enjoy getting their tongues around vogue words and phrases. They much prefer saying “multiple” rather than “many” murders; they enjoy calling life “a journey” (in the 1960s, older readers will recall, it was “a trip”); they fancy using the phrase “in terms of” lends their speech academic gravity; they feel it elegant to toss in an occasional “if you will.”

Such language, they think, confers depth and shows intelligence. The job of the language guardian is to assure them that they are wrong.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-weaponize-an-existential-threat-11556479994


*********** So June, my birth month, is “Pride Month,” is it?

We all know what “pride” is code for. We’ve about lost the perfectly good word word “gay,”  and now it looks as though we’re going to lose the word “pride” as well.

*********** You may or may not like the President. 

But I sure as hell know that I couldn’t have done what he did at Air Force Academy on Friday.

He first delivered a speech to the graduates, then continued standing on the stage to shake the hands of every single one of them.  Every. Single. One.

Actually, he did more than that.  As Cadets received their diplomas from two lines on opposite sides of the stage, they came at him in alternate fashion.  He would salute a cadet, shake his or her hand, offer some congratulatory words, then do an about-face and repeat the procedure for the next cadet.  One thousand times.

Okay, okay.  989 times, to be precise.

After doing that,  I guarantee you I’d be sore in a lot of places.

*********** "He ought to be playing footbal" How many times have you heard someone say that about a kid?l.

Trouble is, unless he’s unusually gifted, unless he’s had experience playing on a high school team, it’s probably too late.

Funny - no one says, “he ought to be playing soccer.” Or basketball… or baseball.

None of those sports is easy to play well - well enough to play at the high school level - and very few people would even consider suggesting that a kid who’d never played a high school sport “ought to be playing” it.  Not even one who’d might have played years of junior soccer, or Little League baseball, or some sort of peewee basketball. 

There’s just too much to learn, and the other kids are just so far ahead.

So what makes them think that a kid can turn out for football, where there’s so much to learn, so much of it about protecting himself from people who are trying to do things that might hurt him?

*********** On the Internet recently I saw a list of things that people referred to as 1950s “niceness”:

Men holding the door for women.
Respecting your elders.
Behaving in school.
Being quiet at the movies.
Waiting your turn.
Women not dressing like skanks.
Not cursing or spitting in public.
Not forcing your preferences on strangers.
Not insisting that others support you.
Knowing your place.
Being courteous to strangers.
Picking up after yourself.

The list went on.  You’d have to have lived then to understand the differences between then and now.

One major reason why people really did act better in the 1950s was World War II.

In 1950, the end of The War was just five years in the past.

In the mid-50s, the average World War II vet was in his 30s.  In their prime now, those men were leaders in our homes, our schools, our businesses, and our country.

They were tough men.  They had grown up in the Depression and had fought a war. Their women had held things together on the Home Front while the men were away, and - like Penelope - gave the men their vision of what home life could be when they returned.  That was the 50s.

I was blessed to have gone through school in the 50’s, to have had men like that as my teachers and coaches and neighbors.


***********  Coach,

Just looked at the picture on your site with Coach Bridge.  I don't know if you noticed but all the players eyes are on the coach.  Usually a real good sign. 

Tom Davis
San Carlos, California


Coach,

Very glad you noticed.  Several other coaches have, too.

Of course I noticed.  "Eyes on the coach” is a key part of our program, and we stay on it constantly.  If we’re not the one doing the talking, the rest of us are on the lookout for kids whose attention might be wandering.

Keeping focused on the speaker is a learning tool that I worked hard to instill in kids as a teacher, and since good coaching is good teaching, it was a natural carryover from the classroom.

I am constantly amazed at the coaches I see who will talk “at” their players while the whole time some kids are kneeling behind them,  unable to see the coach at all, others are whispering to someone (or being whispered to), and still others are looking elsewhere - at the ground, at the sky, at the sidelines.

I've seen the same thing in locker rooms.  Kids sitting in such a way that they can’t see coaches - and coaches do nothing about it.  Other kids tieing their shoes or putting on tape - and coaches go right on talking.

Many coaches fail to understand that if they want the entire team to hear something they have an obligation to make sure that the entire team hears it.   It evidently hasn't occurred to them that if one kid fails to hear what they say, that one kid might be the one whose failure to know what was said causes him to make a mistake that costs the team a game.

It’s a fact that if a person is looking at the speaker, the chances are far greater that he’s listening than if he’s looking away.

Apart from the importance of hearing what’s said, there's the equally important aspect of respect.  It’s one of the three legs of our three-legged stool, and it's a sure sign of disrespect not to look at a person when he’s speaking to you.



*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Jimmy Conzelman is perhaps the most versatile, well-rounded man ever to play or coach the game of football.  He was a band leader and a singer.  He was a sculptor.  He was a great storyteller,  in demand as a public speaker. He played pro football for George Halas with the Decatur Staleys.  He once owned the Detroit franchise in the NFL. He later owned and published a newspaper. He played and coached pro football from 1920 to 1948, and then abruptly retired to work full-time in the advertising business.   He is the last coach of the Chicago/St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals ever to win a league championship - in 1947.

A native of St. Louis, he served in World War I  - mostly playing football for Great Lake Naval Training Station, then was  an All-American football player at Washington University in his hometown.  After flunking out of college, he spent some time as an orchestra leader, and in 1920 he joined the Decatur Staleys, the forerunners of the Chicago Bears, who had been founded and was being coached by one of his Great Lakes teammates, George Halas.

In 1921 he joined the Rock Island Independents, and at the age of 23 became the youngest coach in the history of professional football.  He moved to Milwaukee the next year as coach of the Badgers, and in 1925 he became owner of the NFL Detroit Panthers.

After losing money, he sold the franchise back to the NFL for $250. Noting years later that William Clay Ford had bought majority control in the same franchise 38 years later for $4‐million, he remarked,“That' what kind of a businessman I am.”

Next he took a job as player-coach-GM of the Providence Steam Roller, and in 1928 he led Providence to the NFL championship.

After that came a short stint as head coach of the St. Louis Gunners, followed by eight years as head coach of his alma mater, Washington University.

Returning to pro football, from 1940 to 1942 he coached the Chicago Cardinals, then spent two years in baseball as an executive with the St. Louis Browns (later to move to Baltimore as the Orioles), and in 1945 returned to the Cardinals as their head coach.

His 1947 team went 9-3 and defeated the Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFL championship.

But after his 1948 team went 11-1 and then was upset by the Eagles in that year’s championship game, he resigned, to devote his efforts to the St. Louis advertising agency that had the Budweiser Beer account.

He never coached again.

In 1964,  Jimmy Conzelman was a member of the second class to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JIMMY CONZELMAN

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

*********** What an incredible biography!

Coach Greg Koenig
Cimarron High School

http://www.profootballresearchers.org/archives/Website_Files/Coffin_Corner/19-01-689.pdf


*********** Jimmy Conzelman  also coached the Rock Island Independents for 2 seasons in the early part of the 20s...My wife's Great-grandfather Jack Roche was the team's manager (business/equipment) through much of their history...attached is a copy of my original picture of the 1913 team & Jack is on the far right standing...the 2nd pic is a little later, Jack is standing far left...no one is sure of the date, but we think 22-26 because everyone thinks the African-American in the photo is Duke Slater

How's that for a "Coach's Wife!"

Coach Kaz

M<ark Kaczmarek
Davenport, Iowa

rock island independents


Rock Island Independents 2
*********** QUIZ - He’s a native of Fresno, California who played JC football at Fresno City College and then at U of Pacific (which no longer plays football).

He was cut by Calgary of the CFL and by the Washington Redskins and probably would never have had a pro football career were it not for the start-up of the American Football League in 1960.

He won the starting quarterback job with the Oakland Raiders, which made him the first Hispanic starting  quarterback in pro football history.

He played with the Raiders through the 1966 season, before being traded to the Buffalo Bills, where he backed up Jack Kemp, and in 1969,  as a free agent, he signed with Kansas City and backed up Len Dawson.  He also got to play in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win over the Vikings.

After retirement as a player, he served as an assistant in Buffalo and then in Oakland.  While on John Madden’s Oakland staff,  he won another Super Bowl ring in 1976.

In 1979, he succeeded Madden, and won TWO Super Bowls as head coach of the Raiders.

After a 5-10 season in 1987 he was moved into a management position, but after a year in that job he was hired as GM of the Seahawks, and in 1992 he took over as head coach in Seattle.  This time, things didn’t go so well, and he lasted just three years there.

He is noteworthy for a great number of accomplishments:

HIs overall record was 97-87, good enough - but his record in the playoffs was 8-3.

He was head coach of  two  Super Bowl champions.

He was pro football’s first-ever Hispanic starting quarterback.

He was the first minority head coach to win a Super Bowl.

He is one of only 20 players to have been in the AFL for the entire ten years of its existence.

He is one of only two people to have won a Super Bowl as a player, as an assistant, and as a head coach. (Mike Ditka is the other.)

Yet for some unknown reason, he is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Somebody had better act soon, while he’s still remembered - and still alive.



american flagFRIDAY,  MAY 31, 2019   “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” Winston Churchill
*Todd with team
********** It’s Thursday night and we’ve just completed two spring practice sessions at Aberdeen High. It should have been three, but…

With our first day of practice scheduled for more than a month - starting as is usual in Washington on the first day after the Memorial Day weekend - our coach learned in a roundabout way that several of our players had a summer Babe Ruth baseball game scheduled.  You couldn’t exactly call it a communications breakdown between him and the baseball coach - a former member of the football staff, for what it’s worth -  because first you’d have to have been communicating.

We made a hasty decision not to hold practice, and instead, to simply hold the rules meeting that we always require  before anyone takes the field, and then let the baseball players go - and the other players as well.

Part of our aim was to make the point that we’re a team - and unless the whole team is at practice, we can’t practice as a team.

But part, I must admit, was to show the baseball coach that we can, indeed,  “share” players, as he'd insisted we must.  Yep.  And  now, friend, it’s your turn.

So we went ahead and did it that way and after everyone else left,  we went out on the field with 11 seniors who at our first meeting several weeks ago we’d assigned positions in our offense, in anticipation of using them to demonstrate a few of the basics.

And now, with our new staff watching, those kids went though an entire practice, just as the entire team would do the next day.  It was a bit rough and ragged, and I have to admit to having some misgivings as I went home that night.  But we did get our play cards - with plays and assignments on them - onto the kids’ wrists and we had a chance to show the kids how they work.

The next day, with Todd still teaching at another school and unable to get to Aberdeen in time for the start of practice, I ran the normal pre-practice meeting and used it to preview the practice.  Then, in the meeting room, we had everyone line  up exactly as they would once we were out on the field. And a few minutes later - I’ll be damned - there they were out on the field, lined up precisely as they’d been instructed.

We started out as always, with the seniors conducting the strength portion of the routine (Triceps, Abs, Necks and Squats). Then we used the bench drill to teach our three-point stance. (As a former spread team, this was new to them.) They picked it up quickly, and then we moved on to blocking - also new and strange to kids who’d been used to “blocking” with hands.

From one-on-one blocking (with the “blockees” holding hand shields), we progressed to double-teams.  And from there, we went to triple-teams, which led to five-on-one, which finally led to a seven-man front blocking against one defensive lineman. (If you hadn’t figured it out, that’s a wedge, guys.) All that was needed then was a quarterback handing the ball to a runner, and we had our first play - 2 Wedge.  (I thought that if  our idea was to establish ourselves as a power team - and it is -  we might just as well start with the most powerful play in the game.)  The kids seemed to like it, which is good, because they’ll be running it enough.

Next was a power off-tackle, and then a counter. We had three teams running the plays, one after another.  The seniors had the playcards but the other teams didn’t, so we asked the seniors to help coach up the  other kids.  They jumped at the chance, and things went the way it's been my experience that they always do - when kids learn they’re going to have to teach something to someone else, they pay closer attention themselves.

As a result, things went smoother then I can ever recall, with the kids attentive and respectful. By day’s end, we’d had a productive practice, we had at least one of our teams running our three basic plays in acceptable fashion, and the kids went off the field with smiles on their faces.  I was pumped.

Thursday, after I said a few things to the kids about the Word For the Day (“Trust”) I told them about our daily goal, one that never changes - “get better.” And then we hit the field.

Thursday’s practice started the same way, but we added the introduction of the basics of the form tackle.

We reviewed the plays from the day before, this time including their “flip sides” - those same plays run in the other direction.

Then we added a reach sweep and a trap.  We now had the better part of our running game installed, and it was time to add a pass - a sprint-out, with the introduction of a simple read by the QBs.  They picked it up right away.

I had some reservations when Todd suggested ending with o“Gain 5, Lose 5,” a “perfect offense” drill I got years ago from a coach named Nick Hyder, then at Valdosta, Georgia.  Basically, the offense starts on the 40 and has to drive the ball into the end zone, gaining five yards a play. There’s no huddling and the  quarterback has to call the plays. I wasn't sure we were ready, but I agreed.

Oh - there’s one catch. If it’s not a perfect play - if any coach catches the slightest little thing wrong with the play’s execution, the team loses five yards.  We’ll usually do this at the end of practice, after sprints, when their concentration is apt to be a bit shaky.

We didn’t scrutinize this team the way we normally would, and they weren’t exactly wrung out from sprints, but no matter - these kids, making just three mistakes worth our notice, drove it in.  Most encouraging of all were two very nice passes - wheel routes - by the senior QB.

The kids were enthusiastic, and so were we.  Football, as my friend Tom Walls in Winnipeg likes to say, is fun.

Traymar and me*********** One of the players on hand at my North Carolina clinic to run plays for the coaches was Traymar Ruffin, a Black Lion Award winner nominated by Coach Dave Potter.

Coach Potter has long been a participant in the Black Lion Award program, which I take as quite compliment because he is a great practitioner of football as a means to develop young men, and he understands the value of an award that doesn’t go to the kid with the most tackles or the most touchdowns.  It could go to such a player, of course, but it is designed to recognize things such as leadership and unselfishness - putting the team first.  The Black Lion Award itself was inspired by  Don Holleder, a former West Point football player who before his senior season at Army changed positions for the good of his team - even though he was a returning All-American and would almost certainly have repeated if he hadn’t agreed to make the move. In a day when players routinely pass up their senior seasons - and increasingly sit out their teams’ bowl games - to play pro, his sort of unselfishness needs to be encouraged and recognized.

Such a guy is Traymar Ruffin, one of the young men Coach Potter has seen pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

Back when he nominated Traymar, Coach Potter wrote,

“Traymar always shakes your hand and feels confident in approaching those he doesn't know and speaking with them.  He arrives early to the weight room and is always among the last to leave.  No one works harder in the weight room and for this he has received our "Iron Warrior" award.  He regularly stays behind to clean up and put all the weights back in their rack.  He asks the coaching staff for extra practice time to work on his game.

“Traymar 15, lives with his father.  His father doesn't own a driver's license.  Despite that, Traymar always made our summer practices making sure he had a ride.  He regularly asks what he can do to get better.  Traymar regularly steps up to tell other players what/when/how and why they need to the right thing.  The bright spot of his season had to be when he scored two touchdowns in our JV game and was asked to play in the Varsity game the following night. 

“Whenever Traymar is given an opportunity, he makes the most of it.  He leads by example and by choice.  He takes on a leadership role without being asked.  He doesn't take shortcuts as evidenced in his academics, work in the weight room and moving his way up from 3rd team to starting Fullback. He never gives excuses because he is always determined to succeed.”

Assistant coach Olu Williams added,

“Through my interactions with Traymar I have come to know a young man that I hope my son will be like when he becomes a young adult.  When I met Traymar, he was a timid, unconfident and reserved young man. We would do drills as a team and he would purposely finish last to make sure he did them correctly. I thought he was just being slow. What I didn't know was that he was methodically and thoroughly making himself a better football player as well as a better man.  Fast forward six months....Through his hard work and diligence, Traymar has not only become a starter on our team he has become a leader. He is one those kids that makes you wake up in the morning looking forward to coaching him.”

Needless to say, it was a great thrill for me to see Traymar again, and take a picture with him.

***********  Math Teachers Should Be More Like Football Coaches

By John Urschel (In the New York Times)

Mr. Urschel is a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics and former professional football player. (He was a hell of a football player at Penn State and he was good enough to play in the NFL. HW)

Growing up, I thought math class was something to be endured, not enjoyed. I disliked memorizing formulas and taking tests, all for the dull goal of getting a good grade. In elementary school, my mind wandered so much during class that I sometimes didn’t respond when I was called on, and I resisted using the rote techniques we were taught to use to solve problems. One of my teachers told my mother that I was “slow” and should repeat a grade.

But my problem wasn’t with math itself. In fact, I spent countless hours as a child doing logic and math puzzles on my own, and as a teenager, when a topic seemed particularly interesting, I would go to the library and read more about it.

By high school, none of my teachers questioned my mathematical talent, but none of them really encouraged it, either. No one told me that I could become a professional mathematician. And frankly, that was fine with me. I had no desire to spend my life doing exercises out of a textbook, which is what I assumed mathematicians did — if I even thought about what they did.

What I wanted to do was play college football. I was an offensive lineman. My hero was Jake Long, the starting left tackle for the University of Michigan who would later be selected first in the N.F.L. draft. My ambition was to get an athletic scholarship to attend a Big Ten school.

The chances of that happening were very low. In high school, I weighed “only” 220 pounds — about 80 pounds less than a big-time college tackle. I was an above-average athlete, but not a freak of nature. And my high school in Buffalo was an academic powerhouse, not a “feeder” school for college sports programs.

That didn’t stop me from dreaming, though. And it didn’t stop my coaches from encouraging me to believe I could reach my goal, and preparing and pushing me to work for it. When they told me I had potential but would have to work hard, I listened. I heard their voices in my ear when I dragged myself out of bed for predawn weightlifting sessions. They made videotapes of my performances and sent them to college coaches around the country. It didn’t matter that I didn’t initially attract much interest from the big schools. My coaches kept picking up the phone, and kept convincing me to try to prove myself.

In the end, a Big Ten school, Penn State, did offer me a scholarship. I was the 26th of 27 recruits. After college, I was even drafted by the Baltimore Ravens. I played for the Ravens from 2014 until my retirement in 2017.

Football coaches can be easy to caricature: all that intensity, all those pep talks, all those promises to build character. I certainly don’t romanticize them. I don’t believe that they make better young men, just better football players.

But I wish math teachers were more like football coaches.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t blame my math teachers. They taught me well. When I got to Penn State, where I majored in mathematics, I was prepared to do the subject at an advanced level.

No one expects a math teacher to tell a talented student that he or she could become the next John von Neumann. (No one expects math teachers to tell students about von Neumann — perhaps the greatest mathematician of the 20th century — at all.) And no one expects math teachers to talk with the kind of fire, or to demand the kind of commitment and accountability, that football coaches do. But I wish they did.

A growing body of research shows that students are affected by more than just the quality of a lesson plan. They also respond to the passion of their teachers and the engagement of their peers, and they seek a sense of purpose. They benefit from specific instructions, constant feedback and a culture of learning that encourages resilience in the face of failure — not unlike a football practice. There are many ways to be an effective teacher, just as there are many ways to be an effective coach. But all good teachers, like good coaches, communicate that they care about your goals.

Until I got to college, I didn’t really know what mathematics was. I still thought of it as problem sets and laborious computations. Then one day, one of my professors summoned me to his office, handed me a book and suggested that I think about a particular problem. Understanding it, I realized, required reading other, more elementary books. I would make my way down one path only to hit a dead end. It wasn’t easy, but it was fascinating.

My professor kept giving me problems, and I kept pursuing them, even though I couldn’t always solve them immediately. Before long, he was introducing me to problems that had never been solved before, and urging me to find new techniques to help crack them.

The mathematical research I was doing had little in common with what I did in my high school classrooms. Instead, it was closer to the math and logic puzzles I did on my own as a boy. It gave me that same sense of wonder and curiosity, and it rewarded creativity.

I am now a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and I have published several papers in mathematical journals. I still feel that childlike excitement every time I complete a proof.

I wish I’d known this was possible when I was a kid.

John Urschel (@JohnCUrschel) is the author, with Louisa Thomas, of the forthcoming book “Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/11/opinion/sunday/math-teaching-football.html

*********** Recognizing a problem as its key demographic - baby boomers - starts getting to be too old to be tooling around on bigass hogs, Harley-Davidson  turned to providing financing for younger buyers  - some of whose “credit-worthiness” turned out to be a bit sketchy.

As a result, at the end of 2018 Harley had $20 million worth of repossessed bikes on its hands. And now, that means offering  financing so that people can buy all those used bikes.  And some of those people will prove to be stiffs.  And so it goes…

*********** I’ve been reading a lot of bitching lately about age discrimination.  I don’t usually pay much attention to any of that crap, but then I started thinking about all those NFL head coaching jobs I applied for the last few years, and never even got a phone call, much less an interview, and it made  me go, hmmm…  Got to be ageism.

*********** In game number three this coming season North Carolina will be at Wake Forest.  It’s a Friday night game, on ESPN.

In 2021, Wake will repay the favor and go to Carolina.

But get this - even though UNC and Wake are both longtime ACC schools, those will be non-conference games.  (They won’t count in the conference standings.)

With UNC and Wake in separate conference divisions,  they won’t meet each other in actual conference play for several seasons.

The game makes a great deal of sense.  The schools are a little more than an hour’s drive apart. 

And with the Playoff Committee’s emphasis on strength of schedule, the  pressure is on Power 5 conference schools to schedule tougher opponents.

Look for more Power 5 conferences to start doing this. They give their fans a more attractive game and they beef up their schedules, not so much to qualify for a four-team playoff - everybody can pretty much name three or four of the 2019 playoff teams right now - but in anticipation of the inevitable day, not far off, when it will be an 8- or 12- or 16-team playoff.

The losers, unfortunately, are the FCS schools - as well as the bottom feeders of the FBS -  those that depend for their existence on the paydays they get from playing bigger schools. 

*********** FROM FOOTBALL SCOOP

There are certain quotes in the history of sports and football that make a unique connection with coaches and players on a different level.

Former Miami (FL) great Alonzo Highsmith, may have provided the latest one with an explanation of one of the most used words in all of sports – SWAG. Many consider the Miami teams that Highsmith played on as where the term swag was both born, and perfectly personified and so many programs and individuals have been on a quest to find it and replicate it since those days.

Here’s how Highsmith, who played running back for the Canes during the golden era of Canes football before becoming the 3rd overall pick of the 1987 NFL Draft now serves as the vice president of player personnel for the Browns, explained what swag actually is to The Athletic.

You can be sure that you’ll start to see this one posted in coaches offices, weight rooms, football facilities, and locker rooms across the country really quickly.

“Swag is watching Michael Irvin running routes wearing a 30-pound weight vest after practice in like 100 per cent humidity,” Highsmith said.  “Swag is running hills at Tropical Park after you’ve done your work with the strength coaches. It’s the whole team showing up to run in combat boots on the beach.  That’s swag.

“It’s never missing a practice. It’s practicing like every day is your last day.  You don’t get swag because of a haircut. Or because you pound your chest or because someone said you were a five-star.
 
“Swag is something that is earned.  You don’t just give it to somebody.”

*********** Charlie Wilson, my personal wishbone expert, checks in…

1. Ozzie Newsome

2. Mark Harmon
I'm late to the Cotillion on this one but Harmon had a distinctive Style as he hit the Mesh Point.  I'll scan the picture if you want but look at the front dust jacket of Rodgers and Smith's Installing Football's Wishbone T Offense and then look at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr21NZQvXFw&t=417s

"That...That's Mark Harmon!"  As identifiable as Jamelle Holieway and Jack Mildren.  Coaching Point: The QBs may wear holes in the turf where their feet hit exactly the same spots but they are each identifiable with their Mesh Technique in their own way.  Harmon was great.

3. Speaking of YouTube...
I always look for Option Games I couldn't record back in the Daze and I try to be a Good Citizen and let others know of it by Posting the URL on Option Sites.  I found the 1985 Independence Bowl, the bowl game after Lightning Lou cut out from Minnesota and left Gutekunst in charge with Larry Beckish as OC.  It's History.
Minnesota against Clemson.  So I had reason to access it the other day and found this:

"This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated".

Now, there are many reasons that an account could plausibly be terminated but this is Football we're talkin' about.  Is the 1985 Independence Bowl fruit of the poisoned tree?  Was Trump in attendance that night?  I'll try to find out more but...C'mon!

Charlie Wilson
Crystal River, Florida

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

Seems we're losing a bunch of our sports heroes pretty regularly now.  Just heard that Bill Buckner also just passed away.

I missed God Bless America before the Indy 500 (thankfully), but the 500 big shots completely screwed up when it came to the National Anthem and Back Home In Indiana.  Jim Cornelison should have been singing the anthem, and Kelly Clarkson should have done the other!

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER - Ozzie Newsome is in both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

He was a starter at tight end all four years at Alabama, during which time the Tide’s record was 42-6.  In his college career he caught 102 passes for 2020 yards and 16 touchdowns, and his 20.3 yards per catch set an SEC record that stood for 20 years.

His coach, Bear Bryant, called him “the greatest end in the history of Alabama football,” which included the legendary Don Hutson.

He was drafted first by the Cleveland Browns, and in his rookie year he won the team’s Offensive Player of the Year award.

He went to three Pro Bowls, and  in 1990 he won the “Whizzer” White NFL Man of the Year Award, named for the former Steelers’ star who went on to become a Supreme Court Justice.

In 1999, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

After retirement as a player, he went to work in the Browns' front office, and when the Browns moved to Baltimore in 1996 to be reconstituted as the Ravens, he went along.

In 2002,  when Ozzie Newsome was named the Ravens’ General Manager, he became the first black man to attain that position on an NFL team.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING OZZIE NEWSOME

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
D.J.  MILLAY, VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS

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

I am sure  glad you like to use Great Cleveland Browns in quizzes!  I knew this one before the middle of the second line of this quiz. The answer is the great Ozzie Newsome.   He was a joy to watch!

I have wished many times that we had him as a GM in Cleveland. We would have at least two super bowl rings like those that he helped Baltimore get with his leadership.  It is not often in pro football that a great player can become an outstanding GM.  He has been a winner on the field and in the front office!  A truly outstanding man in all respects.

David Crump
Owensboro, Kentucky

*********** QUIZ:  He is perhaps the most versatile, well-rounded man ever to play or coach the game of football.  He was a band leader and a singer.  He was a sculptor.  He was a great storyteller,  in demand as a public speaker. He played pro football for George Halas with the Decatur Staleys.  He once owned the Detroit franchise in the NFL. He later owned and published a newspaper. He played and coached pro football from 1920 to 1948, and then abruptly retired to work full-time in the advertising business.   He is the last coach of the Chicago/St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals ever to win a league championship - in 1947.

A native of St. Louis, he served in World War I  - mostly playing football for Great Lake Naval Training Station, then was  an All-American football player at Washington University in his hometown.  After flunking out of college, he spent some time as an orchestra leader, and in 1920 he joined the Decatur Staleys, the forerunners of the Chicago Bears, who had been founded and was being coached by one of his Great Lakes teammates, George Halas.

In 1921 he joined the Rock Island Independents, and at the age of 23 became the youngest coach in the history of professional football.  He moved to Milwaukee the next year as coach of the Badgers, and in 1925 he became owner of the NFL Detroit Panthers.

After losing money, he sold the franchise back to the NFL for $250. Noting years later that William Clay Ford had bought majority control in the same franchise 38 years later for $4‐million, he remarked,“That' what kind of a businessman I am.”

Next he took a job as player-coach-GM of the Providence Steam Roller, and in 1928 he led Providence to the NFL championship.

After that came a short stint as head coach of the St. Louis Gunners, followed by eight years as head coach of his alma mater, Washington University.

Returning to pro football, from 1940 to 1942 he coached the Chicago Cardinals, then spent two years in baseball as an executive with the St. Louis Browns (later to move to Baltimore as the Orioles), and in 1945 returned to the Cardinals as their head coach.

His 1947 team went 9-3 and defeated the Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFL championship.

But after his 1948 team went 11-1 and then was upset by the Eagles in that year’s championship game, he resigned, to devote his efforts to the St. Louis advertising agency that had the Budweiser Beer account.

He never coached again.

In 1964, he was a member of the second class to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


american flagTUESDAY,  MAY 28, 2019   "He's got to have the respect of his teammates. His authority must be unquestioned, and his teammates must be willing to go to the gates of hell with him." Bart Starr, defining a quarterback


*********** Prayers for Bart Starr and his family.  If ever there was a class guy, it was Bart Starr, the quarterback whose name will always be associated with Vince Lombardi and championship Packers teams.(Thanks for today's quote to Eddie Campbell, Land o' Lakes, Florida)

*********** Former Washington QB Bob Schloredt, whom many of you identified as a two-time Rose Bowl MVP - despite playing with sight in only one eye - died recently.

