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


american flagFRIDAY,  JUNE 22,  2018 -   "Confidence is the invisible cement that binds a team together."  Bud Wilkinson

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

dynamics 3 cover FINALLY! 

THE  NEW DOUBLE WING PLAYBOOK WILL SHIP STARTING WEDNESDAY!

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

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

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

CONTENTS

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

$39.95


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

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

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

***********  To my friends in Finland - Hauskaa Juhannus.  Happy Midsummer.  To people who live in the far north,  where winter days are short and cold, the longest day of the year, when in much of the country the sun doesn't set,  is a time for great celebration.   They'll celebrate it this weekend, as Finns desert their cities and towns and head to the countryside -  where everyone either has a "summer cottage" on a lake or knows someone who does -  for a weekend of, well, strong drink.  And since everyone is expected to stay awake and party all night, the trick - at least I found - is to balance the drinking with fighting off the soporific effects of the alcohol. Frequent visits to sauna - every Finnish summer cottage has one -  followed by swims in the lake help a lot.  (The lakes are relatively shallow, and the long summer days make the water surprisingly warm.)

Unlike in the US, highway deaths do not increase measurably,  because Finland could write the book on how to handle drunk driving. The blood alcohol level for impaired driving is quite low, and police throw up random road  blocks at any place and time they wish.  It's not at all unusual to see them out checking people on a Sunday morning (how many Americans realize that even after a night's sleep, they could still have enough alcohol in their blood to - in Finland at least - send them to jail?) 

Oh - and how socialistic can you get?  - traffic fines are calculated based on the violator's income. If you're a football coach making a small stipend for  summer's work, you might pay what amounts to $100 for a speeding ticket.  But that guy in the Mercedes who wasn't going any faster than you?  It could cost him cost him a couple of thousand.

As you might expect, when  heavy drinking takes place on lake shores and on docks, Midsummer does see a fair amount of drownings. I don't know whether it's true or not but I was told many times that most Juhannus drowning victims are males, and when they're pulled out of the water their flies were discovred to be unzipped.

*********** Initital "reviews" by purchasors of "Dynamics 3.0":

When I opened the package I immediately had a flash back to 1996 when I ordered the first one. That was a pretty cool feeling. As far as the new book is concerned,  about all I can say is WOW. It should be called “Dynamics of the Double Wing 3.0, An Order of Football”, by Hugh Wyatt. I truly appreciate the effort that went into the  making of this book.  JK, New York

I can’t put down the book. Very nice job, the photos the diagrams / illustrations are amazing. I love the adjustment from true pull to shuffle for the backside guard and tackle and moving from shoeshine blocking. I used to hate to hear parents complain about their son being on his belly every play. J.C., California

The price is unbelievable....I've spent that much on videos that when I've finished watching them, I wonder how that was worth $40 for one hour. What new people to your products don't realize is the incredible support you provide after the sale. I've bought other products, sometimes multiple products from coaches, spent 100s of dollars, and never get a reply to an email.” R.D., Massachusetts

I received the new playbook this week and I have to say, A++++!!!!    I am so glad I waited. I have been running some practices already and the kids are really buying in!  I was able to find some good, young coaches to run my Jr. High program and they were skeptical at first, but after seeing all of your work in the new book and how the kids are running the plays, I have some new believers!  I am taking over a varsity team that was 0-10 last year and was outscored 579-78!  There were only 3 seniors on that team so most of the players are coming back.  I believe we will see a great improvement this year and it will have so much to do with you and your dedication to the craft. I will keep you posted of how we are doing. Let me know if you are still going to produce some new practice planners. M.T., Indiana

Love the new playbook. Well done. Didn’t expect to get it so soon so seeing it today was awesome!! Gearing up for another awesome season of double wing fun with some open wing mixed in this year as well. Your system has kept us competitive at all levels. The description on the front of the book is perfect because opponents definitely hate to see it. You may stop one play but you're not going to stop them all.  J.C., New York


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

*********** Many thanks to those who wished me a Happy Birthday.  I'm not hard to please - my wife made me meat loaf and baked potatoes.

*********** Charles Krauthammer, political writer and commentator,  has died.  He was a brilliant, eloquent man whose integrity matched his intellect. I will miss him greatly.

*********** Go Beavers.  But if Oregon State can’t win the College World Series, then Go Bulldogs (Mississippi State).

*********** More about this later, but I'm helping an old friend, whom I've coached with in the past, to install the Double Wing at his new job.  He's been away from the offense for a few years, and after seeing all the changes since he last ran it, he asked me to do a little clinic for him and his coaches, and to spend a little time with them in their summer workouts.    It's a blast.

*********** Interesting commentary about staffs exploding in numbers. I always enjoy HS football, and a lot of games get shown on TV around here.  Can't help but observe how many assistants (all with headsets, of course) clog the sidelines even at the HS level. Same, it seems, at every level. Still, the number of NBA assistants floored me. Do you know if there are ceiling numbers, mandated by the NCAA, for instance? When I was a teen, I was pretty sure D-I college FB programs were limited to nine.

A personal observation from the Army: in general, the smaller the staff, the more high-performing the unit.  

Speaking of headsets, do you have an opinion about their use in HS and college? I'm intrigued when I run across a coach who shuns them. Say what you want about Hal Mumme, but he never wore the things. And--memory may fail me in this case--but it seems your man Leach doesn't have them most of the time either.

John Vermillion                        
St Petersburg, Florida

There are NCAA ceiling limits on the number of assistants allowed, but many of the better-funded college programs are circumventing those limits by hiring what they call “analysts” - no limit on them, since it’s a totally new concept to the NCAA.  They do almost all the work of an assistant coach such as grading video. They even sit in on meetings and some actually sit in the press box and call plays on game days.  But they can’t recruit and they can’t coach on the field. Alabama, which can afford analysts, has several. In Saban’s case, they’re like coaches in waiting, ready to step into any vacancy on the staff.  Quite often they’re former head coaches who've been fired someplace else and they’re still being paid - and paid well - by their former employer.  Interestingly, severance payments usually are reduced by the amount a guy is paid at his next coaching job… but since this isn’t a “coaching job,” per se…   I suspect that the analyst’s pay isn’t deducted from the severance payments.  Hmmm.

 It’s a nice gig for a guy who’s just been fired.

In my opinion, if someone on the staff is using headphones, the head coach needs to hear what’s going on.

I don’t see how a guy can claim to be in charge of his program and allow, say, the defensive coordinator to run the entire show without his knowledge of what’s happening.

Since you bring up Hal Mumme -

He lit ‘em up at Valdosta State, but he was 20-26 at Kentucky - and that was with cheating.

Since then, in 15 seasons as head coach at four different places, he’s had four winning seasons.  

In my opinion, he is a very bright offensive guy.  As a head coach I think he’s a very bright offensive gu
y.

************ Spenser Rapone, an avowed communist who spent four years West Point, is gone from the Army.

He got a “less-than-honorable” discharge, which means he won’t receive veteran’s benefits or a pension.

But the Army ought to take one more step: with all the American kids burdened by student loans, I’d like to see them make his sorry ass repay the American taxpayers for that great West Point education that he got at their expense.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/06/19/west-point-grad-who-posed-with-communism-will-win-in-cap-discharged.html

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

From your description Coach Vogler not only sounds like a great guy, but a wonderful dad.  Both so much more than just being a good coach.

It is the Justin Chongs of this world that I have enjoyed coaching most of all.

I think the President could have at least come up with a better name than "Space Force".

Didn't you know in pro basketball there must be at least that many assistants to deal with player egos!  I would imagine that LeBron James had at least 2 assistant coaches (still didn't work).

While coaching in Minnesota and Ohio, and playing by NFHS rules, we would almost always receive the benefit of a flag when a defender would cut our FB's knees, and always the official explanation to the opposing coach was it was called for "dangerous play".  Not here in Texas.
We play by NCAA rules where cut blocking on offense is allowed.  Therefore, what's good for the goose...  Because of that we were forced to come up with a different blocking scheme on power to avoid our FB's getting cut.

Absolutely enjoyed the old NFL film clips of Mike Curtis.  Wow.  The definition of 'tough' in the dictionary should have his picture included, and the definition of 'protective' should have that Georgia grandma's picture included!

Have a great week.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** Rick Davis, who splits his time between New Zealand and Massachusetts, is a longtime Double Winger who a few years ago spent a week of pre-season practice with us at North Beach.  He writes,  “Thought you'd get a kick out of this photo....it's my brother with Alejandro Villanueva in Newport, RI (Naval War College of all places for a West Pointer). My brother's wife's family is from Columbia, and her cousin was finishing a year-long program, so my brother and his wife travelled from Florida to attend the graduation. Alejandro's father is best friends with the cousin's father, so he was there for the ceremony as well. My brother is 6'6" 240 pounds, to give you an idea how big Alejandro is. Pretty cool.”

Davis & IVllanueva

*********** Those leftist sh--ts who harassed a cabinet member while she and her husband were dining in a restaurant are very lucky that my wife and I weren't in that restaurant at the time.  We've rolled over and let this go on for so long that they think they can put on their little act with impunity.  It's time to take up the cudgels, fellas.

*********** The Little League season is over.  It’s not July yet, but Daddy ball - all-star tournaments - begin this weekend.

School is barely out here in the Northwest.  Baseball would seem to be just the thing kids need to stay busy this summer, but unless they’re an all-star, baseball’s over for them.

Sure seems short-sighted of major league baseball, which has acknowledged for years that it has to fight for its share of young athletes, to tolerate the idea of turning so many kids loose with a whole summer ahead of them.

Or are the all-star selectors such astute judges of talent that they already know from the time the kids are 12 which ones are going to play in the majors some day?

*********** QUIZ ANSWER - Of all the running backs who are not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Ken Willard may be the greatest.

He was a native of Richmond, Virginia.

He was  a good enough baseball player to have been offered a contract with the Red Sox, but he passed it up in order to play football for North Carolina.

He continued to play baseball in college, and twice led the ACC in home runs.

On the football field, he was an All-American running back and was named MVP of the 1963 Gator Bowl.

He was chosen by the 49ers in the 1965 draft, the second player chosen overall.  The next two players chosen after him were Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers, both taken by the Bears.

A big (6-1, 220) and strong runner, he was also an excellent receiver. He had five seasons in which his  combined rushing and receiving yardage exceeded 1,000 yards.

He played in four Pro Bowls. 

In nine seasons with the 49ers, he missed only one game.

Overall, he rushed for 6105 yards, and he caught 277 passes for 2184 yards. He scored 62 touchdowns - 45 rushing and 17 receiving.

At the time of his retirement - after playing nine years for the 49ers one with the Cardinals -  he was ranked eighth all-time among NFL rushers.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING KEN WILLARD

KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfnbezJBGVQ
TITO CORREA - NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA - Another “Strat-O-Matic” player that was a big winner for me…Ken Willard…specially on the swing pass
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON


*********** QUIZ - His players, and everybody who knew pro football, knew that his two chief assistants - the guys in charge of his offense and defense, before there was such a title as "coordinator" - were really running the team.   But he had the title of head coach, and got the credit.  In his seven years as their head coach,  the Giants played in three NFL Championship Games, winning the title once by beating the Bears 47-7.

His overall record was 53-27-4.

Six of his former players are in the Hall of Fame.  And so, too, are those two assistants, who went on to great careers as head coaches of  teams other than the Giants.



american flagTUESDAY,  JUNE 19,  2018 “To hell with exciting. I'd rather be drab as hell and win.”  Woody Hayes



*********** It was graduation at North Beach High last week, a rather emotional time for my wife and me, as the kids that I coached there are just about all gone now.  The entire coaching staff (all three of us) are now gone, but I managed to get this photo of my wife and me with former fellow coach James Vogler and his girls.  I am so proud of Coach Vogler - he has raised those young ladies by himself, since they were in grade school. It used to be a special treat for me to see them outside our locker room after practice, waiting for Dad to finish up so he could take them home.  (The word on his shirt helps explain Dad’s approach to teaching, to coaching, and to raising his kids. He was THERE for them, and he was a pillar of strength for them.)  He protected his girls and they knew he loved them, but he didn’t smother them. They were excellent students and three-sport athletes - and they are lovely people as well. 

It always amuses me when I hear about a guy giving up coaching to “spend more time with my family,” because Coach Vogler managed to coach football and track - and spend extra time after school helping kids with their math - yet still find plenty of time to be everything to his girls. For most of the time I worked with him, going back to 2008, he had to give them up every other weekend, and he was one miserable guy on those weekends. 

Now, he’s really going to have to get used to an empty house.  From the time she was a freshman, older sister Jenna was determined to attend the US Naval Academy, and there she is, in the photo,  home on leave after finishing her plebe year at Annapolis.  She hopes to become a Cobra pilot.  Mariah, Jenna’s younger sister, has  taken part in Washington’s “running start” program, which enabled her to earn an AA degree by attending a junior college the past two years. She has also received an appointment to the Naval Academy, and in a couple of weeks she’s off to Newport, Rhode Island where, like Jenna, she’ll spend a year at the Naval Academy Prep School.  Her ambition is to be a Marine infantry officer.

Coach Vogler, having raised two girls headed for careers in the military,  is not going to be an empty-nester in the Pacific Northwest: he’s headed back to his native Arizona, to a teaching job in Prescott.

justin chong*********** One of the problems with our current culture is that people are afraid to sound corny. But as coaches, we have a chance to earn a special place in our players’ lives, and corny as it may sound, we can’t be afraid to tell those boys that we love them.  Or that we’re proud of them.

At the recent North Beach High graduation I saw Justin Chong, a former player whom I hadn’t seen in over four years. He was there to watch his girlfriend’s younger brother graduate.  Justin played tight end and middle linebacker for us in 2012 and 2013, and he was one tough kid.  In fact, when he first showed up, as a junior, we were afraid he might be a bit too tough, at least off the field.  He’d been at North Beach as a freshman, but he’d been running with a rough crowd and he’d gotten into a bit of trouble, and his mom very wisely sent him to another school for a year to get him away from his buddies. When he returned after his year away, we knew he could be a player for us, but we had our doubts: we couldn’t be sure he’d changed any, and we certainly didn’t want to have to deal with the “old” Justin. 

Shortened version of the story: he was never a problem.  He was coachable.  He was a team player.  And he never got close to being in any trouble.  Oh - and he was a very good player.  His senior year, he was a team captain and an all-league linebacker on a 7-3 team, the school’s first winning team in five years.

And then, after graduation, instead of hanging around town, he headed off to a school in Idaho called Northwest Lineman College.  No, not guards and tackles - electrical linemen.  (They can’t make me say the more political correct “lineworkers.”)

He’s now an apprentice lineman in Beaverton, Oregon for Portland General Electric, and well on his way to becoming a journeyman.   I’m as proud of him as I could be of any of our players who’ve gone to a four-year college -  and I told him so.

*********** I still find myself from time to time questioning whether the Air Force shouldn’t have simply remained part of the Army - the Army Air Corps, as it was known all during the Last War That America Won.

But no… We had to have a whole new branch of the armed forces, an Air Force - with its own secretary, its own chief of staff, its own hierarchy,  its own academy.

So now our president's calling for a  “Space Force?”

WTF?

Do we really need another service lined up at the public trough, fighting for its share of defense funds?

Wouldn't you call this an “expansion of big government?”


*********** After my wife read this to me, I had to ask her to hand me the paper so I could read it myself:

“The Memphis Grizzlies have named Jerry Stackhouse, Nick Van Exel and six others as assistant coaches…”

Wait, I thought.  "Six others?"  EIGHT assistants? 

NBA teams carry just 15 players, with only 12 of them active at any one time. They play three and sometimes four times a week, which doesn’t leave a while lot of time for practice. There's no recruiting to be done, as in college. And yet,  they need EIGHT ASSISTANT COACHES?

Hmm.  So maybe this is where the NFL teams got with the idea that they need upwards of 20 assistants.

* The Eagles have 25 assistant coaches.

* The Seahawks have 23 assistant coaches, including one with the title “Offensive assistant” and another called “Associate Head Coach.”  The offensive line coach has two assistants, the defensive line coach has one. There is an Assistant Quarterbacks Coach and an Assistant Linebackers Coach.

* The Cowboys have 22, including four strength coaches.

* The Vikings have 21. The head strength and conditioning coach has three assistants. The quarterbacks coach has an assistant quarterbacks coach.

But wait -

* The Patriots have - 14.  FOURTEEN!   What does this guy Belichick know that the others don’t?

*********** LeBron James, who to the best of my knowledge never once sat his ass down in a college classroom, would seem to be the last person you’d expect to be telling us about the way college athletes are being exploited, but there he is, adding his name to an HBO show that sounds as if it’s going to be just more of the usual “pay those poor kids” rubbish.

https://coachad.com/news/lebron-james-to-co-produce-hbo-show-on-exploitative-world-of-ncaa-sports/

*********** Illinois is going to adopt a “mercy rule” for high school basketball, calling for a running clock in the fourth quarter any time there is a 30-point difference in the score at the end of three quarters.

*********** Johnny Manziel didn’t get into the Hamilton TigerCats’ game this past weekend, a 28-14 loss to the Calgary Stampeders. 

The problem with the TiCats doesn’t appear to be the quarterbacking, though.  Jeremiah Masoli threw for 344 yards.

The problem seems to be the defense.

CLUE: The defensive coordinator is Jerry Glanville, a much-heralded master of self-promotion. 

*********** Watching the Hamilton-Calgary game, I heard the referee announce a penalty for an “illegal block” - against the defense!  Damned of they didn’t catch one of these guys who are the bane of any Double Wing coach’s existence - a defender - in this case a defensive back about to be kicked out by a pulling lineman - cutting a blocker at his knees.

And what do you know?  The announcers said it was a “safety issue” - something we’ve been trying to tell officials for years.

*********** Hi Coach,
Just read your news page today...what a rotten thing to happen to Coach Potter and Coach Williams! At the clinic, I was impressed with their kids and how well they executed the offense and the new stuff you threw at them. Maybe the new coach didn't want to have to explain why his JV team was winning but his varsity team wasn't. On the other hand, I don't know how you can run two different systems with your JV and Varsity. Regardless, it looks like the guy could have found a place for two good coaches who already had an investment in the kids and the program.

Not saying this guy is not a good coach (he must be doing something right to land a high school head job) but middle school W-L records can be deceiving. Most middle school coaches I know couldn't even tell you their records. Almost always, talent wins in middle school and there is usually a wide disparity between schools. If you are fortunate to coach at the talented school, and you are a decent coach, you can win a lot of games. Things tend to even out in high school.

Just my two-cents. I hope Coach Potter and Coach Williams land on their feet somewhere they are appreciated.

Jim Crawley
China Grive, North Carolina

*********** A longtime western New York high school coach who lost his job filed a suit against parents who claimed that he had a “drinking problem” - and he was awarded $50,000.

https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/sports/high-school/2018/05/18/high-school-basketball-coach-mark-storm-defamation-lawsuit-parents-honeoye-athletes-helicopter/543634002/

***********  When we were kids in school, we used to sit and roll our eyes when Officer Friendly should come to school and tell us (1) never dart into the street from between parked cars; (2) never chase a ball into the street; (3) always cross at the corner; (4) if there’s a traffic light, always wait for it to turn green; and especially - (5) look both ways before crossing.

Well, duh, we’d say at Number 5.  Who doesn’t?

Answer: every dumbass who’s graduated from public schools in the United States in the last 20 years or so.

We’ve been so busy teaching them how many genders there are and how to have safe sex with them that we’ve neglected to pass along to them one of the basics of survival in urban life, and as a result, pedestrians are increasingly being knocked off.

The interesting thing to me is that while states and cities appear concerned about the increased fatalities involving cars and pedestrians, most of the attention is being give to drivers - maybe they’re going too fast… maybe they’re distracted by smartphones… maybe they’re drunk or high on pot. 

There are so many explanations that it starts to sound like one of those stupid PSA’s about people not knowing which size car seat  to use (“did you know that friendly kids have more friends?” “Well, yeah - everybody knows that.”)

Well, yeah, everybody knows that drivers shouldn’t go too fast… or drive distracted… or drive while under the influence.

But I sure wish I had a dime for every fool I’ve seen crossing a busy street, immersed in texting and totally oblivious to danger.

*********** Speaking of fools,  a spectator ran onto the field during Saturday’s game between the BC Lions and the Montreal Allouettes, and wound up being knocked on his ass by a BC defensive back.

But do you think they’d let us see it?   Oh, no.  Professional football, which has no qualms about showing players hitting each other senseless, is united in its determination not to let us see drunks on the field.

Bear in mind that there is no similar protection from “comedians” holding up the bloody, severed head of the President of the United States.

http://www.theherdnow.com/video-idiot-fan-on-field-during-cfl-game-gets-knocked-senseless-by-fed-up-player/

Some of us remember a bygone era when it was okay for us poor schlubs to see - live - how a pro football player deals appropriately with an intruder in his workspace…

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=spigot-chr-ffmac&p=mike+curtis+hits+fan+on+field#id=5&vid=804e6de2d8563d075a231f6ec9011b2e&action=click

*********** So the FBI had people in its employ who are essentially crooked - who worked, while on the taxpayer's dime,  to undermine the election of a President.

Now, though, we can rest easy.  The Director assures us that all his employees are going to undergo "ethics training."

Right, boss.  Just take a bunch of people without ethics or scruples and give them a day or two - with pay - of lectures on ethics, and - shazam! - all fixed.   That ought to restore credibility to the FBI.

*********** There is tough.  And then there is Georgia Grandma Tough.  A Georgia woman, attacked by a rabid bobcat, strangled the damn thing, and the entire time she fought with it - if you’ve ever seen an angry wildcat, you’ll appreciate this - she refused to scream for fear it would draw the attention of her granddaughter and put her at risk.

http://www.onlineathens.com/news/20180615/hart-county-grandmother-kills-rabid-bobcat-with-bare-hands

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

Spent the past three days with my sister-in-law (wife's youngest sib) so I wasn't able to catch your Friday news and quiz until today.

There's going to be some serious "splainin" to do regarding that FBI nonsense.  While I would like to believe that all of the hard-working base of the FBI are good people, it is a hard pill to swallow that those who were in charge didn't infect some of those underneath them.  We both know that whichever Humpty Dumpty they bring before the Congress to testify a lot of other Humpty Dumpty's will join in on "the great fall".  That whole "Russia gate" Mueller debacle we are witness to has done more damage to this country than "Watergate" could have ever posed.

I don't think Mike will have that problem with his parents.  He is making quite an impression on them with his home visits.  The local cops are even getting on board by bringing the kids food for them to eat before/after their workouts. 

The PAC 12 is a by-product of the progressive efforts in major cities on the west coast in general.  In my opinion its little wonder why they have fallen way behind the other Power 5 conferences in the major sports (football and basketball in particular), and have seemingly lost some of the major markets.  Examples:  San Francisco/Berkeley, Los Angeles (albeit large portions of it), Portland, and Seattle.

I missed Darryl Rogers as one of the FBS coaching choices.  Another Fresno State guy.

That's truly unfortunate news about Coach Potter and Coach Williams.  I know a guy in Topeka that could use their help!

I had the privilege of watching some of those Straight T teams on video.  They can bring it.

QUIZ:  Roosevelt "Rosie" Brown.

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** Is it a death wish, or was there really some rational business (or sports) reason for the NFL to participate in the New York “Pride” Parade? 

https://sportsnaut.com/2018/06/nfl-to-take-part-in-nyc-pride-parade-for-the-first-time/

***********  QUIZ  ANSWER:  Roosevelt Brown was so much bigger than the other kids as a child that he was moved ahead two grades in school, and as a result,  when he reported to his first NFL camp as a rookie, he was only 19.  But he was a physical marvel, 6-3, 255 with a 29-inch waist.  His fellow rookie, Sam Huff, called him a “big Jim Brown.”

To the NFL, though, he was a total unknown,  having played at little-known Morgan State, a small historically-black school in Baltimore, in the days before the NFL scouted the black colleges.   The NFL draft lasted 30 rounds in those days, and he was the 318th player chosen, known to the Giants only because of his having been on the Pittsburgh Courier’s Black All-American team.

Rosey Brown (not to be confused with his equally famous teammate, defensive tackle Roosevelt Grier) played in 162 games in 13 seasons for the Giants, and from 1955 though 1963,  with him at left tackle on offense, the Giants won six division championships and one NFL title.  

Five players from those Giants’ teams are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he is one of them.

He was named All-Pro eight times, and played in 10 Pro Bowls.   He was named to the NFL Team of the 1950s, and in 1975 he was named to the NFL’s 50th Anniversary team.

The Giants take pride in saying, “Once a Giant, always a Giant,” and Roosevelt Brown embodied it: as a player, assistant coach and scout, he spent 51 years in the Giants’ organization.

https://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/11/sports/roosevelt-brown-71-dies-hall-of-fame-giants-tackle.html

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING ROOSEVELT BROWN-
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TITO CORREA - NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
KEVIN MCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA

*********** QUIZ - Of all the running backs who are not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he may be the greatest.

He was a native of Richmond, Virginia.

He was  a good enough baseball player to have been offered a contract with the Red Sox right out of high school, but he passed it up in order to play football for North Carolina.

He continued to play baseball in college, and twice led the ACC in home runs.

On the football field, he was an All-American running back and was named MVP of the 1963 Gator Bowl.

He was chosen by the 49ers in the 1965 draft, the second player chosen overall.  (The next two players chosen after him were Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers, both taken by the Bears.)

A big (6-1, 220) and strong runner, he was also an excellent receiver. He had five seasons in which his  combined rushing and receiving yardage exceeded 1,000 yards.

He played in four Pro Bowls. 

In nine seasons with the 49ers, he missed only one game.

Overall, he rushed for 6105 yards, and he caught 277 passes for 2184 yards. He scored 62 touchdowns - 45 rushing and 17 receiving.

At the time of his retirement - after playing nine years for the 49ers and one with the Cardinals -  he was ranked eighth all-time among NFL rushers.

american flagFRIDAY,  JUNE 15,  2018 “We have come to the dismaying realization that there are a lot of criminals wearing badges.”  Dinesh D'Souza, commenting on the IG's report

*********** It is terribly distressing to me to read the Inspector General's report and  learn of the depth and breadth of the degradation of the FBI, once one of our most trusted and valued institutions and now a tool of the DNC.   Only the fact that I'm not young, with a long life in front of me, makes the realization bearable.

*********** By now, most states have their version of what Washington calls the HIB Law - Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying.

The Washington law defines harassment, intimidation or bullying as any intentionally written message or image—including those that are electronically transmitted—verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, mental or physical disability or other distinguishing characteristics, when an act:

    •    Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property.
    •    Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education.
    •    Is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment.
    •    Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

Schools are required to take action if students report they are being bullied. Since August 2011, each school district has been required to adopt the model Washington anti-bullying policy and procedure.
 
Beware, guys.  Call it the Law of Unintended Consequences if you will - although maybe it was intended - but there now are appearing  instances of parents using this against their kids’ coaches.

(Raise your hand if you can honestly say you’ve never hollered at a kid who’s screwed up.  Just as I thought.  Well, his parents say you intimidated him and they’ll see you in court.)

http://www.k12.wa.us/SafetyCenter/BullyingHarassment/default.aspx


*********** Greg Koenig of Cimarron, Kansas sent me a nice article about Mike Foristiere and the enormous job he’s taken on.

Mike, an old friend, has just finished his first three weeks as head coach at Highland Park High, in Topeka.

Enormous job, did I say? Consider…

Highland Park currently has a 34-game losing streak going.

It has posted just one win in the last six years - and only seven wins  total in the last 10 years.

Six of its last 10 seasons have been winless.

Its best season in recent memory was 4-6.  That was 15 years ago.

Last season, Highland Park was outscored 475-74.

Its closest game was a 43-26 loss.  That was also the fewest points it allowed.

Two of last year’s opponents put more than 60 points on them, and three more scored more than 50.  Two more just missed 50 with 49 points, and another scored 47.

Mike is up to the job.  He is mentally tough and demanding but his kids know that he loves them.  As a coach he's fundamentally sound and his teams are, too.

Mike has experience working in tough situations. In his most recent job, in Wahluke, Washington, working with a largely Hispanic population, he put a very competitive team on the field and earned the trust and confidence of the kids' parents. 

To give you an idea of how he's approaching this new job - he's begun tthe process of making home visits to every senior. He tells me, "Parents are stunned and pleasantly surprised  I come into their house and introduce myself and talk expectations."

http://www.cjonline.com/sports/20180612/mike-foristiere-embraces-rebuilding-project-as-highland-park-football-coach


*********** Unlike other power 5 conferences, the Pac-12 schools are not awash in money.  A couple of them, in fact, are hurting.  I lay the blame entirely on the commissioner, on his flawed attempt to build a network, and on his failure to find a way for people in other parts of the country to get to see Pac-12 football on the tube (Kickoffs at ten o'clock Eastern on Saturday night don't get it.) .  I won’t even mention the sorry-ass (my autocorrect wanted to spell that as psoriasis) state of Pac 12 basketball.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2018/06/12/panic-pac-12-conference-quickly-falls-behind-rivals/686880002/


*********** Portland is the definition of virtue-signaling.

Just in time for this weekend’s “Portland Pride Festival,” they’ve change the name of a 13-block-long stretch of a major downtown street - Stark Street - to Harvey Milk Street.  I doubt that Milk, the gay icon,  ever had a thing to do with Portland, but what the hell.

Not too many years ago, Portland changed the name of a major north-south arterial from 39th Avenue to Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., in honor of a guy who I know never set foot in Portland.

***********  There are only nine days for you to join the National Football Foundation and vote electronically  for this year’s College Football Hall of Fame nominees.

My ballot:

FBS Player Selections (12): Michael Bishop, Matt Cavanaugh, Tim Couch, Eric Dickerson, Jumbo Elliott, Craig Heyward, Phil Olsen, Jim Otis, Troy Polamalu, Antwaan Randle El, Larry Seivers, Elmo Wright

FBS Coach Selections (2): Dennis Erickson, Darryl Rogers

Divisional Player Selection (4): John Bothe, Bruce Cerone, Steve McNair, Gary Puetz

Divisional Coach Selection (2): Clarence Stasavich, Andy Talley

As reader Mark Kaczmarek has noted, nominee John Bothe, from Augustana, is a regular on this site.  He was a center, which means he has no stats to back him up, other than the fact that he was an All-American for Bob Reade during Augustana’s national championship run.  It helps me that Bill Lawlor, another coaching friend and an Augustana teammate, spoke of him in almost reverent terms.  And on top of that, he's been a high school coach!

Bruce Cerone from Emporia State is on there because in my early days of coaching, he played for a team called the Long Island Chiefs, and he was really good.  Steve McNair - enough said.

Clarence Stasavich was a great single wing coach at North Carolina’s Lenoir-Rhyne, and Andy Talley restarted the Villanova program and took it to an FCS national title.(And he's a great guy.)

eddie cahoon*********** It was early in the morning and I was setting up for the Raleigh clinic a few weeks ago when I heard Dave Potter, who was helping me get ready, say, “Look what the cat dragged in!”

I turned toward the door and there, almost like an apparition, was a dear friend whom I hadn’t seen in maybe 10 years.  It was coach Eddie Cahoon -  and  damned if he wasn’t wearing one of my “It Takes a Set” shirts from the old days.

Eddie is one of the many great coaches I would never have had the privilege of knowing if I hadn’t set out on my Double Wing circuit more than 20 years ago.

When we first met, he was coaching at a tiny high school in eastern North Carolina - any farther east and it would have been on the Outer Banks - called Mattamuskeet, in the tiny town of Swan Quarter.  At that time, Mattamuskeet was struggling to win a game.  When Eddie left there,  they were winners.

One summer, I drove from Durham to Mattamuskeet and helped Eddie put on a Double Wing camp. I stayed at his home and we really got to know each other.  I marveled at the devotion he showed to his kids and to the game of football.  We started early in the morning and went all day, sustained at lunch by some great East Carolina pork barbecue, and we went until 9 or so in the evening - until the kids were finished lifting.  And then the kids loaded into the school mini-bus and Eddie drove them all home, every last one of them.  Talk about out in the country - it was at least an hour and a half before he’d finished dropping them all off and we were back at the school. 

Eddie is a Marine  (I have learned never to say “was” a Marine, or “former Marine”) and he embodied the Corps’ spirit of “Can do.”  When his budget was cut and he couldn’t hire a middle school coach, he coached both the high school and middle school teams rather than allow the younger kids to miss out on football. (Remembering Eddie’s example, I’ve encountered a few situations where a head coach unhappy with his middle school coach has been reluctant to cut him loose, and I’ve advised him to coach both teams until he can find someone to coach his middle school kids properly.)

*********** A nice article about West Virginia QB Will Grier, who transferred there after losing his job at Florida.  His dad was his coach from the time he was little.

https://www.moultrienews.com/sports/a-father-and-son-s-journey-through-a-lifetime-of/article_2d1a6090-6811-11e8-98cc-b7b57b8371b5.html


*********** 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 last year.  The varsity struggled, finishing 3-8, and it would 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.  Dave was qualified to be the head coach, but the school chose to go with the existing defensive coordinator.

At my recent clinic, coaches Potter and Williams had just been informed that they were being retained, and they had many of their JVs on hand to serve as demonstrators.  The coaches in attendance remarked at what good kids they were, and you and I all know that the coaching had something to do with it.

And then, this past Monday, 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.  The JVs went 8-2 running the Double Wing.   This guy  intends to run the spread. 

You don’t suppose he sees 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.”

Now, granted, this guy may be a very good coach.  He has an impressive record as a head middle school coach (88-12), but he does 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 about last season. "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 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.’


dave potter's van


Did I say Dave Potter was super-organized?  A photo of Coach Potter’s van - what he calls his “Locker Room on Wheels” - before it went into service.

*********** Hi Hugh,

I enjoyed watching the clips of the T offense, the faking, and “the old fashion football”. I can not remember the name of that T team we played when we were at North Beach, perhaps Willimate (Willapa Valley - HW), but they ran a split T version and had had a long winning tradition. As I remember we gave them a heck of game, losing at their place, late in the fourth quarter. I do think you came back the next year and beat them but the split t dive and double dive proved a bear to defend. I did enjoy seeing those clips, dead T, two tight ends, and wonderful faking. In this pass happy age of spread and fire there still seems to be a few hard core football offenses still around.

Jack Tourtillotte
Rangeley, Maine

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

Good morning!  Like you I also have had a ton of respect for Charles Krauthammer.  For all the same reasons you mentioned, AND...the fact that he has never been anyone's lackey or yes man.  He will be missed.

Your insights into the perspective of legalized gambling from the viewpoint of the Democratic party is spot on.  They have been, are, and will always be only about "the party".  The party, the party, the party and only what's good for... "the party".

No surprise about the NBA ratings.  Frankly, I can't remember the last time I actually watched an NBA championship series, or even an NBA game for that matter.  Don't anticipate watching any in the near future either.  Lebron James??  Phooey!  Larry Bird was much better.  Michael Jordan was the best.  I think that time frame was the last time I watched an NBA game.

I analyzed game film this past season for one of our coaching buddies in Michigan.  His team won the Division 8 Michigan State Championship.***  As I watched a lot of his opponents I immediately noticed a number of teams running out of the Straight T.  I asked him about it, and he even said that there is a large group of Straight T coaches in the state, and some of them are d*** good at it.

Must be disappointing for you as a Yale alum to witness the slow, agonizing demise of its once proud reputation.  At one time it was quite something to be an "Eli" or "Yalie".  I'm sure it still is for you, but has some of it's luster been tarnished recently? 

After observing how young parents raise their children these days I have to wonder how most of us ever survived our childhoods.  But we did.  Frankly, the only public places my mom would take us (my dad was always working) were the grocery store, clothes store, or once in a great while (if we behaved) Woolworth's to get an ice cream.

Nice to see a fellow Fresno State Bulldog alum Bernard Berrian's name listed for consideration to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Tecas


*** That coaching buddy, Jason Mensing, also contributed this week! (See below)

*********** I saw the Full T post on your web page and the interest of it in Michigan.   Interestingly enough the Climax Scotts it the video you posted their Head Coach Kevin Langs is a long time T coach at CS he took over a struggling program and turned them into a state champion with it.  We played them in the 2015 playoffs for the first time, of course with the T being as popular as it is in our state it is impossible to winning any championship at any division from seeing it at least once.   So we spend all year preparing for it even if we only see it a few times.   In 15' we really CS down and got out to a 42-7 lead at half, they had a little change up double wing formation that they would have their QB in pistol and run some bucksweep and trap from this gave us some challenges and we decided we were going to implement it for a empty set out of our DW the next year.   In 16' we played CS again for a regional championship and sure enough they were running all DW, after the game Kevin and I had a good laugh on how we had copied him and they had copied us....   Unfortunately, they will be making a move to 8 man in another year but we have had a couple great games with them and they are a top small school in our state every year.   

There was a Coach in Bay City named Elmer Engle who won a ton of games in the 60's and 70's running the T, Irv Sigler learned it from him and then went to Cheboygan and had 4 undefeated seasons, following that Irv went to the state of Washington as a HS coach for a few years prior to returning to Michigan and winning multiple state titles at Belding High School.   After Irv retired from teaching he took the Head Coaching job at Olivet College a school that was his alma mater but had been struggling he got it turned around there running Engle's T.   Although there are a ton of great T coaches in our state now he was the one who really made it popular and at this point I would estimate probably 1 of every 8 or so schools in our state run it.  At this point there are a couple different versions of it but all are tough to stop.

God Bless,
Jason Mensing  
Head Football Coach
Whiteford High School,
Whiteford, Michigan

Coach Mensing’s team won its state championship this past season.


***********  QUIZ  ANSWER- Gil Dobie coached at Washington for nine seasons - nine unbeaten seasons. He was 58-0-3 at Washington, contributing most of the wins (and three of the ties) of a 64-game winning streak which still stands as college football’s longest.  His teams shut out the opponents in 69 per cent of their games, and only one opponent in his nine years scored in double figures (with 14 points).

Despite all that, he was fired by a university president who blamed him for a players’ strike (which he had nothing to do with).

Moving on to Navy, he was 18-3  in three years there.  His .857 winning record is by far the highest of any coach in Navy’s long history.

In the 1920’s, his Cornell teams won three national championships.

In his 33-year career, he had 14 unbeaten seasons

It took him only 108 games to reach 100 wins, a record still unmatched among major college coaches.

Dobie’s career record at five different colleges - North Dakota Agricultural (now ND State), Washington, Navy, Cornell and Boston College - was 182-45-15.  His .780 won-loss percentage ranks him 18th all-time among college coaches.


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING GIL DOBIE—
TITO CORREA - NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN

*********** Gil Dobie was called “Gloomy Gil,” although those who knew him said that he actually had a good sense of humor. 

There also have been stories about his being so unpopular among Washington fans that they threw things at him (“pelted him with peanuts," is how the stories often go) but that seems to have been a case of one isolated incident being blown way out of proportion.

In truth, he was so popular that the Washington fight song, “Bow Down to Washington,” written in 1915 when he had established Washington as THE West Coast power, contained the line, “Dobie, Dobie, Pride of Washington.”  (It’s since been changed to “Vic-tory the cry of Washington.)

He also may have been the first of many coaches to have been fired by a school president envious of his success.

He certainly sounds like the forerunner of today’s  Double Wing coaches.  He believed in power football - running off-tackle, and with as much interference as possible.  He stressed the importance of blocking and tackling, and of the kicking game as well as offense and defense.   He didn’t have a bag of tricks and a mile-long playlist.  He believed in limiting his offense to those few plays that his players could run to perfection.

Wrote Rich Linde, in May 2011,

Dobie kept his playbook simple and easy to learn. As a result, he insisted that each play be run to perfection and practiced repeatedly until it was sure to gain yards. Often times a practice session was devoted to  practicing and learning the intricacies of just one play.

Somewhat of a martinet, to put it mildly, he emphasized defense as much as offense, that is, blocking and tackling equally. His line play, both offensively and defensively, functioned like a machine. Every man knew his role and did it flawlessly with timing and dispatch. Finding a good kicker/punter was paramount because maintaining field position on Denny Field's muddy track could be the difference between winning and losing.


Lynn Borland wrote in the Seattle Times of an instance that illustrated his offensive philosophy:

Where Dobie separated himself was in his painstaking execution. He was an absolute perfectionist. He would spend mind-numbing hours working on a single play. Each player had to perform his role to exacting precision until exhaustion in an era when traveling squads were limited to 18 players. His teams were described as "machines."

He was dining at the Hotel Butler with George Varnell, Seattle Times reporter, after a 45-0 Thanksgiving victory when Washington State coach John "Chief" Bender stopped by.

"I can't understand that licking," Bender said. "Why Gil, we had 105 plays to work on your team."

"Maybe that was your trouble," Dobie responded. "We had only nine plays; but coach, we sure knew them all well."

He was a great believer in team play and in absolute rule, wrote Borland.

The uber-controlling coach with piercing dark eyes was also a master of psychology. He knew how to get into his players' heads. Many times he would leak to the press some supposed weakness or leave a team rumor uncorrected, only to turn the misinformation to his advantage.

Preseason practices often started with the previous year's starters on the second team to keep their egos in check.


It was never wise to cross Dobie, who once challenged his entire team to fight. He had no takers. His motto, according to Coyle (a former quarterback) : "I am always right — you are always wrong."

His harsh words could be as brutal as the sport he coached. "You are the dumbest, clumsiest, rankest collection of so-called football excuses I have ever seen," Coyle remembered him telling one team.

As for his love of the off-tackle play, Linde, in 2011, wrote,

His wicked off-tackle play and its variations, like a tank from World War I, was feared by all of his opposing coaches. As sure as tomorrow, they knew it was coming -- but couldn't devise a plan to stop the rolling monster.

In his article "Gil Dobie talks football" (Boys' Life, October 1932), Edwin B. Dooley, who played quarterback for Dartmouth, describes Dartmouth's game in 1923 with Cornell and the off-tackle play. Dobie coached at Cornell from 1920-1935, compiling a record of 82-36-7, along with three undefeated seasons.

gil dobie off-tackle"Finally, it was agreed we'd play a 7-2-2 defense. That would allow our two fullbacks to back up a seven-man line and stop the juggernaut. We kicked off. Cornell ran the ball back to mid-field. On the first play (George) Pfann went off tackle for thirteen yards. He ran slowly, allowing his interferers to clean up in front of him. And clean up they did. The next play saw Pfann go off the other tackle for ten yards. It was cruel. The play functioned despite everything. There was no stopping it.

"It came at you like a thundering herd, clearing everything out of its path. Five men ahead of the ball carrier, and each man doing his job with finesse and gusto. If you dived into the interferers to pile them up, the ball carrier would run up their backs and keep right on going. If you waited, you were cut down as though hit by a scythe. It was a play that bred fear and bewilderment and always gained yardage. On first down with ten yards to go and our team set for another smashing off-tackle play, Pfann stepped back and shot a "bullet pass" right down the center alley for a touchdown.

"The ease, the methodical coolness and the precision with which the touchdown was attained worked psychologically to our disadvantage.  Cornell scored fast and often that day and trounced us badly. "When the Big Red team came out on the field, the faces of the players were blackened with charcoal under the eyes, to counter the effects of the strong sun. They looked weird and imposing. Dobie never overlooked a single detail in preparing for a game."




No doubt his harsh early life helped mold him into the man he became.

Wrote Borlund,

Dobie was born of Scottish immigrant parents on Jan. 31, 1878 in Hastings, Minn. His life soon, quite literally, paralleled that of Charles Dickens' David Copperfield. At age 4, he lost his mother, and by 8 his father died. His indigent stepmother, with six mouths to feed, reluctantly sent Dobie and a younger brother to an orphanage.

It was more military outpost than loving home, with virtually all family contacts cut off. At his most impressionable, Dobie learned the authoritarian rule that he later displayed as a coach.

In nine years at the state-run school, Dobie was indentured out as a child laborer to four separate families. His was a loveless, bleak existence with more rejection than acceptance. Dobie, like Copperfield, was subjected to long hours of harsh manual labor and eventually ran away. And to assure this chapter of his life would end as Dickens scripted it, he was rescued by a kindhearted woman from a wealthy family. But he had been whipsawed between the orphanage and indentured service so often, he didn't graduate from high school until he was 21.

The “Pelted with peanuts” legend had its origin early in his tenure at Washington, where a couple of boosters sitting on the sideline had no success yelling at him to sit down and resorted to throwing peanuts at him.

Wrote Borland,

As that story was retold over the years, it was embellished into a fable. By 1955, Dobie was said to be so resented by UW fans that they regularly booed him and rooted for opponents. The one-time shelling morphed into a regular occurrence. By 1964, Sports Illustrated claimed prominent citizens used to "line Denny Field and throw rocks at the impervious Dobie." By 1987, a book claimed Washington fans would boo and throw fruit and vegetables from the stands.

In fact, Dobie was adored. "Bow Down To Washington," written in 1915, includes the chorus: "Dobie, Dobie pride of Washington." The many rallies where he spoke were always to packed houses with thundering standing ovations. Fans flooded the field and hung out after games, hoping to hear a word from the master. Players sang his praises despite his controlling personality and crude tirades. For decades, Seattle-area teenagers played "Gil Dobie" youth football.

http://old.seattletimes.com/html/huskies/2013484333_dobie21.html

http://4malamute.com/statuesque.html

*********** “A conversation with Dobie”  - A present-day Husky fan wanting to know how his Dawgs will do against Michigan  calls on the powers of a gypsy woman to put him in touch with the Great Dobie…

"Coach, you were the greatest Washington ever had. The charges that Suzzallo (the university president) made against you were later proven to be false. There never has been another coach who racked up the kind of record you did. You remain the most astonishing coach we ever had! You coached 61 straight games at Washington and never left the field with a loss!"

Dobie settled back in his chair and dropped his pencil. He put out what was left of his cigar and lit a fresh one. He opened a drawer and took out a small flask and took a short drink, and replaced the flask in his desk. He propped his feet on his desk. A vague look of mixed sorrow and pride crossed his scowling face.

"We were OK, I guess. We had three ties, you know."

http://4malamute.com/conversation.html


*********** The Washington Fight Song - "Bow Down to Washington" - written in 1915 prior to the big game against Cal

Heaven help the foes of Wash-ing-ton
They’re trampling at the feet of mighty Wash-ing-ton
Our boys are there with bells,
Their fighting blood excels,
It’s harder to push them over the line
Than pass the Dardanelles.

Doble, Dobie pride of Wash-ing-ton,
Leather lungs together with a
RAH! RAH! RAH!
And when we snare
That Golden Bear
You’ll never carry it back
From Wash-ing-ton-ia!

(The game was won by Washington, 72-0)

*********** Gil Dobie at BC - sent to me by Greg Koenig, of Cimarron, Kansas

https://newspapers.bc.edu/?a=d&d=bcheights19561130.2.45


***********  QUIZ :  He was so much bigger than the other kids as a child that he was moved ahead two grades in school, and as a result,  when he reported to his first NFL camp as a rookie, he was only 19.  But he was a physical marvel, 6-3, 255 with a 29-inch waist.  His fellow rookie, Sam Huff, called him a “big Jim Brown.”

To the NFL, though, he was a total unknown,  having played at little-known Morgan State, a small historically-black school in Baltimore, in the days before the NFL scouted the black colleges.   The NFL draft lasted 30 rounds in those days, and he was the 318th player chosen, known to the Giants only because of his having been on the Pittsburgh Courier’s Black College All-American team.

He played in 162 games in 13 seasons for the Giants, and from 1955 though 1963,  with him at left tackle on offense, the Giants won six division championships and one NFL title.  

Five players from those Giants’ teams are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he is one of them.

He was named All-Pro eight times, and played in 10 Pro Bowls.   He was named to the NFL Team of the 1950s, and in 1975 he was named to the NFL’s 50th Anniversary team.

The Giants take pride in saying, “Once a Giant, always a Giant,” and he embodied it: as a player, assistant coach and scout, he spent 51 years in the Giants’ organization.




american flagTUESDAY,  JUNE 12,  2018 “History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.”  Abba Eban, Israeli diplomat

*********** I’m so saddened by the news delivered to us by columnist Charles Krauthammer that he has terminal cancer and has only weeks to
live.  I’ve been a long-time admirer of Mr. Krauthammer for his integrity, his intelligence, his wisdom, and his eloquence. 

I’ve also been a great admirer of his obvious joie de vivre (enjoyment of life), considering the sudden change of course his life took when in his first year at Harvard Medical School a swimming pool accident left him paralyzed for life from the neck down.

At times I disagreed with his arguments but I always had to listen, so beautifully did he form and express them.

He passed along the news in an incredibly sad yet uplifting farewell letter.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/06/08/fox-news-star-charles-krauthammer-reveals-has-weeks-to-live-in-heartbreaking-letter.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fpolitics+%28Internal+-+Politics+-+Text%29&utm_content=Yahoo+Search+Results

*********** Commenting on my photo of Traymar Ruffin, East Wake High’s Black Lion Award winner, Brad Knight writes from Clarinda, Iowa…

The kind of kid that ALL good coaches seek...doesn't matter where you start, it matters where you finish.  Too many coaches think negatively about kids that are not "good" in the beginning....good coaches allow kids the opportunity to grow, develop, understand, gain confidence and learn.  Never give up on any kid, ever, as with the right "culture" many kids will achieve to or exceed expectations if they are just given a chance, and maybe given some motivation...just my thoughts.

*********** After years and years of considering gambling on sports as impure, it’s suddenly upon us.  The major reason why, writes Holman Jenkins in the Wall Street Journal:  “the funding needs of the welfare state.”

Therefore, he writes, “it should not surprise anyone that Democrats, as big supporters of the welfare state, have been the biggest supporters of gaming as a way to finance it.”

The problem for you and me is that from this point on, sports, like state lotteries, will be employed by politicians as ATM machines to pay for all their buy-the-vote schemes. “Down this road,” Jenkins writes,  “lies turning the national pastime into jai alai.  Though it won’t be presented this way, such is the consequence of the insatiable funding needs of the welfare state rippling through institutions that seemingly have nothing to do with the welfare state.”

*********** The ratings for the NBA finals on ABC were way down.  Obviously, the same-old-same-old matchup for the fourth straight year had something to do with it, but I suspect that political opinionating could be taking the NBA  in the same self-destructive direction as the NFL. Speaking only for myself, I’m sick of listening to the political opinions of uneducated athletes such as LeBron James and intellectual poseurs such as Greg Popovich and Steve Kerr who coach them.  They might be the best in the world at what they do, but skill at playing and coaching basketball just doesn’t translate into ability to comment intelligently on matters of greater importance, and even if it did, it makes no sense at all to alienate a large segment of your following.

https://deadline.com/2018/06/kevin-durant-warriors-win-nba-finals-ratings-down-nba-abc-1202406923/


*********** In terms of career winning percentage,  only four current college football coaches rank among the all-time top 33:  Urban Meyer, Chris Peterson, Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney.  Meyer, Saban and Swinney are easy picks, but I’ll bet none of you would have guessed Chris Peterson.

http://www.tiptop25.com/topcoaches_winpercent.html


*********** Charlie Wilson, of Crystal River, Florida, is a big wishbone and belly guy, which naturally means he has a weakness for the full-house T.

He sent me some clips of small schools in Michigan running full house, commenting “The QB’s faking is VERY good.”  Charlie adds, “I understand that there is a Sub-Culture in Michigan HS’s for this Offense.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVSqaJB0Duk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq7ATf6mVEY&t=307s


*********** FROM THE INTERNET:
 
I took down my Rebel flag (which you can't buy on EBAY any more) and peeled the NRA sticker off my front window.
 
I disconnected my home alarm system and quit the candy-ass Neighborhood Watch.
 
I bought two Pakistani flags and put one at each corner of the front yard.
 
Then I purchased the black flag of ISIS (which you CAN buy on EBAY) and ran it up the flag pole.
 
Now the local police, sheriff, FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, Secret Service and other agencies are all watching my house 24/7.   
 
I've NEVER felt safer and I'm saving $69.95 a month that ADT used to charge me.
 
Plus, I bought burkhas for me to wear when I shop or travel. Everyone moves out of the way,and security can't pat me down. If they say I'm a male wearing a burkha, I just say I'm feeling like a woman today.
 

*********** The changing face of international rugby…

My son, Ed, who lives in Australia, points out that 13 of the 23 players on the Wallabies, Australia’s national team, are of Polynesian descent.

Wallabies team to face Ireland
Israel Folau, Marika Koroibete, Samu Kerevi, Kurtley Beale, Dane Haylett-Petty, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Caleb Timu, Michael Hooper (captain), David Pocock, Adam Coleman, Izack Rodda, Sekope Kepu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Scott Sio. Reserves: Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Lukhan Tui, Pete Samu, Nick Phipps, Reece Hodge.


*********** It’s almost time for the College World Series, and my wife and I have been enjoying the Super Regionals.  Saturday night we watched Oregon State beat Minnesota in a late game, a really good one. Minnesota was the Big 10 regular season champion, and they had a couple of outstanding freshman pitchers who can throw, but Oregon State is really good.  I’ve mentioned before that their catcher, Adley Rutschmann, is the grandson of the great Ad Rutschmann, legendary football and baseball coach at division III (and before that, NAIA) power Linfield College.  Ad won three NAIA national football titles in the 1980s, and took one of his baseballs team to the NAIA world series.  Interestingly, he coached every game in his entire Linfield career from the press box (Just in case you ever had the idea and wondered whether it could be done). Oregon high school football is loaded with coaches who played their college ball at Linfield under Ad Rutschmann.  Grandson Adley is a big kid - 6-2, 210 - who played high school football at Sherwood, Oregon, a perennial state power that runs a very good Wing-T.

*********** John Harris, of Martinsville, Virginia, coached against Curt Warner in high school.  He wrote, “You wouldn't have enjoyed trying to defense him which was my job. His HS coach told me that, on occasion, Curt would say, before practice, ‘Coach, nobody's going to touch me today.’ And, lo and behold, nobody would, in drills, scrimmage, etc. Sounds kind of far-fetched, but with Curt, you can't automatically deny it.”

***********   A Yale tradition has sprung up called FebClub, evidently  getting its start as undergrad parties aimed at counteracting the cold, dreary New Haven Februaries.

In recent years, the FebClub get-togethers have spread all across the globe, wherever Yalies are found, and the promotion of the events made them appear like great ways for alums - young and old - to connect. To meet and socialize.  To be “mixers,” as meet-and-greets with ladies from women’s colleges were called in my college days.

And so, two years ago, my wife and I decided to give the Portland FebClub get-together a shot.  What the hell - it was being held at a place called Hopworks Urban Brewery, one of the areas’s ubiquitous brewpubs, and even if the crowd turned out to be stuffy and snobbish, there was always beer.

Arriving, we were shown to the back room where the event was taking place, and all it took was one quick peek inside to tell us that we were in the wrong place.  Instead of people milling around and mixing, young couples sat at long tables chatting, while little kids ran around the room unattended.   It looked like parents’ day at Hopworks Urban Day Care.   With beer and pizza. Little  kids easily outnumbered the adults.  We were older than the average person in the room by maybe 30 years.  Some mixer. 

The evening wasn’t wasted. We headed for the Horse Brass, possibly the greatest English pub outside of the British Isles, and enjoyed good food, good beer, and great atmosphere.

I was reminded of the FebClub fiasco on my recent trip to Raleigh, when following the clinic a few of us decided to go have a few.  The place we chose was called Oak City Brewing Company, in the suburb of Knightdale.

It was not your ordinary beer joint. First of all, it was  a house that had been “repurposed” as they like to say on HGTV. Inside, it was another FebClub,  an indoor picnic with young families seated at tables throughout the place.  There were plenty of little kids, of course.  And at least one dog (very well behaved, but a dog nonetheless).  And young mothers with babies in one hand and pint glasses of beer in the other.  To guys like us, from places like Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and DC, it blew us away. 

It got me to thinking - is this the new normal, taking kids everywhere?   Don’t they have some babysitter app on their iPhones?

Does having kids mean you can no longer do adult things, without them? 

Is this how the child of the family becomes the center of the family solar system?  Is this how today’s parents get to planning every weekend around the kids’ soccer games? To letting the kids decide where the family should to go on vacation?

Is this the way parents arrive at that stage of arrested development where they tell us that they’re “best friends” with their children?

Yes we were from another universe, because we all lived in - or recalled times and places when kids weren’t allowed in bars.  When women weren’t even welcome.

In the Pennsylvania of my youth, taverns had signs above side doors that said “Ladies’ entrance.”  That was so women could walk in and sit at a table in the back room, without having to enter through the front door and then walk past all the male drinkers at the bar.

In Connecticut, when I was in college, women couldn’t even sit at a bar if they wanted to.

And in Baltimore, when I first arrived there in the early 1960s, there were places that unapologetically called themselves stag bars.

I can see today’s liberated women, shaking their heads at those misogynistic relics of a bygone patriarchy.  It would shock them to learn that the women of those times generally supported the idea of men-only bars, because it meant that when their husbands were drinking, that was all they were doing.

http://www.oakcitybrewingcompany.com/about/

http://www.baltimoresun.com/bs-mtblog-2010-04-thats_not_just_any_foot_rest_i-story.html


***********  Oliver Luck has left the NCAA.  I thought at the time of his hiring that he was being groomed to take over as its head, after that tool Mark Emmert moved on, but my guess is that once Luck got on the inside he realized there was no future in an organization which one of these days is going to lose the rest of whatever control it still exerts over the Power Five conferences.

But he left to become - Commissioner of the XFL?

Now, Oliver Luck, who before his stay at the NCAA was AD at West Virginia, has always appeared to me to be a very smart guy.  But in this case, I think he’s nuts. 

WTF future is there in running a resurrected version of Vince McMahon’s Folly?

Yes, there will be those who’ll say that this is the perfect time to challenge the NFL.  I’m here to say that they’re nuts, too.

First of all, the challengers are aiming at a shrinking overall market.  For an assortment of reasons, TV viewership of all sports - not just the NFL - is down. 

Second, the sport of football itself is under attack, and there are signs that it may be losing its appeal to the younger audience.

Third, conventional methods of reaching the public to promote a new sports venture - newspapers and network TV - are declining in importance. Newspaper sports sections are half the size they were 20 years ago, and few newspapers employ more than one local sports columnist.  The “sports” segment in the  local 30-minute news-sports-weather show lasts maybe five minutes.  And despite all you hear about “social media,”  they have yet to prove to be adequate replacements.

Finally, although the NFL may be bruised at the moment, it is still formidable. It may be wounded but it is not slain.  It remains the undisputed giant of US sports, enjoying a monopoly that not even John D. Rockefeller ever envisioned.  The NFL was very tough to combat in the 1970s, when I was a foot soldier in the WFL’s challenge; it is impregnable now. 

But then, I’m sure Mr. Luck’s going to be paid well.   Which, when you get right down to it, is why guys take other jobs without futures, such as coaching NBA teams.

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/23702411/oliver-luck-commissioner-ceo-xfl

*********** Miss America is no longer going to be a beauty “pageant.”  In fact, it’s not going to  be a “pageant” at all. Henceforth, it will be a “competition.”   And it’s definitely not going to be about beauty.  Not content with slipping ratings, the pageant - sorry, competition - promoters are aiming for plummeting ratings, going away with both  swimsuit and evening gown competitions. 

Instead, they expect Americans to get excited about young women demonstrating “their passion, intelligence and overall understanding of the job of Miss America.”

Gee, do you suppose we might get to hear a speech or two  about saving the planet, or working for world peace?

You watch - it won’t be more than five years before Miss America is a tranny - if the “competition” is even around in five years.

https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/culture/story/miss-america-scrapping-swimsuit-competition-longer-judge-based-55638426


*********** Ever met a former student and had him or her repeat something you said, many years ago?  Ever looked at them, confounded, and said, “I said that?”

Peggy Noonan wrote in her column in the Wall Street Journal of the time the great Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy, was in his sitting room when his daughter came in and said, “Papa, listen.”

She read to him a page of the description of a great battle.  He listened and said, “Oh, that’s good.  Who is that?”  She said, ‘Papa, it’s you. ‘War and Peace.’”


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

Thank you for mentioning that poster from Free Republic.  If that doesn't point out the sorry contradictions of what the "new" NFL is nothing will.

I agree with you.  Yes...I'm not a fan of the "new" NFL as you know.  But I agree that my current feelings toward the "new" league has nothing to do with my feelings toward the "old" league, and the MEN who played the game back then. 

Terrell "T.O." Owens is one of the founders of the "new" NFL.  He can kiss my @$$.

QUIZ for Coach Wyatt:  This coach started his head coaching career at the tender age of 26.  He coached in five different colleges in five successive years.  His first team at his last school went undefeated in his first season there, and won the Rose Bowl.  In his first four consecutive seasons at the school his teams went undefeated, and finally lost one game in his fifth year to a school that no longer plays football.  He became the A.D. after his retirement from football, and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

That would be the great Fielding “Point-a-Minute” Yost, one of many great coaches to come out of West Virginia and the guy who built the Big House.


***********  This is your official invitation to speak at the HOF ceremony in Canton.

John Vermillion          
St Petersburg, Florida

My speech is already written…

Thank you Commissioner Goodell.

Honored Inductees and Fellow Lovers of the Game of Football…

Thanks to an invitation from my good friend John Vermillion, I have the great honor of standing before you this afternoon for the purpose of rescinding the induction of Terrell Owens into this hallowed Hall.  Permit me to explain why…

(That’s all I’ve written because at this point, I anticipate the loud and prolonged applause from the crowd will prevent me from finishing…”)




*********** COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME NOMINEES

The criteria for Hall of Fame consideration include:

    •    First and foremost, a player must have received First-Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams.