*********** Before the Indy 500: anybody catch that witch “singing” the words of God Bless America to some unrecognizable “tune?”

Kate Smith, sadly, is long dead - but even now she could have sung it better.

Then, as we’ve all come to expect,  some no-talent - this one named Kelly Clarkson  -butchered the National Anthem.

Finally, though, along came Jim Cornelison, of National-Anthem-before-Black-Hawks-games fame, to sing “Back Home Again in Indiana,” and all was - almost - well once again.


*********** “PATRIOTISM IS THE LAST REFUGE OF A SOUNDREL”

So said Samuel Johnson, one of the wisest men who ever lived.  He was referring to the false patriotism - the phony flag-waving - that we so often see among politicians who would have us believe that they’re as red-blooded as any man who ever died on the beaches of Normandy or on a godforsaken island in the South Pacific.

Which brings us to Marcus Lemonis, the owner of Camping World.  A few years ago, after the events in Charlottesville, he said things that many construed as telling Trump supporters that he could do without their business.

He later denied saying that, but not even left-leaning Snopes.com was able to give him the benefit of the doubt:

Lemonis did strongly appear to have suggested that anyone who agreed with President Trump’s controversial remarks about the events of 12 August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, should not shop at his stores.

Uh-oh.  Perhaps realizing that an awful lot of people who buy RVs and assorted camping supplies such as Yeti coolers are Trump supporters and understand the way Trump was misquoted on the Charlottesville incident (he did not say that White Supremacists were “good people”), he has worked hard since then to try to “clarify” - to explain what he “really meant,” but the damage was done.

What to do?  Why,  take a page from Samuel Johnson’s book and fly the flag.  Literally.  Fly the biggest damn American flags you’ve ever seen. At every damn Camping World location in the damn country.  We’ll show those damn deplorables who’s a patriot!

Except in Statesville, North Carolina, where for some reason the city says the flag is too big.

https://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/camping-world-fighting-statesville-fines-legal-action-over-giant-american-flag/950640074

*********** THEN THERE’S CHICK-FIL-A.  THEY’RE SINCERE ABOUT THEIR PATRIOTISM.  I  SAW THIS ONLINE…

We ate lunch at a Chick-fil-A today. When we entered the restaurant, the first thing we saw was an empty table that was set up to honor fallen military personnel over the Memorial Day weekend. There was a red rose, a folded flag, an inverted glass and an open Bible, along with text explaining the elements of the display.

***********  Coach,

Congratulations on the job at Aberdeen. I do remember driving though Aberdeen and meeting Coach Bridge on the visit I made three years ago. I am sure after a year off, that you are chomping at the bit to get started.

We just finished our first week of spring football with the new high school team. I have 38 on paper. The spring is a difficult time to coach football. We are in conflict with lacrosse, rugby, baseball, and drivers ed. Sometimes practice is a revolving door of kids. Still with all of that, we are looking at 17 kids who have played with me before and another 10 who are showing promise.

I have an interesting challenge at QB. We have two kids, (My son) who is now 6’1 and in 9th grade. The other kid is in 10th grade and shorter, but athletic. Here is where it gets interesting. The other kid played with me 5 years ago. I am going to assume you can’t remember this, but at the end of the season, his mother filed a complaint about me.  She argued that I was abusive. The complaint was dismissed and she did not enroll her son in football… until this year.

The young man is saying all of the right things and attending practice, but I also get the feeling he is waiting for the opportunity to use the “coach's son” excuse, as to why (my son) is the starter.

He is getting more attention that (my son) in practice (all of the new kids do) and (my son) also helps coach him. I can also sense, although (my son) will not talk to me about it,  that the other young man is in the “cool kids club” with the older students. (My son) is not.

I can see that although (my son) is being the leader that you would expect, that he is not enjoying this spring season the way he enjoyed the end of last year. The father in me is concerned to see that he is not as free and joyful as when we finished last year.  

So, I don’t think it is advice that I am looking for, rather it is perspective. Here is where I am with this:

1. The other kid deserves good coaching.
2. (My son)  must learn to fight and compete.
3. My fear is that by giving this kid the attention he requires, I am watering down (My son’s) confidence and encouraging the notion that the other player could be the QB, if not for the head coach’s son.

What do you think?


I agree with all three points.

I think you need to be fair with your son  Are you bending over so far to be “fair” to this other kid that your son is getting short shrift?

In return for the joy and rewards of coaching your own son, you run the risk of someone - anyone - accusing you of playing Daddy Ball.  I’ve had the privilege of coaching four head coaches’ sons, and fortunately, those kids were all good enough at what they did that only a fool would have accused the coaches of favoritism.

Solve the QB issue by answering, honestly,  the three questions I always ask about a QB:

1. Does he want to be the QB?  To be the team leader?  REALLY want to be?  To the point where he will do ANYTHING that the team requires - on and OFF the field? Will he be first on and first off?  Will he always put the good of the team ahead of his own selfish interests? Can he correct teammates?  Can he take the heat of criticism when the team’s doing poorly?  Will he step into a huddle and take charge?  

2. Is he coachable?  Does he take correction - and make correction?  Or does he go right back and make the same mistake?  Does he make excuses?  Does he make eye contact?  Is he eager to learn?  Is he a cheerful learner or does he treat being taught as if it were punishment?

3. Can I trust him?  Will he always do the right thing, on and off the field?  Will I ever have to worry about his grades or his behavior in the school?   Will he always do the right thing, even if the cool guys are doing the wrong thing?  

Grade all your QB’s this way, and you might find it’s not as close as you think.

The late great Al McGuire (very famous basketball coach, later just as famous as a broadcaster) coached his own son, Allie, while at Marquette.  When people asked if Allie was going to start, Al said, “He’s my flesh and blood. If anybody’s going to beat out my own son, it’s got to be a clean knockout."

Simple as that.



***********  I attended my grandson’s graduation from Wake Forest last Monday, and I marveled at all the smiling faces - graduates, family members, faculty, well-wishers.

It seemed as though nothing could darken such a joyous occasion.

But less than a week later, at Elon University, maybe a half-hour to the east of Wake Forest, such a thing happened.

On Thursday, the day before he was to graduate,  22-year-old Nicholas Kavouklis, a member of Elon University’s  football team, was found dead.

A native of Tampa,  Nicholas was the son of former Florida State University football player Chris Kavouklis.    He played four seasons for the Phoenix as a long snapper and in 2016 was named to the CAA Football Academic All-Conference Team.

At the graduation ceremony,  his classmates linked hands in his honor.

My deepest condolences to his family and to those who knew and loved him.

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article230811029.html


*********** New lockers - got to have ‘em.  Why?  Because everyone else is getting them.

And the college football arms race continues to escalate.

North Carolina has just installed new lockers, by a Texas firm named Longhorn Lockers.

Clemson’s look like thrones.

longhorn lockers

One unintended consequence, North Carolina has discovered, is that these suckers take up so much more extra space that they cut into the area usually used for half-time offensive and defensive meetings.

http://longhornlockers.com/

***********  Art Briles, who despite great success on the football field was fired by Baylor for what he knew (or didn’t know but should have) about all sorts of improprieties (including rape charges) in his program, has been pretty much persona non grata in the football world ever since.

June Jones tried to bring him to Canada and found the CFL didn’t want him up North. Southern Miss didn’t want to mess with him, either.

Now, though, Briles has been hired as head coach at Mount Vernon, Texas.  Mount Vernon High School, that is.  Coaching high school kids.

I don’t know enough, honestly, to have a position on this.  Maybe I should have done more reading on it, but I put the Baylor episode behind me and moved on to more better things, and now I have to I plead ignorance.

But ooo-whee!   One Jenny Creech, writing in the Houston Chronicle, considers the hiring of Art Briles as a high school coach to be on the order of hiring Adolf Hitler as your rabbi.

Check the comments following her article. To say the least, not all Texans agree with Ms. Creech.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/texas-sports-nation/jenny-dial-creech/article/Creech-Art-Briles-hiring-sends-a-terrible-message-13895812.php

Matt Mosley, in PressBox DFW, calls Briles “the public face of the biggest rape scandal that has hit a college campus,” and suggests that little ole Mount Vernon, Texas may not have have given this whole hiring thing sufficient thought…

https://www.pressboxdfw.com/briles-hired-and-mount-vernon-evokes-national-scorn/

*********** Did you know that Bob Stoops was head coach of the XFL’s Dallas franchise?
Did you know he just hired Hal Mumme?

Mumme, known as the Father of the Air Raid Offense, has been a bit of a flop  as a head coach, but running a pro offense might be just the ticket for him.

http://footballscoop.com/news/bob-stoops-bringing-air-raid-xfl-hal-mumme/

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

http://footballscoop.com/news/nfl-recommended-banning-well-known-drills-training-camps/

I stopped using bull in the ring many years ago, but I have always used the Oklahoma drill on two days of our pre-season August camp because it simulated what it's like in a game situation.  The first go-round helped us determine toughness in our kids, and which positions they would be best suited for.  The second go-round gave other kids another opportunity to prove their desire to play.  The tougher kids always jumped in, and often.  We didn't do the Oklahoma drill on a regular basis.  All of our contact drills were done during indy.  We rarely went live during team.

But of course we should do everything the NFL does right??

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Yes, the NFL does such a great job of “teaching” football that it deigns to tell us how the game’s taught.

Time for all of us to recognize the obvious: we are in two separate worlds, playing two separate games.  What they do has very little bearing on what we should do.

Our job is to teach kids how to play football, and find the kids best able to play.

Their job is increasingly becoming avoiding injury to their precious million-dollar investments.

But in the process of protecting their investments - and appeasing the players’  union - they do great damage to their product by no longer practicing things that need to be practiced.

There are even some "hamburger drills" that - used judiciously, and not for the coaches’ amusement -  can tell us a lot about kids as well as teaching them something about themselves.



*********** While back in North Carolina this past weekend  I had a great talk with an old family friend, Mike Mangili. Mike was a career coach who got out and  spent a number of years as a Riddell rep, and now, retired from Riddell, he’s on the equipment staff at North Carolina.

He told me how the  Tar Heels’ new coach, Mack Brown, has been working hard to change things.

The job is not made any easier by today’s “dress for success” youth culture.  (Or should I have said “dress IS success?”)

Apparently, Coach Brown inherited a somewhat lax approach to what’s worn and what isn’t worn on the field, so to make sure that the UNC players understand EXACTLY what they are supposed to wear at each practice, the equipment guys dress a mannequin in exactly the correct attire. And STILL - habits are hard to break - there are players who go out on the field wearing their own choice of socks, their own cleats, “sleeves” on their legs instead of tights (“too much cloth” they complain), and “skinny bands” wherever they choose to put them.

*********** One-time Minnesotan  Joe Gutilla brought this to my attention…

Speaking to a gathering at a “coaches caravan” stop in Minnesota, Gophers’ coach P. J. Fleck said he has taken a hard-line approach to the idea of kids committing, and then continuing to visit other schools.

"I have a rule: You commit to me, you can't go see another place," Fleck said. "Not because I'm insecure. But if you want to be committed, you're going to be committed. Too many people teach young people to be committed but also one foot in and one foot out. ... You’ve got to be all in."

Or as Fleck termed it: "We have a problem in our society. We don't have a problem in our program."

I thought that was kind of interesting. In a perfect world, that is how college decisions would work. But in recent times, it's much more of a Wild West situation. But Fleck said if commits come to him and say they're interested in visiting other schools, he tells them that's fine, but they have to decommit first. That doesn't necessarily mean they can't recommit again if the scholarship is still there in a few months or whatnot.

What a novel concept - teaching kids the meaning of commitment, in a world that seems determined to soften the definition of the word.  Makes me look at Coach Fleck in a whole different way.

http://www.startribune.com/gophers-coach-p-j-fleck-wants-his-recruits-to-be-all-in/510312452/?refresh=true


*********** I was a bit unhappy about being routed through Dallas on the way home from North Carolina - it added a couple of hours to the trip - until I looked around the airport’s food court and saw -  WHATTABURGER!

Whoa.  After years of seeing their ads in Texas Coach magazines, of hearing Texans brag about their hamburgers, this was my chance to try Whattaburger.

VERDICT:  Great hamburger.  Right up there with In and Out. My wife agreed.   Fries were okay, nothing special, but the burger was really good.


*********** Good days ahead for divorce lawyers.

The SAT has announced that it will give test-takers an “adversity” score that colleges can use to juice up the scores of applicants who’ve had to overcome “adversity.”  It’s a thinly-disguised way for colleges to achieve “diversity” without actually favoring one race over another, and one of the factors that indicate “adversity” is coming from a single-parent home.  In view of the fact that people were recently caught spending enormous sums of money to bribe their kids’ way into elite colleges, is it unreasonable to assume that these same types will spend a little money on divorce lawyers to create single-parent environments for their kids?

https://www.city-journal.org/college-boards-sat-adversity-score


*********** ESPN has decided to stick to sports and stay out of politics.

ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro has found success by ditching politics-first sportscasters such as Jemele Hill, and overtly political programming, in order to win back its core customers who tune in for sports.

“Without question our data tells us our fans do not want us to cover politics,” Pitaro told Los Angeles Times television and media reporter Stephen Battaglio in a feature published Monday

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/ditching-politics-working-out-for-espn

*********** TRIGGER WARNING - POLITICAL QUESTION FOUND ON THE INTERNET

Q: What percentage of the scores of Democrats running for president in 2020 are parents of kids with their heads screwed on straight?  Anyone know?

*********** Major league baseball? Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Here it is, going to enormous lengths to put on a couple of baseball games in London.

And who is it sending over there?

No, Not the Orioles and the Royals (perfect name, by the way).  Not the Marlins and the Nationals.

No throwaway games for the Brits.

Oh, no.  They're getting the Yankees and the Red Sox.

You realize what a tough ticket any Red Sox game is?  You realize how much tougher it is when the  Yankees  are in town?

Yet there's Major League Baseball,  willing to screw over its loyal American fans in order to sell a few jerseys and caps in cricket country.

Sheesh.

https://nypost.com/2019/05/21/mlb-going-to-great-lengths-for-yankees-red-sox-series-in-london/

*********** Most of the stories out of Minnesota make it sound as though a bunch of smaller schools, rather than trying to compete with St. Thomas, have decided to kick them out of their league.

There’s more to the story. St. Thomas has a much larger enrollment than any of the other conference schools. The others are small and extremely academically oriented. Yes, they could field better football teams if they chose to compromise on their standards, but they choose not to.

They just want to continue providing D-III football for those students who want to play.  (What a unique concept.)

There also have been rumors that St Thomas recruits.  I’ve heard them, but I’ve never seen or heard any confirmation.

Simply put, the rest of the schools grew tired of their players being used as punching bags by St. Thomas.

http://www.startribune.com/st-thomas-will-involuntarily-leave-miac-with-announcement-set-for-11-a-m/510270892/


*********** After more than 40 years, someone is going to be wearing Number 32 for the  Buffalo Bills. Someone named Senorise (I have no idea how to pronounce it) Perry.

The last one to wear it was, as most of you know, a fellow named Simpson.

Simpson’s number, it turns out,  was never retired.  Only three Bills’ numbers have been retired: Jim Kelly’s, Thurman Thomas’, Bruce Smith’s. God knows Simpson was good enough, but it’s too late now to honor him.

At the very least, to keep from even bringing up the matter of a guy who had everything and blew it by “making a bad decision” (as some of today’s softies would call murdering a couple of people) the jersey should have been kept secure under lock and key in the vault of a Buffalo bank.

https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/sports/football/nfl/bills/2019/05/21/buffalo-bills-senorise-perry-oj-simpson-jersey-number-32-not-retired-nfl/3759947002/


*********** Former Oregon defensive back Keanon Lowe is a school “resource officer” at Parkrose High in suburban Portland.  He’s also the head football coach.  Parkrose is a “first-ring” suburb, just across the city line.  Once home to solid, middle class working families, it’s changed drastically as those original occupants moved on, and in many cases they’ve been replaced by less-affluent newcomers, many of them minorites who were displaced by the gentrification of their Portland neighborhoods.

Parkrose has not been an easy place for football coaches.  I’ve coached at a few schools in the Portland area, and it was always nice to look at our schedule and see “Parkrose” on it.  Almost a guaranteed “W.”

But with Keanon Lowe as their football coach, there may be hope.

A week or so ago, when called because a student had brought a shotgun into a classroom, he managed to disarm the kid without further incident.

(Is it me or does it always seem to be a football coach?)

https://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/2019/05/parkrose-highs-keanon-lowe-weighs-in-on-disarming-student-and-what-comes-next.html

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

Great to hear the clinic went well.  I'm certain Coaches Potter and Williams will find a home soon.

Pretty sad commentary regarding the rugby player in Australia. 

I've been to 7 of the sports sites mentioned by Gil LeBreton, but a bunch more to see:
22 Fenway Park
23 Wrigley Field
29 Pebble Beach Pro Am
30 Pro Football HOF
54 Notre Dame home football games
86 High School FB in TX, OH, and Western PA
91 LA Memorial Coliseum

Always liked Mark Harmon.  How could you not like the son of Tom Harmon (even though he was a Michigan man)??

Mark Hundley's story reminded me of the time I was coaching in CA.  Our HC and I took a trip up to Washington State one spring when Mike Price was the Cougars' HC.  Like with Mark's experience at MSU, Coach Price gave us the run of the place.  All the video we could handle, sit in on coaching staff meetings, watching  drillwork on the field during practices, and dinner!  Quite an experience.  Mark has quite a challenge at Minerva, but if anyone is up to the task, and get it done quickly it would be Mark Hundley.

I met Pat Hill while he was an assistant coach at Arizona under Dick Tomey.  Pat credits Coach Tomey with much of what he learned as a young coach.  I run into Pat occasionally when I go home to Fresno to visit my family.  He lives in the same neighborhood one of my brothers lives in, and is a frequent visitor to my brother's house for Sunday night football gatherings in the fall.

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

***********  QUIZ ANSWER:  Former West Point All-American end Bill Carpenter was the very first recipient of the National Football Foundation’s Distinguished American Award, which has since been presented to such men as Vince Lombardi, Bob Hope, General James Van Fleet, Jimmy Stewart, DavE Nelson, Pete Rozelle, Wellington Mara, Dick Kazmaier, Tom Osborne, Roy Kramer, George Young, Alan Page, Rocky Bleier,  T. Boone Pickens and General Ray Odierno.

According to the NFF’s site, “The recipient, not limited to a former college player or coach, must be an outstanding person who has maintained a lifetime of interest in the game and who, over a long period of time, has exhibited enviable leadership qualities and made a significant contribution to the betterment of amateur football in the United States.”

Bill Carpenter was a three-sport star and captain of three teams in high school in Springfield, Pennsylvania, and after being heavily recruited, chose to attend West Point. There, Coach Earl Blaik decided to take advantage of his good size and great speed to employ a unique offensive formation - primarily an unbalanced line with him as the “over” end, split so wide on every play that Coach Blaik chose not to wear him out by running him in and out of the huddle on every play.  Instead, he kept him out wide, sending signals to him by the arrangement of the quarterback’s hands or feet.

In 1958, his junior year, he was possibly the most famous football player in America, if not for his real name but for the nickname conferred on him by a New York sports writer in trying to describe his place in Army’s unusual new offensive formation.  The formation - and how he got his signals - was the subject of talk the entire season - one in which Army finished unbeaten and once-tied, and ranked third nationally. The nickname - some said “Lonely End” but he preferred “Lonesome End” - gained him national attention.

He would normally have made most All-America teams except that three of his teammates that year were All-Americans, and one of them - Pete Dawkins - won the Heisman Trophy.

In his senior season he was Army’s team captain and a consensus All-American end, and although he would have been a likely first-round NFL pick, he chose an Army career, one which turned out to be long and distinguished.

After West Point he served two tours in Vietnam. Early in his  career, while serving as advisor to the Vietnamese army,  he was shot in the arm and responded by knocking out an enemy bunker with a hand grenade.

In 1966, his reputation as a  warrior was cemented when,  his company hopelessly surrounded, he called down an air strike of napalm against his own position. Although many of the men were burned, the enemy was prevented from overrunning the company’s position and almost certainly wiping it out.  For his action, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army’s  highest award short of the Medal of Honor.

In 1967, following the crash landing of the plane he was in, he carried an injured man from the wreckage to safety.

In 1984,  now General William S. Carpenter, he was given command of the newly-activated  10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York.  His final post was Commander of the Combined Field Army in Korea, with 250,000 US and South Korean troops under his command.

Always more comfortable with troops than in a office position, Bill Carpenter  ended his career as a Lieutenant General (three stars), declining a move to the Pentagon and a fourth star, and retired to his home in Montana.

He has three sons, one of whom played wide receiver at Air Force, another who played football at Eastern Washington and now coaches high school football in Washington.

To get an idea of the esteem in which Bill Carpenter is held by soldiers, listen to the opinion of late David Hackworth, a highly decorated Army officer and noted Military writer: “He is, in my view, the finest soldier-leader that America has produced since the Korean War.  And the fact that he didn't get a fourth star tells me about the sickness we have in the Army. He was the Lonesome End throughout his military career, and the reason he didn't get a fourth star was that he didn't schmooze with the brass.  (He) is the kind of guy who cared about the guys down below and didn't really give a rat's ass about the guys at the top. He's a national treasure. The big, quiet American. Gary Cooper. We just don't make those kind anymore."

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BILL CARPENTER

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA*
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

*JOHN VERMILLION, a West Pointer who actually served as an officer under Bill Carpenter, struggled to come up with the answer


*********** Some great stuff on Bill Carpenter, sent by Greg Koenig…

A great read…

https://www.si.com/vault/1993/10/04/129425/the-lonesome-end-by-standing-apart-bill-carpenter-became-an-all-america-at-west-point-and-one-of-the-countrys-finest-soldiers

Good video - Rice-Army, 1958

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3vuZPo8lqc

*********** QUIZ - He is in both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

He was a starter at tight end all four years at Alabama, during which time the Tide’s record was 42-6.  In his college career he caught 102 passes for 2020 yards and 16 touchdowns, and his 20.3 yards per catch set an SEC record that stood for 20 years.

His coach, Bear Bryant, called him “the greatest end in the history of Alabama football,” which included the legendary Don Hutson.

He was drafted first by the Cleveland Browns, and in his rookie year he won the team’s Offensive Player of the Year award.

He went to three Pro Bowls, and  in 1990 he won the “Whizzer” White NFL Man of the Year Award, named for the former Steelers’ star who went on to become a Supreme Court Justice.

In 1999, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

After retirement as a player, he went to work in the Browns' front office, and when the Browns moved to Baltimore in 1996 to be reconstituted as the Ravens, he went along.

In 2002, he was named the Ravens’ General Manager, becoming the first black man to attain that position in an NFL organization.



american flagFRIDAY,  MAY 24, 2019   "On Memorial Day - with your smartphone turned off - pay a visit to your local monument. Quietly stand before the honor roll of the dead, whisper a word of thanks, and gently run your finger across their names.  The touch will be comforting." Jerry Ciancolo, Wall Street Journal

MEMORIAL DAY, 2019
 
*********** Memorial Day - originally known as "Decoration Day"  - was set aside to honor the men who died in the Civil War. (There was a time when certain southern states chose not observe it,   instead observing their own Memorial Days to honor Confederate war dead.)

The Civil War soldiers called it "seeing the elephant."  They meant experiencing combat. They started out cocky, but soon enough learned how  horrible - how unforgiving and inescapable - combat could be.   By the end of the Civil War 620,000 of them on both sides lay dead.

"I have never realized the 'pomp and circumstance' of glorious war before this," a Confederate soldier bitterly wrote, "Men...lying in every conceivable position; the dead...with eyes open, the wounded begging piteously for help."

"All around, strange mingled roar - shouts of defiance, rally, and desperation; and underneath, murmured entreaty and stifled moans; gasping prayers, snatches of Sabbath song, whispers of loved names; everywhere men torn and broken, staggering, creeping, quivering on the earth, and dead faces with strangely fixed eyes staring stark into the sky. Things which cannot be told - nor dreamed. How men held on, each one knows, - not I."

Each battle was a story of great courage and audacity, sometimes of miscommunication and foolishness. But it's the casualty numbers that catch our eyes. The numbers roll by and they are hard for us to believe even in these days of modern warfare. Shiloh: 23,741, Seven Days: 36,463, Antietam: 26,134, Fredericksburg: 17,962, Gettysburg: 51,112, and on and on (in most cases, the South named battles after the town that served as their headquarters in that conflict, the North named them after nearby rivers or creeks - so "Manassas" for the South was "Bull Run" for the North; "Antietam" for the Union was "Sharpsburg"  for the Confederacy).

General William T. Sherman looked at the aftermath of Shiloh and wrote, "The scenes on this field would have cured anybody of war."

From "Seeing the Elephant" - Raw Recruits at the Battle of Shiloh - Joseph Allan Frank and George A. Reaves - New York: Greenwood Press, 1989


*********** THE YANKEE FROM OLYMPUS - ON MEMORIAL DAY
"We have shared the incommunicable experience of war. We felt - we still feel - the passion of life to its top.... In our youths, our hearts were touched with fire." Oliver Wendel Holmes, Jr.

 At a time in our history when fewer than five per cent of the people who govern us have served in our Armed Forces, it's useful to go back to another time, a time of men such as Oliver Wendel Holmes, Jr.

Oliver Wendel Holmes, Jr.  was born in Boston in 1841, the son of a famous poet and physician. In his lifetime he would see combat in the Civil War, then go on to become a noted lawyer and, finally, for 30 years, a justice of the Supreme Court. So respected was he that he became known as "The Yankee From Olympus."

He graduated from Harvard University in 1861. After graduation, with the Civil War underway, he joined the United States Army and saw combat action in the Peninsula Campaign and the Wilderness, and was injured at the Battles of Ball's Bluff,  Antietam,  and Fredericksburg. He was discharged in 1864 as a Lieutenant Colonel.


The story is told that in July 1864, as the Confederate general Jubal Early conducted a raid north of Washington, D.C., President Abraham Lincoln came out to watch the battle. As Lincoln watched, an officer right next to him was hit by a sniper's bullet. The young Holmes, not realizing who he was speaking to, shouted to the President, "Get down, you damn fool, before you get shot!"


After the war's conclusion, Holmes returned to Harvard to study law. Admitted to the bar in 1866, he went into private practice in Boston.
In 1882, he became both a professor at Harvard Law School and a justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. In 1899, he was appointed Chief Justice of the court. In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt named Holmes to the United States Supreme Court, where he served for more than 30 years, until January 1932.

Over the years, as a distinguished citizen who knew what it meant to fight for his country, he would reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day, and of the soldier's contribution to preserving our way of life...
On Memorial Day, 1884, 20 years after the end of the Civil War, Mr. Holmes said,

Accidents may call up the events of the war. You see a battery of guns go by at a trot, and for a moment you are back at White Oak Swamp, or Antietam, or on the Jerusalem Road.

You hear a few shots fired in the distance, and for an instant your heart stops as you say to yourself, The skirmishers are at it, and listen for the long roll of fire from the main line.
 
You meet an old comrade after many years of absence, he recalls the moment that you were nearly surrounded by the enemy, and again there comes up to you that swift and cunning thinking on which once hung life and freedom -- Shall I stand the best chance if I try the pistol or the sabre on that man who means to stop me? Will he get his carbine free before I reach him, or can I kill him first? These and the thousand other events we have known are called up, I say, by accident, and, apart from accident, they lie forgotten.
 
But as surely as this day comes round we are in the presence of the dead. For one hour, twice a year at least--at the regimental dinner, where the ghosts sit at table more numerous than the living, and on this day when we decorate their graves--the dead come back and live with us.
 
I see them now, more than I can number, as once I saw them on this earth. They are the same bright figures, or their counterparts, that come also before your eyes; and when I speak of those who were my brothers, the same words describe yours.

This, from Justice Holmes' address to the graduating class of Harvard University on Memorial Day, 1895

I have heard the question asked whether our war was worth fighting, after all. There are many, poor and rich, who think that love of country is an old wife's tale, to be replaced by interest in a labor union, or, under the name of cosmopolitanism, by a rootless self-seeking search for a place where the most enjoyment may be had at the least cost.