    •    A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation's Honors Courts 10 full seasons after his final year of intercollegiate football played.

    •    While each nominee's football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man, with love of his country. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether the candidate earned a college degree.

    •    Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years.* For example, to be eligible for the 2019 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1969 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.

    •    A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.

*Players who do not comply with the 50-year rule may still be eligible for consideration by the Football Bowl Subdivision and Divisional Veterans Committees.

 
Once nominated for consideration, all player candidates are submitted to one of eight District Screening Committees, depending on their school's geographic location, which conducts a vote to determine who will appear on the ballot and represent their respective districts. Each year, approximately 15 candidates, who are not selected for the Hall of Fame, will be named automatic holdovers and will bypass the district screening process and automatically appear on the ballot the following year. Additionally, the Veterans Committee may make recommendations to the Honors Court for exceptions that allow for the induction of players who played more than 50 years ago.
 
Of the 5.26 million individuals who have played college football since Princeton first battled Rutgers on Nov. 6, 1869, only 997 players have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, or less than two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of those who have played the game during the past 149 years. From the coaching ranks, 217 individuals have achieved Hall of Fame distinction.


The 2019 voting deadline is June 22. If you would like to become a member and receive this year's ballot, please contact NFF Director of Membership Ron Dilatush at  rdilatush@footballfoundation.com.
 
- A list of candidates and capsule bios are provided below.
 
Consensus All-American: Listed as a First Team All-American by at least half of the recognized publications.
 
Unanimous All-American: Listed as a First Team All-American by all recognized publications.


2019 FBS PLAYER CANDIDATE CAPSULE BIOS
 
Flozell Adams, Michigan State-Offensive Tackle-1997 First Team All-American and Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year...Three-time All-Big Ten performer who helped Spartans to three consecutive bowl appearances... Helped running backs rush for more than 100 yards in 21 games throughout career and allowed only two QB sacks in 1997 season.
 
Bernard Berrian, Fresno State-Kick Returner/Wide Receiver-2001 First Team All-America kick returner who led the nation in all-purpose yards (2,776)...Bulldogs all-time leader in career all-purpose yards (5,828) and tied school records for career TD receptions (25)...Three-time All-WAC performer who helped team to a share of the 1999 WAC title.
 
Michael Bishop, Kansas State-Quarterback-1998 consensus First Team All-American and winner of the Davey O'Brien Award...1998 Heisman Trophy runner-up who led Cats to 1998 Big 12 North title and berth in conference championship...Set 14 conference and 34 school records while throwing for 2,844 yards and 23 TDs and rushing for 748 yards and 14 TDs in 1998 championship season.
 
Lomas Brown, Florida-Offensive Tackle-1984 consensus First Team All-American and two-time All-SEC performer...Led Gators to three consecutive bowl berths and top 10 national final rankings in 1983 and 1984...Recipient of Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC's top blocker in 1984.
 
Terrell Buckley, Florida State-Defensive Back-1991 unanimous First Team All-American and winner of the Thorpe Award...Led the nation in interceptions (12) and return yards (501) during final season at FSU...Seminoles' all-time leader in career interceptions (21) who returned four interceptions and three punts for touchdowns in career.
 
Brandon Burlsworth, Arkansas-Offensive Guard-1998 First Team All-American and First Team All-SEC selection...Helped Arkansas to two postseason berths and to SEC Western Division titles in 1995 and '98...Former walk-on who later started 34 consecutive games.
 
Larry Burton, Purdue-Split End-First Team All-American and Outstanding College Athlete of America in 1974 and a First Team All-Big Ten selection...Led the team in receiving in both 1973 and 1974...Named team captain and team MVP in 1974.
 
Keith Byars, Ohio State-Running Back-Unanimous First Team All-American and Heisman Trophy runner-up who led nation in rushing (1,764), all-purpose yards (2,441) and scoring (144) in 1984...1984 Big Ten MVP and two-time All-Big Ten selection...Ranks fifth all-time at OSU with 4,369 career all-purpose yards and 3,200 career rushing yards.
 
Matt Cavanaugh, Pittsburgh-Quarterback-1977 First Team All-American who led the Panthers to a 1976 national title...Led Pitt to three consecutive bowl wins, earning MVP honors in the 1977 Sugar and 1977 Gator bowls...Finished Pitt career ranked second all-time (behind only Tony Dorsett) with 3,916 career yards of total offense.
 
Dallas Clark, Iowa-Tight End-2002 unanimous First Team All-American and winner of the Mackey Award as the nation's best tight end...Two-time All-Big Ten selection who helped Iowa to a share of the 2002 Big Ten title and its first-ever 11-win season (2002)...Holds record for longest pass reception in school history (95 yards).
 
Marco Coleman, Georgia Tech-Linebacker-1991 First Team All-America pick...Two-time First Team All-ACC, leading Jackets to the national championship and an 11-0-1 record in 1990...28 career sacks rank 14th all-time in ACC history.
 
Tim Couch, Kentucky-Quarterback-1998 consensus First Team All-American who finished fourth in Heisman voting in 1998 and ninth in 1997...1998 SEC Player of the Year who led Cats to first win over Alabama in 75 years...Set seven NCAA, 14 SEC and 26 school records.
 
Eric Crouch, Nebraska-Quarterback-2001 Heisman, Walter Camp and Davey O'Brien Award winner who led Huskers to 2001 national title game at the Rose Bowl...Finished career as NCAA record holder for career rushing TDs by a quarterback (59)...Led team to 42-9 record and four bowl berths.
 
Eric Dickerson, Southern Methodist-Running Back-Named unanimous First Team All-American and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1982...Twice named SWC Player of the Year, he holds 14 SMU records including career rushing yards (4,450).
 
Rickey Dixon, Oklahoma-Defensive Back-1987 consensus First Team All-American and winner of the 1987 Thorpe Award...Two-time First Team All-Big Eight selection and member of 1985 National Championship team...Finished career as school leader in single-season interceptions (9) and ranked second all-time with 17 career interceptions.
 
Vaughn Dunbar, Running Back-Indiana-1991 unanimous First Team All-American who led the nation in rushing (1,805) and finished sixth in Heisman voting...1991 First Team All-Big Ten selection, leading the conference with 150.4 ypg...Team MVP posted consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and led the Hoosiers to two bowl games.
 
Jumbo Elliott, Michigan-Offensive Tackle- Two-time First Team All-American (consensus-'87)... Two-time All-Big Ten First Team selection and member of 1986 Big Ten Co-Champions...Paved the way for Jamie Morris, who had three-straight 1,000-yard seasons.
 
Bobby Engram, Wide Receiver-Penn State-1994 First Team All-American and recipient of the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver...Three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection who led Lions to the 1994 conference title and four bowl wins...First-ever PSU player to record a 1,000-yard receiving season and left PSU with 12 school records.
 
Kevin Faulk, Louisiana State-Running Back-1996 First Team All-American who finished career ranked fourth in NCAA history in all-purpose yards (6,833)...Three-time First Team All-SEC selection and 1995 SEC Freshman of the Year...Set 11 school records during career and became first LSU back to average 100 yards per game during entire career.
 
David Fulcher, Arizona State-Defensive Back-Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors in both 1984 and 1985...Three-time All-Pac-10 selection who led ASU to 1985 Holiday Bowl berth...Recorded 14 interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, and 286 tackles in career.
 
Robert Gallery, Iowa-Offensive Tackle-2003 consensus First Team All-American and recipient of the 2003 Outland Trophy...Two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection and Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year as a senior...Led Hawkeyes to a Big Ten title, Orange Bowl appearance and a No. 8 final ranking in 2002.
 
Moe Gardner, Illinois-Defensive Tackle-Two-time First Team All-American (unanimous-'89, consensus-'90)...1990 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and 1989 Big Ten Lineman of the Year...Three-time First Team All-Conference pick and set school record for career TFL (57).
 
Tony Gonzalez, California-Tight End-1996 consensus First Team All-American and First Team All-Pac-10 selection...Holds Cal record for receptions in a bowl game (9 in 1996 Aloha Bowl)...Posted 89 receptions for 1,302 yards and eight touchdowns during career.
 
Jacob Green, Texas A&M-Defensive Lineman-1979 First Team All-American and two-time All-SWC selection...Set A&M records for career sacks (37) and single-season sacks (20 in 1979)...Led Aggies to berths in the 1977 Bluebonnet and 1978 Hall of Fame bowls.
 
Dan Hampton, Arkansas-Defensive Tackle-1978 First Team All-American and two-time All-SWC selection...Named 1978 Houston Post Outstanding Player of the Year in the SWC, recording 18 TFL during his senior campaign...Helped Hogs beat No. 19 Georgia in 1976 Cotton Bowl and No. 2 Oklahoma in 1978 Orange Bowl.
 
Jason Hanson, Washington State-Placekicker-Two-time First Team All-American, earning unanimous honors in 1989...Holds numerous NCAA, conference and school records, including longest field goal without a tee (62 yards) and career field goals of 40 yards or more (39)...Four-time All-Pac-10 selection and 1991 NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
 
Byron Hanspard, Texas Tech-Running Back-1996 unanimous First Team All-American and recipient of the Doak Walker Award...Tech's all-time leader in rushing (4,219) who tied NCAA record by reaching 1,000-yard mark by fifth game of 1996 season...Three-time All-Big 12 selection, helping Red Raiders to first Cotton Bowl since 1938.
 
Kevin Hardy, Illinois-Linebacker-1995 consensus First Team All-American and Butkus Award winner...Two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection who helped Illini to two bowl berths...Team captain started 45 games (second all-time among LBs) and ranks fourth all-time at Illinois in sacks (18) and TFL (38).
 
Marcus Harris, Wyoming-Wide Receiver-Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors as a senior...1996 Biletnikoff Award winner who finished ninth in Heisman Trophy voting and twice led the nation in receiving yards per game...1996 WAC Offensive Co-Player of the Year who set NCAA record with 4,518 career receiving yards.
 
Marvin Harrison, Syracuse-Kick Returner/Wide Receiver-1995 First Team All-American as a kick returner and 1995 Big East Special Teams Player of the Year...Three-time All-Big East selection who set a conference record with a 94-yard punt return for a TD in 1995...Left Syracuse as the school's all-time receiving leader (2,718 yards).
 
Jeff Hartings, Penn State-Offensive Lineman-Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors in 1995...Three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection who helped Lions to the 1994 conference title...Leader of an offensive unit that set 14 single-season school records and led the FBS in scoring (47.8 ppg) in 1994).
 
E.J. Henderson, Maryland-Linebacker-Only two-time consensus First Team All-American in Terps history...2002 Bednarik and Butkus award winner who helped Maryland to an Orange Bowl berth and No. 11 final ranking...2001 ACC Player of the Year and two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year, leading Terps to the 2001 ACC title.
 
Craig Heyward, Pittsburgh-Running Back-1987 consensus First Team All-American who led the nation in rushing his final season and finished fifth in Heisman voting...Left Pitt as the second-leading rusher in school history (behind only Tony Dorsett) with 3,086 career rushing yards...Rushed for at least 100 yards in every game of 1987 season.
 
Torry Holt, North Carolina State-Wide Receiver-1998 consensus First Team All-American who was the only receiver in the top 10 of the 1998 Heisman Trophy voting...1998 ACC Player of the Year who earned First Team All-Conference honors as a receiver and punt returner...NC State's all-time leader in receiving (3,379) and all-purpose yards (1,979).
 
Ken Huff, North Carolina-Offensive Guard-1974 consensus First Team All-American who captained the College All-Stars vs. Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers...First Team All-Conference and recipient of the 1974 Jacob's Blocking Trophy as the ACC's best offensive lineman...Third overall pick in the first round of the 1975 NFL draft and named an ACC Football Legend.
 
Steve Hutchinson, Michigan-Offensive Lineman-2000 unanimous First Team All-American who led the Wolverines to four bowl wins, including the 1997 National Championship at the Rose Bowl...One of only seven players in conference history to be named a four-time First Team All-Big Ten selection...Three-time Big Ten champion.
 
Raghib Ismail, Notre Dame-Wide Receiver-Two-time First Team All-American earning consensus honors in 1989 and unanimous laurels in 1990...Walter Camp Player of the Year and Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1990...Led ND to national championship at the Fiesta Bowl and two Orange Bowls.
 
Larry Jacobson, Nebraska-Defensive Tackle-1971 consensus First Team All-American and Outland Trophy recipient...Led Huskers to back-to-back national titles and three-consecutive conference championships...1971 All-Big Eight performer who led Nebraska to a 33-2-1 record during career.
 
E.J. Junior, Alabama-Defensive End-1980 unanimous First Team All-American and member of two national championship teams (1978, 1979)...Three-time First Team All-SEC selection and 1980 SEC Lineman of the Year, who led Tide to two conference titles...Member of fabled goal-line stand defense vs. Penn State in 1979 Sugar Bowl.
 
Jess Lewis, Oregon State-Defensive Tackle-Named First Team All-American in 1967...Played in the College All-Star Game, East-West Shrine Game and Coaches All-America Bowl in 1970...Two-time First Team All-Conference selection (1967, 1969).
 
Ray Lewis, Miami (Fla.)-Linebacker-1995 First Team All-American and Butkus Award runner-up...Led Canes to Fiesta and Orange bowl appearances and ranks sixth all-time at Miami with 388 career tackles...Two-time First Team All-Big East performer who twice led the league in tackles.
 
Bobby Majors, Tennessee-Defensive Back-1971 unanimous First Team All-American who led Vols to wins in 1971 Sugar Bowl and 1972 Liberty Bowl... Two-time First Team All-SEC selection still holds conference and school record with 10 INTs in 1971...Set Tennessee records for career punt returns (117) and career punt return yardage (1,163).
 
Tony Mandarich, Michigan State-Offensive Tackle-1988 consensus First Team All-America...Finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1988...Helped the Spartans to three bowl game appearances and a victory in the 1987 Rose Bowl.
 
Ed McCaffrey, Stanford-Wide Receiver-1990 First Team All-American and two-time Stanford MVP...1990 First Team All-Pac-10 receiver who led the Cardinal in receiving yards three-of-four years...Ranks in the top 10 all-time at Stanford with 146 career receptions and 2,333 career receiving yards.
 
Darren McFadden, Arkansas-Running Back-Two-time First Team All-American (2006-consensus, 2007-unanimous) and two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up...2007 Walter Camp Player of the Year and two-time Doak Walker Award recipient...Two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Year and the Hogs all-time rushing leader (4,590 yards).
 
Cade McNown, UCLA-Quarterback-1998 Consensus First Team All-American and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award recipient...1998 Pac-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Year who led UCLA to consecutive Pac-10 titles in 1997 (shared) and 1998...Holds numerous school records.
 
Corey Moore, Virginia Tech-Defensive Lineman-Two-time First Team All-American (1999-unanimous) and winner of the 1999 Lombardi and Nagurski awards...Two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year led Hokies to 2000 National Championship Game...Leader of Hokies famed "Lunch Pail Defense" that led the nation in rushing defense (85.0 ypg).
 
Dan Morgan, Miami (Fla.)-Linebacker-2000 unanimous First Team All-American and first player to sweep the Butkus, Bednarik and Nagurski awards in one season...2000 Big East Defensive Player of the Year and three-time First Team All-Big East selection...Canes all-time leader in tackles (532) who started a school-record 45 games.
 
Ken Norton Jr., UCLA-Linebacker-1987 First Team All-American, leading Bruins to four consecutive bowl wins... Member of the 1985 conference championship team... Led team in tackles in 1986 (106) and in 1987 (125) and ranks sixth in school history with 339 career tackles.
 
Phil Olsen, Utah State-Defensive End-1969 consensus First Team All-American...1969 team captain and Utah State Athlete of the Year...Selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game and the Hula Bowl...Brother of College Football Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen.
 
Leslie O'Neal, Oklahoma State-Defensive Tackle-Two-time First Team All-American, earning unanimous honors in 1985...Three-time All-Big Eight selection and 1984 Big Eight Defensive Player of the Year, who led Pokes to three-straight bowl berths...Left OSU as school leader in career sacks (34), career TFL (47) and single-season sacks (16).
 
Jim Otis, Ohio State-Fullback-Named consensus First Team All-American in 1969...Member of the 1968 National Championship team...Named First Team All-Big Ten conference in 1969 and led the Buckeyes to two conference titles...Led the team in rushing three times.
 
Carson Palmer, Southern California-Quarterback-2002 consensus First Team All-American and Heisman Trophy recipient...2002 Pac-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Year who set conference/school career records for total offense (11,621 yds) and passing yards (11,818)...Led USC to a share of the 2002 Pac-10 title and first 11-win season since 1979.
 
Jake Plummer, Arizona State-Quarterback-1996 First Team All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year...Led 1996 team to an undefeated regular season and first Rose Bowl appearance since 1986...Four-year starter and two-time ASU MVP who threw for more than 2,000 yards in three consecutive seasons (8,827 career passing yards).
 
Troy Polamalu, Southern California-Defensive Back-Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors in 2002...Two-time First Team All-Pac-10 selection and finalist for the Thorpe Award as a senior...Two-year captain and 2001 USC MVP, who led Trojans to two bowl berths and a share of the 2002 Pac-10 title.
 
David Pollack, Georgia-Defensive Lineman-Three-time First Team All-American (consensus in 2002, 2004) and recipient of the 2004 Lombardi and Bednarik awards...Two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year who led Bulldogs to consecutive SEC title games...UGA's all-time leader in sacks (36) and tackles for loss (58.5).
 
Antwaan Randle El, Indiana-Quarterback-2001 First Team All-American...First player in FBS history to pass for 6,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards in career...Rushed for more yards than any QB in FBS history upon conclusion of career.
 
Simeon Rice, Illinois-Linebacker-Two-time First Team All-American and three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection...Holds conference and school record for career sacks (44.5) and Illini record for career tackles for loss (69)...Set school record for single-season sacks (16).
 
Ron Rivera, California-Linebacker-1983 consensus First Team All-American...Lombardi Award finalist in 1983 and named East-West Shrine Game Most Valuable Player...Selected as Pac-10 Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 1983...Led team in tackles from 1981-83.
 
Rashaan Salaam, Colorado-Tailback-1994 unanimous First Team All-American and Heisman Trophy winner...1994 Walter Camp Player of the Year and Doak Walker Award recipient... 1994 Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year who led nation in rushing, scoring and all-purpose yards.
 
Lucius Sanford, Georgia Tech-Linebacker-Named a First Team All-American in 1977...A three-time First Team All-Conference selection, he led Georgia Tech in tackles in 1975 (121) and 1976 (117)...Named to the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame and the school's All-Time Team in 1991.
 
Larry Seivers, Tennessee-Wide Receiver-Two-time consensus First Team All-American in 1975 and 1976...Two-time First Team All-SEC selection...Currently ranks sixth in Tennessee history in career reception yardage (1,924) and seventh in career receptions (117).
 
Kenneth Sims, Texas-Defensive Tackle-Two-time First Team All-American (1980-consensus, 1981-unanimous) and recipient of the 1981 Lombardi Award...Finished eighth in 1981 Heisman Trophy voting and led Longhorns to four bowl berths...Two-time First Team All-SWC performer who ranks fourth in school history with 29 career sacks.
 
Aaron Taylor, Notre Dame-Offensive Tackle-Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors in '92 and unanimous in '93... 1993 Lombardi Award winner and named College Interior Lineman of the Year by Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio)...Led Irish to four bowl games.
 
Joe Thomas, Wisconsin-Offensive Lineman-2006 unanimous First Team All-American and Outland Trophy recipient...2005 Second Team All-American and three-time All-Big Ten performer (First Team-2005, 2006)...2006 NFF National Scholar-Athlete who led Badgers to four bowl games and three top 20 finishes.
 
Dennis Thurman, Southern California-Defensive Back-Two-time First Team All-American who led Trojans to four consecutive postseason wins, including the 1974 National Championship at the Rose Bowl...Two-time all-conference selection who helped USC to two Pac-10 titles.
 
Troy Vincent, Wisconsin-Defensive Back-1991 First Team All-American and runner-up for the 1991 Thorpe Award...Two-time All-Big Ten selection and 1991 Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Year...Finished career as Wisconsin's leader in punt return yards (773) and passes defended (31).
 
Chris Ward, Ohio State-Offensive Tackle-Two-time First Team All-American (consensus-'76, unanimous-'77)...Three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection who helped Buckeyes to at least a share of four conference titles...Blocked for Archie Griffin during second Heisman Trophy-winning campaign.
 
Michael Westbrook, Colorado-Wide Receiver-1994 consensus First Team All-American who led Buffs to four bowl berths and four top 20 finishes...Two-time All-Big Eight performer, leading CU to a share of the 1991 league title...Still holds eight school records and caught a 64-yard game-winning pass in the 1994 "Miracle at Michigan."
 
Lorenzo White, Michigan State-Running Back-Two-time First Team All-American, earning unanimous ('85) and consensus ('87) honors...Led State to 1987 Big Ten title and Rose Bowl win...Led nation in rushing (1985), first MSU player to lead team in rushing four-straight seasons.
 
Zach Wiegert, Nebraska-Offensive Tackle-1994 unanimous First Team All-American and winner of the Outland Trophy...Led Huskers to 1994 National Championship and 1993 National Championship game appearance...Three-time All-Big Eight selection who led Nebraska to league titles every year of career.
 
Patrick Willis, Mississippi-Linebacker-2006 consensus First Team All-American and recipient of the 2006 Butkus Award, who led the nation in solo tackles (90) as a junior...2006 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and two-time First Team All-SEC selection, twice leading the league in tackles...Finished career ranked sixth all-time at Ole Miss with 355 career tackles.
 
Al Wilson, Tennessee-Linebacker-1998 consensus First Team All-American who led the Vols to the inaugural BCS national title in 1998...Helped Tennessee to four postseason berths and four AP top 10 finishes...Two-time All-SEC performer led Vols to consecutive SEC titles (1997, 1998) and only lost three conference games in career.
 
Steve Wisniewski, Penn State-Offensive Guard-1988 First Team All-American...Member of 1986 12-0 national championship team...Helped Blair Thomas rush for 1,414 yards and 11 touchdowns in 1987 and D.J. Dozier attain First Team All-America honors in 1986.
 
Elmo Wright, Houston-Wide Receiver-1970 consensus First Team All-American who earned Second Team honors in 1969 and Honorable Mention honors in 1968...Set an NCAA single-season record of eight TD receptions of 50 yards or more (1968)...Still holds Houston career records for all-purpose yards per play (21.0 avg.) and yards per reception (21.9 avg.).
 
Vince Young, Texas-Quarterback-2005 consensus First Team All-American and Heisman Trophy runner-up...2005 Maxwell and Davey O'Brien award winner who led Horns to the 2005 national title...2005 unanimous Big 12 Player of the Year and the first player in FBS history with 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season (2005).


2019 FBS COACH CANDIDATE CAPSULE BIOS
 
Larry Blakeney-Troy (1991-2014)-All-time winningest coach in Sun Belt Conference history...Four-time conference Coach of the Year who led the Trojans to eight conference titles (5 - Sun Belt, 3 - Southland) and seven FCS playoff appearances in eight seasons...Led Troy to four bowl games, including wins at the 2006 and 2010 New Orleans Bowl.
 
Jim Carlen-West Virginia (1966-69), Texas Tech (1970-74), South Carolina (1975-81)-Led teams to eight bowl games and 13 winning seasons in 16 years as head coach...1973 National Coach of the Year...Three-time Southwest Conference Coach of the Year... Coached Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers at South Carolina.
 
Pete Cawthon Sr.-Austin College [Texas] (1923-27), Texas Tech (1930-40)-Led Tech to four Border Conference titles in 11 seasons at the helm...Led 1938 team to 10-0 regular season and the school's first-ever Cotton Bowl appearance...Boasts highest win percentage (69.3) among Tech coaches with terms of three years or more.
 
Dennis Erickson-Idaho (1982-85, 2006), Wyoming (1986), Washington State (1987-88), Miami [Fla.] (1989-94), Oregon State (1999-2002), Arizona State (2007-11)-Only Miami coach to lead the Canes to two national titles (1989, 1991) and boasts highest win percentage (87.5) in school history...Led teams to 12 bowl games and at least a share of seven conference titles...First coach to earn Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors at three different institutions.
 
Billy Jack Murphy-Memphis (1958-71)-Winningest coach in Memphis history, including an unbeaten season in 1963...Named National Coach of the Year in 1963 by the Detroit News and Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year three-of-four seasons from 1968-71...Took Memphis to its first-ever bowl game and is a member of the Tennessee, Mississippi State, and Memphis halls of fame.
 
Darryl Rogers-Cal State East Bay (1965), Fresno State (1966-72), San Jose State (1973-75), Michigan State (1976-79), Arizona State (1980-84)-Took Fresno State to two bowl games...Achieved an unprecedented national ranking at San Jose State...Named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1977 and National Coach of the Year by Sporting News in 1978...Won the Big Ten title in 1978.


2019 DIVISIONAL PLAYER CANDIDATE CAPSULE BIOS
 
Ashley Ambrose, Mississippi Valley State-Defensive Back-1991 First Team All-American and First Team All-SWAC selection...Named SWAC Defensive Back and Return Specialist of the Year in 1991...Led nation in punt returns during senior campaign.
 
Archie Amerson, Northern Arizona-Running Back-Named First Team All-American in 1996...Finished as school's all-time career rushing leader despite only playing two seasons (3,196 yards)...1996 Walter Payton Award recipient as Division I-AA's most outstanding offensive player... Led NAU to its first-ever I-AA playoff appearance.
 
Rick Bealer, Lycoming (Pa.)-Defensive Back-Two-time First Team All-American who led Lyco to a berth in the 1990 NCAA Division III National Championship...Ranks second in DIII history with 31 career interceptions and still holds DIII record with 48 punt returns in 1989 season...Four-time All-Middle Atlantic Conference selection, earning first team honors his last three seasons.
 
Eddie Bell, Idaho State-Wide Receiver-1969 First Team All-American and two-time First Team All-Big Sky selection...Ranks first in school history with 30 touchdown receptions and second in Idaho State annals with 2,676 receiving yards...Registered 3,341 all-purpose yards in career.
 
Rennie Benn, Lehigh-Wide Receiver-Named First Team All-American in 1985...Currently ranks second in NCAA Division I-AA history in touchdown receptions (44), behind only Jerry Rice...Ranks seventh in Division I-AA history in career receiving yards (3,662).
 
Bill Borchert, Mount Union (Ohio)-Quarterback-Two-time First Team All-American who led Mount Union to consecutive national titles in 1996-97...1997 recipient of Gagliardi Trophy and three-time First Team All-OAC selection... Still holds multiple NCAA, conference and school records and boasts 14,482 career passing yards.
 
John Bothe, Augustana (Ill.)-Center-Named First Team All-American in 1988...One of three finalists for the 1988 NCAA Division III Player of the Year Award...Three-time First Team All-Conference selection (1986-88)...Helped Augustana to a 45-3-1 record.
 
Carl Boyd, Northern Iowa-Running Back-Named First Team All-American in 1987...Selected First Team All-Conference and Offensive Player of the Year in 1987...In 1987, he was Conference Player of the Week four times...Two-time team captain...Totaled 2,735 career rushing yards and 1,987 receiving yards.
 
Vincent Brown, Mississippi Valley State-Linebacker-1987 First Team All-American, leading the NCAA in tackles in 1986 and 1987...Set NCAA All-Divisions record with 570 career tackles...Two-time All-SWAC selection who led MVSU in tackles his last three seasons.
 
Joe Campbell, Middle Tennessee State-Running Back-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1990-91)...A three-time First Team All-Conference pick, he was named OVC Player of the Year in 1990...Led the team in rushing all four years.
 
William Campbell, Western State (Colo.)-Defensive Back-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1978-79)...Set school record for interceptions in a season with seven in 1979...Led the team in tackles his senior year with 84.
 
Vin Carioscia, Franklin & Marshall (Pa.)-Offensive Tackle-Two-time First Team All-American and First Team All-Conference selection (1981-82)...Named First Team All-ECAC in 1982...Four-year letterman and a three-year starter.
 
Peter Catan, Eastern Illinois-Defensive End-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1979-80)...Member of the 1978 Division II National Championship team...Holds school record for quarterback sacks in a game (six), season (21) and career (47).
 
Bruce Cerone, Emporia State (Kan.)-End-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1968-69)...Ranks second in NCAA Division II history in career touchdown receptions (49), fourth in career receiving yards (4,354) and ninth in receptions (241).
 
Steve Cockerham, Akron-Linebacker-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1976-77)...Concluded career as the school's all-time leader in tackles with 715...Led Akron to 1976 Division II Championship Game.
 
Bruce Collie, Texas-Arlington-Offensive Tackle-Named First Team All-American in 1984...Led UTA to 1981 Southland Conference title...Three-time All-SLC selection...Played six seasons in the NFL with San Francisco and Philadelphia.
 
Tom Collins, Indianapolis (Ind.)-Defensive Back-Named First Team All-American in 1985...All-time college football leader in career interceptions (37), representing all levels of the NCAA.
 
Ray Condren, Gettysburg (Pa.)-Running Back-Two-time First Team All-American, All-ECAC and All-Conference selection (1983-84)...Finished second in rushing in Division III in 1984...Named ECAC Division III Player of the Year in 1984.

Mark Cotney, Cameron (Okla.)-Defensive Back-Named First Team NAIA All-American and All-Conference in 1974...Amassed 132 career tackles and seven interceptions in two seasons at Cameron.
 
Case deBruijn, Idaho State-Punter-Named First Team All-American in 1981...Twice led the nation in punting (1980-81) and was twice the runner up (1978-79)...Season average of 45.9 in 1981 is third all-time in I-AA.
 
Parnell Dickinson, Mississippi Valley State-Quarterback-1975 First Team All-American and Pittsburgh Courier National Player of the Year...Four-time All-SWAC selection and conference Player of the Year as a senior...Finished career as SWAC's all-time leader in total offense (7,442 yards).
 
William Dillon, Virginia Union-Free Safety-Three-time First Team All-America selection (1980-82)...Tallied 16 interceptions in 1983...1983 Black College Player of the Year...Two-time First Team All-Conference selection and Player of the Year (1981-82).
 
Al Dorenkamp, Central (Iowa)-Linebacker-Named First Team All-American in 1974...Two-time First Team All-Conference selection (1973-74)...Captained Central to a perfect 11-0 mark and the Division III National Championship in 1974.
 
John Dorsey, Connecticut-Linebacker-Named First Team All-American in 1983...Led the team in tackles from 1981-83...Two-time Yankee Conference Defensive Player of the Year (1982-83).
 
Karl Douglas, Texas A&M-Kingsville-Quarterback-Led Javelinas to back-to-back NAIA national titles in 1969-70 as well as four consecutive conference championships...First player to be named most valuable back in the NAIA championship game in consecutive years.
 
Chuck Downey, Stony Brook-Safety-1987 First Team All-America selection...Recorded 239 tackles and 13 interceptions on defense...First player in Division III history to achieve 1,000 yards on both punt and kickoff returns in a career...Currently holds 12 NCAA Division III records and 23 school records.
 
Tom Ehrhardt, Rhode Island-Quarterback-1985 First Team All-American who led the nation in passing during his final year at URI...Holds nearly every passing record in Rams history and led URI to consecutive 10-3 seasons and national top 10 finishes in 1984-85...1985 Yankee Conference Player of the Year.
 
Keith Elias, Princeton-Running Back-Two-time First Team All-American (1992-93) and 1993 Ivy League Player of the Year...Princeton's all-time leader in rushing yards (4,208) and rushing touchdowns (49)...Three-time All-Ivy performer who helped the Tigers to the 1992 conference title.
 
Curtis Eller, Villanova-Linebacker-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1991-92) and was named National Defensive Player of the Year by The Sporting News in 1992...A three-time First Team All-Conference selection, he twice earned Yankee Defensive Player of the Year honors.
 
Blake Elliott, Saint John's (Minn.)-Wide Receiver-Two-time First Team All-American and winner of the 2003 Gagliardi Trophy...Two-time MIAC Player of the Year who holds NCAA All-Divisions record of 47 consecutive games with a reception...Led SJU to 2003 DIII national title and owns 29 school records.
 
Richard Erenberg, Colgate-Running Back-Named First Team All-American in 1983...Broke 12 Division I-AA records...Selected as ECAC Player of the Year in 1983...All-time leading rusher in Colgate history...Two-time recipient of the Andy Kerr Award signifying Colgate's MVP (1982-83).
 
Jahri Evans, Bloomsburg (Pa.)-Offensive Lineman-2005 First Team All-American who also earned Second Team All-America honors as a junior...Two-time Division II Player of the Year finalist and three-time First Team All-PSAC East selection...Helped Huskies to the 2005 PSAC East title and an NCAA playoff berth.
 
John Fitzgerald, Central Oklahoma-Offensive Guard-First Team All-American who blocked for two 1,000-yard rushers in 1998...Led UCO to 1998 undefeated season and No. 1 final ranking...Only three-time All-American since UCO joined NCAA.
 
London Fletcher, John Carroll (Ohio)-Linebacker-Two-time First Team All-American (1996-97) who holds school records for single-season (202 in 1997) and single-game (29) tackles...Two-time First Team All-OAC selection and 1997 OAC Linebacker of the Year...Led JCU to the 1997 NCAA Division III Quarterfinals.
 
Bernard Ford, Central Florida-Wide Receiver-Named First Team All-American and 1987 Harlon Hill Trophy Finalist...Ranks in Top 10 of 14 UCF records, ranking first in receiving yards in a season (1,403), all-purpose yards per game (188) and average yards per catch in career (21.8).
 
Duane Fritz, Chadron State (Neb.)-Punter-Named First Team NAIA All-American in 1975...Led NAIA II and the conference in punting in 1975...Averaged 42.3 yards on 65 punts in 1975.
 
Rick Fry, Occidental (Calif.)-End-Two-time First Team All-American and All-Conference selection (1976-77)...Was the NCAA annual champion for receiving in 1976-77 and set four NCAA receiving records...Member of the Occidental Football Hall of Fame.
 
Bob Gaddis, Mississippi Valley State-Wide Receiver-1974 First Team All-American and Pittsburgh Courier National Receiver of the Year...Named 1970 NAIA Freshman of the Year en route to twice leading the NAIA in yards per catch (1971-72)...Three-time All-SWAC selection led conference in yards per catch all four years.
 
Chris George, Glenville State (W.Va.)-Wide Receiver- Two-time First Team All-America selection and four-time WVIAC pick...Led GSC to Division II National Playoffs in 1993 and '94...Member of two conference championship teams and held nine national records by career's end.
 
Don Greco, Western Illinois-Offensive Guard-Named First Team All-American in 1980...Two-time First Team All-Conference selection - winning the conference's Lineman of the Year award in 1980...A 1980 team captain, he was twice named Western Illinois' MVP.
 
Don Griffin, Middle Tennessee State-Safety-1985 First Team All-American and Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year...Three-time First Team All-Conference selection...Recorded 210 tackles, 13 career interceptions, and held school record for interceptions in a game (3).
 
Boomer Grigsby, Illinois State-Linebacker-Three-time First Team All-American (2002-04) and FCS career leader in total (550) and solo (325) tackles...Only three-time Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year in league history...No. 2 all-time in FCS averaging 12.50 tackles per game in career.
 
Calvin Harrell, Arkansas State-Running Back-Two-time First Team All-American who led A-State to the 1970 NCAA College Division national title...Three-time First Team All-Southland Conference, three-time SLC champs (1968-70) and two-time Pecan Bowl champs...Holds school record for 100-yard rushing games (18).
 
Ron Hausauer, Jamestown (N.D.)-Offensive Guard-Two-time First Team NAIA All-American and First Team All-Conference (1980-81)...Four-year letterman...Member of the Jamestown College Athletic Hall of Fame.
 
Pat Hauser, Cal State Northridge-Offensive Tackle-Two-time First Team All-American and All-Conference selection (1982-83)... Four-year starter and letterman. 
 
Conway Hayman, Delaware-Offensive Guard-Named First Team All-American in 1970...Two-time First Team All-Conference selection (1969-70)...Led team to two conference titles and three Lambert Cup Eastern Championships.
 
Bobby Hedrick, Elon-Running Back-Named First Team All-American in 1980...Ranked second in NCAA history in career rushing yards (5,604), among all divisions, at career's end (behind only Tony Dorsett).
 
Chris Hegg, Truman State (Mo.)-Quarterback-Named First Team All-American and AFCA Division II Player of the Year in 1985...Two-time conference Offensive Player of the Year (1984-85)...Still holds eight conference records.
 
Bob Heller, Wesleyan (Conn.)-Center-Two-time First Team All-American in 1972-73... Two-time First Team All-ECAC performer who did not allow a sack during career... Key to 1972 offensive unit that set still-standing school record for 1,980 rushing yards in a season.
 
Billy Hess, West Chester (Pa.)-Wide Receiver-1988 First Team All-American and Harlon Hill Trophy finalist...1988 PSAC East Player of the Year and four-time All-PSAC receiver, who also earned all-conference honors as a defensive back in 1988...Led West Chester to PSAC title game appearances in 1986 and 1987.
 
Lynn Hieber, Indiana (Pa.)-Quarterback-Two-time First Team NAIA All-America selection (1974-75)...Won the Division II Total Offense crown in 1975...Selected as ECAC Division II Player of the Year, First Team All-East and First Team All-ECAC in 1975.
 
John Hill, Lehigh-Center-Named First Team All-American in 1971...Recipient of Football Roundup Magazine's College Division Exemplary Player Award...Named First Team All-ECAC and New York Times All-East in 1971.
 
Rene Ingoglia, Massachusetts-Running Back-Finished career ranked second all-time in FCS history in TDs (54) and as school's all-time leader in rushing (4,624) and carries (905) among others...First UMass player to average more than 100 ypg rushing in career.
 
Louis Jackson, Cal Poly S.L.O.-Running Back-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1978-80)...Member of the 1980 Division II National Championship team...Holds school records for yards rushing in a career (3,444), season (1,463) and game (267).
 
Terron Jackson, Missouri Southern State-Offensive Tackle-Named First Team NAIA All-American in 1972...Member of school's Athletic Hall of Fame.
 
John Jurkovic, Eastern Illinois-Defensive End-Two-time First Team All-America selection in 1988 and 1989...Two-time Gateway Defensive Player of the Year who led team to 1986 conference title...Set Gateway record with six sacks in a game and finished career as the conference's all-time sacks leader (27).
 
Ed Kelley, Hampden-Sydney (Va.)-Defensive End-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1974-75)...Three-time First Team All-Conference pick (1973-75)...Led the defensive unit that gave up only 10.8 points per game in 1975.
 
Garry Kuhlman, Delaware-Offensive Tackle-Two-time First Team All-American and All-ECAC selection (1980-81)...His 1979 team led all Division I-AA teams in scoring with 35.5 points and 405.5 yards total offense per game.
 
Al Lucas, Troy-Defensive Lineman-Two-time First Team All-American (1998-99) and winner of the 1999 Buck Buchanan Award as the nation's top defensive player...Two-time First Team All-Southland who led Trojans to two conference titles...Three NCAA playoff appearances, including the 1996 Semifinals and the 1999 Quarterfinals.
 
Steve McAdoo, Middle Tennessee State-Offensive Lineman-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1991-92)...Earned Third Team All-America honors by the Associated Press in 1990...Three-time First Team All-Conference pick.
 
Gary McCauley, Clarion (Pa.)-Tight End-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1980-81)...Member of two conference title teams...Holds school career records for receptions (135) and receiving yards (1,736)...Four-year starter.

Fran McDermott, St. Mary's (Calif.)-Defensive Back-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1979-80)...Played in the 1981 Japan Bowl...Four-year starter and letterman...Holds school records for most interceptions in a career (21), season (8) and game (4).
 
Bill McGovern, Holy Cross-Defensive Back-Named First Team All-American in 1984...Led the nation in interceptions (11) in 1984...Set Division I-AA career interception record with 24...Two-time All-ECAC performer (1983-84)...Named 1984 team captain.
 
Steve McNair, Alcorn State-Quarterback-1994 First Team All-American and the all-time passing leader (14,496) in the FCS...Finished third in 1994 Heisman Trophy voting and the only four-time SWAC Offensive Player of the Year in league history...1994 Walter Payton Award winner who led Braves to two SWAC titles and two NCAA playoff appearances.

Tony Miles, Northwest Missouri State-All-Purpose/Wide Receiver-Two-time First Team All-American who led Bearcats to back-to-back Division II National Championships (1998-99) and four-consecutive MIAA titles...Set conference and school records for career receiving yards (3,890), receptions (235) and TDs (37).
 
Carl Morris, Harvard-Wide Receiver-2002 First Team All-American who holds virtually every Harvard receiving record, including career receptions (245) and TD receptions (28)...Ranks third all-time in Ivy history with 3,508 career receiving yards...Holds Ivy record for career 100-yard games (15) and 200-yard games (3).
 
Robert Morris, Georgetown-Defensive End-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1973-74)...Member of the Georgetown Hall of Fame and the National Slavic Honor Society.
 
Kenneth Murawski, Carnegie Mellon (Pa.)-Linebacker-Named First Team All-American in 1981...Named First Team All-Conference in 1981 and Second Team in 1980...Two-time team defensive captain...Totaled 243 career tackles and nine interceptions.
 
Ed O'Brien, Central Florida-Placekicker-Named First Team All-American...UCF record holder for career field goals made (50), field goals attempted (77) and longest field goal made (55 yards)...Helped UCF to 1987 Division II Semifinals.
 
Randy Page, Central Oklahoma-Quarterback-Named First Team NAIA All-American in 1983 and earned Second Team NAIA All-America honors in 1982...Led UCO to an NAIA National Championship in 1982...Broke 14 school records.
 
Chris Parker, Marshall-Running Back-1995 First Team All-America pick...Member of 1992 national championship team, leading MU back to national title game in 1993 and '95 (national runner-up)...Recorded 31 games with at least 100 yards rushing en route to finishing career with 5,924 rushing yards and 68 touchdowns.
 
Alonzo Patterson, Wagner-Running Back-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1981-82)...Finished fourth on the NCAA leading rusher list for all divisions in 1981, leading Division III with 1,487 yards...Three-time ECAC Player of the Year (1980-82).
 
Ted Petersen, Eastern Illinois-Center-1976 First Team All-America selection... Team captain who blocked for Nate Anderson, EIU's first-ever 1,000-yard rusher...Became school's highest-ever NFL Draft pick when he was selected 93rd overall (fourth round) in 1977.
 
Martin Peterson, Pennsylvania-Offensive Tackle-Named First Team All-America, First Team All-Conference and First Team All-ECAC in 1986...His teams won three conference titles.
 
Charlie Pierce, Central Florida-Punter/Placekicker-Named First Team All-America...Career record holder at UCF for punts (173), punt yardage (7,111) and points scored (297)... Helped UCF to FCS playoffs in 1993.
 
Dave Pomante, Whitworth (Wash.)-Defensive Lineman-Named First Team NAIA All-American in 1981...Two-time All-District selection...Set school records with 20 sacks in a season and 35 in a career...Led team with 117 tackles as a senior.
 
Tyrone Poole, Fort Valley State (Ga.)-Defensive Back-First Team All-America selection in 1994...Two-time Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Defensive Player of the Year (1993-94) who led FVSU to two conference titles...Recorded 44 pass breakups and 17 interceptions, returning four for TDs.
 
Gary Puetz, Valparaiso-Offensive Tackle-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1971-72)...Three-time First Team All-Conference selection...Made first team All-Conference as a placekicker as well in 1972...Earned team's MVP award.
 
Gerry Quinlivan, Buffalo-Linebacker-Named First Team All-American in 1984...Two-time First Team ECAC Upstate New York selection and team captain (1983-84)...Four-year starter and letterman...Two-time Most Outstanding Linebacker (1983-84) and named an NFF National Scholar-Athlete as a senior.
 
Michael Renna, Delaware-Defensive End-Two-time First Team All-American, All-Conference and All-ECAC selection (1988-89)...Delaware's Outstanding Senior Male Athlete in 1990...Finished career as the 10th leading tackler in school history with 205.
 
David Rhodes, Central Florida-Wide Receiver-1993 First Team All-American...Holds UCF records for receptions (213), receiving yards (3,618) and receiving TD (29) in career...Only Knight to record three seasons with at least 1,000-yards receiving and helped team to 1993 FCS Playoffs.
 
Kirk Roach, Western Carolina-Placekicker-Three-time First Team All-America selection (1984-86)...Four-time First Team All-Conference pick...Holds five Division I-AA kicking records, 10 conference records and 18 school records...Missed only one extra point in four years.
 
Harold Roberts, Austin Peay State-Wide Receiver-1970 First Team All-American who boasts nearly every receiving record in APSU history, including career receptions (232) and reception yards (2,999)...APSU's first four-time First Team All-OVC selection...Set NCAA record with 20 receptions in one game in 1969.
 
Bobby Saiz, Adams State (Colo.)-Quarterback-Named First Team NAIA All-American in 1989...Passed for 10,169 career yards and 87 touchdowns...Averaged 251 yards per game in total offense...Led team to No. 1 NAIA national ranking in 1989.
 
Terry Schmidt, Ball State-Defensive Back-Named First Team All-American in 1973 when he set a single-season school record with 13 interceptions...Team MVP as a senior...Played in the Coaches All-America Game and the East-West Shrine Game.
 
Larry Schreiber, Tennessee Tech-Running Back-Named First Team All-American in 1969...Set an NCAA record for most career rushes with 877...Set six conference records...Currently ranks second on the conference all-time rushing list with 4,421 yards.

Steve Schubert, Massachusetts-Wide Receiver-Named First Team All-American in 1972...Averaged 81.9 yards receiving per game in 1972, which ranks fourth on the school record list...Holds school record for average yards per catch in a season with 20.1 in 1972. 
 
Joe Skladany, Lafayette-Linebacker-Named First Team All-American in 1981...Four-year starter who never missed a game...Boasts school records for career tackles (532) and blocked kicks in a season (3)...Team captain and two-time Team MVP who led nation's second-ranked defense in 1981.
 
Ed Smith, Bethel (Kan.)-Wide Receiver-Named First Team NAIA All-American in 1985...Three-time First Team All-Conference selection (1984-86)...Holds 13 school records...His 47 career touchdown receptions were two short of the national record.
 
Paul Smith, Gettysburg (Pa.)-Return Specialist-Two-time First Team All-American as a kick- and punt-returner...Set three NCAA records, including still-standing record of 527 all-purpose yards in a game (1999)...1999 Centennial Conference Co-Player of the Year and four-time All-CC First Team selection.
 
Tom Stenglein, Colgate-Wide Receiver-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1984-85)...Two-time First Team All-ECAC pick (1984-85)...Colgate's all-time leader in receptions in a game (12), season (67) and career (144).
 
Freddie Thomas, Troy-Defensive Back-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1986-87) and helped lead Troy to the NCAA Division II National Championship in 1987...A two-time First Team All-Conference pick, he was named team captain in 1987.
 
Markus Thomas, Eastern Kentucky-Tailback-Finished career ranked third all-time in FCS history in rushing (5,149)...Two-time Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year who led team to two conference titles...52 career rushing TDs.
 
Brad Tokar, Westminster (Pa.)-Running Back-Named First Team Little All-American in 1990...Two-time First Team NAIA All-America selection (1988, 1990)...Led Westminster to two NAIA Division II National Championships...Westminster's all-time leading rusher with 5,269 career yards.
 
Jay Wessler, Illinois College-Running Back-Named First Team NAIA All-American in 1979...Three-time member of the NAIA District All-Star Team...Three-time team MVP (1978-80) and Illinois Athlete of the Year (1979-81).
 
Tim Whelan, Tufts (Mass.)-Running Back-1976 First Team All-American who set school single-season rushing records in consecutive seasons...1976 ECAC Division III Player of the Year and George H. "Bulger" Lowe Award as New England's best player for all divisions...234 rushing attempts in 1976 is school record.
 
Gary Wichard, LIU-C.W.Post (N.Y.)-Quarterback-Named First Team All-American, ECAC Player of the Year and team captain in 1971...Played in the 1972 Senior Bowl...Set school records in career passing yards (5,373), touchdown passes (41) and total offense (5,642).
 
Mike Wiggins, Iowa Wesleyan-Punter-Named First Team Little All-American in 1987 and an NAIA All-American in 1986 and 1987...Named National Punting Champion for the NAIA in 1987.
 
Jerry Woods, Northern Michigan-Defensive Back-Two-time First Team All-America selection and All-Conference pick (1987-88)... Returned 89 punts for 1,129 yards, a 12.6 yard average...Returned kickoffs for 1,475 yards, a 24.9 yard average and current school record.
 
John Zanieski, Yale-Middle Guard-Named First Team All-American and First Team All-Ivy League in 1984...Selected as the team's MVP in 1984...Finished second on school's quarterback sack list with 21.


2019 DIVISIONAL COACH CANDIDATE CAPSULE BIOS
 
Dick Biddle-Colgate (1996-13)-All-time winningest coach in Colgate and Patriot League history...2003 AFCA National Coach of the Year who led Raiders to an appearance in the 2003 FCS National Championship Game...Won seven conference titles and led teams to six NCAA playoff appearances.
 
Paul Durham-Linfield (Ore.) (1948-67)-His team won seven conference championships...Named 1962 NAIA Coach of the Year...Was the athletics director at Linfield while coaching...Member of the Oregon Sports, Helms Athletic and NAIA Football Coaches Halls of Fame.
 
Jim Feix-Western Kentucky (1968-83)-Named Kodak College Coach of the Year for Division II in 1973 and 1975...Won or shared six conference titles...Three-time conference Coach of the Year (1973, 1978, 1980)...The winningest coach in school history...Charter member of the school Athletic Hall of Fame.
 
Howard Fletcher-Northern Illinois (1956-68)-Coached unbeaten NCAA College Division and NAIA National Championship team in 1963...Led NIU to three conference titles (1963-65)...Inducted into the NIU Athletic Hall of Fame...Was the runner-up as Kodak College Division Coach of the Year in 1963...Made three appearances in the Mineral Water Bowl.
 
Ross Fortier-Minnesota Moorhead (1970-92)-School's all-time winningest coach...Led his team to seven postseason playoffs and nine conference championships...Led 1981 team to unbeaten regular season and number one ranking in the final regular season poll...Member of the NAIA Hall of Fame.
 
Morley Fraser-Albion (Mich.) (1954-68)-Led Albion to five conference championship and was named the Small College Coach of the Year in 1964...Coached one All-American, five conference Players of the Year and 65 first team All-Conference selections...Was a Commander in the U.S. Navy during WWII...Received the Distinguished American Award from the Michigan Chapter of the NFF.
 
Danny Hale-West Chester (Pa.) (1984-88), Bloomsburg (Pa.) (1993-12)-Led Bloomsburg to berth in national championship game (2000), earning AFCA Division II Coach of the Year honors...Led teams to nine playoff appearances and at least a share of 14 PSAC East titles...Boasts most wins (173) in Bloomsburg history.
 
Rudy Hubbard-Florida A&M (1974-85)-Captured back-to-back national championships, 1977 and 1978, including the inaugural NCAA Division I-AA National Title in 1978...Led A&M to back-to-back SIAC championships.
 
Eddie Hurt-Virginia Lynchburg (1925-28), Morgan State (1930-59)-Led Morgan State to six Black College National Championship and 14 CIAA titles...Posted 11 undefeated seasons, including the 1943 team that did not allow a score from a single opponent...From 1932-39, led Bears to 54-game streak without a loss.
 
Art Keller-Carthage (Wis.) (1952-82)-Named FWAA College Division Distinguished Coach in 1982 and four-time NAIA District Coach of the Year...Member of the NAIA District 14 Hall of Fame...Won eight conference titles and compiled three 14-game winning streaks...Member of the Carthage Hall of Fame and received the President's Medal of Honor.
 
Glenn Killinger-Dickinson (Pa.) (1922), Rensselaer (N.Y.) (1927-32), Moravian (Pa.) (1933), West Chester (Pa.) (1934-41, 45-59)-Winningest coach in West Chester history...Member of the College Football Hall of Fame as a player and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame...Had only one losing season in 37 years as a head coach.
 
Larry Korver-Northwestern College (Iowa) (1967-94)-Led Northwestern to two National Championships, 14 playoff appearances and 212 victories in 28 seasons on the sidelines...Twice named NAIA National Coach of the Year, he has coached 32 players to All-America status.
 
Roy Kramer-Central Michigan (1967-77)-Led CMU to the 1974 Division II National Championship, the lone national title in program history...1974 Division II Coach of the Year who guided teams to two conference titles...Coached 38 First Team All-Conference selections in career.
 
Maxie Lambright-Louisiana Tech (1967-78)-Led Tech to three consecutive Division II national titles from 1972-74...Boasted seven conference titles and named 1970s Southland Conference Coach of the Decade...Led program to Division I in 1975, earning two Independence Bowl berths, and coached 11 First Team All-Americans throughout career.
 
Dick Lowry-Wayne State (Mich.) (1974-79), Hillsdale (Mich.) (1980-96)-Won seven conference championships at both schools and earned five births in the NAIA national playoffs winning the National Championship in 1985...He was voted NAIA Coach of the Year in 1982 and was conference Coach of the Year six times.
 
John Luckhardt-Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) (1982-98), California (Pa.) (2002-11)-Led teams to 14 conference titles and 16 NCAA playoff appearances...Led W&J to Stagg Bowl in 1992 and '94 and named national runner-up both seasons...1992 AFCA DIII Coach of the Year and all-time winningest coach at W&J and Cal.
 
James Malosky-Minnesota Duluth (1958-97)-Winningest coach in Division II history at time of retirement...Led teams to nine conference championships...Named NSIC, MIAC and/or NAIA Coach of the Year 13 times...Produced 33 winning seasons in 40 years at UMD.
 
Don Miller-Trinity (Conn.) (1967-98)-Recorded 28 winning seasons out of 32...Retired as the all-time winningest Division III football coach in New England history (now second)...Four-time NESCAC Coach of the Year and 1993 New England Division II/III Coach of the Year...Team recorded best record in NESCAC seven times.
 
Charles Murphy-Middle Tennessee State (1947-68)-Captured seven Volunteer State Athletic Conference Championships...Won seven Ohio Valley Conference Championships...Named Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 1965.
 
Jim Ostendarp-Amherst (Mass.) (1959-91)-Named UPI Small College Coach of the Year in 1964...Selected as the New York Football Writers Division II/III Coach of the Year in 1984...Captured 13 Little Three titles...Named AFCA/Kodak New England Coach of the Year in 1961 and 1964.
 
Forrest Perkins-Wisconsin-Whitewater (1956-84)-At the time of his retirement, he ranked second on the active wins list on the Division III level...Named NAIA Coach of the Year in 1966...The all-time winningest coach in conference and school history...captured 11 conference titles.
 
Bill Ramseyer-Wilmington (Ohio) (1972-90), Virginia's College at Wise (1991-2001)-Three-time District Coach of the Year...Seven Hall of Fame inductions, including NAIA Hall of Fame (1997)...Coached his teams to a winning season in 24-of-30 seasons...Coached Wilmington to an NAIA National Runner-Up in 1980...Coached 70 All-Americans.
 
Dwight Reed-Lincoln (Mo.) (1949-71)-Teams won three conference titles...Coached 93 All-Americans in four sports...The football stadium at Lincoln University was named for him.
 
Pete Schmidt-Albion (Mich.) (1983-96)-Teams won nine MIAA championships (seven outright), five NCAA Division III playoff appearances and the 1994 NCAA Division III National Championship... 1994 AFCA National Coach of the Year.
 
Gideon Smith-Hampton (1921-40)-Led Pirates to 1922 Black College National Championship... Recorded four CIAA titles and two unbeaten seasons in career...Longest tenured coach in Hampton history, boasting the second-most wins all-time at the school.
 
Clyde "Buck" Starbeck-Northern Iowa (1936-42, 1945-57)-Captured seven conference championships in 10 years...Went 31 consecutive conference games without a defeat...Member of the University of Northern Iowa Hall of Fame.
 
Clarence Stasavich-Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) (1946-61), East Carolina (1962-69)-Lenoir-Rhyne's all-time winningest coach who led team to 1960 NAIA National Championship...1959 NAIA National Coach of the Year, boasting three undefeated seasons at LR... Led ECU to most successful three-year campaign in school history (27-3 from 1963-65).
 
Andy Talley-St. Lawrence (N.Y.) (1979-83), Villanova (1985-2016)-Led Wildcats to 2009 FCS National Championship and 12 playoff appearances...All-time winningest coach in Colonial Athletic Association and Villanova history...Twice earned AFCA National Coach of the Year honors and led teams to eight conference titles.
 
Joe Taylor-Howard (1983), Virginia Union (1984-91), Hampton (1992-07), Florida A&M (2008-12)-Winningest coach in Hampton history (74%), leading Pirates to four Black College National Championships...Led teams to 10 conference titles and 10 playoff appearances throughout career...Four-time MEAC Coach of the Year.
 
John Whitehead-Lehigh (1976-86)-Named Division II Coach of the Year in 1977 and Division I-AA Coach of the Year in 1979...Captured the 1977 Division II National Championship...Runner-up in the 1979 Division I-AA National Championship.
 
Alex Yunevich-Alfred (N.Y.) (1937-41, 1946-76)-Had six undefeated teams...His team was 1971 Lambert Bowl Division III champions of the East...Named Small College Coach of the Year in 1956 by the Washington Touchdown Club and same in 1971 by the NY Football Writers.
 
Allen Zikmund-Nebraska-Kearney (1955-71)-His teams won 11 conference titles...Nine of his players were named NAIA All-Americas and 67 made All-Conference...Member of the NAIA Hall of Fame.


*********** QUIZ ANSWER -  Jim Weatherly was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi. 

As a quarterback at Ole Miss, he helped lead the Rebels to SEC championships in 1962 and 1963 and a share of the 1962 national title.

During his three varsity seasons playing  at Ole Miss, the Rebels went 22-6-3 and played in two Sugar Bowls and one Bluebonnet Bowl.

He was named second team All-SEC quarterback in 1964.  During his career, he completed 158 of 291 passes for 1,890 yards and 15 touchdowns, which at the time ranked him second all-time among Ole Miss passers, behind only Charlie Conerly.

At a time when college teams played only nine or 10 regular season games, he had 2,584 yards in career total offense  (694 rushing, 1,890 passing) during his career, making him  third in Ole Miss history behind Conerly and John “Kayo” Dottley.   In his career, he averaged  5.55 yards per play on 465 total plays during his career, and accounted for 26 TDs.
 
During his senior season, he had 91 completions on 170 attempts for 1,034 yards and five TDs.

In a 37-3 win over LSU in 1963, he  completed 7 of 7 passes for 105 yards and one TD and rushed for another 44 yards, including a three-yard TD.  He ran for a 45 yard TD against Houston, and a 43-yard TD against Mississippi State.

In addition to football, he was heavily involved in music. He’d been writing songs since he was 12 years old, and he had his own band during high school.  While at Ole Miss, he and his rock band, The Gordian Knot, played dates throughout the South.

HIs coach, John Vaught, encouraged his interest in music: “"Coach Vaught was a bigger than life personality to me when I was in junior high and high school," he said. "When I got to Ole Miss, I was in awe of him. It was hard to believe that I was out there on the field and he was talking to me. He was good to me about my music and was so supportive of me. I loved being at Ole Miss and I still love Ole Miss."

He was chosen in the 12th round of the 1965 American Football League draft by the Boston Patriots,  but passed up a potential career in professional football for one in in the field of music.

Good choice.  Jim Weatherly’s been writing songs for more than 50 years, and he’s now a member of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.

Jim Weatherly’s first hit was ”Neither One Of Us," which was recorded by Gladys Knight & The Pips, who went on to record 12 of his songs, including "Where Peaceful Waters Flow," "Midnight Train To Georgia" ( a Number one Pop and R & B hit) and "The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me,”   which became a #1 R & P hit and, sung by Ray Price, #1 Country as well. Price went on to record 38 of his songs.  Among those who recorded his songs were Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Neil Diamond, Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks.  Many of his songs have been used in movies and TV shows.

CORRECTLY IDENTFYING JIM WEATHERLY -

CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS (Jim Weatherly was blessed to have a college coach who allowed him to pursue his music career while playing college football. I don't know if that would happen in today's world.)
TITO CORREA - NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
BRAD KNIGHT - CLARINDA, IOWA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
CHRIS HILLIKER - NORTHPORT, ALABAMA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON


*********** The story behind Jim Weatherly’s “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=spigot-chr-ffmac&p=jim+weatherly+music#id=23&vid=db3f96acf2700ac6430b43395c927c1f&action=view

***********  QUIZ - He coached at Washington for nine seasons - nine unbeaten seasons. He was 58-0-3 at Washington, contributing most of the wins (and three of the ties) of a 64-game winning streak which still stands as college football’s longest.  His teams shut out the opponents in 69 per cent of their games, and only one opponent in his nine years coaching the Huskies  scored in double figures (Oregon once scored  14 points - in a losing effort).

Despite all that, he was fired by a university president who blamed him for a players’ strike (which he had nothing to do with).

Moving on to Navy, he was 18-3  in his three years there, and his .857 winning record is by far the highest of any coach in Navy’s long history.

In the 1920’s, his Cornell teams won three national championships.

In his 33-year career, he had 14 unbeaten seasons.

It took him only 108 games to reach 100 wins, a feat yet to be matched by any major college coach.