I do not know the meaning of the universe. But in the midst of doubt, in the collapse of creeds, there is one thing I do not doubt, that no man who lives in the same world with most of us can doubt, and that is that the faith is true and adorable which leads a soldier to throw away his life in obedience to a blindly accepted duty, in a cause which he little understands, in a plan of campaign of which he has little notion, under tactics of which he does not see the use.


Most men who know battle know the cynic force with which the thoughts of common sense will assail them in times of stress; but they know that in their greatest moments faith has trampled those thoughts under foot. If you wait in line, suppose on Tremont Street Mall, ordered simply to wait and do nothing, and have watched the enemy bring their guns to bear upon you down a gentle slope like that of Beacon Street, have seen the puff of the firing, have felt the burst of the spherical case-shot as it came toward you, have heard and seen the shrieking fragments go tearing through your company, and have known that the next or the next shot carries your fate; if you have advanced in line and have seen ahead of you the spot you must pass where the rifle bullets are striking; if you have ridden at night at a walk toward the blue line of fire at the dead angle of Spottsylvania, where for twenty-four hours the soldiers were fighting on the two sides of an earthwork, and in the morning the dead and dying lay piled in a row six deep, and as you rode you heard the bullets splashing in the mud and earth about you; if you have been in the picket-line at night in a black and unknown wood, have heard the splat of the bullets upon the trees, and as you moved have felt your foot slip upon a dead man's body; if you have had a blind fierce gallop against the enemy, with your blood up and a pace that left no time for fear --if, in short, as some, I hope many, who hear me, have known, you have known the vicissitudes of terror and triumph in war; you know that there is such a thing as the faith I spoke of. You know your own weakness and are modest; but you know that man has in him that unspeakable somewhat which makes him capable of miracle, able to lift himself by the might of his own soul, unaided, able to face annihilation for a blind belief.

On the eve of Memorial Day, 1931, at the age of 90, Mr. Justice Holmes wrote to a friend:


"I shall go out to Arlington tomorrow, Memorial Day, and visit the gravestone with my name and my wife's on it, and be stirred by the military music, and, instead of bothering about the Unknown Soldier shall go to another stone that tells beneath it are the bones of, I don't remember the number but two or three thousand and odd, once soldiers gathered from the Virginia fields after the Civil War. I heard a woman say there once, 'They gave their all. They gave their very names.' Later perhaps some people will come in to say goodbye."

Justice Holmes died on March 6, 1935, two days short of his 94th birthday, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. So spry and alert was he, right up to the end, that it's said that one day, when he was in his nineties, he saw an attractive young woman and said, "Oh, to be seventy again!"
A 1951 Hollywood motion picture, The Magnificent Yankee, was based on his life.


*********** Several years ago, I visited the First Division (Big Red One) Museum at Cantigny,  in Wheaton, Illinois, where I read these lines, and thought of all the Americans who died in service of their country - men who in the memories of those they left behind will be forever young...

If you are able
Save a place for them inside of you,
And save one backward glance
When you are leaving for places
They can no longer go.
   
Be not ashamed to say you loved them,
Though you may or may not always have.
Take what they have left
And what they have taught you with their dying,
And keep it with your own.
   
And in that time when men feel safe
To call the war insane,
Take one moment to embrace these gentle heroes
You left behind.
   
by Major Michael D. O'Donnell... shortly before being killed in action in Vietnam, 1970

***********After graduation from Harvard in 1910, Alan Seeger lived the life of a bohemian/beatnik/ hippie poet in New York City's Greenwich Village.  In 1914, he moved to Paris, and when war with Germany broke out, like a number of other young Americans,  he joined the French Foreign Legion to fight on the side of the Allies. On July 4, 1916, nine months  before America joined the war,  he was killed in the Battle of the Somme.  He was 28.  A year after his death, his poems were published.  The best known of his poems was "I Have a Rendezvous With Death," which according to the JFK Library, "was one of President Kennedy's favorite poems."

 
I Have a Rendezvous with Death
By Alan Seeger 
 
I have a rendezvous with Death     
At some disputed barricade,     
When Spring comes back with rustling shade     
And apple-blossoms fill the air—     
I have a rendezvous with Death          
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.     
 
It may be he shall take my hand     
And lead me into his dark land     
And close my eyes and quench my breath—     
It may be I shall pass him still. 
   
I have a rendezvous with Death     
On some scarred slope of battered hill,     
When Spring comes round again this year     
And the first meadow-flowers appear.     
 
God knows 'twere better to be deep     
Pillowed in silk and scented down,     
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,     
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,     
Where hushed awakenings are dear...  
 
But I've a rendezvous with Death     
At midnight in some flaming town,     
When Spring trips north again this year,     
And I to my pledged word am true,     
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

*********** Poppies once symbolized the Great War,  or The World War,  or, if you prefer,  "The War to End All Wars" (so-called because, in the conceit that seems to follow every war, people  just knew in their hearts  that after the horror of that conflict, mankind would do anything in its power to avoid ever going to war again.)


Following the World War, Americans began to observe  the week leading up to Memorial Day as Poppy Week, and long after the World War ended, veterans' organizations in America, Australia and other nations which had fought in the war sold imitation poppies  at this time
every year to raise funds to assist disabled veterans.

It was largely because of a poem by a Canadian surgeon, Major John McCrae, that the poppy, which burst into bloom all over the once-bloody battlefields of northern Europe, came to symbolize the rebirth of life following the tragedy of war.


In the spring of 1915, after having spent seventeen days hearing the screams and dealing with the suffering of men wounded in the bloody battle at Ypres, in Flanders (a part of Belgium), Major McCrae wrote, "I wish I could embody on paper some of the varied sensations of that seventeen days... Seventeen days of Hades! At the end of the first day if anyone had told us we had to spend seventeen days there, we would have folded our hands and said it could not have been done."

Major McCrae was especially affected by the death of a close friend and former student. Following his burial - at which, in the absence of a chaplain, Major McCrae himself had had to preside - the Major sat in the back of an ambulance and, gazing out at the wild poppies growing in a nearby cemetery, composed a poem, scribbling the words in a notebook.
When he was done, though, he discarded it, and only through the efforts of a fellow officer, who rescued it and sent it to newspapers in England, was it ever published.

Now, the poem, "In Flanders Fields", is considered perhaps the greatest of all wartime poems.
The special significance of the poppies is that poppy seeds can lie dormant in the ground for years, flowering only when the soil has been turned over.
The soil of northern Belgium had been so churned up by the violence of war that at the time Major McCrae wrote his poem, the poppies were said to be blossoming in a profusion that no one could  remember ever having seen before.

In Flanders Fields... by John McCrae        

In Flanders fields the poppies blow   
Between the crosses, row on row,   
That mark our place; and in the sky  
The larks, still bravely singing, fly   
Scarce heard amid the guns below.        

We are the Dead. Short days ago   
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,   
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie   
In Flanders fields.        

Take up our quarrel with the foe:   
To you from failing hands we throw   
The torch; be yours to hold it high.   
If ye break faith with us who die   
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow   
In Flanders fields.

*********** Robert W. Service is one of my favorite poets. I especially like his poems about the Alaska Gold Rush - who hasn't ever heard "The Cremation of Sam McGee?" -  but this one, about an idealistic young English soldier going off to fight in World War I,  and the grief of his father at learning of his death, is heartbreaking, especially poignant on a day when we remember our people who gave everything, and the loved ones they left behind...

"Young Fellow My Lad"

"Where are you going, Young Fellow My Lad, On this glittering morn of May?"   
"I'm going to join the Colours, Dad; They're looking for men, they say."   
"But you're only a boy, Young Fellow My Lad; You aren't obliged to go."   
"I'm seventeen and a quarter, Dad, And ever so strong, you know."        

"So you're off to France, Young Fellow My Lad, And you're looking so fit and bright."   
"I'm terribly sorry to leave you, Dad, But I feel that I'm doing right."   
"God bless you and keep you, Young Fellow My Lad, You're all of my life, you know."   
"Don't worry. I'll soon be back, dear Dad, And I'm awfully proud to go."        

"Why don't you write, Young Fellow My Lad? I watch for the post each day;   
And I miss you so, and I'm awfully sad, And it's months since you went away.   
And I've had the fire in the parlour lit, And I'm keeping it burning bright   
Till my boy comes home; and here I sit Into the quiet night."        

"What is the matter, Young Fellow My Lad? No letter again to-day.   
Why did the postman look so sad, And sigh as he turned away?   
I hear them tell that we've gained new ground, But a terrible price we've paid:   
God grant, my boy, that you're safe and sound; But oh I'm afraid, afraid."        

"They've told me the truth, Young Fellow My Lad: You'll never come back again:   
(OH GOD! THE DREAMS AND THE DREAMS I'VE HAD, AND THE HOPES I'VE NURSED IN VAIN!)   
For you passed in the night, Young Fellow My Lad, And you proved in the cruel test   
Of the screaming shell and the battle hell That my boy was one of the best.        

"So you'll live, you'll live, Young Fellow My Lad, In the gleam of the evening star,   
In the wood-note wild and the laugh of the child, In all sweet things that are.   
And you'll never die, my wonderful boy, While life is noble and true;   

For all our beauty and hope and joy We will owe to our lads like you."

*********** Hugh Brodie, an Australian, enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in Melbourne on 15 September 1940. In 1942, Sergeant Brodie was listed Missing in Action. Before he left us, though, he wrote "A Sergeant's Prayer"


Almighty and all present Power,
Short is the prayer I make to Thee,
I do not ask in battle hour
For any shield to cover me.

The vast unalterable way,
From which the stars do not depart
May not be turned aside to stay
The bullet flying to my heart.

I ask no help to strike my foe,
I seek no petty victory here,
The enemy I hate, I know,
To Thee is also dear.

But this I pray, be at my side
When death is drawing through the sky.
Almighty God who also died
Teach me the way that I should die.

*********** "Like many other phenomena in life, history has a tendency to be fickle. In 2001, some thirty-four years after the Battle of Ông Thanh, and the subsequent withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam in 1973, which was followed by the "honorable peace" that saw the North Vietnamese army conquer South Vietnam in 1975 in violation of the Paris Peace Accords, most historians, as well as a large majority of the American people, may consider the U.S. involvement in Vietnam a disastrous and tragic waste and a time of shame in U.S. history. Consider, however, the fact that since the late 1940s, the Soviet Union was the greatest single threat to U.S. security. Yet for forty years, war between the Soviet Union and the United States was averted. Each time a Soviet threat surfaced during that time (Greece, Turkey, Korea, Berlin, Cuba, Vietnam, and Afghanistan), although it may have been in the form of a "war of national liberation," as the Vietnam war was characterized, the United States gave the Soviet Union the distinct message that each successive threat would not be a Soviet walkover. In fact, the Soviets were stunned by the U.S. reactions in both Korea and Vietnam. They shook their heads, wondering what interest a great power like the United States could have in those two godforsaken countries. They thought: 'These Americans are crazy. They have nothing to gain; and yet they fight and lose thousands of men over nothing. They are irrational."'Perhaps history in the long-term--two hundred or three hundred years from now--will say that the western democracies, led by the United States, survived in the world, and their philosophy of government of the people, by the people, for the people continues to survive today (in 2301) in some measure due to resolute sacrifices made in the mid-twentieth century by men like those listed in the last chapter of this book. Then the words of Lord Byron, as quoted in this book's preface, will not ring hollow, but instead they will inspire other men and women of honor in the years to come.
"

From "The Beast was Out There", by Brigadier General James Shelton, USA (Ret.)
The late General Jim Shelton was a former Delaware football player (a wing-T guard) who served in Korea and Vietnam and as a combat infantryman rose to the rank of General. He was in Viet Nam on that fateful day in October, 1967 when Don Holleder was killed. Ironically, he had competed against Don Holleder in college. General Shelton  served as Colonel of the Black Lions and was instrumental in helping me  establish the Black Lion Award for young American football players. The  title of his book was taken from Captain Jim Kasik's description of the enemy: "the beast was out there, and the beast was hungry."


*********** The late George Jones could be a rogue, but he was a heck of a singer, and his "50,000 NAMES CARVED IN THE WALL" - a tribute to the 58,000 Americans who died in Vietnam - may be THE American Memorial Day song.


(Warning - this one  could will make you cry.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpBiVpSggNs



ON MEMORIAL DAY, I ES
PECIALLY HONOR THE MEN OF THE BLACK LIONS, AND DON HOLLEDER, FORMER ARMY ALL-AMERICAN, WHO DIED IN THE VIETNAM JUNGLE IN THE BATTLE OF ONG THANH, OCTOBER 17, 1967 (Names taken from The Wall)


K I A ... Adkins, Donald W.... Allen, Terry... Anderson, Larry M.... Barker, Gary L.... Blackwell, James L., Jr.... Bolen, Jackie Jr. ... Booker, Joseph O. ... Breeden, Clifford L. Jr ... Camero, Santos... Carrasco, Ralph ... Chaney, Elwood D. Jr... Cook, Melvin B.... Crites, Richard L.... Crutcher, Joe A. ...... Dodson, Wesley E.... Dowling, Francis E.... Durham, Harold B. Jr ... Dye, Edward P. ... East, Leon N.... Ellis, Maurice S.... Familiare, Anthony ... Farrell, Michael J. ...Fuqua, Robert L. Jr. ...Gallagher, Michael J. ...Garcia, Arturo ...Garcia, Melesso ...Gilbert, Stanley D. ...Gilbertson, Verland ...Gribble, Ray N. ...Holleder, Donald W. ...Jagielo, Allen D. ...Johnson, Willie C. Jr ...Jones, Richard W. ...Krischie, John D. ...Lancaster, James E. ...Larson, James E. ...Lincoln, Gary G. ...Lovato, Joe Jr. ...Luberta, Andrew P. ...Megiveron, Emil G. ...Miller, Michael M. ...Moultrie, Joe D. ...Nagy, Robert J. ...Ostroff, Steven L. ...Platosz, Walter ...Plier, Eugene J. ...Porter, Archie ...Randall, Garland J. ...Reece, Ronney D. ...Reilly, Allan V. ...Sarsfield, Harry C. ...Schroder, Jack W. ...Shubert, Jackie E. ...Sikorski, Daniel ...Smith, Luther ...Thomas, Theodore D. Jr. ...Tizzio, Pasquale T. ...Wilson, Kenneth P. .... M I A ... Fitzgerald, Paul ...Hargrove, Olin Jr



A TRIBUTE TO
THE MAN WHOSE STORY INSPIRED THE BLACK LION AWARD... DONALD WALTER HOLLEDER,  UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY CLASS OF 1956 - 

By retired Air Force General Perry Smith (Don Holleder's West Point classmate, roommate and best man)
"If you doubt the axiom, 'An aggressive leader is priceless,' ...if you prefer the air arm to the infantry in football, if you are not convinced we recruited cadet-athletes of superior leadership potential, then you must hear the story of Donald Walter Holleder. The saga of Holleder stands unique in Army and, perhaps, all college gridiron lore."

Hence begins the chapter, "You are my quarterback", in Coach Red Blaik's 1960 book, You Have to Pay the Price. Every cadet in the classes of 1956, 57, 58 and 59, and everyone who was part of the Army family at West Point and throughout the world will remember, even 50 years after the fact, the "Great Experiment".

But there is much more to the Holleder story. .
Holly was born and brought up in a tight knit Catholic family in upstate New York. He was an only child whose father died when Don was quite young. Doc Blanchard recruited high school All American Holleder who entered the Point just a few days after he graduated from Aquinas Institute in Rochester.

Twice turned out for academic difficulties, he struggled mightily to stay in the Corps. However as a cadet leader he excelled, serving as a cadet captain and company commander of M-2 his senior year.


Of course, it was in the field of athletics that Don is best known. Never a starter on the basketball team, he nevertheless got playing time as a forward who brought rebounding strength to a team that beat a heavily favored Navy team in the early spring of 1954. That fall, the passing combination of Vann to Holleder quickly caught the attention of the college football world. No one who watched those games will ever forget Holly going deep and leaping into the air to grab a perfectly thrown bomb from Peter Vann. Don was a consensus first team All American that year as a junior.


Three football defeats in 1955 after Holly's conversion to quarterback brought criticism of Coach Blaik and Don from many quarters but the dramatic Army victory over Navy, 14 to 6 brought redemption. Shortly thereafter, Holly received the Swede Nelson award for sportsmanship.

The fact that he had given up all chances of becoming a two time all-American and a candidate for the Heisman trophy and he did so without protest or complaint played heavily in the decision by the Nelson committee to select him for this prestigious award.


Holly's eleven year career in the Army included the normal schools at Benning and Leavenworth, company command in Korea, coaching and recruiting at West Point and serving as the commanding general's aide at Fortress Monroe.

After graduating from Command and General Staff College, he was off to Vietnam.
Arriving in July, 1967, Holly was assigned to the Big Red One--the First Infantry Division-- and had considerable combat experience before that tragic day in the fall--October 17.

Lieutenant Colonel Terry Allen's battalion was ambushed and overrun--the troops on the ground were in desperate shape. Holleder was serving as the operations officer of the 28th Brigade--famous Black Lions. Hearing the anguished radio calls for help from the soldiers on the ground, Holly convinced his brigade commander that he had to get on the ground to help. Jumping out of his helicopter, Holly rallied some troops and raced toward the spot where the wounded soldiers were fighting.


The Newsweek article a few days after his death tells what happened next. "With the Viet Cong firing from two sides, the U. S. troops now began retreating pell-mell back to their base camp, carrying as many of their wounded as they could, The medic Tom "Doc" Hinger was among those who staggered out of the bush and headed across an open marshy plain toward the base, 200 meters away. But on the way he ran into big, forceful Major Donald W. Holleder, 33, an All-American football player at West Point..., going the other way--toward the scene of the battle. Holleder, operations officer for the brigade, had not been in the fight until now. ' Come on Doc, he shouted to Hinger, 'There are still wounded in there. I need your help.'
"

Hinger said later: 'I was exhausted. But having never seen such a commander, I ran after him. What an officer! He went on ahead of us--literally running to the point position'. Then a burst of fire from the trees caught Holleder. 'He was hit in the shoulder recalled Hinger. 'I started to patch him up, but he died in my arms.'

The medic added he had been with Holleder for only three minutes, but would remember the Major's gallantry for the rest of his life."

Holly died as he lived: the willingness to make great sacrifices prevailed to the minute of his death.
  Caroline was left a young widow. She later married our West Point classmate, Ernie Ruffner, who became a loving husband and father to the four Holleder daughters. All the daughters are happily married and there are eight wonderful and loving grandchildren.

The legacy of Donald Walter Holleder will remain an important part of the West Point story forever. The Holleder Army Reserve Center in Webster, New York, the Holleder Parkway in Rochester and the Holleder Athletic Center at West Point all help further Don's legacy. In 1985, Holly was inducted into College Football Hall of Fame.

A 2003 best selling book, They Marched into Sunlight, by David Maraniss tells the story of Holleder and the Black Lions. Tom Hanks has purchased the film rights to the book.
An innovative high school coach, Hugh Wyatt, decided to further memorialize Don's legacy by establishing the Black Lion Award. Each year at hundreds of high schools, middle schools and youth football programs across the country, a single football player on each team is selected "who best exemplifies the character of Don Holleder: leadership, courage, devotion to duty, self-sacrifice, and--above all--an unselfish concern for his team ahead of himself." Starting in 2005, this award is presented to a member of the Army football team each year.Anyone who wishes to extend Holleder's legacy can do so by approaching their local football coaches and encouraging them to make the Black Lion Award a part of their tradition.

All West Pointers can be proud of Donald Walter Holleder; for him there were no impossible dreams, only challenges to seek out and to conquer. Forty years after his death thousands of friends and millions of fans still remember him and salute him for his character and supreme courage.

By Retired Air Force General Perry Smith, West Point classmate and roommate, with great assistance from Don's family members, Stacey Jones and Ernie Ruffner, classmates, Jerry Amlong, Peter Vann and JJ McGinn, and battlefield medic, Doc Hinger.


*********** "Major Holleder overflew the area (under attack) and saw a whole lot of Viet Cong and many American soldiers, most wounded, trying to make their way our of the ambush area. He landed and headed straight into the jungle, gathering a few soldiers to help him go get the wounded. A sniper's shot killed him before he could get very far. He was a risk-taker who put the common good ahead of himself, whether it was giving up a position in which he had excelled or putting himself in harm's way in an attempt to save the lives of his men. My contact with Major Holleder was very brief and occured just before he was killed, but I have never forgotten him and the sacrifice he made. On a day when acts of heroism were the rule, rather than the exception, his stood out."     Black Lions medic Dave Berry

*********** A YOUNG MAN'S REMEMBRANCES OF DON HOLLEDER... In 1954-55 I lived at West Point N.Y. where my father was stationed as a member of the staff at the United States Military Academy. Don Holleder was an All American end on the Red Blaik coached Army football team which was a perennial eastern gridiron power in 40s and 50s.

On Fall days I would run home from the post school, drop off my books, and head directly to the Army varsity practice field which overlooked the Hudson River and was only a short sprint from my house.
Army had a number of outstanding players on the roster back then, but my focus was on Don Holleder, our All-America end turned quarterback in a controversial position change that had sportswriters and Army fans buzzing throughout the college football community that year. Don looked like a hero, tall, square jawed, almost stately in his appearance. He practiced like he played, full out all the time. He was the obvious leader of the team in addition to being its best athlete and player. In 1955 it was common for star players to play both sides of the ball and Don was no exception delivering the most punishing tackles in practice as well as game situations.

At the end of practice the Army players would walk past the parade ground (The Plain), then past my house and into the Arvin Gymnasium where the team's locker room was located.
Very often I would take that walk stride for stride with Don and the team and best of all, Don would sometimes let me carry his helmet. It was gold with a black stripe down the middle and had the most wonderful smell of sweat and leather. Inside the helmet suspension was taped a sweaty number 16, Don's jersey number.

While Don's teammates would talk and laugh among themselves in typical locker room banter, Don would ask me about school, show me how to grip the ball and occasionally chide his buddies if the joking ever got bawdy in front of "the little guy".

On Saturdays I lived and died with Don's exploits on the field in Michie Stadium.
In his senior year Don's picture graced the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine and he led Army to a winning season culminating in a stirring victory over Navy in front of 100,000 fans in Philadelphia. During that incredible year I don't ever remember Don not taking time to talk to me and patiently answer my boyish questions about the South Carolina or Michigan defense ("I'll bet they don't have anybody as fast as you, huh, Don?").

Don graduated with his class in June 1956 and was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Coincidentally, my Dad was also assigned to the 25th at the same time so I got to watch Don quarterback the 14th Infantry Regiment football team to the Division championship in 1957.


There was one major drawback to all of Don's football-gained notoriety - he wanted no part of it. He wanted to be a soldier and an infantry leader. But division recreational football was a big deal in the Army back then and for someone with Don's college credentials not to play was unheard of.
In the first place players got a lot of perks for representing their Regiment, not to mention hero status with the chain of command. Nevertheless, Don wanted to trade his football helmet for a steel pot and finally, with the help of my Dad, he succeeded in retiring from competitive football and getting on with his military profession.

It came as no surprise to anyone who knew Don that he was a natural leader of men in arms, demanding yet compassionate, dedicated to his men and above all fearless. Sure enough after a couple of TO&E infantry tours his reputation as a soldier matched his former prowess as an athlete.
It was this reputation that won him the favor of the Army brass and he soon found himself as an Aide-de-camp to the four star commander of the Continental Army Command in beautiful Ft Monroe, Virginia.

With the Viet Nam War escalating and American combat casualties increasing every day, Ft Monroe would be a great place to wait out the action and still promote one's Army career - a high-profile job with a four star senior rater, safely distanced from the conflict in southeast Asia.


Once again, Don wanted no part of this safe harbor and respectfully lobbied his boss, General Hugh P. Harris to get him to Troops in Viet Nam. Don got his wish but not very long after arriving at the First Division he was killed attempting to lead a relief column to wounded comrades caught in a Viet Cong ambush.


I remember the day I found out about Don's death. I was in the barber's chair at The Citadel my sophomore year when General Harris (Don's old boss at Ft Monroe, now President of The Citadel) walked over to me and motioned me outside.
He knew Don was a friend of mine and sought me out to tell me that he was KIA. It was one of the most defining moments of my life. As I stood there in front of the General the tears welled up in my eyes and I said "No, please, sir. Don't say that."

General Harris showed no emotion and I realized that he had experienced this kind of hurt too many times to let it show. "Biff", he said, "Don died doing his duty and serving his country. He had alternatives but wouldn't have it any other way. We will always be proud of him, Biff."
With that, he turned and walked away.

As I watched him go I didn't know the truth of his parting words. I shed tears of both pride and sorrow that day in 1967, just as I am doing now, 34 years later, as I write this remembrance.

In my mind's eye I see Don walking with his teammates after practice back at West Point, their football cleats making that signature metallic clicking on concrete as they pass my house at the edge of the parade ground; he was a leader among leaders.


As I have been writing this, I periodically looked up at the November 28, 1955 Sports Illustrated cover which hangs on my office wall, to make sure I'm not saying anything Don wouldn't approve of, but he's smiling out from under that beautiful gold helmet and thinking about the Navy game. General Harris was right. We will always be proud of Don Holleder, my boyhood hero.


Biff Messinger, Mountainville, New York, 2001


***********  A retired Navy captain wrote in the Wall Street Journal about the strict criteria for awarding the Medal of Honor (frequently called the "Congressional" Medal of Honor)...


"Remember the Marine Corps requirement: Fall on a hand grenade to save your fellow Marines and the grenade fails to explode, you get a Navy Cross; if the grenade explodes, you might get the Medal of Honor."


The Medal of Honor was meant to be awarded sparingly,  Of the hundreds of thousands of men who fought in our Twentieth Century wars, here are the numbers of Medals of Honor Awarded:
WW I - 124;  WW II - 464; Korea  - 135;  Vietnam -  246. There were 1522 Medals of Honor awarded as a result of Civil War. (Actually, there were more than that,  but  over 900 were later rescinded.) One reason was that in the Civil War, the Medal of Honor was the only medal awarded for valor. Another reason was the enormous number of casualties suffered in that war.http://www.homeofheroes.com/moh/corrections/purge_army.html


*********** Other nations lost men in the same wars we did, of course, and they, too, honor their men who gave all, in poem and song.

What can be sadder than the loss of a young man, one of his country's finest,  in a distant war?
One such song is known by some as "No Man's Land" and by others as "The Green Fields of France" - but either way  it's a sad lament about a young soldier named Willie McBride, killed in battle in 1916 while still a teenager.

Trigger warning: This is VERY sad.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_mBJgsaxlY

Another very sad ballad, "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda," is the story of a young Australian sent off to fight in World War I.  He was shipped off to Gallipoli where thousands of "Anzacs" (Australians and New Zealanders) were slaughtered by Turkish machine-gun fire. (I highly recommend the movie, "Gallipoli")
Although he escaped death, his legs were blown off, and his story in the song  is told from the perspective of an embittered, now-old man.

Trigger warning: So is this..   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VktJNNKm3B0


*********** Trophies for everybody. There really was a time when most Americans knew why we put aside one day a year called Memorial Day:   to honor - to memorialize - those who lost their lives in service of their country. 

Not, as the 60 or so people who buy ads in our local paper seem to think, to remember a loved one who, no matter how sorely missed,  never died in battle - never even served in the Armed Forces, for that matter - but simply did what we’re all destined to do one day.  They died.  I hate to be the one to spoil their grieving by telling them that Memorial Day is not about them. Not about dear, departed Uncle Charlie. But somebody's got to tell them.

There are other days for that -  364 others, if you’re really sincere.  And there's a special one, called Veterans’ Day, when our nation does honor and thank its veterans.

Actually, come to think of it: is there even one holiday - one single holiday - that hasn’t been given another meaning, one often more significant now than the original one?

New Year’s Day - Bowl Games

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday - It’s still too new a national holiday to tell what the public will do with it

Presidents’ Day - Sale! Sale! Sale! (Used to be two separate holidays. Now, few school kids could even tell you which two presidents it refers to.)

St. Patrick’s Day - Scarcely observed in Ireland, 
in much of the US it’s an excuse to get drunk

Easter - (Wherever it's still allowed to be called "Easter") iI's about Bunnies and Easter eggs.  Mostly, though, it's Spring Break.

Mother’s Day - This is the one holiday that remains as designed.  If anything, it's grown stronger.  Traditionally, this was the day when the phone company’s circuits failed. Do NOT schedule anything else on this day.   Do NOT get drunk.