HIs career record at five different colleges - North Dakota Agricultural (now ND State), Washington, Navy, Cornell and Boston College - was 182-45-15.  His .780 won-loss percentage ranks him 18th all-time among college coaches.




american flagFRIDAY,  JUNE 8,  2018 "When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing."  Bo Schembechler

*********** THIN PICKINGS TODAY - HAVE A NICE WEEKEND AND I'LL SEE YOU TUESDAY

EAGLES NOT KNEELING

*********** There are good people on the Eagles, I’m sure, but they are being held hostage by the likes of  Chris Long.  Long happens to be rich as hell because he was lucky enough to be born big and fast, and it didn’t hurt that he had rich parents who could afford to send him to an elite private high school. (Wait - isn’t that White Privilege?)  Unfortunately, in our present-day culture, celebrity provides a soapbox that people in other cultures have to earn through education, achievement or election.

At the moment, the Eagles are disingenuously hiding behind the argument that no one on their team knelt this past season, so therefore, they didn’t disrespect our flag or our anthem.  So why's Trump on their case, anyhow?

Well, no, they didn't show disrespect by kneeling.  And Bill Clinton didn’t have sex with “Ms. Lewinsky,” either.  However, you may have noticed that they’ve been silent about the fact that they did, indeed, use our anthem as a medium for protest this season.  No, not by kneeling. JUst by giving the Black Power salute during the anthem.  Nothing disrespectful about a big F-You, America.

I have just one bone of contention to pick with Mr. Trump.  He keeps saying that flag protests are disrespectful of the military, as if none of the rest of us have any stake in this.

Mister President, you’re wrong.   They're disrespectful of our country.

*********** The NFL allowed players to kneel in protest of (it seems to have changed from what it was originally)  because, Big Football insists, it respects its players’ right to free speech.
But that hasn’t always been the NFL’s stance, and the League’s caving to the kneelers would lead one to conclude that it's more afraid of offending the kneelers than it is of losing its audience. 

From a poster to Free Republic:


* In 2012 the NFL had an issue with Tim Tebow kneeling for each game to pray, they also had an issue with Tebow wearing John 3:16 as part of his eye-black to avoid glare, and made him take it off.

* In 2013 the NFL fined Brandon Marshall for wearing green cleats to raise awareness for people with mental health disorders.

* In 2014 Robert Griffin III (RG3) entered a post-game press conference wearing a shirt that said "Know Jesus Know Peace" but was forced to turn it inside out by an NFL uniform inspector before speaking at the podium.

* In 2015 DeAngelo Williams was fined for wearing "Find the Cure" eye black for breast cancer awareness.

* In 2015 William Gay was fined for wearing purple cleats to raise awareness for domestic violence. (Not that the NFL has a domestic violence problem...).

*In 2016 the NFL prevented the Dallas Cowboys from wearing a decal on their helmet in honor of 5 Dallas Police officers killed in the line of duty.
 
* 2016 the NFL threatened to fine players who wanted to wear cleats to commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

So tell me again how the NFL supports free speech and expression, all of a sudden... It seems quite clear based on these facts that the NFL has taken a position against any action by NFL players demonstrating RESPECT for any issue: For God, social causes such as mental health, cancer, domestic violence, for cops killed arbitrarily for being cops, for the Memory of 9/11...

BUT they will allow demonstrations of DISRESPECT for our National Flag, our National Anthem, for America , and for the American People, if it will help mollify a particular Group and its supporters. That is who and what the NFL now has shown itself to be.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3661185/posts


*********** I hate the NFL, but I respect its history and the men who made it the giant industry that it has become.  And I have no words to describe what I think of a person who so disrespects those who came before him - many of them in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, many more who aren’t - that he has announced that he will not attend his induction ceremony.

If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind as to whether Terrrell Owens’ being a total sh—head should have disqualified him from consideration for the Hall of Fame, his decision to blow off his induction ought to seal the deal.

Said 'Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News,  “I think T.O. actually was disappointed when he got in this year.  I think he was happier when he got snubbed and could play the part of the persecuted victim and moan on every radio talk show that was willing to bring him on about the unfairness of the process.   Maybe he was worried that he would become forgotten after the induction ceremony. This way, he gets his gold jacket, but still will be remembered as the guy who told the hall to go stuff it.''

Said Jarrett Bell of USA Today,   ''Think of the players who gave their all to the sport, including many worthy of Hall of Fame consideration, who will never be enshrined. Think of the family members of former players, coaches and officials - many of whom have passed away - pushing for their loved ones to receive special recognition for career accomplishments. Then think of Terrell Owens. In that order.''

TO just made it harder for the next a$$hole to get elected.

Question:  Could I come to Canton and give a speech about him anyhow?

https://sports.yahoo.com/terrell-owens-declines-invitation-hall-fame-ceremony-164454072.html


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

I was listening in on a recorded double wing roundtable. Coach Vallotton called you the master of the Wedge.

That led me to ask this. What is first to learn - Wedge or the Power? Coach Gregory believes wedge. Install it and master it first. Others stand firm on power first.

?????

Super Power first, for sure.  If you had to play a game tomorrow and you could install just one play, you would be far better off with 66 Super Power (Right) and 77 Super Power (Left)

Next would be Criss-Cross counter.

Then wedge.

Two reasons:

(1) Anybody can stop a wedge. If that were all you ran, you would be dead.  But in order to do so they have to give you other things.  Which is why you need to have other things before you teach the wedge.

(2) In teaching Super Power first, you wind up teaching all sorts of concepts - pulling, double-teaming, kicking out, replace and turn, etc. - that apply to most of the offense.

The wedge, on the other hand, is an outlier play that isn’t related to anything else and requires special teaching all its own.

I have had a discussion with some of my guys whom I respect as experts and some of them would prefer to teach Brown/Black (Pass) before the Wedge.

(KEEP SENDING IN YOUR QUIZ ANSWERS!)

american flagTUESDAY,  JUNE 5,  2018 "All those football coaches who hold dressing-room prayers before a game should be forced to attend church once a week."  Duffy Daugherty

*********** Speaking only for myself, Saturday’s Raleigh, North Carolina clinic was as good as any I’ve been a part of.  A small but hardcore group of guys came from as far away as Wisconsin and Ohio, loaded with questions. With just two exceptions, the coaches there had all attended my clinics previously, so there wasn’t any “why do you have such tight splits?” or “why do you block the way you do?” As a result, we were able to get right to work.  Thanks to the efforts of Coach Dave Potter, well-known Raleigh-Durham area youth, middle school and high school coach, we had the use of a meeting room and playing field, and the “loan” of some of his players for demonstration purposes.  Two young (9th grade) quarterbacks were on hand to help me illustrate the drills I use in getting a QB ready, and from there we proceeded to the ways that what I’m doing now with the Double Wing - especially Super Power - differs from what I did years ago.  Thanks to the young QBs, I was able to show how we teach the 5-step drop that’s key to the updated Brown and Black passing.  (I did have a small quantity of advance copies of my new playbook - now at the printer’s - and they went fast.)  I stressed how important RAM and LION - offset I formations - have become in my scheme of things, and how they’ve enabled me to “spread it out” to a degree while retaining the brute power of the Wedge and the off-tackle power play and the counter back against flow.  After lunch, the Lord blessed us with a two-hour gap between torrential rain storms, and we were able to go outside and demonstrate how the basic Double Wing plays can be run from Ram and Lion, with and without flankers and split ends.  And the kids picked up the bubble and smoke screens well enough that we were able to play a little 2-on-2 with our twins sets. Coach Potter's offensive coach Olu Williams was especially attentive as he worked with the new stuff.  At just about 4:30, the skies parted and we raced for cover,  where we said our good-byes.  What a great group of coaches.  If I haven’t done anything else with my clinics over the years, I’ve sure found some great people, and I feel as if I’ve helped foster a sort of brotherhood among them. They are good coaches and even better people.   One of the newcomers, a highly respected youth coach from “up north,” wrote me afterward  to say, “It was the best clinic I ever attended… it was an honor to be around so many good people.  It was an educational and wonderful experience that I was grateful to be a part of.” Needless to say, he’s now a member of the brotherhood.

RALEIGH CLINIC COACHES


Traymar Ruffin

*********** On hand to help demonstrate for the visiting coaches at my clinic what I had been talking about earlier was Traymar Ruffin, last year’s East Wake High Black Lion Award winner, and I had the chance to shake his hand personally.



I rarely share what coaches have written to nominate their players, but I have so much respect for Coach Dave Potter's judgement that I wanted to share what he  and others thought of Traymar.


Coach Potter wrote,


Traymar Ruffin is a sophomore Fullback and Defensive Tackle.  Traymar has a learning disability but that hasn't stopped him from working hard in the classroom.  I received the emails below from one of his teachers: 

Hi Mr. Potter,

Traymar Ruffin is a student on my caseload.  Traymar is a WONDERFUL young man.  I think very highly of him.  He is really proud of his achievements on the football field, which is great for his self-esteem.  Thank you for giving him that confidence and opportunity.

"On a positive note, I just want to let you know how proud I am of Traymar Ruffin.  Does he have the highest grades? No...he contends with a pretty significant learning disability and definitely struggles academically, but we've been able to keep him out of OCS due to his motivation and positive attitude.  Football is such a big part of his life.  He wants to do well on and off the field, and he sets high standards for himself both academically and athletically.  If all of my students worked as hard as Traymar does on a daily basis, my job would be REALLY easy.  Just wanted to share."
 
Thank you!

Maris Gamzon
Special Education Department Chair
East Wake High School

From Assistant Coach Olu Williams:

"I have had the the pleasure of knowing this young man for 6 months. 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. He has done this all while still excelling in the classroom and at home. He embodies what it is to be a student athlete. This is why I am recommending Traymar Ruffin for the Black Lion Award."

A previous coach said these disparaging words to the new varsity HC about Traymar's football ability, "If we have to rely on Traymar Ruffin to win football games, we are in trouble."  Too bad the previous coach didn't measure Traymar's courage and determination.  Traymar is now the starting Fullback on a team that finished 7-2 this year and was 2nd in the conference in scoring.  Traymar rushed for 5 touchdowns and averaged almost 10 yards per carry and even blocked a punt!

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. 

It would be easy for a young man who lived in a home without parental participation to lack the courage to participate.  He is a self-starter and shows the leadership by telling his teammates what they need to do.  He is always the last to stay at practice and either pick up equipment or take extra reps.  He is everything a team player should be.  He has never complained about playing time; he's asked "how do I get better?"  Traymar Ruffin is the best example of a determined young man who not only gives his best effort, but expects those around him to do the same.

Based on the things that Coach Dave Potter and Coach Olu Williams - and his special education teacher - wrote about him, you’d know he’s a special kid.   Meeting him and seeing the way he conducted himself on the field confirmed it for me.  On top of all that, he's going to be a bull of a B-Back.

*********** Reading in the Raleigh newspaper about the guys competing for a spot as Cam Newton’s backup, I see one of them is Garrett Gilbert. The article added that his father, Gale Gilbert, is the only player in NFL history to play on five straight Super Bowl teams.

*********** College baseball has started to get interesting for me.  Which brings up Duke, which just beat Georgia twice Monday - on Georgia’s field - to advance to the Super Regional.    I’ve got Washington, Oregon State, Vanderbilt and Duke.  Where do I get a bet down?

*********** I was reading an article in the latest Sports Illustrated about the Icelandic national soccer team.  No, I haven’t gone and become a soccer fan, but I’m always interested in various cultures.  And in the way that cultures influence soccer, and the way that soccer influences cultures.

Iceland always interests me because its population is so small and until recently, so isolated that it’s Scandinavian to the extreme.

Where Scandinavians tend on occasion to drink to excess, Icelanders, I’m told, might find a few more occasions to do so. 

Then there are the last names.  If safe to say that a Swede with the last name of Larson once had an ancestor named Lars, and a Norwegian with the last name of Jansen is the descendant of some guy named Jan.  But in Iceland,  where there are so few people that they still go by first names, their last names are still patronymic - your last name is created from your father’s first name. And your son’s last name will be created from your first name. And so it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut would say.

Examples: in a photo in SI, three of the players are named Emil Hallfredsson,  Hannes Thor Halldorsson, and Johann Gudmundsson. That means they are the sons, respectively, of guys named Hallfred, Halldor, and Gudmund.

As for girls, let’s say that Emil Hallfredsson has a sister named Helga.  Her full name would be Helga Halllfredsdottir.   Hannes Halldorsson’s sister Johanna would be Johanna Halldorsdottir.  And Johan Gudmundsson’s little sis Margret would be Margret Gudmundsdottir.  (I’ll bet most of you have figured out that “dottir” is the Icelandic word for “daughter.” So go ahead and put down on your resume that you speak Icelandic.)

Then there is the noted Scandinavian trustworthiness, taken to the extreme in a people used to living in a tight culture which  depends on trust.

Where else but Iceland could the coach of the national team meet with his boosters two hours before a game and - with the doors locked against outsiders, media included - reveal his starting lineup (evidently a huge deal in soccer), what formation he intends to use, and his entire game plan, in detail?

Where else - except maybe Finland - could the coach share such inner secrets of the upcoming game in total confidence?

Where else but Iceland, where, the coach tells SI, “For seven years I’ve done it now, and nothing - I repeat, nothing - has been leaked on social media, even though the information they are getting is quite huge and probably sellable.  It wouldn’t be possible unless it's a community that trusts each other like here.”

*********** Great Indian cricket player Rohit Sharma threw out the first pitch before Sunday's Seattle Mariners' game, becoming the first cricketeer ever to  take part in this sillyass ritual, one that takes place in front of empty stands,  long before any actual first pitch takes place. For the record, he overthrew the "catcher." But he definitely showed good form, unlike a certain nancy-boy ex-President.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/off-the-field/watch-rohit-sharma-throws-the-ceremonial-first-pitch-in-major-league-baseball/articleshow/64447499.cms


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

Need to be short today...last day of school, baccalaureate, commencement.

Thanks for the info on Long Beach.  Sounds like my kinda place.

Enjoyed my visit with ND head coach Brian Kelly.  More later.

Have a great weekend and an even better clinic!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** Good morning, Coach.

Just read your News, and have to argue with Coach T.  about Maine being the only State with no poisonous snakes. Growing up in Alaska, I know there are none there, either!

http://animals.mom.me/american-state-doesnt-poisonous-snakes-8647.html

Loved reading about your parade on Memorial Day!

Have a great weekend!

DJ Millay
Vancouver, Washington

Coach, You are right.  But don’t blame Jack Tourtillotte for the misinformation.  It was I who failed to include the all-important “Lower 48” in my statement.


*********** You WILL enjoy this relatively recent interview with the late, great Billy Cannon.

The guy had a great sense of humor and a great way with a story.

He was a good student - after LSU, he graduated from the University of Tennessee’s school of dentistry - but he confessed to having problems with Spanish. He said his professor told him (in his Spanish accent), “Beelly, I cannot teach you Spanish… You don’t know English!”

And if you’re aware of the counterfeiting conviction that sent him to prison later in life, his closing line is priceless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx6-JVxPH-c

*********** “LGBT” visitors to the World Cup in Russia are being advised to refrain from public displays of affection.

We, on the other hand, are so advanced that we even show two guys kissing each other on our  Kiss Cams.  Let's see you do that, Ivan.

https://inews.co.uk/news/world/lgbt-world-cup-fans-headed-to-russia-advised-to-be-cautious/

*********** I’m really surprised that I haven’t read or heard anything about an obvious problem facing the NBA,  a professional sport that has 30 teams and yet has the same two teams facing each other in its finals for the fourth straight year.

*********** A couple of coaches and I were having a nice dinner Saturday night after the clinic when the subject of NFL players kneeling for the flag came up.  We were blacks and whites, but it did not turn out the way you might think. Although most “debates” on the topic, when they do occur, are at the least rancorous, ours was civil, and measured. One thing, though, did cause me some consternation.  How could I explain why there was such opposition to the actions of black players’ kneeling during the anthem in protest of police brutality when not too long ago Tim Tebow had knelt during the anthem to protest abortion and nothing was said? 

Huh?  I replied.  First I’d ever heard of that.  I’d be opposed to his doing that, I said, just as strongly as I was to the NFL players doing it.  But I”m fairly well-informed on such matters, and I can’t believe that the news media, as opposed as they were to Tebow and his Christianity in the first place, wouldn’t have had a field day if he’d knelt on behalf of the right-to-life cause.

I knew he’d knelt on the field.  But he knelt to pray, not to bring attention to any social cause.  And he didn’t do it during the national anthem.

I stated that until I saw the evidence, I couldn’t accept that that had actually happened.

And the first chance I got, I checked it out on line.

And sure enough, according to snopes.com, it is FALSE, FALSE, FALSE.

A crock.   Just another devious contrivance of the Left - fake news, if you will - to try to put you on the defensive in a “debate.”

I should add that we did come to some sort of an agreement at the table: there is no compelling national interest served by playing the national anthem before a youth football game.

Or a high school game.  Or a college game.  Or a pro game.

Make it rare and make it mean something. Something besides a “performance,” a talent show, a poor version of American Idol. 

Save it for international competition.  Bring a college band and invite everyone to sing along with it.

(I coached in Finland for seven football seasons and heard the Finnish national anthem just once in all that time.  It is beautiful and stirring and Finns revere it.)

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/tim-tebow-kneel-anthem/

*********** QUIZ  ANSWER - Curt Warner (with a “C”, not a “K”) came from tiny Pineville, West Virginia, where he was all-state in three sports.  At Penn State, he was the leading rusher for three straight seasons - 1980-1981-1982 -  and along with his roommate Todd Blackledge he helped lead the Lions to their first-ever national championship in his senior season.  He was twice named All-American,  He still ranks second in career rushing yardage at Penn State, and his 18 games of 100 or more yards rushing remain a school record.

He was drafted first by the Seattle Seahawks - the third overall pick in the draft - and led the AFC in rushing his rookie season.  In his career, he rushed for 6844 yards and 56 touchdowns.  He was twice named AFC Offensive Player of the Year, and played in three Pro Bowls.

He ended his career with the Rams, but he is in the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor.

He is often overlooked because he shares the same name (slightly different spelling) as well-known quarterback Kurt Warner.

The father of two sons with autism, he founded and heads an autism foundation. He lives in Camas, Washington and has worked as an assistant coach at the local high school.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING CURT WARNER:
TITO CORREA - NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA (I know Pineville and the Warner story pretty well. Not far from Big Stone Gap, VA - my hometown)
DAVID BUCHANAN - BARRE, MASSACHUSETTS (That's Curt Warner. Part of Paterno's "Grand Experiment" that resulted in a national title in a really close game over Georgia (they only lost to Bama that year).
JASON MENSING - WHITEFORD, MICHIGAN - (He appears to be a far more impressive man than his great accomplishments in the sport.
MIKE LANE - QUARRYVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA (out rushed herschel walker in sugar bowl)
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
JOHN HARRIS - MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA (Pineville was our biggest rival in those days (I was an assistant at Oceana HS 14 miles away). Curt was the best running back I ever saw in person. The only way to stop him was keep the ball away from him which was difficult to do. He could score anytime, anywhere on the field. He was, and is, a better person than a football player. I dreaded trying to stop him but admire him greatly.)
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
RALPH BALDUCCI - PORTLAND, OREGON (Met him at a Camas game.)
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
CHRIS HILLIKER - NORTHPORT, ALABAMA
BRAD KNIGHT - CLARINDA, IOWA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

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

Curt Warner was a truly great running back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJbSwFtAe70

Coach Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

Coach Koenig has found an amazing compilation of clips of some of Curt Warner’s best runs. His combination of footwork and speed are astounding.  And if you’ll notice, he is doing it against some really good teams.

*********** QUIZ -  He is a native of Pontotoc, Mississippi. 

As a quarterback at Ole Miss, he helped lead the Rebels to SEC championships in 1962 and 1963 and a share of the 1962 national title.

During his three varsity seasons playing  at Ole Miss, the Rebels went 22-6-3 and played in two Sugar Bowls and one Bluebonnet Bowl.

He was named second team All-SEC quarterback in 1964.  During his career, he completed 158 of 291 passes for 1,890 yards and 15 touchdowns, which at the time ranked him second all-time among Ole Miss passers, behind only Charlie Conerly.

At a time when college teams played only nine or 10 regular season games, he had 2,584 yards in career total offense  (694 rushing, 1,890 passing) during his career, making him  third in Ole Miss history behind Conerly and John “Kayo” Dottley.   In his career, he averaged  5.55 yards per play on 465 total plays during his career, and accounted for 26 TDs.
 
During his senior season, he had 91 completions on 170 attempts for 1,034 yards and five TDs.

In a 37-3 win over LSU in 1963, he  completed 7 of 7 passes for 105 yards and one TD and rushed for another 44 yards, including a three-yard TD.  He ran for a 45 yard TD against Houston, and a 43-yard TD against Mississippi State.

In addition to football, he was heavily involved in music. He’d been writing songs since he was 12 years old, and he had his own band during high school.  While at Ole Miss, he and his rock band, The Gordian Knot, played dates throughout the South.

HIs coach, John Vaught, encouraged his interest in music: “"Coach Vaught was a bigger than life personality to me when I was in junior high and high school," he said. "When I got to Ole Miss, I was in awe of him. It was hard to believe that I was out there on the field and he was talking to me. He was good to me about my music and was so supportive of me. I loved being at Ole Miss and I still love Ole Miss."

He was chosen in the 12th round of the 1965 American Football League draft by the Boston Patriots,  but passed up a potential career in professional football for one in in the field of music.

Good choice.  He’s been writing songs for more than 50 years, and he’s now a member of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.

His first hit was ”Neither One Of Us," which was recorded by Gladys Knight & The Pips.  They went on to record 12 of his songs, including "Where Peaceful Waters Flow," "Midnight Train To Georgia" ( a Number one Pop and R & B hit) and "The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me,”   which became a #1 R & B hit;  sung by Ray Price, it became a #1 Country hit as well. Price went on to record 38 of his songs.  Among those who recorded his songs were  Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Neil Diamond, Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks.  Many of his songs have been used in movies and TV shows.

FRIDAY,  JUNE 1,  2018 “The right thinks you’re wrong. The left thinks you’re evil.” Charles Krauthammer


*********** Some fool in Portland came up with an idea called “Reparations Happy Hour.”  Sounded kind of interesting at first - a chance for whites and blacks to meet somewhere?  I could definitely see myself buying a black guy a drink or two and enjoying some good fellowship - the sort of thing this country needs more of.

He hit up a bunch of donors - mostly white people - to contribute.  But what they were contributing to was a fund to give all “People of Color” who showed up at a certain bar a $10 bill as “reparations.”  No whites were allowed.

F—k that.

The genius who came up with the idea has since changed the name to “Reparations Power Hour,” in the belief that “Happy Hour” with its suggestion of drinking might exclude some people who don’t drink.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/26/us/reparations-happy-hour-portland.html


Red Eye Hay mug shotRed Eye Hay
********** Red Eye Hay died on May 17, two days after his 87th birthday.  Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, he played two seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, then enjoyed a long career with the Western Hockey League Portland Buckaroos from 1964 to 1969 before retiring from hockey and working as a bricklayer.

The Portland Buckeroos and the WHL were major league by today’s standards - the NHL at that time consisted of just six teams.

Red Eye Hay was a hockey player’s hockey player, a rough guy - how could  a guy called Red Eye not be? He played in the days before helmets, and he knew that he earned his paycheck by mixing it up, as he's about to do in the photo above.  He's the guy at left, who appears to know what his hockey stick is for. He is second all-time in the WHL in penalty minutes.

*********** Thanks to Eddie Campbell, of Land o’ Lakes, Florida, for sending me the link to a great story about the late Chuck Knox,  remembered as “the most intimidating coach I’ve ever been around.”

One player nicknamed him “Mona Lisa,” because it seemed as if wherever you were, his eyes were on you.

But another remembered his soft side - the time the Seahawks beat Kansas City for the first time in years, and then their plane out of Kansas City was delayed and one by one, the players slipped into an airport bar - they were in the main terminal - even though they knew that if the coach caught them he’d raise hell.  After they’d downed a few, in walked Knox.  He looked around, pulled a couple of hundred dollar bills out of his pocket, and told the bartender he was buying.

http://www.espn.com/blog/seattle-seahawks/post/_/id/30792/tales-of-chuck-knox-the-most-intimidating-coach-ive-ever-been-around

*********** Some guy named Cassius Marsh spent nine games with the Patriots, got paid well for the experience, and then was put on waivers.

He’s with the 49ers now, and he’s been telling anyone who cared to listen (both of them) that his time with the Patriots was “no fun.”

Which prompts the question: Who TF is Cassius Marsh? 

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000934539/article/cassius-marsh-hated-playing-for-new-england-patriots

*********** Arizona State has a secret weapon.  ASU 80,000 online students.   And they all pay fees - including an athletic fee.   Let’s see you match that, Notre Dame.

*********** In this video, a California JC greets a new transfer.  Some big,  long-haired guy full of tats who thinks he can play QB.  Hilarious.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVit4vSAMsk


*********** Is there really such a thing as a “Pulitzer Prize Winning rapper?"

*********** Greg Koenig, of Cimarron, Kansas, sent me a link to an article that ought to scare the hell out of most college football fans - and administrators and coaches.

It contends that the future of college football is dependent on television dollars.  Well, duh.  Except that those dollars are not going to be coming from the usual TV networks.

Says one sports executive, “We’ll see a huge shift between 2023 and 2026, we know that’s when TV rights will begin to expire. But no one knows who the bidders will be, only that they will have a lot of cash, and that the schools will have a lot of options.”

The dollars, according to the article, are going to come from FAANG (the initials of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google). 

One of more of them will have the money and the reach to call the shots, and ultimately, when they’re paying out the bucks, they’re going to want the biggest names.

Casualties will be the smaller members of today’s Power 5 conferences: teams such as Washington State, Wake Forest, Kansas State, Boise, Purdue, Iowa State, Vandy, Baylor, Georgia Tech and Northwestern.  They’ll be relegated to the roles now played by FCS and lower-level FBS schools.

Schools most likely to make the cut:  the Wall Street Journal’s ranking of the top college football programs based on their value.

Ohio State; Texas; Oklahoma; Alabama; Michigan; Notre Dame; Georgia; Tennessee; Auburn; Florida; Penn State; Texas A&M; Nebraska; South Carolina; Iowa; Arkansas; Wisconsin; Washington; Florida State; Oregon; Michigan State; Mississippi; Clemson; Southern California; Arizona State; UCLA.

(Are you serious?  Mississippi but not  LSU?)

The author’s advice to commissioners who’ll try in vain to keep their conferences together:  “Sorry, captain. There’s only so many lifeboats.”

 Thank God I won’t be around to see that day.

https://247sports.com/college/oklahoma/Article/Conference-Re-alignment-future-football-Ohio-State-Texas-Oklahoma-Notre-Dame-Alabama-Michigan-SEC-Pac-12-Big-10-ACC--118642101/Amp?__twitter_impression=true

************* Regarding the late Philp Roth and “The Great American Novel,” Mark Kaczmarek of Davenport, Iowa writes, “OMG...I think I smell the shrimp boat fleet...loved the book too.”   Sorry, but I’m not able to explain here on a family page  what the author was referring to when he talked about the smell of the shrimp boats docking…

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

Main street.  Small town USA.  Memorial Day, Independence Day parades.  Grilled hot dogs, burgers, fireworks, and townsfolk who get along and love this country.  Still can find a lot of those places in different states.  It's Americana.

Bullying.  Best defined as "continuous expressions whether written, oral, or physical that is determined to have the effect of physically harming another, damaging another's property, or placing another in reasonable fear of harm." 

Harassment.  Best defined as "a continuous course of conduct directed at a specific person, or people, that causes substantial emotional distress and serves no legitimate purpose."

Key Words:  Continuous, reasonable, substantial.  I believe we have taken the meanings of continuous, reasonable, and substantial to new heights in our society.

Unfortunately the only Kennedy that may have been worth his weight in gold died fighting for his country in World War II.

Don't get me started on the Boy Scouts...err...Scouts.

I meant to ask you before but it slipped my mind until I read what you wrote about the snakes in WA.  While I have been to eastern WA, I have never been to the western side.  Heard the beaches there are nice, and the summer weather is enjoyable.  What is your take on the Long Beach area of WA?  We've considered making a trip up that way to see what it's all about.

Well...I'm off to lunch with Coach Kelly.  If he asks what I think of this year's team I'm going to tell him "Run the Rock."

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

The Long Beach area is nice enough.  In my opinion, it can’t compare with the Oregon Coast, but it is more reasonable.  I compare it to Ocean Shores, where we have a place.  Neither is very ritzy.  Long Beach is more honky-tonkish, and can get quite crowded in the summer.  Ocean Shores gives you more of the impression of a small town way out on the coast. Overall I’d give Long Beach the edge, first because for us it’s about 1/2 hour closer, and second because it’s a fairly short drive to Astoria, Oregon,  a neat little town with a lot of nice restaurants and places to check out.  The difference for us is that we’ve grown to know and like Ocean Shores, and we’d have to start all over at Long Beach.

*********** My old friend and fellow North Beach coach Jack Tourtillotte is a Mainer, and his state pride compelled him to point out that Maine is the only state that doesn’t have poisonous snakes.  I told him that maybe it was because the mosquitoes, black flies and no-see-ums drove them out.

*********** QUIZ ANSWER - Bill Mallory was a “Cradle of Coaches” (Miami of Ohio) guy - played there and coached there.

He sure had the background.

He played at Miami under Ara Parseghian and John Pont.   He assisted at Bowling Green under Doyt Perry, at Yale under Carm Cozza, and at Ohio State under Woody Hayes.

In his first head coaching job, at his alma mater, he was 39-12 at Miami.  He went 35-21-1 at Colorado, and 25-19 at Northern Illinois.

He coached three different college teams to top 20 finishes.

He was the first coach to be named Big Ten Coach of the Year back-to-back.

But here’s the real proof of his ability as a coach:  He almost left Indiana with a winning record.

He is the winningest coach in Indiana football history, with 69 wins.  He led the Hoosiers to six bowl games in his 13 years there. He took Indiana to consecutive Top-20 finishes (1987-1988).  He is the only coach Indiana’s had in the post-war era - since 1947 - with a record of more than .400 (.473 to be exact).

His career win-loss record at four different colleges is 168-129-4.

He died last week, just days before his 83rd birthday and less than three weeks before what would have been his 60th wedding anniversary.

https://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/05/25/bill-mallory-indianas-all-time-winningest-coach-dies-at-age-82/


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BILL MALLORY…
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
Bill Mallory (knew he was a pretty good coach, but now I see him as having been a really good one)
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
I dig guys like him, Bill Snyder, and those who choose to build programs and help underdogs be competitive.  They know they may never be in the national title  running, but anyone who’s dedicated enough, patient enough and a good enough coach to pull someone up from the gutter is someone I will admire and follow.
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA - great coach....faith....family....football.....not a cliche with him......he demonstrated the "pitchfork" technique they taught on punt pro and i am still using it today
BRAD KNIGHT - CLARINDA, IOWA -  ALMOST got out of Indiana with a winning record, and that would indeed have been an accomplishment!  Very much in the mold of a "Bob Knight" guy.  Blunt, to the point with no BS.
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA - sad to hear of Coach Mallory's passing...My Dad was Director of Financial Aid during his tenure & Dad Coach & his top assistant Joe Novak were buddies
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSON
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
TITO CORREA - NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
DENNIS METZGER - RICHMOND, INDIANA - I had the good fortune of being an high school football coach when Coach Mallory was at Indiana.  He, and his staff, were classy, they always had time for a high school coach, even an assistant.
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK - Remember meeting him at an airport one time while playing arena football. One of our players, garland Rivers, a stud number 13 defensive back for michigan in the 80s was talking to him. Heck of a nice guy

*********** I think you'll enjoy this excerpt from a Trent Green interview about his head coach at Indiana, Coach Bill Mallory. It appears that Coach Mallory had quite an influence on Trent Green.

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

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


*********** QUIZ - He came from tiny Pineville, West Virginia, where he was all-state in three sports.  At Penn State, he was the leading rusher for three straight seasons - 1980-1981-1982 -  and along with his roommate Todd Blackledge he helped lead the Lions to their first-ever national championship in his senior season.  He was twice named All-American,  He still ranks second in career rushing yardage at Penn State, and his 18 games of 100 or more yards rushing remain a school record.
He was drafted first by the Seattle Seahawks - the third overall pick in the draft - and led the AFC in rushing his rookie season.  In his career, he rushed for 6844 yards and 56 touchdowns.  He was twice named AFC Offensive Player of the Year, and played in three Pro Bowls.
He ended his career with the Rams, but he is in the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor.
He is often overlooked because he shares the same name (slightly different spelling) as a well-known quarterback.
The father of two sons with autism, he founded and heads an autism foundation. He lives in Camas, Washington and has worked as an assistant coach at the local high school.

american flagTUESDAY,  MAY 29,  2018 "Country music has always been adult music sung by adults," Bruce Hinton,  chairman emeritus of MCA Records


*********** I was out walking my dog Memorial Day morning when a neighbor asked if my wife and I wanted to join the “Parade”  some of the  neighbors were having - a Memorial Day parade down our street  to the Vietnam memorial in town.

Of course we did.  We joined maybe 50 kids and parents.  Lots of the  boys rode bikes, and a  couple of people walked their dogs.  Along the way, we passed the fire station, and as some of the firemen stood outside - one of them the husband of one of the marchers - they turned the engine lights on and hit the horn.

Two dads  holding American  flags stood in the middle of the one busy street we had to cross and held up traffic for us.  The one guy who was held up didn’t seem to mind.

At the monument, they asked the kids to sit around it so they could see the speaker -  one of the dads who told the kids as briefly as possible what Memorial Day was about, with a little bit of the history behind it.  As a teacher myself, I thought he did a great job of meeting his audience on their terms and making it a memorable lesson, and the kids were incredibly polite and well-behaved.  I know, I know - this is 21st century America.  Parents have given up on teaching their kids manners, right?  Not these parents.

We ended with several people saying,  spontaneously,  “God Bless America.”

And then we walked home together, many of us having made new friends.  I’m so proud of America.  I’m so proud of those parents.

black Lion Monument***********  Memorial Day also happened to be the 100th anniversary of the World War I Battle of Cantigny, the battle which earned the Americans of the 28th Infantry Regiment the nickname “Black Lions of Cantigny.”

Although not a major battle, it was extremely important in establishing the principle that American troops would serve under American commanders.  Until the “doughboys” proved their mettle in combat, there was pressure from our Allies to use American troops as fill-ins for their troops lost in battle.

In the middle of the esplanade at the center of the town of Cantigny stands a large bronze sculpture of a 28th Infantry Regiment Black Lion of Cantigny Doughboy sculpted by Stephen Spears and dedicated on 28 May 2008.  (The pedestal was dedicated on 8 July 2007).  The doughboy is mounted on a black stone pedestal and commemorates the first battle American forces fought and won in Europe during World War I. 

On the morning of May 28th, 1918, the 28th Infantry Regiment, US First Division, American Expeditionary Forces, commanded by COL Hanson E. Ely, conducted the first major American offensive of World War I here at Cantigny.  The rest of the First Division, and French aircraft, artillery, tanks and flamethrowers, supported the attack.  The seizure and defense of Cantigny against determined German opposition proved the worth of the American soldier and bolstered allied morale at a critical time.  Almost 900 members of the regiment were killed or wounded during the four-day battle.  The regiment earned the French Croix de Guerre with Palm and the designation "The Lions of Cantigny".  The regiments crest bears a lion derived from the coat of arms of Picardie.  Dedicated on July 8, 2007 by the 28th Infantry Regiment Association, the McCormick Tribune Foundation, the Cantigny First Division Foundation, and the Village of Cantigny.


http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=27&MemID=75

***********  My high school, Germantown Academy, was all-male, with graduating classes around 50.  Unless there was something wrong with you, you played football.

My freshman year, a new kid, a junior named Jim Fraser, arrived at school, and he turned out for soccer.  He was a big kid, about 6-3, 215, and he was quite athletic.  Why soccer?  Because his dad, Tom, had played soccer on the national team in his native Scotland, and Jim had played it all his life.

One day shortly after his arrival at GA, for some reason he gave up soccer and turned out for the football team.

Years later, he explained to me why he had the change of heart: he'd  had a sit-down with the Lassen brothers.  The Lassen brothers, Dick and Bob, were twins, maybe 5-8, 155 pounds, but they were all whalebone and whipcord, as people once said.   They were good athletes, and they were very tough competitors.  They knew no fear, and they could strike fear in the hearts of any slackers on their teams.  In short, they were the kind of leaders we coaches all crave.

In the sit-down with young Jim Fraser, they told him that they thought he had good potential as a football player and they asked him to join them.  Oh, and they also called him a big pussy (omigod!) and suggested that  his time at GA wouldn’t be near as enjoyable as a soccer player as it would be if he joined their merry band.

He made the wise decision, and decided to play football. He turned out to be pretty good, too. He was, so far as I’m concerned, the first soccer-style kicker in the US (that was 1953).  His kickoffs went out of the end zone every time.  He was a great punter as well.  He turned out to be a very good linebacker, good enough to get a scholarship to Wisconsin, and he went on to play six seasons in the AFL with the Broncos, Chiefs and Patriots, as both a linebacker and a punter.  In his three years in Denver, he made the Pro Bowl as a punter, averaging 44.1 yards per kick.

Nowadays?  A present-day "James" (not Jim - ever notice that parents don’t use nicknames anymore?) Fraser would go home and tell his parents what had happened, and they would hire a lawyer, who would contact the Headmaster, who would fire the coach and expel the Lassen twins. And cancel the football season.  And bring in an expert to talk to the remaining students about the horrors of bullying.

Bullying, as we all know, has no place in our society.    Or does it?

I think it depends on what’s defined as bullying - and who gets to define it. 

While bullying can be an awful thing, and  trying to put an end to it is a noble goal, I’m not sure that in our efforts to end it we haven’t done our society a disservice: 

First of all, in constantly portraying bullying as almost a capital crime, have we provided self-justification for those who see themselves as “victims” to go get a gun and kill the “bullies?”

Second of all, by equating  teasing and ridicule with “hate speech,” have we created entire categories of protected people, who now feel free to openly and brazenly display behavior once considered aberrant?

And third, by removing the stigma from less-than-masculine behavior, have we given permission to boys and young men to be, well - sissies?

EXHIBIT A:  As I was walking my dog past a youth soccer practice Wednesday, the kids were running a little drill in which one would play in the goal while another would take a kick at the goal.   And then the kid who had been the kicker would become the goalie, and the next kid in line would take a shot at the goal.  As I was watching, a kid who had just kicked at goal stepped into the goal himself, and hollered at the kicker, “Don’t kick it too hard!”

I waited.

Nobody said a word.  Not the coach, not another kid.  Things just continued. A “teachable moment” blown.

Maybe it’s just accepted in today’s world that it’s okay for a boy to be a pussy -  who are we to judge?

Holy sh—, I thought.  I could only imagine football (“Please don’t tackle me too hard”) or baseball (“Please don’t throw it so hard”).

They’d probably call it bullying, but that little soccer player could use a serious talking-to. 

*********** The new Pleasure Dome in Los Angeles, the one that will house the crowds that will be breaking down the doors to watch the Rams one week and the Chargers the next, is running way over budget.  It’s already projected to cost $4 BILLION - twice the cost of any stadium ever built up to now - and it’s sure to come in at more than that figure by the time it’s ready to go.

All this to capture an NFL fever in Southern California that registers 98.6 on the enthusiasmeter.

How are they ever going to pay for such a stadium?

HINT:  Welcome to the home of the $25 hot dog.

https://sports.yahoo.com/rams-new-stadium-costs-pass-4-billion-double-u-s-stadium-142925213.html

*********** One of the kids killed in the recent Texas school shooting was an exchange student. 

It’s a horrible thing to think that parents sent their child here to spend a year and she winds up being killed.

Parents, in this case, back in… Pakistan?

I read it and I thought “WTF?”

And then I started digging.  Turns out the kid was here as part of an American taxpayer-subsidized program called YES (Youth Exchange and Study), which pays the freight for high school students from countries “with significant Muslim populations” to come and spend a year in the good old US.

According to its Web site:

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program, funded by the U.S. Department of State, provides scholarships for secondary school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend one academic year in the United States.

There’s that damn Ted Kennedy again, the same bastard that changed our culture forever with his overhaul of our immigration program,

Bet you didn’t know about that neat little program, did you?

http://www.yesprograms.org/


***********  Morning coach,

Had another first this week. We were playing the other first place team (beat them 38-8). They received the ball and came out in a Double Wing! This was not what they had run the previous two weeks. I called time out and went out on the field for a quick tutorial. They only ran three plays out of it, without much success.

However, as I was walking off the field after the time out, I called over to the opposing coach (who I am friendly with) and yelled: “You better be careful, that offense can get you fired!” He laughed and said something about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.

Hahaha.  Three plays is all you need - but you have to run them well!  That’s what stops most guys.  They’d rather run new plays than make the old ones work!


*********** THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO “WTF?” DEPARTMENT

Condoms will be available to scouts at this year’s World Jamboree…

http://mobile.wnd.com/2018/05/condoms-required-at-scouts-24th-world-jamboree/

*********** I’m surprised he didn’t fall on his sword…

A Japanese football player - yes, they play it there, and they’re not bad - was challenged by his coach to show some toughness, and he responded by taking an incredibly cheap shot on the opposing quarterback, hitting him in the back of his legs, far away from the play.

All sorts of sh— has hit the fan, with the player deciding he’d had enough of the game and quitting football.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2018/05/22/japanese-college-football-scandalized-after-coach-orders-shocking-late-hit/?utm_term=.3a423d2be2b4

*********** Hillary does Yale…  (From the official university report to alumni)

Clinton recalled how many members of the Class of 2018 took part during their sophomore year in the March of Resilience, led by students of color, “to make Yale a more just, equitable, and safe place for everyone.” She noted how their activism led to the renaming of Calhoun College to Grace Hopper College, replacing the name of a graduate who was a proponent of slavery (John Calhoun) for that of a pioneering female naval officer who was also one of the first American computer programmers. A second residential college, Pauli Murray College, was named during their time as undergraduates for a “trailblazing LGBT civil rights activist,” Clinton noted.

“These changes didn’t happen on their own,” Clinton told the seniors. “You made them possible. You kept fighting. You kept the faith and because of that in the end you changed Yale as much as Yale changed you.”

Witch. It's not as if Yale, which was founded in 1701 and had been doing pretty well until its fairly recent sharp left turn, really needed any changing.

*********** I had a nice chat with Roger Kelly on Tuesday.  We don’t talk as often as we once did, partly because he no longer coaches football (Double Wing, I might add); partly because he no longer lives in Vancouver, BC, but now lives in Sweden, where he once coached basketball and met his wife; and partly because in recent years he’s been extremely busy founding and building his Web site, europlayers.com.

Roger, who once served as PR director for the CFL BC Lions, loved the Double Wing, and had quite a bit of success with it, coaching 12-man youth football, and 11-man high school football.  Because of his background in coaching overseas, he was aware of the growing interest in American football in other countries, and showing impressive foresight,  he saw opportunity in creating a way to bring together players and coaches looking for an opportunity overseas, and overseas teams looking for players and coaches.  He said that europlayers is now among the top 200 Web sites in terms of traffic.  It’s certainly the site to go to for any coach or player who’d like to experience another culture through the medium of football.

*********** I’m not exactly a political junkie, but I follow events fairly closely, and I watch a lot of Fox News.  One guy I see on there a lot is a congressman from Ohio named Jim Jordan.

He’s impressed me.  He’s a trim, good-looking guy with a nice, non-nonsense manner.  He’s conservative in his outlook, and common-sensical in his manner and speech.

And - I didn’t know this until I heard the President say it - he was once a hell of a wrestler. A “college champion,” the President I thought I heard Mr. Trump say.
Now that, of course, I had to check out.   I’ve seen too many cases where some guy sat the bench on his college team and then years later, as he rose in politics, he morphed into a Heisman runner-up.    When I hear someone say that “so-and-so was once an All-American,” or a “champion,” it’s my nature, no matter who says it,  to do my research. 

All I can say is, Wow!  Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio was a four-time state champion in high school, with a 150-1 record, and at Wisconsin, he was a three-time NCAA All-American and a two-time NCAA Division I  champion.  He was voted  “Most Dedicated” by his Badger teammates all four of his years there.

He is, to say the least, the real deal.

His oldest son, Ben, is now a wrestler at Wisconsin.

https://www.wwca.org/page/show/1507318-jim-jordan

Here's his NCAA title win overthe legendary John Smith of Oklahoma State,  himself a two-time NCAA champion, winner of assorted World and Olympic gold medals,  and now head coach at Oklahoma State:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4erlbp21RXg

*********** A guy was paddling on a river in South Carolina when a rattlesnake fell out of a tree into his kayak  and wound up biting the guy a couple of times.

Rattlesnakes in WashJust another nice thing about the Pacific Northwest.  There aren’t that many places in the US that don’t have venomous snakes, but I happen to live in one of them. There are no venomous snakes west of the Cascades Range, which roughly splits the state of Washington in two - often referred to as the wet (west) side and the dry side.  The wet side is moistened by the air coming off the Pacific.  (It does rain a bit, as you may have heard.)  As the moist air moves eastward, it falls as snow in upper elevations of the Cascades, but by the time it gets across the mountains, the moisture is mostly gone.  It’s a lot drier to the east - desert even, in some places - much more, evidently, to a rattlesnake’s liking.


In the map  the green areas are those in which the state’s only venomous snake, the Western Rattlesnake, is fairly common.  In the yellow areas, it’s seen occasionally.  And in the white areas, mostly to the west of the Cascades, it’s unknown.


“C” is Camas, where we live.  It’s just across the Columbia River from Oregon; “OS” is Ocean Shores, where I’ve coached and where we still have a place; “S” is Seattle and “T” is Tacoma.


http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article211609889.html


*********** There are a few books that I enjoy so much I re-read them.  Some of them several times.  For the longest while, it seemed weird reading a book a second time - you know, with all the great literature still to be read, why waste your time on something you’ve already read?

My answer - why listen to the same music over and over?  Why go back to the same old historic places over and over?  Why watch your favorite movie, to the point where you know everyone’s lines?

One book that I’ve read several times is “The Great American Novel,” by Philip Roth.

It’s about baseball.  Sort of.  It’s the story of an old sports writer named Word Smith, who lives in a retirement home and tells the story of the Ruppert Mundys, a team whose ball park in the fictional town of  Port Ruppert, New Jersey was commandeered by the Army for use as a World War II training camp and as a consequence was forced to play its entire season on the road.  The Mundys, made up of men (and boys) unfit for military service, were as hopeless a team as ever took the diamond.  In Smith’s telling of the story of the Mundys,  author Roth makes magnificent use of time-honored baseball cliches.  He knows his baseball and he knows his old-time ball players. Unfortunately for Word Smith, there is no known record of the Patriot League or the Ruppert Mundys,  a Communist plot having resulted in their history being expunged from all publications. This, needless to say, greatly complicates things for him, as the nurses at the home  treat him condescendingly, like a senile old fart whose imagination has run wild.  True to his days hanging around baseball players, he calls them “slits.”

Philip Roth, God rest his soul, died last week.

*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Bob Kalsu played college football at Oklahoma, and was the Bills’ Rookie of the Year in 1968, playing the entire season at guard.
Following the season,  to fulfill his ROTC commitment, he was called up by the Army and sent to Vietnam as part of the 101st Airborne. On July 21, 1970, he was killed in action.  He left a wife and a daughter, and a son who was born two days later.   His wife was informed of his death a few hours after giving birth.

He and a former Cleveland Brown, Don Steinbrunner, were the only NFL players killed in Vietnam.

Steinbrunner, who played for the Browns in 1953, joined the Air Force in 1954 to honor his ROTC commitment, but he made a career of his service.  He was killed in July, 1967.

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

*********** He was a “Cradle of Coaches” guy - played there and coached there.

He sure had the mentors.  He played at Miami (Ohio) under Ara Parseghian and John Pont.  He assisted at Bowling Green under Doyt Perry, at Yale under Carm Cozza, and at Ohio State under Woody Hayes.

In his first head coaching job, at his alma mater, he was 39-12 at Miami.  He went 35-21-1 at Colorado, and 25-19 at Northern Illinois.

He coached three different college teams to top 20 finishes.

He was the first coach to be named Big Ten Coach of the Year back-to-back.

But here’s the real proof of his ability as a coach:  He almost left Indiana with a winning record.

He is the winningest coach in Indiana football history, with 69 wins.  He led the Hoosiers to six bowl games in his 13 years there. He took Indiana to consecutive Top-20 finishes (1987-1988).  He is the only coach Indiana’s had in the post-war era - since 1947 - with a record of more than .400 (.473 to be exact).

His career win-loss record at four different colleges is 168-129-4.

He died last week, just days before his 83rd birthday and less than three weeks before what would have been his 60th wedding anniversary.


american flagFRIDAY,  MAY 25,  2018 "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." Jerry Ciancolo, in the Wall Street Journal

MEMORIAL DAY, 2018
 
*********** Memorial Day was originally known as "Decoration Day,"  set aside to honor the men who died in the Civil War. (There was a time when certain southern states did not observe it, preferring instead to observe their own Memorial Days to honor Confederate war 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 of Holmes that in July 1864, as the Confederate general Jubal Early conducted a raid north of Washington, D.C., President Abraham Lincoln came out to watch the battle. As Lincoln watched, an officer right next to him was hit by a sniper's bullet. The young Holmes, not realizing who he was speaking to, shouted to the President, "Get down, you damn fool, before you get shot!"


After the war's conclusion, Holmes returned to Harvard to study law. He was admitted to the bar in 1866, and went into private practice in 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

The society for which many philanthropists, labor reformers, and men of fashion unite in longing is one in which they may be comfortable and may shine without much trouble or any danger.

The unfortunately growing hatred of the poor for the rich seems to me to rest on the belief that money is the main thing (a belief in which the poor have been encouraged by the rich), more than on any other grievance. Most of my hearers would rather that their daughters or their sisters should marry a son of one of the great rich families than a regular army officer, were he as beautiful, brave, and gifted as Sir William Napier.

I have heard the question asked whether our war was worth fighting, after all. There are many, poor and rich, who think that love of country is an old wife's tale, to be replaced by interest in a labor union, or, under the name of cosmopolitanism, by a rootless self-seeking search for a place where the most enjoyment may be had at the least cost.


I do not know the meaning of the universe. But in the midst of doubt, in the collapse of creeds, there is one thing I do not doubt, that no man who lives in the same world with most of us can doubt, and that is that the faith is true and adorable which leads a soldier to throw away his life in obedience to a blindly accepted duty, in a cause which he little understands, in a plan of campaign of which he has little notion, under tactics of which he does not see the use.


Most men who know battle know the cynic force with which the thoughts of common sense will assail them in times of stress; but they know that in their greatest moments faith has trampled those thoughts under foot. If you wait in line, suppose on Tremont Street Mall, ordered simply to wait and do nothing, and have watched the enemy bring their guns to bear upon you down a gentle slope like that of Beacon Street, have seen the puff of the firing, have felt the burst of the spherical case-shot as it came toward you, have heard and seen the shrieking fragments go tearing through your company, and have known that the next or the next shot carries your fate; if you have advanced in line and have seen ahead of you the spot you must pass where the rifle bullets are striking; if you have ridden at night at a walk toward the blue line of fire at the dead angle of Spottsylvania, where for twenty-four hours the soldiers were fighting on the two sides of an earthwork, and in the morning the dead and dying lay piled in a row six deep, and as you rode you heard the bullets splashing in the mud and earth about you; if you have been in the picket-line at night in a black and unknown wood, have heard the splat of the bullets upon the trees, and as you moved have felt your foot slip upon a dead man's body; if you have had a blind fierce gallop against the enemy, with your blood up and a pace that left no time for fear --if, in short, as some, I hope many, who hear me, have known, you have known the vicissitudes of terror and triumph in war; you know that there is such a thing as the faith I spoke of. You know your own weakness and are modest; but you know that man has in him that unspeakable somewhat which makes him capable of miracle, able to lift himself by the might of his own soul, unaided, able to face annihilation for a blind belief.

On the eve of Memorial Day, 1931, at the age of 90, Mr. Justice Holmes wrote to a friend:


"I shall go out to Arlington tomorrow, Memorial Day, and visit the gravestone with my name and my wife's on it, and be stirred by the military music, and, instead of bothering about the Unknown Soldier shall go to another stone that tells beneath it are the bones of, I don't remember the number but two or three thousand and odd, once soldiers gathered from the Virginia fields after the Civil War. I heard a woman say there once, 'They gave their all. They gave their very names.' Later perhaps some people will come in to 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 will,  "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, only flowering 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.)
Jim Shelton is a former Delaware football player (a wing-T guard) who served in Korea and Vietnam and as a combat infantryman rose to the rank of General. He was in Viet Nam on that fateful day in October, 1967 when Don Holleder was killed. Ironically, he had competed against Don Holleder in college. Now retired, he has served as Colonel of the Black Lions and was instrumental in the establishment of the Black Lion Award for young American football players. The  title of his book is taken from Captain Jim Kasik's description of the enemy: "the beast was out there, and the beast was hungry."


*********** 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 DONALD WALTER HOLLEDER UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY CLASS OF 1956 - THE MAN WHOSE STORY INSPIRED THE BLACK LION AWARD... By retired Air Force General Perry Smith (Don Holleder's West Point classmate, roommate and best man) "If you doubt the axiom, 'An aggressive leader is priceless,' ...if you prefer the air arm to the infantry in football, if you are not convinced we recruited cadet-athletes of superior leadership potential, then you must hear the story of Donald Walter Holleder. The saga of Holleder stands unique in Army and, perhaps, all college gridiron lore."

Hence begins the chapter, "You are my quarterback", in Coach Red Blaik's 1960 book, You Have to Pay the Price. Every cadet in the classes of 1956, 57, 58 and 59, and everyone who was part of the Army family at West Point and throughout the world will remember, even 50 years after the fact, the "Great Experiment".

But there is much more to the Holleder story. .
Holly was born and brought up in a tight knit Catholic family in upstate New York. He was an only child whose father died when Don was quite young. Doc Blanchard recruited high school All American Holleder who entered the Point just a few days after he graduated from Aquinas Institute in Rochester.

Twice turned out for academic difficulties, he struggled mightily to stay in the Corps. However as a cadet leader he excelled, serving as a cadet captain and company commander of M-2 his 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.

Sad?  Ohmigod.  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 grieiving 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, and there are  other days for saying “thank you for your service” to veterans or active duty personnel.  364 others, if you’re really sincere.  And there's a special one, called Veterans’ Day, when our nation 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 - Where it's still allowed to be called "Easter", it'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 start of college football

Veterans Day - Used to be called Armistice Day, when  we celebrated the end of a horrible world war

Hallowe’en - Used to be for kids to go trick-or-treating. 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


*********** Very clever of the NFL, the way they “handled” the national anthem issue.   You say you’re down for the cause, and can’t bring yourself to come out on the field and stand for the national anthem?  Fine.  Stay in the locker room.

(With all but a few members of the team out on the field, we’ll all know who the social justice warriors are, won’t we?)

And if by chance you can’t resist coming out and kneeling anyhow - you’re that into Social Justice?  Why, go ahead.  Of course, there’ll be a FINE!  But YOU won’t be fined - your TEAM will.  Talk about a deterrent.

My guess is that teams will agree to stay in the locker room during the anthem.  Makes sense to me.  That’s what the NFL did for years anyhow.  They’d play the anthem, and then introduce the starting lineups, as the starters, one by one, ran onto the field, followed by the rest of the team.  It was pretty cool, a whole lot better than having to look at the highly-paid talking heads in the booth, then wait to have them race through the starting lineups between plays in the first series or two.

If the league had any sense it would simply return to that as official protocol.  But, of course, it doesn’t have any sense, or it wouldn’t be in this position in the first place.

Now then, whatever they decide, would some highly-paid person in the NFLPA  please earn her or her pay by explaining to the players - and their defenders in the media - that THIS IS NOT - AND HAS NEVER BEEN  - A FIRST AMENDMENT ISSUE? 

THAT THE FIRST AMENDMENT DOES NOT PREVENT AN EMPLOYER (THAT WOULD BE THE NFL) FROM MAKING WORK RULES THAT SPECIFY WHAT ITS EMPLOYEES (THAT WOULD BE THE PLAYERS) CAN AND CANNOT SAY AND DO  ON THE JOB?

The NFL, with its army of lawyers, could have made that clear enough in the first place, except that many of its owners, in an act of commercial suicide,  actually side with the players.


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

Goals are something this current generation kicks balls into.

Kevin Anderson will do well at Cal State Fullerton.  One of the initial Title IX schools.  At least he won't be able to screw up the football program because they don't have one.

The overwhelming numbers of females in colleges has been a driver for many smaller schools to consider football, or even start football in order to draw more males to their campuses.

Makes sense that Yale brought Hillary in as a speaker.  Both have lost their minds.

What the Vegas Golden Knights have accomplished in their first year is nothing short of amazing, and I wasn't aware that the organization is led by a West Point man.  All makes sense to me now!
Wasn't it Douglas MacArthur that made a comment at one time about "Give me a man from West Point".

Zenger and Greenspan are two more of those AD's who will end up in a Title IX school where they belong.

Heard that cougar was emaciated.  I guess when you're that hungry discernment is the last thing considered in the thought process.

NOTE:  On May 30th I've been invited to sit with Brian Kelly at his table when he's here in Austin to address the Notre Dame Club of Austin luncheon.  Any questions you'd like me to ask him?? 😉

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


Joe,

It was George Marshall who said “I want an officer for a secret and dangerous mission.  I want a West Point football player.”  The saying is on a brass plaque.  It's taken to every game - home or away - and and every Army player touches it before every game.

I’m no fan of the modern Irish but I am a great fan and admirer  of their long and glorious history.

I would be honored to sit at his table and I’d tell him so.

I’d also tell him what an honor it was to meet the spiritual descendant of Rockne, Leahy, Parseghian.

It really is a tremendous responsibility that has been entrusted to him.  

I wouldn’t know how to ask him this, but it’s interesting that he is older than all three of those greats were when their ND careers ended.


*********** QUIZ: ANSWER  Mike Gottfried was a college QB at Morehead State, and then a successful high school coach in Ohio.  He was a college head coach at Murray State, Cincinnati, Kansas and Pitt and compiled an overall record of 76-55-4.  Only at Kansas did he have a losing record (15-18-1), but it’s not that bad when you consider that their last three coaches have only won 14 games combined over eight seasons.
Although he was 27-16-2 at Pitt - and 7-3-1 in his last year there (1989) -  he was let go. According to his autobiography, it was totally the decision of the University president.  In his four years at Pitt, he was 2-2 against Penn State and 2-2 against Notre Dame, and 1-0 against Ohio State, which his Panthers beat, 42-10 in Pittsburgh.

In 2000 he and his wife founded Team Focus, dedicated to providing motivation and support to boys without fathers. He has turned down numerous coaching opportunties in order to fulfill his mission.

In 2007, along with Ron Benson,  he co-wrote his autobiography, “Coach’s Challenge: Faith, Football and Filling the Father Gap.”

He has served as a color analyst on ESPN.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING MIKE GOTTFRIED
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
CHRIS HILLIKER - NORTHPORT, ALABAMA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
BRAD KNIGHT - CLARINDA, IOWA

*********** In reading a little bit of Mike Gottfried’s autobiography, I read about his growing up in Crestline, Ohio, where “My cousins, the Harbaughs - Judy, Janet, Jerry, Jack, and Jim - lived close by.”  (That would be THE Jack Harbaugh, father of Jim and John
and a great coach in his own right.)

Baseball fans will also recognize “My good friend, Gates Brown.”

*********** QUIZ: He played college football at Oklahoma, and was the Bills’ Rookie of the Year in 1968, playing the entire season at guard.
Following the season,  to fulfill his ROTC commitment, he was called up by the Army and sent to Vietnam as part of the 101st Airborne. On July 21, 1970, he was killed in action.  He left a wife and a daughter, and a son who was born two days later.   His wife was informed of his death a few hours after giving birth.

He and a former Cleveland Brown, Don Steinbrunner, were the only NFL players killed in Vietnam. (Steinbrunner, who played for the Browns in 1953, joined the Air Force in 1954 to honor his ROTC commitment, and then he decided to make a career of it.  He was killed in July, 1967.)


american flagTUESDAY,  MAY 22,  2018 “Let me just get this out of the way: No, I am not over it.” Hillary Rodham Clinton, addressing Yale graduates.

*********** From Bill Glass’ Book, “Get in the Game!”

“Blanton Collier, our head coach, is under the influence of the ‘zero defects” program of the United States Defense Department. As a result he has tried to tell us on the team that people make errors in proportion to the amount of importance that they attach to their particular job.  Most workmen make about five per cent errors on their job; yet they will not allow five per cent errors in other areas of their lives. They won’t allow this percentage of errors in their paychecks.  They always go to the house they call home; they never go to a strange house five per cent of the time. Blanton Collier will not allow us to excuse ourselves for making mistakes. To play a football game without error is a high and possibly unattainable goal.  Nevertheless, it is a goal that our coach is determined that we strive for.”

*********** KEVIN ANDERSON UPDATE…(In which I cover the amazing story of a major-college AD who had things running so well that he was able to take a "six-month sabbatical."

FLASHBACK TO LAST OCTOBER 17 … One bit of good news for Washington State fans is that Kevin Anderson won’t be their next AD.  In a bizarre series of stories over the weekend,  Anderson, the Maryland AD,  was reportedly going to be fired for pursuing AD jobs at Texas and then Cal.  But now, out of College Park, comes the amazing announcement that he’s going to be taking a six-month “professional development sabbatical.”

Sabbaticals - time off with pay to pursue professional development - are common for professors, but  not for athletic directors. It’s fair to say that there isn’t quite the same urgency - the same need for a person to be on hand - in the philosophy department as there is in the athletic department.

Somebody has to be on the scene, to make some very important decisions.  How in the hell, I wonder, can a major university allow its athletic director to walk away from his duties? On full salary?

Full disclosure: I have long believed the guy to be a total faker.  He was hired at West Point as AD, where he claimed in his bio that in his previous job - at Oregon State - he was instrumental in hiring Mike Riley as head coach, and he “had oversight” of the football program. At the time of his hiring at West Point, I inquired about him at the Corvallis, Oregon newspaper. The guy I spoke to in the sports department had never even heard of a "Kevin Anderson."  He laughed when I mentioned the “oversight” claim.  Another person I spoke to who had connections in the athletic department at OSU reported that then-OSU AD Bob DeCarolis had evidently suggested to Mr. Anderson that he might want to  start looking for another job.

Kevin Anderson  did nothing at West Point to impress the people who follow football - Army never beat Navy during his tenure - and when Maryland hired him, very few people were sorry to see him go.

Once at Maryland, practically his first act was to fire football coach Ralph Friedgen.  Friedgen, a Maryland alum,  had just finished an 8-4 season, and had been  named ACC Coach of the Year.

Friedgen’s replacement, Randy Edsall, famously jumped ship at Connecticut - technically, he jumped ship in Phoenix,  failing to accompany his  UConn players back to Connecticut after a Fiesta Bowl defeat - in order to get started at Maryland.  Despite the head start, his term at College Park was a failure: he was 22-34 before being relieved  six games into the 2015 season.

The jury is still out on Edsall’s successor, D. J. Durkin.  He went 6-7 in 2016, his first year, but this year the Terps are 3-3, with likely losses coming up at the hands of Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State and and Penn State, and potential wins against Indiana and Rutgers. Sounds like 5-7 to me.

Interestingly, there were some statements at the time of Friedgen’s firing that it had somethig to do with lagging attendance.

So how about this? In Friedgen’s last year - 2010 - average attendance was 39,168.

Attendance got a big goose in 2014 when Maryland joined the Big Ten,  and home games against Ohio State, Iowa and Michigan State drew big crowds (thanks in large part to all the Ohio State, Iowa and Michigan State alumni in the Washington, DC area) and the Terps averaged 46,981.

The next year, 2015, playing Penn State in Baltimore in front of 69,000, plus big crowds for Wisconsin and Micihigan, they averaged 44,341.

But here’s the indictment of Mr. Kevin Anderson: in 2016, despite being in the Big Ten, their average attendance was 39,615 - less than 500  more than the figure that supposedly cost Ralph Friedgen his job. True, the Terps’ Big Ten home schedule contained only one big hitter - Ohio State - and that game drew only 48,000.  But clearly, rather than hustling to put Maryland fans in the seats, Anderson was counting on visitors from Big Ten schools to pad his home attendance.

To show that Maryland has not been pulling its weight in the Big Ten, the 2015 Terps played in front of 100,778 at Penn State, 110,626 at Michigan, and 89,707 at Nebraska.

My guess is that this "sabbatical"  is some fancy sort of severance to spare Mr. Anderson the indignity of being asked to clean out his desk and turn in his keys.  So  instead of being fired, he gets a six-month "sabbatical."  My bet: after six months, he does not return to the job. He is, in French,  histoire.

One Maryland newspaper article I read had only one lone reader's comment, and it got right to the point:

“What the hell is going on?”

http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/news/maryland-ad-kevin-anderson-taking-six-month-sabbatical/1fg2kzb0w77ri1annn4uwapzcv

UPDATE… In April, when his “six month sabbatical” ended, he “resigned.”

He’s now holding down a job in the athletic department at Cal State Fullerton.

Sabbatical, my ass.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/terps/tracking-the-terps/bs-sp-kevin-anderson-resigns-maryland-0413-story.html

***********  With college enrollments approaching 60 per cent female, it’s obvious that women are not exactly being discriminated against in that area.

So what do colleges do to be more welcoming to men?  Why, pretend that women are still victims, and create women’s-only programs.

To my great chagrin,  there's Yale, right in the middle of it, as usual. 

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/05/18/yale-being-probed-by-doe-accused-toxic-environment-against-men.html

And there's Yale again,  doubling down on the liberal idiocy...  By long tradition, Yale does not have a commencement speaker.  Instead,  on “Class Day” the day before graduation -  there is a guest speaker, usually some graduate who had brought credit to the university and earned distinction by significant achievement. This year, they waived the “achievement” criterion,  selecting instead a classic loser, and a sore one at that: Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Give her this: she does okay in front of an adoring audience. (Not that I can remember the last time I saw her address anything but a gaggle of admirers.)  She told the fawning graduates that she’s still not over the election loss - it still bothers her.   And as a result of that loss, why, we’re really up sh—t creek. 

“Right now we’re living through a full-fledged crisis in our democracy,” she told the graduating seniors, most of whom were probably every bit as ignorant as she is in believing that we're a democracy.  (A democracy we're not. A democracy -  and the tyranny of the Mob  - scared the Founding Fathers every bit as much as a real tyrant. We are a constitutional republic.)

“Crisis?” she calls it.  What - because she lost?  Give me a break.

No matter.  We’re living through a crisis, she told them,  and  to make it through,  they’re going to need “resiliency.”  Yeah, sure.  You tell ‘em, Miss Resilient.  When the going gets tough, the tough get going,  right,  Hill?

She  had the Yale graduates eating out of her hand, but then, that’s what four years at Yale will do to an otherwise intelligent person.  For a look at what really intelligent people  unencumbered by a Yale education think, read the comments at the end of the story linked to below.

I suspect that very few of the commenters were Yalies,  certainly not of a recent vintage, and the way they saw right through Mrs. Clinton reminded me of a great quote by William F. Buckley, Junior, a truly illustrious Yalie from the days of old:

“I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.”  He could just as easily have said "New Haven" and "Yale."

https://www.nhregister.com/news/article/Hillary-Clinton-tells-Yale-seniors-they-need-12929800.php#photo-15586884

*********** Johnny Manziel is in Canada now, competing with four other QBs to make the Hamilton Tiger Cats’ roster.

Johnny Football not only has to learn the Canadian game - he has to learn coach June Jones’  run and shoot offense, not an easy assignment for a guy who built his reputation on winging it.

“I’ve never ran (sic) this many routes that are predicated off of one defender … every route has an opportunity to break three or four different ways, which is different.”

But based on what Jones told ESPN, Manziel has a chance to make the squad: "I am a firm believer, “ he said, “even when I was in the NFL, I wanted three quarterbacks that had started and played in the NFL. You can't have too many quarterbacks because you're one play away.''

http://kwese.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/23545591/johnny-manziel-signs-canadian-football-league-hamilton-tiger-cats

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2018/05/21/johnny-manziel-first-day-cfl-camp/?yptr=yahoo

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

LIke many guys in the DW world I was surprised to learn of Don Markham's exploits beyond Finland and high school football.  That Toronto fiasco was just a precursor to what many of us have experienced at the high school level.  It's reached a point where young DW guys looking for a head coaching job are now being "coached" by some of us older guys in how to answer interview questions referencing to what type of offense they will run so they can stay in contention for the job.

I never met with, or talked with Don Markham.  I first heard about him when I bought Jerry Valloton's book "The Toss".  Markham was often referenced in that book.  The offense piqued my interest because when I was in Minnesota I was trying to find something that would fit the type of kids I had, and provide a needed boost in our offensive production.  As you know I did a lot of research, which led me to contacting you.  And as they say, the rest is history.  Which got me to thinking of the many outstanding DW guys I've met over the years through you.  Not just good coaches...but good men.

I see pedestrian problems every day at my school.  During lunch.  It is the only time our students are allowed to use their cell phones.  Looks like a destruction derby watching kids running into one another while looking at those damn little screens of theirs.

Mike Lude sounds like one heckuva guy.  Hope I can get the opportunity to meet him someday.

Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

I wish every coach I know could meet Mike.

*********** Coach

Just a quick note to let you know what a fine tribute you gave Coach Markham. I was fortunate to hear him speak at a DW clinic in LV a while ago now. He wasn't a polished speaker, but as he went on, it was evident that he was a football genius. The way you ended the blog, "The Touch of the Master's Hand"...couldn't have said it any better (kind of choked me up a bit).

Thanks so much for sharing that.

Rick Davis
Auckland, New Zealand

Coach,

I appreciate your comments. Although from the first many of his cult followers hated me (many probably still do) I had nothing but respect for what he did.  He was a different guy who did things his “damn the critics” way, and I especially admired that.

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

Hope you’re doing well.  Just was catching up on your NEWS and saw Don Markham passed.  I know he wasnt a young guy but Im still kinda shocked.  He was still coaching up until a few years ago and I always assume that keeps a guy young at heart.  The guy was a legend.  I had his videos on VHS along with yours and Ive stolen more than a few ideas from him.  Sad day for all Double Wingers.  

John Dowd
Spencer port, New York

*********** I’m sorry that Winnipeg didn’t make it to the Stanley Cup Finals.  They’re one of only four teams never to have made it to the finals, along with Minnesota, Columbus and Phoenix (which, ironically, played in Winnipeg before moving south).  And I feel bad for Canada, where hockey is so embedded in the culture - there hasn’t been a Canadian team in the finals since Vancouver in 2011.

But I’m happy as I can be for the Vegas Golden Knights, and especially their owner, Bill Foley.

Mr. Foley is a 1967 graduate of the US Military Academy (West Point) and he has been quite generous toward his alma mater.  He and his wife donated $15 million toward the construction of Army’s indoor practice facility, named the Foley Center in their honor.

It might interest readers to know that while military service is required of all West Point graduates, not all of them make the military their career. 

But the education, training and leadership experience they acquire along the way serves them well in a wide variety of fields after their service is over.  West Pointers can be found in prominent positions in business, government, education and the professions.

As one example,  newly-appointed Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, is a West Pointer. Graduated first in his class.

http://goarmywestpoint.com/sports/2015/3/6/GEN_20140101119.aspx?id=119

*********** The Shaq Shack is for sale.

Located in Windermere, Florida - outside Orlando - it’s been Shaq’s home since 1993.

Let’s see.  It’s fairly large - 31,000 square feet, with 12 bedrooms and two garages that can park a total of 17 cars.

The bed in the master bedroom is round, and it’s 15 feet in diameter.  Just imagine the kids running into your bedroom in the morning and jumping up and down on that one!

There’s a 6,000 square foot basketball court - with stands, even.  And a 95-foot long pool, complete with a waterfall.  (He calls it “Shaq-apulco.”)

It’s yours for $28 million.

*********** Sheahon Zenger was just fired as AD at Kansas. In my opinion, he should have been fired years ago, when he made one of the worst hires of all time.

Sam Mellinger writes in the Kansas City Star,  “That one bad hire was Charlie Weis, who needed fewer than three seasons to decimate the program in terms of talent, credibility, relationships, and self-esteem.”

After Weis’ classic flop at Notre Dame, who - other than Sheahon Zenger - couldn’t have predicted a repeat at Kansas?  For that alone,  Zenger should have been canned, along with whoever else in the university hierarchy approved Weis' hiring.  Instead of rubber-stamping Weis' contract, wasn’t there even one person in higher administration that looked at it… and then at Zenger…  and said, “are you out of your f—king mind?”

Weis’ contract called for a guaranteed $2.5 million a year for five years.  (On top of what Notre Dame was still paying him in severance.)

In Sheahon Zenger’s behalf, I should point out that a lot of the Charlie Weis contract was pure pie in the sky: a $50,000 bonus for winning five Big 12 games, plus $10,000 for each additional Big 12 win;  $100,000 for a conference championship;  $50,000 for appearing in a bowl game plus another $25,000 for winning the bowl game;   $100,000 for appearing in a BCS bowl game and $50,000 for winning it; and double those amounts if it's the national title game;  $50,000 for being voted the Big 12 coach of the year; $75,000 for being voted AP national coach of the year.

Weis cost KU so much, just in terms of money, that when it came time to let him go,  the contractual payout left them without the resources to make a big hire, and for his successor  they had to settle for hiring a position coach.

Writes Mellinger, “This is the state of Kansas athletics, then: milking every drop from basketball while desperately trying to achieve mediocrity in football, the whole process made more difficult by demographics, history, culture, self-inflicted obstacles, and counterproductive decisions.”

Jack Morrison, who publishes a great newsletter covering Army football, notes that Zenger’s previous stop was at Illinois State, the same place that served as the training ground for another  AD named Rick Greenspan, who, Jack writes, “destroyed the Army Football program, taking us 20 years to recover.”

Greenspan came on board as AD at West Point in 1999.

One of his first orders of business was to fire popular wishbone coach Bob Sutton, who only three years earlier had been Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year, and replace him with a young coach named Todd Berry -  who just happened at the time to be head coach at Illinois State.  (It’s been confirmed by those in the know at West Point that two young coaches named Jim Tressell and Paul Johnson also expressed interest in the Army job at the time.) Todd Berry was not a bad coach, before or after Army, but he was a terrible hire at West Point, where his spread-it-out, throw-it-around offense was totally unsuited to the talent that a service academy can recruit. In four seasons, Army went 5-35 under him, including 0-13 in his last season.  Greenspan, having screwed up Army football, then moved on to Indiana and Rice, two places that, like West Point, were also happy to see him go.

Asks Jack Morrison, “Is there something in the water at Illinois State?”

 http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article211599759.html#storylink=cpy

http://kentsterling.com/2010/01/18/john-feinstein-hates-rick-greenspan-and-wants-us-to-know-it/

*********** It was certainly scary reading about the cougar that attacked two mountain bikers, killing one of them, in the Cascade Range of Washington State. It’s rare enough that a Cougar attacks humans, and rarer still that it kills one. The Washington Fish and Game people have already caught the perpetrator and euthanized it, which is sort of a shame because I could see muzzling it and de-clawing it and turning it loose on the streets of Portland to have fun chasing the a**hole bicyclists who think they own the city.  (Actually, in terms of political influence, they do.)

*********** Billy Cannon was at one and the same time the world’s fastest shot-putter and the world’s strongest sprinter.  Take your pick.  He was big and strong and fast. As a high schooler, he set state records in both the 100 and the shot put. At a time when most coaches were scornful of the value of weight lifting (“it’ll make you musclebound!”), he was a pioneer in strength training.

Billy Cannon died this past weekend in St. Francisville, Louisiana.  He was 80.   He had two major impacts on the football world: he put LSU, then a regional power, on the national sports map; and as a Heisman Trophy winner,  his signing with the AFL gave it immediate legitimacy as a serious rival to the NFL.

His story is an amazing one  - from a poor neighborhood in Baton Rouge and a rough boyhood to a national championship and a Heisman Trophy at LSU,  to the middle of a huge legal battle for his services between two warring pro football leagues, to MVP awards in the AFL, to a major position change late in his career, to a prosperous dental practice and - wham! -  to time in a federal prison for counterfeiting, to running dental clinics and then overseeing all health services for the state penitentiary.

Thanks to the link to a story in his hometown paper to Josh Montgomery, a fellow Louisianan.

http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/sports/lsu/article_8537dc96-6b22-11e6-aea3-639b033f8014.html

QUIZ ANSWER - A native of Columbus, Mississippi, Billy Brewer played QB and defensive back at Ole Miss.  In his three years at Ole Miss, the Rebels were 26-3-1. In his senior year, they went 10-1. They shut out eight opponents and  and gave up only 21 points all season.

After a brief spell in the pros, one year with the Redksins and one in Canada, he returned to Columbus to coach high school ball at his alma mater.  In 1970 the school was integrated, and under his leadership the races combined without incident and the team went undefeated.

In 1972 he was hired as an assistant at Southeast Louisiana, and when the head coach left two years later, he was hired to replace him.  In six years there, his record was 38-24-2, and he was hired by Louisiana Tech.  In three years there, he record was 19-15-1, and after the 1982 season, when his team went 10-3 and made it to the Division II semifinals, he was hired by Ole Miss - at a salary of $47,000 a year.

In 11 seasons at Ole Miss, from 1983 to 1993, he went 68-54-3, and took the Rebels to two top-25 finishes and three bowl game wins.  He was twice named SEC Coach of the Year.

He was head coach when defensive back Chucky Mullins was left paralyzed after making a tackle, and he remained close to his former player until he died.  He arranged to honor Mullins’ memory by permitting his players to earn the right to wear Mullin’s Number 38 in games.

He also instituted the now-traditional game day walk through The Grove by the Ole Miss team.

But the Rebels were twice nailed for infractions during his tenure, and following accusations of recruiting violations in 1994, he was fired and never coached again.

His overall record at three schools was 125-94-6.

Only the legendary Johnny Vaught won more games at Ole Miss than he did.

Billy Brewer died last Saturday.  He was 83.

https://www.clarionledger.com/story/sports/college/ole-miss/2018/05/12/former-ole-miss-coach-billy-brewer-dies-college-football-rebels/605519002/

https://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/ole-miss-football/field-silent-ole-miss-quiet-life-billy-brewer/

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BILLY BREWER- -

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

*********** Coach Brewer speaking about Chucky Mullins

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=spigot-chr-ffmac&p=billy+brewer+and+chucky+mullins#id=2&vid=785d0953bcd1a6b462f2d01736e84c08&action=click

*********** Chucky Mullins’ last appearance at an Ole Miss game

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=spigot-chr-ffmac&p=billy+brewer+and+chucky+mullins#id=6&vid=1ae3131d3a7b5cdaa104f127eb7048da&action=view

*********** Coach Brewer’s memorial service and the video

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=spigot-chr-ffmac&p=billy+brewer+and+chucky+mullins#id=5&vid=6e82aede77a1f3b8c2c6c143c688a38c&action=view

*********** I found a YouTube clip of Coach Brewer discussing his team's 1988 victory at Alabama. I think you'll enjoy it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIl4epSbFgQ

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

*********** I was put on the trail of Billy Brewer as a quiz subject by Charlie Wilson, of Crystal River, Florida, and less than two weeks later we got the sad news of Coach Brewer’s death.  Charlie insisted that I include the story of Coach Brewer's - and Ole Miss’ - win over Mississippi State when a gust of wind "blocked" an otherwise perfect last-second MIssissippi State field goal attempt, preventing it from passing between the uprights and blowing it back into the field of play. There was a lot more to the game than that one play, though - after being blown out for three quarters, Ole Miss had taken advantage of Mississippi State miscues to score 17 points in the fourth quarter and take a 24-23 lead. And then, seemingly in control of the game, the Rebels fumbled and the Bulldogs recovered and put on a great last-minute drive to set up the fateful field goal attempt. For that, Charlie earns the top spot on the list of today’s QUIZ sleuths.

Short version:  https://youtu.be/-jR8hMnJusQ

Long version: https://youtu.be/onMCr29D1eo

*********** QUIZ:  He was a college QB at Morehead State, and then a successful high school coach in Ohio.  He was a college head coach at Murray State, Cincinnati, Kansas and Pitt and compiled an overall record of 76-55-4.  Only at Kansas did he have a losing record. (15-18-1), but 15 wins in four seasons doesn't look too shabby when you realize that their last three coaches  have won just 14 games combined - over  eight seasons.

Although he was 27-16-2 at Pitt - and 7-3-1 in his last year there (1989) -  he was let go, largely because of friction between him and his AD and the faculty athletic representative, and an uncooperative relationship with the news media.

In 2000 he and his wife founded Team Focus, dedicated to providing motivation and support to boys without fathers.

In 2007, along with Ron Benson,  he co-wrote his autobiography, “Coach’s Challenge: Faith, Football and Filling the Father Gap.”

He has worked as a color analyst on ESPN.



american flagFRIDAY,  MAY 18,  2018 “Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”   Woody Hayes

*********** It’s always sad when a giant falls. 
Don Markham died Monday.

But his football legacy lives on.   I think it’s fair to call him the Father of the Modern Double Wing.

There was nothing new about the formation, and nothing innovative about the name, which dates to Pop Warner.  And his signature off-tackle play, with the quarterback leading, predated him.

But he brought to his offense a common-sense, no-nonsense focus, a confidence, a hard-nosed relentlessness, that few coaches possess.

I first saw his Double Wing when I was in Finland, 30 years ago.  He coached a very good team, the Roosters, from the capital city, Helsinki.  I coached a team from Jyväskylä (I bet you can't pronounce it) , a small city three hours to the north.   How good were the Roosters?  Well, they had money - they could afford to bring over TWO American coaches - Don Markham could concentrate on offense. They had good Finnish players, and at a time when their rules permitted only one American on the field at any time (and he couldn’t be a quarterback) they had a killer running game with a really good running back from Cal State Northridge named Mike Kane.  They killed people with that damned off-tackle toss play. They killed us.  They killed everybody. They killed other Helsinki-based teams, too - teams much better than us.  In 1988, they scored 470 points in 9 games.  Those other teams were coached by D-III college and JC coaches from California, and they couldn’t figure out a way to stop his offense, either.

I am not stupid.  I saw what was going on,  and I saw the problems that good coaches were having. Two years later, when  I learned that Don Markham was coaching an Oregon high school team, I managed to film two of his post-season games,  and I incorporated that off-tackle play into my offense. I had been running the Wing-T for eight years, and I had a double-tight formation as part of my package, so Don’s play was an easy addition, and it gave me the one thing I felt I lacked - a good power play.  I called it Super Power.   If I hadn’t already been running the Wing-T, I wouldn’t have considered adding an orphan play, no matter how good it was.  But to my Wing-T it was no orphan - it was consistent with everything else we ran, and it was a fairly quick and easy way to make my Wing-T better.   It not only made it better - it persuaded me to stay in that Double Wing formation 90 per cent of the time, and run most of my offense from it.

I’ve done my share in popularizing the Double Wing, but I’ve tried to be good about recognizing Don Markham as the source of my “Super Power”  (just as I’ll always credit the people at Delaware for the Wing-T that made it all possible).

I respect what he did as a coach and as a contributor to our game.   And while we weren’t friends,  neither were we the enemies that certain people wanted us to be, as if we led warring tribes of Double-Wingers.

His obituaries chiefly concentrate on his coaching in California, where he’s legendary.  They don’t mention some of the other places.

They scarcely mention that in his brief time in Oregon, his Bandon teams beat opponents so badly that it led to what has been called  by some the “Markham Rule,” by others the “Bandon Rule,” aimed at keeping scores from getting out of hand.  You could, to some degree, say that he helped bring about all the “mercy rule” nonsense that we have to deal with today.  Let’s just say that he didn’t see any point in telling his offense to stop scoring.  In an article in the Portland Oregonian, he noted, quite logically, that nobody every told volleyball teams not to beat their opponents by as many points as they could.  And let’s be reasonable - he wasn’t throwing deep and he wasn’t running triple reverses - he was RUNNING OFF-TACKLE!  Everybody in the world knew what he was going to do - and they still couldn’t stop him.

They don’t mention his time in Finland, which  when he coached there, was as far advanced as any European country in the quality of play of its American football.  In my two years of coaching against him, the Roosters  were 8-1 in 1987 and 9-0 in 1988, and they won back-to-back national championships.  In 1988 they averaged 52 points a game and  gave up a total of 65 all season.

They don’t mention that he once owned a team in England’s Budweiser League.  He told me that he finally figured out how to get players to come to practice (a huge problem with European guys that drives American coaches crazy) - he had bangers (sausages) and beer afterward.

And they don’t mention Toronto.  When Gary Etcheverry was named head coach of the CFL Toronto Argonauts, he announced that Don Markham was going to be his offensive coordinator.  (Gary was a believer.  He had coached the double wing in Stuttgart, Germany, and in Canada, as an assistant to Don Matthews, he actually prevailed on Matthews to let him run some double wing in the CFL.  I still have the video somewhere.)  When word got out among the Toronto players that this new head coach was planning on bringing in a guy to run the  DOUBLE WING (!?!) they all but mutinied. Why, they were professionals! It was beneath their dignity to ask them to run a high school offense!  Management panicked and overruled their head coach, and Gary Etcheverry had to tell Don Markham, who’d already bought his airline ticket, not to bother coming.

(Wouldn’t the Toronto newspaper guys have had a hell of a time explaining his offensive success, eh?)

Don Markham’s greatest contribution to our game, in my opinion, was more than an offense.  Others have been successful with it, but none - no one - as successful as him.  The difference, very simply, was the Touch of the Master’s Hand.  Anyone who knows the poem will understand.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-high-school-sports-updates-don-markham-the-coach-known-for-the-1526338363-htmlstory.html

*********** I read somewhere that some government agency is shocked - shocked - that pedestrian deaths are up by something like 40 per cent in recent years.  Yeah, what a complete surprise.

The article suggested it might have something to do with the fact that Americans are driving  larger vehicles - like maybe when you sit up so high up in the Escalade or that F-350 you can’t see those little folks crossing the street.

Actually, the problem is  big folks. They  casually stroll across  busy streets, engrossed in the tiny screens on those smartphones they’re picking away at, oblivious to any other sound than what’s coming through those buds in their ears.   With all the talk about autonomous vehicles, it appears we’re already there with pedestrians.  Surely, someone - or something -  else is doing the thinking for them.  One thing about artificial intelligence - it's better than no intelligence at all.

While our police carry out stings to entrap drivers who don’t stop for people in crosswalks, in the process they seem to have created a sense of entitlement among pedestrians.  (Ever try honking at one of those a**holes?)

Whatever happened to “Look both ways?… Cross at the intersection?…Don’t dart out from between parked cars?”  What are they teaching in schools in place of that life-saving wisdom?  (That’s rhetorical.  I already know. The Joy of Gay Sex in Racist America.)

*********** Coach Kaz - Mark Kaczmarek, of Davenport, Iowa, mentioned  “Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer,” by Warren St. John as  a good read.  He is right on. Briefly, it follows the Alabama RV Army - the pack of Crimson Tide fans who follow their beloved team, home and away, throughout the season,   I told Mark there was something archeological about the book,  like learning about about the existence of some previously unknown tribe that’s been living among us undetected.

*********** Mary Wells Lawrence is 89 now.  But when I first knew her - knew of her is a better way to put it - she was in her 30s.   I was working in advertising and marketing with a large brewing company, and Mary Wells and her work were the talk of the advertising world.   (She became Mary Wells Lawrence when she married Harding Lawrence, the CEO of Braniff International Airlines, one of her clients.)

Refused the presidency of the ad agency that she had helped build into one of New York’s best-known, she co-founded her own agency, Wells, Rich, Greene, which became legendary in the business.

If you lived in the 60s and 70s, you remember some of the ads they produced…

Alka-Seltzer: “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz - oh what a relief it is…”
“Mama Mia… that’s a spicy meat ball-a.”
“I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.”
“Try it - you’ll like it.”
“No matter what shape your stomach’s in.”
I (heart) New York
Trust the Midas Touch
At Ford, Quality is Job One
Flick your Bic
Raise your hand if you’re Sure
(Sure deodorant)
Braniff - Planes in six different pastel colors; stewardesses (yes, I know - they’re now “flight attendants.” And some of them are male, too.  Well, sort of.) in smart-looking pastel-colored outfits.

In an interview I read recently, she noted that while she was the best known woman in the business, there were other women in advertising at the time, and she ascribed her being the one to make to the top to an “extreme and urgent desire to be successful.”

“You can’t just be you,” she said. “You have to double yourself.  You have to read books on subjects you know nothing about.  You have to travel to places you never thought of traveling to.  You have to meet every kind of person and endlessly stretch what you know.”

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=spigot-chr-ffmac&p=vintage+alka-seltzer+tv+commercials#id=20&vid=0cbb58c2596c86a53bdbe07b6f3e6f5c&action=view

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=spigot-chr-ffmac&p=vintage+alka-seltzer+tv+commercials#id=32&vid=2e240568df63b66d22f75217bb5f45ba&action=view

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=spigot-chr-ffmac&p=vintage+alka-seltzer+tv+commercials#action=view&id=49&vid=10b28206fc5ffcb085acc01fe5b26877

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=spigot-chr-ffmac&p=vintage+alka-seltzer+tv+commercials#action=view&id=24&vid=c75fde3fc40fc4b69626a831efb1fb1d

https://proofisinthewriting.com/2018/03/23/advertising-legend-mary-wells-lawrence/

*********** I had a nice long talk with Mike Lude on Tuesday.  We got going, as we often do, on any number of topics.  I mentioned my writing about the “Cry Down” rule, and that got us going on the scoop-and-score. Mike served for several years as chairman of the Football Rules Committee, and that brought up the fact that there was a direct line in that chairmanship position from Amos Alonzo Stagg to Fritz Crisler to Dave Nelson (the Dave Nelson who was Mike’s coach at Hillsdale and his boss at Maine and Delaware - the same Dave Nelson who gave us the Delaware Wing-T).

“Dave hated the idea of the defense advancing a fumble,” Mike said, believing that it resulted in lucky scores.

Dave Nelson was first and foremost a defender of the game of football, and he saw that as the purpose of the rules committee.  Mike said, “I heard Dave say more than once, ‘We’ve got to protect the integrity of the game.’”

We got on the subject of  kids' specializing in one sport.  He’s opposed. “You don’t have very many years to be a kid.  You have a long time to be an adult.”

He lives in Tucson and he’s pretty close to the Arizona program.  He likes Kevin Sumlin, the Wildcats’ new coach, and he likes the AD, a Michigander like him.

We talked a bit about Sumlin, and how it appeared that it was a matter of some alums at Texas A & M getting tired of him.  “That’s a tough place,”  Mike said, noting that they’ve had some good very coaches who’ve never been able to satisfy those alumni.

He mentioned his days as  recruiter - for years he was Delaware’s only recruiter, and he did it year-round  - and how many valuable things he picked up from high school coaches, including the “bounce pass” that he got from a coach in Texas.

He talked about Dave Nelson’s arriving at the idea of going under center - changing from single wing to Wing-T.

He remembers Nelson saying, “We’ve got to protect Harold Martin - he’s the only tailback we’ve got.  We might even have to look at T-formation.”

And the other coaches looked at him as if he were crazy.  “T formation? That’s not even football!”

*********** Who can predict the effects of the Supreme Court decision that basically opens the door to legal sports in the several states?  The Wall Street Journal’s  Jason Gay went out on a limb to say that it will almost certainly affect what we read on the sports pages, what we see on the SportsCenters, and what we hear on sportstalk radio.  They will be loaded, he predicts, with every little story having even the slightest impact on the odds and the point spreads of any event known to man.

Sheesh. And just as  newspapers are laying off talented writers and the sports section of your local paper is starting to look  more and more like a local edition of USA Today.

Personally, I can see one bright side: I'm sick unto death of all the human interest stories in our paper's sports section, and if a story about how an injury to the starting long snapper is affecting the point spread in Sunday’s game means they’ll have to spike the one about the high school girl who’s pursuing her Olympic rhythmic gymnastic dreams while trying to raise a fatherless child, then so be it.

*********** I belong to something called the Professional Football Researchers Association.  Sounds prestigious, and it will look great in an obituary, but anyone can join. Don't worry - you don’t have to write a thing.  I’m mainly interested in reading what other people write in its publications. Good stuff. To join:  $35 a year.  www.profootballresearchers.com/join.htm

One of the articles in the March-April edition of its magazine, “Coffin Corner,” contained a listing of all the former pro football players who died in 2017: Jackie Burkett… J.C. Caroline… Bernie Casey… Dan Currie… Larry Grantham… Ralph Guglielmi… Alex Hawkins… Ben Hawkins… Cortez Kennedy… Yale Lary… Tommy Nobis… Babe Parilli… Ara Parseghian (he played with the Browns)… Sonny Randle… Y. A. Tittle

It included the ages of all the players, which got my interest because of all the stuff we hear about the way playing football can led to premature death, blah, blah, blah.

A search through the list suggests that the common belief that pro football players have shorter life expectancies might be a myth. Consider:

IN 2017, 117 former pro football players died.

74 of them were 75 or older.  That’s 63 per cent. (17 of them were 90 or older - 14.5 per cent)

18 of them were 65-74

That’s 92 guys 65 and older - 78.6 per cent

In other words, 78.6 per cent of the ex-pro football players had made it at least to “retirement age.”

Amazingly, the Center for Disease Control says that for all men in the general population, that figure is 78.5 per cent. (for women, it's 86.7 per cent.)


https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr53/nvsr53_06.pdf

*********** Grandview University (college?) in Des Moines just hired (get this)

Dana Hustedt as the first woman to be the director of the eSports program.

Dana was one helluva softball player (volleyball, basketball, and track as well).  She is Grandview alum, and is the younger sister of Keith Hustedt (Galva-Holstein if you remember) and Chad Hustedt (also played for me there).

Part of me wants to say "C'mon Man!".  The other part says "way to go Dana!" 

But seriously growing up my dad always said Donkey Kong wasn't going to get me to college.....35 years later here we are....LOL

Brad Knight
Clarinda, Iowa

elmwood marine

*********** I am incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to coach Marine Captain Vidal Rodriguez.

Vidal was our 2005 Black Lion awardee. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy and was recently awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal

Todd Hollis
Elmwood, Illinois

WRITE ME AND ENROLL YOUR TEAM IN THE BLACK LION AWARD PROGRAM - blacklionaward@mac.com

IT’S A GREAT WAY TO RECOGNIZE A  PLAYER WHO PUTS HIS TEAM FIRST AND INSPIRES OTHERS BY HIS LEADERSHIP - THERE’S NO COST TO YOU - OTHER THAN THE EFFORT INVOLVED IN WRITING NICE THINGS ABOUT A KID YOU’RE VERY PROUD OF.




*********** Evidently all you have to do to enroll in a Dallas high school is tell them that you were left homeless by a hurricane.

At least that’s how a 25-year-old guy - who’s played college basketball and has at least one child - was able to pass himself off as a 17-year-old freshman and play on the school’s varsity basketball team. 

And date a 14-year-old classmate.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2018/05/15/25-year-old-man-arrested-after-posing-dallas-isd-high-schooler-officials-say

*********** Canada does not have the extensive school-sponsored sports programs that we have, relying instead on community organizations (pronounced “organ-eye-zations”) to provide the teams, the equipment and the coaching.  In suburban Winnipeg, Tom Walls, an expatriate American, and his wife, Shandy, have built such an organization, the Sunrise Coyotes, from scratch. 

Tom writes,

Coach,

It is interesting that you would feature the article on the girl football league in Utah this week. Today, the CFL, did a story on the girls football league here in Winnipeg. The girls in the picture are my quarterback and linebacker. Here is a link to the article.

https://www.cfl.ca/2018/05/16/canadas-girls-tackle-football-league-breaking-barriers/

*********** Former PGA golfer Doug Ford died. He was 95, and the oldest living Masters champion.

He played in the days when golfers drove from tournament to tournament, hoping at least to make enough money to enable them to get to the next stop.

He said he would laugh when he’d hear a TV announcer talking about a present-day guy having to make a “pressure putt.”

“He’s got about a four-footer to win $800,000.  If he misses, he’s going to get $500,000.”

He said, “You should have played when I played, when you’d have that length of a putt for $100 to get to the next town.  That’s pressure.”


*********** QUIZ ANSWER: BILL GLASS was a unanimous two-way All-American lineman at Baylor in 1956. In 10 games he was credited with 154 tackles. A first round draft pick of the Detroit Lions, he chose instead to play one year in the CFL with Saskatchewan before returning to the US.  He spent 11 years in the NFL - four with the Lions and seven with the Cleveland Browns.  He went from Detroit to the Browns as part of a blockbuster deal in which the two teams swapped starting quarterbacks Milt Plum and Jim Ninowski.

As a defensive end, he made it to four Pro Bowls, and he is in the College Football Hall of Fame.

A deeply religious person, he attended a seminary in the latter years of his career, and he was encouraged by the Reverend Billy Graham to enter the ministry.

He did so, and since 1972 he has devoted his life to bringing Christ to prison inmates, through his Behind the Walls ministry.

https://www.behindthewalls.com/

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

*********** Bill Glass' book, "Get in the Game," is an interesting autobiography/expression of his faith.

QUIZ - A native of Columbus, Mississippi, he played QB and defensive back at Ole Miss.  In his three years at Ole Miss, the Rebels were 26-3-1. In his senior year, they went 10-1. They shut out eight opponents and  and gave up only 21 points all season.

After a brief spell in the pros, one year with the Redksins and one in Canada, he returned to Columbus to coach high school ball at his alma mater.  In 1970 the school was integrated, and under his leadership the races combined without incident and the team went undefeated.

In 1972 he was hired as an assistant at Southeast Louisiana, and when the head coach left two years later, he was hired to replace him.  In six years there, his record was 38-24-2, and he was hired by Louisiana Tech.  In three years there, he record was 19-15-1, and after the 1982 season, when his team went 10-3 and made it to the Division II semifinals, he was hired by Ole Miss - at a salary of $47,000 a year.

In 11 seasons at Ole Miss, from 1983 to 1993, he went 68-54-3, and took the Rebels to two top-25 finishes and three bowl game wins.  He was twice named SEC Coach of the Year.

He was head coach when defensive back Chucky Mullins was left paralyzed after making a tackle, and he remained close to his former player until he died.  He arranged to honor Mullins’ memory by permitting his players to earn the right to wear Mullin’s Number 38 in games.

He also instituted the now-traditional game day walk through The Grove by the Ole Miss team.

But the Rebels were twice nailed for infractions during his tenure, and following accusations of recruiting violations in 1994, he was fired and never coached again.

His overall record at three schools was 125-94-6.

Only the legendary Johnny Vaught won more games at Ole Miss than he did.

He died last Saturday.  He was 83.



american flagTUESDAY,  MAY 15,  2018 “It has long been the desire of our enemies to deepen and widen the line of separation between the white and colored people of this country.” Stephen Douglass

*********** The Supreme Court, by a 6-3 vote,  ruled that it’s up to the individual states, and not the federal government, to decide whether gambling on sports should be legalized.

Living in a state that has legalized the sale and use of marijuana, I just can’t see what business it is of the United States government whether or not I can legally get down a bet on a football game. (Or a hockey game or a tennis match, or whether the first pitch in the World Series will be a strike or a ball.)

The major professional sports leagues opposed the ruling, arguing mainly that legal gambling on their sports would jeopardize their “integrity.”

What they were really saying, though - with some justification - was that they hadn’t yet figured out a way to make money off the gambling on their sport, and it pisses them off no end that somebody else is about to do so.

New Jersey, the state that brought the suit that resulted in the court decision, is expected to be the first state (other than Nevada, which already has legal sports betting) to allow sports books.  Atlantic City, whose casinos had been hurt by a proliferation of casinos in nearby states, expects a revitalization with the introduction of sports gambling - at least until Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland get into the business themselves.

As with any new industry, there’s a shortage of people in the states who know the first damn thing about the gambling business, which is where companies like Paddy Power come in.  Paddy Power, an Irish gambling firm, is a big factor in Australia, where gambling is in the blood of every Aussie.  My son, who lives in Melbourne, has been working for Paddy Power, and he assures me that they’ve been watching the US situation very closely, awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision and an opportunity to offer their expertise.

*********** These Democrat weenies in Congress who have been making a big show of opposing the nomination of Gina Haspel to be head of the CIA make me want to puke.  They call waterboarding torture?  Okay, then. No more waterboarding.

Who needs it?

The next time we need to get some crucial info out of a captured enemy combatant, I’ve got a better idea: we put his sorry ass through two-a-days. In the Deep South. In early August.

*********** I was at a high school track meet on Saturday, and I saw an athlete - a very good athlete who was fast enough to win the 100 and good enough to finish second in the discus - with the name “BAYSINGER” on the back of his warmup top.

I’d seen that name, spelled that way, only once before - when I was a little boy, madly in love with the great Army football teams of Blanchard and Davis, and Navy had a quarterback with the unforgettable name of Reeves Baysinger.

I asked the kid and his father, who was with him, if there could possibly be any relation to the Navy quarterback, and to their credit they did not look at me as if I were crazy.  Instead, they actually showed some interest.  They’d never heard of anyone who spelled it that way, either.

Reeves Baysinger was named for his dad, who lettered at Syracuse in football, basketball and baseball in the 1920s.  He spent 20 years in a number of capacities in the Syracuse athletic department, and was head coach of the Orangemen for two years in the late 1940s.

His son and namesake was an outstanding high school athlete, helping lead Staunton Military Academy to the Virginia Military Schools championship, and enrolled at Syracuse where he played freshman football and basketball.

But World War II was on, and he was drafted into the Navy, where undoubtedly his athletic ability had something to do with his enrollment at the Naval Academy. There, he was a three-year starter at quarterback, and a pitcher on the Navy baseball team.

He played the entire 1946 game against Army, a game in which Navy, loser of seven straight games, faced an Army powerhouse that had gone 26 straight games without a loss.  A 0-0 tie with unbeaten Notre Dame earlier that season was Army’s only non-win in three years, and the Cadets went into the Army-Navy game a 28-point favorite.

But Navy didn’t roll over. Baysinger
led the Middies on three scoring drives, scoring one touchdown and throwing for another.  And with less than two minutes to play, and Army leading, 21-18 , Navy was driving again, deep into Army territory.

From an account in Sports Illustrated in 1961:

With fourth down on the Army 23, Chewning broke off tackle and scampered to the Army three-yard line before he was finally hauled down.

Navy had four downs, 90 seconds and three yards to go for a touchdown and what The New York Times said would be "the upset of the ages."

Baysinger handed off to Chewning, but Hank Foldberg and Goble Bryant ripped through the Navy line to stop the hard-charging fullback for no gain.

Now it was second down and still three yards to go. Chewning took the ball again, and this time Poole smashed him to the ground for no gain.


Just 60 seconds were left on the clock. Before the next play could begin, however, Navy was penalized five yards for taking too many time-outs. Now they had to go eight yards in two tries.


The Middies shifted quickly from the T to a single-wing formation. The ball was snapped back to Hawkins. He took two steps forward and then lateraled to Williams. Army had the play diagnosed, however, and Williams was snowed under by a mass of Army tacklers at the five-yard line.


Fifty-three precious seconds had gone by. There were just seven seconds left to play. Part of the huge crowd was pressed against the sidelines. Navy Coach Tom Hamilton sent in a substitute in a frantic effort to stop the clock. But the officials didn't see him in time. The second hand on the clock kept moving, and suddenly, before Navy could start another play, the gun went off. Army had held, and their undefeated streak was intact. Blanchard and Davis had played their last game for Army, and an era had ended at West Point.


The narrow win did preserve Army’s third straight unbeaten season, but it cost Army a third straight national championship.  After their tie earlier in the season, Notre Dame had swept through its schedule unbeaten, and most national polls awarded the Irish the title.

Reeves Baysinger graduated from Annapolis in 1949, and saw wartime duty in Korea and Vietnam. He earned a Bronze Star for Valor in Vietnam, and rose in the Navy to the rank of captain.  He died in 1972 of Hodgkins Disease.  He was just 45.


http://www.orangehoops.org/RBaysinger.htm

https://www.si.com/vault/1961/12/04/618701/the-middies-mock-the-odds

*********** I think  that was a football book that I just read. It was supposed to be, anyhow.  The cover said it was “the best football novel in years.”  In the bookstore a few years ago, I did find it in among all the other football books.  And the protagonist did play a season of football for a fictional SEC school named Sparta University.  But other than that, “The Forever Season,” a first novel written in 1995 by an author named Don Keith, is not what I would call a “football novel.” It is a pretty good read, but - trigger warning - it’s what I would call dark.


*********** I’m not opposed to girls playing tackle football, but I’m strongly opposed to their playing it on boys’ teams.  Dammit, there has to be one place left in society for boys to be boys. (Thanks a lot, Boy Scouts.)

In Utah, a lot of girls are playing tackle football, but they’re doing it the right way.  On girls’ teams.

Just a few years ago, in 2015, they started with 50 girls,  said league president Brent Gordon.  “Now, just three years later, we are up to 280 girls on 18 different teams.”

http://www.murrayjournal.com/2018/05/07/172787/three-murray-sisters-among-the-hundreds-playing-girls-tackle-football-this-spring


*********** OMG!!  What's next??  Scholarships for outstanding usage of cell phone apps??

Speaking of that type of thing

Do you know that in our school we award "varsity" letters to band, drama, and robotics?  Same looking letter as the athletes receive... same jacket.  In other schools I know of students in those other extra-curricular activities receive "varsity" letters too...but the letters are called "Academic" letters that look different than the "Athletic" letters... and so are the jackets!  Causes a bit of a consternation when a student is involved in both.  Which jacket does mom and dad (or just mom... or just dad... or...) buy??  Or does mom and dad (or mom... or dad... or...) buy both??

Thanks for the info on Ben Franklin, the Quakers, and the Pennsylvania Dutch.  I knew there were a lot of Germans (Amish, Mennonites, etc.) living there, so the reference to "Deutsch" becoming the term "Dutch" makes a lot of sense.  Is it true that the term "Quakers" itself refers to the story that those of that religious belief would "quake" while they prayed??

I've always held the belief that the Russians are scared to death of the Finns because of "sisu".

My gut tells me that your statistical reference regarding the results of consumption of beer in this country would definitely lead to... SOFTER.

Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Hi Joe-

I saw this all starting to come years ago, when it was game-day Friday and as the kids filed down to the gym for our pep assembly, I asked the AD when he wanted the football team introduced (a ritual part of every pep assembly) and he said, “We’re not introducing the football team today.”  I said “WTF?  Who are we going to introduce?” and he said, “The volleyball team. You know, Hugh, we have other sports besides football.”

“Then why,” I asked, "do we always have pep assemblies on the days we have football games?”

Not too many years after that, I was at another school.  The football team won a state championship - the first ever for a team of any classification from our corner of the state.  The community planned to hold a big parade for the team.  But no, said certain objectors. What about the volleyball team? They won the district title.

Nothing against volleyball, you understand.  It’s a good sport.  It just happened to be the big girls’ sport in the fall.

But that “other sports besides football” thing has taken its toll.  You can’t keep awarding letters for band, drama and robotics, and not erode the importance of football to a school.  When everything is important, nothing is important.

I believe the Russians are afraid of the Finns.  The Finns know they could never beat the Russians.   The objective of their Puolustus Voima (Defense Force) is to make sure that the Russians know that defeating the Finns will come at a very high price.  That’s definitely an expression of SISU.  You may beat me, but you will pay.  Like the old Pittsburgh Steelers, when they ran the single wing: you might beat them, but you wouldn’t enjoy the experience.

Yes, the Quakers earned their nickname that way.  The original holy rollers!


*********** Is America still making men? By Dennis Prager

Every society has to answer a few basic questions in order to succeed and even in order to survive. One of them is, "How do we make good men?"

The reason for the importance of this question is simple: Males untutored about how to control their natures will likely do much harm.

Conversely, males who are taught to how to control themselves and to channel their drives in positive directions make the world a much better place. The good man is a glory of civilization; the bad man ruins it.

Throughout American history, American society asked, "How do we make men?" (It was understood that "man" meant a good man.) Anyone who thought about the subject knew that boys who are not transformed into men remain boys. And when too many boys do not grow up into men, women suffer and society suffers.

For much of American history, making boys into men was understood to be of supreme importance, and society was usually successful. When I was a boy in the 1950s, without anyone expressly defining it, I knew what a man was supposed to be. And I knew that society, not to mention my parents, expected me to be one. It went without explicitly saying so that I would have to make a living, support myself as soon as possible and support a family thereafter.

When I acted immaturely, I was told to be or act like a man. I wonder how many boys are told to "be a man" today; and if they were, would they have a clue as to what that meant? It would appear that for millions of American boys, this has not been the reality for decades. Many families and society as a whole seem to have forgotten boys need to be made into men.

There are numerous reasons:

1. The distinction between men and boys has been largely obliterated. The older males that many American boys encounter are essentially older boys, not men. They speak, dress, and act similarly (think of men who "high-five" young boys instead of shaking their hands). And they are almost all called by their first names. Even when a boy (or girl) addresses an adult male as "Mr.," many men will correct the young boy or girl -- "Call me" and then give the young person his first name. This is often true even with regard to teachers, physicians and members of the clergy. When a young person calls an adult by his first name, the status of the two individuals has been essentially equated. Boys need men to respect. It's not impossible to do so when they call men by their first names, but it makes it much harder.

2. Boys today have fewer adult men in their lives than ever before. Many boys are not raised by any father. More are not raised by a father who lives in the home full time. Nearly every teacher and principal American boys have in elementary and high school is a female. The boy's clergy person and physician may well be women. And few male figures in contemporary film radiate manhood as defined above.

3. The ideals of masculinity and femininity have been largely rendered extinct. Feminism, arguably the most influential American movement of the 20th century, declared war on the concepts of femininity and masculinity. And for much of the population, it was victorious. Indeed, thanks to the feminist teaching that male and female human beings are essentially the same (note, incidentally, that no one argues that male and female animals are the same, only human beings are), untold numbers of boys have been raised as if they were like girls. They were denied masculine toys such as play guns and toy soldiers, and their male forms of play -- e.g., roughhousing -- were banned.

4. America has become a rights-centered rather than a responsibility-centered society. Aside from helping to produce a pandemic of narcissism, the rights-centered mindset is the opposite of the obligation/responsibility-centered mindset that makes a boy into a man. It is not good for either sex to be rights-preoccupied; but it is particularly devastating to developing men, as men are supposed to be obligation-directed. The baby boomer generation helped destroy manhood in most of the ways described here. One additional example was its widespread slogan, "Make love, not war." One cannot come up with a more unmanly piece of advice: "Don't fight for your country, screw girls." If the greatest generation had adopted that motto, Hitler and Tojo would have won. A few years ago, the city of Chicago named a street after Hugh Hefner, a man who has played games much of the day and night, lived in pajamas and devoted his life to sex -- quite a model of manhood for American boys.

5. There are few places where men can bond with other men. One major way men become men is by associating with other good men. The only places left where this normally takes place are sports teams and the military. The same holds true for boys. And much of society is now working on breaking the most significant all-boys institution, the Boy Scouts.

6. Males no longer have distinctive roles. Men do best when they are relied upon, when needed; and they feel most needed when they do something distinct from women. This exists today in sports and the military. It is symbolic -- significantly so -- that there are no more "men at work" signs on highways. Now "people" are at work. "Men" have disappeared.

7. Many churches and synagogues have been feminized. This has occurred in at least three important ways: Clergy are increasingly female (and touchy-feely males) -- for the first time in Christian and Jewish history; God is often depicted as androgynous and no longer either demanding or judging (He just loves all the time); and religion has been changed from morally and theologically demanding to a therapeutic model. So religion, too, has become yet another place where boys encounter few men, and few masculine models (even in God, as noted, is no longer masculine).

8. Instead of the traditional American model of masculinity, which was a rare combination of masculine toughness and stoicism with doing good (e.g., Superman), boys are now taught to be preoccupied with their feelings and with (unearned) self-esteem. They are not even allowed to lose; all boys playing a sport are given trophies, not just winners.

9. Increasingly, marriage is regarded as optional. The most obvious expression of men assuming responsibility -- marrying a woman and taking care of her and their children -- is no longer a male ideal. Vast numbers of men quite openly admit to having problems with the C-word (commitment) and responsibility of being a family's sole breadwinner.

When boys do not become men, women assume their roles. But they are not happy doing so. There are any number of reasons American women suffer from depression more than ever before and more than men. It is difficult to believe that one of those reasons is not the very emasculation of men that the movement working in their name helped to bring about. And so, a vicious cycle has commenced -- men stop being men; women become man-like; men retreat even further from their manly role; and women get sadder.

https://townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/2010/01/19/is-america-still-making-men-n1291870

*********** FROM THE NEW PLAYBOOK…

I BELIEVE IN ALWAYS PRACTICING PUNTING OUT OF OUR OWN END ZONE.  EVERY DAY, WE’LL PUT THE BALL ON THE ONE YARD LINE, AND TELL THE PUNTER (1) TO MAKE SURE HE’S A YARD IN FRONT OF THE END LINE , AND (2) NOT TO TAKE A STEP BACK.  HE KNOWS HE HAS TO GET IT AWAY QUICKLY, BUT HE ALSO KNOWS (HE’S TOLD THIS A LOT) NEVER TO BE AFRAID TO TAKE A SAFETY IF HE HAS TO.

THIS IS ALSO THE TIME TO PRACTICE ACTUALLY TAKING A SAFETY – ANTICIPATING A SITUATION WHEN YOU’RE BACKED UP AND A SHORT PUNT CAN GIVE OPPONENTS GREAT FIELD POSITION – AND YOU’RE AHEAD BY ENOUGH THAT YOU CAN AFFORD TO GIVE UP TWO POINTS IN RETURN FOR GETTING A FREE KICK FROM THE 20.

IN MY SENIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL, WE WERE BEATING OUR ARCHRIVALS 7-0, LATE IN THE GAME.  BUT AFTER PUTTING ON A GREAT GOAL LINE STAND, WE COULDN’T MOVE THE BALL, AND WE HAD TO PUNT OUT OF OUR OWN END ZONE.  OUR PUNTER WAS A VERY GOOD ATHLETE BUT SOMEWHAT LACKING IN THE BRAINS DEPARTMENT, AND WHEN HE BOBBLED THE SNAP, HE PICKED IT UP AND RAN.  FIGHTING LIKE A TIGER TO GET THE BALL OUT OF THE END ZONE, HE SHOOK OFF THREE OR FOUR TACKLERS – AND MADE IT OUT TO THE ONE.

WITH FIRST AND GOAL FROM THE ONE, THE OPPONENTS PUNCHED IT IN, AND WE ENDED UP TIED, 7-7. THE TIE WOULD COST US A LEAGUE TITLE.


*********** QUIZ ANSWER.  If ever there was a coach whose career was defined by one freak play,  Paul Wiggin is that coach.
He went to high school in Manteca, California and then Modesto Junior College.

From there, he went to Stanford where he was an All-American lineman, and team co-captain along with another All-American, quarterback John Brodie.

Drafted sixth (73rd overall) by the Cleveland Browns, he spent his entire 11-year career with them, twice earning Pro Bowl honors at defensive end.  He was part of the Browns’ unit that pulled off an incredible  shutout of the Baltimore Colts,  the league’s most powerful offensive team, in the 1964 NFL championship game.

After retirement as a player, he spent seven years with the 49ers as an assistant before being hired as head coach by the Chiefs.  He was fired before the end of his third season, with an 11-24 record.

He spent two years as defensive coordinator of the Saints before being hired as head coach at Stanford.

His quarterback for three years was John Elway, but in his four years on The Farm, he never made it to a bowl game.  It was his misfortune to be the Stanford coach in the “Big Game” against Cal, a game won by the Golden Bears as a result of The Play - an incredible, multi-lateral kickoff return that stole an almost-certain win from Stanford.   Had Stanford won the game,  their record of 6-5 might have been enough to qualify for a bowl game.  And it would have left his three-year record at 16-17.  Instead, the Cardinal finished 5-6, making his three-year record 15-18.  And the next year, with Elway gone, Stanford cratered.  The Cardinal went 1-10, and with a four-year record of 16-28, the coach was gone, too.
 
From 1985 through 1991 he coached the Vikings’ defensive line, and from 1992 through 2015 he worked with the Vikings in pro player personnel.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING PAUL WIGGIN:
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA

*********** Check out this YouTube video of Paul Wiggin discussing what winning a championship meant to him. Great stuff!

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qgi6ajm2V5I.

*********** QUIZ - He was a unanimous two-way All-American lineman at Baylor in 1956. In 10 games he was credited with 154 tackles.

A first round draft pick of the Detroit Lions, he chose instead to play one year in the CFL with Saskatchewan before returning to the US.  He spent 11 years in the NFL - four with the Lions and seven with the Cleveland Browns.  He went from Detroit to the Browns as part of a blockbuster deal in which the two teams swapped starting quarterbacks Milt Plum and Jim Ninowski.
 
As a defensive end, he made it to four Pro Bowls, and he is in the College Football Hall of Fame.

A deeply religious person, he attended a seminary in the latter years of his career, and he was encouraged by the Reverend Billy Graham to enter the ministry.

He did so, and since 1972 he has devoted his life to bringing Christ to prison inmates, through his Behind the Walls ministry.


american flagFRIDAY,  MAY 11,  2018 “If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes really good, then you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games for you.” Bear Bryant

*********** Your football team may be wearing beat-up game jerseys that you bought five years ago, but your school still managed to come up with enough money to start up a new sport.

And the sport caught on, attracting  a lot of kids who’d never played any sport before, plus a few of the football players that you’d been counting on.

The team has done well, too. Last Friday, the school held a big pep rally to send the team off to the state tournament… the  captain was just named Homecoming King, and he’s dating a cheerleader…  And at graduation, the principal announced that the team’s star performer has received a generous athletic scholarship.

WTF?

Welcome, esports - and the “digital athletes.”   

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the National Federation of State High School Associations has recommended adding its first new sport since it adopted lacrosse back in 2000: it’s “esports,” aka video games.

We’re talking interscholastic competition, guys.  Varsity letters.  And, of course, college scholarships.  Maybe even college recruiters stopping by. (“How is he with a joystick?”)

According to the NCAA, there are now 50 colleges offering  scholarships of one sort or another.

I call BS.  This is a deceit being promoted by colleges, most of whom are so desperate for applicants nowadays that they’re using any device imaginable to convince a kid to come to their place.  And one of those devices is the so-called “scholarship.”  The BS is that it’s not a scholarship at all - it’s simply a discount.  It’s a discount  off the highly-inflated sticker price, the announced tuition figure, which isn’t much different from the sticker price on a new car - nobody actually pays it. 

But calling the discount a “scholarship” is an ego booster. Mom and Dad can brag about it.  “Zachary’s getting a $15,000 scholarship to play on the esports team at Toonerville University.” They neglect to add that Tonnerville’s tuition is $45,000 a year, and they’re still going to have to come up with another $30,000  so Zachary can fulfill his dreams of one day playing video games in the Olympics.  And dear old Toonerville? It fills a spot in the freshman class and pockets $30,000, which is $30,000 more than they’d have gotten if Zachary had gone someplace else and they’d had no one else to fill that spot.

I also call BS because it’s not as if kids don’t already have all the opportunities they need to participate in video games, without schools getting involved.  What kids need, if I’m understanding the statistics on childhood obesity correctly, is physical activity.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/are-high-school-esports-the-next-friday-night-lights-1524162330

*********** An upstate New York couple made up a tearjerker of a story about their 9-year-old kid having cancer…

A couple from central New York fabricated a 2017 story about their son having cancer, soliciting about $3,000 in funds for his recovery and a visit with the Syracuse University football team, according to the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office.

Syracuse.com reported that Martin and Jolene LaFrance faked the story of their son, CJ LaFrance, having Hodgkin lymphoma, and set up a GoFundMe page that received $3,334 in donations.

The family was also invited to attend a Syracuse practice in August 2017, where CJ, then 9 years old, met with the student-athletes and played catch with receiver Ervin Philips and linebacker Kielan Whitner. Quarterback Eric Dungey shared throwing tips and head coach Dino Babers offered his well wishes.

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/23436095/couple-fabricates-cancer-story-money-visit-syracuse-orange-football-team

*********** Have you started getting emails from people you don’t even know, asking you to contribute to their online fundraiser?

Out with jogathons.  Out with liftathons.  Good-bye car washes.  Adios, gold cards.

Way too much effort.

Just give us your money.  Support our beg-a-thon.

God bless.

*********** It took him long enough to figure it out, but now that he has,  Johnny Manziel sounds as if he’s in full “it’s-not-my-fault” mode.

See, he’s bipolar, and, um, he’s been taking medication, and, like,  they’re still adjusting dosages, blah, blah, blah.

It won’t be long before he’s claiming that what he’s got is a disability.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/johnny-manziel-hospitalized-texas-prescription-meds-issue-article-1.3977896?cid=msn

*********** “I think that one of the things that I see on the right is they are so much more willing to lie, cheat, steal, deceive, break the law — tactics that frankly we don’t use in the progressive community.”

Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood

*********** Two guys from Latrobe… My friend Tom Hinger and a fellow named Fred Rogers.

doc & fred

*********** At its recent board meeting, the AFCA approved the idea that all players transferring “up or across” divisions should sit out for a year. BUT - If they graduate, they would then get that year back.   (Uh-oh.  Did the board think this through?  Could those players then, as graduates do now, transfer to a third school and be immediately eligible?)

*********** After being badgered for almost four years by a couple of offended people, the Portland Public Schools finally ordered Franklin High School to find a new nickname.  They’ll no longer be the Franklin Quakers.

As a Philadelphian and a history major on top of that, I always got a laugh at the oxymoronic nickname, no doubt an attempt to connect Franklin, the famous Philadelphian, with the Quakers, the religious group formally known as the Society of Friends, of which Philadelphia’s founder, William Penn, was a member.  The attempted connection couldn’t possibly have missed the mark by more than it did.

(Although they are often confused in the public’s mind with the so-called “Pennsylvania Dutch,” there is no connection whatsoever between the Quakers and the assorted religious groups such as Amish and Mennonites who settled in Pennsylvania because of its climate of religious tolerance. The “Dutch” is actually a misnomer, a corruption of the word “Deutsch,” and the correct term is “Pennsylvania German.” Over the years, the Pennsylvania Dutch simply learned to live with it.  They were centuries too early to claim victimhood status and sue over the improper labelling.)

The joke is that Quakers are people with very strong religious beliefs that affect their everyday lives and conduct, and they’re not particularly worldly. On the other hand, Dr. Franklin, as he was frequently referred to, enjoyed the good life.  Many are the tales of his adventures with the ladies while on diplomatic assignment in France. As to his religious beliefs, he was raised an Episcopalian, but as he matured he became, like so many of the Founding Fathers, a Deist - explained as simply as possible, one who believes that there is a God and that He created the Universe - but from that point on, He has no involvement in the doings of the world.