Cinco de Mayo - A holiday that means nothing in Mexico, it's been turned into a Hispanic-themed St. Patrick’s Day

Memorial Day - The start of summer; the Indy 500

July 4 - Fireworks and beer and hot dogs. (Once -
for those old enough to remember - baseball double headers)

Labor Day - The end of summer; and now, the first weekend of college football

Veterans Day - It used to be called Armistice Day, when  we celebrated the end of a horrible world war

Hallowe’en - Used to be for kids to go trick-or-treating. But now that that’s no longer safe,  adult partiers have taken it over and turned it into the second-biggest beer sales day of the year

Thanksgiving - Don’t you mean “Turkey Day?”  You know - the day before Black Friday?

Christmas -
aka "Winter Holiday." For those who didn't know - it's the “holiday” in “Happy Holidays.”

*********** In a Wall Street Journal article back in 2015, a writer named Jerry Ciancolo urged  us, the next time we pass a War Memorial with the names of dead Americans on it, to stop - and  “Touch the names of those who never came home.”

He asked that we dispense with  “hollow abstractions” such as “ultimate sacrifices,” and to think in everyday terms.

Many of those young guys, he noted...

never set foot on campus.  They never straightened a tie and headed to a first real job. They never slipped a ring on a sweetheart’s finger. They never swelled with hope turning the key to a starter home.  They never nestled an infant against a bare chest.  They never roughhoused in the living room with an exasperated wife looking on. They never tiptoed to lay out Santa’s toys.  They never dabbed a tear while walking their princess down the aisle. They never toasted their son’s promotion.  They never rekindled their love as empty nesters.  They never heard a new generation cry out, “I love you, Grandpa!”

A lifetime of big and little moments never happened because of a bullet to the body one day in a far-off land.  For those who crumpled to the ground, the tapestry of life was left unknit.


A moment’s reflection is all it takes to realize that every name on your town’s monument was a real person.  One who bicycled the same streets as you, who sleepily delivered the morning Gazette, who was kept after school for cutting up, who sneaked a smoke out back, who cannon-balled into the local pond in the dog days of summer.

On Memorial Day - with your smartphone turned off - pay a visit to your local monument. Quietly stand before the honor roll of the dead, whisper a word of thanks, and gently run your finger across their names. The touch will be comforting.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/touch-the-names-of-those-who-never-came-home-1432332593


Have a great Memorial Day holiday! I'll see you Tuesday.

IT'S NOT TOO LATE -

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 STILL PRESENTS IT!  IT'S THE ONLY AWARD HE GIVES!  IT'S ABSOLUTELY FREE - YOUR PLAYER RECEIVES A CERTIFICATE AND AN OFFICIAL BLACK LION PATCH.    NOW'S THE TIME TO SIGN YOUR TEAM UP AND  - EMAIL ME THE NAME OF THE TEAM AND THE HEAD COACH'S CONTACT INFO:



DO NOT SEND ME A NOMINATION - NOT YET - FIRST FIND OUT WHAT YOU NEED TO WRITE     blacklionaward@mac.com





TUESD
AY,  MAY 21, 2019   “The enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms.”  George Orwell


***********  I WROTE THIS ABOUT A YEAR AGO In my many years of doing clinics in North Carolina, I’ve done them at six different locations, and Dave Potter has been responsible for setting up the facilities at three of them.  I’ve known Dave for more than ten years, and I’ve had ample opportunity to see how good a coach he is.  He’s been a head coach at the youth, middle school and high school level - both varsity and JV.  He knows his football, he is super organized, and he is great with kids. And parents.

At East Wake HS, which has had one winning season in the last ten, he and his assistant, Olu Williams, coached the JV team to an 8-2 record in 2017.  The varsity struggled, finishing 3-8, and it might have been worse except that the head coach finally saw the light and installed Dave’s double wing - and won two of the last three games.

And then, after just one season at East Wake, the head coach left abruptly for another job.  In my judgment, Dave was qualified to step up and become the head coach, but the school chose instead to go with the existing defensive coordinator.

At my recent clinic, coaches Potter and Williams had just been informed that they were being retained by the new head coach, and they had many of their JVs on hand to serve as demonstrators.  The coaches in attendance were impressed by how coachable the kids they were, and you and I all know that the coaching had plenty to do with it.

And then, a week or so after the clinic,  Coaches Potter and Williams were informed that this year the new head coach was not going to have a separate JV program - he was going to combine the two squads for practice - and therefore he no longer needed their services.  Prick.

Hmmm.   This new guy  intends to run the spread.   Meanwhile, the JVs went 8-2 running the Double Wing.

You don’t suppose he saw those JV coaches - and the fact that their kids were successful running that old school offense - as a threat, do you?

Funny how it’s “all about the kids” until it’s not.  Until it’s all about “the program.”

This guy did have an impressive record as a head middle school coach (88-12), but he did sound, from a newspaper interview, as if he might possibly have let that go to his head.

“Last year was the first losing season I have ever been a part of,” he said. "The circumstances were against us from the start, and there’s no blame to place on anyone.  I still don’t know if I can stand another one like that.”

Well fella, permit me to give you some advice about coachin' high school - you didn’t exactly step into DeLaSalle, and you got a lot of work to do.  And guess what?  Those guys on the other sidelines are  just as smart as you are, and sometimes they have better athletes than you do. So you can work your ass off and even as smart as you are,  and as good as that damn record of yours is, you could still very well have “another one like that.” 

And when you do, that noise you hear in the distance will be me, out in Washington.  Chucklin.’

AND I WROTE THIS ABOUT A MONTH AGO:

So anyhow, a post-season report.

The coach at East Wake now has been a part of TWO losing seasons. They went 4-7, averaging 15.6 points per game running the coach’s spread.  (In short, “Another one like that!”)

One of the wins was against a team from a lower classification.  The three other wins were against teams that went 0-11, 1-10, and 1-9. 

The JVs ? Without coaches Potter and Williams, they went 3-4.

AND THEN I WROTE THE FOLLOWING AFTER LAST WEEKEND’S NORTH CAROLINA CLINIC:

 CLINIC KIDS
CLINIC COACHES



Saturday’s North Carolina clinic was the most enjoyable clinic in my memory.  Maybe it’s because I’ve really cut back on the clinics from the days when I’d do eleven or twelve a season, but there was something extra special about this one.

There were several extra special things:

First, I decided to work with players in the morning session - partly, I admit, to avoid the afternoon heat, but mostly because I suspected that turning the afternoon part of the clinic into a review of what we’d done in the morning would lead to a lot of give-and-take.  I was right.

The coaches in attendance were great guys.  There weren’t a lot of them, which enabled me to put themall to work almost immediately.   After an initial briefing session, explaining to them the basics of the formation that we’d be demonstrating and how the wrist cards would work (along with a glossary of wrist card terms so they could translate for the kids), we went outside.

The players arrived early enough to be assigned positions and handed their wrist cards,  and each coach took responsibility for coaching a position.

Going to work right away, we taught and repped and corrected and repped again - first a play to the right and then its companion play to the left.    Few teams ever received as much coaching as ours did, as coaches swarmed around the team before and after every play, with instructions or corrections for each kid.

By the end of the morning session, we had, in my judgment, successfully installed ten plays to the right and their companion plays to the left.  To be honest, I was blown away by how well everyone did and how much we accomplished, but then with kids like that and a nine-man staff of motivated coaches, I now know what’s possible.

The kids.  How can I say enough about them”  Most of them were the same kids that demonstrated at last year’s clinic, so they understood what we were going to be doing, but there was a big difference.

Last year, they were being coached by Dave Potter and Olu Williams, who hosted the clinic.  This year, they were not.  This year, they were attending three different high schools, so our Saturday morning “practice” was a one-year  reunion for many of the kids.  I didn’t see it, but Coach Williams told me how moving it was to see his last year’s center and last year’s right guard, who now go to different high schools, hug each other.  One is black and one is white. They’d played together, side-by-side, and they’d become brothers.  One of the players, Coach Williams’ nephew, Jordan, filled in at B-Back for us.  He was clearly talented and quite smart and never made a mistake.  He’s 13 years old.

They were great kids - polite and coachable, willing to do whatever we asked of them, willing to play wherever we asked them to play.

The amazing thing was, these were high school kids who gave up their Saturday morning to help us.  And willingly.   Said Coach Williams, “They never batted an eye when I asked them.  All they wanted to know was when and where.”

Undoubtedly the major reason those kids were there was the enormous regard, respect, love - call it whatever you wish - they had for coaches Potter and Williams.
Those two men are good coaches, but they’re even better men, and in many cases they are THE man in those players’ lives.  Still.  Even when they’re no longer their coaches.

I tend to be a skeptical sort where social-worker types are involved, but I’ve known Coach Potter for nearly 20 years, and although I’ve only known Coach Williams for two years,  I know that he’s cut from the same cloth as Coach Potter.  These men are real.  They are performing an invaluable social service to whatever community they’re in through the positive changes they’re able to bring about in the lives of the young men they coach.  (And, yes, they win, too.)

But those two coaches - good football men who care about their kids on and off the field - weren’t good enough to be retained by the new coach who stepped into the job at East Wake High School this past season.  He first told them that they would be his JV coaches, and shortly after, told them he’d changed his mind. (He wound up going 4-7.

Surely there’s one high school coach in the Raleigh-Durham area who’s smart enough to realize what an asset these two guys could be to his staff, and secure enough to understand that a successful JV program that feeds good, responsible, coachable kids to him is not a threat to his job.

***********  On May 2, 2013,  at the close of George Jones’ funeral service at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Alan Jackson sang Jones’ classic "He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

To those of us who love country music, it was an incredible honor. 

It’s impossible to think of anything  comparable in the world of sports.   Not that we wouldn’t love to, but who among us, even the greatest of us, could go out and run a touchdown for Jim Brown… throw a pass for Johnny Unitas… Lean against the goal posts in our  hound’s-tooth hat just before an Alabama football game?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbjpbqowX3Y

*********** The recent tragedy in Seattle in which a giant crane toppled to the ground, killing four people, underlined a very interesting story:

There are a lot of cranes in and around Seattle. There’s so much growth taking place there that Seattle has the most cranes of any city in the country, with a recent count of 59.

Los Angeles was second, with 44.

Portland, San Francisco, New York and Chicago each had between 26 and 30, with Boston and Denver slightly behind.

Even a Seattle suburb, fast-growing Bellevue, Washington, had 14.

(Not that any city in America should get boastful: Toronto had 104!)

***********  In today’s world, you can disrespect your country’s flag and its national anthem and you will be celebrated  for expressing your right to free speech - maybe even given a lucrative Nike contract.

But speak out against something that violates your firm religious beliefs… and there is hell to pay.

Israel Folau, an evangelical Christian and rugby football star, was found guilty of breaching the Rugby Australia code of conduct - for quoting St. Paul’s biblical teachings against fornication and homosexuality.

A three-person independent tribunal wrapped up on Tuesday three days of deliberations and found Folau guilty of a high-level breach of the code of conduct enforced by the governing body of Australian rugby teams. So far, no sanction has been announced against Folau. However, he may face cancellation of his $4 million contract and forgo a chance to appear in the forthcoming rugby world championship.

“The panel has today provided a judgment that Israel Folau committed a high-level breach of the Professional Players’ Code of Conduct with his social media posts on April 10, 2019,” read a statement from the panel that decided his case. “The panel will now take further written submissions from the parties to consider the matter of sanction. A further update with be provided after the panel delivers its decision on sanction.”

Once a decision has been made on a sanction, both Folau and Rugby Australia will have 72 hours to offer an appeal. While Folau may face a fine and suspension instead of a contract termination, he will never play again for the Wallabies team.

Any infraction deemed less than “high level” would not have allowed Rugby Australia to terminate Folau’s contract with the Wallabies team legally, forcing the governing body to offer an expensive monetary settlement to him.

A sanction is expected within several days, even while Rugby Australia has not yet set a timeline for a decision. Folau has already rejected a $1 million settlement, and will not receive any payout now because of the finding of guilt on his part.

Folau fell afoul of Rugby Australia after he published several controversial social media posts in which he expressed his religious beliefs concerning immorality, quoting the Bible. Raelene Castle, who heads Rugby Australia, issued Folau a notice that he had committed a high-level breach of the body’s code of conduct.

The decision in Folau’s case was met with support from some members of the media and sports. For example, media celebrity Ed Kavalee said on Fox Sports’ The Back Page, “This is the most expensive social media post of all time.” He added, “It’s cost Israel $4 million.”

Journalist Robert Craddock of the Courier-Mail said on The Back Page, “We’ve seen one of the most significant moments of the sporting century in Australia, in that a powerhouse rugby union player who is Australia’s best player heading into a World Cup, will be banished from the game, probably for good.” Craddock predicted further controversy.

Cory Bernardi, who leads Australian conservatives, expressed astonishment over Folau’s verdict. He told Sky News in a reference to Folau’s quoting of the Bible, “I find it extraordinary that quoting from the bestselling book in the history of the world is a breach of contract.” He added, “There was no hate in that at all. He’s just upset a bloke who runs an airline like a kingdom.”

Bernardi was apparently referring to Alan Joyce, the openly homosexual CEO of Qantas airlines and chief sponsor of the Wallabies. Joyce told a newspaper in the run-up to the 2017 same-sex marriage campaign, “We have 580 companies involved ... If you’re unhappy with a company that’s involved with the campaign, you won’t be able to bank and you won’t be able to fly anywhere.”

Because free speech is guaranteed in Australia, Folau’s case may go to Australia’s High Court for consideration. After Rugby Australia’s initial announcement that it would cancel Folau’s contract, LifeSiteNews issued a petition asking for his reinstatement.

While Folau may never be able to play professional rugby in Australia again, a career in Europe is also in question. The president of the Toulon rugby club, Mourad Boudjellal, told French sports journal L’Equipe: “This guy’s a moron; he ought to clear out. Or he needs to buy himself a brain. He still has the Ku Klux Klan; then he’ll see what it’s like on the other side.” Also, sports shoe manufacturer Asics has announced that it is cancelling a lucrative contract with Folau.

An evangelical Christian, Folau has run afoul of gay rights campaigners in the past because of his support for traditional marriage. Asked by the Sydney Morning Herald whether he will leave professional rugby instead of apologizing for his beliefs as required by Australia Rugby, Folau said, "Whatever His will is, whether that's to continue playing or not, I'm more than happy to do what He wants me to do." Folau said rugby is important to him, “but my faith in Jesus Christ is what comes first."
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3747903/posts


************ Gill LeBreton, in PressBox DFW, lists “100 Sports Places to See Before You Die.”  Hope you can get to read it.

https://www.pressboxdfw.com/100-sports-places-to-see-before-you-die/


*********** If they’d be honest with us, psychiatrists would admit that questioning one’s “gender” is a mental disorder.

Also sh— like this…

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sun-men/9081347/body-modifier-ethan-bramble-shows-off-underskin-silicon-spider-implants/


*********** On Dec. 10, the NFF will honor Mark Harmon for his accomplishments as a football player and student,  and his subsequent accomplishments  in the field of entertainment.

IRVING, Texas (May 16, 2019) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that former UCLA quarterback Mark Harmon has been named the 2019 recipient of the NFF Gold Medal in recognition of his exceptional accomplishments, unblemished reputation and for reflecting the values of amateur football. He will be honored for his achievements during the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10 at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City, which will also celebrate the 150th anniversary of college football.
 
"As we prepare to celebrate the 150th anniversary of college football, Mark Harmon captures exactly what we hope to inspire in future generations of young football players, making him the perfect recipient for the NFF's highest honor," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "An NFF National Scholar-Athlete at UCLA in the early 1970s, Mark took that same relentless drive to succeed, applying it to his career as an actor and unequivocally becoming one of the most successful stars of his generation. He has earned this honor many times over, and we are extremely proud to add his name to the esteemed list of past NFF Gold Medal recipients."
 
The highest and most prestigious award presented by the National Football Foundation, the Gold Medal recognizes an outstanding American who has demonstrated integrity and honesty; achieved significant career success; and has reflected the basic values of those who have excelled in amateur sport, particularly football. First presented to President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner in 1958, the Gold Medal boasts an impressive list of past recipients, including seven presidents, four generals, three admirals, one Supreme Court Justice, 29 corporate CEOs and chairmen, actor John Wayne and baseball immortal Jackie Robinson. Harmon will become the 65th recipient of the NFF Gold Medal. (See below for the full list of past recipients.)
 
"Having achieved the highest levels of success, Mark Harmon has always remained humble and focused on the things that really matter in life, which is hard work, perseverance and teamwork," said NFF Awards Committee Chairman Jack Ford. "His success on the gridiron as a student-athlete and his subsequent icon status in film and television make him exceptionally well-qualified as our 2019 Gold Medal recipient. We look forward to welcoming him back to the NFF's stage in December, poetically 46 years after his being honored as an NFF National Scholar-Athlete during an event when another famous actor, John Wayne, accepted the NFF Gold Medal."
 
Harmon was born and raised in Southern California; the son of actress Elyse Knox and Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon, a 1954 College Football Hall of Fame inductee from Michigan. He attended The Harvard School (now known as Harvard-Westlake) in Los Angeles, playing football, baseball and rugby. On the gridiron, he mostly took the field as a running back and safety, only appearing in four games at quarterback. He broke his elbow as a junior, and did not play varsity football as a senior.
 
Not recruited out of high school, Harmon headed to Pierce Junior College in Woodland Hills, California, and he quarterbacked the team to a 7-2 record in 1971, earning All-America laurels. His performance earned him multiple scholarship offers, including Oklahoma in an effort led by Barry Switzer, the offensive coordinator at the time and a future College Football Hall of Fame coach, to recruit him. Harmon opted to stay in his hometown of Los Angeles, playing for UCLA head coach Pepper Rodgers and assistant coaches Homer Smith, Lynn Stiles and Terry Donahue, also a future College Football Hall of Fame coach.
 
Playing alongside future College Football Hall of Fame inductees Randy Cross and John Sciarra, Harmon helped orchestrate a UCLA turnaround, quarterbacking the Bruins, which had finished 2-7-1 at eighth-place in the Pac-8 in 1971, to a combined 17-5 record in 1972 and 1973. In his first game ever as a Bruin, which opened the 1972 season, Harmon led an underdog UCLA to a dramatic 20-17 win against two-time defending national champion Nebraska, snapping the Huskers' 32-game-unbeaten streak.
 
A Wishbone-T quarterback who could run, pass, fake and mix plays, Harmon rushed for more yards and touchdowns than he did passing, amassing 1,504 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns versus passing for 845 yards and 9 touchdowns during his tenure in Westwood. The offensive coordinator Homer Smith's wishbone offense forced Harmon to make multiple decisions in very short time periods, distributing the ball to running backs Kermit Johnson and James McAlister. The combination created the top running game in the nation in 1973, and UCLA set school records for total yards gained (4,403), average yards per game (400) and rushing touchdowns (56).
 
A Communications major who aspired to become a doctor, Harmon excelled in the UCLA classrooms, carrying a 3.45 GPA and graduating cum laude. His accomplishments earned him Second Team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors as well as an NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award, which led to his trip to New York City where he was honored at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner the same night that John Wayne accepted the NFF Gold Medal.
 
"In today's society, the scholar-athlete is indeed a rare breed," Harmon said in responding for the NFF Scholar-Athlete Class in 1973. "Not only does he excel on the field, but he competes in the classroom as well…. As we gather here tonight to pay our respects to the men who made the great American game of football what it is today, we hope that one day in the future some of us from the Class of '74 might be fortunate enough to carry on the great tradition that has been passed down by the distinguished men in this room. If we do, it is because our universities gave us the chance and the game of football has given us the principles."
 
After UCLA, Harmon declined professional football offers to instead pursue acting. He worked in advertising, as a shoe company rep and as a carpenter between acting gigs and appearing in Coors beer commercials. His hard work eventually paid off with a big break on NBC's St. Elsewhere and the leading role of Dr. Robert Caldwell. His success continued on NBC's police drama Reasonable Doubts starring as detective Dickey Cobb and CBS's Chicago Hope where he appeared as Dr. Jack McNeil.
 
He also had memorable arcs on the hit shows Moonlighting and The West Wing before landing the lead role of Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, on CBS' global favorite NCIS series, which has become part of television history, approaching its 400th episode and recently inking a deal for its 17th season. The most-watched-scripted show on American television today and consistently ranked among the five highest-rated TV shows each year, NCIS is a TV juggernaut, attracting more than 15 million viewers each week throughout most of its run.
 
In 2011, Harmon became an executive producer on NCIS, and in 2014 an idea he co-developed became the spinoff NCIS: New Orleans which premiered on CBS with Harmon as an executive producer alongside Gary Glasberg. His big-screen credits include Freaky Friday, Wyatt Earp, The Presidio, Summer School and Stealing Home. He has worked with Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jodie Foster, Allison Janney, Karl Malden, Patricia Arquette and Denzel Washington among countless other Hollywood notables.
 
Harmon has received numerous accolades and award nominations during his career, including being honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Oct. 1, 2012, but he has always remained humble with an appreciation for the efforts of others. Quietly giving back, Harmon's charitable work includes Saving Bristol Bay, Stand Up To Cancer, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Kids Wish Network, Clothes Off Our Back, Entertainment Industry Foundation, Oklahoma Kidz Charities Foundation, Oklahoma City Indian Clinic and The Children's Center OKC.
 
From his time as a quarterback at UCLA until now, as an executive producer and star of the CBS hit series NCIS, Harmon has always treated teammates and production crews with familial respect and loyalty.

"I look at the show as a team," Harmon said during a previous interview. "I've always been a team guy. I'm not in [acting] for the personal part of this, and I wasn't as an athlete either. It's about the work and we all work together."


https://footballfoundation.org/news/2019/5/15/general-mark-harmon-named-2019-nff-gold-medal-recipient.aspx


*********** NIKE is accused of “penalizing” female athletes who can’t compete when they’re pregnant.  Basically, it means that they won’t be getting the performance bonuses that they’ve been getting.  As a result, the women claim, Nike is basically “forcing” them to compete - even though they’re great with child - in order to keep the  money coming in.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3749142/posts

*********** After telling of a friend whose son, about to graduate from high school with honors, admitted that all he knew about George Washington was that he had slaves, Robert Sutton, of Evergreen, Colorado, wrote the following to the Wall Street Journal:

“If you have a student nearly finished with high school, see if he or she can answer a few simple questions. For instance: Name as many as you can of the founders of our country. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? What year was it written? From which country were the colonists declaring independence? How many colonies were there? Who led the Continental Army, and the Constitutional Convention?

“It’s as if there is  concerted effort - and a successful one - to minimize our nation’s past or erase it from the thought of our present students.”

***********  Coach Wyatt, 

I hope you are well and congratulations on your new challenge in coaching with Coach Bridge. Aberdeen is fortunate to have both of you.

I have taken on a similar challenge.  I will be the new head coach at Minerva (Ohio) High School.  Minerva is a small town just 20 minutes east of Canton,Ohio.  As you know, Canton area, Northeast Ohio and Ohio overall is crazy for their high school football.  Minerva has been going through a rough spell (0-40 in the past 4 years) but they have a rich history of great football.  I hope to get Minerva back to that level quickly.  I feel confident we will win some games this year because I see the talent we have with both the players and the coaching staff I have assembled.  We will be running a form of your Open Wing.

I am writing to tell you a story that I was reminded of when I saw your quiz from Tuesday's edition of your News You Can Use. 

Firstly, I rarely am able to guess who your quiz honoree is without research, but I knew Jack Lambert after only reading the first line. 

You then mentioned the tilted-nose played by Joe Green. That is what reminded me of a meeting I had at Michigan State back in January of 1987.  It was after my first year of coaching and I was promoted to defensive coordinator at my school.  The head coach decided we were going to run the "Stunt 4-3" that George Perles was running at Michigan State, with his defensive coordinator Nick Saban.

So our head coach called Coach Perles and asked if we could drive up and meet with him and his defensive staff.  We would have been happy just to be a fly on the wall in their meetings if they would allow us. Coach Perles could not have been more accommodating to us.

We walk in and meet Coach Perles in his office and he gives us a very brief history of how they came about forming he Stunt 4-3 defense with Jack Lambert and Joe Green and the rest of the crew.  He then walks us over to the defensive meeting room where Coach Saban is running a defensive staff meeting going through their Stund 4-3 defensive playbook and discussing any updates or changes they wanted to implement.

You could tell from the moment we walked in that meeting room that Coach Saban had no idea we were coming and that Coach Perles had offered his defensive staff to our disposal to learn the Stunt 4-3.  Coach Saban never said a negative word but I have said ever since, if an eye glare could burn a hole in a person me and my head coach would not be here today.

But Coach Saban invited us to sit and listen while they finished their meeting and then we were able to meet with the position coaches and ask our questions.  Later they set us up in a film room with about 10 games of film that we could watch and another 10 films of cutups.

My head coach and I dug into those films for the rest of the afternoon.  At about 5 o'clock or so Coach Perles walks in and chats, then says that everyone is leaving for the day.  Knowing we were spending the night and would be back in the morning, he threw us a set of keys and said "You guys have run the of they place, turn the lights out when you leave and we will see you in the morning."  We ended up watching film long into the night.  Finally, about 10 o'clock or so we started to get hungry.  So we got some food and went back to watch more film and eat our food. We started to get tired and my head coach not wanting to spend more money than we had do told me that we were going skip the hotel and sleep on the floor right there in the film room.

The next day I do not know if anyone at MSU was the wiser for our sleeping in their football facility.

What a great experience for me a young coach just getting into the game.  It is an experience I cherish I do not think I'll forget.

God Bless,

Mark Hundley
Malvern, Ohio

*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Dick Tomey was the winningest football coach in University of Arizona history.

Before coming to Tucson, he was head coach at Hawaii from 1977 until 1987. As coach of the Rainbows, he was 63-46-3.

In his 14 years as coach of the Wildcats, he took them to seven bowl games.  HIs 1998 team went 12-1 and beat Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl to finish Number Four nationally, the highest Arizona has ever finished.  His 1993 team won the Fiesta Bowl and finished 10th nationally. His “Desert Swarm” defense gained him and his program national attention.

In all, he was 95-64-4 at Arizona.

When he left Arizona, his overall record was 158-110-7.

In 2003 he assisted the 49ers, and in 2004 he was assistant head coach to Mack Brown at Texas, where the Longhorns went 11-1 and won the Rose Bowl.

But then, in 2005, he got back into the game at San Jose State, where many good coaches have met their fate, and in five years there, he came out of it with a record of 25-35. He did have one spectacular season - 9-4 and a bowl game win in 2006 - and in 2005 the Spartans won games back-to-back for the first time in eight years.

He didn’t have to win there to prove that he was a good coach, but those five years in a coaching graveyard did mar his overall record, dropping it to 173-145-7, and may have cost him a place in the College Football Hall of Fame (which generally requires 60 per cent wins).

He grew up in Michigan City, Indiana, and played at DePauw, but then embarked on a career working under some of the best coaches of the time.

He got his coaching start as a GA at Miami of Ohio, where he worked  first under John Pont and then, after Pont left to go to Yale, under  Bo Schembechler.

His first paying job was under Homer Smith at Davidson, where he coached for two seasons before joining Pepper Rodgers’ staff at Kansas.  He moved with Rodgers to UCLA, but when Rodgers took the job at his alma mater, Georgia Tech, he stayed at UCLA where he coached under Dick Vermeil and then Terry Donahue.

Two of his former assistants who went on to good careers of their own were Pat Hill and Dino Babers.

Dick Tomey died last Friday at his home in Tucson.  He was 80.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING DICK TOMEY

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
D.J. MILLAY - VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
JOHN GRIMSLEY - JEFFERSON, GEORGIA

************ All who knew Dick Tomey described him as a very tough coach who was loved by his players.  That’s a tough balancing act that few coaches can manage.
Former players shared their memories of their coach…

https://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/no-one-compared-to-him-dick-tomey-s-wildcats-share/collection_2f30dfe0-746c-11e9-aa12-6381fbbc09a4.html#1

https://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/legacy-of-late-arizona-wildcats-coach-dick-tomey-lives-on/article_ec9a6883-fb26-501e-adca-ffa352d115e0.html

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

While Dick Tomey is famous for his Desert Swarm defense, his University of Arizona offense was pretty good too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEwh3FRUWaA

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

*********** The answer would be the great Dick Tomey. I remember being a U of Arizona fan as a teenager. I wore 68 in high school cause I saw Teddy Bruschi play in the Desert Swarm with the Double Eagle Flex. Hope you had a great weekend and that the clinic was a great success.
 