His Christianity, in the words of Jon Butler, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at Yale,  was doubtful: “Franklin was someone who believed far more in himself than he could possibly have believed in the divinity of Christ, which he didn’t.”

As for any connection with Quakers - yes, Franklin did found the University of Pennsylvania, and Penn's teams are known as The Quakers.  Their  teams were originally known simply as “The Red and Blue” (as Harvard was “The Crimson” and Yale “The Blue”). Without doing the research, I’m willing to bet that the “Quakers” was the invention of some clever sportswriter.  (My old school, Germantown Academy, had no nickname for nearly 200 years.  We were just “G.A.” until my high school years, when a reporter at the local newspaper, the Germantown Courier, began to refer to us in his stories as “The Patriots,” a reference to our school’s dating to 1760.  The name stuck, and they’re still the Patriots.  For what it’s worth, our arch rival, Penn Charter - the alma mater of Matt Ryan - is known as “The Little Quakers.”  But that nickname isn’t likely to change because they came by it honestly: the school is run by the Society of Friends.)

B. J. Lossing, in his "Signers of the Declaration of Independence,"  may have given the best account of Franklin’s connection with Quakers:
…he proceeded on foot to Philadelphia, where he arrived on a Sabbath morning. He was then but seventeen years old, friendless and alone, with but a single dollar in his pocket... It is said that his first appearance in Philadelphia attracted considerable attention in the streets. With his spare clothing in his pocket, and a loaf of bread under each arm, he wandered about until he came to a Quaker meeting, where he entered, sat down, went to sleep, and slept soundly until worship was closed. He was then awakened by one of the congregation, and he sought some other place of rest.

*********** Long before we rediscovered the value of “Grit,” the Finns had  “Sisu” -  a word that encompasses the virtues of determination, stoicism, bravery, resilience, hardiness, doggedness and more.  It represents the Finnish national character,  a character that’s endured in spite of harsh winters and domination by a powerful neighbor,  Russia.  In her book “The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way,” Amanda Ripley credits Sisu (and not money) as the main reason for the success of Finnish education (Finnish kids consistently score among the highest of any in the world). Finns believe that a kid will become successful so long as the family can mold and instill the value of “Sisu”  into the child’s character,  regardless of their economic circumstance.  

When Safe Spaces come to Finland, you will know Western Civilization is doomed.

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

Years ago I read Jon Gruden's short autobiography.  I remember his version of events the day of the Super Bowl when Brad Johnson was warming up.  Gruden said Brad had smallish hands and before every game Brad would go through every game ball in warm-ups and wear off the slippery coating that came from the factory (why would they ship balls that are slippery?)

Apparently there are an astronomical amount of footballs at the super bowl, like they throw in a new football after every play to make sure they have plenty of "game used" memorabilia.  According to Gruden there was simply not enough time for Brad to handle each football, so they had to make the last minute decision for Johnson to wear gloves during the game (I think he hadn't worn gloves all season up to this point).

Funny thing is, after reading NEWSYOUCANUSE this morning I searched images for Brad Johnson in the super bowl and he is NOT wearing gloves in any of the pictures.  Weird.  But there are other photos of Brad wearing gloves as a Viking.  Nowadays it seems somewhat common for QBs to wear two gloves, at least in the NFL and and big colleges that can afford expensive gloves.

Just wanted to share that story.  Take care!

Mathew Hedger
Langdon, North Dakota

Interesting.

(1) Gruden’s memory may be failing him

(2) Brad Johnson admitted paying someone to doctor the balls - well in advance of pre-game

(3) I have no idea why they ship slippery footballs.  It’s just an invitation to teams (QBs, mainly) to tamper.


*********** I don’t know whether this would qualify as proof that America is getting softer and less masculine, but consider:

In 2006, beer accounted for 65 per cent of the alcohol consumed by Americans 21 to 27; in 2016, it was down to 43 per cent.


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

Believe it or not, but another good "tool" for roughing up a brand new slick football is a soft wire brush (used with saddle soap of course).  Not quite as much work.  Dang...maybe I could market that too!

Scoop and score baby!!  The offensive coaches should be coaching their boys up to secure the ball, and defensive players coached to take the ball away.  That's basic football.

I have some old pictures in my Fielding H. Yost football book showing ball carriers, and sure enough the ball looks A LOT like a rugby ball.

Good to see that we still have guys like Greg Koenig fighting the good fight for the game we love.

Glad to hear that Bryce Love is coming back for his senior year, but there are many of Stanford's opponents that wish he would have left early.  I sure hope my Fighting Irish don't live to regret his decision.

Can't wait to get my hands on your new stuff.  I'm trying hard to "be sick" the weekend of June 1-2 and spend time recuperating in North Carolina.

Why should the students at GW stop at changing the mascot name?  Go all the way and change the name of the university to Benedict Arnold University!?  They could be called "the Traitors" and not offend anyone.

Have a great week.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Interestingly, trying to take the ball away is not “basic football,” as it was originally played. From the earliest days, and until 1963 when the NCAA changed the rule, it was legal for a runner to “Cry Down,” making the ball dead immediately, without his having to take a knee. It was designed for the safety of the runner, but if it were still in force it would do away with the guys who come in on the action while a runner’s being held up and try to pry the ball loose.  And I do think that a “scoop and score” is  a cheap touchdown.

QUIZ:  What honor do the following players, from different eras of pro football, share? FWIW -  It’s not membership in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
THEY ARE FORMER NEW YORK GIANTS WHOSE JERSEY NUMBERS HAVE BEEN RETIRED

Al Blozis… Charlie Conerly… Ward Cuff… Ray Flaherty… Frank Gifford… Mel Hein… Tuffy Leemans… Joe Morrison… Phil Simms… Ken Strong… Lawrence Taylor… Y. A. Tittle

*********** CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING THE 12 AS THE FORMER NEW YORK GIANTS WHOSE JERSEY NUMBERS HAVE BEEN RETIRED

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

*********** I looked at that list of retired Giants’ numbers, and I thought, “Joe Morrison?”  Really?  Good football player.  Quite versatile. But he wasn’t exactly what you’d call retired-jersey material.   Not when other players are still wearing the numbers of former Giants like Andy Robustelli, Roosevelt Brown, Emlen Tunnell and Kyle Rote.  So I checked it out…
At the press conference after the final game of the 1972 season, Joe Morrison announced he was retiring. When coach Alex Webster had his turn at the mic, he stated nobody would wear #40 for the Giants again. Wellington Mara was in the room and when he heard Webster say that he was surprised as it had never been discussed, but he decided he was OK with it.

Other interesting facts…

THIS WILL WIN YOU A BET:  In 1935, Ray Flaherty  became the first professional athlete (in any sport) to have his number (1) retired.

THIS MIGHT, TOO - THE NUMBER THAT WAS RETIRED TWICE:  After Ward Cuff retired, the team announced that no Giant would ever wear #14 again.  But then they acquired Y. A. Tittle - and he asked for #14.  He got it, and he wore it with enough distinction that now the number is retired in honor of both Cuff and Tittle.

http://www.bigblueinteractive.com/information-pages/new-york-giants-retired-jersey-numbers/

*********** QUIZ.  If ever there was a coach whose career was defined by one freak play,  this is the one.

He went to high school in Manteca, California and then Modesto Junior College.

From there, he went to Stanford where he was an All-American lineman, and team co-captain along with another All-American, quarterback John Brodie.

Drafted sixth (73rd overall) by the Cleveland Browns, he spent his entire 11-year career with them, twice earning Pro Bowl honors at defensive end.  He was part of the Browns’ unit that pulled off an incredible  shutout of the Baltimore Colts,  the league’s most powerful offensive team, in the 1964 NFL championship game.

After retirement as a player, he spent seven years with the 49ers as an assistant before being hired as head coach by the Chiefs.  He was fired before the end of his third season, with an 11-24 record.

He spent two years as defensive coordinator of the Saints before being hired as head coach at Stanford.

His quarterback for three years was John Elway, but in his four years on The Farm, he never made it to a bowl game.  It was his misfortune to be the Stanford coach in the “Big Game” against Cal, a game won by the Golden Bears as a result of The Play - an incredible, multi-lateral kickoff return that stole an almost-certain win from Stanford.  

Had Stanford won the game,  their record of 6-5 might have been enough to qualify for a bowl game.  And it would have left his three-year record at 16-17.  Instead, the Cardinal finished 5-6, making his three-year record 15-18.  And the next year, with Elway graduated, Stanford cratered.  The Cardinal went 1-10, and with a four-year record of 16-28, the coach was gone, too. 

From 1985 through 1991 he coached the Vikings’ defensive line, and from 1992 through 2015 he worked with the Vikings in pro player personnel.



american flagTUESDAY,  MAY 8,  2018 “Good fellows are a dime a dozen, but an aggressive leader is priceless. ” Earl Blaik


*********** A few weeks ago, I wrote about the problems we were having, trying to use the slick-as-glass “official” Washington ball - the one that the state has designated as the only one that can be used in post-season playoffs.  (In exchange. no doubt, for a gratuity from the ball manufacturer.)

This was Washington, and the Spalding ALPHA is the official WIAA (state association) "championship" ball. Note the word “championship.” In WIAA-speak, that means “playoffs.”

During the season, you can use any ball you damn please, so long as it has the NFHS logo on it.

But for the post-season, the “playoff,” the state takes control, and in return for some handed to it by a ball supplier - in this case, Spalding - it then dictates to the participating teams that they must use that supplier’s ball.  Nice of it to sell off what amounts to our playing conditions.

Let’s not kid ourselves - this is a naked attempt by the state to dictate what ball you’ll use during your regular season, too, because otherwise, if you’re having any kind of  season and you have a shot at the playoffs,  at some point you’re going to have to make the switch over to the state-approved tournament ball so you’ll be ready.

That’s exactly the thinking of a lot of coaches, including this QB’s coach last year. Unfortunately, they missed making the playoffs - in their final game of the season -  and who knows? They might have made the playoffs  had they used a different ball during the regular season, one that their QB could throw and their receivers could catch.

I personally would have put making the playoffs first.  I’d have used the manageable ball in the regular season and then, once we were sure we made the playoffs, I’d start to break in the state-approved ball.

And in the meantime, I’d be trying out ways to take  that slickness off that damned Spalding ALPHA.

Okay - I’ve found out a way to make the ball usable:

First, I took a paint scraper and gently scraped as much of the hard, slick, plastic-type coating off the ball as I could.  And then, with the gloss removed and the ball now looking as if it had just barely survived a flag-football tournament on an asphalt parking lot, I applied saddle soap to it. The ball immediately regained its luster and color, but it already felt a bit softer a bit more grippable.

But it still wasn’t good enough.  My hands are fairly small, and I had trouble “air dribbling” it.  I felt it needed some scuffing.

So next, I got some sand - fairly fine beach sand - and rubbed the ball fairly briskly all over - maybe a dozen swipes on each panel.  After doing so, I removed all the sand with a dry towel, and then followed up with another application of saddle soap.

After repeating this sand-and-saddle soap procedure two more times, when I got to our QB session on Sunday, I mixed it in with the balls we’d been using.  After we’d finished, the young QB said that now he not only liked the “prepped” Spalding ALPHA - he preferred it.

I should point out that this procedure doesn’t assure the same success with another brand of ball.  And I should also point out that not all balls are genuine leather, and therefore they likely won’t respond in the same way to saddle soap.  (Lexol Leather Conditioner seems to work as well.)

Because of the expense of the damn things, I would suggest that certain balls, once they’re properly prepared to the quarterbacks’ liking, be set aside exclusively for game use and perhaps certain passing drills. 

Meantime, I just realized what a damn fool I am, revealing my secret process when  I could have made a killing selling my services to Washington high school teams come playoff time.

*********** There’s one football rule I would love to see changed.  A relatively recent addition to our game, it’s one whose elimination would return football to the game it was for much of its history.  It’s the rule that allows the defense to advance a returned fumble, permitting the defense in one stroke of good fortune - okay, luck -  to match a score that an offensive team has had to earn by careful planning,  hard work, and skillful execution.

Most fans probably aren’t aware that the rule that allows such cheap defensive “scoop and scores” has only been on the books since 1990.

E. K. Hall of Dartmouth College, a longtime member of the football rules committee and editor of the annual rules guide, addressed the idea in the 1931 Guide, deploring “the winning of games by a fluke and the neutralizing of an earned touchdown by one that is unearned.   It is generally good, snappy football when an opponent recovers a fumbled ball, but it is pure unadulterated luck if the opponent recovers it under conditions that give him a chance to run it back for a touchdown.”

Couldn’t have said it better.

(For a history of football rules - how and why they came into being - the ultimate reference is Dave Nelson’s “Anatomy of a Game.”  Dave Nelson, considered the prime inventor of the Delaware Wing-T, was a long-time member of the NCAA Rules Committee, and much of what he writes was from first-hand experience.  The book, to which he devoted much of the last years of his life, was published posthumously in 1994.)

*********** Here’s another good one from Dave Nelson’s “Anatomy of a Game” : In 1981, five different passing records were set, and average passing yards per game (which now far exceed rushing yards) for both teams (329) inched to within only nine yards of combined average rushing yards (338).

The average completion rate by all passers was 50.2 per cent - an all-time high.  Jim McMahon of BYU led the field, completing 64 per cent.

Hmmm. And then it comes out…

According to Nelson, “In 1982, the manufacturers were fudging on the dimensions of the ball in order to meet the preferences of the passers; not one legal ball was on the market.”

In a meeting of the Rules Committee and ball manufacturers, specifications were agreed on that exist today. (We think.)

Wrote Nelson, “the present ball is two inches less around the belly than the 1933 ball” - the one that’s closer to the original rugby ball, and the one that you see in the old photos where the ball carrier often holds it around the “belly.”

*********** As other, better-known backs sat out bowl games and bolted for the NFL after their junior seasons, Stanford’s Bryce Love is back for his senior year.  After a junior year in which he rushed for 19 touchdowns and more than 2,000 yards, the Wake Forest, North Carolina native will likely start the season as the early Heisman favorite.

He talked about the family discussion that led to his decision to remain in school:

We made a list of pros and cons and we talked about ultimately what dreams and desires I have as a person. It was going to be a win-win decision no matter what I decided.

It wasn't really a tough decision to me. I had goals and wanted to do amazing things. Talking about them and actually doing them is something different. For me it was just having the opportunity to come back and play. My big thing, look at the legacy of people who have come through Stanford: Andrew Luck, John Elway, Darrin Nelson, Christian McCaffrey. They came in and had an opportunity to go a Rose Bowl. I just wanted an opportunity to come back and accomplish something like that. I'm not saying going to an Alamo Bowl and Sun Bowl weren't great. But I believe in the team and the coaches and wanted to be a part of it.

And being able to leave here with a degree and be a representative to the black community is just an amazing opportunity. I want to affect the younger generation and show them it's possible to go off and play football and still excel in the classroom.

I wasn't planning ahead [for the NFL] and I didn't really plan ahead in my classes, either. I would've been coming back in the offseason for probably about six or seven years just to graduate. And just for one quarter, chopping away each time. Now I'm getting closer and closer. Even now, I've still got to take 20 units a quarter. That's the max number of units you can take in a quarter. But barring anything crazy, that's where I'll be: graduating in December.

Frankly, knowing how special Stanford is and difficult it is for an ordinary student with top grades and SATs to get in, I find it hard to believe that anybody in his right mind would give up a year of attending.

Love’s ambition, long-term, is to become a pediatrician.

(Short-term - the way he talked about the Rose Bowl, it sounds as though if Stanford gets there, he might actually go ahead and play in it.)

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/23367297/bryce-love-stanford-cardinal-turned-nfl-draft


*********** Dennis Claridge, Bob Devaney’s first quarterback at Nebraska, has died at the age of 76.  He was the guy at the controls when Devaney took over a Cornhusker program that had gone 3-6-1 in 1961. In Devaney’s first two years in Lincoln, he and Claridge produced a 9-2 season on 1962 and a 10-1 season in 1963.

In his book “Devaney,” the coach who turned Nebraska into a national power talked about Claridge:

“Dennis Claridge was the first quarterback I had at Nebraska. I know that fans have read and heard a lot about Jerry Tagge and Van Brownson (later Nebraska QBs who earned considerable national recognition).  But Claridge had just as much going for him.  If we’d done the things then that we did later on, there’s no doubt it my mind that he might have been the best quarterback we ever had.

“He was a winner.  I still remember him running down the sideline against Colorado and the ball shoots straight up in the air. Claridge reached back, caught it, and didn’t even break stride on his way to the end zone.

“I also remember how poorly I felt when Claridge played for me in the East-West All-American game in Buffalo.  I was head coach for the West.  John Bridgers of Baylor and John McKay of USC were my assistants.  Baylor coached Don Trull, the All-American quarterback from Baylor.  I thought Claridge was better, but I decided to play Trull the first half and Claridge the second half.  We lost the first half, and Claridge took us right down the field and got us back in the game in the second half. He did a helluva job. We got down close to the goal line and I let Bridgers talk me into putting Trull in for Claridge because Trull was a drop back passer and Denny wasn’t. Well, the first damn thing Trull does is throw an interception.  Jay Wilkinson, Bud’s son, intercepted the ball on an out pattern in the end zone.  Jay played for Duke. It never should have happened.  We had those two backs from Arizona State, Tony Lorick and Charley Taylor (who both went on to solid NFL careers - HW).  We should have rushed all over ‘em and kept Claridge in there.  I felt terrible. I apologized to Denny after the game.  I still apologize to him when I see him, but I think it hurt me more than it hurt him.”

“Although I didn’t recruit Claridge, He was one of several good, big football players from Minnesota. We always liked to recruit up there and still do, especially those big farm boys.”

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/23394678/dennis-claridge-helped-bob-devaney-turn-nebraska-dies-76

*********** In an exchange with another coach, I mentioned my accidental discovery of one of the great benefits of our pre-season circuit workouts:

One thing that I did with our pre-season circuit training at a bigger high school that we didn’t do at North Beach was that we worked with buddies - mainly because we had more players than we did stations. It helped to have guys pushing each other,  and that led me to stumble on it as a great way to build camaraderie and combat hazing:  we insisted that no incoming sophomore (we were a grade 10-12 school) could ever be left to work by himself. And no seniors could work together as long as there was a sophomore who needed a buddy.

*********** It’s slow going, but I’m almost there - a “teaser” clip from my upcoming Double Wing Playbook…
Brown 5-Step Drop


*********** The latest from the academia, source of so much of today’s leftist idiocy …

More than 200 George Washington University students have signed a petition calling for the school to adopt a new mascot and nickname because the current moniker, Colonials, is "extremely offensive."

"The historically, negatively-charged figure of Colonials has too deep a connection to colonization and glorifies the act of systemic oppression," the petition reads.

It suggests alternative nicknames such as "Hippos" or "Riverhorses."

The Colonials mascot was adopted in 1926 to honor the school's namesake, George Washington, and is intended as a reference to colonial America and the Continental Army.

The petition reads:

We, as students of the George Washington University, believe it is of great exigence that the University changes its official mascot. The use of “Colonials,” no matter how innocent the intention, is received as extremely offensive by not only students of the University, but the nation and world at large. The historically, negatively-charged figure of Colonials has too deep a connection to colonization and glorifies the act of systemic oppression. Alternative nickname recommendations are “Hippos,” "Revolutionaries", or “Riverhorses.”

My feeling:  George Washington hasn’t played football since 1966, so what the hell. They want to be Hippos?  F—k ‘em. Let ‘em be Hippos.

http://insider.foxnews.com/2018/05/04/george-washington-university-students-launch-petition-change-colonials-mascot-nickname

*********** I find it hard to believe that a sport that prizes toughness the way ice hockey does can harbor a weirdo with a fetish for licking opponents’ faces.

The bad news for those of you who might have enjoyed seeing Brad Marchand in action is that he plays for the Boston Bruins, who just got eliminated by Tampa Bay.

http://nhl.nbcsports.com/2018/05/05/nhl-tells-brad-marchand-to-stop-licking-opponents/

*********** The April 23 issue of Sports Illustrated (Saquon Barkely is on the cover) contains a wonderful piece by the late William Nack, a longtime writer and admirer of horse racing - and horses - who died less than a month ago.

The article is about one of the true greats of any sport, Secretariat.  A horse, if you didn’t know.  A very special horse.

Nack spent all of 1972 - the year Secretariat won the Triple Crown - with the horse and the people around him. He travelled with the horse, hung around the stables, watched his workouts.  He even had the horse steal his notebook from him.

What developed was a love and respect for an animal that many of us can understand; and the pain he feels in telling of Secretariat’s passing is one we’re familiar with, too.   I was reminded of the days when I was a little kid and my older bother  would take me to the movies - I still remember one movie in which a race horse and a little dog became tight buddies.  I mean, we’re talking real friendship. And then the dog died.  Or was it the horse?  I don’t know.  But I still remember that I cried.

Anyhow, it’s a great article.  Secretariat, if you didn’t know, topped off his Triple Crown by winning the Belmont Stakes by 32 lengths.  He was racing against the best 3-year-olds in the business, and it was as if he were a breed all his own.

The only things in sports history that I can compare with it in terms of complete dominance of top competition were the Bears’ 73-0 win over the Redskins in the 1940 NFL championship game and - perhaps - Joe Louis’ first-round knockout of Max Schmeling in 1938.

William Nack was highly respected by other writers (as well as readers.)

The story goes that while Nack was a young writer, covering politics for Long Island Newsday, the editor, noticing how much he knew about horse racing, told him he’d like to have him cover the sport.

Only one problem - the job had to be posted, and as part of the charade of making it appear that there was open competition for it, Nack had to write a short note explaining why he wanted the job. He wrote, “After covering politicians for four years, I’d love the chance to cover the whole horse.”

WEDNESDAY? WEDNESDAY IS PRINCE SPAGHETTI DAY! (AT LEAST IN NEW ENGLAND)

*********** Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day - Ken Hampton, Raleigh, North Carolina

***********  Anthony! Anthony!

We always had spaghetti on Wednesdays! 

2 weeks in a row for me!!!

Jerry Gordon
Hamilton, Virginia

(In the commercial, when it was time for dinner  - Prince Spaghetti, of course - Momma would call out the window to Anthony.)


*********** Greg Koenig, head coach at Cimarron, Kansas, wrote,

Hugh,

I am sure that you remember Austin Budke, who was an All-State football and basketball player for us at Beloit. His younger brother, Brady, is now a student at K-State. A few weeks ago Brady asked me if I would answer some questions for him for an assignment he was working on. He shared his paper with me yesterday, and I thought that you might enjoy it.

Football: How much safety is enough?

By Brady Budke


The sport of football has adopted the reputation of being aggressive and action packed. With this, questions have been raised on how safe the game actually is. With safety being a top priority in the NFL, they recently implemented a new rule that has players, coaches, and fans questioning whether or not the game of football is slowly falling away from its hard-hitting nature.

The new rule states a player will be accessed a 15-yard penalty and could be ejected from the game if the player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against the opponent.

Greg Koenig is the current head football coach at Cimarron High School in Cimarron, Kansas and has 28 years of football coaching experience. Koenig says football has been a great way for him to build meaningful relationships with players and assistant coaches.

“Football is much like life,” Koenig said. “there are many opportunities to teach life lessons and develop values and mindsets that can help players to grow into mature, responsible, positive, productive men.”

 Koenig says this newly implemented NFL rule has good intentions, but he believes it will cause more issues than it solves. As a coach, he says the only thing that scares him regarding the safety of football is when coaches don’t teach proper blocking and tackling techniques.

“Because of technology and continued education, football players are safer now than ever before,” Koenig said. “It is incumbent on all football coaches, from youth leagues all the way to the NFL, to ensure safety by continuing to learn and seek the safest and most effective methods of teaching blocking and tackling.”

Austin Budke is known for his play on the basketball court at Kansas State, but actually saw himself as a better football player during the 9 years he played.

“I loved the team aspect of football,” Budke said. “being a part of a group of guys fighting towards the same goal was what made it most rewarding to me.”

Budke says he likes the new rule and its attempt at added safety, even if it takes some entertainment out of the game. As a player, he says he never had an issue with an opposing player lowering their head to make a tackle on him, but after playing for multiple years he sees why this rule is being implemented.

“I definitely see where it’s a problem in the pros and at the collegiate level,” Budke said. “The game gets a bad reputation when head injuries occur because the tackler thought it was fine to lower their head, so I think it is something that will make the tackler think twice before they go for a tackle like that.”

Despite this rule attempting to add safety to the NFL and eventually the game as a whole, fears continue to surface about the safety of children on the football field and its long-term effect on their health.

Koenig says he would encourage anyone who doesn’t want their child to play football to research improvements that have occurred in regard to equipment, rules, and education of the game, and to visit their local coach and ask specific questions about how the coach will teach players to block and tackle.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the media’s spotlight and scare tactics,” Koenig said. “but they don’t report on the incredible benefits that come from the football experience.”

Budke says since he enjoyed his time on the football field, he would let his children play football if they wanted too.

“Yeah, I enjoyed my time playing and I had a relatively injury free playing career,” Budke said. “However, I do think I would be extra careful with head injuries in particular, but I would let my kids play if they wanted because I think they’d enjoy it.”

Only time will tell if football continues its presence as a national phenomenon, but the NFL implementing new rules to make the game safer could leave a large impact on collegiate, high school, and youth football leagues.


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

Good to be back.

David Cutcliffe in my own opinion is one of the most underrated head football coaches in the game today.  At his age (and the health episode he experienced) anyone with a coaching background can plainly see that neither matter in his ability to relate to his players, and get them to do the work.

While I was away I did get a chance to see the Army football team being honored by President Trump.  Good to see that the Army teams had nothing but respect for the Commander-in-Chief.

Rashad Penny was all Russell Wilson needed to become the premier QB in the NFL.

From now on we'll be buying "Scout" popcorn, and "Scout" cookies. 

UT (as it is known down in these parts) will be ridiculed by just about every college men's sports recruiter in the country.  Justifiably so.

Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** QUIZ  ANSWER - Brad Johnson came from Black Mountain, North Carolina and played football at Florida State - after first going there to play basketball. (One of his high school teammates was Brad Daugherty, and he started eight games for FSU as a freshman.) 

A quarterback, he was drafted in the ninth round by the Vikings, and in a 17-year  NFL career, he played for four different teams and five different head coaches, he took three different teams to a total of ten playoff appearances.

As an NFL starter, he was 72-53.  For 13 straight seasons, from 1995 through 2007, he completed more than 60 per cent of his passes.

He threw for more than 3,000 yards five times.   In 1999, he threw for 4,000 yards, becoming only the second Redskin QB to do so.

He appeared in two Pro Bowls.

He quarterbacked the Buccaneers to the first Super Bowl in their history - and the only Super Bowl win in their history.   He broke every one of the Buccaneers’ passing records.

In 2003, Johnson won the NFL’s “Quarterback Challenge,” competing against  Tom Brady,  Mark Brunell, Marc Bulger,  Jeff Garcia, and Matt Hasselbeck,

He was the first NFL QB to throw a touchdown pass to himself.

His quarterback coach at Florida State for all four years was Mark Richt, now head coach at Miami, and he’s married to Richt’s sister, Nikki.

His son, Max Johnson, a 6-5, 215 pound sophomore at Oconee High School in Georgia, is rated the #3 QB prospect in his class, and has already received offers from Miami, Georgia, Auburn, Florida State and Louisville.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BRAD JOHNSON…

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
JOSH COLE - ODESSA, NEW YORK
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
DAVID BUCHANAN - BARRE, MASSACHUSETTS
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
JOHN BOWEN - MT. VERNON, GEORGIA
(I HOPE YOU GUYS WILL UNDERSTAND THAT I WASN’T ABLE TO CONFIRM  ALL YOUR ANSWERS BY EMAIL!. IF BY SOME CHANCE I MISSED YOU,  SEND ME AN EMAIL CHEWING MY ASS OUT AND I WILL HUMBLY AND PUBLICLY APOLOGIZE ON THESE PAGES.)

*********** Quite coincidentally, at the very same time that I was trying to make one stupid football usable by a high school player, I posted Brad Johnson as the subject of my quiz - and I’ll be damned if I didn’t stumble across a story about QB Johnson and his preparations for the Super Bowl that surely must have had some sportswriters drooling at the prospect of unearthing the next big sports scandal.

The story broke at the time the Patriots and Tom Brady were being portrayed as the ultimate cheaters for letting air out of footballs.

Turns out that Johnson had paid some guy $7500 prior to the Super Bowl to have the game balls - all 100 of them -  “altered” (sounds very scandalous).  Johnson didn’t see the big problem - he and the other QB, Rich Gannon, were in agreement on the need to have the balls made ready for use. Broken in, if you will.  I don’t see the big problem either, and evidently neither did the NFL, so the story died there.

The problem, to me, is with the ball manufacturers - WTF is wrong with them that they ship a product that isn’t ready for use right out of the box?  Is there anything else that you pay upwards of $100 for that isn’t ready for immediate use?

And while we’re at it… Why TF is it so important that the ball be inflated to between 12.5 and 13.5 psi anyhow?  Why shouldn’t it just be up to each individual team? If they want to play with a ball that’s flat, so what?  Yeah, might cut back on their fumbles, but they sure as hell won’t be able to throw it very far.

https://www.si.com/nfl/2015/01/21/brad-johnson-altered-footballs-super-bowl-xxxvii


*********** Chucky gets the credit but Brad Johnson had a fine super bowl performance to lead the Bucs.

Kevin McCullough
Lakeville, Indians

Yes, and Tony Dungy built the team.

QUIZ: (THIS MAY BE A TOUGH ONE)  What honor do the following players, from different eras of pro football, share? FWIW - They're not all in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Al Blozis… Charlie Conerly… Ward Cuff… Ray Flaherty… Frank Gifford… Mel Hein… Tuffy Leemans… Joe Morrison… Phil Simms… Ken Strong… Lawrence Taylor… Y. A. Tittle



american flagFRIDAY,  MAY 4,  2018 “I learned a great many things in the Marines that helped me as a football coach. The Marines train men hard and to do things the right way, just as a football team must train.” Hayden Fry

*********** I listened to a great “inside the headset” interview with Duke coach David Cutcliffe on the AFCA site, and I came away with so much great stuff.

He talked about the effect his heart attack had on him and his coaching.  (It’s not very well known that he was all set to be Charlie Weis’ offense coordinator at Notre Dame when he had the attack.)

It cost him that job, and it sidelined him for a year. 

Noting that  “not many people can afford to take a year off from their career,” he talked of how it helped him look at the game of football - and at coaching - in ways he’d never done before.  (I can say personally that any time I’ve been away from coaching, I’ve come back a better coach than I was,)

He talked about the importance of building trust and love on a team - and said that one of the first things he did when he took over at Duke was to  take the locks off the lockers.

He said that when he was a young coach, an older coach took him aside and gave him some great advice: (1) There’s no bigger fool than a guy who thinks he can fool  a young person.  (2) Don’t take winning or losing personally.

He said  he constantly reminds his staff:   It’s not about how they make us look; it’s about how we make them look.

And this:  Never pass up a chance to coach. On  every play something happens.  If you’re only coaching when there’s a mistake, you’re not a very good coach.

http://insider.afca.com/inside-the-headset-david-cutcliffe-ncaa-rule-changes-podcast/?utm_source=AFCA+Insider&utm_campaign=fc1ec05341-AFCA_Weekly_100317&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_343e846137-fc1ec05341-147880073

*********** It was quite a kick for my wife and me, watching the President present the Army team with the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy, which goes to winner of the competition among the three service academy football teams.

First of all, the President singled out John Voit, team captain and Army’s Black Lion Award winner for his game-saving tackle against Navy.

Here’s the transcript:

THE PRESIDENT: On that snowy day you fought hard, you came from behind, and beat Navy for the second season in a row; the first time that it’s happened in over two decades.  That’s what you call a job well done.  Amazing.  Really amazing.  (Applause.)
In that most crucial game of the year, you made the entire U.S. Army proud, and you made the country proud.  Early in the third quarter, Navy was up 10 to 7 when their quarterback started racing down the field.  One of your team captains, John Voit — no relation to Jon Voight.  He wouldn’t be too good of a football player, but he’s good at other things.  Right?  John Voit — where’s John?

MR. VOIT:  Right here, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Come on over here, John.  Big guy.  (Laughter and applause.)  Think he’s good looking enough, Mike?  I don’t know.  Well, so you went down and you stopped him with a shoestring tackle.  What a play, John.  So if he doesn’t make that shoestring tackle, what happens, Coach?

COACH MONKEN:  We probably don’t win the game.

THE PRESIDENT:  You’re probably not standing here right now, Coach.  (Laughs.)  That’s fantastic.  Thank you, man.

MR. VOIT:  Appreciate it, Mr. President.  (Applause.)

Then, the President recognized the 1958 Army team - West Point’s last unbeaten team and legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik’s last team.  To represent the team, he called on Bob Novogratz, an All-American guard/linebacker on that 1958 team, and - ahem - a member of the Board of the Black Lion Award.

THE PRESIDENT: Each of you is part of a great tradition of Army football excellence that goes back many generations.  And it’s true excellence.  Here today is one of the great examples of that tradition, a key member of the legendary 1958 team.  Exactly 60 years ago, Army went totally undefeated.  That’s pretty good, General.  Right?  Good team.

LIEUTENANT GENERAL CASLEN:  It is.

THE PRESIDENT:   I don’t know.  Do you think they could have beaten you guys?  I don’t know.

PARTICIPANTS:  No! (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  They might have been smaller and not as fast.  (Laughs.)  But I’d like to recognize a member of that historic team, former All-American guard — a lot of people know this name if they know football even a little bit — great linebacker, Bob Novogratz.  Where’s Bob?  Where is Bob?  Come here, Bob.  Hey, Bob.  Come here, Bob.  (Applause.)  He’s a big guy.  He’s a big guy.  Come on up here, Bob.  Come on up.

Still looks good.  They keep them good at West Point — right, Mike?  Stand up here with us.  General, is he allowed to stand with you?  I don’t know.  Should we let him stand up here?

LIEUTENANT GENERAL CASLEN:  Yes, sir.

PARTICIPANT:  He’s in the hall of fame.

THE PRESIDENT:  Should we let him stand up here, fellas?

PARTICIPANT:  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  He’s in the hall of fame, is right.

I’ve told Bob’s story before, but in brief, he was the son of an Austrian immigrant who worked in a cement plant in Northampton, Pennsylvania.  Bob was such a good high school wrestler that a West Point recruiter saw him and arranged for him to go to Blair Academy in New Jersey to get his grades up.   At West Point, he didn’t play football as a plebe.  But he wrestled, and it was as an outstanding wrestler that he came to the attention of Coach Blaik.  By the next fall, he was an Army football player, and by his senior year he was a two-way All-American on one of the nation’s top teams.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/05/01/president-trump-presents-commander-in-chief-trophy-to-u-s-army-football-team/

*********** The Seahawks have been catching hell for using their #1 draft pick to take San Diego State running back Rashad Penny.

Yes, they selected him ahead of some much better known running backs, playing in more prestigious programs.  But if you saw him play in the Armed Forces Bowl - when Army, knowing they couldn’t stop him, went for two and the overtime win rather than risk another OT period  - you might understand what the Seahawks were thinking.

*********** Jason Whitten is hanging them up.  Heck of a football player.    But I have to admit I don't know the first thing about him as an analyst, and it sure beats the hell out of me how he can walk right into a job as an analyst on Monday Night Football.

*********** My friend Tom “Doc” Hinger is visiting his home town of Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

As is usually the case when he’s in town, he’s been asked to talk to classes at the high school who’ve been studying the Vietnam War.  Doc was an Army medic in Vietnam, where he earned the Silver Star in the Battle of Ong Thanh. The kids all know he’s a Latrobe guy, and they know a little something about his Vietnam service because part of their class work involves reading David Maraniss’ great book “They Marched Into Sunlight,” in which Doc is mentioned prominently.

Doc’s a rather self-effacing guy, and he’s not particularly comfortable talking about himself and his service.  But he does agree to do this because he loves his hometown and his old high school and he admires the teachers and kids there.

I suggested that this time he might try impressing on the kids that he, like all the now-aging vets of wars long ago, was once a young kid just like them.

That gave him an idea.  He said he might try to drive that point home by telling them that even after all these years,  “I can tell you where you’re getting your beer…”

*********** I went to college in New England, and I soon learned from listening to the radio that  (in New England at least) “Wednesday is _______ ________ Day!” Anybody  know what I'm talking about?

*********** I can’t think of anything more indicative of America’s decline than the “Boy” Scouts’ decision to change their name - to “Scouts BSA” - in order to make the organization “more inclusive.”  In other words, to admit girls. 

With membership in the Boy Scouts declining in recent years, I guess admitting gay scouts and scout leaders wasn't enough to turn things around, so might as well try  girls.

“We wanted to land on something that evokes the past but also conveys the inclusive nature of the program going forward,” said Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh. “We’re trying to find the right way to say we’re here for both young men and young women.”

There’s that damn word “inclusive” again.  

Meanwhile…
Michael Williams, a Republican candidate for Georgia governor, said the Boy Scouts of America's decision to drop the word "Boy" from their name was the "latest example of culture rot.”

“For many decades, the Boy Scouts helped turn boys into men,” Williams said in a statement. “Unfortunately, they have taken a big step toward the eventual destruction of the very elements that made them such an influential organization.”

“They caved to left-wing social engineers who want to remove the concept of male masculinity from society,” the former co-chairman of Georgia's Donald Trump for President campaign continued. “Imagine the outcome of World War II if the Greatest Generation had been raised by these politically-correct bedwetters. You’d be reading this in German.”
Gone, I guess, are the days when we guys could stand on a bridge and “go fishing” (urinate into the stream below).  Any girl who can do that deserves a merit badge.

https://apnews.com/d3efeda8ffb74b79b367fce426780d6f

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/386107-georgia-governor-candidate-says-politically-correct-bedwetters-ruined-boy


*********** Back in 1992, Washington officially recognized fast pitch softball as a girls’ sport.  Until then, the state association had supported slow pitch, but pressure from coaches and girls - and parents, concerned about missing out on scholarships - finally won the day for fast pitch.

Now, just over 25 years later, the state has announced the return of slow pitch as a sanctioned sport for girls.  It will be played in the fall.  (Fast pitch will continue to be played in the Spring.)

I’m not sure why this is happening.  I certainly don’t perceive any decline in interest in girls’ fast pitch, and I can’t believe that there was serious pressure to bring back a sport that, we were told, girls had rejected 25 years ago.

My suspicion is that it will enable fast pitch softball coaches to pick up an additional coaching stipend for working with their fast-pitch kids in what was once the off-season.  The state suggests that its aim is to provide opportunities for more girls to participate, but I suspect that, other than the pitchers, the slow pitch lineups in the fall won’t be much different from the fast pitch lineups in the spring.

***********  I meant to ask you this earlier.  Regarding your summer circuit training, do you have any other summer football activities typically planned?  Camp, 7 on 7, weight room?
 
I know that you start the circuits a few weeks before practice - just curious if in a typical summer you had other stuff going on.
 
Coach,

Our school was very small (100 boys) and our kids were really scattered - many of them lived 20+ miles from school.  And few of them drove.

And we had to deal with a basketball program that (1) played games all June, (2) Held a week-long camp early in July, (3) took the kids to the Gonzaga camp in Spokane for a week late in July.

They were never that good in basketball, and we were pretty good in football, but no matter - basketball was FUN.  All they did was play. The basketball coach would have the gym open all the time, it seems - and he didn’t cut a soul. Not even a first-year senior who couldn’t possibly make the varsity squad.  Come one, come all.  There was even a “C” team for kids (including seniors) who would never play a varsity game.  Just funsy-wunsy stuff.  

That definitely pulled kids in an opposite direction.

So we did what we could to get them into the weight room, and to get them out throwing and catching.  I worked with the QB 2-3 days a week. Never an issue there: if a kid wasn’t willing to work to get better, he couldn’t play  QB for us.  That was understood going in. Occasionally, we might get a receiver or two to run routes.

Fortunately, a number of our linemen did not play basketball, so they lifted pretty faithfully.

We had 2-1/2 weeks of spring ball, and then, at the end of July, just before our three-week dead period, we had a three-day “summer camp” right at the school.  Basically, it was three days of two-a-days. Nobody stayed overnight, but all the kids were there.  We were pretty hard-nosed about that.  I think that you can tell a kid “I can’t make you come - but I can make you wish you had.”  We never had anyone challenge us on it.

I do think that if you only had three days like that, in the middle of the summer, with everyone in attendance, you’d be better off than spending your whole summer nagging the kids to get into the weight room,  then beating yourself to death when they didn’t come.  Coaches are competitive people and they  take that kind of crap personally. I once did, but no more.

As for going away to camp, we never considered it.  We didn’t want the hassle of having to get kids to pay for camp, then supervising them while they were there, then running the risk - even with our kids, who were very trustworthy - that something ugly might happen, and finally, taking a chance that one of our kids might get hurt in a scrimmage - and there goes our season.

Those six camp practice sessions were as useful to us as an entire first week of formal practice.  They reinforced what we’d taught the kids in the spring, and they got us a head start on the season.

Circuits occupied the three-week dead period (no coaching football or football techniques).  Coming off summer camp, and with formal practice starting in a few weeks, the kids started to get focused.

Life in a small school.



*********** It may have “Texas” in its name, but if it’s also got “University” in there, it’s liable to harbor the same fools as any other University, from Arizona to Yale.

Need proof?
The Counseling and Mental Health Center at the University of Texas at Austin recently launched a new program to help male students “take control over their gender identity and develop a healthy sense of masculinity.”

Treating masculinity as if it were a mental health crisis, “MasculinUT” is organized by the school’s counseling staff and most recently organized a poster series encouraging students to develop a “healthy model of masculinity.”

The program is predicated on a critique of so-called “restrictive masculinity.” Men, the program argues, suffer when they are told to “act like a man” or when they are encouraged to fulfill traditional gender roles, such as being “successful” or “the breadwinner.
https://pjmedia.com/trending/university-of-texas-to-treat-masculinity-as-a-mental-health-issue/

*********** I've already run into about 20 stories on Bruce et.al.

STILL can't find the story on Bruce converting from coaching shorts to coat and tie.

Look up: "The Turtle Story" , from Pope Urban (Meyer).
Tampa and Earle Bruce AND THEN Dennis Fryzel, who had Freddie Soloman as a Veer QB (Can't find the comment from Fryzel about how he would never again put that much control into one player's hands.)

This search then led to Coach Paterno and his spontaneous advertisement for Depends (2009).  That reminds me to make sure that there is always a clear path to the facilities around here.

It's great to be retired but it comes with responsibilities.

Charlie Wilson
Crystal River, Florida


************ QUIZ ANSWER: In my opinion,  Earle Bruce is one of the most underrated college coaches of all time.
He compiled a career  record of 154-90-2 as head coach at five different colleges.

A native of Cumberland, Maryland, he won a football scholarship to  Ohio State, but after he injured his knee  in practice prior to his sophomore season,  OSU coach Woody Hayes offered him a position on his coaching staff, a position he held until graduation.

He then spent 13 seasons coaching Ohio state high schools, 10 of them as a head coach. Overall, he was 82-12-3 as head coach at Salem, Sandusky and Massillon. After his Massillon teams had back-to-back 10-0 seasons in 1964 and 1965, Hayes offered him a permanent spot on his staff.

During his six years at Ohio State, the last five of them as offensive line coach, Ohio State won national titles in 1968 and 1970.
In his first college head coaching job, he took Tampa to a 10-2 record in 1972 and a spot in the Tangerine Bowl.

That took him to Iowa State, always a tough place to win. Overall he was 36-32 in his six years  there, but in his final three seasons the Cyclones went 24-11 and went to two bowl games.  His 1976 team was his best - it finished 8-3 and ranked 19th in the nation.  It averaged 439.6 yards of offense per game, and upset Number 9-ranked Nebraska, 37-28.  And it went uninvited to a bowl game.

He was Big Eight Coach of the Year in both 1976 and 1977.

He was chosen to succeed Hayes at Ohio State, and served as the Buckeyes’ head coach from 1979 through 1987.  During his nine years in Columbus, his teams went 81-26-1 and won four Big Ten championships. He took the Buckeyes to eight bowl games, including two Rose Bowls.  In his very first season he coached the Buckeyes to an 11-0 regular season and a spot in the Rose Bowl. He earned Big Ten and national Coach of the Year honors and only a one-point Rose Bowl loss to USC cost him a national title in his first season.

He was 5-4 against Michigan, defeating the Wolverines in his last game as the Ohio State coach.

After Ohio State, he coached one season at Northern Iowa before taking over at Colorado State. In his four years there, he took the Rams to what was then their best year in history - a 9-4 season that included their first bowl game in 42 years -a Freedom Bowl win over Oregon.

Assistants from his staffs who went on to considerable success of their own include Jim Tressel, Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, Mark Dantonio and Pete Carroll.

Earle Bruce is a member of the Iowa State Athletics Hall of Fame, the Ohio State University Sports Hall of Fame, and the College Football Hall of Fame.

He died on April 20 at the age of 87.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING EARLE BRUCE-
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PSTERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
JASON MENSING - WHITEFORD, MICHIGAN
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA (.just winning football with all the "Style Points" of Woody Hayes!
MICK YANKE - COKATO, MINNESOTA (I was in jr. high, we got either Mich or OSU every week on ABC back then, the Gophers were well off the radar. If I remember, OSU got rid of E.B. because he didn't beat Michigan enough, they brought in Cooper from ASU, who had a one sided losing record against Mich.)
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK (and dont forget, he also coached in the arena league, I remember playing against his team I believe it was Cleveland - http://www.arenafan.com/history/?page=coaches&coach=3)
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOHN BOTHE, OREGON, ILLINOIS
JERRY GORDON - HAMILTON, VIRGINIA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
BRAD KNIGHT - CLARINDA, IOWA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA

*********** Finally a mention of my proud college UNI!
Coach Bruce (left UNI prior to me playing there, but not by much).
I've heard stories about him, all good, some hilarious.

Brad Knight
Clarinda, Iowa


*********** I was working a football camp at Temple University about 7 years ago.   Coach Bruce was well into his 70's if not more.  He was visiting camp (his grandson being a Temple coach at the time) and I saw him eating alone in the cafeteria. I asked if I could join him for lunch and he, of course, agreed.  We got to talking about old times, he was telling me quite vigorously how that lineman today were not tough and in fact that if you locked in any one of his offensive lines from Ohio State  in a room w/ any offensive line in the country today that he'd know that ALL FIVE of his guys would walk out.  It was awesome!


BTW, why is it that these 9th graders who were sexting were identified as football players?  Did they play track? baseball?  basketball?  in the drama club?  Happens all the time

Jerry Gordon
Hamilton, Virginia

Good story!

All you have to do is look at the offensive line play then and now to know that he’s right.

I suspect they’re singling them out as football players because there is a bit of resentment in the community over a high school football coach making $150K a year.



*********** QUIZ - He’s from Black Mountain, North Carolina and played football at Florida State - after first going there to play basketball. (One of his high school teammates was Brad Daugherty, and he started eight games for FSU as a freshman.) 

A quarterback, he was drafted in the ninth round by the Vikings, and in a 17-year  NFL career, he played for four different teams and five different head coaches, and took three different teams to a total of ten playoff appearances.

As an NFL starter, he was 72-53.  For 13 straight seasons, from 1995 through 2007, he completed more than 60 per cent of his passes.

He threw for more than 3,000 yards five times.   In 1999, he threw for 4,000 yards, becoming only the second Redskin QB to do so.

He appeared in two Pro Bowls.

He quarterbacked one of those teams to the first Super Bowl in its history - and the only Super Bowl win in its history.   He broke every one of that team’s passing statistics.

In 2003, he won the NFL’s “Quarterback Challenge,” competing against  Tom Brady,  Mark Brunell, Marc Bulger,  Jeff Garcia, and Matt Hasselbeck.

He was the first NFL QB to throw a touchdown pass to himself.

His quarterback coach at Florida State for all four years was Mark Richt, now head coach at Miami, and he’s married to Richt’s sister.

His son, Max, a 6-5, 215 pound sophomore at Oconee High School in Georgia, is rated the #3 QB prospect in his class, and has already received offers from Miami, Georgia, Auburn, Florida State and Louisville.



american flagTUESDAY,  MAY 1,  2018 “The biggest mistake coaches make is taking borderline cases and trying to save them. I’m not talking about grades now, I’m talking about character. I want to know before a boy enrolls about his home life, and what his parents want him to be.”  Bear Bryant


*********** I’ve written often about the things I look for in a young quarterback. 

I’ve been working this winter and spring with one, a sophomore with a year of varsity football under his belt.  He’s got the tools. He’s 6-2 and starting to fill out.  He’s strong.  He’s fast. He’s got great feet.

But as a quarterback - especially as a passer -  he’s raw.  This past season was his first playing quarterback.  He’d played other positions previously,  but as will happen in times of great need, the coaches looked around, saw what they had, and asked him to play quarterback - for the good of the team.

He agreed.  And immediately, that checks one of my boxes, especially since it was not his preference: he’s unselfish.

He can be counted on.  He’s been at least 15 minutes early to every one of our sessions.  He’s a good student.  And he’s a Christian.  Not that that’s a guarantee of good character, and not that a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist -  or an atheist - couldn’t be a person of good character,  but to me that cross on the chain around his neck is a declaration that he’s at least attempting to understand the concept of something bigger than himself, something better than a materialistic culture, something more important than himself.

He’s coachable.   Unless I’ve been unclear in my instructions, in which case he always asks, “what do you mean?” he carries them out immediately, as if I’ve shown him a video of what I wanted.

When I show him a correction I’d like him to make in something he’s been doing - it’s done.  Immediately.  Never a word about how “weird” it feels to be doing something different. And then, even more amazingly, there’s never a backslide to the old way of doing things.  Once the change is made, it’s made.  It’s permanent.

He’s tough mentally and physically.  He’s a sprinter on the track team, but he’s not a 100-meter guy.   No, his specialty is one of the toughest events in track - the 400.

He wants to be the quarterback.  He doesn’t shy away from work. He can see and feel himself getting better, and that drives him to be better still. 

At our session Sunday, after working for almost two hours, throwing passes or one type of another at a target.,
it came time to wrap things up.  At the end, he was practicing a bootleg, throwing on the run after faking to an imaginary running back.

We were working with four footballs, so I said to him, “Okay - four more balls.” (And then we'd be done.)

He shook his head. Oh, no.  “Four more completions!” he insisted.

That’s the attitude we’re all looking for.


*********** Hugh,
 
In reference to your response to Ken Hampton of Raleigh, North Carolina  & asking for our experiences/feed back with USA Football & Heads up Tackling…my first thoughts after being mandated by our league to have our (all volunteer) CYO grade school  staff be “Heads Up” certified was exactly what you suggested “ they changed the way to teach tackling but kept the name the same & this is back to arm tackling”.  That said, I guess something had to be done to make the game safer to placate the haters, I’m just not sure this is it. But as usual I’d be willing to bet someone is making money off fear mongering & the good intentions of people trying to do the right thing.  
 
In youth football I’m sure 99.9% of us are unpaid volunteers whose main reasons for being involved is that we like teaching, love the game of football, & enjoy being around young people. So when we are told “we need” this certification or “we need” to attend this clinic we do it w/o much or any pause for thought because we don’t want to be considered as uninformed or uncaring. That said, what I find amusing with all the USA Football videos concerning Heads Up/Rugby Tackling,  is the instructors insistence to be patient with players who take time to “get it”. Well, I guess so if you’re basically teaching arm based tackling as you said & in my years of experience playing & watching games I know that arm tackling doesn’t work with much success & leads to lunging.  What I basically learned from the USA Football tackling videos is ALL I need is the 12 - 13 year old version of Earl Thomas or Kam Chancellor & all is good & I’ll be a defensive genius.
 
Just my two cents,
Sam DuMond
Phiadelphia

Coach-

Great points. Appreciate the note.

Since most of us don’t get too many Kam Chancellors in our lifetimes, we have to teach the ordinary kids that we do get an effective way to tackle, and one that’s as safe as it’s possible to make,  given that football is a rough game.


*********** “Virtue signaling” is common nowadays - it’s a modern-day version of sucking up to a particular group by expressing how virtuous you are.   It may take the form of saying good things about the group - say, a racial minority - but more often it seems to be about saying bad things about the people seen as enemies of that group.

You say Starbuck’s treated black men badly?  Ooooooh.  Bad Starbucks!  (See how easy it was for me to show how virtuous I am?)

I’m a 19-year-old white female from New Canaan, Connecticut who goes to Yale and I’m going to march against police because we all know that police randomly kill young black males!

Whether it’s marching in protest with the aggrieved group, whether it's speaking or tweeting - it’s talk.

And the reason virtue signaling is held in such low regard is eloquently explained by the old saw: “Talk’s cheap.”

If you hadn’t thought about it, what’s been happening to youth football is virtue signaling. We show that we love our children by eliminating anything that has the slightest chance of being harmful to them.

Is there a state - even Texas - that doesn’t have at least one politician who wants to show how much they love children - by wanting to end youth football?

New Jersey is the latest state to take aim at football, with a proposal by an Assemblywoman named Valerie Huttle to ban tackle football for kids under 12.

Fortunately, it sounds as if there is still some testosterone in the Garden State.

The President of the New Jersey State Senate, the guy who decides what bills get voted on in the senate, says he's “staunchly against” the bill.

"That's not happening," said State Senate President Stephen Sweeney ."They're teaching kids how to tackle properly. All you're gonna do is get kids starting later, when it's easier to teach kids early."

Not coincidentally, the three other states in which similar bills have been proposed are, like New Jersey, liberal strongholds: California, Illinois and New York.  Can my deep blue state, Washington, be far behind? 

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/04/nj_could_soon_ban_tackle_football_for_children.html

***********  Hugh,

Remember that iceberg we talked about awhile ago?

http://footballscoop.com/news/texas-hs-coach-defendant-title-ix-lawsuit-every-coachs-attention/

While I know I still have a lot to offer, I often wonder in this new day and age if I'm willing to take what this new day and age have to offer.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

The story that Coach Gutilla refers to is - to be brief - a sexting case in a small East Texas town that started when - supposedly - two high school girls, while showering, were filmed by a high school boy, a member of the football team.  The filming, according to the girls, was done without their knowledge, and despite the boy’s promise not to do anything with the video, it “got out.”  The girls’ parents contend that a football coach or two may have known about the video. 

I have lots of questions here, chief among them - WTF kind of parents raise a lout that circulates video of girls without their permission? 

Is it at all possible that the girls knew they were being filmed?  You don’t suppose?

Did I understand that the girls showered together?

What kid wouldn’t know that it was wrong to send out nude photos of girls?

Isn't "I won't show it if you kiss me" a form of extortion?

How do the football coaches - IF they knew about the film - explain this to their wives and daughters?

What’s happened to Texas men?  In the Texas of my fantasy, that girl’s father would be deciding what size buckshot to use on that vermin.

What’s the deal with a system that treats sexting as just something that kids do while they’re "learning the boundaries" - while at the same time treating those kids as wise and all-knowing when they pontificate about gun control?

Unfortunate stereotype of Texas: where else does a community lay off teachers and support staff and increase classroom sizes - while giving the football coach a $21,000 raise (to over $150,000 a year)?


http://footballscoop.com/news/texas-hs-coach-defendant-title-ix-lawsuit-every-coachs-attention/


*********** Today’s college students take all this mini-aggression, trigger-warning, safe spaces sh-- so seriously that it would make a great TV series, not unlike Portlandia.

Yes,  people who don’t know what’s actually going on in America’s colleges would consider it phantasmagoric - a figment of some demented,  writer’s pot-addled imagination.

But it’s true, I tell you.  The latest is the University of Utah. With finals approaching, the school library has a “Cry Closet,” where  stressed-out students can enter and “just let it all out” - have a good cry.

It sounds silly and all that, but it really pisses me off,  because several years ago my wife and I visited Quantico (“Crossroads of the Marine Corps”), and I remember the impact of going into the Marine Chapel and seeing a sign pointing  upstairs - to the “Cry Room.”

And I can assure you it wasn’t for college snowflakes worried about finals.


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/university-of-utah-cry-closet-lets-students-just-let-it-all-out-during-finals/

https://i.redditmedia.com/UMPvoOrpxIQdykQxuQSG7cLIPXlK3ed1EAG0CSdNWrw.jpg?s=a8adc046fdc68845f3992502c3dfec8e


*********** The first school where I “field-tested” my Double Wing was 3,000 miles away from home, in Abington, Pennsylvania, at my wife’s alma mater.  I’d become friends with Abington High's head coach, Doug Moister, on visits back east, and he became so intrigued with the idea of the Double Wing that he asked if I’d be interested in helping him install it. And so it went…

Abington had a sort of logo that looked something like this: AAA-O

Doug told me it meant “ANYBODY… ANYWHERE… ANYTIME… BAR NONE.”  Sort of a “bring ‘em on.”

He said the story was that some Abington vets brought it back from the Army after World War II.

I recently decided to check it out.

It's the real deal - its origin is attributed to Colonel Harry “Paddy” Flint, who assumed command of the 39th Infantry in Sicily, in 1943.

Evidently, when he took over, the 39th Infantry was not well regarded, and on arrival he announced that his slogan- AAA-O - "Anything, Anytime, Anywhere - Bar Nothing" - would be stenciled on the helmets of every man in the unit.

This was against orders, since identifiable marks  could provide the enemy with valuable intelligence as to whom they were fighting, but Flint won the day, saying, "The enemy who sees our regiment in combat, if they live through the battle, will know to run the next time they see us coming."

His junior officers translated the slogan a bit differently.  They said it meant they could whip “anybody, anyplace, anytime, bar none,” explaining the Abington version.

The 39th, it is said, became a top fighting unit.

Colonel Flint himself was killed in battle during the invasion of Normandy in 1944.

According to wikipedia, while trying to take out an enemy mortar…
He called for a tank, and rode atop it in a rain of fire as it sprayed the hedgerows. During the attack, the tank driver was wounded, stopping it, whereupon Paddy crawled down, and went forward on foot with his men. As he led the patrol into the shelter of a farmhouse he was hit by a sniper's bullet. Aid men soon came up, loaded the Colonel on a stretcher, and as they started for the rear, one of the men told him: "Remember, Paddy, you can't kill an Irishman—you can only make him mad." Colonel Flint smiled. On the next day, 24 July 1944, he died of his wounds.

https://9thinfantrydivision.net/a-a-a-o/


*********** Prepare yourselves, Baseball Hall of Fame…

I find it impossible to believe that Babe Ruth,  the son of a saloon keeper  in early 20th century Baltimore, a southern city in what was a slave state right up until the end of the Civil War, a kid who got into so much trouble and was so hard to handle that he was put into what amounted to a reform school - where he learned to play baseball - was what you’d call enlightened on matters of race.  That’s a gentle was of saying that by today’s standards, which is how we’re now supposed to judge anyone from the past, he would definitely be considered a racist.   I can already see the plaques and statues coming down.

*********** If you haven’t seen the parent from hell, this is it.   Caren Z. Turner, a New Jersey political activist,  Hillary fund raiser and  big shot with the Port Authority, the giant New York-New Jersey agency that manages the New York area’s bridges, tunnels, airports and harbors, tried pulling a “do you know who I am?” with a couple of New Jersey cops who’d pulled over a car that her daughter was riding in. 

She was insulting and demeaning, and I thank God that I wasn’t in those cops’ place because I know I wouldn’t have been able to deal with the situation with the calm professionalism they displayed.

By the way,  after the police officers’ chief notified the head of the Port Authority of her act, she’s now a former big shot there.

http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/04/forget_f-bomb_womans_name_cops_should_remember_these_names_savitsky_and_casper_editorial.html


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

I don’t think I have read a News You Can Use with so many references to Delaware.

I was at the Delaware vs Delaware State game in 2007. It was built up as a great Civil Rights moment because the two teams had never played each other. Coach Raymond was at the game. When a reporter asked him why Delaware and Delaware State had never played before (trying to bait him into a sound bite), he turned and looked up at the scoreboard.

The score was 44-0 Delaware.

I’m sorry to hear of Mrs. Nelson’s passing. I will let my father know of the date. He may make the trip from Lewes (pronounced Lewis), to pay his respects.

Tom Walls
Winnipeg, Manitoba

As a native of that area, of course I know that it’s "Lewis,” but it’s one of those names that only a native would know, and it’s a way to spot an outsider:  Reading (REDD-ing), Pennsylvania, Calais (CAL-iss) Maine, Puyallup (Pyew-OLL-up), Washington come to mind.

You and I both know - and Tubby did, too - that there were other reasons than the score, a Delaware romp,  but that was convenient for Tubby.  I’ll bet it was one game he didn’t want to play, for fear of the outside possibility of a loss, and its ramifications.  I’ll bypass the possibility of a race issue and just say that the chief objection to  putting Delaware State on the Delaware schedule was most likely that it might help Delaware State attain in-state recruiting parity.  Many states have been through this, in some cases requiring action by their legislatures to make a bigger state school schedule a smaller in-state cousin.  (That’s what it took to get West Virginia to play Marshall.)


*********** I really dislike the NFL, and I’ve considered “our” team, the Seattle Seahawks, to be the perfect illustration  of many of the reasons why.  Let’s see… there was motormouth (“He’s so articulate”) Richard Sherman, and there was Mister Take-a-Dump-in-the End-Zone, aka Doug Baldwin.  And then there was Michael Bennett; and Michael Bennett; and Michael Bennett.  And then there was Michael Bennett, the renowned author of “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable.”