John Grimsley
Jefferson, Georgia

***********  QUIZ:  This former West Point All-American end was the very first recipient of the National Football Foundation’s Distinguished American Award, which has since been presented to such men as Vince Lombardi, Bob Hope, General James Van Fleet, Jimmy Stewart, DavE Nelson, Pete Rozelle, Wellington Mara, Dick Kazmaier, Tom Osborne, Roy Kramer, George Young, Alan Page, Rocky Bleier,  T. Boone Pickens and General Ray Odierno.

According to the NFF’s site, “The recipient, not limited to a former college player or coach, must be an outstanding person who has maintained a lifetime of interest in the game and who, over a long period of time, has exhibited enviable leadership qualities and made a significant contribution to the betterment of amateur football in the United States.”

He was a three-sport star and captain of three teams in high school in Springfield, Pennsylvania, and after being heavily recruited, chose to attend West Point. There, Coach Earl Blaik decided to take advantage of his good size and great speed to employ a unique offensive formation - primarily an unbalanced line with him as the “over” end, split so wide on every play that Coach Blaik chose not to wear him out by running him in and out of the huddle on every play.  Instead, he kept him out wide, sending signals to him by the arrangement of the quarterback’s hands or feet.

In 1958, his junior year, he was possibly the most famous football player in America, if not for his real name but for the nickname conferred on him by a New York sports writer in trying to describe his place in Army’s unusual new offensive formation.  The formation - and how he got his signals - was the subject of talk the entire season - one in which Army finished unbeaten and once-tied, and ranked third nationally.

He would normally have made most All-America teams except that three of his teammates were All-Americans, and one of them won the Heisman Trophy.

In his senior season he was Army’s team captain and a consensus All-American end, and although he would have been a likely first-round NFL pick, he chose an Army career, one which turned out to be long and distinguished.

After West Point he served two tours in Vietnam. Early in his  career, while serving as advisor to the Vietnamese army,  he was shot in the arm and responded by knocking out an enemy bunker with a hand grenade.

In 1966, his reputation as a  warrior was cemented when,  his company hopelessly surrounded, he called down an air strike of napalm against his own position. Although many of the men were burned, the enemy was prevented from overrunning the company’s position and almost certainly wiping it out.  For his action, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army’s  highest award short of the Medal of Honor.

In 1967, following the crash landing of the plane he was in, he carried an injured man from the wreckage to safety.

In 1984,  now a brigadier general, he was given command of the newly-activated  10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York.  His final post was Commander of the Combined Field Army in Korea, with 250,000 US and North Korean troops under his command.

Always more comfortable with troops than in a office position, he  ended his career as a Lieutenant (three star) General, declining a move to the Pentagon and a fourth star, and retired to his home in Montana.

He has three sons, one of whom played wide receiver at Air Force, another who played football at Eastern Washington and now coaches high school football in Washington.

To get an idea of the esteem in which he is held by soldiers, listen to the opinion of late David Hackworth, a highly decorated Army officer and noted Military writer: “He is, in my view, the finest soldier-leader that America has produced since the Korean War.  And the fact that he didn't get a fourth star tells me about the sickness we have in the Army. He was the Lonesome End throughout his military career, and the reason he didn't get a fourth star was that he didn't schmooze with the brass.  (He) is the kind of guy who cared about the guys down below and didn't really give a rat's ass about the guys at the top. He's a national treasure. The big, quiet American. Gary Cooper. We just don't make those kind anymore."


american flagFRIDAY,  MAY 17, 2019   “On closer scrutiny, it turns out that many of today's problems are a result of yesterday's solutions.” Thomas Sowell

*********** MY TOP 33 COLLEGE COACHES OF MY TIME - PART TWO

(THE BACKGROUND) A while back, The Sporting News published what it called its "Top 50 Coaches of All Time."

Only 11 college football coaches made it - Bear Bryant (Alabama); Knute Rockne (Notre Dame); Joe Paterno (Penn State); Eddie Robinson (Grambling); Bobby Bowden (Florida State); Woody Hayes (Ohio State); Bud Wilkinson (Oklahoma); Tom Osborne (Nebraska); Bo Schembechler (Michigan); Amos Alonzo Stagg (Springfield College, Chicago and Pacific; Ara Parseghian (Notre Dame) - and a few pro coaches (Paul Brown, Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi,  Don Shula) as well.

Excuse me - of  All Time? No Pop Warner? No Earl Blaik? No Frank Leahy?  No Robert Neyland?

Give… me… a… break.

Since no apparent expertise is required to publish such a list,  I figured that I'd seen or followed enough coaches in my lifetime to qualify me as well as any millennial genius  sitting in front of a computer screen at some sports weekly.

So here, then, is my (Ta-da!)  Top 33 College Football Coaches in My Lifetime

THE GROUND RULES

(1) I’m a historian.  For me, that  means no currently active coach can be eligible. (Now that they’re retired, I have to find a place for Bill Snyder - (215–117–1) Kansas State; and  Urban Meyer - (187-32)  Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, Ohio State.  (I have to admit that I’m not at all comfortable about including Meyer on a list of top coaches, despite his record.)

(2) I took into account the number of wins,  the quality of the competition, and titles won - all of which are objective - and then their overall impact on the game, which is  subjective. I did, however,  require that a coach have an overall winning record.

(3) I required that a coach must have spent the greatest part of his career coaching at the highest level of college football. Unfortunately, this meant excluding some great coaches such as Eddie Robinson,  Jake Gaither,  John Merritt,  Dave Nelson, John Gagliardi and Larry Kehres.  Paul Brown didn't make it because I knew him only as a pro coach, and his college career,  although it did include a national championship at Ohio State, was way too brief.  Bobby Bowden didn’t get credit for his early-career wins at little Samford.

(4) The major portion of the coach's work had to have taken place during my lifetime of following football, which I date as starting in 1945, very conveniently the launching of the post-war era.  That means that I started my football-watching near the very end of the careers of such giants as Bernie Biermann of Minnesota, Fritz Crisler of Michigan,  Dutch Meyer of TCU,  General Robert Neyland of Tennessee,  Carl Snavely of North Carolina and Wallace Wade of Alabama and Duke,  so I couldn't include them.

(5) It was tough enough for me to choose a first 11, a second 11 and a third 11,  so within each 11 I refused to choose one coach over another;  I simply listed them alphabetically.  It's not difficult to make a strong argument that some coaches in one 11 belong in a higher group, or that some coaches were wrongly left off entirely.   My list is simply my list, and it's not intended to be definitive.

(6) Why groups of 11?  I don't know.  Why do we always have to make lists of 10? Or 25? Or 50? Or 100?  Are we simply slaves of base-10 mathematics?  Maybe I should simply say I did it because there are 11 men on a football team.  But I didn't. Why 33? I don't know. Had to make the cut somewhere,  I guess.

(Coaches’ records at lesser programs not included.  Only records from the colleges shown are listed.)

MY SECOND ELEVEN (#12-22) in alphabetical order

Bobby Bowden - (346-123-4) West Virginia, Florida State

Frank Broyles - (149-62-6) Missouri, Arkansas

Bob Devaney - (136-30-7) Wyoming, Nebraska

Dan Devine - (173-56-9) Arizona State, Missouri, Notre Dame

Vince Dooley - (201-77-10) Georgia

Hayden Fry - (232-178-10) SMU, North Texas State, Iowa

Don James - (178-76-3) Kent State, Washington

Shug Jordan - (176-83-7) Auburn

Tom Osborne -  (255-49-3) Nebraska

Barry Switzer - (157-29-4)  Oklahoma

Johnny Vaught - (190-61-2) Mississippi

*********** I spoke with my friend Mike Lude on Monday.  He just got back from a Mississippi River cruise from New Orleans to Memphis,  with a visit to the World War II Museum in New Orleans. On Saturday, he’s off to Branson, Missouri for a week.  Mike is going to be 97 shortly, but you’d never know it. He’s sharp as a tack and his memory of events long past is remarkable.

Mike got his start playing football for Dave Nelson at Hillsdale College, and when Nelson was named head coach at Maine, Mike went along as his line coach. Dave Nelson was a Michigan guy, a teammate under the great Fritz Crisler of Tom Harmon and Forrest Evashevski, and like all good Michigan alums, he ran Crisler’s unbalanced-line single wing.

It was at Maine that Nelson, realizing that their tailbacks were taking such a beating that they were close to having no one to play the position, decided to take a look at the T-formation that more and more colleges were now running, and see whether it could be adapted to what they were doing.

The idea of the modern T-formation, as pioneered by Clark Shaughnessy at Stanford, was to take the dual role of the single wing tailback - runner and passer - and divide it up among different players, assigning the passing duties to the quarterback and the running to two halfbacks and a fullback.  This enabled Shaughnessy to make use of the great passing and ball-handling skills of little Frankie Albert, who wasn’t a good enough runner to play in a single wing offense, as his T-formation quarterback. For his running backs, he had three studs - Hugh Gallarneau, Norm Standlee, and Pete Kmetovic.  In just his first season on The Farm, he took the Indians from a 1-7-1 record in 1939 to  an undefeated season, a Rose Bowl victory and a national championship. Prior to the Rose Bowl game, Shaughnessy also had a hand in the Chicago Bears' 73-0 NFL title game win over the Redskins. World War II came and went, and by the time football was back at full strength, the T-formation had pretty much taken over.

Nelson’s idea was to retain the  single-wing backfield alignment of his tailback, fullback and wingback, while moving the quarterback (commonly known among single wingers as the “blocking back”) under center.  Thus was born the winged-T, as it was originally called.

For some reason - I must remember to ask Mike - they made the decision to go to a balanced line, and Mike’s job was to convert the Michigan unbalanced-line blocking rules to a balanced-line offense.  To me that sounds like translating the Dead Sea Scrolls, but whenever I’ve asked Mike about it, he’s insisted modestly that it was no big deal.

In any event, Mike’s the reason why I’m still coaching football, because he’s the one who originally devised the blocking rules that I'm still using, 60 years later.  Yes, I’ve changed a few things over the years, but so, too, did Mike.  The important thing is that I know, going into a game, that I’m using rules that have stood the test of time.  If something’s going wrong, the chances are it’s in my teaching, or in my players’ abilities, or in my play-calling - but it’s not in the rules we use.  I really believe that if we teach them well and our players execute them well, our plays, thanks to those blocking rules,  will work against anybody.

Back to Mike.  From Maine, Nelson’s staff went to Delaware, where after a few years Nelson’s old Michigan teammate Forrest Evashevski, now coaching at Iowa, came to Delaware’s spring practice to learn Nelson’s offense.  Evashevski’s Hawkeyes and their “new” offense came to the attention of the football world when Iowa beat Oregon State in the Rose Bowl, 35-19.  Iowa - and Delaware, once people learned where Evashevski got his electifying offense - was besieged with requests for information. In case there were any doubters, two years later, in the 1959 Rose Bowl, the Hawkeyes did a number on Cal, 38-12.

Thus was christened the “Delaware Wing T.”  From there, it went on to win national titles for LSU and Notre Dame.  It was the offense of choice of the great Eddie Robinson. It’s been run in the CFL and - when Marv Levy first arrived in Kansas City - the NFL.

Mike left Delaware to become head coach at Colorado State,  then AD at Kent State, where he gave Don James his first head coaching job (yes, Jack Lambert was there, and so was Nick Saban).  From Kent State he went to Washington, and after Washington he wound up as AD at Auburn.  For years he served on the NCAA Rules Committee.

Ask Mike Lude whether he thinks you could win in college today running the Delaware Wing-T, and you'd better  pack a big lunch first - because he’s sure you could, and he’ll tell you  - and show you - why.

*********** In talking with Mike Lude, I asked him how he would handle it if as head coach he was walking around the practice field and he saw something being taught wrong.

I knew that Don James, for whom he has so much respect, was a “tower coach,” and one of the reasons for that was he wanted to let his coaches coach, without any interference from him.

Mike said he would make note of what he’d observed, and if it was absolutely necessary, he’d address it in front of the whole staff, but normally he’d call the assistant into his office,  find out what was behind the mistake, and make sure it was corrected.

Mike said he wasn’t worried about having to wait until the next day to make the correction, and Don James wasn’t, either.

I mentioned that that wasn’t Eddie Robinson’s modus operandi, and he laughed and said, “It wasn’t Woody Hayes’, either!”

Mike told of the time he’d been at Ohio State to do a clinic, and then afterward attended an Ohio State spring practice.  He said he was walking around when he noticed Coach Hayes go over to where his defensive line coach, Lyal Clark, was working. (Mike remembered the name.)

Mike didn’t say whether Coach Hayes tore off his baseball cap (the one with the “O” on it) and threw it down, but he said he was clearly upset about something, and he really tore into his assistant:

“Goddamnit!” he said, “That’s not the way we teach it here!”

Mike also didn’t say whether Coach Hayes brushed Coach Clark aside - longtime Hayes assistants,  knowing that Hayes was a left-hander, knew to stand so they could avoid  a swipe of that left arm - but Mike does remember hearing him say, “Get out of the way and let me do it!”

*********** It's a cold hard fact: 71% of today’s young people are ineligible to serve in the military. The major reasons are obesity, lack of a high school diploma, and possession of a criminal record.  (Hard to believe drug use isn’t among the top three.)

Today's liberal society has the solution: do away with football.  Sure, football does address, in one manner or another, all three of the above deficiencies in our young men.  But still, football is violent, and football players have been known to suffer concussions, so… football has to go.

*********** “Let the word go forth, from this time and place, that from today forward, Washington state is leading in the effort to defeat climate change.”

Thus spake Moses - sorry,  I meant my governor, a clown named  Jay Inslee, who's evidently running for President.  Good. Stay the hell  out of the state. Keep  campaigning back East.  Meanwhile, will somebody please vote for him?  Because if you don’t, he’ll be right back here again, back to trying to turn Washington, the Evergreen State, into Washington, the Evergreen New Deal State.

*********** None of us who remembers Pat Paulsen can accept the idea that Robert O’Rourke (aka “Beto”) is actually serious about running for President.

A professional comic, Paulsen appeared on a comedy show hosted by the Smothers Brothers, doing a deadpan reading of the day’s news with some smartass remarks tossed in.

In 1968, the brothers persuaded him to run for President.  He went along with it ("the job has a good pension plan, and I'll get a lot of money when I retire”) and from that point, it became semi-serious, to the point where by 1992 he received more than 10,000 votes in Republican primaries, and in 1996 - he wasn’t particular about which party's nomination he ran for - he finished behind Bill Clinton in the New Hampshire Democratic primary  (76,754 to 921).

Calling himself "just a common, ordinary, simple savior of America's destiny,” he delivered his speeches with a mock seriousness that enabled him to satirize actual  candidates,  usually leading up to a very clever punch line - without ever changing expression.

Whenever he appeared to be challenged on a point, his response was always the same:  “picky, picky, picky.”

When asked a tough question, he would deliver several lines of double-talk, wrapping up like this: “ I will come right to the point, and take note of the fact that the heart of the issue in the final analysis escapes me."

Come to think of it, he sounded a lot like today's congress critters and Democratic presidential candidates.

Except that back when Pat Paulsen did it, it was meant to be a joke.

The beginning… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTHge8q0zwY

A Pat Paulsen speech (yes, by today’s sterile comedy standards, it would never have made it onto the air.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qn69wP-jD2Y

*********** Call Tom Dundon what you like, but don’t call him stupid.  Dundon, the guy who posed as the savior of the AAF by agreeing to buy the rights to 75 per cent of the league, only to fold his hand and let the league collapse two months later, is off the hook.  Turns out he never actually signed a contract to buy the league, and as a result, he isn’t liable for any of its debts, which are considerable: when the AAF filed for bankruptcy, it declared $48 million of liabilities and only $11.4 million of assets.  (Surely there’s more to the story from a legal standpoint; that’s my layman’s explanation.)

*********** With Alabama’s passage of a bill outlawing all abortions except when the life of the mother is in danger, I’m hoping that Planned Parenthood types will try to picket Alabama football games this fall.

I wouldn’t mind going there and watching the fun.  It might even cause me to miss the game.  It would definitely be worth the price of admission if Brian Sims would show up. He’s the member of the Pennsylvania state legislature (“As witless a collection of moldering goofs and ravening mediocrities as you will find in any of our state capitals.” in the opinion of one Philadelphia writer) whose shameful badgering of an “old white woman” outside a Planned Parenthood location went viral.

Oh, and to top things off, he also offered to make a generous donation to Planned Parenthood to anyone who could provide him with the names and addresses of three teenagers - minors, all of them - who were praying outside Planned Parenthood.  (There are those who would call that a putting a bounty on the kids.)

Maybe that kind of sh— goes in today’s Pennsylvania - I’ve been away a long time - but I rather doubt it will fly in Alabama.

(Interestingly - not to accuse the mainstream media of liberal bias, you understand - the original video of Sims verbally assaulting the older woman has disappeared from the Internet.)

https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2019/05/08/brian-sims-ashley-garecht-controversial-videos-planned-parenthood/

*********** Hard to believe this, but there’s one  Major League Baseball team that has never had a no-hitter.

The San Diego Padres have played more than 8,000 games in their history, and not once has one of their pitchers pitched a no-hitter.

The closest they came was nearly 49 years ago - July, 1970 - when they went into the bottom of the eighth, trailing the Mets, 1-0.  Their pitcher, Clay Kirby, was throwing a no-hitter (the Mets had scored on walks, stolen bases and a ground-out), and he was due to bat.

The Padres’ manager, Preston Gomez, decided to pinch-hit for him. The fans booed. The pinch hitter struck out.

And in the top of the ninth, a Met got a ground-ball single off the relief pitcher.

The relief pitcher has never forgotten. “The first goddarn batter up hit a ground ball right past me, and the shortstop couldn’t reach it  - one of those little dribblers,” Jack Baldschun, now 83 years old, told the Wall Street Journal. “I screwed up the no-hitter for Clay Kirby.”

Wow.  All those years have gone by, and the guy’s still living with it, as if were only yesterday,


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

So good to hear about the process being used at Aberdeen.  Sounds very familiar, and it WORKS!

Your first 11 greatest football coaches is spot on.  Can't wait to see your second and third groups!

Interesting stuff regarding mental toughness.  When it's all said and done I can't help but think of one word... "grit" ...to describe it.

Mack Brown's team will give Clemson all it can handle this year.  A couple of good recruiting years (and Mack Brown CAN recruit) his teams will be beating Clemson.

Not only does the wrestling world know its fans, wrestlers also know those fans.  Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson likely is the most famous wrestler who took that knowledge of his fans and created an incredible money making career out of it.

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Jack Lambert was tall (6-4) and relatively underweight (he weighed just 205 as a rookie), but by the time of his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction he was called “the premier linebacker of his era.”

He was a quarterback in high school (Mantua, Ohio), but at Kent State, under the great Don James (who would gain fame at the University of Washington) he was converted to defensive end.  After another switch, he became a two-time all-MAC linebacker.

Drafted second by the Steelers, he was pressed into action at middle linebacker when starter Henry Davis was hurt,  and went on to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors as the Steelers won their first-ever Super Bowl over the Vikings.

He remained the Steelers’ middle linebacker for 11 seasons.

He played on four Super Bowl winning teams… he was named to nine pro bowls… and he was six times named  all-Pro middle linebacker.

He was an extremely aggressive player,  and the tilted-nose play of the great Joe Greene helped keep blockers off him and left him relatively free to make tackles - he was credited with 1,479 in his career. Until slowed by turf toe in his final season, he averaged 146 tackles per season over this first ten season.

The Cover-Two defense of Bud Carson required him to play more deep-middle zone pass coverage than most of the prototypical  middle linebackers of the time, and he intercepted 28 passes in his career.

Adding to the fact that Jack Lambert was one of the game’s most intimidating players was  his fierce look: he was  missing his upper front teeth (knocked out in a high school basketball game).


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JACK LAMBERT

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS - CALIFORNIA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
D.J. MILLAY - VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MARK HUNDLEY - MALVERN, OHIO
JOHN GRIMSLEY - JEFFERSON, GEORGIA


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

Jack Lambert was the real deal.

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

By the way, how good were those NFL Films features? Nothing in today's media compares.

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas


*********** QUIZ:  He was the winningest football coach in University of Arizona history.

Before coming to Tucson, he was head coach at Hawaii from 1977 until 1987. As coach of the Rainbows, he was 63-46-3.

In his 14 years as coach of the Wildcats, he took them to seven bowl games.  His 1998 team went 12-1 and beat Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl to finish Number Four nationally, the highest Arizona has ever finished.  HIs 1993 team won the Fiesta Bowl and finished 10th nationally. His “Desert Swarm” defense gained him and his program national attention.

In all, he was 95-64-4 at Arizona.

When he left Arizona, his overall record was 158-110-7.

In 2003 he assisted the 49ers, and in 2004 he was assistant head coach to Mack Brown at Texas, where the Longhorns went 11-1 and won the Rose Bowl.

But then, in 2005, he got back into the game at San Jose State, where many good coaches have met their fate, and in five years there, he came out of it with a record of 25-35. He did have one spectacular season - 9-4 and a bowl game win in 2006 - and in 2005 the Spartans won games back-to-back for the first time in eight years.

He didn’t have to win there to prove that he was a good coach, but those five years in a coaching graveyard did mar his overall record, dropping it to 173-145-7, and may have cost him a place in the College Football Hall of Fame (which generally requires 60 per cent wins).

He grew up in Michigan City, Indiana, and played at DePauw, but then embarked on a career working under some of the best coaches of the time.

He got his coaching start as a GA at Miami of Ohio, where he worked  first under John Pont and then, after Pont left to go to Yale,  Bo Schembechler.

His first paying job was under Homer Smith at Davidson, where he coached for two seasons before joining Pepper Rodgers’ staff at Kansas.  He moved with Rodgers to UCLA, but when Rodgers took the job at his alma mater, Georgia Tech, he stayed at UCLA where he coached under Dick Vermeil and then Terry Donahue.

Two of his former assistants who went on to good careers of their own were Pat Hill and Dino Babers.

He died last Friday at his home in Tucson.  He was 80.



american flagTUESDAY,  MAY 14, 2019   “It is the peculiar failing of highly educated elites to believe that their own views need no defense and have no opponents worth thinking about.”  Barton Swaim, Wall Street Journal

*********** RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA CLINIC:

DATE AND TIME: SATURDAY, MAY 18 - 9 TO 4

SITE: SAME AS LAST YEAR
KNIGHTDALE RECREATION CENTER
LAWSON RIDGE ROAD
KNIGHTDALE, NORTH CAROLINA
(The site is an easy 30 minute drive east of RDU International Airport)

PRE-REGISTRATION $100 - AT THE DOOR $150

http://www.coachwyatt.com/clinics19.html


*********** In Washington, you’re really limited in what you can do to coach players in the off-season (defined by the state as the time from the end of your season until the last game of the state baseball championships or the last event of the state track and field championships). As a general rule of thumb, that means we can’t start spring football until the day after Memorial Day - which is when we’ll start.

(I won’t deal right now with the obvious fact that, state rules or not, basketball players are going to play basketball in the “off-season.”  In Washington, that means they’ll be playing AAU basketball.  Or, if we’re talking out-of-season football, it means 7-on-7 - on a team coached by someone other than their own high school coach.  But that’s a story for another time.)

Despite the rules, I’ve at least been able to get a start at Aberdeen, Washington by showing QBs and centers video clips  of the center-QB exchange I use, and then asking them to send me back videos of them doing it. 

With the QBs, I’m able to get some sense of what we’re starting with by having them send me clips of themselves in action, and then sending them video of the technique we're looking for.

That's been a huge help.

At our first staff meeting last Friday evening, Coach Todd Bridge and I were also able to show the other members of the staff video clips of everything we’ll be doing out on the field at the first practice -

“TANS” (Triceps-Abs-Necks-Squats)
Teaching the stance with the Bench Drill
Agilities
Blocking (naturally, something brand-new to a former spread team)
Wedge Progression (Double-Team to Triple-Team to Full five-man Wedge)
The Wedge play itself ("Talk it, Walk it, Run it, Rep it")

I should mention - I’ve stressed this at clinics in the past - that NO PLAYER goes out on that field until he’s had our expectations  (our rules of conduct) explained to him -  and he’s signed off on them.   It’s only fair to your players that you let them know in advance what you expect - and what pisses you off.  We’ll spend at least an hour on this.   For more than 30 years it’s been the starting point of every class I’ve taught and every team I’ve coached, and it’s well worth the time spent on it. Before you can teach anyone something, you first have to create an atmosphere that’s conducive to learning.


*********** A while back, The Sporting News published what it called its "Top 50 Coaches of All Time." 

Only 11 college football coaches made it - Bear Bryant (Alabama); Knute Rockne (Notre Dame); Joe Paterno (Penn State); Eddie Robinson (Grambling); Bobby Bowden (Florida State); Woody Hayes (Ohio State); Bud Wilkinson (Oklahoma); Tom Osborne (Nebraska); Bo Schembechler (Michigan); Amos Alonzo Stagg (Springfield College, Chicago and Pacific; Ara Parseghian (Notre Dame) - and a few pro coaches (Paul Brown, Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi,  Don Shula) as well.

Excuse me - of  All Time? No Pop Warner? No Earl Blaik? No Frank Leahy?  No Robert Neyland? 

Give… me… a… break.

Since no apparent expertise is required to publish such a list,  I figured that I'd seen or followed enough coaches in my lifetime to qualify me as well as any millennial genius  sitting in front of a computer screen at some sports weekly.

So here, then, is my (Ta-da!)  Top 33 College Football Coaches in My Lifetime

First,  the ground rules.

(1) I’m a historian.  For me, that  means no currently active coach can be eligible. (Now that they’re retired, I have to find a place for Bill Snyder - (215–117–1) Kansas State; and  Urban Meyer - (187-32)  Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, Ohio State.  And I have to admit that I’m not at all comfortable about including Meyer on a list of top coaches, despite his record.)

(2) I took into account the number of wins,  the quality of the competition, and titles won - all of which are objective - and then their overall impact on the game, which is  subjective. I did, however,  require that a coach have an overall winning record.

(3) I required that a coach must have spent the greatest part of his career coaching at the highest level of college football. Unfortunately, this meant excluding some great coaches such as Eddie Robinson,  Jake Gaither,  John Merritt,  Dave Nelson, John Gagliardi and Larry Kehres.  Paul Brown didn't make it because I knew him only as a pro coach, and his college career,  although it did include a national championship at Ohio State, was way too brief.  Bobby Bowden didn’t get credit for his early-career wins at little Samford.

(4) The major portion of the coach's work had to have taken place during my lifetime of following football, which I date as starting in 1945, very conveniently the launching of the post-war era.  That means that I started my football-watching near the very end of the careers of such giants as Bernie Biermann of Minnesota, Fritz Crisler of Michigan,  Dutch Meyer of TCU,  General Robert Neyland of Tennessee,  Carl Snavely of North Carolina and Wallace Wade of Alabama and Duke,  so I couldn't include them.

(5) It was tough enough for me to choose a first 11, a second 11 and a third 11,  so within each 11 I refused to choose one coach over another;  I simply listed them alphabetically.  It's not difficult to make a strong argument that some coaches in one 11 belong in a higher group, or that some coaches were wrongly left off entirely.   My list is simply my list, and it's not intended to be definitive.

(6) Why groups of 11?  I don't know.  Why do we always have to make lists of 10? Or 25? Or 50? Or 100?  Are we simply slaves of base-10 mathematics?  Maybe I should simply say I did it because there are 11 men on a football team.  But I didn't. Why 33? I don't know. Had to make the cut somewhere,  I guess.

My listing of Coaching Giants from my lifetime...  (Coaches’ records at lesser programs not included.  Only records from the colleges shown are listed.)


MY TOP ELEVEN (#1-11) in alphabetical order

Earl Blaik - (166-48-14) Dartmouth, Army… (Dartmouth was big-time when he coached there.) Two national championships at Army,  two #2 finishers,  one #3… 6 unbeaten teams, 8 top-10 teams… Coached three Heisman Trophy winners…  20 former assistants went on to become head coaches - Paul Dietzel (LSU) and Murray Warmath (Minnesota) won national titles; Sid Gillman (San Diego) won an AFL championship; Vince Lombardi at Green Bay won five NFL titles and two Super Bowls…  Co-founder of the National Football Foundation

Bear Bryant - (323-85-17) Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A & M, Alabama

Bobby Dodd - (165-64-8) Georgia Tech

Woody Hayes - (219-66-10) Miami, Ohio State

Frank Leahy - (107-13-9) Boston College, Notre Dame

John McKay - (127-40-8) USC

Ara Parseghian - (170-58-6) Miami, Northwestern, Notre Dame

Joe Paterno -  (409-136-3) Penn State

Darrell Royal - (184-60-5) Mississippi State, Washington, Texas

Bo Schembechler - (234-65-8) Miami, Michigan

Bud Wilkinson - (145-29-4) Oklahoma


********** 
In an “Official Sponsor Recognition Survey,” a company called Turnkey Intelligence determined that those brands were correctly recognized by respondents as the actual official NCAA sponsors in their category.