But give the Seahawks credit for the draft pick that may actually give those of us who dislike  the NFL at least one tiny reason to pay it some attention.  What did they do?  They drafted Shaquem Griffin, twin brother of current Seahawk Shaquill Griffin.  Shaquem is a very good linebacker from Central Florida who’s now known far and wide as a young man who’s succeeded despite the lack of a hand, amputated when he was four.

And he seems like a good kid.  What a feel-good story.  There have to be people in the NFL office who are thanking God (if it’s okay to do that in the NFL offices) that fans finally have a better story to follow than Michael Sam  or Colin Kaepernick.


QUIZ ANSWER - As head coach at East Lansing, Michigan, High, Roy Kramer’s teams were 33-6-1 from 1960-1965.  After a highly successful high school career in which he posted a record of 58-14 along with two state titles, he was named head coach at Central Michigan in 1967.

In 12 years as head coach there, he was 83-32-2, and in 1974 he took the Chippewas to a Division II national title, beating Delaware 54-14.

The next year, Central Michigan moved up to Division I, joining the Mid-America Conference, but the move didn’t slow them down.  When he left after the 1977 season,  he’d posted a 25-7-1 3-year record.

Taking over as AD at Vanderbilt, he served there until 1990 when he was named commissioner of the Southeast Conference.

During his term as head of the SEC, the conference added Arkansas and South Carolina, and broke into divisions.

Roy Kramer was instrumental in the development of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), an attempt to determine a national champion by other means than polling short of a true playoff.

Roy Kramer’s book, “The Complete Book of the I Formation,” published in 1966 - just before he took over at Central - is on my list of classics.   He remained a solid I-formation, slant-five coach throughout most of his career at Central Michigan.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING ROY KRAMER:
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA (Yeah, I know Western Illinois’ rivals are supposed to be “directional” schools, but after our Sophomore year defeat by the Chips (Fall ’70), we dedicated ourselves to the beating Drake & the Chips…we took care of them 3 years in a row!)
MIKE FRAMKE, GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN (Go Broncos! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Michigan%E2%80%93Western_Michigan_football_rivalry)
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
RALPH BALDUCCI - PORTLAND, OREGON  (His book is THE book on the I formation.)

*************  Joe Gutilla, of Austin, Texas sent me a great article about Roy Kramer and his eloquent defense of our game.

http://footballscoop.com/news/man-shaped-modern-college-football-concerned-future/

************ QUIZ: In my opinion, he is one of the most underrated, underappreciated college coaches of all time.

He compiled a career  record of 154-90-2 as head coach at five different colleges.

A native of Cumberland, Maryland, he won a football scholarship to  Ohio State, but after he injured his knee  in practice prior to his sophomore season,  OSU coach Woody Hayes offered him a position on his coaching staff, a position he held until graduation.

He then spent 13 seasons coaching Ohio state high schools, 10 of them as a head coach. Overall, he was 82-12-3 as head coach at Salem, Sandusky and Massillon. After his Massillon teams had back-to-back 10-0 seasons in 1964 and 1965, Hayes offered him a permanent spot on his staff.

During his six years at Ohio State, the last five of them as offensive line coach, Ohio State won national titles in 1968 and 1970.

In his first college head coaching job, he took Tampa to a 10-2 record in 1972 and a spot in the Tangerine Bowl.

That led to the head job at Iowa State, always a tough place to win. Overall he was 36-32 in his six years  there, but in his final three seasons the Cyclones went 24-11 and went to two bowl games. 
He was Big Eight Coach of the Year in both 1976 and 1977.  His 1976 team was his best - it finished 8-3 and ranked 19th in the nation.  It averaged 439.6 yards of offense per game, and upset Number 9-ranked Nebraska, 37-28.  And it went uninvited to a bowl game.

He was chosen to succeed Hayes at Ohio State, and served as the Buckeyes’ head coach from 1979 through 1987. 
In his very first season he coached the Buckeyes to an 11-0 regular season and a spot in the Rose Bowl. He earned Big Ten and national Coach of the Year honors and only a one-point Rose Bowl loss to USC cost him a national title in his first season.  During his nine years in Columbus, his teams went 81-26-1 and won four Big Ten championships. He took the Buckeyes to eight bowl games, including two Rose Bowls. 

He was 5-4 against Michigan, defeating the Wolverines in his last game as the Ohio State coach.

After Ohio State, he coached one season at Northern Iowa before taking over at Colorado State. In his four years there, he took the Rams to what was then their best year in history - a 9-4 season that included their first bowl game in 42 years,  a Freedom Bowl win over Oregon.

Assistants from his staffs who went on to considerable success of their own include Jim Tressel, Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, Mark Dantonio and Pete Carroll.

He is a member of the Iowa State Athletics Hall of Fame, the Ohio State University Sports Hall of Fame, and the College Football Hall of Fame.

He died on April 20 of this year  at the age of 87.


american flagFRIDAY,  APRIL 27,  2018 “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.” Daniel J. Boorstin

*********** The jury has decided. Bill Cosby is guilty.

I feel very bad about it.  We “grew up together”- in  parallel universes.  I grew up in the all-white section of a part of Philly called Germantown, he in the all-black section.  There was no overlap.  Not until high school,  by which time he was going to Germantown High, an integrated public school, and I was going to Germantown Academy, an all-white private school.  We were pretty good in football; Germantown High was pretty bad.  But Bill Cosby was a very good football player, and I knew about him.  My brother had gone to Germantown High, and he went to their games, and  he’d tell me about this “Cawsby” (pronounced like “Crosby” without the “r.” - that’s Phillytawk).

When Cosby would make a career of telling those stories about playing in the streets, he could just as easily have been talking about us.  I thought it was cool, and I took great pride and pleasure in telling my classes about our “shared” experiences.

Later, when he’d become something of an elder statesman and he spoke reprovingly of the conduct of so many young black males, I thought that finally we’d find the person who could say the things nobody else had the guts to say.  Finally, we’d have that “conversation” that everybody says we need but no one’s willing to engage in.

And then he crashed.  God, how it hurts to see it,  the downfall of a guy whom I admired, whose success I enjoyed vicariously. 


*********** Seems like we’re reading about more and more  WTFWHT (what was he thinking?) incidents.

The latest was last week, when a sports anchor at a San Francisco TV station was “allegedly” caught on video stealing a jacket belonging to the Golden State Warriors’ director of team security, who also serves as Stephen Curry’s personal bodyguard.

The guy, a former 49ers’ wide receiver, will almost certainly lose his long-held job at the station. For a lousy jacket.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/04/25/watch-security-video-shows-tv-personality-taking-jacket-belonging-to-warriors-official/   

*********** You’ll enjoy this article about a great coach named Larry Siemering. It was sent me by Charlie Wilson, of Crystal River, Florida, whom I regard as an expert on the evolution of the belly-T and the wishbone and the veer.

http://www.recordnet.com/article/20060731/Sports/607310323

At least according to the author of the clip below, Larry Siemering was the inventor of the Belly-T offense. And as the clip relates, it was the fortuitous meeting of his quarterback, Eddie LeBaron, and the coach of Georgia Tech, Bobby Dodd, that led to Tech adopting the offense and then refining it to the point where Tech was one of the greatest teams of the 1950s.  In this particular story, LeBaron tells about the 1950 College All-Star game, in which Dr. Eddie Anderson, coach of the All-Stars, planned to use the Belly-T against the defending NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles.

BELLY ARTICLE


The College All-Star game, was started in 1934 by a Chicago sports editor named Arch Ward, who is also credited with starting baseball’s All-Star game.  Played in mid-summer as NFL teams were starting their camps, it pitted the defending NFL champions against a group of the best graduating college seniors, and for its first 25 years the series was relatively competitive - 15-8-2 in favor of the pros.

In the 1950 game, the Eagles, two-time NFL champions, fell to the All-Stars, 17-7. The attendance, at Soldier Field, was 88,885.  The All-Stars’ win cut the NFL’s edge in games to 9-6-2.

But it was something of a high-water mark for the college guys, because  in the next 25 meetings, they would win only three times.

As salaries increased, NFL teams - and agents - grew increasingly reluctant to let their players risk injury in the game.  And, too, there were issues with the defending champions having to start their camp earlier than other teams.

The 1974 game wasn’t played because NFL players were on strike, and with the World Football League (WFL) having signed a number of players, NFL teams were unwilling to spare any of their college signees to play in the game.

The final College All-Star game was played in 1976, and was called because of rain with 1:32 left in the third quarter with the Steelers winning, 24-0

The 1950 loss to the College All-Stars was a bad omen for the Eagles.  The NFL had just “merged” with the AAFC, and when the defending NFL champions  opened the 1950 season against the AAFC champion Cleveland Browns, the Browns thumped the Eagles, 35-10.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-top-ten/09000d5d8111b87e/Great-upset-in-first-game-of-1950

*********** I had a great talk with Mike Lude on Thursday, and although he is easily the most positive man I’ve ever known, he was a bit set back by two losses in the past week of people who were very important to him.

Shirley Nelson died on the same day as Mrs. Bush.  Mrs. Nelson was 97.  She was the widow of Dave Nelson, known far and wide as the inventor and developer of the Wing-T offense.  Mike Lude was, if you pardon the expression, Dave Nelson’s wing man. He played for Nelson at Hillsdale College, and assisted him at Maine and at Delaware, before leaving to take the head coaching job at Colorado State.  Needless to say, Mrs. Nelson and Mike’s late wife, Rena, were close.

There will be a memorial service in Newark, Delaware on July 21, and Mike will deliver the eulogy.

And just this past Sunday, Mike received a phone call from an old friend, Mrs. Bessie Lavan,  informing him that her husband, Al Lavan, had died. I could tell talking to Mike that this hurt.  He’d spoken to me numerous times about Al, and how proud he was of him.  He was like a son to Mike.

When Mike was coaching at Colorado State, he’d developed something of a pipeline to New Jersey, where he’d recruited successfully when he was at Delaware,  and he’d become quite close with a principal at a high school in inner-city Newark.  This principal told Mike of a young man at his school whose father had sent him north to play football his senior year (to give you an idea of how things have changed since then, the kid’s father thought he’d have a better chance of being seen if he left Florida).  The kid was a real prospect,  and the principal didn’t want him going anyplace but with Mike.

And that’s how he got Al Lavan.

Al played freshman ball, then started three years at defensive back for Mike.

It wasn’t all easy. On at least one occasion, Mike had to talk him out of going back to New Jersey, back to - who knows what?

But he stayed. After graduation, he played five years in the NFL before suffering a career-ending injury.

And then he got into coaching, starting at Colorado State.  Mike recalled the day Al asked if he could take Mike and Rena to lunch where they could meet his fiancee,  Bessie.  Mike offered to pay, but Al insisted.  What Al was doing, Mike quickly figured out, was giving Bessie the chance to talk to Rena about the life of a coach’s wife.

It must have been  heck of a talk.

Al’s career took him from Colorado State in 1972 to Delaware State in 2010.

After stops at Iowa State, Georgia Tech and Stanford, he was hired in 1980 to coach the Cowboys’ running backs.  He stayed with the Cowboys until 1988, when Tom Landry and his entire staff were let go.

After the Cowboys, he coached with the 49ers, Redskins, Ravens and Chiefs, putting in an even 20 years in the NFL. In that time, he coached such running backs as Tony Dorsett, Herschel Walker, Bam Morris, Earnest Byner, Leroy Hoard, Priest Holmes and Napoleon Kaufman.

He assisted at Eastern Michigan from 2001 through 2003, serving briefly as interim head coach when the head coach was fired, and in 2004 he was finally hired as a head coach  - at Delaware State, a historically black school with a long and pathetic football history. (In 1980, I watched Portland State beat them, 105-0.)

In 2007, his team went 10-2 and  won the school’s first conference title in 16 years. That meant Delaware State’s first-ever playoff appearance, and, coincidentally, its first-ever meeting with the University of Delaware. Delaware won, but the game drew 19,765 fans, the largest playoff crowd in Delaware Stadium history.

He must have spoiled the Delaware State folks, because after a 3-8 season in 2010, he was fired.  His overall record was 41-37.

They haven’t seen his likes since.

And whatever Rena Lude told Bessie Lavan, it must have been good advice. 

https://www.delawareonline.com/story/sports/2018/04/24/ex-delstate-football-coach-al-lavan-dies/547370002/

https://delawarestatenews.net/sports/dsu-mourns-passing-of-former-head-football-coach-al-lavan/

https://hbcusports.com/2018/04/24/delaware-state-mourns-the-death-of-al-lavan-former-head-football-coach/

*********** I recalled Mike Lude telling me how he and Don James would plan their out-of-league schedules when Mike was AD at Washington and Don James was his head coach, and I asked him again to make sure. He said their goal, outside the complete round-robin Pac-10 schedule,  was to schedule (1) "somebody fairly tough: (2) "Somebody you could sleepwalk through and still win; (3) "Somebody you can beat."

*********** Washington state libs are practically peeing their pants with excitement after passage of the so-called Breakfast After the Bell bill. 

What it means is that if a kid comes to school late, school personnel are supposed to ask if he’s eaten yet, and if he says, “No,” they’re now required to feed him first,  before sending him to class.

Said my Governor, some tool named Jay Inslee,  “If you’re going to fill a child’s head, first thing, you can’t have an empty tummy.”  (See why I called him a tool? Read that statement carefully.  It sounds as if he's saying that I, the teacher, need to make sure to eat my breakfast.)

Now here’s my issue.

By now, everybody knows about the "same-sex couple" from Washington (by way of Oregon and Minnesota) who drove their car off a cliff in California, killing them and their six adopted kids.

Tracing events backward, it appears that a possible reason why the “couple” picked up abruptly and headed south was their concern that the Washington state welfare people were closing in on them over a matter of suspected child abuse. Neighbors, it turns out, had reported  to authorities that the pair’s adopted kids were coming  over to their places at all hours and asking for food. 

So evidently not feeding your kids is a form of abuse.   Makes sense to me.  How is failure to feed your kids not child abuse???  

But wait - what about these lazy asses who expect the schools (taxpayers) to feed their kids?

They’re too poor to feed their kids, we're told.  Yeah, right. But I almost guarantee they smoke and  they’ve got cell phones. And they eat fast food at least once a week. 

Now, to rub it in our faces,  they not only don’t feed their kids breakfast, but they’re too f—king lazy to get up and send them off to school in time to suck on the government teat at the same time as everybody else.

I went to elementary school with a lot of kids from the Lutheran Home for Orphans, an orphanage originally established to care for kids left fatherless by the Civil War.  They were well-fed and well-clothed. They behaved as well as anyone else, and they did their schoolwork as well as anyone else.   They had people who looked out for them and held them accountable for what they did and didn't do.   Not in any way were they stigmatized. Tell me today's free breakfast kids - and our society - wouldn't be better off if they were in orphanages. They'd get to school on time - and they'd already have had breakfast.  Tummies full, and ready to have their heads filled, eh Guv?


https://www.accessgenealogy.com/pennsylvania/lutheran-orphans-home-asylum.htm

gay mickey hat                                                            





“As part of an exclusive in-park release out in time for Pride month, the “Mickey Mouse Rainbow Love ears includes rainbow-striped ears and red cap, with a pair of interlocking Mickey hands embroidered in the shape of a heart and colored in like a rainbow.”


http://www.newnownext.com/mickey-mouse-rainbow-pride-gay-ears-disney/04/2018/




*********** “The pro game is amazingly clean. Probably one of the reasons it is so clean is because we play everybody in our division twice.  You realize that you will have to play this team again, and if you play dirty in the first game, then you know you’ve got to play them in another game.” Bill Glass, former All-Pro defensive lineman.

*********** No more “curls for the girls”  in Knoxville.  Tennessee’s new strength coach has removed the mirrors from the Vols’ weight room.
“We don’t need our guys looking at themselves," he said. "We need them training.”

Well.  First of all, nobody wants to promote narcissism.  No argument from me there.

Second of all, I’m not an expert on strength training, and he is.

BUT…

Maybe I’m talking only about high school kids,  but I know what motivates them. And I know damn well that one of the things that hooks a kid on lifting - that convinces him that it’s all worthwhile and it’s producing results - is the first time he starts to see results with his own eyes.  In strength training, as with so many other things in life, seeing is believing. 

Kids aren’t very good at deferring gratification, and telling them that working their asses off now is going to make them better football players seven months from now isn’t enough to keep most kids fired up.  On the other hand, though, looking at themselves in the mirror and seeing what are starting to look like  triceps and deltoids - and, yes, biceps (for the girls) - can provide the more immediate payback that keeps them working.

http://sports.usatoday.com/2018/04/25/tennessee-football-strength-coach-doesnt-want-vols-admiring-themselves-so-weight-room-mirrors-gone/

*********** The Canada van killer was said to be angry with women. Why?  Well, he referred to himself - and others like him - as “incels.” That’s short, evidently, for “Involuntary celibacy,”  - i.e., you want it but you ain’t gettin’ it.  Count on it - some drug company will call it “IC” and tout a cure for it.  We used to just call it Lackanookie.

*********** After reading about all these “devastating,” “unstoppable,” “lethal” new offensive concepts that various guys have written about on one or another of the big-time sites, how many of you check them out on maxpreps?  Isn't it amazing how often you find out they were 3-7 last year?

*********** The insanity continues…

Yawkey Way will soon become Jersey Street.

Yawkey Way, a short street outside Boston’s Fenway Park, was named in 1977 in honor of the late Tom Yawkey, who owned the Red Sox from 1933 to 1976.

Mr. Yawkey was a very wealthy man, and  whe he died he left a lot of money to charitable causes.  Over the years generations of Bostonians have benefitted from his generosity.

But, see,  Mr. Yawkey was a South Carolinian…  and the Red Sox didn’t have a black player until 1959, well after baseball had been integrated, so… he must have been a racist.

So the name change is  part of the team’s “mission,” it says, to “reinforce that Fenway Park is inclusive and welcoming to all.”

There’s that damn word “inclusive” again.  That seems to be the "in" word now that so many of us have had our fill of “diversity.”

Anyhow, down with the street signs!  Down with any statues!  Erase his name from the record books!  Purge the libraries of anything containing his name!

I'm just waiting for someone in Boston to discover that Paul Revere was opposed to gay marriage. (Please help me spread that rumor.)

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/yawkey-way-outside-fenway-park-changed-over-racist-past/ar-AAwn8lg?li=BBnb7Kz

QUIZ ANSWER - In high school in Los Angeles, Hugh McElhenny set state records in the high and low hurdles and the broad jump.  In his one year at Compton Junior College, they went undefeated and  won the Junior Rose Bowl title.

He went on to the University of Washington - the recruiting was so dirty on the West Coast at the time that it was said, only half-jokingly, that he followed a trail of $100 bills to Seattle.

At Washington he was everything they thought he’d be.  Against Washington State, he rushed for 296 yards, a record that would stand for more than 60 years, and scored five touchdowns.

In his junior year, returned a punt for 100 yards against USC, and against Oregon, to show his versatility, he was nine-for-nine on PATs in a 63-6 drubbing of the Ducks.

He led the Huskies in rushing all three years, and when he left, he’d established 16 school records.

He was a first-round draft choice of the 49ers, and on his first play from scrimmage he went 40 yards for a touchdown.  To some, he was “Hurryin’ Hugh,” but to the 49ers he was “The King,” a title given him by quarterback Frankie Albert.

With Y.A, Tittle, Joe Perry and John Henry Johnson, he was a part of the 49ers’ “Million Dollar backfield.”

In 1961, he was picked up in the expansion draft by the brand-new Vikings, and led the team in rushing.

Traded to the Giants, he finally played in an NFL championship game. It was 1963, and the Giants, quarterbacked by his old 49ers’ teammate Y.A. Tittle, lost to the Bears.

He made it to six Pro Bowls - five times with the 49ers and once with the Vikings.

In his 13 years with the 49ers, Vikings, Giants and Lions, he gained 11,375 all-purpose yards.  At the time of is retirement, he was one of only three players in NFL history to have gone over 11,000 yards.

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

Hugh McIlhenny is said to be a kin to the McIlhenny family of Avery Island, Louisiana, which produces Tabasco Sauce.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING HUGH MCELHENNY

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK,  LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH,  NORTH CAROLINA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
JOSH COLE - ODESSA, NEW YORK
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MICK YANKE - COKATO, MINNESOTA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, MINNESOTA
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS


QUIZ - As head coach at East Lansing, Michigan High
from 1960-1965, his teams were 33-6-1.  After a highly successful high school career in which he posted a record of 58-14 along with two state titles, he was named head coach at Central Michigan in 1967.

In 12 years as head coach there, he was 83-32-2, and in 1974 he took the Chippewas to a Division II national title, beating Delaware 54-14.

The next year, Central Michigan moved up to Division I, joining the Mid-America Conference, but the move didn’t slow them down in the slightest.  When he left after the 1977 season,  he’d posted a 25-7-1 3-year Division I record.

Taking over as AD at Vanderbilt, he served there until 1990 when he was named commissioner of the Southeast Conference.

During his term as head of the SEC, the conference added Arkansas and South Carolina, and broke into divisions.

And he was instrumental in the development of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), the first attempt to determine an FBS national champion by other means than polling.

His book, “The Complete Book of the I Formation,” published in 1966 - just before he took over at Central - is on my list of classics.   He remained a solid I-formation, slant-five coach throughout most of his career at Central Michigan.



american flagTUESDAY,  APRIL 24,  2018 “You have to recognize that no player is so important that you can't live without him.” Bo Schembechler

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

I am watching the "required" USA Football training for all coaches that expect to coach youth football this year.  Although some of the items are spot on, USA Football is teaching some things that are just not correct or appropriate for the youth level.  I was very surprised that blocking is now expected to be performed using the "long arm" approach and grabbing your opponent as the effective blocking technique.  It is very surprising that there was no training for the shoulder block in this video.  I guess this is "old school" and should never be taught in the future?  Some of the long winded explanation that was used to train a youth coach is just a total waste of time.  I am not saying everything was incorrect, but the information is just not what a youth football coach needs.  Bridge Blocking, S.P.R.R.A.T, and B.L.A.S.T.; coaches will need an encyclopedia to keep up with all the verbiage that is being used in the name of youth football.  What happened to the old verbiage of Lombardi that football is about the team that blocks and tackles the best?  USA Football taking football in the wrong direction with the convoluted required training, all in the name of safer football.  I am not convinced this is the direction we should be going for safer football.  I would be very interested to hear from other coaches that are being educated with the USA Football videos.  

Ken Hampton
Raleigh, North Carolina    

Coach,

I confess to being biased. I despise USA Football, partly because they ripped off my work and sell it as their own, but mainly because they are poseurs - they pose as the “governing body of American football,” with no more right to that claim than the fact that they decided to call themselves that.  They are self-anointed.  

And then, armed with NFL funding to the extent that they really are a de facto arm of Big Football, they have pressured youth organizations and coaches to do things their way.

Remember the push for “Heads Up Tackling?”  It was so essential to your coaching that you couldn’t be “certified to coach in your state unless you took their course.

Funny thing - “Heads Up Tackling” once stood in the way of anyone wanting to coach  (“Moms, make sure your little boy’s coach is Heads-Up certified”) but now you can forget everything they once insisted that you had to learn. “Heads Up Tackling,” evidently, is now as dead as the dodo.

They still call their whole program “Heads Up Football, but the “Heads Up Tackling” itself is gone, replaced with something they call “shoulder tackling, “ or “roll tackling,” or, if you will, “Hawk Tackling” (because it seemed to originate with someone convincing Pete Carroll that rugby - a sport we broke away from more than 100 years ago, had the answer to our problems all this time.)

They tell us that it’s “rugby based.” Rugby tackling, we’re expected to believe, is effective and safe. No concussions in rugby.  Right.

It’s important to understand that there are some significant differences  between football and rugby in what’s required of tackling.   (1) In rugby, there is no line to gain.  That’s an essential difference in our sports. While football is a game of inches, as the cliche goes, rugby is not.  If the man is down, he’s down, and unless we’re talking about a score, in which he has to actually touch the ball down in “touch” (the end zone), it’s not terribly important where he’s down one way or the other. In football, the low tackle doesn’t stop a man’s forward progress, and the quality of a tackle is often the difference between a first down and fourth-and-short. (2) In rugby,when the man is down, the tackler is required to get off immediately so play can resume; (3) there is no gang tackling in rugby.  Essentially, you can’t tackle a man who’s already being tackled; (4) High tackling, defined as contact above the “line of the shoulders,” is forbidden in rugby.  A first offense calls for a yellow card and a second call for a red card, and ejection.  But how does a tackler avoid a foul when the runner lowers his head? Evidently officials, in their zeal to make the game safer, have been erring on the side of caution whenever there is any question, so teams have been making a conscious effort to lower their targets.

I watch the videos of the stuff they’re teaching and, frankly, I see our game regressing - I see a lot of weaker tackles and a lot of “heads down,”  with the possibility of accidental contact with a runner’s knee.

“Heads down" obviously increases the risk of catastrophic spinal injury. In addition, since at its base it’s arm tackling, I predict missed tackles with defenders lying on the ground like so much dead wood - and more shoulder injuries.

I, too, would be interested in others’ experiences. 


https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/jan/06/world-rugby-new-tackle-laws-what-are-they

***********  Beginning next semester, the Penn State Outing Club will no longer be going on outings.  No more  outdoor, student-led trips.

The university’s offices of Student Affairs and Risk Management has determined  that the hiking, canoeing, kayaking, trail building and camping activities that the club has long sponsored are just too dangerous.
 
“Student safety in any activity is our primary focus,” said Lisa Powers, a Penn State University spokeswoman, in an email responding to questions from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The paper forgot to ask her if that also included  football.  Or, this being Penn State, fraternity initiations.

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2018/04/18/Penn-state-university-ends-Outing-Club-trips/stories/201804180168

*********** Charlie Wilson of Crystal River, Florida sent me a  link to an old story in the San Diego Union in which the Steelers’ Santonio Holmes attributes his speed to having chased rabbits as a kid in Belle Glade, Florida. 

There may be something to it.  Two towns in the Everglades - Belle Glade and Pahokee - are known for the black muck soil in which the main crop is sugar cane;  for their poverty and crime; and for the great number of football players who come out of the area.

A book named “Muck City,” by Bryan Mealer, may or may not be an accurate portrayal of Belle Glade, but it’s a good read.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-1s30super23348-steelers-holmes-traces-speed-humble-2009jan30-htmlstory.html


*********** The NFL has to be nuts.  Not only did the The League not take any action to put an end to national anthem protests,  it practically guaranteed that there will be more of them, with the announcement that it would be spending $90 million over the next seven years on assorted “social justice” causes.

"Social justice may mean different things to different people and organizations," according to Anna Isaacson, the league's vice-president for social responsibility (can you believe that title?) "The NFL's work will encompass programs and initiatives that reduce barriers to opportunity, with a priority on supporting improvements in education, community/police relations and our criminal justice system. Additional focus areas include poverty, racial equality and workforce development."

Wow,  Just the sort of thing  to pack ‘em into the stands.  Just the way to respond to the people who are sick to death of what The League has come to represent.

Never having made an extortion payment myself, I can’t say from experience how it works, but I always thought that the idea behind it was to pay someone to get them to stop doing something that bothered you or threatened you.  Yet here the NFL has committed tens of millions of dollars  to organizations and causes that don’t necessarily line up with what large numbers of its followers consider to be their idea of a better America - and it hasn’t asked for a thing in return from its players.

It’s really hard for me to imagine a business plan in which money is made by posing as a patriotic organization to sell a product to patriotic Americans,  then the money earned that way is spent to promote causes that alienate many of those patriotic Americans.

Enough said, other than that it’s going to be very difficult to support a league that seems so bent on undermining our country.

http://www.breitbart.com/sports/2017/12/05/roger-goodell-defends-nfls-90-million-social-justice-payout-anthem-protesters/

 
*********** Evidently, Marcellus Bennett is just as well-educated as his social justice warrior brother, Michael.

Marcellus’ aptitude, though, seems to lie in the area of mathematics and statistics.

Without that strong background,  where else would he come up with this: "I want to say about 89% (of the NFL used marijuana).”

WTF???  89 per cent???
 
https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2018/04/20/former-nba-nfl-athletes-estimate-marijuana-use-players-high/536254002/
 


*********** TAKEAWAY FROM SPRING “GAMES” -  What a joke.  I watched the Pac12 Network for the two hours it allotted to Washington for its “game” and they still hadn’t played a down by the time we had to switch to the next “game.”

Most places, when they do deign to play a “game,”  have some stupid-ass offense vs defense farce. You want to find a way to kill people’s interest in football?  Look no further.

The formats vary, but there’s one thing all the teams have in common: evidently, the new, rules-compliant knee-pads-covering -the-knees pants haven’t arrived yet.  Teams were supposed to wear them last year, but in deference to the fact that they had already purchased their uniforms before the rule was passed, they were given a year to comply.

But I’ve been seeing an awful lot of guys who are going to have to get used to wearing their pants over their knees come fall. Why, I wondered,  wouldn’t they start getting used to them in the spring?

Unless… unless… unless come fall, schools will be asking for waivers so their players can continue to wear their bicycle shorts.

*********** It’s always fun to see what a good writer can do with our language.

I came across a book review by one John Nagl, who’s the headmaster (there’s a term that Political Correctness has been doing away with, what with the sexism it implies, not to mention the unintended reference to slavery) of the Haverford School, an elite private day school in suburban Philadelphia.

He got my attention with his first sentence: “The most important book I ever read as a student at West Point was a weighty tome titled “Makers of Modern Strategy.”

He was reviewing a book by John Lewis Gaddis, a professor of history at Yale, titled “On Grand Strategy,” and he described it as:

“a long walk with a single, delightful mind.”

*********** In the days of Jim Crow, the complicated system of laws and customs in the post-Reconstruction South designed as constant reminders to blacks that they occupied a station in life below that of below whites, one subtle feature was the use of courtesy titles, or honorifics. 

A white man was commonly addressed as “Mister Jones,” while a white woman was “Miss” or “Mrs.” Jones.

The black person, though, was accorded no such courtesy.  A black man, regardless of his profession or level of educational attainment, was addressed by his first name only, without benefit of the “Mister.”

And, regardless of his age, there was a good chance he might be referred to as a “boy.”

This is not meant to pick scabs, or to denounce the people of the South, black and white, whose lives were guided by the laws that enforced those practices.  Those days are gone, and good riddance.

Coming of age during the days of the Civil Rights movement, I became well aware of the sensitivity among black people to the use - or non-use - of courtesy titles. It certainly seemed that the black businessmen I dealt with were especially careful to address one another with the use of “Mister.”  And many a young black man considered it fighting words when someone would refer to him as a “boy.”

There was a time, as the legal barriers to blacks’ equal role in our society began to fall, when I thought that we were headed toward a better society -  one in which blacks and whites could respect each others’ differences and appreciate our similarities  as we learned to live together in harmony.  Instead, we’ve created a coarse tribal culture that ignores the ways in which we can live together in its search for grievances and ways to demonize others.

One example of this coarsening is the way the major news media in the United States have clearly agreed to dispense with courtesy titles.  To ensure that writing styles don’t vary widely from one reporter to another, they employ what they call “stylebooks,”  which dictate how they will punctuate, capitalize and spell - and refer to people.

So it’s never “President Trump.”  Just “Trump.” (Or “Obama.”)  And with the titles of Presidents, Governors, Generals and clergy all stripped away,  “Mister” and “Mrs” are out of the question. 

Which is how, in a story about the funeral of Mrs. Barbara Bush, the 92-year-old wife of one President and mother of another,  she’s referred to as “Bush.” Talk about coarse.  Talk about disrespectful.  I mean, come on - is there anyone reading this who, when she was alive, would have been introduced to Mrs. Bush and would have been so churlish as to say, “Nice to meet you, Bush?”

I taught history in high school, and I can't imagine myself ever referring to Rosa Parks as "Parks." It would deeply offend me to see her referred to that way. To me, she could never be anything other than "Mrs. Parks."

Call me old-fashioned, but I still bristle at unearned familiarity.  There was a better time, I assure you - a time, not so long ago, when the right to address people by their first name had to be granted. You’d ask, “Do you mind if I call you Frank?”  Or, perhaps they’d anticipate your request, and say, “Please call me Frank.”

It still bothers me when a 20-year-old receptionist I’ve never seen before lets me - and the whole waiting room - know that the doctor is ready for me by calling out, “Hugh?” 

What does a little thing like a courtesy title have to do with disharmony in our society?  A lot, I think.  I think that when we no longer feel the need to use a simple means of addressing someone,  we show that person that we don’t think he’s worth even the little effort that entails.

Once we dispense with those small signs of respect, we start down the slope to open disrespect and vulgar insult.

Once we strip away the courtesy, we take one giant step closer to fighting words.


THIS IS FROM 15 YEARS AGO… AND I AIN’T CHANGED A BIT

************ Coach what is your policy on players missing practice? For off-season work-outs? Spring practice? Summer practice? Regular season practices? Thanks

I expect players to be at off-season workouts if they're not playing another sport. I make sure that players know that I have a long memory even if they don't, and that if it comes down to two guys who are fairly even, I will always play the one I know I can count on.

I will cut a little slack for younger kids, but never for a senior. I won't tolerate a senior who skips. I expect seniors to be leaders, and if a senior starts playing games,  I get rid of his ass. All that guy is doing is showing younger kids the wrong way to do things, and then you'll have to deal with those younger kids when they become seniors.

One thing I have found that has really worked great for me is that in the three weeks prior to the start of practice, we open the gym mornings and evenings, five days a week plus Saturday mornings, to conduct a circuit workout followed by sprints. That's a total of 33 times we have to have the gym/weight room open.

Over the course of those three weeks, every player is required to complete nine circuits before he will be issued a helmet. Players are limited to one workout a day. They are made to understand that this pre-season conditioning is a safety precaution;  this is how we have been able to justify it to school administrators.

Each circuit consists of 30+ stations - weights, jump rope, medicine ball, arm hangs, neck work, hitting a heavy bag, rowing, etc - each lasting 30 seconds. We allow 30 seconds recovery. Where numbers require, we work with partners and switch over quickly. At stations where weights are involved, the weights are relatively light, because the emphasis is on continuous rapid body movement. The whole workout lasts about 45 minutes to an hour, but by the time they’re finished, it’s hot as hell and they are whipped. Then we go out and sprint, starting at 10-50's.

Each day, we add another station and another 50. Every week we add five seconds to the length of a station. Only the really stupid guys can't figure out that it pays to get their workouts done early.

We make up a card for each player and punch it each time he completes a workout. When he gets nine punches, he’s ready to go.
If players wish to challenge us on the mandatory nature, they can still do their circuits once practice starts, and at that point they will do two a day. Anyone else who still doesn't have all his circuits done by the time practice starts will do them also. No one skates.
I’ll be honest and tell you that it is a real test for a newcomer of whether he really wants to play football or whether he would have just been a tourist.

Once we officially start, every practice is mandatory, and every absence must be pre-excused - the player (not a surrogate) must personally notify a coach - and only for a family emergency. My policy has always been, miss a practice, miss a game... miss a second practice, miss two games... miss a third practice, adios. An emergency is something sudden and unexpected. If a kid misses a practice because he has to serve detention or make up work or go to court, it is considered unexcused and he misses a game. Simple as that.

I think the trick is making absolutely certain that everyone understands these rules.

Also, I’m old enough to know that I can survive the loss of any player who doesn't want to go along. (See today’s quote!)

I think every coach could be a better coach if he lived by the guidelines espoused by a great Illinois high school coach: "No player is more important than the team... no coach is more important than the staff... no game is more important than the season... no season is more important than the program."


*********** A friend is considering taking a job at a school that has been a chronic loser.

How bad is it?  Bad.  The school has won ONE game in the last SIX years.  That’s 1-53.

It’s too easy to dismiss it as “the coaching” - they’ve had five coaches in the last ten years.  But come on -  it’s can’t be that they’ve all been bad.

A major part of the problem is that because the school is well-known as a loser, kids don’t want to be a part of the football program.  It’s in a multi-school, open-enrollment district, so middle school kids routinely opt to go elsewhere for high school.

My friend is smart enough to know that it’s going to take something drastic for him to be successful where so many others have failed, so something drastic is exactly what he has suggested.

He’s suggested that the school consider playing a weaker schedule - maybe an independent one, maybe even a JV schedule - for a year or two.

I agree.  Trying to get kids - the ones who somehow haven’t bailed - to get better when they’re being crushed every week  is like trying to change a tire on a car when it’s going down the freeway at 75.

I know there will be people who, sounding like fool sportswriters, will say something about the importance of teaching kids to face challenges when things get tough.  Maybe they’ll even pull out that old chestnut: “if you’re going to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.”

Look - when you’re 1-53 over six seasons,  you’re not even on the same planet as “being the best.”  You’re fighting to keeping football alive, and the only way you’re going to do that is by giving kids the experience of working hard and preparing for a fight - a fight that they have a chance to win.  That’s the American way.  At this stage of the game, trying to “beat the best” is like making them climb out of their trenches and charge across no-man’s land into machine gun fire. (I reference the classic Australian movie “Gallipoli.”)

Time to bring up Bill Snyder. Anyone who understands coaching and appreciates a turnaround has to respect what he’s done at Kansas State.  Barry Switzer  once said that Bill Snyder wasn’t just the coach of the year or even the coach of the decade - he was the coach of the century!

I happen to agree.

In the three years prior to Bill Snyder’s taking over at K-State in 1989, the Wildcats were 2-9, 0-10-1, and 0-11.  And that was pretty much the usual state of things.

In Coach Snyder’s first year in Manhattan, it was more of the same - the Cats went 1-10.

But then,  they started to get better - in the next three seasons, they went 5-6, 7-4 and 5-6, and after four years there, his Wildcats were 18-26.

And then, they took off.

In his fifth year - 1993 - they went 9-2-1.  They even made it to a bowl game -  Kansas State in a bowl game! And to top it off, they won the damn thing!

1994 was another 9-win season.  They went 9-3 and they made it to another bowl game. This time they lost, but no matter - Wildcat fans now had something to look forward to,  someplace to go watch their Cats play, at the end of the regular season. They were like the fans at the real football schools!

in 1995 they went 10-2 - their most wins ever - with another bowl game win.

In 1996 they went 9-3, and they would have won 10 games again if they hadn’t lost to BYU in  their bowl game.

In 1997, they went 11-1. They lost one conference game, to Nebraska, and they beat Syracuse in their bowl game.

In 1998, they were 11-0 going into the final game of the season.  In those pre-BCS, pre-Playoff days, that meant they had a shot at the national title.  But they lost to Texas A & M, 36-33, and then they lost to Purdue in the Alamo Bowl, 37-34, and they finished 11-2.

At the end of his first ten years, Bill Snyder had taken what was easily the worst team in college football, a chronic loser for decades, to a position of national prominence. His overall record at that point was 77-39-1, including a 3-3 record in bowl games.

So there’s no denying that Bill Snyder got it done.

But since it was almost 30 years ago when he started,  a lot of my readers may not be aware that at the time, Coach Snyder was derided for his soft out-of-season scheduling.

To start his seasons, he was playing Western Illinois, New Mexico State, Idaho State, Northern Illinois, Indiana State.  And that 18-26 record after four years? Well, it was padded by a 10-6 record against non-conference opponents. (Years before Coach Snyder arrived, K-State had scheduled a game in 1992 at Washington that they couldn’t get out of, and the result was a long trip to Seattle and a 56-3 loss.)

I certainly didn’t scoff at what Coach Snyder was doing. He was trying to teach a bunch of players how to win, and you can’t do that by scheduling strong out-of-conference opponents. At the same time, he was trying to create an environment that would be attractive to recruits and to fans, and he was astute enough to know that wins were wins - that wins over New Mexico State and Idaho State looked a whole lot better to recruits  (and to K-State fans) than a blowout loss to Washington.

Was his strategy a success?  Let’s look at what his scheduling strategy accomplished :

In his first four years, when the Wildcats were posting that 18-26 record, they were just 8-20 in the Big 8 Conference.  But in the early season, when they faced weaker out-of-conference opponents, they were 10-6.

In his first season at K-State, he went 1-10, and went 1-3 in the early season; but over the next nine seasons, he went 31-3 out-of-conference. And in years 5-6-7-8-9-10, when the K-State program began to hit its stride, he didn’t lose a single non-conference game.

His ten-year conference record wasn’t quite so spectacular -  just 42-33-1.  But as proof that his plan worked, in that great six-year run from year 5 through year 10,  he got stronger in the conference, never losing more than two conference games in a season.  By getting wins any way he could, he managed to build a program capable of recruiting players good enough to contend for the conference title.

Knute Rockne may have been the first to recognize that a major key to success as  a coach was the ability to control his schedule, and to take appropriate steps.  Over the years, very few coaches have been successful over a long period without that control.


*********** I would definitely call the guy in Nashville who disarmed the crazy-ass Waffle House shooter a hero.

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/crime/2018/04/22/waffle-house-shooting-hero-stopped-shooter/540061002/


*********** I came across the game program from the 1954 Pitt vs USC game, and as I’m inclined to do, I started researching some of the guys from both teams.

I found an article in a Pittsburgh  newspaper from 2013 about the death of Vince Scorsone, a 1954 Pitt sophomore lineman from McKeesport, Pennsylvania who had a long and successful career with Alcoa, retiring as executive Vice-President.  In an earlier talk with the writer, he had recalled the influence his high school coach had on his life:

Scorsone credited his high school football coach, the legendary “Duke” Weigle, for setting him on the right course.  “I ran into Coach Weigle the summer (1953) before I started at Pitt, and he asked me what I was going to major in at Pitt.  I told him physical education.  ‘I want to be a coach like you,’ I said.  And he wagged his head and said, ‘No, you don’t.  You major in business and you’ll do much better in life.’ In those days, you listened to your high school coach and I went out to Pitt the next day and changed my major.

“That exchange with Coach Weigle probably took all of 20 seconds,” said Scorsone, “but it changed my life.  I have always been grateful to him.”

https://pittsburghsportsdailybulletin.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/jim-obrien-vince-scorsone-came-out-of-mckeesport-to-be-a-big-success-in-sports-and-business/

***********  Hugh,

Without a shadow of a doubt had I not had my wife Bernadette in my life I wouldn't be where I am today.  She's my rock. 

Before yesterday I have always been proud to be a Fresno State alum.  Today I'm ashamed to say I am an alum of Fresno State, and will stay ashamed if they don't fire that big mouth "professor" who spewed that vitriol about Barbara Bush.  I will be proud to be an alum again when they fire her.

Speaking of Fresno State...Marshawn Lynch was a surprise guest at the Bulldogs spring game.  He played for current FSU coach Jeff Tedford when Tedford was the head coach at Cal.

Vince Kehres put in the work, and inherited the dynasty his father Larry built at Mount Union.  It appears the dynasty at "The Mount"  remains in good hands.

Speaking of Division III football...Pete Fredenburg, the longtime successful head coach at Mary Hardin Baylor, has been suspended by the school for the first three games of the 2018 season for "serious" NCAA rules violations.  The "Cru" as they are known around these parts have become a major challenger to Mount Union and Wisconsin Whitewater the last few years.  UMHB likely has the best stadium of any Division III school (or Division II for that matter) in the country.

https://www.google.com/search?q=umhb+football+stadium&safe=strict&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwissdPUrMnaAhWs64MKHdHsBHMQsAQIJQ&biw=1440&bih=855

I agree that we throw the word "hero" around pretty loosely these days.  But the fact remains that the woman who piloted that Southwest plane to safety HAS been a hero.  She was a military pilot.  Makes her a hero in my book.

My teams always huddled, and they always took their sweet time breaking the huddle and getting to the LOS.  Had to, especially when 8 of them played both ways, every down, and never came off the field.  Had to find a way to get them to catch their breath at some point.  Now...if I had a team where numbers were not a factor...I would do pretty much whatever the h*** I wanted to do.

Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** QUIZ ANSWER: In high school, Russ Grimm was a quarterback.  But in Pro Football, he was a “Hog.”

He came from a small town in rural Western Pennsylvania.

He won nine letters in high school. In football, he was the star quarterback and middle linebacker.  And he punted. 

At Pitt, he started out as a linebacker but was switched to the offensive line.  He played on one of the most talented teams in college football history:  at least 13 of its members played in the NFL, and three of them - including him - are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

A small town boy? On draft day, he was fishing and didn’t learn until his return home that he’d been drafted third by the Redskins.

He arrived in Washington at the same time as head coach Joe Gibbs, and as one of the original “Hogs,” he played 11 years for the ’Skins, making it to four Pro Bowls and being named First Team All-Pro flour times. 

He was named to the 1980’s NFL Team of the Decade, and in 2010 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

He went into coaching after retirement, and established himself as an outstanding offensive line coach.  In 2007, as Steelers’ offensive line coach, he was rumored to be the choice to succeed Bill Cowher as head coach of the Steelers but the job went instead to Mike Tomlin.

Russ Grimm has four Super Bowl rings - three as a player and one as a coach.

In his 2005 memoir,  Redskins’ teammate and fellow Hog Mark May recalled a Christmas party at his house in 1982: "I iced down a keg of beer and stationed it on the landing between the first floor and basement.  Russ turned the landing into his headquarters for the evening. He grabbed a chair and a Hog shot glass (a 60-ounce pitcher) and parked his butt on the landing next to the keg. Except for an occasional trip to the bathroom, we didn't see Russ on the first level all night..."

In his 2010 Hall of Fame speech, he said he was “proud” to be “from a small town in western Pennsylvania.”
“It’s a special part of the country…where the knowledge and the support for the game of football is unmatched.  They fill the stadiums on Friday night, Saturday afternoons and Sundays. You created an excitement that growing up as a young man I wanted to be a part of. Thank you very much.”

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING RUSS GRIMM:
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
JOSH COLE - ODESSA, NEW YORK
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

QUIZ - In high school in Los Angeles, he set state records in the high and low hurdles and the broad jump.  In his one year at Compton Junior College, they went undefeated and  won the Junior Rose Bowl title.

He went on to the University of Washington - the recruiting was so dirty on the West Coast at the time that it was said, only half-jokingly, that he followed a trail of $100 bills to Seattle.

At Washington he was everything they thought he’d be.  Against Washington State, he rushed for 296 yards, a record that would stand for more than 60 years, and scored five touchdowns.

In his junior year, returned a punt for 100 yards against USC, and against Oregon, to show his versatility, he was nine-for-nine on PATs in a 63-6 drubbing of the Ducks.

He led the Huskies in rushing all three years, and when he left, he’d established 16 school records.

He was a first-round draft choice of the 49ers, and on his first play from scrimmage he went 40 yards for a touchdown.  To some, he was “Hurryin’ Hugh,” but to the 49ers he was “The King,” a title given him by quarterback Frankie Albert.

With Y.A, Tittle, Joe Perry and John Henry Johnson, he was a part of the 49ers’ “Million Dollar backfield.”

In 1961, he was picked up in the expansion draft by the brand-new Vikings, and led the team in rushing.

Traded to the Giants, he finally played in an NFL championship game. It was 1963, and the Giants, quarterbacked by his old 49ers’ teammate Y.A. Tittle, lost to the Bears.

He made it to six Pro Bowls - five times with the 49ers and once with the Vikings.

In his 13 years with the 49ers, Vikings, Giants and Lions, he gained 11,375 all-purpose yards.  At the time of is retirement, he was one of only three players in NFL history to have gone over 11,000 yards.

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

american flagFRIDAY,  APRIL 20,  2018 “A step backward after making a wrong turn is a step in the right direction.” Kurt Vonnegut



*********** Raise your hand if you wouldn’t have been a football coach without the help and support of your wife.  Think about all the ways that our wives put us first, enabling us to do the thing we love to do.

Guys, America just lost one great coach’s wife.

It’s been 20 years since my son-in-law and daughter took my wife and me to visit the President George H. W. Bush Library at Texas A & M.

We all came away deeply impressed by the Bush’s only-in-America story:  George and Barbara Bush, both born to wealth, leave the comfortable life of Greenwich, Connecticut behind and head out to the oil fields of West Texas to start their married life… he becomes a success in business, and goes on to bigger and more responsible positions in government, ultimately to the Presidency of the United States. She raises their children and makes the home and makes it possible for him to achieve his goals, discreetly providing valuable advice at every step of the way.

Barbara Bush was that woman.  She was a coach’s wife - the highest praise I can give any woman.

Mr. Bush had an amazing career in the service of his country, and he helped raise a family that’s worthy of admiration. But without Mrs. Bush, I don't believe George H. W. Bush would ever have become President.

Without her assent, he’d never have been able to move to Texas in the first place.  Imagine the trepidation with which she approached such a move. At least her husband had been around a bit - he’d served in the Navy in World War II. But for Mrs. Bush, a young woman brought up in an eastern culture of wealth and privilege.  Picking up and moving from Greenwich  to Midland, Texas could not have been easy.  But she did it. She was his wife. 

She made it possible for her husband to have it all -  career and home.  Career and family.  And say what you will about the Bush children, they were raised right, without any touch of scandal, any hint of corruption or perversion.

She provided her husband with strength and stability and support.

She defined the word “class.”  Nobility, even.  We will be blessed if we ever see her like again.

And she was a woman of deep faith.  Said her son, President  George W. Bush, “She had faith that she’d be received in the arms of a loving God.”

Barbara Bush was a coach’s wife.

***********  “I heard y’all was racist, so I came to get my free coffee,” the black guy said.  He got his coffee.

“I heard you guys don’t like black people,” he went on, “so I came to get my Starbucks reparations voucher.”

The guy, a comedian named Bryan Sharpe,  “vlogs” (video blogs) as “Hotep Jesus,” and he demonstrated how absurd things have become on the racial front by walking into a New Jersey Starbucks store and filming himself demanding a free coffee as “My Starbucks reparations.”  He wasn’t doing it as some scam to get “free sh-t” - he was doing it to illustrate the near-hysteria with which white America reacts to accusations of racism.

“Racism is a business," he said. "Thanks to the ridiculousness of BLM activists, it’s the new publicity stunt — and I think I just proved it.”

https://www.theblaze.com/news/2018/04/18/viral-video-sees-black-man-enter-starbucks-demand-free-reparations-coffee-theres-a-huge-catch


Tokyo store*********** My grandson, Matt Love, lives in Japan, where he teaches English.  He sent me a photo he took inside Tokyo’s American Football store, and wrote,  “Pretty interesting they had a cardboard cutout of kaep - not sure if they’re aware of how controversial he is. Haha.”

*********** On the subject of foreigners not being aware of how American sports figures are perceived here in America, there's Marshawn Lynch.

Lynch, who personifies the street culture and mocks his professional obligation to talk with the media, who sits for the American flag but stands for the flag of Mexico, has been traveling the globe, posing as an “ambassador” of sorts.  He’s been - God help us all - “teaching football” to kids in foreign countries.

Don’t underestimate his influence on young kids as their first - and maybe only - up-close exposure to American culture.

I still remember my earliest experience with young guys in Finland. Their English was pretty good,  but since most of their exposure to America was through American movies, they freely sprinkled their speech with the “F” word - just like Eddie Murphy.

https://sports.yahoo.com/marshawn-lynch-travels-world-helping-teach-kids-american-football-162416063.html


***********  Adidas is said to be interested in signing Colin Kaepernick to an endorsement contract - if he can manage to find an NFL club to sign him.

Let this be a warning to any NFL team considering bringing him in: as sleazy as these shoes companies are, I’m willing to bet that the contract with Adidas will pay him a bonus every time he takes a knee.

Said Adidas North America president Mark King, "We love athletes that have a platform to make the world a better place. If they're an activist in a way that brings attention to something that moves the world forward, even if there's controversy at that moment, we're really interested in those athletes because I think it represents the world today."


*********** At the Northeast Ohio chapter of the National Football Foundation, Mount Union coach Vince Kehres received the Lee Tressel Ohio College  Coach of the Year Award. He is the only person honored by the chapter as a high school student-athlete, a college student-athlete and a coach.  Either  as a player, assistant coach or head  coach, Kehres, who succeeded his father, Larry,  has been a part of 12 of Mount Union’s 13 national titles.

CHICAGO NFF

***********In attendance at a Chicago area National Football Foundation event: Left to Right: Dan Hampton, Richard Dent, Steve McMichael, Ted Hendricks and Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald.

*********** I admit that I once  liked pro wrestling  - before it became too soap-operatic to suit me.  Before Vince McMahon, if you will.

Some of the old guys were true athletes.  Many of them, back in the days before million-dollar NFL salaries, were pro football players trying to augment their income.

Some of them I remember because of their amazing physical prowess. One was Antonino “Argentina” Rocca.  Another was Bruno Sammartino, who just died.

An Italian immigrant, Bruno Sammartino came to America as a little kid and made it big here. May he rest in peace.

http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Best-of-the-Burgh-Blogs/The-412/April-2018/Bruno-Sammartino-Dies-Wrestlings-Longtime-Champ-Was-82/?vsmaid=7830&vcid=15457#.WtetvsL-jXE.facebook

*********** Once, there were two Gene Washingtons in the NFL. One played at Stanford, and one at Michigan State.  Michigan State Gene Washington’s daughter has produced a documentary about the days when Michigan State and its coach, Duffy Daugherty, broke all sorts of color barriers by going south and recruiting great black athletes that their own segregated state universities couldn’t touch.

It’s entitled “Through the Banks of the Red Cedar,” taking off on the school’s fight song, which begins “On the Banks of the Red Cedar,” the river that flows through the MSU campus.

Based on a trailer I’ve seen, it appears to be a somewhat preachy attempt to teach us, once again, the history of the Civil Rights movement. Not to discourage them,  but it’s already been done very well by documentaries such as “Eyes on the Prize.” I would have hoped that it would been more football-oriented, zeroing in on that particular group of talented southerners, and their experiences playing football at a northern school.

But we’ll see.

https://wdet.org/posts/2018/04/13/86653-group-of-black-msu-players-helped-desegregate-college-football-in-1960s/

*********** In a move believed to be unprecedented in major sports, the Baltimore Orioles will offer free admission to Orioles Park at Camden Yards to any child age nine and younger all season, part of a larger youth outreach program the club is developing.

*********** In DWARFS VS TRANNIES, David Cole asks why trannies, whose difficulties, it could be argued, are self-inflicted, couldn’t learn something from little people…

As I pointed out several years ago, little people have never demanded that folks of normal height adopt a new descriptive term to define themselves as “not a dwarf.”

It’s generally true that the more phony one’s ailment, the more loud and obnoxious one will be about it. The woman with the “gluten allergy” will turn your pleasant lunch into a living hell. The guy with colon cancer will feel ashamed if his malady ruins a meal. Because the gluten harpy enjoys the bitching, enjoys the attention, whereas the colon cancer guy genuinely doesn’t want to be a nuisance. He doesn’t want his condition to define him.

So let’s circle back to the military. The army’s height requirements disqualify dwarfs and midgets. But surely a little person can fire a gun, no? I’ve seen 10-year-old girls who are expert shots; tiny hands can still pull a trigger. So why don’t we hear little people bitching like trannies about not being allowed to serve? I put that question to Cuquis Robledo, director of public relations for Little People of America (LPA), the nation’s largest advocacy organization for those of short stature. I asked her if she knew the general mood among little people regarding the military-service height requirements. “I have not really heard of anyone (in the little person community) who was thinking of joining the military but I’m sure people do talk about it,” she replied. While she believes that “anyone should be given a chance to be involved if they want to serve their country,” she added, “In terms of the height requirement, in my opinion, there are so many different ways to be involved in the military rather than being in direct combat.”
Her position? Little people should have every opportunity to serve their country, but not necessarily in combat.

If little people, facing so many challenges, can learn to live their lives without becoming a massive pain in the ass to the rest of us, if they can realize that their happiness is not dependent on my vocabulary, or my sexual preference, or my beauty standards, or the requirements of our armed forces, then anyone else can too.

We can learn a big lesson from the little people.

http://takimag.com/article/dwarfs_vs_trannies_david_cole/page_2#axzz5CehiAiGl

*********** Back-and-forth, with a coach: Any thought about selling the playbook update as a PDF?

It would be a lot easier and a lot less expensive for me but with all the experiences I’ve had over the years with theft of my work, there is no chance.

Yeah, I understand.  After I bought your playbook - 14 years ago! - I became obsessed with the offense (and am still running it at high school level).  So, I bought another playbook thinking, heck, they must have some differences and varied thoughts, right?  Wrong.  The guy clearly ripped you off, just changing some of the terminology.  So, yes, I get it.  The problem is, I have loaned your playbook out to my assistant coaches over the years, and it is in pretty bad shape - including one major coffee spill on it and I do not drink coffee!  I do not hand out hard copies of my plays to coaches or players, as I expect them to memorize the play and how it works.  When kids ask me for a playbook, I ask them, "Where are you going to carry that book when we are playing a game?"

I think that you might like the “playbook” that my kids carry on their wrists!  It’s explained in the new book.

*********** Like so many people nowadays, a politician in Canada was blindsided by the discovery that, unbeknownst to him, he’s a racist.  The news is not all bad, though -  he’s a liberal.  (Ain’t karma great?)

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2011/03/11/ignatieff_accused_of_racist_slur_in_cottonpicking_controversy.html


*********** Possibly because she’s a female, the Southwest Airlines pilot who skillfully landed a plane that had blown an engine is being hailed as a “hero.”

With all due respect for her and her great accomplishment, it’s time for me to horn in.

Without question,  she did a masterful job of handling herself and her plane in a dire situation, and she deserves all sorts commendations, not to mention the thanks of those whose lives she likely saved.  Whatever recognition Southwest can provide her, she has more than earned it.

At a time when women have flown in the military - and commercially - for years, the fact that she is a female shouldn't mean a thing, one way or the other.  She's obviously a damn good pilot,  and I would feel very good getting on a plane, knowing that she was the pilot.

But - a point I don’t mind belaboring - she is NOT a “hero”  (or a heroine) in the true sense of the word. 

From the people whose assignment it is to recognize true heroes:

The basic test for the Carnegie Medal is that “The rescuer must leave a place of safety and knowingly risk death to save the life of another, without obligation to do so.”

There are numerous criteria to be met, including that one must not be a “professional rescuer,” such as a policeman or lifeguard,  nor  a member of the military, all which carry an obligation. 

Besides, it was Mr. Carnegie’s belief that those organizations already had their own systems of awards for exceptional bravery.

The award generally isn’t given to people acting to rescue immediate family members, because those people have “an obligation to do so.”

And the award isn’t made if the rescuer acts to save his own life as well as others, because he is not in “a place of safety,” and by rescuing himself he receives a “personal benefit.”


To put it simply, what she did demonstrated great poise and professional competence at a time of imminent danger. But she was not risking anything.  She did not "leave a place of safety and knowingly risk death to save the life of another, without obligation to do so.”  It was not as if she had been sitting at the beach  and noticed a person being swept out to sea by a rip current, and rushed into the surf to try to help.

And, too, it’s not as if she wasn’t trying to save her own life, too.  She had “skin in the game.”

Picky, picky, picky, right?  Guilty as charged.  But if we don’t maintain the highest standards for what we call heroism, then we allow the next athlete who scores a last-minute touchdown or shoots a three at the buzzer or slides in under the tag in the bottom of the tenth to be called a "hero," stealing the valor that rightfully belongs to those incredibly brave people who voluntarily put their lives on the line to try to save other human beings.

*********** An English corporate headhunter - himself a millennial - calls unemployed millennials “lazy little sh-ts.”

“I’ll tell you right now that it has never been easier for a young man/lady to find a reasonably well-paid job in this country and I’d go as far as to say regardless of qualifications, if you’re under the age of 25 and not in work without any good medical or mental health reason then you’re either a lazy little s*** or you’re setting your sights way too high,” he wrote.

“I’m not surprised us millennials are being called entitled. Kids these days measure their worth in the amount of followers they have on Instagram [and] they get upset if they’re not a CEO by 25.

“Everyone seems to want to start from the top, not work their way up. No one seems to want to get their hands dirty anymore.

http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/careers/uk-headhunter-josh-harrison-blasts-unemployed-under25s-on-linkedin/news-story/267c97fe0739760d1ba674a9d07691f4


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

Do you use no huddle most the time or just when you want to gas the other team or keep momentum going? In the old Don Markham days he used to run things as slow as possible to chew clock.

There are times to slow down and times to speed up, but Coach Markham’s thinking is still valid.  

I mostly use my playcards (on the players’ wrists) for three purposes:

(1) we don’t huddle in practice because by not huddling we get a lot more reps.  Huddling in practice is a waste of precious time.

(2) play-calling is clear and simple.  We don’t have communication issues with a “messenger” communicating the wrong thing to the QB.

(3) The players’ assignments are on their wrist cards. Screw memorization.  I’ve been a teacher long enough to know that the way to help people with an answer to a question is to give them a memory aid, so on their cards, players have condensed versions of their assignments.

I seldom go no-huddle in games except to catch defenses off balance, but we have done so.  Most kids I coach play both ways, and I don’t think it’s in our best interest to have them go no huddle for any length of time.

I happen to think that the huddle has its purposes besides simply providing the team with the play call.  I think of it as a part of team-building: as men rallying themselves before doing something hard and dangerous; as a bunch of guys coming together after the hunt;   as reinforcing the idea that "the strength of the wolf is the pack."

But the possibility is there.

*********** Sports Business Journal writes that at a recent big dinner affair, ESPN’s Burke Magnus, Executive VP, programming and acquisitions…

gave a demonstration of ESPN+ – the over-the-top app that launched April 12. Pulling an iPhone from his pocket, Magnus opened the app and called up video from the 1985 boxing match between Marvin Hagler and Tommy Hearns to demonstrate the scope of the service’s library. Magnus, though, suggested that one of the service’s best selling points may be its ad-free content – not just on the OTT service but throughout ESPN digital. ESPN+ subscribers that are logged in do not have pre-roll ads for videos, like highlights and interviews, on ESPN.com, for example. “That’s been an underreported aspect of ESPN+,” Magnus said.