THE WINNERS:

Buffalo Wild Wings (Restaurants)… Capital One (Banks) … Coca-Cola (Soda)…  Geico (Insurance) …  Lowe’s (Home Improvement)…   Pizza Hut (Pizza)

THE LOSERS

BodyArmor sports drink (More of those surveyed answered “Gatorade” or “Powerade”)

Buick and Infiniti (More answered Chevrolet, Toyota or Ford)

*********** FROM AMERICAN FOOTBALL MONTHLY

DEVELOPING MENTAL TOUGHNESS

By Kevin Marks, Kinesiology and Health Science Professor
School of Health Science
Solano College
Fairfield, California


It’s intriguing to see individuals who have the ability to stretch themselves and push through physical and mental barriers. For example, Navy Seals, Army Rangers, athletes, business leaders, etc. These highly competent people have a “no quit mentality” and can push through the pain. Is this all mental or physical? Can we as coaches and players develop the skill of “pushing through the pain”?


How mental toughness will benefit both football players and coaches:


1.    Developing mental and physical toughness allows players to feel in control which is an essential psychological tool of highly functioning people.


2.    You will learn a lot about yourself: mentally, physically and emotionally.


3.    Consistency- those who push through pain correlate with “consistent” behavior. These players are well read, and we tend to know what we are going to get from them. They are also the players who tend to be the leaders of the team.


4.    Positive Attitude! Those who can push through pain remain confident and never complain; if fact, they enjoy the process of discomfort. Both coaches and players must constantly adapt to uncomfortable situations.
Whether it’s a staff meeting and we feel tired or the fourth quarter of a hard fought football game, many of us start to experience mental or physical pain or both. Pushing through pain is both physiological and psychological. Physically, we need to invest the time to train so our body tissues can adapt to the stress imposed on them. Mentally, we can lean into the pain if we feel we have prepared the right way. If we have not trained at all, even the most physically and mentally tough football players will tap out.


How can we learn to push through the pain?


1.    Physically prepare: as a coach, we will be able to sit through staff meetings and retain more information and engage when we are physically fit. The coach who is running the meeting will be able to deliver high quality, dynamic information. Additionally, the same goes for a two and a half hour football practice. Well-conditioned athletes can remain focused and explosive. Research is equivocal regarding what comes first: developing mental toughness or physical toughness. However, even the most mentally stable football players cannot endure the physical rigors if they are not metabolically trained. Essentially, it is effective to train hard physically, and this can improve our mental toughness and our pain tolerance (Martin & McGee, 2008).In fact, being a highly conditioned player will increase our ability to make decisions and even increase our will power.


2.    Pain is always finite. The pain will always end. In our minds eye, we must understand this. This “understanding” is a very common cognitive strategy. We gain mental control of the pain when we know the end point of the pain (end of meeting or competition). Mentally strong football players develop a mantra they repeat in their head as they break apart the pain in different segments. Repeating words like: “finish,” “Power,” “tough as nails” helps the mind to focus during distress. In addition, the coach should always tell players where they are at in practice: period 6, 8 10 etc. When I was the defensive coordinator at Solano College, I would call the defense up at the end of each quarter of practice and half time. This specificity is significant because it takes place in the game and most importantly, psychologically, the player “knows” where they are at and thus- they know the end point.


3.    Break it down to the smallest parts: a two-hour staff meeting or practice might seem daunting. This meeting should be divided into four small parts. Every 30 min, stand up and change your position. Turn the page on your notebook. Take a few deep breaths and start the next 30. This is where the coach can break up meetings and practice to keep players engaged and themselves. The player must “mentally” start a new game in their mind after each quarter during practice and games. This is how great teams and players improve as the game and practice goes on.


4.    Practice- consistently put yourself in an uncomfortable situation both mentally and physically. Repetition is the mother of skill. We can build up a tolerance and immunity to our pain threshold; we just need to embrace it (Anshel & Russell, 1994). Our bodies and minds will become stronger as a result of this.


5.    Be smart: know when to adjust. The key is to train mentally and physically day in and day out so we can learn about our minds and bodies and find the middle ground. We never quit, however, feeling acute pain in an area that continues to worsen as the race goes on is a sign that we need to adjust. Physical pain typically goes away during completion and goes somewhere else in the body. However, pain that always nags and gets worse must be addressed.


6.    Lean into the pain. As soon as we feel pain, the human tendency is to stop or avoid (because we gain control). As soon as we feel emotional pain, we might deny or suppress it to protect us. We really should lean into these. We should not try to stop, suppress or block out. Making a mental note of the pain and returning to the activity is a healthy adaptive approach. We must feel and acknowledge all forms of the pain, physical, emotional and psychological. As soon as we try to gain control by stopping the pain, paradoxically; we lose control. We want to feel the pain, keep going with the understanding it will go away and then adjust (not quit) if the pain turns into an acute issue.


*********** An app named Audible has been running a commercial that never fails to grab me.

A long haul trucker, driving across what looks like West Texas or New Mexico, is learning Spanish as he drives - from an app on his iPhone, which is attached to the dash of his truck. 

He passes a sign telling of a truck stop up ahead, and then we see his rig pulling into the parking lot.

He walks into the dining room, catches the eye of the waitress, a pretty young Hispanic woman, and - they seem to know each other -  she walks up to him, smiling,

Struggling for words, he says,  “I would like a table for dinner.” in Spanish.

Obviously delighted at his effort, she smiles even wider and says, “Very good!”

It ends as she  takes him to his table.

Is something going on between them?  Is something going to happen?  Who knows?  THEY DON’T TELL US! 

Nope. Unlike most of today’s dumbed-down commercials, this one is subtle.  Like a good story, it makes us use our imaginations.

The tag line leaves us guessing:

“Could listening to Audible inspire you to start something new?”

https://www.ispot.tv/ad/I6W5/audible-inc-trucker

***********  I wish I could simply post a link to the article below, but PressBox DFW is a subscription-only site.  Yes, it's heavily Dallas-Fort Worth oriented,  but its writing is quite good.  Much of the reason for that, it would seem from the article below, is owing to the influence of a Fort Worth native and TCU-educated writer named Dan Jenkins.

https://www.pressboxdfw.com/our-memories-of-dan/

Many of our writers at PressBox DFW knew Dan Jenkins, whether it was at TCU football games or in a press room at Colonial or the Masters.
A few of them shared their personal remembrances of Dan. We hope you enjoy them.

Gil LeBreton:

Truth be told, it took years before I was able to summon the courage to introduce myself to the most illustrious writer this city has known, Dan Jenkins.

I would see him at TCU games. I would observe him from afar at golf tournaments.

He would stand there, a cigarette in one hand, greeting some Augusta National member or seasoned golf scribe with the other. The legends of the sportswriting world would pause to greet him – Sherrod, Furman Bisher, Edwin Pope, Dave Anderson, Dave Kindred, Bob Ryan, et al.

But the guy from his hometown – the sports columnist whose newspaper was tossed on Jenkins’ front lawn each morning – couldn’t muster the fortitude to approach him.

After all, Dan Jenkins was famous. He was witty. In his writing, granted, he could be a little bit of a wise-ass, but he was brilliant. What was I supposed to say, “Excuse me, Mr. Jenkins, but I’m the guy on page 37 of your newspaper each day”?

I even thought about calling Sally Jenkins, Dan’s immensely talented daughter, a Washington Post sports columnist and a best-selling author herself.

I had met Sally in 1985 when we both were covering the U.S. Olympic Festival in Baton Rouge, La. She needed a ride to the basketball arena at Southern University, and I lied and said that’s where I was going, too.

I mean, this was Dan Jenkins’ kid. And every guy who ever ordered chicken fried steak for breakfast and had memorized lines from Shake Tiller and Barbara Jane Bookman knew who Dan Jenkins was. I would have driven Sally to Shreveport if she had asked, just to talk with her.

It was in the Masters media center one day, perhaps buoyed by a courtesy pimento cheese sandwich, that I finally walked up to Dan at his customary position near the edge of the press room scoreboard.

“Sure,” he said. “I know who you are.

“You need to get on Pat Sullivan’s ass more.”

Our visits became a regular thing – my choice, probably not his. Forget what heroics were taking place out on the Augusta National course. My favorite memories of those years were the few minutes I shared with Dan, usually laughing.

I would run into Sally every now and then, frequently at Cowboys-Redskins games, and I would ask about her famous dad. It was disheartening, therefore, when she told me last November that he was struggling.

Getting around involved either a walker or a wheelchair, Sally said. His attendance at TCU football games now depended on the weather.

Dan Jenkins’ prose could be salty, but TCU had no more eloquent ambassador. He loved being a lifelong Horned Frog, and TCU loved him back.

One of his most prized possessions was the Rose Bowl ring that coach Gary Patterson presented to him.

When I walk into the press box at Amon Carter Stadium and see his name – Dan Jenkins Press Box — it reminds me how blessed I was to know the man I considered to be the poet laureate of Fort Worth.

Jenkins his ownself would have considered the title too stuffy, of course. He didn’t write poetry — he wrote sports, and the poetry just happened.

Riff, ram, bah, zoo. Give ‘em hell, Dan Jenkins.

 
Jimmy Burch:

The first time I met Dan was at the Masters Tournament in Augusta in 1995. I was writing some stories about Ben Hogan as part of a special section the Star-Telegram was planning. Dan was the ultimate authority on that subject, and we clicked instantly. He even wound up letting the S-T run an excerpt from a book he had in the works about Hogan as part of the section.

Soon thereafter, the book publisher called and asked if we could pay Dan “a little something” for using the excerpt. When Dan heard about that, he immediately shot down the idea and said he wanted the excerpt to be part of the Hogan section – as a free contribution from him — because he wanted to be a part of the effort to honor Ben in Fort Worth. If Fort Worth ever had a better ambassador than Dan Jenkins, I don’t know who it would have been.

Through the years, Dan and I became good friends. For me, one of the highlights of covering a golf major championship would be the time I’d get to spend with him, talking about college football or the state of the PGA Tour and what needed to be done to fix both. Dan had plenty of opinions, along with some great one-liners. I’ll always remember a story he told me about playing golf with Ben Hogan in front of a crowd and how nervous he was that day. After Dan struggled on the first hole, Hogan walked up beside him and said, “You know, I think you could swing a little bit faster if you really tried.” It was Hogan’s way of teasing him and urging him to slow down his swing. Dan said it was the best in-round golf tip he’d ever gotten.

As a Fort Worth native who grew up to be a sportswriter, Dan was always a hero to me. The first time he told me that he liked a story I had written, I felt about 10 feet tall because I could tell he meant it. He was a very genuine person. I’ve won a few awards through the years, but none of them ever meant as much to me as hearing “good job” from Dan Jenkins in regard to something I’d written.

Wendell Barnhouse:

I came across “Semi-Tough” by Dan Jenkins in a book store in Quincy, Illinois. The cover art was a curvaceous and scantily clad blonde astride a football. I was 21 and working at my second job at the wonderfully named Herald-Whig.

As I read it I was equally enthralled by the characters/story line and appalled at the raunchy language. My co-workers were quizzical when I kept saying “sumbitch.” With my typical lack of success, I went to bars at night “chasin’ wool.”

I had no idea who Dan Jenkins was – by then he had established himself as one of the top writers at Sports Illustrated. I was too dumb to realize or understand that I was captivated by a writer who during his career helped invent modern sports writing, the career I was pursuing.

That football season the local Catholic school I covered lost in the semifinals of the state tournament. I couldn’t resist starting my story by quoting Shake Tiller from “Semi-Tough”:

Hell, we all cried. You can take your wars and your starvation and your fires and your floods, but there’s no heartbreak in life like losing the big game in high school.

As Jenkins cranked out books, I found ‘em and read ‘em. “Dead Solid Perfect.” “You Gotta Play Hurt.” “Sports Make You Type Faster.” “Fast Copy.” “Life Its Ownself.” That’s far from a complete list. The more I read, the more familiar character types appeared but I hardly thought he was plagiarizing himself. The dialogue and the scenes were pitch perfect.

And there was this from “Baja Oklahoma,” the “ten stages of drunkenness:”
1, Witty & Charming
2. Rich and Powerful
3. Benevolent
4. Clairvoyant
5. F--k Dinner
6. Patriotic
7. Crank up the Enola Gay
8. Witty & Charming, Part II
9. Invisible
10. Bulletproof

I was always partial to No. 7.

As fate and luck and happenstance would have it, I spent over half of my career working in Dan’s hometown at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Starting in 1994 I started covering college football and a few years after that I learned Dan and his wife were moving back to Fort Worth.

Believing that he would likely be reading my stories, I fell into what should have been a career-ending habit – I started to try and write like Dan Jenkins. Thankfully, that was an unbearable burden and I went back to trying to make sure verbs agreed with subjects.

A few years after Dan had moved back to Fort Worth, I met him at Colonial. I was playing in the media event to preview that year’s PGA Tour stop. We were in the buffet line getting lunch. I introduced myself and he said, “You’ve got one of the greatest jobs covering college football.” Then he took me upstairs to show me the Hogan room.

What he said and what he did – proudly showing me and telling me about the great Ben Hogan – was one of the highlights of my career.

When I heard the news that Dan had passed away, I read the many tributes and condolences pouring across Twitter. Then I did what Dan called “typing,” a self-deprecating description of his wonderful writing style.

Soon on the No. 1 tee in Heaven there will be Dan Jenkins and his fantasy foursome Ben Hogan, Davey O’Brien and Sammy Baugh.

Hit ‘em straight and not too often, Dan.

Art Garcia:

I met Mr. Jenkins not long after assuming the TCU beat for the Star-Telegram in the fall of 1999. At first, I just thought he was another wealthy alum who for some reason just enjoyed hanging around the press box. And this was the old, scary press box at Amon G. Carter Stadium. The one with the rickety elevator and space heaters under your seats.

Having come from San Antonio, I had heard the name Dan Jenkins, but honestly didn’t know much about him. I was a fan of Sally Jenkins’ work. Her old man, I knew little.

That soon changed. Dan loved to talk TCU and writing. Not knowing much about the former and working to improve the latter, I was encouraged by our late, great sports editor Celeste Williams to nurture those sessions with Dan. I did just that.

Mr. Jenkins invited me to his home once. I have a faint memory of looking at memorabilia from his storied career. We talked about his books. He asked me what my dream beat would be. I answered the Dallas Mavericks. He shrugged. The NBA wasn’t his thing.

I soon got my wish and moved on from TCU. I didn’t see Dan much after that. But I began reading his books. For a time, I was obsessed. Dan Jenkins was alongside for many a road trip, with Semi-Tough, Dead Solid Perfect, Slim and None, Baja Oklahoma riding shotgun. Waiting for my next flight at a gate once, I remember Dan’s words forcing a real laugh-out-loud moment long before lol was a thing. I wrote about that in Postcards, a Page 2 staple of the of the old Star-Telegram sports section.

For many years, my fantasy football team was called the West Texas Tornadoes after the fictional NFL team founded by Billy Clyde Puckett. I always dreamed of playing Goat Hills.

When I’m in the Amon G. Carter Stadium press box these days, I can’t help but think of Mr. Jenkins. I’d like to think we all do. It’s always been his space.

Thank you for sharing. Rest in Peace, Dan Jenkins.

Mark Mourer:

I took a flier on “You Call It Sports,” when I was a junior at TCU, and am still laughing at how great that book was. Other than my wife, it’s the best thing I’ve picked up. That book inspired me to pursue sports writing, and still exists as a reminder that we should follow our dreams. Dan did, and we’re all better for it.

“All I ever wanted to be was a sports writer,” he said often. And he was the best. I think we are all grateful for having been literate while he was writing, either for the Fort Worth Press, or with his novels, or on Twitter.

He emailed me a little over a month ago saying that, as a result of doctor’s orders, he could no longer travel to cover golf. But he was still looking forward to tweeting during the majors courtesy of Golf Digest. Clearly, they knew they had a treasure there.

And so did I. I first met Dan when working with the TCU Frog Club. He came in to the office on a Friday afternoon with four books to autograph and give away at the next Frog Club Luncheon. This was in October of 1999, and I was able to stammer out a couple of lines from “Bubba Talks” as I nervously introduced myself to a hero and legend.

“You read that book?” Dan asked. “Not many people read that book…”

That an icon could humble himself with humor is one of the many memories that will stay with me. He remained accessible and appreciative of his fans throughout his career.

“I like people who like me,” he said in an interview once. Borrowing from our mutual friend Jim Tom Pinch in “You Call it Sports,” I was certainly “guilty.”

Thank you for the laughter, my friend. Hope you’re clacking away on a divine Smith-Corona, laughing with Blackie and them others while pinning great leads to the eternal Fort Worth Press bulletin board.

(The   “Riff, Ram, Bah Zoo” Gil LeBreton refers to  is TCU’s cheer:

Riff, Ram, Bah Zoo
Lickety, Lickety, Zoo, Zoo
Who, Wah, Wah, Who
Give 'em Hell, TCU!

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaGRYteckU8&feature=youtu.be

*********** I just happened on a Youtube video of Secretariat’s three Triple Crown races. What a horse!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kf8GRcSeneU

*********** Anytime I write about a football player who also wrestled, I get a great response from guys who love (or loved) wrestling. 

I loved pro wrestling as a kid - in the early days of TV (black and white, of course) Dennis James would broadcast wrestling from Madison Square Garden.  A woman named “Hatpin Mary” became famous for sitting at ringside and jabbing wrestlers she didn’t like. I still remember Gorgeous George, Chief Don Eagle, Kit Fox, Lord Carlton, Argentina Rocca, and on and on. 

But then, as I got involved in sports myself, I moved on to other things.

My interest was rekindled when we moved to Portland in 1975, and I discovered  “Portland Wrestling” - an 11 PM  Saturday night feature, with guys like Playboy Buddy Rose, Dutch Savage and Rowdy Roddy Piper.

There were promos on the show, telling us where the guys would be next week - Monday in Yakima, Tuesday in Bend, Wednesday in Grants Pass - you get the idea.

Wrestling was a regional thing then, as down-to-earth as a sport  could be.

But just as clothing stores and restaurants and pizza chains went national, so did wrestling . That killed off the local shows, along with my interest in it.  I didn’t like the way it was so scripted, so over-the-top. 

But then, over the years, 
I began to appreciate it again.   I began to see it as a pure American art form.  Poor man’s theatre, if you will.  And  there was no arguing with the success of a promoter like Vince McMahon, a guy who could put P.T. Barnum to shame.  I admired that.

Pro wrestling, it seems to  me, comes as close to explaining the Donald Trump phenomenon as anything else I’ve seen or heard. The wrestling itself may be phony at times, but not its fans.  And if ever a sport knew its audience, it’s wrestling.

No kneeling by those guys -  not unless it's a deliberate effort by a villain to enrage the fans. Boycott a visit  to the White House?  Only the bad guys would boycott - simply because it’s their job to piss people off.

(But once the coast was clear,  I bet they’d slip in the back door for an autograph and a picture with the Pres.)


***********  What the headline in USA Today said:

“Mack Brown thinks North Carolina can beat Clemson this season”

What Mack Brown really said: 

“We’re going to believe in our team, we’re going to be disciplined, we’re going to play hard every week, and we plan on winning every game,” Brown said.

“Some of the fans will laugh and say, you play Clemson and I said, you know, ‘if you don’t believe you can beat the national champ then why play the game. So it’s not always the best team, it’s whoever plays best that day.”

Wow.  Leave it to the pencil necks who “write sports” to find a headline like that in a coach's bland comments.

First of all, what he said was blown way out of proportion - nothing new there - but second of all, he expressed what all coaches, deep down,  have to believe.

We’ve all been there.  We’ve all been in a spot where we weren’t very good,  but we still believed it was possible, somehow,  to beat the toughest team on our schedule - if we played our best, and they didn’t.

The fact that we've seen it  happen before and we know that it’ll happen again keeps us coaching hard, whatever the odds.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/acc/2019/05/10/mack-brown-expects-north-carolina-beat-clemson/1166697001/

*********** Hi Hugh,

This morning’s blog sure brought back some memories. I remember the short time we spent with Gary Garland at North Beach. It was a fun time with the man who sure knew his football. My only regret is that we had such a short time together. We did seem to hit it off. Those were such great days with you, Connie, Mike, Gary and the rest of the staff. Turning that program around was some great work. I think of those days often and miss Mike terribly.

Best of luck at Aberdeen!

Jack Tourtillotte
Rangely, Maine

(Jack, a championship coach in Maine, had just retired, and took me up on my offer to come coach with me at North Beach.  What a terrific job he did coaching our line.  We took a team that was 1-9 the year before and wound up 7-3, with only a controversial last-minute TD catch and a missed last-second field goal attempt keeping us from the playoffs.  Gary came from Idaho and helped us in the pre-season, and a retired college teammate of mine, Mike Creamer, also volunteered for the season.  Mike, sadly, passed away in 2017.  Jack’s abilities as  cook - frying oysters and making chowder - almost surpassed his abilities as a coach.)

*********** You may know Petros Papadakis, who has a show on ESPN and before that was a pretty decent running back - and senior captain - at USC.

But unless you live in Southern California, you don’t know his dad, John Papadakis.  John was a linebacker at USC, and then from 1973 to 2010 owned and operated Papadakis Taverna, an extremely popular Greek restaurant in San Pedro, California.

Now, at the age of 69, he’s embarked on a second career - as a nightclub singer.


https://www.dailybreeze.com/2019/05/10/john-papadakis-ex-south-bay-restaurateur-usc-football-star-and-petross-dad-has-reinvented-himself-as-a-tony-bennett-style-crooner/

***********  Hugh,

Are you guys having to deal with this in Washington?

https://www.hookem.com/story/dotted-line-texas-high-school-coaches-believe-straight-line-recruiting/

I've said for as long as I've been a head coach that the rise of 7 on 7 leagues will become the "AAU" of high school football.  I've also told parents that their sons would be able to get the same "exposure" from me as they would from a recruiting service.  Besides I would do it free of charge instead of mom and dad spending a ton of money. 

Also, I think there are a lot of bulldozer parents today who would rather not rely on their son's head coach saying anything to a college recruiter for fear of knowing that the head coach would be honest in his evaluation of their son's skills, attitude, reliability, and character, and his parents.  I think those parents are the ones who prefer to pay for a service's BS, or rely on a 7 on 7 coach's BS just to get their kid a scholarship.

Hope all is going well in Aberdeen!  I didn't realize it was so close to Ocean Shores.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Joe - My thoughts on AAU - 7-on-7 are up above.  The Texas article is scary.  Notice that it’s the basketball-type atmosphere of 7-on-7 that’s the problem, and that’s all the result of  the wide open style of football that the NFL and the major colleges almost force on us.  In Washington it’s mainly a problem in large metro areas (primarily Seattle and Tacoma) where it’s easy for kids to move from school to school, thanks in part to “suggestions” from the 7-on-7 coaches and the gutlessness of a state governing body that winks at transfers.

*********** QUIZ: He was one big dude.   At first, they called him “Bigger Than Big Daddy,” a reference to the Baltimore Colts’ 6-8 Gene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb.  Later, as a pro wrestler,  he became known as “Big Cat.”

He was 6-9, 315, making him easily the biggest man in pro football at the time.

He had a 52-inch chest and a 39-inch waist.  He had 20-inch biceps and a 19-inch neck. And he wore size 18D shoes.

A native of Rayville, Louisiana, he attended Grambling on a basketball scholarship. (I suspect that may have been famed coach Eddie Robinson’s way of getting another scholarship for football, because he was definitely a football player,  and with him at one defensive end and future All-Pro Buck Buchanan at the other,  no one got outside against Grambling.)

Drafted fourth by the NFL Chicago Bears and 15th by the AFL San Diego Chargers, he chose San Diego.

He was All-AFL in all five of his years with the Chargers, but after a fall-out with management he played out his option in 1965,  and after becoming a free agent he signed with the Houston Oilers.

In 1967, he moved to Kansas City where for two seasons he was reunited with his old college teammate Buck Buchanan.  Playing inside now,  at defensive tackle,  he and the 6-7, 290 pound Buchanan were the largest pair of defensive linemen in the game.

He retired after the 1968 season.

Oh, yes.  The wrestling.  He started wrestling in the off-season, and after injuries ended his football career, he wrestled full time, starting in 1969.  He became cast as a heel, a bad guy, whose arrogance and big mouth made him a huge draw.   He retired as a wrestler in 1986, then spent a number of years as a color commentator. He’s in the both the WCW and WWF (WWE) Halls of Fame.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING ERNIE “BIG CAT” LADD

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS - CALIFORNIA


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

Ernie "The Big Cat" Ladd was an incredible athlete, but I wasn't previously aware of his civil rights impact.

https://youtu.be/S_w9LHztw5I

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

*********** Ernie Ladd would come into a territory and give a few A-List promotions (similar to Terry Funk) and get the fans riled up - and then leave the area.  He had one very good opening.  He could hurl an insult by telling the truth:

Gordon Solie: "...A man who needs no introduction...."
Ladd, interrupting (and very loud): "THANK YOU... Mister TeeVee Announcer."
GS: "Wellll, I..."
Ladd: "What's the matter with you?  Did I not treat you with respect?  Did I not address you as 'MIS-TER TeeVee Announcer?"  The fans got angry alright.

Oh, by the way.  Ernie Ladd was big.

Charlie Wilson
Crystal River, Florida


*********** QUIZ:  He was tall (6-4) and relatively underweight (he weighed just 205 as a rookie), but by the time of his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction he was called “the premier linebacker of his era.”

He was a quarterback in high school (Mantua, Ohio), but at Kent State, under the great Don James (who would gain fame at the University of Washington) he was converted to defensive end.  After another switch, he became a two-time all-MAC linebacker.

Drafted second by the Steelers, he was pressed into action at middle linebacker when starter Henry Davis was hurt,  and went on to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors as the Steelers won their first-ever Super Bowl over the Vikings.

He remained the Steelers’ middle linebacker for 11 seasons. 

He played on four Super Bowl winning teams… he was named to nine pro bowls… and he was six times named  all-Pro middle linebacker.

He was an extremely aggressive player,  and the tilted-nose play of the great Joe Greene helped keep blockers off him and left him relatively free to make tackles - he was credited with 1,479 in his career. Until slowed by turf toe in his final season, he averaged 146 tackles per season over this first ten season.

The Cover-Two defense of Bud Carson required him to play more deep-middle zone pass coverage than most of the prototypical  middle linebackers of the time, and he intercepted 28 passes in his career.

Adding to the fact that he was one of the game’s most intimidating players was  his fierce look: he was  missing his upper front teeth (knocked out in a high school basketball game).


american flagFRIDAY,  MAY 10, 2019   “Ultimately, the ‘learn-it-all’ will always do better than the ‘know-it-all.’”  Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft


*********** RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA CLINIC:

DATE AND TIME: SATURDAY, MAY 18 - 9 TO 4

SITE: SAME AS LAST YEAR
KNIGHTDALE RECREATION CENTER
LAWSON RIDGE ROAD
KNIGHTDALE, NORTH CAROLINA
(The site is an easy 30 minute drive east of RDU International Airport)

PRE-REGISTRATION $100 - AT THE DOOR $150

http://www.coachwyatt.com/clinics19.html

*********** My friend Gary Garland hasn’t been a head coach since becoming an AD in the 1990s, but he’s still up-to-date on what’s going on in football and I always enjoy our talks.  He’s “retired” now, if you can call it that, and I keep trying to pry him away to help us at Aberdeen, but he’s got too much upkeep to do on his farm in rural Idaho.

The other day, I asked him about something I remembered he’d told me, years go, about a really way-out thing he’d once done for summer conditioning.

He was coaching at Washougal, Washington  (where, after he became AD, he hired me), when he decided to put summer weight training in the hands of the kids.

Getting four senior leaders who lived in different sections of town - and had large enough garages or sheds - he set up weight training stations at their homes.  Mini-gyms, if you will.

The leaders each checked out a squat rack, a bench, several bars and 1,000 pounds or so of weights.

And each was responsible for roughly 10-15 players.

Gary gave them a set of instructions and told them, “You’re responsible - make it work.”

He said the kids loved it and they lived up to his expectations.  He said it really helped build accountability and togetherness.

I asked him why he stopped doing it  and, sounding over the phone as if he was still kicking himself in the ass, he said, “I did it my last three years of coaching - and then I took the AD position.”