FYI:   ESPN+ is a subscription service - $4.99 a month.  They’re offering a 30-day free trial, but caveat emptor (Let the buyer beware): “AUTOMATICALLY RENEWS UNTIL CANCELLED”

***********  Hello Coach
My name is —— I’ve been a long time lurker around your site and I purchased vhs tapes from you years ago. I am curious as to this open wing that I keep hearing about.  I have not seen video of it and so I am wondering what it consists of and how you evolved into it?
Thanks

Coach,

Without getting into a lot of explanation, it’s an attempt to try to take advantage of some of the aspects of spread/shotgun offenses while retaining as many of the distinct features of the Double Wing as possible : a TE/Wing set to one side, tight line splits, double-wing blocking.

Its base formation  is “open” to one side and “wing” to the opposite side.

The evolution is fairly involved, but it comes partly from what I saw a California JC coach named Ken Swearengin doing, and partly from my “Wildcat” version of the Double Wing, and partly because I had to give up on an attempt to run my Wildcat from two split ends: one of my splits was slow and didn’t have very good hands -  but he was a very good blocker, and he made a very good tight end.  It’s the sort of improvisation you often have to do at  small high school.

As much as anything, I wanted something for Double Wing coaches who were either getting pressure to “open things up” or, even worse, losing out on jobs because of prejudice against their offense - and I believe I’ve found it.

Not knowing what age group you coach, here’s a screen shot of a middle school team running it, courtesy of Coach Jason Clarke, from Glen Burnie, Maryland.


open wing


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

You bring up some great points regarding the shoe companies.  Their marketing people are smart.  They start early.  Get to the kids while they are playing youth sports.  AAU, USA, etc. so that by the time they get to high school it's the kids and their parents that put the pressure on HS athletic departments to get in bed with Nike, Addidas, Under Armour etc.  When that happens the other high schools have to find a way to keep up.  Thus...the apparel wars - sponsorship labeling begins.

I watched a few of those spring "games" on TV.  Especially the schools with new coaches.  Florida will be better with Dan Mullen.  Texas A&M now has a TE in their offense with Jimbo Fisher as their coach.  And Minnesota...watch out for Minnesota.  They have some outstanding young talent, a massive O Line, a fast defense, and a smart, enthusiastic, young head coach who has those kids pumped up.

I don't buy Westbrook's sorry, lame a$$, explanation ONE COTTON PICKIN' MINUTE!!  And that announcer should NEVER have to apologize for it ONE COTTON PICKIN' SECOND!!

For the most part many track coaches ARE football coaches.  Or at least they should be.

I've said from day one that all the "research" done regarding concussions in the NFL has been misleading.

Don't get me started on Robert Mueller.

I thought R. Lee Ermey's characterization of the Marine Drill Sergeant in the movie Full Metal Jacket was priceless.  Also, you and I were probably a few of the "lucky" ones who got to see his GEICO commercial that was pulled.  He'll be missed.  (Ermey...not the other guy).

QUIZ:  Mark "Stink" Schlereth.  Enjoyed watching him cap on Mike Greenberg as a sub-in for Mike Golic on the Mike and Mike show, and take his shots at Golic too. 

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


WISCONSIN APRIL SNOW
***********  Digging out from a two wave winter storm (technically it was a blizzard) over the weekend. All total we got 29 inches of snow...a bit less in Green Bay. There's been talk in the state for sometime but it gets shot down every time too but the suggestion is to switch girls volleyball from a fall sport to a spring sport and move girls softball from spring to fall. Makes a lot of sense actually. Volleyball is indoors and starts in August which would help softball if it were a fall sport. My daughter plays both and they have not played a softball game yet this season. This will be the third week where they have been scheduled to play.

Adam Wesoloski
Pulaski, Wisconsin

Wow!  That is some snow for the middle of April.

Just think how bad it could  have been if my wife and I hadn’t been warming the planet by both driving our big gas-guzzling SUVs!

I doubt that the switch of seasons - as much sense as it seems to make - will happen because someone will complain that it’s keeping their daughter from being seen.  (Actually, in volleyball, colleges watch USVBA competition more than high school anyhow.)


*********** QUIZ ANSWER - Mark Schlereth one of the few players from Alaska ever to play in the NFL, and certainly the only one to play in two Pro Bowls and on three Super Bowl winning teams. He played his high school football at Robert W. Service High School  and then at the University of Idaho.  Drafted in the 10th round by the Washington Redskins, he joined their famed Hogs. He played 12 years overall in the NFL, six with the Redskins and six with the Broncos. With the Redskins, he played on a Super Bowl winner and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1991. With the Denver Broncos, he played on two Super Bowl champions, and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1998.  He was named to the Broncos’ 50th Anniversary Team.  Since retirement from football he has worked in TV, currently for Fox Sports, and he has appeared in some soap operas.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING MARK SCHLERETH
JOSH MONGTOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
JOSH COLE - ODESSA, NEW YORK
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN,  TEXAS
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON


*********** A season or two ago, when my Rays were playing the Marlins, a pitcher named Schlereth took the mound for the Marlins. "I wonder if..." I thought, just before they said Daniel is Mark's son.

John Vermillion
St. Petersburg, Florida

*********** QUIZ: In high school, he was a quarterback.  In Pro Football, he was a “Hog.”

He came from a small town in rural Western Pennsylvania.

He won nine letters in high school. In football, he was the star quarterback and middle linebacker.  And he punted. 

At Pitt, he started out as a linebacker but was switched to the offensive line.  He played on one of the most talented teams in college football history:  at least 13 of its members played in the NFL, and three of them - including him - are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

A small town boy? On draft day, he was fishing and didn’t learn until his return home that he’d been drafted third by the Redskins.

He arrived in Washington at the same time as head coach Joe Gibbs, and as one of the original “Hogs,” he played 11 years for the ’Skins, making it to four Pro Bowls and being named First Team All-Pro four times. 

He was named to the 1980’s NFL Team of the Decade, and in 2010 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

He went into coaching after retirement, and established himself as an outstanding offensive line coach.  In 2007, as Steelers’ offensive line coach, he was rumored to be the choice to succeed Bill Cowher as head coach of the Steelers but the job went instead to Mike Tomlin.

He has four Super Bowl rings - three as a player and one as a coach.

In his 2005 memoir,  Redskins’ teammate and fellow Hog Mark May recalled a Christmas party at his house in 1982: "I iced down a keg of beer and stationed it on the landing between the first floor and basement. (He) turned the landing into his headquarters for the evening. He grabbed a chair and a Hog shot glass (a 60-ounce pitcher) and parked his butt on the landing next to the keg. Except for an occasional trip to the bathroom, we didn't see (him) on the first level all night..."

In his 2010 Hall of Fame speech, he said he was “proud” to be “from a small town in western Pennsylvania.”
“It’s a special part of the country…where the knowledge and the support for the game of football is unmatched.  They fill the stadiums on Friday night, Saturday afternoons and Sundays. You created an excitement that growing up as a young man I wanted to be a part of. Thank you very much.”



american flagTUESDAY,  APRIL 17,  2018 “English? Who needs that? I’m never going to England.” Homer Simpson

*********** At just about the same time as the University of Washington’s announcement that it had signed a 10-year deal with Adidas (I forget- are they back to capitalizing the “A”?), more federal charges were filed against an Adidas executive named Jim Gatto for his role in “allegedly” steering top basketball prospects to Kansas and NC State.  Before that, he was accused of doing the same for Louisville.

The “steering” was accomplished with large sums of money, the source of which is, to say the least, suspicious.

The people at Kansas, at NC State and at Louisville know nothing about any of that.  Of course not.   Neither do the people at Adidas. Which leaves Gatto himself - if you can believe he’s so wealthy that as a hobby he pays high school kids $100,000 each to go spend a basketball season at some college.

In the meantime, until things sort themselves out, Gatto remains on “paid leave” from Adidas.

And despite the stench that attaches to Adidas, Washington  nonetheless decided to accept its offer, said to be $20 million MORE than Nike’s.  In terms of total compensation, it vaults Washington into the top ten. 

I can’t wait to see what the designers at Adidas decide the Washington Huskies should look like.

http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2018/04/adidas_offer_for_uw_apparel_de.html

http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2018/04/adidas_jim_gatto_faces_more_ch.html

*********** Portland is ground zero in the Sneaker War.  Nike’s World Headquarters are in suburban Beaverton, and Adidas’ US headquarters are in North Portland.

Naturally, just as any big-city newspaper covers the industries important to its area, the Portland Oregonian keeps a close eye on the two local apparel giants.

In a recent series of articles on the shoe and apparel business, the writers unearthed an extremely unhealthy intrusion by Nike into Oregon high school sports.

Basically, Nike - far more than Adidas (Underarmour isn’t even in the picture) - has made shoe and apparel deals with several  Oregon high schools, providing them with free sh—.  Lots of it.

What’s Nike’s reasoning?  Apart from whatever advertising value there may be in a high school kid wearing the Swoosh, it’s the same sort of thinking behind the free cigarettes that tobacco companies provided our soldiers in World War II - if you can get ‘em when they’re young, the chances are good that they’ll be  your customers for life.

Naturally, in a state that’s so crippled by its pension obligations that it has to lay off teachers and state police and postpone road repairs,  the goods are welcome.

But the goods - the uniforms, the warmups, the shoes, the gym bags -  are contributing to the increasing sense that among the state’s high schools there are chronic haves and have-nots.

Yes, for the sake of PR Nike has donated goods to the Portland Public Schools, which definitely have their share of have-nots, but otherwise the company’s largesse (generosity) has been directed to schools that tend to be state powers. The haves.

Besides the uneven distribution of the goods, however, there’s another, much more interesting problem.

It appears that in many cases, Nike made its deals directly with the coaches of the sports (mostly football), and not their schools  or their school districts.  Besides the fact  that this might raise the suspicion that certain coaches might be on the take, the bigger problem for the schools is that in making those deals, their coaches may have created a Title IX nightmare:  where’s the stuff for the girls’ teams?

http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/page/how_nike_dominated_oregon_high.html

Oregonian editorial

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/04/schools_sneaker_deals_needs_ov.html

*********** Tsk, tsk.  Michigan had to call off its spring game because of “weather.”  Did they mean the weather in Rome?  Oh, wait - that was last year.

Or was IMG’s field booked, so they couldn’t play it in Florida, like two years ago?

Pretty bad when you have to play your spring game on your own field and it’s like an away game.

Cynical me - to suspect that the cancellation may have been because QB Shea Patterson wasn't going to be  able to play -  Michigan hasn't been able to get the NCAA waiver allowing him to transfer in from Ole Miss without his having to sit out a year.

Their argument for the waiver is that he shouldn’t be held to the usual standard because  - it's claimed - Ole Miss knew when they signed him that sanctions against it were coming down.

Watch yourself, Harbaugh.  I know you’re desperate, but this Patterson sure sounds like one of "those" kids - he went to three different high schools, transferring for his senior season to IMG Academy, which you know about, of course. 

And, counting a commit-decommit to Arizona, Michigan will make college number three.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shea_Patterson


*********** Johnny Manziel was the featured attraction at the Texas A & M spring game, running all over the field, fielding kicks, doing sideline interviews, playing to the adoring crowd.  I just shook my head at the whole sorry spectacle.  I didn't expect any different from  Johnny Football , but I have to admit my surprise at seeing that he still has the people at A & M bamboozled.

http://www.espn.com/college-football/

*********** As along as we’re on the subject of equality and gender equity and all that good stuff…

Mark Perry, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, writes in the Wall Street Journal that in 2016, 4803 men were killed on the job, compared with 387 women.  To save you the trouble of calculating, men accounted for 92.5 per cent of workplace fatalities. Or, put another way, that’s 12 men killed on the job for every woman killed.

As a sort of jab at those gender-equity types who hector us by telling us how far into the next year the average woman has to work in order to earn the same amount of money that the average man earned in 365 days, Mr. Perry notes that May 30, 2029 will be “EQUAL OCCUPATION FATALITY DAY” - the date on which female fatalities in the workplace will finally equal those for men back in 2016.

*********** EXCERPT FROM THE UPCOMING DOUBLE WING PLAYBOOK...

X-Y cross

*********** “Thunder announcer suspended one game after racially insensitive comment about Russell Westbrook” read the headline.

Jeez - what did he say?

Turns out that following the Oklahoma City Thunder's final regular-season game Wednesday night, play-by-play announcer Brian Davis remarked that Brian Westbrook’s performance was excellent.

I lied. Actually, he said Westbrook  was "out of his cotton-picking mind,” which was supposed to convey the same thing.  But no.   Actually, if he had substituted “f—king” for “cotton picking,” he wouldn’t have stirred up as big a fuss.

Turns out “cotton picking” is now “racially insensitive.”  Who knew?  Did you?  I sure didn’t.

Andy Griffith used to say it and no one said squat.  Same with Yosemite Sam. There was the Smothers Brothers routine: “My old man’s a cotton-pickin’, finger-lickin’ chicken plucker - whatddaya thinka that?”  No complaints. And we all laughed  at the idea of Eli Whitney coming up with the name for his invention after hearing someone say “Get your cotton-pickin’ hands off my gin.”

But that was then, and this is now.  This is the Better America I never thought I’d live long enough to see. So Davis, probably surprised to learn that his innocent expression had gravely offended someone - this is, after all twenty-first century America -  did what everybody does nowadays, even when they haven’t done a damn thing wrong.  He apologized. ”It is with great remorse and humility that I accept this suspension,” he said,  “for the insensitive words I used during Wednesday's broadcast. While unintentional, I understand and acknowledge the gravity of the situation."

Wait a minute… racially insensitive???  “Gravity? "

And WTF is the deal with Westbrook?  All he had to do was say, “What’s all the excitement about?” But instead, he said, “What he said wasn’t okay.”

Really, Mr. Westbrook?  Since when, and says who?

In a couple of years it’ll be okay to say “f—king” on the air, and we won’t have any more need for euphemisms like  - trigger alert for insensitive words - “cotton picking.”

Until that wonderful day, though, I say go on saying "cotton picking." I figure that if you were to conduct a survey,  no more than 13 per cent of the respondents would tell you that they consider the term “cotton picking” to be racially insensitive.

I freely admit that I’d be among the 87 per cent who see absolutely no racial connotations - let alone insult - in the phrase, but for those of us who would rather not intentionally offend others, it sure would be awfully nice if we could be handed the list of commonly-used expressions that have been deemed offensive by some secret authority.  If they’re ever finished adding to it.

In the meantime, this probably explains why we don’t see those Andy Griffith reruns any more.

*********** My wife and I stood in a cold, steady rain Saturday and watched a high school track meet.  Well, part of one, actually.  We watched the shot put and a few races - in a cold, steady rain - and finally, after six heats of the boys’ 100, we’d had enough.  I’m sure the meet went on for a couple more hours - in a cold, steady rain. I went away convinced that if that’s the way track coaches spend their spring Saturdays - in a cold, steady rain - they deserve to be paid as much as football coaches.   (If you know me - I don’t think anybody outworks football coaches, or works in tougher conditions -  that’s really saying something.)

*********** When your aims conflict with those of a potential employer, you owe it to the employer to let them know that.

Give Colin Kaepernick credit for doing just that - for (evidently) letting the Seahawks know that he couldn’t assure them that he wouldn’t kneel during the national anthem.

And give the Seahawks credit for avoiding the PR disaster that signing Kaepernick would have led to.
   
*********** The NFL has been getting hustled… This from the Wall Street Journal

The National Football League has asked a federal judge to appoint a special investigator to probe what it describes as a widespread fraud that has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in false claims to a fund meant to compensate former players for head injuries.

The motion alleges fraudulent schemes by doctors, lawyers and players to illicitly tap the uncapped fund, which is potentially valued around $1 billion. The league established the fund as part of a settlement agreement with players, and the NFL has so far funded more than $227 million in claims.

The motion—filed in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania, where the settlement is overseen—says that an independent administrator in the case has recommended that more than 400 claims be rejected because of fraud. That amounts to 23% of the total claims submitted and has a potential value of hundreds of millions of dollars based on the claims already awarded.

Among the allegations: At least one player was advised to show up to a neuropsychological evaluation hungover and on Valium, to ensure that he failed cognitive tests required to qualify for a settlement. Medical reports submitted by one neurologist included identical vital signs for more than 20 different players. One doctor claimed to have spent 130 hours evaluating players in a single day—on two separate occasions.

MY TOP 10 COMMENTS, from WSJ readers...

10. This is what happens when unlimited amounts of money are offered to people who can pretend that they have injuries. The doctors and lawyers co-conspire. We saw this with the Federal railroad employee disability program. It happens with the Social Security disability program (now costing taxpayers $100+ billion per year). It is likely also happening with the 9/11 fund, if anyone would take a careful look.

9. No matter which big program you look at there always seems to be people who will work hard to steal the funds which legitimately belong to others.

8. What a surprise... with so many bankrupt players who blew their millions within a couple of years of retiring from the NFL, one didn't think they wouldn't hop onto this gravy train with their lawyers and questionable medical records?

7. Potential big money settlements attract sleazy lawyers and doctors who see this as easy money for themselves like vultures on a carcass, except vultures are honorable creatures.

6. There is a vast network of lawyers, judges, doctors, and victims out there who have honed their "skills" with car accidents, asbestos claims, tobacco claims, baby powder claims, nursing home claims, product liability claims, birth control claims, sudden acceleration claims. . . . Why would anyone think this NFL fund would be any different?

5. The #MeToo movement expands its reach from questionable sexual harassment to questionable head injuries. The till is open. Come join the party. Is this a great country or what?

4. Surprised the NFL figured it out.  This is the same group of dumbos that still can't figure out that allowing the current players to take a knee has damaged the NFL brand.

3. The punishment for fraud, if proved, should be the perps are forced to watch Fox broadcasts of NFL games for an entire season. I know, it's cruel, but how else can one deter bad behavior?

2. Turn it over to Mueller, he will get to the bottom of this in 5 years.

Drum roll, please…

1. Late night TV ads - did you ever play in the NFL?  You may be entitled to major settlement money...

https://www.wsj.com/articles/nfl-alleges-deep-and-widespread-fraud-in-concussion-settlement-1523641002?emailToken=58f3a66fb55679b7c61e9fb8d3533316YZusFEV0Hcy4w4D5lCh8GKshyXTKmMsJ2GbOt2qYLN10zyLiyQtfugi8fIQApZv%2B01OUpf4Z5hrWaCHP%2BmuCJdx%2BptbhQFqn%2Bgxhyrpa%2F6Ht%2FbVDaVL4nm0nNa2KKkeM

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

Well...according to your handicapping system the Catholic school where I work would only get 10 points from all that criteria.  AND...THE reason why no one would ever accuse us of being a football powerhouse, OR, see us in a state championship, let alone a state playoff game.  In today's Catholic education model we are more the norm.  The Mater Dei's and DeLaSalle's are now the exception.

Catholic schools can be divided into 3 categories:  Diocesan schools; Order sponsored schools; and Independent schools.  I have worked in all three.  The diocesan schools struggled.  The order schools (Jesuits, Christian Bros. etc.) were much better.  And the Independent schools were a hit or miss.  I preferred the ordered (Jesuits, Christian Bros.), but did work for a wonderful independent Catholic school in Minnesota.

With all the emphasis and effort to improve the statistics and opportunities for hiring minorities and women in the coaching profession the statistics and hiring still haven't changed much.

Bottom line...Kentucky is, and always has been a basketball school.  At least Purdue has had a history in both basketball and football.  Kentucky high school football players probably realize going north will be a better experience for them.

Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** R. Lee Ermey - everybody’s Marine, everybody’s Drill Instructor - died Sunday.

From wikipedia:

Ermey was born in Emporia, Kansas, on March 24, 1944. He grew up with five brothers on a farm outside of Kansas City, Kansas.  In 1958, when Ermey was 14, he and his family left Kansas and moved to Zillah, Washington. As a teenager, Ermey often got in trouble with the local authorities, and he had been arrested twice for criminal mischief by age 17. After his second arrest, a judge gave him a choice between joining the military or being sent to jail; Ermey chose the military.

Remember when judges had that option?

Remember when the military was able/allowed to straighten out guys like him?

FWIW - GEICO sure does have some funny ads, but the pukes pulled a commercial he starred in because of an unfavorable comment he made about Barack Obama.

*********** QUIZ ANSWER - Short and stout, Wally Butts was often referred to as the “Little Round Man.”

He was born in Milledgeville, Georgia, and went to Georgia Military College and then Mercer University. After graduation, he spent 10 years as a high school coach, and at three different schools he coached undefeated championship teams.

He got his first college coaching job in 1938, and after one year as an assistant he was promoted to head coach and coached there until 1960.

His overall record was 140-86-9.  His 1942 team won the national title, and his 10-0 1946 team was one of only two undefeated teams in the country.  In an era when bowls were few and a bowl appearance was quite an accomplishment, his teams were 5-2-1 in bowl games.

Two of his best players were Frank Sinkwich, who won the Heisman Trophy, and Charlie Trippi, who won the Maxwell Trophy.

He was an early proponent of the passing game, and two of his quarterbacks - John Rauch and Zeke Bratkowski - went on to play in the NFL.

He was also ahead of his time in going out of state for talent: Sinkwich (born in Croatia) was from Youngstown, Ohio; Trippi was from Pittston, Pennsylvania; Bratkowski was from Danville, Illinois; and Rauch was from Yeadon, Pennsylvania.

After his retirement as head coach, he remained at the school as AD, and when a major magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, claimed that he and Alabama coach Bear Bryant had conspired to fix their schools’ upcoming game, he and Bryant sued for $10 million each.  Bryant settled for $300,000, but Butts went to court and was awarded $3 million, the largest settlement in history at that time, and generally considered to be the major factor in the demise of the magazine.

CORECTLY IDENTIFYING WALLY BUTTS -
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
JOHN BOWEN - MT. VERNON, GEORGIA

*********** The Wally Butts-Bear Bryant “Fix” story was HUGE when it broke.  At that time, pre-Internet and pre-cable, people still read magazines.  And the Saturday Evening Post was one of the most-read of them all.   I knew Georgia people who said they wouldn’t put it past Butts, who had sort of been forced out and might not necessarily have wanted his successor to be successful!

THE STORY OF “THE FIX” - http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/wp-content/uploads/satevepost/georgia-vs-alabama.pdf

*********** QUIZ - He’s one of the few players from his state ever to play in the NFL, and certainly the only one to play in two Pro Bowls and on three Super Bowl winning teams. He played his high school football at Robert W. Service High School  and then at the University of Idaho.  Drafted in the 10th round by the Washington Redskins, he joined their famed Hogs. He played 12 years overall in the NFL, six with the Redskins and six with the Broncos. With the Redskins, he played on a Super Bowl winner and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1991. With the Denver Broncos, he played on two Super Bowl champions, and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1998.  He was named to the Broncos’ 50th Anniversary Team.  Since retirement from football he has worked in TV, currently for Fox Sports, and he has appeared as an actor in some soap operas.



american flagFRIDAY,  APRIL 13,  2018 -  "I want to stick a knife in your best play." Bo Schembechler


*********** A MODEST PROPOSAL (With apologies to Jonathan Swift)

I’m certainly not the first to notice that to a great extent, football at the high school level is becoming more and more a game for the haves - for the well-off kids who’ve been provided with stable upbringings by ambitious parents who have high aspirations for them.  If you doubt me, check just one indicator - the number of state championships won every year by private (mostly Catholic) schools, with tuitions well north of $20,000 a year.

This year, the big California state title game was between Mater Dei and DeLaSalle, two private Catholic schools.

There’s scarcely a city in the United States that doesn’t have at least one Catholic school that’s a football power.  Some cities have several.  Some, like Chicago and Philadelphia, have entire Catholic leagues.

This is in no way intended to pile on Catholic schools, because overall they do seem to outpace the public schools academically, as well. Besides,  rather recently, there has also sprung up a fair number of high school football powerhouses whose names end in “Christian.”

Nor is it an attack on private schools.  It’s fair to say that they exist largely because of people who have money and care about their kids’ future.

As it is,  people with money who don’t choose to send their kids to private schools still wind up paying in another way - they buy expensive homes in tony suburbs, and they pay in the form of high property taxes.  The public high schools in such places tend to have good football teams.   (Find me a large city that doesn’t have a fair number of powerful high school football teams in its wealthier suburbs.)

Sometimes, of course, these schools go a bit too far in their pursuit of gridiron excellence.

Take Bellevue High, in a well-to-do suburb of Seattle. It has owned a near-monopoly on state Class 3A  titles for most of this century, with out-of-state wins over high-profile programs such as DeLaSalle, Long Beach Poly, St. Louis Prep (Honolulu) and Euless (Texas) Trinity. But uh-oh - A Seattle Times story revealed that Bellevue’s boosters were paying  their head coach in excess of $100,000 a year, and they'd paid the rent for families of out-of-district athletes so they could move to Bellevue.

How many other Bellevues are out there?

I'm definitely opposes to cheaters. But I’m definitely not a socialist. I understand that people will spend what they can to send their kids to  schools with good athletic programs.

I do, however,  believe in fair competition, and I’ve seen what disparity - in facilities and support - can do to kids. I’ve coached at an inner-city school. It had weeds growing in its parking lot, and when I had to take my team to  play at another school - in the same city school district - that had a swimming pool, complete with a water slide, you think our kids didn’t notice? When it was senior night at our school, fewer than half of my seniors had even one parent attend;  the next week, at a wealthy opponent’s stadium (same school district) senior night brought out two parents each for every single senior.

My concern is that if football is as great as we all believe it to be, it would be especially great for poor kids with little family support.  But it’s well-known that kids - city kids, especially - are a lot less likely to play any sport if their team is a chronic loser.

Academically, it’s been proposed in some quarters that certain students’ SAT scores  be adjusted upward to compensate for their relative lack of educational advantages (books in the house, parents who think that an education is important, good teachers, etc.).

While we’re considering that, why not do the same for schools in football? Given that certain schools have built-in advantages that others will never be able to overcome, I propose a handicapping system, based on the relative competitive advantages enjoyed by the opposing teams. The more disadvantaged team would start the game with a certain number of points awarded to it in advance. A reverse handicap, actually, but the purpose is the same as it would be in golf or horse racing - to make the contest more competitive.

Here’s how it would work:

As in golf, every team would have a handicap, although unlike in golf, in which a player’s handicap is subtracted from his score, this handicap would be added to a team’s score. 

The handicap would be determined by  allowing one point for each of the following factors:

It’s the only school in its town/district (3 points)
The superintendent thinks that a winning football program is important (5 points)
The head coach has been at the school more than 3 years
The head coach is a teacher in the school
There is an assistant coach for every 7.5 players
The head coach has the authority to hire and fire assistants as necessary
More than 3/4 of the coaching staff has been together more than 3 years
More than half of the coaching staff are teachers in the school
The staff and at least 3/4 of the players take part in a structured off-season conditioning program
There is a junior varsity team
There is a freshman team
There is a junior high/middle school program
The junior high coaches have solid coaching backgrounds
The junior high is using the same overall offensive and defensive system as the high school
The head coach hires the junior high/middle school coaches
There is an active youth program that feeds the school
At least one of the youth teams in the community uses the high school’s offensive and defensive systems
The principal is a former head coach
The principal is a former assistant football coach
The principal is a former head football coach
The principal, if female, is married to a football coach
The principal, if female, is married to a head football coach
The head coach is the AD
(If not the head coach) The AD has been a head coach of a major sport
(If not the head coach) The AD is a former assistant football coach
(If not the head coach) The AD is a former head football coach
(If not the head coach) The AD is currently not the head coach of another sport
100 per cent attendance is required at pre-season parents’ meetings
There is a clearly defined process for parents to pursue concerns
School athletic policy rules out questions about playing time
The baseball, basketball and wrestling head coaches are on the football staff (1 point for each)
There is sufficient budget for replacement of worn out or unsafe equipment
The playing field is artificial turf
The press box is high enough to film from and large enough for all who need to be there
There is a separate on-campus practice field
There is an indoor practice facility of some sort
There is a team room apart from the regular locker room
There is large, adequate team meeting space with audio-visual equipment
The weight room is adequate in size and well-equipped
Weight training is offered as a class and 90 per cent of the football players are in it
The weight training class is run by someone well-versed in  strength and conditioning training
More than 75 per cent of the  players train with the team during the summer
The program stresses respect, discipline and accountability
The program stresses sound fundamentals
The program  promotes, develops and supports strong senior leadership
A large percentage* of the players lives in a stable home situation
A large percentage* of the players lives with their father
A large percentage* of the players’ fathers were (or are) in the military
A large percentage* of the players’ fathers  played football
A large percentage* of the players’ older brothers played football
A large percentage* of the players’ grandfathers played football
A large percentage* of the players’ fathers  played at this school
A large percentage* of the players’ fathers played on winning teams at this school
No more than three languages are spoken in the school
Fewer than 20 per cent of its students qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch
The school has had at least eight winning seasons over the past ten years

* to be determined

Prior to each game, the difference in points between the two teams’  handicaps  would  be  awarded to the team with the lower handicap.

This is just a rough idea, of course. There’s still a lot of work to do,and I’m hoping I can get someone to pay me to do more research. Maybe I can get a grant from some big foundation (the Clinton Family Foundation maybe?) or some government agency - or even the NFL.  I figure $1 million would be a start - enough to get me up and running.

Obviously, the fact that this is about football at a time when there’s opposition to the sport could affect my success in getting funding, but I won’t let that stand in my way. If need be, I’ll shift my focus to getting more inner-city kids playing baseball.  Soccer, even.

Okay - call me a sellout.  But when I do land that grant, I’ll never forget all you little people I met along the way.  And never forget, guys - you knew me when I was nothing.

*********** “You wouldn’t  let somebody working at McDonald’s, when somebody pulls through, give them a hamburger and say, ‘I don’t know why you’re eating that  beef. Why aren’t you a vegetarian?’” Bob McNair, owner of the Houston Texans, on why NFL owners should should restrain their players from making political statements while they’re on the job.

*********** You may think that college sports is all about who’s best at every sport, but there’s a group of professional nags that calls itself The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES), and it seems to think that the real aim of sports is to promote diversity.

Annually, this diversity whore issues what it pretentiously calls its College Sport Racial and Gender Report Card, including such nuggets as these:

    •    Of the total male student-athletes in Division I athletics, white males decreased to 56.8 percent in 2016-17, while the percentage of African-American males increased to 22.3 percent.

    •    Of the total female student-athletes in Division I athletics, white females decreased to 64.9 percent in 2016-17, while African-American females decreased to 12.5 percent.

    •    White coaches dominated the head-coaching ranks on men's teams, holding 87 percent, 88 percent, and 92 percent of all positions in Divisions I, II and III, respectively. On the women's side, white coaches held 85 percent of Division I, 87 percent of Division II and 91 percent of Division III women's head-coaching positions.

    •    In Division I men's basketball, 22.3 percent of all head coaches were African-American, which was up 1.5 percentage points from the 20.8 percent reported in the 2015-16 season, but is still down 2.9 percentage points from the all-time high of 25.2 percent reported in the 2005-06 season.

    •    Only 7.2 percent of Division I head baseball coaches were people of color.

    •    The number of head football coaches of color at the FBS level increased by one to 17 in 2017. Eighty-seven percent of FBS head coaches were white in the 2017 season.

    •    When you combine the divisions, white coaches filled up 84, 91 and 95 percent of basketball, football and baseball head-coaching positions, respectively.

    •    African-Americans were so unrepresented as head coaches in Division III that the percentage of women coaching men's teams was actually higher than the percentage of African-Americans coaching men's team (6.2 percent versus 5.0 percent).

    •    Perhaps the most damning statistics are that more than 45 years after the passage of Title IX, women hold less than 40 percent of coaching opportunities in women's sports. Women held only 39.8 percent of the head-coaching jobs of women's teams in Division I, 35 percent in Division II and 44 percent in Division III.

    •    Looking at all Division I conferences, excluding Historically Black Conferences, 28 of 30 commissioners were white. Ten were women. This is the same as last year's results.

Ho hum.

http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/22602600/the-ncaa-continues-struggle-2017-racial-gender-report-card

coach's wife's card






*********** Not sure where I saw this, but it sure would be a good idea for every football coach’s wife to carry a pack around with her. (Please feel free to copy and print as many as you need.)










*********** "Unlike other sports trophies, replicas of which are given to winning teams, there’s only one Stanley Cup, and in a country as hockey-obsessed as Canada, you can imagine what a big deal it is when the Stanley Cup comes to Moose Jaw for the day..."

Uh, Oh...

Wife Kathy and I follow the Tampa Bay Lightning (Go Bolts!) and have often switched to the NBC Sports Cable What-Not to watch whatever other NHL game is on between Periods in the Lightning run through the Play-Offs.

The other night the main TeeVee Announcer was giving us an anecdotal on a player who lived in the wilds of Moose Jaw.  Things is tough up there, don'cha know.

He turns to his partner and sez, "Do you know where Moose Jaw is?".  His partner knows he is being set up.

"Yes, I do...Ummm..."

"It's about four feet in front of the Moose's rear end..."

Self edited for television.

Charlie Wilson
Crystal River, Florida


*********** If/when Johnny Manziel ever makes it to The Show,  he’s already got himself a shoe, called “The Comeback.” 

Comeback? Don't you have to have been there before you can make a comeback?

https://thebiglead.com/2018/04/09/johnny-manziel-comeback-shoe-line-tony-gonzalez/

*********** While trying unsuccessfully to upload my page on Tueday night, I had some delightful online “chats” with the folks at Verio, whose server I use…

For what it’s worth, after hours and hours of back-and-forth, their "experts"  found that although I couldn’t upload things to my site, they could, which meant that the "issue" (does that make me  sound like a techie?)  was with my local network. I asked if maybe I should try doing what I always do when ever my Internet is down: unplug my modem and my router, and then replug them.

“Sure, you could try that,” was their reply.

Problem solved.  More than 12 hours after it was reported.

I suspect they didn’t tell me what to do right away because over in India they get their laughs listening  to old white American guys who are pissed off.

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

Head coach P.J. Fleck of the Minnesota Golden Gophers says they are going to actually play a full game this Saturday.  Maroon vs Gold.  This should be an interesting watch.

The Air Force AD must be a little crazy himself to take on the AD job at Berserkely.

Loved your joke.

You brought up a very good point about how homogeneous college football has become.  While I still manage to follow my heart and watch Notre Dame, Minnesota, and Fresno State I have become a huge fan of the service academies and Georgia Tech because they bring back a flood of great memories!

That incident at East Tennessee is just the tip of a very large iceberg. 

Have a great week!

Joe 

PS - I was right when I asked at the end of my last email to you, "What's next?"

Apparently it would be having USA teaching all of us how to BLOCK.  Well...why not?  We have ATAVUS teaching us how to TACKLE!  I guess the only things left for us is to have the NBA teach us how to FLOP, and the MSL teach us how to FAKE an injury after the FLOP.  OH...and yes...we will need to be CERTIFIED in all of them!

God help us.

Things are bad when you can go on YouTube and look  at college football games from 30 or 40 years ago and say, “that was better football!”  The players - linemen especially - were trimmer,  and on offense they really came off the ball hard and low.  An they still wore big boys’ shoulder pads -  because they used them.

I know we’re starting to sound like two old farts who can’t believe what these young whippersnappers are up to, but between the Hawk Tackling, the so-called blocking , and the group hug at East Tennessee, it's getting ridiculous.



*********** There are several reasons why Coach Jeff Brohm recruits Kentucky kids to Purdue University.  Perhaps the primary reason is he's from Louisville ("Lou-a-vul" to Kentucky natives), he played and coached at the University of Louisville and also coached at Western Kentucky.  I don't know how he managed to do it, but for a few years Western Kentucky hosted the Kentucky high school championship games. He was able to bring Kentucky's best players onto his own turf.  Because of this he knows most of the top high school coaches in the Commonwealth.  It also helps that the University of Kentucky is a basketball school where the football team is at best an afterthought.  But to those of us from Kentucky, moving North is a tradition. My father was from the Hills of Kentucky. The state thought so much of his "green" valley that they dammed-up the creek and turned it into a reservoir. There is a rather bitter saying in Kentucky: "The Three R's in Kentucky are readin', writin' and Route 31 to Indianapolis."  These kids are simply following the road of their ancestors. And, by the way, doesn't West Point ("THE United States Military Academy") also wear gold and black?

Jim Franklin
Flora, Indiana

Army Shield
I see some real fighting ahead in Kentucky, the Dark and Bloody Ground. Kentucky is not so large a state that it turns out enough D-I prospects to  support four programs: Kentucky, Louisville, Western and… Purdue.  You’re right about Army, although I don’t think of them as a black-and-gold team like the others (Purdue, Vanderbilt, Wake). Army actually has three colors - black, gray and gold. But they never seem to use the gray - and their “gold”  (shield and sword at left) is looking to me more and more like dijon mustard.




*********** QUIZ ANSWER - My wife and I enjoy watching a TV show called “Barnwood Builders,” based on a crew of guys from West Virginia who buy up old, dilapidated barns and log cabins, then - when they can - carefully disassemble them,  and rebuild them elsewhere for people willing to pay well for their work.

Sometimes, when they can’t reconstruct, they’ll build something similar, using the original logs.

Sometimes, they just add the barnwood to their “boneyard,” where they come in handy as “spare parts” for future projects.

That description doesn’t do the show justice, because what this team of guys does reflects a great deal of respect for the craftsmen who initially built the old structures.

I was watching the show Sunday night when the “star,” a Mountaineer named Mark Bowe, took us on a visit to a place in Monongalia County, near the Pennsylvania line, where a guy had restored an old stone house that dated back to 1815.

The place was a near-wreck when the guy found it, but now, it’s absolutely beautiful, inside and out.

The guy who restored it is a former West Virginia University quarterback - Jeff Hosteler.  A Pennsylvania native, he originally enrolled at Penn State, but after Todd Blackledge was named the starter, he transferred to WVU.  After sitting out the mandatory year, he started for two seasons and the Mountaineers went 18-6, including a win over #9-ranked Oklahoma in his first-ever start, and WVU’s first win over Pitt in seven years.  He even inspired a country song, “Ole Hoss.” And he married his college coach, Don Nehlen’s, daughter. In the NFL, he blazed the trail for Nick Foles:  Near the end of the 1990 season, after playing several years in the NFL, mostly as a backup, he was contemplating retiring, when the Giants’ starter, Phil Simms, broke his foot in the 14th game of the season.  Although he had started just two games in his career up to then,  Jeff Hosteler took over the team and led the Giants to five straight wins: two regular-season games, two playoff games, and a 20-19  Super Bowl win over the Buffalo Bills.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igY3pd61WzQ

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING JEFF HOSTETLER -
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
DAVE DEMPSEY - BRICK, NEW JERSEY
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
JOHN HARRIS - MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

*********** QUIZ - Short and stout, he was often referred to as the “Little Round Man.”

He was born in Milledgeville, Georgia, and went to Georgia Military College and then Mercer University. After graduation, he spent 10 years as a high school coach, and at three different schools he coached undefeated championship teams.

He got his first college coaching job in 1938, and after one year as an assistant there he was promoted to head coach and remained on the job  there until 1960.

His overall record was 140-86-9.  His 1942 team won the national title, and his 10-0 1946 team was one of only two undefeated teams in the country.  In an era when bowls were few and a bowl appearance was quite an accomplishment, his teams were 5-2-1 in bowl games.

Two of his best players were Frank Sinkwich, who won the Heisman Trophy, and Charlie Trippi, who won the Maxwell Trophy.

He was an early proponent of the passing game, and two of his quarterbacks - John Rauch and Zeke Bratkowski - went on to play in the NFL.

He was also ahead of his time in going way out of state for talent: Sinkwich (born in Croatia) was from Youngstown, Ohio; Trippi was from Pittston, Pennsylvania; Bratkowski was from Danville, Illinois; and Rauch was from Yeadon, Pennsylvania.

After his retirement as head coach, he remained at the school as AD, and when a major magazine claimed that he and Alabama coach Bear Bryant had conspired to fix their schools’ upcoming game, he and Bryant sued for $10 million each.  Bryant settled for $300,000, but our guy took it to court and was awarded $3 million. It was the largest settlement in history at that time, and is generally considered to have been the major factor in the demise of the magazine.


american flagTUESDAY,  APRIL 10,  2018 -  "I will pound you and pound you until you quit." Woody Hayes

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

I know it's only Monday but I had to let you know what I read this morning.

The Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) has mandated that high school football coaches now must become "certified" to teach tackling if they intend on coaching in the state of Texas.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/sports/New-Tackling-Training-Requirement-for-Texas-Coaches-Aims-to-Make-Football-Safer-478690113.html

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) which governs high school sports (public schools) in Texas has moved to reduce the threat of concussions in football by requiring member schools to have their coaches become "certified" in tackling within the next two years. 

The certification process is being sponsored and managed by ATAVUS Sports (a Seattle-based company), that introduced the concept to Pete Carroll the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.

Here are some interesting articles related to this:

https://rugby.atavus.com/why-is-rutgers-football-coach-chris-ash-at-a-rugby-tournament-in-philadelphia-this-weekend/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2017/08/23/nebraska-decides-to-punt-on-rugby-style-tackling/104891702/

What's next? 

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Wow.   I guess “Hawk Tackling” wasn’t selling, so Atavus rebranded it - and sold it to the state of Texas.

Never underestimate the power of modern-day marketing.

I notice that Nebraska cancelled on them, after first paying them $100,000 (to teach something that their own staff of almost a dozen coaches, being paid upwards of $100,000 should  already have been capable of teaching). 

Is there some cover-your-legal-ass going on?

Meantime, in other states, you can’t coach unless you’re USA Football-certified in Heads-Up Tackling.

Tackling, it appears, is in danger of becoming like religion. 


*********** The Woz - Steve Wozniak, co-founder, along with Steve Jobs, of Apple, says he’s though with Facebook.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2018/04/08/apple-co-founder-steve-wozniak-says-hes-leaving-facebook/497392002/

*********** Wrote Tom Davis, an expatriate Philadelphian who now lives in San Carlos, California,  “For a Butterscotch Krimpet I would need a whole sandwich.”

*********** I have to admit that although I recorded all the spring games I could, I’ll have to wait until sometime in 2019 to see them all.  But I did look at Purdue’s on Saturday.  I find myself gravitating toward becoming a Purdue fan. Purdue reminds me of Vanderbilt and Wake Forest, two schools where my grandkids attend.  They all have that dingy color combination in common;  and they all have academic standards that put them at a disadvantage when they have to compete against schools that can recruit knuckleheads.

*********** Not sure what this means, but Purdue has more Kentucky kids in its freshman recruiting class than Kentucky or Louisville.

The Boilermakers look as if they could be returning to the days when Purdue was known as a quarterback factory, with three guys, veteran David Blough, Nick Sipe, and Jack Plummer, an early-admit from Arizona, looking really sharp. (Plummer is a nephew of Jake the Snake Plummer.)

And Elijah Sindelar didn’t even play. He was The Man at the end of last season. He’s recovering from knee surgery after playing the last four games of 2017 with torn ligaments.  How’d he do? He led Purdue to wins in their last three games, concluding his season with a 33 of 53 for 396 yards and 4 TD performance against Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl.
.
Purdue honored its graduating seniors by awarding them their  jerseys, nicely framed, presented to them by former Purdue standouts, two of whom were Mike Alstott and Leroy Keyes.

*********** I’m just waiting for somebody in Washington (DC, that is)  to wake up and recognize that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and such are essentially common carriers, just like Greyhound, or Amtrak, or Delta, and they can’t refuse service to people simply because they don’t like their politics.

As it is, they are taking on quasi-government status - a government without the constraint of a Bill of Rights.

I am a BIG fan of Diamond and Silk, two southern black women with an uncanny ability to see through - and ridicule -  the liberal line,  and it pisses me off no end to learn that Facebook has basically banned them because, it claims,  their “content and brand has been determined unsafe to the community.”  Yeah, unsafe. Unsafe to the liberal community.  But then, common sense usually is.  And it really scares the sh— out of libs when black people express conservative ideas.

https://canadafreepress.com/article/bringbackdiamondsilk

*********** Jim Knowlton, AD at Air Force the last three years, will take over as AD at Cal.

I assume that the money at Cal must be better - but it still might not be enough to offset the much higher cost of living in the Bay Area.

I KNOW that he must like a challenge, because Cal is definitely that.  Forget all the a$$holes who inhabit Cal, one of the most liberal universities (a redundancy) in the US.  It’s a big enough place that you can keep your distance.  The real issue is money - mainly as a result of a poorly thought-out decision to update its stadium, Cal’s athletic program is deeply in debt, and it’s quite likely that Knowlton has been brought in to take the axe to one or more of Cal’s 30 sports.

Although Air Force is certainly Division One and also has plenty to sports to support, this is Knowlton’s first venture into the world of REALLY big-money sports - before Air Force, he was AD at Division III Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York.

*********** My friend Bob Novogratz sent me this video of an encounter with a gorilla in the wild…

https://www.chonday.com/24711/gorencda5/

I was reminded of the old joke about the guy who’d answered the circus’  help-wanted ad for a lion tamer.  The owner told him that there was one other applicant, who was just getting ready to audition.  He pointed to a nearby cage, where a good-looking young woman stood near the door, disrobing.  Once she was completely naked, she entered the cage and held her arms out to a big, male lion. Jumping down off the box he’d been sitting on, the lion walked over to the woman, rubbed against her in the manner of a house cat, and then began to lick her, from head to toe.  “Think you can do better that?” the owner asked our guy. Came the answer, “Get that lion the hell out of there and I’ll give it a shot.”

*********** After a cursory glance at a few of Saturday’s spring games - Purdue, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Auburn - it's hard to escape the conclusion that college football is becoming more and more homogeneous. One of these days somebody will make money with a Treasure Hunt app in which every Saturday competitors race to be the first one to text all five screen shots of (1) an actual quarterback - you know, one of those guys who actually go under center to take a snap; (2) a real fullback, who actually carries the ball a few times a game; (3) a real tight end, who blocks and everything; (4) an offensive lineman in a three-point stance; (5) a formation with fewer than three wide-outs.
 
*********** It was very clever to use Robert Neyland as the quote and trivia answer in the same NYCU. Great quote. We may start the season with it.

Concerning your commentary on sensitive language amongst today’s society:

I remember being a freshman in high school walking home with a neighbour after school (it was a two mile walk that we thought nothing about). He had just finished freshman baseball and I was on the track team. He showed me his end of the year evaluation from the baseball coach, which read: “Next year try out for track.”

We both laughed.

Can you imagine that happening today? That coach would have parents sending him an angry email before he had sat down to dinner.
 
Tom Walls
Winnipeg, Manitoba

That is SO insensitive.  And SO like the tough, hard-nose teachers and coaches that I benefitted from. (“Shake it off, Wyatt!” to the - possibly - concussed 7th grader.)

And SO representative of what made us what we are today!

There’s no doubt that coach would be accused of abuse by today’s parents, who spent all those years convincing their son that he was God’s clone.

***********
I am not in favor of coaches striking players.   But I sure do believe that if parents had  smacked more of them in the ass when they were little, we'd have a lot fewer problems today.

Randy Sanders, the new head coach at East Tennessee, ran into an uncoachable sort who, based on the way he took correction, I'm willing to bet never had his backside warmed:

A defensive player intercepted a pass during one drill and began running the ball out of the end zone. Sanders approached the player and told him not to run with the ball and instead just take a knee in the end zone. The player replied that he would take a knee in an actual game situation.

Sanders then slapped the player's helmet. According to the report, the player became "visibly upset," took off his helmet and pads and left the field while some of his teammates attempted to console him. Sanders said he tried to speak with the player but let him walk away after seeing the player's reaction.
Of course the coach shouldn't have hit the player's helmet. He was docked a week's pay for it.  

But come on - how tough is that kid?

Why, he was "visibly upset!"  Waaah.  He "
took off his helmet and pads and left the field!" Oh, the poor thing. Fortunately, though, other players "attempted to console him."

Wow. Unless they can find some old-fashioned toughness somewhere, there's going to be a lot of taking off of helmets and pads and leaving the field when they play Tennessee on September 8.

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/23054956/newly-hired-etsu-coach-randy-sanders-reprimanded-docked-helmet-slap


*********** QUIZ  ANSWER - A native Texan, Robert Reese Neyland (KNEE-land) started out at Texas A & M but transferred after a year to West Point.  He was an all-round athlete. He played football - he was a teammate of a Kansan named Dwight Eisenhower, a Missourian named Omar Bradley, and a Floridian named James Van Fleet  (Eisenhower and Bradley would go on to earn five stars each, and Van Fleet four) - he was a standout pitcher on the baseball team, and he was the Academy’s heavyweight boxing champion.

An outstanding student, he graduated as a civil engineer, and spent a career in the Army, retiring as a general.

After World War I service, he spent six years at West Point, part of the time as aide to the Superintendent, one Douglas MacArthur, as well as assisting the football team, until 1925,  when he was assigned to serve as an ROTC instructor at the University of Tennessee. (He had chosen the assignment because Tennessee's football team was so poor.) There, he assisted with the football team for one year, and the next year he took over as head coach.  With time off for two different tours of active duty, he would hold that position for the next 26 years.

In 21 seasons as head coach, his teams won 173 games and lost only 31 times.

In all, he had 6 undefeated teams, 6 teams with only one loss, and 5 with just two losses.

He ran a balanced-line single wing, and was a proponent of a strong kicking game, but he was most famous for his defense.

In 1938 and 1939, his teams ran off 17 straight shutouts, and 70 consecutive quarters of shutout football.

So stout were his defenses that over his entire career, his teams gave up an average go just 5.6 points per game. One of his most famous players, all-time great lineman Herman Hickman, once said,

“If General Neyland could score a touchdown on you, he had you beat.  If he could score two - he had you in a rout.”

He never had a losing season, but, after retiring from the Army (as a brigadier general) after World War II, he had back-to-back .500 seasons in 1947 and 1948, and some began to question his emphasis on defense and his stubborn insistence on continuing to run the single-wing.

He put an end to any doubts by going 36-6-2 in his final four seasons, including winning the national title in 1951.

After retiring as head coach in 1952, he served as AD until 1962. When he became head coach, the stadium seated 3,200 people.  When he retired as AD, it seated 46,000 people.  Now, it’s named Neyland Stadium in his honor, and it seats in excess of 100,000

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING GENERAL BOB NEYLAND
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOHN BOWEN - MT. VERNON, GEORGIA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
DAVID BUCHANAN - BARRE, MASSACHUSETTS
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
MIKE BENTON - COLFAX, ILLINOIS
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON


*********** General Robert R. Neyland  had the first no-hitter in Army West Point baseball history.
Tim Brown
Florence, Alabama

*********** Gen. Robert Reese Neyland…Would always visit the stadium when passing through to the Smokies, during Spring Break on our way to Columbia, SC to visit our daughter & catch one of her track meets...I’m sure our coach’s family isn’t the 1st to go a little out of the way to visit a stadium on their travels!

Mark Kaczmarek
Davenport, Iowa

Guilty as charged.  I’ve been known to drive out of my way to see a stadium.  My friend, the late Frank “The Pope” Lovinski, had a  competition with his younger brother, Chuck, to see who could watch games in the most college stadia - Division I, II and III.

I swear The Pope once told me he had seen games in more than 100 stadia.


*********** A video, sent by Greg Koenig

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcfYRqI4-Ek

*********** A Video about the General, narrated by the great Lindsay Nelson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4b1702-i2c

*********** General Neyland’s “Seven Maxims” are known to anyone who played football at Tennessee, many people who have followed Tennessee football over the years, and lots of southern football fans:

* The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.
* Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way – SCORE.
* If at first the game – or the breaks – go against you, don't let up... put on more steam.***
* Protect our kickers, our QB, our lead and our ball game.
* Ball, Oskie, cover, block, cut and slice, pursue and gang tackle... for this is the WINNING EDGE.
* Press the kicking game. Here is where the breaks are made.
* Carry the fight to our opponent and keep it there for 60 minutes.

*** When these words were written, the most powerful machines on earth were steam locomotives.

http://library.la84.org/SportsLibrary/CFHSN/CFHSNv16/CFHSNv16n2a.pdf

Andy Kozar Book
*********** Throughout his career, with an occasional hiatus  here and there, General Neyland was a journalist,  in the purest sense of the word - he kept a journal, and he kept many of his hand-drawn diagrams. In 2002, fifty  years after General Neyland's retirement, one of his former players, a big fullback named Andy Kozar who had gone on to earn a Ph.D. and become a professor at Tennessee, assembled the General's notes and drawings and published a magnificent book entitled “Football as a War Game: the Annotated Journals of General R. R. Neyland.”  For the football historian or the single-wing aficionado, it's priceless. Well, maybe not exactly  priceless, but damn near:


Back in 2005, I bought the book directly  from Andy Kozar - it cost $75.


A recent look at Amazon found just two copies available: one (“used - like new”) could be had for $650.  The other, in mint condition, could be yours for $1,400.


(One of my few good investments.  In fairness, I should add that I also own several shares of GE.)


Dr. Kozar begins by describing “The Warrior Behind the Words”:


In the beginning there was Camp, and he was The Law. He said, “Let there be a line of scrimmage,” and there was. He said, “Let there be eleven players,” and there were. He said, “Let there be a system of downs to determine ball possession,” and it was so.

But if Walter Camp, the great 1888-1892 Yale coach, was the father of football, then another Yalie who went  west to Chicago, Amos Alonzo Stagg, was surely the sport’s first artist, weaving laterals and reverses into the game’s design, putting the man in motion, numbering the players, and bestowing varsity letters.  The game would never look the same after this former divinity student had his say.

Of course, that is not to discount the contributions of Glen “Pop” Warner, the wily shape shifter who relished the tricky play and whose genius birthed the single wing offense, which provided sufficient deception for both the running and the passing game.

These were the men who created football on the fly, on practice and game fields of the Ivies and, in the case of Warner, on the fields of the Carlisle Indian School, where his native Americans played , including the great Jim Thorpe.

In the early days Yale dominated the game, but in 1898 the arrival of two players ushered in the “golden age” of Harvard football. One was the aristocratic Percy Haughton; the other a sensational quarterback named Charles Daly, who earned All-American status there and later at West Point. Both men went on to become noted coaches.  Houghton was a brilliant innovator, assimilating the ideas of Camp and Warner into his own original contributions.  When Haughton was made Harvard’s head coach in 1908, he hired Charles Daly as his assistant.  Although the two men were contemporaries, it is generally agreed that Daly absorbed most of Haughton’s philosophies and that he passed them on when he himself became a head coach at West Point.

Thus, when a young Texan named Robert Reese Neyland arrived at the Point in 1912, his football lineage would stretch back to the founders of the game.

The book’s title? Dr. Kozar explains:

In 1916, in his book  “Football and How to Watch it,”  Percy Haughton wrote,  “Football is a miniature war game played under somewhat more civilized rules of conduct, in which the team becomes the military force of the school or university it represents. In fact, most of the combat principles of the field service regulations of the United States Army are applicable to the modern game of football. As in combat, decisive results are obtained only by an aggressive offense.”

And in 1921, General Neyland’s mentor, Charlie Daly, wrote “Football is a war game. The most remarkable similarity exists between the basic principle of combat in war and in football.”

Added Dr. Kozar:  That Neyland’s leadership was militaristic is obvious from his application of the basic military principles adopted by our armed forces, which include objective, offensive, mass, economy of force, maneuver, unity of command, security, surprise and simplicity.

You can also see some of General Neyland’s “maxims” in these “axioms,” taken from Daly’s book:

Football Axioms
1. Football is a battle.  Go out and fight and keep it up all afternoon.
2. A man’s value to his team varies inversely as his distance from the ball.
3. If the line goes forward, the team wins.  If the line comes backward, the team loses.

Game Axioms
1. Make and play for the breaks.  When one comes your way, score.
2. If the game or a break goes against you, don’t lie down - put on more steam.
3. Don’t save yourself.  Go the limit.  There are good men on the sidelines when you are exhausted.

*********** QUIZ - My wife and I enjoy watching a TV show called “Barnwood Builders,” about a crew of country guys from West Virginia who buy up old, dilapidated barns and log cabins, and - when they can - carefully disassemble them  and rebuild them elsewhere,  on the sites of people who I gather are willing to pay them well for their labors.

Sometimes, when they can’t reconstruct, they’ll build something similar, using as many of the  original logs as possible.

Sometimes, they just add the barnwood to their “boneyard,” where it comes in handy as “spare parts” for future projects.

That description doesn’t do the show justice, because what this team of guys does reflects a great deal of respect for the rugged rural craftsmen who initially built the old structures.

I was watching the show Sunday night when the “star,” a Mountaineer named Mark Bowe, took us on a visit to a place in Monongalia County, up near the Pennsylvania line, where a guy had restored an old stone house that dated back to 1815.

The place was a near-wreck when the guy found it, but now, it’s absolutely beautiful, inside and out.

The guy who restored it is a former West Virginia University quarterback.  A Pennsylvania native, he originally enrolled at Penn State, but after Todd Blackledge was named the starter there, he transferred to WVU.  After sitting out the mandatory year, he started for two seasons in Morgantown, and during that time the Mountaineers went 18-6, including a win over #9-ranked Oklahoma in his first-ever start, and WVU’s first win over Pitt in seven years.  He even inspired a country song, “Ole Hoss.” And he married his college coach’s daughter. In the NFL, he blazed the trail for Nick Foles' astounding performance in this year's Super Bowl:  Near the end of the 1990 season, after playing several years in the NFL, mostly as a backup, he was contemplating retiring until the Giants’ starter, Phil Simms, broke his foot in the 14th game of the season.  Although he had started just two games in his career up to then,  he took over the team and led the Giants to five straight wins: two regular-season games, two playoff games, and a 20-19  Super Bowl win over the Buffalo Bills.


american flagFRIDAY,  APRIL 6,  2018 “Winners don't win. Losers lose. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will be the winner."   General Robert R. Neyland

*********** Johnny Manziel reminds me of Hillary Clinton. They’ve both blown amazing opportunities, and they both blame their failures on somebody else.

Manziel, the artist once known as Johnny Football, says it’s the Browns’ fault that he didn’t make it with them.  See, despite what he might have told them otherwise, they should have known, for God’s sake, that he wasn’t going to apply himself! That he wasn’t going to work at being a professional quarterback!  They should have known that he wasn’t going to be spending his time in the offices looking at film when he could be out partying.

Those damn, deplorable Browns.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/04/04/the-problems-with-manziels-comments-about-the-browns/

*********** The city of Vancouver, Washington, which adjoins my town, Camas,  was actually named before its much bigger and better-known counterpart in British Columbia.

The USA version was originally Fort Vancouver,  the first European settlement in the Pacific Northwest.  It was still British territory then, and Fort Vancouver was a trading post owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company.

A replica of the original fort still stands, and it’s quite impressive. Depending on when you visit, it’s possible to see all sorts of craftsmen performing their trades just as they would have nearly 200 years ago, using the tools of the time.

I was just reading an article about the first steamboat in the Pacific Northwest.  It was built in England and brought to Fort Vancouver (under sail power - they didn’t want to risk the steam engines on an ocean voyage) about 1835.

Anyone nostalgic for the days of steam should know that fueling the steamboat kept a team of 12 woodcutters constantly busy: it took them two days to cut enough wood to keep the boat operating for just one day. (Personally, I’d have recommended hiring 12 more woodcutters.)

Ah, the good old days. 

*********** I wouldn’t say that we’ve grown soft.  Oh, no - not the nation whose college-age students insist that they be warned that the literary classic “Huckleberry Finn,” written more than 100 years ago, might contain language considered offensive by today’s standards.

(I find their sensitivity to objectionable language ironic, after hearing Parkland shooting “survivor” David Hogg, supposedly a spokesperson for today’s oh-so-bright young people, generously larding his talks with vulgarities.)

But I didn’t realize how bad things had become until I heard the promo for the movie “Chappaquidick,” and the warning that it showed “historic smoking.”

“Get the kids out of here, Martha! Someone in the movie just lit up a cigarette!”

*********** Back in the 1970s, when Lou Holtz was at Arkansas, I bet I heard him speak a half-dozen times.  He was a lot better then - not like today, when he’s on TV talking to a mass audience.  Back then, it was at coaching clinics.  He was talking to fellow football coaches, and lemme tell you - there was no one better.

He could talk X’s and O’s with the best of them.  He could bring down the house with his self-disparaging humor.  He could perform magic tricks.  And  in his homespun way, he could impart some real wisdom.

One nugget that I’ve remembered through the years was, “you get what you want in life by giving other people what they want.”

Think about that - it’s really simple but it’s really deep. It’s about thinking of others and what motivates them. 

I’ve used it in my own life, and I’ve passed it along to football players in locker rooms and students in my classrooms.

It applies, I tell them, to a girlfriend, or a parent, or a boss, or a teammate, or a teacher.  Or a coach.   You don’t break into the starting lineup, I’d say, by showing up late to practice.  You’re not going to be in the plans if you refuse to come to summer conditioning.  Simple as that.

In economic terms, we’re talking about a form of barter.  Quid pro quo. This for that.

My daughter, Vicky, majored in economics, and she was recently asked to teach a lesson on economics to a group of third graders.  Now what the hell do third graders know about a supply curve?  Or a medium of exchange? Or money, for that matter?

But they know about barter.  Even if they don’t know the word, they know what it means.  They’ve all exchanged something.  They’ve swapped.   They’ve traded. They have an idea of the value of a thing, based on what they might get for it in trade.  They begin to understand that in order to get something that they want that someone else has, they will have to give up something of theirs that the other person wants.