He noted that those were his three best years in  a long coaching career.  His last team - 1994 - was 9-2.

(I asked if anybody at the school complained about the missing weights and racks and he laughed, because nobody but the football players lifted in the summer anyhow.)

*********** The National Football League, pleased with the wonderful  job it’s done helping to develop the character of America’s youth, has decided to expand its educational role to the UK, with the announcement of what it calls The NFL Academy.

It aims - I am not making this up - “to use American football to create life-changing educational and professional opportunities for young people.”  (You know, the same way it does in the US.)

The NFL Academy  will begin operations in September, and  “will offer student athletes aged 16-18 the opportunity to combine education with life skills and intensive training in the sport under full-time professional coaches.”

According to the article I read, “some of NFL’s highest-profile stars have pledged their support for the Academy and will serve in ambassadorial roles, which will include regular visits to help mentor the student athletes…. Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith–Schuster; NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice; Philadelphia Eagles’ British-born running back Jay Ajayi; and the Carolina Panthers’ London-raised defensive end Efe Obada. Other ambassadors will be announced in the future.”

Said Beckham, “The NFL Academy is a fantastic innovation and I feel privileged to be a part of it. I hope I can be an inspiration to young people who want to use football to make better lives for themselves and I am excited to be able to play a small part in their journey.”

How about a big hand for OBJ, who I’m sure is donating his time and efforts  - pro bono - to helping young people “make better lives for themselves.” And also for writing that statement.  If you believe that he did.

Oh - and did I mention that Nike is an “Academy partner?” Yup.  Good old Nike will provide the apparel for the “student athletes.”

There will  undoubtedly be some tuition involved, because I can’t imagine the NFL doing anything out of the goodness of its heart.   Especially after having paid out some $485 million to former players as a result of its concussion settlement.

https://www.americanfootballinternational.com/?p=97688

*********** When Truman Capote wrote his best-selling book, “In Cold Blood,” he told the “true story” of a couple of sadistic murderers, but he told it as though he had been along for the adventure, right there with them.  He claimed later that “In Cold Blood” represented a new form of literature - the “non-fiction novel.”

Damn him.

He’s one of the reasons why our history is vanishing before our eyes.

As a historian by education (well, at least I majored in history - and I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night), it galls me to see how much “history” is presented by Hollywood in the form of a work of fiction “based on a true story.”  It’s bulls—, but the viewing public laps it up - and believes it.

Writes Barton Swaim, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, "The words 'based on a true story' may mean 'packed with half-truths and outright lies,' and we are pretty much okay with that."

Besides distorting key facts in order to make a “better story,” writers now tell us exactly what long-dead characters said, or thought, knowing full well that there’s no one alive to refute them.

They write as if they had been a fly on the wall… As if they’d sat in on a cabinet meeting… or sat in a locker room before  a big game…

The editor of the New Yorker, in which “In Cold Blood” first appeared in 1965, was said to have written in the margins, next to dialogue that Capote had written as if he’d been right there with the murderers, “How know?” (Short for “How do you know this?”)

The answer, of course, is, he didn’t know.  But he wasn’t going to let that interfere with his telling of the story.  After all, it was “based on a true story.”

More and more that’s good enough for most Americans, and more and more, it’s how they get their “history.”

Football history, from “Friday Night Lights” to “Elmira Express” to “Remember the Titans” to “Invinceable” has not been spared the “based on a true story” treatment.


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

I enjoyed your thoughts on the huddle. It reminded me of Bill Curry's take on the huddle. I'm sure you've seen it, but it's worth another listen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGuFy2TBIag


Next, I deplore the spread of replay. The human element is one of the great things about sport. Replay is ruining sports, making it nearly impossible to watch pro sports. The trickle down is coming to high school football. I'm hoping that schools fight it because of cost for another 15 years, but I anticipate that we'll be dealing with it in 5 years.

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

Greg, I have Bill Curry’s book, but I’d never seen that video.  It’s great!

As for replay… I can Iive with human imperfection.   I can’t deal with review that simply reveals another layer of human imperfection!


*********** It sure sounds like commercial suicide to me, but then, it's a strange world, and growing stranger every day…

For the first time ever,  Bud Light is selling rainbow bottles for Pride Month to celebrate the LGBTQ community.

The bottle features words of inclusivity and support.

You can get the special bottle at bars nationwide from May 27 through June 30.

Bud Light will donate a dollar from every purchase to GLAAD

https://abc7news.com/food/bud-light-reveals-rainbow-bottle-for-pride-month/5287618/


*********** You get the idea that Army football player Amadeo West, an outside linebacker from Oceanside, California, gets his toughness from his mother.

After a torn left anterior cruciate ligament before his sophomore season and an injured right Achilles the following spring, he called his mother, Maria LoMedico.  He was down.  He told her he felt depressed. She recommended therapy and prayer, but when he said he wanted to quit football, she offered her own personal therapy:

Stop it.

“I’m not one of those easy moms that tells him, ‘Oh, it’s OK son, you just come home, I’ll take care of you. You don’t want to do it anymore, it’s OK.’ There was none of that in my house,” LoMedico said. “You get your butt up again and you just keep on going.”

When West was 6 years old, LoMedico pulled him off the basketball team and stuck him on the football field so he could learn to be more aggressive. As a defensive lineman in Pop Warner, West would get hit by the opposition and crawl into a ball on the ground. “If you’re not going to play, if you’re not going to tackle, I’m just going to pull you out,” LoMedico yelled onto the field.


https://www.recordonline.com/collegevarsity/20190325/toughness-instilled-in-army-linebacker-west-at-young-age


*********** I don’t think ANY athlete is deserving of the Presidential Medal of Freedom simply for what he or she has accomplished as an athlete, and I certainly don’t believe that Tiger Woods, whose “comeback” was largely from self-inflicted adversity, is worthy.

But he’s certainly not the first recipient whose worthiness I’ve questioned, and I do find it hilarious that the liberal media who once worshipped at Woods’ feet when they saw him simply as a minority golfer tearing up the tour, who once thought it was cool the way he exemplified a multiracial America (he once said he was “Cablinasian” - Caucasian, Black, Indian, Asian), now deride him because it turns out he’s a friend of (gasp) Donald Trump, and denounce him because he’s so busy playing golf he doesn’t have time to be protesting in the streets.

*********** “Every time the New York Times runs another anti-Semitic cartoon (and it will), each time a left-wing member of Congress questions the patriotism or morality of American Jews (and one will), and on every occasion Jewish students are harassed on campus (and they will be), we go another mile down the road to the well-known historical disaster that is looming ahead.”    Victor Davis Hansen

*********** Legendary Ole Miss coach Johnny Vaught, in his memoirs “Rebel Coach,” noted that in marrying the former Johnsie Stinson, of Chattanooga, he’d found himself a true coach’s wife.  His first job was as an assistant at North Carolina, and he wrote…

It didn’t take me long to discover that I’d married a football fan. Until our son, John, was born in Duke Hospital on June 23, 1942, Johnsie came out to the field and watched our practices. I set up a room in our house for film study with the staff and I remember the night Johnsie tiptoed into the room and asked, “If I stay quiet, can I watch, too?” The staff voted her in. Later, she said she didn’t really know what football was all about until she sat in on our film sessions.


***********  Not unlike a college football team trying to recapture lost glory by wearing “throwback uniforms,” the United States Army is taking a figurative step back in time to the days when it was still allowed to defeat enemies and win wars,  adopting World War II-style uniforms.

The United States Army wanted a spiffy new service uniform, one that would stand out in a tough recruiting environment and polish the Army’s image after a generation of grinding and divisive wars.

So it turned the clock back. Way back.

It chose a new uniform that looks almost exactly like the old green gabardine wool field coat and khaki trousers that officers wore in World War II. Probably not by coincidence, that’s what the Army was wearing the last time the nation celebrated total victory in a major war.

Now that that's out of the way, maybe it's time to take on the  Rules of Engagement.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/05/us/new-army-greens-uniform.html


***********  Hugh,

Always great to catch up with former players! 

Tackle to Tackle.  Yep, have heard that very same response from officials over the last 15 years.  What's worse?  In every state I've been a coach officials have a pre-season meeting to discuss rules changes, emphasis on certain rules, decorum, etc. etc.  But in all of those meetings, over all of those years, in all of those different states, football officials still seem to  miss the rule about the free blocking zone!  Just a matter of time before everything we do in our offense is outlawed altogether.

Kentucky Derby.  Bad enough that they made that call to overturn the outcome.  What's worse?  Maximum Drive's owner is now going to sue???  Puhlease!!  Suck it up buttercup!  You got screwed!  It happened to all of us at one time or another, and we'd b----, gripe, complain, etc. about it to our graves.  There have been plenty of disputed horse races over the years.  But I guess in today's world of horse racing if you lose...you sue?  Is it fair then to call Maximum Drive's owner a horse's ass??

Regarding the new rules.  Just more rules for the officials to not know, or to screw up!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** Your comments on the huddle reminded me of George Will, a baseball fan, but no fan of American football. He's an Illini grad, so that's probably why...His line about football...“Football combines two of the worst things in American life. It is violence punctuated by committee meetings.”

Mark Kaczmarek
Davenport, Iowa


***********  QUIZ: Lance Alworth grew up in Hog Chain, Mississippi - that is not made up - and went to nearby Brookhaven High School, where he won 12 letters. He was heavily recruited by a number of schools, but not by his home state school,  Ole Miss - because he was married (he was 17 and his wife was 15) and Ole Miss coach Johnny Vaught had a rule against players being married.

Instead, he went to Arkansas, lured there by Frank Broyles, and after leading the nation in punt return yards in 1960 and 1961, and starring as a sprinter on the track team, he was a consensus All-American running back his senior season.

He was also a three-time Academic All-American.

He was a first round draft pick of the NFL 49ers and the AFL Raiders, and after the Raiders traded his rights to San Diego, he signed with the Chargers.

He had a mediocre rookie season, but then,  teaming with QB John Hadl, he went on to become probably the best receiver in Pro Football - this despite the fact that he was maybe 5-10, 180, and despite the fact that many sports media types clung to the notion that the AFL was inferior to the NFL.

In 1966, he led the AFL in five different receiving categories.

In 11  seasons  in the AFL and NFL he had 543 receptions for 10,266 yards. In addition, he rushed for 129 yards, returned 29 punts for 309 yards, returned 10 kickoffs for 216 yards, and scored 87 touchdowns.

To this day, he still holds - or co-holds - five NFL receiving records, and 14 franchise records.

After nine years in San Diego, he was  traded to Dallas,  where he played two more seasons.  He scored the Cowboys’ first TD in their 24-3 Super Bowl win over the Dolphins.

He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and is the only player to be named to the AFL All-Time Team and the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.

Lance Alworth was the first Charger  - as well as the first player who had played in the AFL -  to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  He was presented at the induction ceremony by Raiders’ owner  Al Davis, who had been his original position coach in San Diego.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING LANCE ALWORTH

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
RALPH BALDUCCI - PORTLAND, OREGON (to me one of the greatest players to put on a helmet!)
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA ( One of the best football players ever!)
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY (I know that I sound like a broken record, but I watched many AFL games.  I had the pleasure of watching him many  times.  His speed was amazing and his ability to make over the shoulder catches and elude tacklers was amazing. I consider him the best receiver in NFL history.  That includes Jerry Rice!)
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

*********** Thanks to Greg Koenig for this Lance Alworth video:

I had to do research just to check my answer to this week's quiz. I was 95% sure that the answer was Lance Alworth. What an amazing athlete he was.

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


*********** QUIZ: He was one big dude.   At first, they called him “Bigger Than Big Daddy,” a reference to the Baltimore Colts’ 6-8 Gene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb.  Later, as a pro wrestler,  he became known as “Big Cat.”


He was 6-9, 315, making him easily the biggest man in pro football at the time.


He had a 52-inch chest and a 39-inch waist.  He had 20-inch biceps and a 19-inch neck. And he wore size 18D shoes.

A native of Rayville, Louisiana, he attended Grambling on a basketball scholarship. (I suspect that may have been famed coach Eddie Robinson’s way of getting another scholarship for football, because he was definitely a football player,  and with him at one defensive end and future All-Pro Buck Buchanan at the other,  no one got outside against Grambling.)

Drafted fourth by the NFL Chicago Bears and 15th by the AFL San Diego Chargers, he chose San Diego.

He was All-AFL in all five of his years with the Chargers, but after a fall-out with management he played out his option in 1965,  and after becoming a free agent he signed with the Houston Oilers.

In 1967, he moved to Kansas City where for two seasons he was reunited with his old college teammate Buck Buchanan.  Playing inside now,  at defensive tackle,  he and the 6-7, 290 pound Buchanan were the largest pair of defensive linemen in the game.

He retired after the 1968 season.

Oh, yes.  The wrestling.  He started wrestling in the off-season, and after injuries ended his football career, he wrestled full time, starting in 1969.  He became cast as a heel, a bad guy, whose arrogance and big mouth made him a huge draw.   He retired as a wrestler in 1986, then spent a number of years as a color commentator. He’s in  both the WCW and WWF (WWE) Halls of Fame.



american flagTUESDAY,  MAY 7, 2019   “Alumni are loyal if a coach wins all his games.”  Bob Zuppke, legendary Illinois coach

*********** RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA CLINIC:

DATE AND TIME: SATURDAY, MAY 18 - 9 TO 4

SITE: SAME AS LAST YEAR
KNIGHTDALE RECREATION CENTER
LAWSON RIDGE ROAD
KNIGHTDALE, NORTH CAROLINA
(The site is an easy 30 minute drive east of RDU International Airport)

PRE-REGISTRATION $100 - AT THE DOOR $150
(SORRY, ROOM SIZE PRECLUDES MY BEING ABLE TO OFFER A STAFF DISCOUNT)

http://www.coachwyatt.com/clinics19.html


*********** I don’t have the fancy graphics ready yet so the page hasn’t been updated, but my new “Practice Planner” is now shipping. I admire the patience of a few guys who waited rather than get the old one.  I just didn’t feel it was right to ship them the old Practice Planner when a new one was in works.  (That was a year ago.)

It’s laminated and durable so you can  take it out on the field with you as a “coach’s helper”

The old one was six pages -  this one is ELEVEN pages:

PAGE 1: ELIMINATING THE WAYS EVEN GOOD TEAMS BEAT THEMSELVES

PAGE 2: GENERAL PRACTICE TIPS FOR A DOUBLE-WING STAFF

PAGE 3: GLOSSARY OF THE TERMS THAT APPEAR ON PLAYERS' WRISTCARDS

PAGES 4-5: TWO PAGES OF RUNNING PLAY ASSIGNMENTS JUST AS THEY APPEAR ON THE CARDS

PAGES 6-10 : FIVE PAGES OF PASS PLAYS - RECEIVERS' ASSIGNMENTS AND DIAGRAMS

PAGE 11: ONE PAGE DEVOTED TO SCREENS

I know you’ll find it to be a BIG help!

http://www.coachwyatt.com/practiceplanner.html

*********** Start… Stop… Continue

I got it from my daughter, Julia Love, who’s spent a number of years in the corporate world..

It’s a great way to get employees’ evaluations of things… or getting students’ evaluations of a teacher or a course… or coming into a new football program and finding out the things that matter to your new players.

We asked this of our returning players at Aberdeen (Washington) High  recently - write the head coach an email introducing yourself, and tell him what aspects of the football program you’d like to see started, stopped, or continued.

The results have been instructive.  Of course the answers vary, and we do have to allow for the possibility that players may have consulted with one another, but it’s a helpful guide when the same thing keeps popping up - “I’d like to see us start this…” or “I’d like to put a stop to…”

Thank you, Julia.

I also take off my hat to the teachers  at Aberdeen High. For the most part, the kids write pretty well.


Carson Ketter and me

*********** Last weekend I got together with former player Carson Ketter for the last time before he heads off to the CFL.  Next Wednesday, the 15th, he reports to BC Lions’ rookie camp in Kamloops, BC. Veterans report the following Sunday, and - they don’t screw around up in Canada -  a week later the Lions have their first pre-season game.

Every time I see Carson it’s tougher and tougher for me to remember him as a 5-7, 140-pound sophomore QB.  He’s now 6-3-1/2, and he’s up to a rock-hard 218.  The Lions project him as a safety, but they might start thinking “linebacker” when they see his size (and speed - at Pacific Lutheran, he was conference 100 champion and qualified for the D-III national meet).

He’s a great kid, one of the finest all-around individuals I’ve had the honor of coaching, and as his QB coach we had a very close relationship.  I can’t imagine anything much more exciting than seeing him make it in the CFL.

(The irony of this all is that in high school he was so valuable to us as QB - he was all we had - that we never let him play a down of defense.)

*********** Give… me… a… break.

Transgender powerlifter Mary Gregory recently celebrated the feat of smashing four women’s weightlifting records at the same event, but opponents cried foul since Gregory was born a man and only recently announced becoming a transgender woman.

https://www.breitbart.com/sports/2019/05/01/trans-woman-smashes-four-female-weightlifting-records-one-event/



nb guys at powerlifting
Ben Bridge squatting

*********** Speaking of powerlifting - on Saturday I attended the state Powerlifting Meet, held (for my convenience) at North Beach High. Powerlifting is not yet a state-sanctioned sport, but it’s growing rapidly and, surprisingly, among girls.  (I didn’t see any who looked like transgenders, but in all honesty, I wasn’t looking that hard.)

Although it’s exciting watching kids do their damnedest to get that weight up in the air, powerlifting is not a great spectator sport because there’s a lot of waiting in between those brief moments of excitement.  The meet started at 9 AM with the squat event, and it wasn’t until close to noon before they finally got around to the heavyweight boys.

In the top photo, I enjoyed a mini-reunion with three former North Beach players - Ben Bridge on the far left, Tim Poplin in the middle, and Seth Bridge behind Tim.  Tim, Seth and I were there to watch Ben, now a senior at Elma High where his dad’s been AD. Ben was there as a contender for top lifter in the state (highest total pounds for the three lifts - squat, bench press, and deal lift).

In the bottom photo, Ben has just finished squatting 500 pounds. That’s his dad (and my head coach) , Todd, standing behind him. On his next lift, Ben went aggressive,  going for 550.  But he didn’t make it, so 500 stood as his best squat, and as a result he wound up in second place overall, 5 pounds behind the state champion.

It’s been a great senior year for Ben.  An outstanding thrower on the track team, he wrestled during the winter and was the starting center on Elma’s 8-3 football team. And he’s going to be the class valedictorian.

*********** Huddling after every play has long been a part of football.  Although its origin is in some dispute, it’s been a part of our game since before World War I.

Now, with the increasing appearance of no-huddle offenses, I think that football is losing something that makes the game unique.

To me, the huddle is the football equivalent of the hunting camp - guys coming together after a day of hunting with various degrees of success and sharing their experiences. (Some people might call that “bull-sh—ing.”)

The huddle can give a couple of linemen a brief chance to revel in their just having put a defender on his back… or a chance for the quarterback to remind the team, “We need this first down” ... or for a senior lineman to tell a sophomore running back, “Hang onto the damn ball!”

It's also, believe it or not, a great way to tell everybody the play call.

And sometimes,  as the great Dave Nelson, inventor of the Delaware Wing-T and longtime chairman of the NCAA rules committee, was known to say, it’s a chance to “bleed together in secret.”

*********** Imagine that you’ve just been named head coach someplace. And then imagine that your predecessor will remain on the job - with all his powers - for another three months, when you’ll officially take over.

As long as we’re going to trash the Electoral College and add five or six new justices to the Supreme Court - which  the sore-loser Democrats seem to think is necessary - here’s something that really does need changing: the length of the “transition period” between the President’s election and his inauguration, a period of time dictated by the historical fact that when the Constitution was written, and  no man could travel any faster than a horse or a boat would carry him, it would take weeks for a person to travel from one of the far-flung states to Philadelphia.

Writes Mark Steyn (perhaps the world’s wittiest Canadian):

It is forty years this weekend since Mrs Thatcher was driven to Buckingham Palace to become Britain's Prime Minister. The election was held on May 3rd,  1979, and the following morning, on May 4th, the Thatchers took possession of 10 Downing Street. (None of this three-month US-style transition period that enabled the outgoing Obama Administration to screw over the incoming Trump team and get the phony-baloney "Russia investigation" all set up.)


*********** There's really nothing to stop us from doing all manner of things  contrary to the Bible’s teaching and call ourselves "Christians" but still…

“Mayor Buttigieg says he’s a gay Christian. As a Christian I believe the Bible which defines homosexuality as sin, something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized. The Bible says marriage is between a man & a woman—not two men, not two women.” Reverend Franklin Graham

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article229629454.html#storylink=cpy

*********** Just so you know why I don’t teach my Tight Ends to “shoeshine” block any more.  This was from September, 2004 and I was coaching at Madison High in Portland…

*** We had a coverup worthy of CBS and Dan Rather in our game Friday night.

In our first offensive drive, we ran a wide play to our right which went for about 10 yards. But, no-o-o-o - flag on the play. The signal was for an illegal block below the waist.

On the phones up in the box, I heard our coach, Tracy Jackson, inquire about who it was on, and I heard the sideline official tell him, "Number 42."

That would be our playside tight end. On the play in question, his job was to reach a man in a "9" technique. If he is able to, he may scramble-block the guy, bear-crawling through his outside leg. Perfectly legal, since both men started out in the free-blocking zone, both started out on the line of scrimmage, and the contact occured in the free-blocking zone.

I heard Tracy tell that to the official next to him on the sideline, and the guy responded, "the free-blocking-zone is from tackle to tackle."

Rule 2, Section 17, Article 1 - "The free-blocking zone is a rectangular area extending laterally 4 yards either side of the spot of the snap and 3 yards behind each line of scrimmage. A player is in the free-blocking zone when any part of his bpdy is in the zone at the snap."

See anything in there about "tackle to tackle?" Neither did I. Not only was our tight end completely inside the free-blocking zone, but with our minimal splits, he is still inside it even when we go unbalanced.

Oh, sh--,  I thought. After all the horror stories I get from youth coaches who run into situations like this, we've got a guy who doesn't know one of the most basic rules of the game.

So Tracy used a time out for a conference,  and he explained to the white hat that we know our offense, and we know the rules that apply, and what our tight end did was perfectly legal.

The ref nodded his head and said, "We'll keep an eye on it from now on." (I'm still listening to all this.)
No, no, Tracy said - I'm talking about this last play. That penalty was applied only because the sideline official - the guy who made the call - didn't understand the rule, as his statement made abundantly clear.
The ref could have picked up the flag and waved it over his head and let the play stand.   And go explain it to the other coach.   We all make mistakes.

But, no-o-o-o.  Here we were at a Friday night high school football game, and we're witness to a coverup worthy of the most corrupt of public officials.   Or TV networks.

That ref knew damn well that our kids had been dealt with unfairly by a member of his crew, but he was more concerned with covering up for his incompetent buddy than he was about the integrity of the game.

Sorry, he said. Play on. First and 25.

We didn't have a decent drive the rest of the half.  (We did win the game, though.)

As the officials walked off the field at halftime, I found myself behind them and just couldn't resist.  "You guys do know what the free blocking zone is, right?" I asked helpfully.

"Yeah," one of them muttered.

UPDATE:  I've given up.  Ask any of today's officials what the "free blocking zone" is and despite what the rule book says, he'll say,  "from tackle to tackle."

*********** Two things pissed me off about that Kentucky Derby result:

First,  how can you put 20 horses in a race and not expect to have bumping?  Time to put an end to that trophies-for-everybody foolishness.

And second, where was the justice?  Yes, the first-place winner was punished - disqualified - but no wrong was righted.  All they did was move up the second-place finisher - a horse that wasn’t even bothered in the slightest by the first-place horse’s supposed misdeed.

It was as if,  following the  horrendous non-call that cost the Saints a spot in the last Super Bowl, the commissioner of the NFL had vacated the Rams’ victory - and then awarded their Super Bowl spot to the Cowboys.

*********** I just read your news and was absolutely stunned by the Caslen ordeal. Sent the links to Randy. I remember over 3 yrs ago I spent an hour with General Caslen in his office. He was a down to earth man who i talked with about many things. Yes, the football topic was fun.  Two lineman talking about the old ways of doing things. Never forget that moment in time.

Mike Foristiere
Topeka, Kansas

Mike Foristiere’s middle son, Randy, is now a first-classman at West Point. He played for his dad in Boise, Idaho, and in Wahluke, Washington, where he was a Black Lion Award winner his senior year. One Thanksgiving, when he couldn’t leave post, General Caslen asked him to have dinner with his family.  That’s the kind of man General Caslen is. (Randy, unfortunately, had to decline.)


***********  Long-time Ole Miss Coach Johnny Vaught, in his book, “Rebel Coach,” published in 1971, tells how close he came to losing perhaps the greatest player in his school’s history.

We have a “big brother” system at Ole Miss, with the seniors and juniors keeping an eye on the younger boys.  Bobo Uzzle, a defensive end, was Archie Manning’s big brother.  Once, in his freshman year,  Archie failed to make up Bobo’s bed, and Uzzle got out the paddle.

But before Archie came in, Bobo met another lineman, Alan Bush, and told him, “I’m going to put the board to Archie.”

“Listen Bobo,” Bush said, “defensive ends are a dime a dozen, and you know how Coach Vaught has been looking for a good quarterback since 1964.”

Archie escaped the paddle.

*********** PROVIDED BY THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION

Rogers Redding, the national coordinator of College Football Officiating, takes a look at the final rules changes for 2019. 

Final Major Rules Changes for 2019
          
The NCAA football rules committee met in Indianapolis in late February and voted to recommend a number of changes for the 2019 season. In this column, we discuss the final changes as approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP) on April 22. This is an update from a column earlier.
          
Under the NCAA’s two-year rules process, 2019 is an “off year” for any changes other than those that directly impact the safety of the players. Player-safety rules are always on the table, and this year there are several changes in that category.

Targeting

The targeting foul has been one of the key rules in college football for a number of years. It carries the most severe penalty in the game: player disqualification. The rule calls for a player committing a targeting foul that is sustained by Instant Replay to be ejected from the game and suspended for the next half of play. This means that a player disqualified in the second half must also sit out the first half of his team’s next game.
          
This year, the rules committee further strengthened the penalty, addressing the issue of repeat offenders. There is now a progressive penalty for targeting. Under the new rule, a player who is ejected for a third or more targeting foul anytime during the season also will be ineligible for the entire next game. So, for example, suppose a player is disqualified for targeting in two games any time during the season. If he then is ejected for a third or more targeting foul anytime during the rest of the season, he will be suspended also for the entire next game.
          
It doesn’t matter when this additional foul happens: whether it’s in the first quarter or the fourth quarter, he will be ineligible for the whole next game. Also, it doesn’t matter when the next game is played. It might be during the bowl season, a national championship game, or possibly the first game of the next season. It’s his team’s next scheduled game---whenever that is.
          
The role of instant replay in administering the targeting foul is also being changed. Every targeting foul goes for instant replay review, as in the past. But starting in 2019, the replay official is to look at all aspects of the play and make one of two rulings: either the call on the field is confirmed or it is overturned. A ruling of “Stands” will no longer be possible for a targeting review.

Wedge Blocking on Kickoffs
 
         
For a number of years, the three-man wedge has been illegal on kickoffs. This is when three players on the receiving team align shoulder-to-shoulder within two yards of each other to block for the ball carrier. Beginning in 2019, this rule is even more restrictive: the two-man wedge will be illegal and will carry a 15-yard penalty. As in the past, the wedge is not illegal during an onside kick or when the play results in a touchback. The only change is that the two-man wedge is outlawed.

Blindside Blocks
          
A player delivers a blindside block when the opponent cannot see the block coming in time to defend himself. For a number of years, such a block has been outlawed as a targeting foul if it includes forcible contact to the head or neck area. In 2019, the new rules will broaden the restrictions for blindside blocks. It will now be illegal to deliver a blindside block by attacking an opponent with forcible contact, no matter where the contact is made. The words attacking and forcible will be key for the officials on the field in calling this foul. If the contact is to the head or neck area, it is still a targeting foul. But now it will be a personal foul even if by rule it is not a targeting foul—that is, even if the block is not to the head or neck area. The blindside block foul will carry a 15-yard penalty.

Overtime
 
         
This past season featured a game that went for seven extra periods. Although the vast majority of overtime games are decided much sooner—say, in two or three extra periods—there is the occasional game that goes longer. The rules committee feels that players may become extremely fatigued in such long games, thus making them much more susceptible to injury.
          
Beginning in 2019, starting with the fifth overtime, each team will have only one play: a two-point conversion attempt from the three-yard line. For a number of years, beginning with the third overtime a team that scores a touchdown must attempt a two-point conversion. This will still be true for the third and fourth overtimes.

But beginning with the fifth overtime, the new one-play-per-team rule will take effect.

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

With Gino Marchetti's passing it feels as if the chapter on old school football is quickly closing.  As I get older and reflect on how things were I can now appreciate (instead of poo-pooing) why the "old-timers" would brag and boast about how things were done in their day.  Witnessing change is hard, but now that I'm encroaching upon that "old-timer" tag I find not being able to prevent change is even harder.  Now I get it.

So what do they do with dead beached whales?  Can't imagine what the stench will be after a few weeks!

It is those same liberal professors in this country that are fueling the minds of the same young warped liberal politicians popping up in this country.  The very same politicians like Gavin Newsome in California who has introduced a bill in CA that prevents public school administrators/teachers from suspending students who are willfully disruptive in the classroom.  My brother is a teacher in a middle school in CA, and his daughter is a learning director at a high school.  They both tell me that IF this asinine bill becomes law they along with thousands of educators will be looking for jobs in private schools, or other states.  I have a feeling both of them will be making a trip to Austin.  Also, I can't help but think that the private schools in CA are licking their chops at the prospect of filling all of their seats.

Enjoy your weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Just a wild guess, but I would imagine that certain “minority” lawmakers are behind this, and that they have intimidated other cowardly lawmakers (but I repeat myself) of the non-minority category into going along rather than being branded as “racists.”  Perhaps someone can explain to  me how any youngsters of any race are well served educationally by schools’  ignoring “willful defiance.” 
 
*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Jack Bicknell was born in New Jersey and did most of his coaching in New England, but they called him “Cowboy Jack” because he liked country music.

He went to college at Montclair State, then was an assistant for eight years at Boston College before being named head coach at Maine.  Although his record at Maine was less than stellar, he was hired as head coach at Boston College, where in ten years he built a 59-55 record.

His 1984 BC team went 10-2 and beat Bill Yeoman and Houston, 45-28 in the Cotton Bowl, but it’s best known for one of the most exciting plays in football history, the Hail Mary pass from Doug Flutie to Gerard Phelan to beat Miami as time ran out.

Flutie was awarded that year’s Heisman Trophy.

After leaving BC, Bicknell coached in Europe, coachin the Barcelona Dragons for 11 years, followed by  short stints as head coach of the Scottish Claymores and the Hamburg Sea Devils.

His son and namesake, Jack Bicknell, Jr.,  is now offensive line coach at Ole Miss.


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JACK BICKNELL:

JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA, AUSTIN, TEXAS
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY
JERRY GORDON - SOUTH CHATHA, MASSACHUSETTS
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA

*********** Courtesy of Greg Koenig…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3ykWbu2Gl0&list=PLncjtbLcLWBI_0RNzWfOYuhgZlDXf3iA-

*********** I played at UMass and actually tackled Flutie...Well, I grabbed him by the ankle and another player had to come over and help me out...

Jerry Gordon
South Chatham, Massachusetts

***********  QUIZ: He grew up in Hog Chain, Mississippi - that is not made up - and went to nearby Brookhaven High School, where he won 12 letters. He was heavily recruited by a number of schools, but not by his home state school,  Ole Miss - because he was married (he was 17 and his wife was 15) and Ole Miss coach Johnny Vaught had a rule against players being married.

Instead, he went to Arkansas, lured there by Frank Broyles, and after leading the nation in punt return yards in 1960 and 1961, and starring as a sprinter on the track team, he was a consensus All-American running back his senior season.

He was also a three-time Academic All-American.

He was a first round draft pick of the NFL 49ers and the AFL Raiders, and after the Raiders traded his rights to San Diego, he signed with the Chargers.

He had a mediocre rookie season, but then,  teaming with QB John Hadl, he went on to become probably the best receiver in Pro Football - this despite the fact that he was maybe 5-10, 180, and despite the fact that many sports media types clung to the notion that the AFL was inferior to the NFL.

In 1966, he led the AFL in five different receiving categories.

In 11  seasons  in the AFL and NFL he had 543 receptions for 10,266 yards. In addition, he rushed for 129 yards, returned 29 punts for 309 yards, returned 10 kickoffs for 216 yards, and scored 87 touchdowns.

To this day, he still holds - or co-holds - five NFL receiving records, and 14 franchise records.

After nine years in San Diego, he was  traded to Dallas,  where he played two more seasons.  He scored the Cowboys’ first TD in their 24-3 Super Bowl win over the Dolphins.

He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and is the only player to be named to the AFL All-Time Team and the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.

He was the first Charger  - as well as the first player who had played in the AFL -  to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  He was presented at the induction ceremony by Raiders’ owner  Al Davis, who had been his original position coach in San Diego.


american flagFRIDAY,  MAY 3, 2019    "If we need to throw 10 passes in practice to get it right - forget it. We don't have the time." Joe Paterno


*********** RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA CLINIC:

DATE AND TIME: SATURDAY, MAY 18 - 9 TO 4

SITE: SAME AS LAST YEAR
KNIGHTDALE RECREATION CENTER
LAWSON RIDGE ROAD
KNIGHTDALE, NORTH CAROLINA
(The site is an easy 30 minute drive east of RDU International Airport)

PRE-REGISTRATION $100 - AT THE DOOR $150
(SORRY, ROOM SIZE PRECLUDES MY BEING ABLE TO OFFER A STAFF DISCOUNT)

http://www.coachwyatt.com/clinics19.html


*********** I don’t have the fancy graphics ready yet so the page hasn’t been updated, but my new “Practice Planner” is now shipping. I admire the patience of a few guys who waited rather than get the old one.  I just didn’t feel it was right to ship them the old Practice Planner when a new one was in works.  (That was a year ago.)

It’s laminated and durable so you can  take it out on the field with you as a “coach’s helper”

The old one was six pages -  this one is ELEVEN pages:

PAGE 1: ELIMINATING THE WAYS EVEN GOOD TEAMS BEAT THEMSELVES

PAGE 2: GENERAL PRACTICE TIPS FOR A DOUBLE-WING STAFF

PAGE 3: GLOSSARY OF THE TERMS THAT APPEAR ON PLAYERS' WRISTCARDS

PAGES 4-5: TWO PAGES OF RUNNING PLAY ASSIGNMENTS JUST AS THEY APPEAR ON THE CARDS

PAGES 6-10 : FIVE PAGES OF PASS PLAYS - RECEIVERS' ASSIGNMENTS AND DIAGRAMS

PAGE 11: ONE PAGE DEVOTED TO SCREENS

I know you’ll find it to be a BIG help!

http://www.coachwyatt.com/practiceplanner.html


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

Spent the past couple of days as our school's admin at the Class 6A state golf tournament.  Neither our boys team or girls team qualified, but two of our individuals did.  Our lone girl (a sophomore) finished in the Top 10.  Our lone boy (a senior) finished tied for 13th.  The sophomore made All-State, and the senior just missed by three shots (probably the three 3 putts he had during his last round).

Congratulations on the new gig!  Nice to see you get back in the game working with a trusted friend and one heckuva football coach!  I can't help but think that the Aberdeen Bobcats will soon be competing for championships. 

Don't get me started on the Chinese.

QUIZ:  Les Richter  (This one was easy for me after being raised in Fresno)  Les Richter was a household name in Fresno sports circles.  His heroics on the football field at Fresno High in the late 1940's were legendary.  He was also the captain of the team and student body president.

PS - I'm also back in coaching at Hyde Park, the same school where I was the OC when I first moved to Austin.  I will be coaching the O Line and the ILBers. 

Have a great day!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Joe,

First of all, congratulations on your new coaching job.   I’m very happy for you (and I hope that somehow you can avoid having to teach holding)!

I’m sure that getting out there again and working with kids who respond to your coaching will re-energize you!

One of the things we’re running into at Aberdeen is a lack of good assistant candidates.  A few of the holdovers seem to think that they still have their jobs and they’re not making it easy for Todd.  

What a great opportunity this would be for the Gutillas to spend a football season finding out if they like the Washington Coast (hint, hint.)

I knew you’d like Les Richter.  What a guy.  He was the class valedictorian - at CAL!  Imagine, nowadays, a two-time All-American (and those Cal teams were good) addressing a college graduation as its valedictorian.  

Congratulations again!


*********** Please tell me you’re not one of those foolish coaches who look at a kid and automatically assume that because he looks the part of a player, he must be a good player. 

H. L. Mencken, the famous Sage of Baltimore, would have branded you an idealist - and here’s what he had to say about that.  “An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.”

*********** It’s still early in the season, but coming out of April, attendance for 12 of the 30 Major League Baseball teams is down.

Meanwhile, the rubes in Portland are tripping all over themselves trying to lure a big-league  team to the Rose City when the truth is MLB would probably pay them to take the Rays and move them out of Tampa. 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2019/04/30/mlb-attendance-first-month/3626164002/


*********** Coach: What program do you use to draw plays with in your open wing manual? I like the clarity of them.

I use Playmaker Pro to draw plays.

It’s a very useful program (oops - got to remember to start saying “app”). I highly recommend it.

http://www.playmakerpro.net/



*********** Everybody knows the story of Abraham Lincoln and the succession of failures - in love, in business, in politics - that preceded his eventual election to the presidency.

There’s Dwight Eisenhower, too. Between World Wars I and II, for  a period of 16 years, he was stuck at the rank of Major.  He was 53 years old, 28 years after graduating from West Point, when he was given command of Allied Forces in Europe.  He was 62 when he was elected President for the first time.

And there’s Winston Churchill.  He was blamed for the World War I disaster at Gallipoli, in 1917, and held a series of lower level positions until 1940 - at the age of 66 - when he became Prime Minister and his leadership rallied the British people against the Nazi blitz.

You might call Lincoln, Eisenhower and Churchill “late bloomers.” 

"A late bloomer,” writes Rich Karlgaard in his book, appropriately titled “Late Bloomers,” “is a person who fills their potential later than expected; they often have talents that aren’t visible to others initially… They are not attempting to satisfy, with gritted teeth, the expectations of their parents or society, a case path that leads to burnout and brittleness, or even to depression and illness.”

Late bloomers, writes the book’s reviewer, Philip Delves Broughton, “stand in contrast to today’s obsession with precocious youth.  They are not the ones acing the SAT, starting charitable organizations in their teens or emerging from college garlanded with awards.”

They are cocky. They know everything.  They are destined to rule the world. They ooze confidence.  But sometimes their confidence tricks them into thinking that they know all they need to know, and they stop learning.

Of course Lincoln, Eisenhower and Churchill believed in themselves,
but they weren’t burdened by early success that gave them a false confidence.  They never stopped learning and they never stopped growing, and when opportunity finally presented itself, they were prepared. .

Mr. Karlgaard cites Bill Walsh, who didn’t get his first head coaching job until he was 46, and won his first Super Bowl when he was 50.

He remained focused on his job, not his future, always learning, always preparing for his moment - if it ever came.  All the while, others,  seemingly brighter lights, dropped by the wayside.

“In my career,” he said, “I’ve been passing men with greater bravado and confidence. Confidence gets you off to a fast start.  Confidence gets you that first job and maybe the next two promotions. But confidence stops you from learning. Confidence becomes a caricature after a while.  I can’t tell you how many confident blowhards I’ve seen in my coaching career who never got better after the age of 40.”


*********** ESPN The Magazine is toast.

From Sports Business Journal…

ESPN is ending the print version of ESPN the Magazine in September, more than 21 years after its launch. The news of the print magazine’s demise was announced to staff this morning as part of a reorganization of Senior VP/Original Content Rob King’s department. ESPN says that the move will not involve any layoffs today, though it is likely that a handful of print/publishing/circulation employees -- said to be in the single digits -- will be without jobs come September. An ESPN spokesperson said the company already had integrated the magazine’s employees across its platforms.

In an emailed statement, ESPN said, “Consumer habits are evolving rapidly, and this requires ESPN to evolve as well. The only change here is that we are moving away from printing it on paper and sending it in the mail. … Our data shows the vast majority of readers already consume our print journalism on digital platforms, and this approach will maximize our reach and impact.” ESPN said it will consider publishing print versions of special issues -- like the Body Issue -- in the future. The magazine launched in March ‘98. Sources said that it has lost money for the past several years. “It was not close to a break even proposition,” a source said.

https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/SB-Blogs/Breaking-News/2019/04/ESPN-Mag.aspx

https://www.si.com/tech-media/2019/04/30/espn-the-magazine-shut-down-stop-print-edition-september



*********** Gino Marchetti died.  Hard for an old Baltimore Colts fan like me to take.  He was 93 but I was hoping he’d live forever. 

The called him Gino the Giant, and although they like to say now that he was “undersized by today’s standards,”  he was the standard by which NFL defensive ends were measured, and he’d kick serious ass today.

Born in West Virginia to Italian immigrants, he grew up in Antioch, California.

Tough?  He was 18 when he enlisted in the Army during World War II.  He was a machine gunner during the Battle of the Bulge, and he later recalled, “The first time I ever saw snow, I slept in it.”

Tough? His ankle was shattered in the late going of the so-called “Greatest Game Ever Played,” the NFL championship game in Yankee Stadium between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants.  But rather than be wheeled off to the locker room, he insisted on staying on the sidelines to watch the end of the game.

He played his college ball on the great University of San Francisco “Undefeated, Untied and Uninvited” team of 1951, which featured such future NFL stars as Ollie Mattson, Ed Brown, Bob St. Clair.

Marchetti was a leader of the Dons in their refusal to accept a bowl invitation that stipulated that their black players - Mattson and Burl Toler - could not play.

“He’s the greatest player in football,” Rams coach Sid Gillman once said. “It’s a waste of time to run around this guy’s end. It’s a lost play.”

While he was still playing, Colts’ owner Carroll Rosenbloom, who felt his players would be more successful if they stayed in the town where they became famous, convinced him to invest the money he’d earned in the 1958 championship ($4674) in a hamburger chain along with teammate Alan Ameche and former teammate Joe Campanella.

If there is such a thing as a hamburger historian, he probably knows that there are those who claim that “Gino’s Giant” was the inspiration for McDonald’s Big Mac.

The chain grew to become quite large in the Baltimore area and then expanded to Philadelphia before it was sold to Marriott.

I bet there isn’t a Baltimorean over the age of 60 who doesn’t know the jingle:

“Ev’rybody goes to Gino’s, ‘cause Gino’s is the place to go.

“Ev’rybody goes to Gino’s,  ev’rybody in the know…”


https://www.philly.com/eagles/gino-marchetti-dies-obituary-baltimore-colts-pro-football-hall-of-fame-giant-burgers-20190430.html


*********** PLAYBOOK CORRECTION!

On Page 91 in the QB’s brief instructions AND on Page 248 on  the QB’s card (play 30-2):

It should read  H/S LFT (Hockey Stick LEFT)

My apologies for your having to make that correction and my thanks to Coach Foley of Palmdale, California for this great catch.


*********** Gray whales are washing up on Northwest beaches…

Beached whale

Came across this beached whale last weekend while walking along the beach at Ocean Shores.  It was about 30 feet long. From the sand covering it you can tell that that tide had already washed over it at least once.  The smell wasn’t too bad yet - at least my dog, Lainey didn’t think so - and it was really cool to look inside its mouth and see the ivory-like balleen.  If you look closely you can see where marine biologists had already stripped away a layer of skin and blubber.  Apparently they were checking for signs of malnourishment.

https://www.opb.org/news/article/dead-gray-whales-oregon-washington-beach/


*********** Many thanks to all the well-wishers on my new job at Aberdeen (WA) High School.

Coach:

Congratulations on the new gig at Aberdeen!  That is great news.  I always got so excited when there was an opportunity to install the double wing and its variations at a brand new place.  It is never about the wins and losses but the pride you take when you see the kids "figure it out" and the system starts to click for them.  Enjoy this season!

Enjoy your summer Coach.

Regards,

Bill Lawlor
Palatine, Illinois

(Coach Lawlor played for the great Bob Reade at Augustana College and has coached the Double Wing all the way from youth football to high school football in the Chicago area.)



***********  Good morning, Coach!

Read your News section on the Army General and the Administration of West Point, and you asked why the Administrators would listen to the handful of students...this article answers that question! Pretty scary to think the colleges are all being run by these people.

DJ MIllay
Vancouver, Washington

This is worth printing in its entirety…

Think Professors Are Liberal? Try School Administrators

The ideological bent of those overseeing collegiate life is having the biggest impact on campus culture.

By Samuel J. Abrams
Dr. Abrams is a professor of politics.
    •    Oct. 16, 2018
    ◦   

I received a disconcerting email this year from a senior staff member in the Office of Diversity and Campus Engagement at Sarah Lawrence College, where I teach. The email was soliciting ideas from the Sarah Lawrence community for a conference, open to all of us, titled “Our Liberation Summit.” The conference would touch on such progressive topics as liberation spaces on campus, Black Lives Matter and justice for women as well as for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and allied people.

As a conservative-leaning professor who has long promoted a diversity of viewpoints among my (very liberal) faculty colleagues and in my classes, I was taken aback by the college’s sponsorship of such a politically lopsided event. The email also piqued my interest in what sorts of other nonacademic events were being organized by the school’s administrative staff members.

I soon learned that the Office of Student Affairs, which oversees a wide array of issues including student diversity and residence life, was organizing many overtly progressive events — programs with names like “Stay Healthy, Stay Woke,” “Microaggressions” and “Understanding White Privilege” — without offering any programming that offered a meaningful ideological alternative. These events were conducted outside the classroom, in the students’ social and recreational spaces.

The problem is not limited to my college. While considerable focus has been placed in recent decades on the impact of the ideological bent of college professors, when it comes to collegiate life — living in dorms, participating in extracurricular organizations — the ever growing ranks of administrators have the biggest influence on students and campus life across the country.

Today, many colleges and universities have moved to a model in which teaching and learning is seen as a 24/7 endeavor. Engagement with students is occurring as much — if not more — in residence halls and student centers as it is in classrooms. Schools have increased their hiring in areas such as residential life and student centers, offices of student life and success, and offices of inclusion and engagement. It’s not surprising that many of the free-speech controversies in the past few years at places like Yale, Stanford and the University of Delaware have concerned events that occurred not in classrooms but in student communal spaces and residence halls.

Intrigued by this phenomenon, I recently surveyed a nationally representative sample of roughly 900 “student-facing” administrators — those whose work concerns the quality and character of a student’s experience on campus. I found that liberal staff members outnumber their conservative counterparts by the astonishing ratio of 12-to-one. Only 6 percent of campus administrators identified as conservative to some degree, while 71 percent classified themselves as liberal or very liberal. It’s no wonder so much of the nonacademic programming on college campuses is politically one-sided.

The 12-to-one ratio of liberal to conservative college administrators makes them the most left-leaning group on campus. In previous research, I found that academic faculty report a six-to-one ratio of liberal to conservative professors. Incoming first-year students, by contrast, reported less than a two-to-one ratio of liberals to conservatives, according to a 2016 finding by the Higher Education Research Institute. It appears that a fairly liberal student body is being taught by a very liberal professoriate — and socialized by an incredibly liberal group of administrators.

The severity of this trend varies among different types of academic institutions. My research found that two-thirds of administrators at public institutions and schools with religious affiliations self-identified as liberals, which was lower than the three-quarters of administrators at private, secular institutions who did. I found no real differences among school types, such as small, private liberal arts colleges as compared with large research universities. School ranking did make a small difference, with administrators at more selective institutions reporting a higher percentage of liberals than did lower-ranked schools.

The most pronounced difference was regional. New England has the most liberal college administrators in the nation, with a 25-to-one ratio of liberals to conservatives. The West Coast and Southeast have ratios of 16-to-one, whereas the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes all have ratios closer to 10-to-one. The only region with anything close to a balanced ratio is the Southwest, with two-to-one.

This warped ideological distribution among college administrators should give our students and their families pause. To students who are in their first semester at school, I urge you not to accept unthinkingly what your campus administrators are telling you. Their ideological imbalance, coupled with their agenda-setting power, threatens the free and open exchange of ideas, which is precisely what we need to protect in higher education in these politically polarized times.

Samuel J. Abrams is a professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/16/opinion/liberal-college-administrators.html


*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Les Richter was a native of Fresno, California who became a two-time consensus All-American at Cal.

He was the second player taken in the 1952 NFL draft, but two days after the draft the team that drafted him, the New York Yankees, was sold back to the league for $100,000.

He was acquired by the Rams in exchange for 11 players.

And then he left for Korea, where a war was going on, and he served for two years as a lieutenant in the US Army.

On his return, he justified the Rams’ confidence in him and made eight straight pro bowls as a linebacker. He played nine years in all, and never missed a game, despite finishing a game against Pittsburgh after fracturing his cheekbone.  He didn’t make the Pro Bowl his final season, although he played both ways, taking over at center when the starter was injured.

In those days before specialists, he also did the Rams’ place-kicking.  He made 29 field goals, and made 90 per cent of his extra point attempts, kicking 106 PATs.

Said Gil Brandt,  longtime Player Personnel Director, Dallas Cowboys, “He was one of the toughest linebackers ever to play in the NFL.  Tom Landry felt we couldn’t get our running game going unless we blocked him, and he was right. The first time we played his Rams, they just obliterated us.”

After retirement as a player, he became General Manager of the Riverside Raceway in California,  and then served as senior vice president of operations for NASCAR.

Les Richter is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING LES RICHTER:

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
BILL NELSON - THORNTON, COLORADO
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MATHEW HEDGER - LANGDON, NORTH DAKOTA
JOE GUTILLA, AUSTIN, TEXAS
DAVID CRUMP - OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY


*********** Thanks to Greg Koenig for the link…

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


***********  How good was Richter with the Rams?

"The best," said Jon Arnett, a Pro Bowl halfback who played with Richter from 1957 to 1962. "Why he is not in the (Pro Football) Hall of Fame is beyond me. His intelligence was probably his greatest calling card, in all walks of life and not just football. His size (6-3, 238 pounds) was standard for the day, but he was noted for his size of calves and legs, both extremely big and strong.

"Les was not noted for his speed and probably would not have been picked by today's 40-yard speed nuts. He might not have been fast, but he was always there where the ball was. I played 10 years with the Rams and Bears and would find it hard to find anyone who excelled at his position as much as Les Richter did at middle linebacker, period."

Arnett says Richter was "loved" by his teammates. "He was the leader," Arnett said. "Les had the intelligence that commanded respect, whether it be on or off the field."

By the time he retired from the Rams, Richter was already well into his transition to a second career as a motor racing executive. He had started working as an aide in the offseason for oilman Edwin Pauley, who was a partner in the Rams' ownership group, in the mid-1950s and when Pauley bought Riverside, a bare-bones road racing track 50 miles east of Los Angeles, Richter moved into its marketing department in 1959.

***
"To us old timers 'All-Pro Linebacker' Les Richter will forever be the face of Riverside (International) Raceway," said the legendary Dan Gurney, who grew up in Riverside and won many races at the track. "Les was a motorsports pioneer who brought NASCAR stock car racing and Indy road racing to the West Coast.
"He organized the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix for Sports and Can-Am racing cars, each event often drawing more than 100,000 spectators to the desert.

***
Richter joined NASCAR in 1983 and became one of Bill France Jr.'s top advisors. The Coach, as many called him during his motor racing career, became NASCAR's executive vice president of competition in 1986 and senior vice president of operations in 1992.

"Les Richter will be missed by the entire NASCAR community and always remembered for all he did for the sport, especially NASCAR's short-track racing and promoting the sport on the West Coast," NASCAR CEO Brian France said in a statement. "Les, a tireless worker, was one of NASCAR's most respected officials and one of my father's most trusted lieutenants."

***
When Roger Penske began developing the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana  inthe mid-1990s, he lured Richter back to southern California to head the project.

It was built on the site of the former Kaiser Steel Mill and there were environmental problems with government approvals and permits to obtain. Richter also met with citizens at town-hall meetings. The track opened in 1997 and hosts two Cup events a year.

"Les Richter was a tremendous competitor, a great man and a good friend," Penske said in a statement.


https://www.si.com/more-sports/2010/06/17/les-richter

*********** QUIZ: He was born in New Jersey and did most of his coaching in New England, but they called him “Cowboy Jack” because he liked country music.

He went to college at Montclair State, then was an assistant for eight years at Boston College before being named head coach at Maine.  Although his record at Maine was less than stellar, he was hired as head coach at Boston College, where in ten years he built a 59-55 record.

His 1984 BC team went 10-2 and beat Bill Yeoman and Houston, 45-28 in the Cotton Bowl, but it’s best known for one of the most exciting plays in football history, the Hail Mary pass from Doug Flutie to Gerard Phelan to beat Miami as time ran out.

Flutie was awarded that year’s Heisman Trophy.

After leaving BC, he coached in Europe, coaching in the Barcelona Dragons for 11 years  followed by short stints as head coach of the Scottish Claymores and the Hamburg Sea Devils.

His son - and namesake -  is now offensive line coach at Ole Mis


american flagTUESDAY,  APRIL 30,  2019   “It is not practical to believe that a world-state made up of people who cannot speak to each other, who do not live in the same way or have the same customs, could be anything but a despotism.” Larry P. Arnn, President, Hillsdale College

*********** RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA CLINIC:

DATE AND TIME: SATURDAY, MAY 18 - 9 TO 4

SITE: SAME AS LAST YEAR
KNIGHTDALE RECREATION CENTER
LAWSON RIDGE ROAD
KNIGHTDALE, NORTH CAROLINA
(The site is an easy 30 minute drive east of RDU International Airport)

PRE-REGISTRATION $100 - AT THE DOOR $150
(SORRY, ROOM SIZE PRECLUDES MY BEING ABLE TO OFFER A STAFF DISCOUNT)

http://www.coachwyatt.com/clinics19.html

Bobcat Seniors

*********** Todd Bridge and I coached together for six years at North Beach High in Ocean Shores, Washington, and now we’re back together again.  For the past two years, Todd’s been the AD at Elma, Washington, but now he’s back in the saddle as head coach at Aberdeen, Washington - and I’m on board as his assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. 

Aberdeen is a little over two hours from our home in Camas and the logistics for my wife and me are not a lot different from what they were when we were at North Beach.  We still have our place in Ocean Shores, and with Aberdeen about 45 minutes away,  we’ll stay there during the week and return to our place in Camas on weekends.

Aberdeen has been down for a long time - the Bobcats have had just one winning season - a 5-4 season in 2007 - in the last 15 years.  Last year’s record was 1-9.

First order of business was a meeting this past Saturday morning with the returning seniors - 13 of them.   They were an impressive group of kids. They caught on to “Bobcat time” immediately - we set the time for 9 AM, and  the first arrivals were 20 minutes early; the “latest” was  a lone “straggler” who was 5 minutes early. 

They’ve been in the program since they were freshmen, and they’ve been through a lot, so we took pains to assure them that they would not be overlooked.  We covered a number of topics, chief of which was that we would be giving them an exalted position, but that in return we expected them to demonstrate commitment and leadership.

We started with our Mission Statement:
1. We will treat kids right
2. We will set high standards and hold them accountable
3. We will teach them more football than they ever thought possible
4. We will give them an experience they’ll treasure for life

We told them about the three legs of the program, the Three R’s - RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY, RESILIENCE. We especially stressed “Respect,” emphasizing  that when they entered our locker room or stepped on our field they would be stepping into an atmosphere in which everyone shows and receives respect: coaches respect players, players respect coaches, players respect players and coaches respect coaches.

We told them that the major criteria by which they would be evaluated were encapsulated in the acronym ACE:   Attitude, Coachability, Effort.

Todd handed out the summer schedules.  We are not going away to a team camp, as had been the practice.  There is a possibility - depending on the ACE - that at the end of spring ball we might go to a two-day team camp, one that we can commute to.

Summer workouts will be from 7 to 9 PM weeknights.  Our thinking is that instead of two daily workouts - one in the morning and one in the afternoon -  having one later session allows us to get all the kids together, reinforcing the idea that summer workouts should be a team activity.

I briefly explained what our offensive philosophy would be - basically, that we would be the team that nobody wants to play - and then, in anticipation of our first day of spring practice, we got 11 of the kids to sign up for the 11 offensive positions so that when we ask for 11 guys to demonstrate our offense, they’ll jump right in. 

They really enjoyed seeing some of our plays run  on the goarmyedge app (by players wearing Aberdeen’s blue and gold uniforms).

We said that the most we could promise them was that they would be able to claim that they were the first class to take part in the turnaround.

And then Todd hit them with a question that I’ve used several times in taking over a new program - something that I learned from a great coach and friend named Eric Ber