As I talked with Vicky, I heard Lou Holtz once again.  I told her what he said, and I reminded her of the days of, “I’ll trade you a butterscotch krimpet*  for half your peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”

Actually, nowadays (if they’re fortunate enough to have someone pack a lunch for them) it’s probably “I’ll trade you a handful of trail mix for your kale salad.”

(Provided the school hasn’t already outlawed the swapping of food.)

* A Philly treat, made by the makers of TastyKake.

*********** I had a friend named Norm Maves, now retired after years of writing for the Portland Oregonian, who came to talk to one of my high school writing classes, and he mentioned that if you were to think of a piece of writing as a building, spelling, punctuation and grammar were  the nails and screws and nuts and bolts that held your structure together.

At roughly the same time, the elementary school principal asked me if I would help judge their annual writing competition.  Somehow, she mentioned that spelling, punctuation and grammar were not to be considered in the judging, because they “didn’t stress that.”

Telling her that from my point of view, that was the only thing they should be stressing, I declined.

It made no difference.  The feel-good teaching continues to this day: “Just get them to put it down on paper.  Don’t discourage their creativity by insisting on all those stupid rules.” Creativity above communication.

Then came email and texting and with it - OMG - the further decline of our language.

But at least we had the news media as the last outpost of correct English.  I mean, you’d think, in the four years of “journalism school” that’s supposedly required to learn what’s needed to get an internship at a TV station, that there would be time to teach the basics of our language. 

But you’d be wrong. Instead, they’re churning out graduates who are well equipped to go to war for social justice, other than the fact that they lack the language skills that your grandparents had before they left eighth grade.

They don’t have the slightest understanding of the meaning of  swim-swam-swum… or drink-drank-drunk… or run-ran-run.

They take nouns and make verbs out of them. (Not that they even know what nouns and verbs are.)  The nounverb “to task” is here to stay. The mountain has been “summitted.” We “gifted” her.  And just yesterday I heard someone on TV say that the police had “efforted” to try to do something.

They seem to think that the past tense (tense? what’s that?) of every verb (oops - there’s that word again) is formed by putting a “-d” or an “-ed” at the end.  Remember what the “journalists” said that protesting NFL players did during the national anthem? Why, they “kneeled,” is what they did. (Is “I feeled sick” next?)  And an Olympian “dived.” (Later, I suppose, he downed a six-pack and then drived drunk.)  The defendant “pleaded” not guilty.  The quarterback “slided” for the first down. And the driver “speeded,” and “weaved” in and out of traffic.

Today, I read in the newspaper that the Ravens had just signed Robert Griffin III, whose career, the article said, had “grinded to a halt.”

I winded the clock.  And I finded some grinded beef and made it into a patty.

God help us all.  It’s evolution in reverse.

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

I have a question about your cadence or lack of cadence.

By going on a single call, in this case “Go” what, if anything, has that taken away from the defense? It seems to me that it would handicap the defense's ability to stem or shift. Have you seen this?

Also, do you have any coaching tips that you used when you made this transition (other than the foot for motion).

While it may actually help the defense somewhat, thinking that they know when we’ll snap the ball,  we can negate that by spending a little practice time - very little - working on a longer count or a “no play” in which we don’t snap it at all.

I see few disadvantages, and a lot of advantages, the chief one being that we NEVER get false start penalties.  What’s that worth?

Going to a simple snap command was never an issue because 95 per cent of the time we went on the same count (go-ready-HUT) anyhow.  It just amounted to saying “the hell with it - let’s just go on 'GO!' every time!”

We decided this one July day at a camp in Kansas - just like that - and when I returned to my team I said that’s the way it’s going to be and that’s the way it’s been for almost 10 years.

It’s given us one less thing to have to deal with in practice, and  as much as possible, along with using the play cards, it's taken memorization - long- or short-term - out of the equation for the kids.

Kids love anything that they don’t have to think about.  And so should coaches, because when kids have to think they can’t be aggressive.

Snapping on GO does give us the ability to snap the ball while the defense is in the process of stemming (shifting).  It is a HUGE help when we’re under center.


*********** I have to admit that I thought that  the name of every player on every NHL team that ever won the Stanley Cup is engraved on the famous trophy.

Oh, I knew that the trophy had grown rather large, from what was once just a rather small silver bowl. I knew that its base had been added to, one layer after another containing the names of more and more players from more and more teams, as the years have passed.

But what I didn’t know was that all that adding to the trophy had finally come to an end - that adding any more layers, and any more names, would make the trophy too large to carry around the ice on the famous “skate-around” by the members of the winning team that follows every Stanley Cup final game.

And, every bit as important, too large to be carried on airlines, when the cup makes its off-season trips, escorted by an NHL executive, to assorted places around the globe where it spends 24 hours with every member of the winning team. (Unlike other sports trophies, replicas of which are given to winning teams, there’s only one Stanley Cup, and in a country as hockey-obsessed as Canada, you can imagine what a big deal it is when the Stanley Cup comes to Moose Jaw for the day.)

So, sorry to say, in order to make room for future players on future Stanley Cup-winning teams, something has to go.  Now, that “something” is a silver band on which was engraved the names of players from 1954 to 1965.  It will be flattened out and sent to the hockey Hall of Fame, but the names on it - names like Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe and Maurice “The Rocket” Richard, and the other players from the great Montreal and Toronto teams of that era - will no longer be on the Stanley Cup.

Right now, if you're an old-timer, they figure your time on the cup to be another 63 years. Eventually, provided we don’t destroy our planet, every name that's now on it will be gone, too.

So much for immortality.

https://apnews.com/3d3ebad3e38a4d028160321cba92c702

*********** EXCERPTED FROM THE UPCOMING DOUBLE WING PLAYBOOK-
Playbook wedge
*********** Hugh,

Hope you and Connie were able to enjoy a peaceful and blessed Easter.

I've always followed the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, "What lies behind us, and what lies ahead of us, are small matters compared to what lies within us." 

I can still remember the days.  Practicing getting under our school desks covering our heads during atomic bomb attack drills.  Sitting at grandma's house when I was 10 years old watching the TV with my family wondering if we were about to die from a nuclear war.  Then, after I had turned 18, when my family and I sat in front of the TV and watched with baited breath the "lottery" for the draft (and I'm not talking about the NFL or the NBA), and watched as the basket of numbers spun around to determine the fate of so many young American boys including yours truly.  And voila!  Pretty scary stuff.

Whew!  No chance for a Schwartzylvania.

I'm close to getting rid of my DISH service.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, Hopper and Joeys and all that stuff.  My only question for them when I bought it was, "Will I lose the signal during a storm?"  I had a number of my friends have that experience.  Answer, "OH, gosh, NO!  Our equipment is so much better now!  You won't have that happen."   Yeah, sure. here's my answer now that I have had it for a couple of years, "Well...you better keep trying to improve your equipment because what you have cannot cope with the nasty storms we get here in Texas, because EVERY TIME we get a storm we lose the d***signal!!"

We don't have a "Unity Week" yet here at my school.  Give it time.

Where and when did all this take a knee for injuries thing get started?

QUIZ:  This was an easy one...Weeb Ewbank!

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

The superintendent has apologized to the community. But Mr. Schwarzman is not going to have to go away empty-handed.  They won’t be naming the high school for him - or, for that matter, the township.  BUT - in addition to the stadium, which was already named for him, they are going to put his name on the school’s new Center for Science and Technology. 

AND, to acknowledge his appreciation of his experience on the track team, two of his track teammates will be  honored by having athletic buildings named for them, and the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame will be named in honor of his former track coach.

I’m left wondering if perhaps there might have been other athletes or coaches over the years  more deserving on the basis of their accomplishments, but what the hell use is all that money if you can’t buy almost anything you want with it?  (Almost.)

Not exactly Schwarzylvania.  But pretty damn close.


http://www.philly.com/philly/education/abington-high-school-apology-steven-schwarzman-25-million-donation-20180403.html?mobi=true

*********** Adam Wesoloski, who now lives in Pulaski, Wisconsin, is a Menominee, Michigan native who not long ago sent me a nice article about fellow Menominee native Billy Wells.  This latest news is about the passing of another Menominee athlete, Bill Rademacher, who played for the New York Jets on the Super Bowl team that beat the Colts.

http://ehextra.com/Content/SPORTS/Sports-Articles/Article/Menominee-s-ultimate-overachiever-/14/37/46267

*********** I'm pleased to see the US Army taking steps to raise the standards. Hopefully, other segments of society will follow their lead and buck the trend of lowering standards to be inclusive.

Coach Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

*********** QUIZ ANSWER - Weeb Ewbank coached John Unitas and Joe Namath.  He is the only coach to have won an NFL championship and an AFL championship. He won a Super Bowl by beating the team that had fired him six years earlier.

He came out of Richmond, Indiana and attended Miami University, where he played football, baseball and basketball.  One of his football teammates was a transfer from Ohio State named Paul Brown.

After graduation, he coached high school football in Ohio until 1943, when he joined the Navy during World War II.

He wound up on Paul Brown’s staff at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, a service team so good that it once beat Notre Dame.  (Brown, before entering the Navy, had won a national championship coaching at Ohio State.)  After the war he served as an assistant at Brown University and as head coach at Washington University (St. Louis) before rejoining Paul Brown, who by then  was head coach of the Cleveland Browns, as an assistant.

After five years with the Browns, in 1954 he was named head coach of the Baltimore Colts. Although he won two NFL championships with the Colts, he was fired after the 1962 season.  He was quickly scooped up by the New York Jets, and by 1968 he had built  the Jets’ team that would beat his former team, the Colts, in one of the greatest upset in Super Bowl history.

Weed Ewbank retired as Jets’ coach following the 1973 season, and was succeeded by his son-in-law, Charlie Winner.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING WEEB EWBANK
RALPH BALDUCCI - PORTLAND, OREGON
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
DAVID BUCHANAN - BARRE, MASSACHUSETTS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUSIANA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
DAVE DEMPSEY - BRICK, NEW JERSEY
MIKE BENTON - COLFAX, ILLINOIS
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
DENNIS METZGER - RICHMOND, INDIANA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA


*********** Weeb Ewbank used to bring his Jets teams to Peekskill, New York for training camp at the Peekskill Military Academy, where my mother got to watch "Broadway Joe" get ready for the NFL season. My grandmother has slides from when the band from Peekskill would go perform at Shea Stadium on "Peekskill Day" where the folks from the town could go watch the games for cheap!

(I mentioned a quarterback I had in my first year of coaching, a kid named Chuck Reilly, from Peekskill. Actually, from a part of Peeksill named Verplanck.)

My Uncle Bobby used to own a home on Verplanck's Point near the old fire house! She used to love to get Meatball Wedges (Hudson Valley version of a submarine sandwich) from Angie's down on the point. I spent a lot of time in Peekskill when I was younger, especially when my father was a professor at West Point. My mother and father met at West Point while my father was a cadet. She was attending Ladycliffe College (now defunct and part of the West Point Museum).

David Buchanan
Barre, Massachusetts

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

The answer is Weeb Ewbank.  My son and I had the opportunity to meet Coach Ewbank, John Unitas, Paul Flatley, Roosevelt Grier, Deacon Jones and Merlin Olson one day in Richmond, IN.  The fourth member of the Fearsome Foursome was a Richmond native named Lamar Lundy and these individuals were in town to support him as he was dealing with illness.  It was a great day.  My son as a 4th or 5th grader said to me on our way home, “That was a special day since we may never see those men together again.”  We have photos and autographs from all of them.  We were both thankful for this opportunity.

Dennis Metzger
Richmond, Indiana

*********** QUIZ - A native Texan, he started out at Texas A & M but transferred after a year to West Point.  He was an all-round athlete. He played football - he was a teammate of a Kansan named Dwight Eisenhower, a Missourian named Omar Bradley, and a Floridian named James Van Fleet  (Eisenhower and Bradley would go on to earn five stars each, and Van Fleet four) - he was a standout pitcher on the baseball team, and he was the Academy’s heavyweight boxing champion.

An outstanding student, he graduated as a civil engineer, and spent a career in the Army, retiring as a general.

After World War I service, he spent six years at West Point, part of the time as aide to the Superintendent, one Douglas MacArthur, as well as assisting the football team, until 1925 when he was assigned to serve as an ROTC instructor at a university in the South. (He had chosen the assignment because their football team was so poor.) There, he assisted with the football team for one year, and the next year he took over as head coach.  With time off for two different tours of active duty, he would hold that position for the next 26 years.

In 21 seasons as head coach, his teams won 173 games and lost only 31 times.

In all, he had 6 undefeated teams, 6 teams with only one loss, and 5 with just two losses.

He ran a balanced-line single wing, and was a proponent of a strong kicking game.  But he was most famous for his defense.

In 1938 and 1939, his teams posted 17 straight shutouts, and played 70 consecutive quarters of shutout football, both records that still stand (and likely always will).

So stout were his defenses that over his entire career, his teams gave up an average of just 5.6 points per game. One of his most famous players, all-time great lineman Herman Hickman, once said, “If (he) could score a touchdown on you, he had you beat.  If he could score two - he had you in a rout.”

He never had a losing season, but, after retiring from the Army (as a brigadier general) after World War II, he had back-to-back .500 seasons in 1947 and 1948, and some began to question his emphasis on defense and his stubborn insistence on continuing to run the single-wing.

He put an end to any doubts by going 36-6-2 in his final four seasons, including winning the national title in 1951.

After retiring as head coach in 1952, he served as AD until 1962. When he first became head coach, the school's stadium seated 3,200 people.  When he retired as AD, it seated 46,000 people.  Now, it seats in excess of 100,000. 
And it’s named for him.




american flagTUESDAY,  APRIL 2,  2018 “Football represents and embodies everything that's great about this country, because the United States of America is built on winners, not losers or people who didn't bother to play."   Woody Hayes


*********** It was a beautiful spring day in Washington, DC, and  I was “working accounts” - calling on liquor stores, bars and restaurants - with Karl Anderson.

It was 50 years ago this week.

I was brand manager for our company's biggest product, National Bohemian Beer, and Karl was the sales manager at our Washington branch operation.

Largely because of its owner, Jerold C. Hoffberger, our company, the National Brewing Company of Baltimore, was considered quite progressive at the time in its hiring of black sales people.  True, they mostly sold in black areas, but the fact that they had such prestigious jobs at all at such a well-thought-of company was highly unusual at that time in southern-thinking cities like Baltimore and Washington.  Karl was a black man, and a college graduate, and during the time I had worked with him, he had progressed into the ranks of management.  Karl and I had a nice relationship, professionally and socially.

I’d grown up in an all-white neighborhood, and I’d gone to an all-white high school.  In my college class of 1,000 or so, there were at most five black guys, so it might as well have been all-white, too.  Karl was really the first black guy that I knew well enough to speak with freely on topics of all sorts, and thanks to his patience and understanding, he helped shaped my outlook on matters of race.

The first time he came over to visit the brewery in Baltimore, we’d prearranged to go out to lunch.  But there was one problem - where to go?  This was the 1960s, after Jackie Robinson and Rosa Parks and Little Rock, so it may surprise people to know that much of Baltimore was still stubbornly segregated.  There were nice restaurants that still would not serve a black person, regardless of his or her station in life.  I knew about that from my previous job as a packaging salesman, when one of my biggest customers was Parks Sausage Company, one of the largest black-owned companies in the US.  Whenever I would take one of its executives to lunch, I would always, on the advice of some of the older white Baltimoreans that I worked with, check first with the restaurant to make sure that they would serve us.

So before Karl and I went to lunch, I called around to make sure there would be no issue.  As we sat and talked, like a damn fool I told him about my having called.  In my naivete, I thought that would show what a thoughtful, caring person I was, doing that so that I would spare him any embarrassment.  But when I told him, I saw a look on his face of dismay. Or was it anger?  Or disgust?  Anyhow, Karl wasn’t in the slightest grateful to me for being so enlightened - he was pissed. I felt as if someone had slapped me in the face and said ”Wake up, Wyatt!”  Until that moment, although I’d seen plenty of examples of segregation and racial discrimination, it was an impersonal thing to me.  It was just the way things were. It hadn’t affected me personally because I’d never before been close to a black guy and known how he felt.  And then I saw how hard it hit Karl. Here he was, a college graduate and a manager at one of the most respected companies in the city, and yet…

So on this particular April day in DC, we’d just had lunch, and we headed for a liquor store to chat up the owner, to see how sales were going, to see if there was anything we could do for him, and so forth.

But as we entered the door, before Karl could even say “Hi!’ to him, the owner, a white guy (likely Jewish as so many of the area’s liquor store owners were then) said, matter-of-factly, “Hey, your boy got shot.”

You have to stop and think about this for a moment: this was the way a white man of that time felt he could inform a black man that the Reverend Martin Luther King had been shot:  “Your boy got shot.”

It took Karl a while to figure out what the guy meant, even after he explained, and then he seemed to slump.  A minute before, he’d been walking into the store to talk about beer, and now he was dealing with the horrible news that a man he greatly respected had been assassinated.  I’m not sure he’d even given any thought to the almost-flippant way he’d been told.

We left the store and walked around a bit.  We made a few more sales calls, as I recall, but Karl’s heart obviously was not in it.  It was late in the afternoon by now, and ducking into a tavern on 14th Street, we stepped up to the bar and ordered a couple of beers. The place was crowded with men, all black, and the talk was loud, and  about one thing only.  When a big guy on the other side of Karl slammed his fist to the bar and said, to no one in particular, “This means war!” Karl turned to me and said, softly, “I think we’d better get out of here.”

I agreed, and we left.

Over the next few days, Baltimore and Washington - and many other cities - exploded in rioting.  Washington was hit especially hard, and many of the places that Karl and I had visited the day of the assassination were burned to the ground. 

It’s hard to believe it’s been 50 years, but after all that time, the scene in my mind  is still clear as a bell, and the words by which my friend learned the news have never left me:  “Your boy got shot.”

***********
Not in any way to diminish the tragedy of the Parkland shooting and the loss of the lives of innocent school children,  but events of the 1960s -  the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of  President Kennedy, and less than five years later,  the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and  then Bobby Kennedy  - far surpass it in terms of their impact on our nation. Unless you've lived through it, you can't imagine the sense of fear and insecurity that grips a nation when you realize that nuclear war might be about to break out - or that your president has just been killed. Oh - and with a war in Vietnam raging, those teenagers had to face the draft.

And then we go back a generation earlier, when hundreds of thousands of American families sent their sons off to war (no, I'm not going to go the PC route and say "and daughters"), and  on some nasty island like Iwo Jima  or some cold forest in Europe, hundreds of young Americans could lose their lives in a matter of minutes.  Teenagers fought in that war, and they knew, when they took off in those cold, cramped bombers, or went underwater in those cold, cramped submarines, that they might never return.

Not too many years before that, dust storms all over the Midwest chased hard working families off the land, forcing them to uproot and head west to a new and unfamiliar life among people who did not welcome them. Often herded into what amounted to refugee camps, they were strangers in their own land,  derided and ridiculed  and called names that mean nothing today but at the time were as stinging and insulting  as the N-word is now.

Despite what they seem to suggest when they're in front of a  microphone,  today's teenagers are not the first generation of youngsters to experience stress - they're just the first to use the word - and  a knowledge of what others have undergone does help put the David Hoggs in perspective.


*********** AN EXCERPT FROM THE UPCOMING DOUBLE-WING PLAYBOOK UPDATE…

Playbook Lefty


*********** It won’t be “Abington Schwarzman High School” after all.

Last Friday I mentioned the brouhaha generated by the news that my wife’s alma mater, Abington High School, in Pennsylvania, had decided to essentially sell the naming rights to the school.

It was NOT an April Fool's joke.

In exchange for a $25 million gift from alumnus and hedge-fund billionaire Stephen Schwarzman, the Abington school board had voted “unanimously” to change the name of the school to “Abington Schwarzman High School.” 

As I predicted it would, the news, shockingly sprung on the community with virtually no advance notice, generated a firestorm, sufficient to convince either Mr. Schwarzman or the school board that the renaming was a very, very bad idea.

The superintendent, said to be a friend of Mr. Schwarzman, sent out a notice to the community that only “a minority in the community” objected to the renaming, which made me laugh. Who doesn’t know what cowards school administrators can be when faced with a little pressure? It’s almost as if their certification requires a course in “caving in.”  Let a dozen people tell the school board that the term “Christmas Holidays” makes them uncomfortable or “excluded” and - poof! - it’s “Winter Break.” “A minority in the community?” Many’s the football coach who’s been fired because of “a minority in the community.”

Yes, it may have been a “minority,” as the superintendent referred to it almost dismissively, but it was a  minority loud and angry enough  to make them - and/or Mr. Schwarzman - reconsider.   Abington High School it is, and Abington High School it will remain.

And while the opposition may have been, in the beginning, a minority, this one had the growth potential of the mustard seed, and it wasn’t going to fade away, either.   Every time a graduate of Abington (Pre-Schwarzman) would hear that new name, it would grate.  And when you’re talking about a high school that graduates upwards of 500 kids a year, you’re talking about a fair number of pissed-off people. And, too,  it’s not as if $25 million means you’ll never again have to go to those pissed-off taxpayers for more money.

My thinking, frankly, is that this whole renaming thing  may not have been Mr. Schwarzman’s idea, but that of his friend, the superintendent.  I’m thinking that a person as successful as Mr. Schwarzman must surely have had the PR savvy to foresee the opposition that it would generate.  But oh, no, I can hear the superintendent saying. Don't worry about a thing. Trust me, the people will be so-o-o-o grateful…

In short,  the guy was set up. 

And that “unanimous” vote of the school board?  If you’ve ever had any dealings with organizations like that, the actual vote  could very well have been decided by a narrow margin, but the news that it was unanimous is often announced as a cover-up, to show that the board’s united, and to keep the natives from stirring.

Other than the unseemliness of the whole thing, a few people objected to the renaming because there’s still a lot left on the tab for the Abington taxpayers to pick up.  In terms of the size of the school’s ambitious project - it will cost $150 million - Mr. Schwarzman’s  $25 million was, to quote his friend Donald Trump, “small potatoes.” 

And then,  in case you needed any confirmation that no good deed goes unpunished,  there were the ingrates, the people who didn’t want Schwarzman’s money in any event - Wall Street sucks, hedge fund money is dirty money, Schwarzman is a friend of Trump, Schwarzman didn’t like Obama, Abington is already rich and doesn’t need the money and  this just worsens inequality (why not give it to poor schools?), the state needs to get its act together and support its schools, etc., etc.

One guy writing in philly.com, spoke for some of them:
I remember the first time I saw Abington HS and thinking, "my g*d, this place is like a palace!" Now Schwarzman, who has spent a lifetime stealing money (that's what investment bankers do, folks, and I have some insight as I worked at Blackstone), now wants to give a big chunk of it to one of the most affluent public schools in the state in exchange for naming rights! The whole Wharton School/Wall Street culture is so loathsome!
http://www.abington.k12.pa.us/

http://www.phillyvoice.com/amid-backlash-abington-decides-not-rename-school-stephen-schwarzman/

*********** I recorded the South Carolina spring game Saturday! Football is BACK!  Well, spring football, at least.  And if spring football is here, can the real thing be far behind?   

*********** We were getting sick and tired of intermittently losing the satellite signal on our bedroom TV, so finally I asked my wife to call the Dish people about it.  Long story short - a guy wound up persuading her (and me) that it was time for an upgrade.  We had, after all, been using the same equipment for at least 10 years.

Before the day was out, we had our new equipment: something called a Hopper 3 DVR and three other boxes - enough for four different TVs, all watching (or recording) their own things, each capable of showing up to four different screens on a single set.  And if we ever care to - and ever have the time to watch it all - we can record up to 16 different events simultaneously.

All this for basically $10 more a month than we’d been paying.

Okay, okay. Before I sound like a Dish salesman - actually, I’d have to work on my Indian accent - I have to point out that we did have to agree to extend our contract for two more years.

But then… Holy sh—.  Thanks to Dish’s acquisition of Sling, using the “Dish Anywhere” app on my iPhone or iPad I can watch any Dish programming (or anything I’ve recorded) anyplace I can access the Internet.  That meant that Sunday, as we were driving along I-5 about two hours from home, I was able to hand my wife my cellphone and tell her how to tune in on Dish Anywhere,  and then she was able to watch - and give me play-by-play of - the end of the Notre Dame-Mississippi State women’s basketball final.

I think back to what we've had to do in recent years to watch Army football games, on CBSSN.  Our cable system at Ocean Shores doesn’t carry that channel, so after a Friday night game, we’d have to get up at 5 or so the next morning and then drive three hours  to arrive home in Camas in time for the 9 AM (Pacific) kickoff. 

Now, thanks to Dish, I can be at Ocean Shores - or anyplace else -  and I can watch the Army game on my iPad - or, if there’s a TV available, connect to it via HDMI cable.  And then,  I’m good to go.

*********** Coach Alberto “Tito” Correa, whose Danbury (Connecticut) Hatters are a 14-and-under power, sent me a series of clips of his team running the Wedge from his Wing-T offense.  He writes, “Wedge is completely out of your book  -this is how we have applied your teachings.”   it’s amazing to me how stubborn the “big guys” are because they sort of like the idea of a Wedge, but they won’t do what’s necessary and tighten those damn splits.

https://youtu.be/ApLCjs5-SCA

*********** A Michigan ice cream place is being called “racist” for selling a cinnamon flavored ice cream called “Red Indian.”

***********  It’s bad enough when schools pay millions to guys they've dismiss because they haven’t won enough games to suit the alumni and and they still have time left on their contract, but Baylor supposedly fired Art Briles because it was on his watch, and by his recruits, that all manner of ugly behavior occurred. 

Briles was fired, we were told,  as part of Baylor’s attempt to cleanse the Augean Stables (As Casey Stengel would say, you could look it up - it was one of the Seven Labors of Hercules).  Now we find out that Briles, who’s so toxic that a Canadian team was forced to withdraw its offer of a job - was paid $15+ million by Baylor to go away.

Maybe Baylor had no choice, but I have a feeling that a lot of that money will be paid out by Briles to Baylor women to settle lawsuits.

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/22975930/baylor-bears-paid-former-football-coach-art-briles-151-million-ouster

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Herakles/stables.html

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

I'm hoping that first bit of news you mentioned regarding Abington HS is an April Fool's joke.  If it's not what's next??  Schwartzylvania??

Facebook definitely was hacked by the Russians if they think YOU like soccer!

As you know I read your news regularly, and always follow-up.  And I have occasionally found a few typos, but always forgiven.  As a former English teacher I'm more impressed with your vocabulary usage, sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and diction.  Must have been that Ivy education.

Sorry to hear about the damage that human tsunami caused at Ocean Shores.  Heartbreaking to think of all the blood, sweat, and tears shed that went into building that school into what it was, only to have it swept away so quickly.  As a coach if there is one thing I feel good about when leaving a school is whether I left it in better shape than what I found it in.  Knowing what happened at OS after you and Todd left must be a hard pill to swallow.

Hey NFL!  Want to change the game up?  Make the kickoff worth something!  Don't eliminate it. With kickers as so prolific as they are today, and the emphasis being placed on scoring, have the kickoff be worth points.  Kick it through the uprights and it's as good as FG.  Kick it out of bounds inside the 5 and it's worth two points instead of a penalty, and have the offense start from there.  Kick it into the end zone and it's worth a point and cannot be returned.  At the very least it will keep the kickoff in the game and keep things exciting.

My daughter's high school friend is a "Raiderette".  My cousin is a retired "Honey Bear".  Not sure what they will call those two male cheerleaders.  What a world.
 
Have a great weekend and a blessed Easter!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Hahaha!  What Yale did was reinforce the great secondary education I got at Germantown Academy! HW

*********** It was “Unity Week” at our local high school, and the young activists used it as their chance to do what all good activists do - promote unity - as long as you agree with them.

“The goal of Unity Week is to promote diversity and intersectionality in our community, and to advocate for these CHS clubs that give students the opportunity to learn more about diversified communities that aren’t necessarily represented in everyday life."

As soon as it got to "diversity," they lost me.

Monday was “Global Action.”  Ho-hum. Whatever.

Tuesday was “LGBTQ+ Visibility Day,” and apparently there was some sentiment expressed for starting sex education in younger grades, as well as supporting younger kids wanting to start some sort of “Gay-Straight Alliance.”

If not, said one of the teenage geniuses, “Only learning about heterosexual relationships makes it seem like anything else isn’t normal.”

Well, duh.

Wednesday was “Gender Equality Day.”   Talk about unity - you’re sure to bring the boys into the fold by continuing to hammer them with the completely false twaddle  that women with the same qualifications and experience doing the same work as men are paid less.

Thursday was “Religious Awareness Day” which, we were told, was “organized by Muslim Student Association and Christian Student Association.”  Nice.  The Religion of Peace is now on an even footing with Christianity.

Friday was “Unity Day,” where several kids met to go over what they’d done all week. One of the things they did was come up with “ideas on how they can change Camas.”

Uh, kids, I know you were barely conscious back in 2008, when we were sold “Hope and Change,” while many of us asked, “Why do we need to change?”

I’m still asking.

IIt sounds as though they didn’t really accomplish their main goal of unity, because according to the local paper, “More than 90 per cent of the students there Friday were girls, and the group seemed to wonder why boys aren’t as interested as girls in these sorts of discussions.”

Hmmm.    You'd think the guys would get all excited about themes like “LGBTQ+ Visibility” and “Gender Equality?”

*********** God help us all. I was walking my dog past a field where little twerps were playing soccer.  But play suddenly stopped, and I noticed a coach kneeling down, administering to some kid who lay on the ground, sobbing. Wouldn't you just know that all the other kids - maybe first-graders - took a knee?

*********** You can talk all you like about concussion hysteria and its effect on declining participation in football, but the Army knows what the real problem is, and to its credit it’s going to try to do something about it: lazy kids who can’t take orders…

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/03/30/army-mulls-tougher-basic-training-for-out-shape-undisciplined-recruits.html


*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Elroy Hirsch played only two years of college ball, and he played them at two different schools.  But he had a huge impact on both programs.

In the pros, at a time when few teams split even one end, he played in a wide-open offense and became one of the first truly great wide receivers in pro football.

On top of it all,  he had one of football’s truly unique nicknames, one that immediately identifies him.

Elroy Hirsch was a Wisconsin kid - from Wausau - and he originally enrolled at Wisconsin.  He played a year of freshman ball, and then as a sophomore, playing single wing tailback, he led the Badgers to an 8-1-1 record and a Number 3 ranking nationally.  In the previous three seasons Wisconsin had won just 8 games, but in 1942, they lost only to Iowa, 6-0, and tied Notre Dame, 7-7.  Their biggest win was against Ohio State, handing the eventual national champions their only defeat.  In that game he broke off runs of 53, 34, 21 and 20 yards. Overall, he rushed for 767 yards on 141 carries, completed 18 passes for 226 yards, punted four times for a 48.8 yard average, intercepted six passes and ran back 15 punts for 182 yards.  He was named to the All-Big Ten team.

But war was on,  and as a result Wisconsin football went all to hell.  He enlisted in the Marines, and along with several other Badgers was sent to an officer training program (called the V-12 program) that happened to take place at the University of Michigan, where they were all immediately eligible to play. He quickly adjusted to the offense of Michigan’s famed coach Fritz Crisler, and Michigan had a great season, losing only to Notre Dame and beating Ohio State 45-7.  Meanwhile, Wisconsin, without most of its key players, went 1-9.

With a manpower shortage brought on by the war, he was able to play - and letter - on the Michigan basketball team, and in the spring, he lettered in track as a 24-foot long jumper (“broad jumper,” in the terms of the time).  But he also pitched for the baseball team, and on one day, May 15, 1944, he competed in the Big Ten track meet in Champaign, Illinois, then hustled to Bloomington, Indiana where he threw a one-hitter against the Hoosiers to give Michigan the Big Ten championship. In the process, Elroy Hirsch  became the first Michigan athlete ever to win four letters in one year.

He left school to serve in the Marines for the duration of the war, and then at the end of the war he signed with the Chicago Rockets of the new All-American Football Conference (AAFC). After being injured, he was cut and in 1949 he signed with the Los Angeles Rams. Those were the Rams of Bob Waterfield  and Norm Van Brocklin, and receivers like Hirsch and Tom Fears, and running backs like Tank Younger and Deacon Dan Towler, and in their offensive thinking, they were years ahead of everyone in the NFL except Paul Brown.

In his pro career, he caught 387 passes for 7,029 yards.  He also carried the ball 207 times for 687 yards, and in all - receiving, rushing and returning - he scored 65 touchdowns. He also played some at defensive back, and picked off 15 opponents’ passes.

In his nine years with the Rams, Elroy Hirsch made it to three Pro Bowls and was twice named first team All-Pro. He was on the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1950s, and he was named to the NFL’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.  He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

That nickname?  Describing his running style after seeing him play a game in 1943, a Chicago sports writer wrote,  "His crazy legs were gyrating in six different directions, all at the same time; he looked like a demented duck."

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING ELROY “CRAZYLEGS” HIRSCH:

JOSH  MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
DAVID BUCHANAN - BARRE, MASSACHUSETTS
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
TOM WALLS - WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA


*********** If you’re not doing anything else on Sunday the 28th, and you’re going to be anywhere near Madison, Wisconsin, it’s not too late to run in the Crazylegs Classic.  The story (sent to me by Adam Wesoloski, of Pulaski, Wisconsin):   Not surprisingly, the idea was hatched over a couple of beers in late 1981 by three Badger loyalists at a campus bar. The three, Tom Grantham, Ken Sparks, and Rich Backus, wanted to raise money to support UW Athletics. As admirers of then- Athletic Director Elroy Hirsch, they asked his permission to name it the "Crazylegs Run" in his honor.

http://www.crazylegsclassic.com/

*********** Nice video short about Crazylegs, sent by Greg Koenig, of Cimarron, Kansas

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


*********** QUIZ - He coached John Unitas and Joe Namath.  He won both an NFL championship and an AFL championship. He won a Super Bowl by beating the team that had fired him six years earlier.

He came out of Richmond, Indiana and attended Miami University, where he played football, baseball and basketball.  One of his football teammates was a transfer from Ohio State named Paul Brown.

After graduation, he coached high school football in Ohio until 1943, when he joined the Navy during World War II.

He wound up on Paul Brown’s staff at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, a service team so good that it once beat Notre Dame.  (Brown, before entering the Navy, had won a national championship coaching at Ohio State.)  After the war he served as an assistant at Brown University and as head coach at Washington University (St. Louis) before rejoining Paul Brown, who by then  was head coach of the Cleveland Browns, as an assistant.

After five years with the Browns, in 1954 he was named head coach of the Baltimore Colts. Although he won two NFL championships with the Colts, he was fired after the 1962 season.  He was quickly scooped up by the New York Jets, and by 1968 he had built  the Jets’ team that would beat his former team, the Colts, in one of the greatest upset in Super Bowl history.

He retired as Jets’ coach following the 1973 season, and was succeeded by his son-in-law, Charlie Winner.


american flagFRIDAY,  MARCH 30,  2018 - “Courage is knowing what not to fear.”  Plato


*********** I’ve lived a long life.  I’ve lived in five states and I’ve lived roughly half my life on each coast.  I’ve earned a living doing all sorts of things from being a factory foreman to sales to marketing  to sports management to teaching and coaching to doing what I’m doing now (whatever it’s called).  I’ve been to all 57 states (that’s a joke, fellas) and I’ve coached American football in Europe. In that time, and in all those places, I’ve seen a lot of things.  That includes  the things that money can do.

But I made the mistake of thinking I’d  seen it all.

You will recall that not so long ago I mentioned the generosity of one Stephen Schwartzman, an alumnus, as is my wife (although, being female, she’s an “alumna”) of Abington High School, in Abington, Pennsylvania.  Mr. Schwartzman announced that he was donating $25 million - one of the largest private gifts ever to a public high school - to Abington Schools, which announced the funds would be used for all kinds of things mainly related to science and technology education.

Well.   Whatever happened to those little ads in yearbooks that used to say, simply, “compliments of a friend?”  You know - ads bought by people who wanted to donate money, but wished to remain anonymous?

Less than a month has gone by since the donation was announced, but that’s all to took for the Abington School Board to announced its unanimous decision to rename the high school in honor of Mr. Schwartzman.  Hereinafter, it will be “Abington Schwartzman High School.”

Are they serious?  I thought.   It sounds like one of the goofy hyphenated jawbreaker names that today’s parents saddle their kids with.

Hey - we’re not talking about a junk high school in a jerkwater town.  Abington Township, a relatively prosperous Philadelphia suburb,  dates back to 1704, and has a population of about 55,000. The median household income is $94,000. Only 2 per cent of families lie below the poverty line. According to the latest census, it’s 80 per cent white, 12 per cent black, 3 per cent Hispanic and 3 per cent Asian.  (It’s not a “town” as you might think of it, but a “township,” common in Pennsylvania, which contains 15 unincorporated  communities, each with their own post office.)

To a great extent, Abington schools knit the 15 communities together.  Abington High School has a three-year enrollment of about 1700 students and graduates upwards of 500 kids every year. It’s top-notch academically -its  chess team is a perennial state championship contender.   Its sports teams compete in the prestigious Suburban One Conference. (Side note: more than 20 years ago, thanks to its head coach, Doug Moister, Abington was where  I “field-tested” my Double Wing before putting my original video up for sale.)

The school board has assured its patrons that this was NOT Mr. Schwartzman’s idea.  Oh, no. Not Mr. Schwartzman.  This was purely the board’s idea of a way to thank him.   Totally the board’s idea!  And in their thinking, merely putting his name on the wing of a building would never have sufficed. They had to rename the whole school!

To those people who thought that it was Mr. Schwartzman’s idea? The idea of tying his gift to the renaming of a school that’s carried the name of the township for more than 150 years? Not Mr. Schwartzman. He would NEVER do that.  Isn’t his name already on the football stadium?  I mean, it’s not as if, with all his money (he’s worth $22 billion), his ego needs still more stroking.  Is it? 

Hmmm…

Needless to say, community residents are furious.  In the course of one hastily-called school board meeting, Mr. Schwartzman went from benevolent philanthropist to Captain Narcissus.  One angry poster on a forum wondered when the school board members would get their “little Team Schwartzman jerseys.”

I once worked with a wrestling coach whose players’ sweatshirts had a strange sort of acronym on them:  “TANSTAAFL.”  Translated, it stood for, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

The good folks of Abington would understand.

And, okay - NOW I think I’ve seen it all.

*********** There are coaches’ wives, and then there are DOUBLE WING coaches’ wives…

A friend who resigned his position not long ago said that the kids at his school told him that one of the applicants for his former job told them he intends to run the Fly offense.  When my friend’s wife asked what the Fly was, he explained as best he could, and when he mentioned the big line splits, she said, “How do you run Wedge out of that?”

*********** I FOUND THIS INFORMATION: To find out what Facebook thinks your political allegiances are, head over to www.facebook.com/ads/preferences. From there, click on the "Lifestyle and culture" tab under the Interests section. There should be a box in that section titled "US politics" (you may have to click "see more" to find it), which will include, in parentheses, your political designation — for example, liberal, conservative, moderate, etc. (This information might also appear in a drop down menu.) As with the other ad preferences on this page you can remove it by clicking the X in the top right corner.

Well, I did just that, and I’ll be damned! They say I’m “Very Conservative.”  Wow.  Those Facebook people are GOOD!

Okay, okay.  Guilty as charged.

But I do think their little program could use some tweaking, because it also said I like soccer.  Right.

Now, if THAT’S the kind of info they’ve been supplying to advertisers, they’re hoaxters.

Either that, or my account’s been hacked by Russians.


*********** A reader teased me gently about a typo I’d made, and then he and I engaged in a little bit of banter.  I jokingly wrote him, “Every so often I slip a simple error into my writing in hopes that someone is actually reading, and - there - I caught you.  Actually, I welcome you onto my crack team of volunteer proofreaders.”

Yes, my wife does read my page shortly after I upload it, but there’s always something that slips through.

I can actually remember when newspapers actually paid people to proofread.  That was back in the late 60s and early 70s when I’d make a few bucks in the winter covering basketball games for local papers. There, over in the corner of the newsroom,  would sit an older lady whose only job was to peruse the paper, looking for errors that needed correction.  (Newspapers back then still took pride, as they long had, in being exemplars of good, careful writing.)

Now, those old proofreaders are long gone, and it’s obvious that most newspapers depend on their readers to do it.

I once had an assistant coach who managed all the Domino’s stores in the Portland area.  One day I asked him what kind of training program they had for new employees and he said, “We let our customers train them!”



*********** A tsunami   (metaphorically speaking) has hit North Beach High School, in Ocean Shores, Washington.

I coached at North Beach for a total of seven seasons, and it broke my heart when it all came to an end last year.  Todd Bridge, who’d been head coach, finally had enough, and resigned his teaching and coaching job to take a position as athletic director at Elma, Washington.  Before the start of this past school year, the principal also left, so eager to get out that he took a lesser job as assistant principal/athletic director at another school. The AD left, too.  And so did the school secretary. (Anybody who knows how a school operates knows that the loss of the secretary really hurts.)

The football season was a disaster. We’d gone 30-11 the previous four seasons, including two league championships - the first in the school’s history.  But after Todd resigned, they hired a young fellow who’d never before held a paid coaching position.  The results were predictable. Without going into detail, the Hyaks went 1-7. They were outscored, 116-315.  Their last three games ended with running clocks.  Worst of all, in one game, a brawl in front of their bench, precipitated by a late hit out of bounds on the opposing quarterback, resulted in the ejection of three North Beach players.

It all traces to one bad hire.  After years of good, sound operation under the experienced hand(s) of two administrators, retirees from other districts who shared the superintendency, the school board hired a woman from a fairly large Seattle-area district with no prior experience managing people or running a school district.   I never met the woman, but I don’t have to -  I’ve never met anyone who has had a good thing to say about her. 

Discipline at the school, never great,  by all accounts went to hell.  By this January, the faculty was up in arms,  delivering a vote of no confidence to the school board.  Subsequently,  more than 75 per cent of teachers, from kindergarten through high school, announced their intention to leave the district if she remained.  Last week, the board announced that she had “resigned.”  (Maybe she wanted to “spend time with her family.”)

But like a human tsunami, she left a lot of wreckage in her path. 

Well.  The human tsunami may be gone,  but hanging always over the heads of Ocean Shores residents (my wife and I still have a place there) is the possibility of the Real Thing,  a real,  earthquake-triggered tsunami that would - no exaggeration - wipe us off the face of the earth.  Tuesday, the local newspaper, the Aberdeen “Daily World,” carried some really cheery news:

New tsunami inundation maps released by the State Department of Natural Resources Monday show a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay could create a tsunami that could hit the outer coastline at more than 40 mph with waves ranging from 20 to 60 feet for at least 12 hours before subsiding.
OS Tsunami map


Ocean Shores (circled) is definitely one of those places where a tsunami “could” come in at “up to” 40 miles per hour, and the waves “could” be “up to” 60 feet high. Ocean Shores is a 7-mile long peninsula ( a sand spit, actually) between the Pacific and a large bay known as Grays Harbor (named for ship captain Robert Gray, who in the process of exploring the Pacific Northwest coast entered what turned out to be the mouth of a great river and named it the Columbia, after his ship). There’s just one road from Ocean Shores, a couple of feet above sea level,  to higher ground, and it’s a winding, two-lane highway. In Ocean Shores itself, there’s only only one street that intersects with that highway.   Sixty foot waves?  I have no no idea how far we’d have to go to get to ground that high, but it’s not worth worrying about, because if all we had was 20 minutes’ warning before it started to hit, we’d be lucky if we even made it to the main intersection.  A few years ago, we had a neighbor who said he was all prepared for a tsunami - he had plenty of liquor in his cabinet, and if he ever heard the tsunami siren, he’d pour himself a stiff drink, then sit back and look out the window and watch it come.

We’ll be heading up to our place at Ocean Shores this weekend, and we’ll have a great time.  Of course, we do keep a nice supply of booze on hand (purely for emergency purposes, you understand).

http://www.thedailyworld.com/news/dnr-magnitude-9-quake-on-the-coast-could-hit-outer-coastline-with-waves-to-60-feet/?utm_source=The+Daily+World&utm_campaign=02052468a2-Newsletter_Daily_Update&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e632e0b0b6-02052468a2-229076889

*********** Just when the furor over the NFL’s kneelers had started to subside, along comes Mr. Robert Kraft,  to stir things up once again.  Mr. Kraft, billionaire owner of the New England Patriots, provided the team’s plane to fly some human stage props, aka “Parkland shooting survivors,” to last weekend’s anti-gun march in Washington, DC. 

Hey, Mister Kraft - what about me? I’m a survivor!  Yes, I know - I was 3,000 miles away from the shooting, but where do you draw the line? Anyhow, can I use the plane this weekend?

https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/03/26/marjory-stoneman-douglas-parkland-florida-families-march-our-lives-patriots-plane-robert-kraft

*********** I saw this online and I thought it was worth passing along…

Dear Coach K,

I've never met you, though you've walked past me many times on a stretch of beach called Pine Knoll Shores. I didn't want to bother you, but wish I had known about your gift to Steve Mitchell. His departure from this earth has offered the story of a life well-lived. Steve was the man who sat behind you in Duke University's Cameron Indoor Stadium for the last 37 years and I know you miss him this season.

He did a lot in his sixty plus years. He was born with Down syndrome and his family shrugged off the doctors and took him right home. He was integrated in an era that made his parents ground breakers; school or church, Steve was there. I am a special needs mama too and with parenthood comes advocacy, their forging a path has benefited so many. You called Steve "a good friend who had some challenges." What a gift of inclusive language.

The story goes that in 1980 the only thing Steve Mitchell wanted for Christmas was a Duke basketball ticket, not an easy score, but Steve's brother had a construction company and was hired to renovate the new coach’s, Mike "Coach K" Krzyzewski's, house. He asked you how one might find a ticket to buy and explained his brother’s Christmas wish.

“He can sit behind me,” you said. Did you know how life changing that gift would be?

The following season, Steve wrote you a letter saying, “Coach, I know we’re going to have another great year. I was hoping that I could sit near you again.” You said yes to a family that may have heard no far more often. He wrote you a letter every year for 37 years and this is the first season that a ticket, reserved for one Steve Mitchell, isn’t waiting at will call. Steve would collect his ticket and make his way to his seat behind you (usually with the help of his favorite usher, Fran), a tradition that was life changing for his self-confidence, according to his family. You shook his hand before every game.

Thank you, Coach K.

Mamas of special needs kids know that kindness extends far beyond team affiliation and we know that our team is the best of all. Welcome to the club. And to Steve? Godspeed, my friend and thank you.

Love,

Adrian (Amos's mom)


*********** Maybe one day soon the NFL will start games with face-offs.  Or jump balls.  Or a mad scramble.  Oops. Better scratch that last one - too dangerous.
 
After all, that’s why it’s beginning to sound as if The League is getting ready to do away with kickoffs.  Way too dangerous.  Concussions and all that, don’t you know.

Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy, a member of the NFL Competition Committee, said that if they  can’t come up with a way to reduce the injuries, the committee will “strongly consider” doing away with kickoffs.

“We’ve reduced the number of returns,” Murphy told reporters, “but we haven’t really done anything to make the play safer. If you don’t make changes to make it safer, we’re going to do away with it. It’s that serious. It’s by far the most dangerous play in the game.”

Murphy said that even when the ball’s kicked through the end zone and there’s no return, there are still injuries on the play:
“The other thing that’s kind of frustrating is there were concussions on touchbacks… One player lets up, the player covering lets up, and one of the blockers comes over and, you know. That creates problems when you’ve got one player going half speed and the other one full speed.”

I have it - why don’t they go back to what they did back before it was American football, and they  played rugby?  Oh.  You say rugby started games with a kickoff? You say it still does?  Never mind.

https://www.yardbarker.com/nfl/articles/nfl_competition_committee_may_consider_eliminating_kickoffs/s1_127_26055104

*********** Finally.  At long last.  The NFL, which claims to care about the health of the game while at the same time tolerating - glorifying, even - the kind of tactics and conduct by its players that endanger it, will now penalize any player who leads with the helmet in hitting an opponent.  I’m all for it.  It’s disgraceful what they’ve been allowing.  But in return for this small step in making an already-rough game less vicious, fans will have to sit through a video review - every f—king time it’s called!  And we’re only talking about a 15-yard penalty, not an ejection, as called for in college football.

*********** It had been a while - way too long - since I’d spoken with my old friend Kevin Latham, of Atlanta, so we had a long talk the other day.

Kevin, veteran readers may remember, had heart transplant surgery back in 2012.  He’s done quite well, returning to the classroom and a normal life, but now he’s decided to retire from teaching.

He’s looking forward to finding a coaching gig - as an assistant.  He’s never been an assistant, and I told him that if you’re as fortunate as I was in finding a good guy to work for, it’s a real joy to be able to just coach and not have the headaches of the head coach.

At the time we spoke, he was excited to tell me about his cousin - actually, his cousin’s son - Devin Ellison, a running back from Bartram Trail High in Jacksonville, Florida who’d just been offered by Georgia Tech.

Devin's had quite a few offers already - Kentucky, Wake Forest, Appalachian State  among them - and the bigger Florida schools are starting to move on him.  Kevin’s excited about Georgia Tech because he’d love to be able to go downtown on fall Saturdays and watch Devin play for the Rambling Wrecks.  (And for a running back with Devin’s moves and speed, I can’t imagine a better offense to play in than Tech’s.)

Devin is one of those rare kids with Power Five talent and Ivy League smarts - he’s also being recruited by Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Cornell.


(VIDEO) https://n.rivals.com/content/prospects/2019/devin-ellison-184379

https://247sports.com/player/devin-ellison-46037455

https://www.bloggersodear.com/2017/5/2/15511920/wake-football-offers-2019-4-star-running-back-devin-ellison-syracuse-rutgers-jacksonville-florida

http://gridironnow.com/jacksonville-area-2019-rb-devin-ellison-drawing-sec-acc-interest/


aquinas invitation*********** Some places really know how to present their Black Lion Award.  Aquinas Institute, a private Catholic high school in Rochester, New York, has a long and storied football history.  It was to Aquinas where former Army great (and Heisman Trophy winner) Doc Blanchard came, in 1952, to recruit an Aquinas football player named Don Holleder, persuading him to turn down Notre Dame and instead attend West Point.  The rest is history:  Don Holleder and the men of the Black Lions - the 28th Infantry Regiment - who died in battle with him in Vietnam are the inspiration for the Black Lion Award.  As you can see from the invitation, the presentation of the Black Lion Award is a very big deal at Aquinas Institute! 


*********** Yes, yes, I know - we’re destroying the planet, blah, blah, blah. Coal is evil, blah, blah, blah.  Fossil fuels, blah, blah, blah.

But things could have been even worse, according to Ulrich Raulff, author of the book, “Farewell to the Horse.” He writes that in 1900, in New York City alone there were 110,000 horses at work every day - and every day, those horses produced 1,100 tons (TONS!) of road apples and more than 70,000 gallons of urine. 


*********** Although I have yet to see why the NFL even needs “cheerleaders” who never lead cheers,  the Rams have “made NFL history” by naming two “males” to be cheerleaders.

I have no idea how (or why) they were selected.

Although not having the usual requisite T & A qualifications, they’re both said to be “classically trained dancers.”

Oh - and they’re both “persons of color,” which didn’t hurt.

Their sexual preference is as yet unannounced, but I can guess, and that was probably a plus for them, too.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/rams/2018/03/28/los-angeles-rams-male-cheerleaders-make-nfl-history/466967002/

*********** I was walking my dog a few mornings ago and up ahead of me I saw a guy walking his little girl to school, hand-in-hand.  It was very touching, and it made me quite nostalgic.  And then I saw that this a&&hole was talking on the phone as he walked with her!  He couldn’t even give his little girl five or ten minutes of his undivided time.  No, whatever he had to talk about on the phone came first. 

As a father of three grown women who were once little girls just like that one, I wanted to tell this guy that the day will come when he’ll give anything he owns just to be able to take that little hand and walk her to school one more time.

***********  Hugh,

You mean even back in the 50's the media had a way of twisting one's words?

We have our fair share of names at our school like those you mention.  Probably given not so much for the same reason you offered, but more likely because in our school they are more likely considered "designer" names.

Please don't be upset, but I changed calling your 88/99 Super Power to 66/77 Super Power about 10 years ago, and for the very same reason.  I also call it 66/77 Super "O", and 66/77 "O" when necessary based upon what front we see.  I have still used 88/99 Power when I've had a strong WB and less than stellar TE's who could double team with the TE when the TE was covered.  Because this offense relies on strong TE play, you better have those guys in your program if you plan on running an effective DW no matter what version you choose to run.

Our state association also "sponsors" a championship game ball (Wilson GST).  While we could never sniff a state championship at this school we used the GST anyway.  Our QB's liked it better than the Wilson TD because the GST fit their little hands much better.

Could you imagine today's media (NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, etc.) dealing with the likes of the Kennedys knowing now what we know?  STILL never hear anything about them.  PRESIDENT Bill Clinton engaged in porn while he was in OFFICE and is still lauded for his "accomplishments"!

Today's ABC would have likely fired Howard Cosell.

And the final score of that Cricket match that started last month is.......

My wife and I would be tickled to have a $2,000.00 per month pension (1K each!).

QUIZ:  Bill Wade.  I'll never forget how thrilled my dad was when the Rams traded him to da Bears

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

Joe-

No offense whatsoever.  Plenty of good coaches had already made the change from “88” to “66,” but I felt obligated to stay with what I’d been teaching, especially since I’d sold all those playbooks in which it was called “88.”  Just a question of listening to the customers.  They’re always right.

That pension thing  really frosts me.  I can understand why the Supe makes more money than the teacher.  But when they’re no longer working and no longer earning their pay, they’re now  worth exactly  the same to the taxpayers.  I don’t understand why in retirement the Supes should still get paid more for the work they've already been paid - and paid well - for.  If they wanted more income in retirement, they should have been investing that extra money they were making.

Cricket has actually come to its senses, unlike football and baseball.  Instead of the old “test matches,” that would take days,  it now offers a shorter, faster version of the game that’s over in a couple of hours.

The new format, called Twenty-20, has been very well received.

All football has to do is cut down on the time between plays - shaving 15 seconds off the time between every play would take 30 minutes off the length of a game.  It might actually make games more exciting, since it would almost certainly cut down on the opportunity of defenses to react to what they see.

All baseball has to do is go to a pitch clock and enforce it. And allow the batter to step out of the box just once.

But on the other hand, don’t get me going on Rugby Sevens.


*********** QUIZ ANSWER -  Bill Wade was born and raised in Nashville, where his father had played for Vanderbilt, and he attended Vanderbilt, too.

A quarterback,  he was named MVP of the SEC in 1951, and in the 1952 NFL Draft he was the first person taken, but the Los Angeles Rams.  Other well-known first-rounders taken after him were  Les Richter, Ollie Matson,  Babe Parilli, Johnny Bright, Hugh McElhenny, Frank Gifford and Harry Agganis.

After spending two years in the service, he spent seven years with the Rams, mostly as a starter, and in 1958 he led the NFL in passing yardage.

In 1961 he was traded to the Bears. In 1962 he led the NFL in completions, and in 1963 he took the Bears to the NFL championship with a 14-10 win over the Giants.   Playing on a frozen field in close to zero-degree weather, he cored both of the Bears’ touchdowns - on quarterback sneaks.

Only once since then - 1985 - have the Bears won it all.

His durability was remarkable.  In his 14 years, he missed only one practice.

He played in 128 games.  He threw for 18,530 yards and 124 TDs, and he rushed for 24 TDs.

When he died in 2016,  Bears’ teammate Ed O’Bradovich recalled,  “He was a very serious person. Religion and family were first and foremost to him.  I never heard him say a cuss word.  You can imagine with all them guys we had on that team - ‘Gosh darn it’ wasn’t in our vocabulary. Very studious.  Wonderful man.”

So popular was Bill Wade in his hometown that when he played for Chicago, Bears’ games were shown in Nashville on tape delay every Sunday evening, right after the news.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-bill-wade-obit-spt-0311-20160310-story.html

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2007-01-30/sports/0701300224_1_super-bowl-xli-bears-eye

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING BILL WADE
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
RODNEY LUNSFORD - DUBLIN, INDIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - PETROGRAD, FLORIDA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA (“I can hear Jack Brickhouse and Irv Kupcinet doing their play-by-pay on WGN 720, even now!”)
JIM FRANKLIN - FLORA, INDIANA
MIKE FORISTIERE - MATTAWA, WASHINGTON
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA

*********** In 2002, Bill Wade  underwent surgery for glaucoma and when he came out of anesthesia he was completely blind.  He spent the remaining 14 years of his life having to cope with his blindness.

***********  Coach,

I vaguely remember watching the 1963 NFL Championship game. It seemed strange to me that a football was played at Wrigley.  Bill Wade was their quarterback, and that's pretty much all I remember about it.

Jim Franklin
Flora, Indiana

Being able  to play in Wrigley Field was a very big deal for George Halas, because the Cubs were “big league,” and the Bears at that time were anything but.  In fact, the name “Bears” came from the association with the Cubs.  When Halas first moved his team to Chicago, and rented Wrigley Field, the team was still named the Staleys, for the corn starch company in Decatur, Illinois that originally sponsored Halas. When Staley, wanting to cut costs, turned the football team over to Halas, it was with the provision that it remain the Staleys for one more year.  After that year, because he was a lifelong Cubs’ fan, Halas named his team the “Bears,”  football players being bigger and meaner than baseball players.



*********** Good morning, Hugh. The answer to this week's quiz is Bill Wade. You've probably seen this brief interview. He seems like a good guy, and he speaks of how football is vital to our country. We could use more former NFL stars to stand up for our sport the way Bill Wade did.

Why don't current NFL and recently retired players defend our game in this manner? I'm tired of guys who made millions saying that their sons won't be allowed to play football. We are soft, and our country needs football now more than ever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKNSer315BA

Coach Greg Koenig
Cimarron High School

Wow!  I’d never seen that interview.  It’s priceless.  It ought to be used to introduce every football coaching clinic in America.

By all accounts, Bill Wade was a great person and a devout Christian.

It's amazing how frank he was about soccer!

You are so right about the softness.  It’s showing up in every aspect of our society - sports, business, education, the military, the family - as more and more people are discovering that coddling our kids has undermined our entire culture.


*********** QUIZ: He played only two years of college ball, and he played them at two different schools.  But he had a huge impact on both programs.

In the pros, at a time when few teams split even one end, he played in a wide-open offense and became one of the first truly great wide receivers in pro football.

On top of it all,  he had one of football’s truly unique nicknames, one that immediately identifies him.

He was a Wisconsin kid - from Wausau - and he originally enrolled at Wisconsin.  He played a year of freshman ball, and then as a sophomore, playing single wing tailback, he led the Badgers to an 8-1-1 record and a Number 3 ranking nationally.  In the previous three seasons Wisconsin had won just 8 games, but in 1942, they lost only to Iowa, 6-0, and tied Notre Dame, 7-7.  Their biggest win was against Ohio State, handing the eventual national champions their only defeat.  In that game he broke off runs of 53, 34, 21 and 20 yards. Overall, he rushed for 767 yards on 141 carries, completed 18 passes for 226 yards, punted four times for a 48.8 yard average, intercepted six passes and ran back 15 punts for 182 yards.  He was named to the All-Big Ten team.

But war was on,  and as a result Wisconsin football went all to hell.  He enlisted in the Marines, and along with several other Badgers was sent to an officer training program (called the V-12 program) that happened to take place at the University of Michigan, where they were all immediately eligible to play. He quickly adjusted to the offense of Michigan’s famed coach Fritz Crisler, and Michigan had a great season, losing only to Notre Dame and beating Ohio State 45-7.  Meanwhile, Wisconsin, without most of its key players, went 1-9.

With a manpower shortage brought on by the war, he was able to play - and letter - on the Michigan basketball team, and in the spring, he lettered in track as a 24-foot long jumper (“broad jumper,” in the terms of the time).  But he also pitched for the baseball team, and on one day, May 15, 1944, he competed in the Big Ten track meet in Champaign, Illinois, then hustled to Bloomington, Indiana where he threw a one-hitter against the Hoosiers to give Michigan the Big Ten championship. In the process, he  became the first Michigan athlete ever to win four letters in one year.

He left school to serve in the Marines for the duration of the war, and then at the end of the war he signed with the Chicago Rockets of the new All-American Football Conference (AAFC). After being injured, he was cut and in 1949 he signed with the Los Angeles Rams. Those were the Rams of Bob Waterfield  and Norm Van Brocklin, and receivers like him and Tom Fears, and running backs like Tank Younger and Deacon Dan Towler, and in terms of offensive thinking, they were years ahead of everyone in the NFL except Paul Brown.

In his pro career, he caught 387 passes for 7,029 yards.  He also carried the ball 207 times for 687 yards, and in all - receiving, rushing and returning - he scored 65 touchdowns. He also played some at defensive back, and picked off 15 opponents’ passes.

In his nine years with the Rams, he made it to three Pro Bowls and was twice named first team All-Pro. He was on the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1950s, and he was named to the NFL’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.  He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

That nickname?  Describing his running style after seeing him play a game in 1943, a Chicago sports writer wrote,  "His crazy legs were gyrating in six different directions, all at the same time; he looked like a demented duck."


american flagTUESDAY,  MARCH 27,  2018 - “It has long been the desire of our enemies to deepen and widen the line of separaton between the white and colored people of this country.” Frederick Douglass

*********** On June 30, David Boren will officially retire as President of the University of Oklahoma.  By any measure, his tenure as President,  from 1994 to the present,  has been a successful one.

Mr. Boren is a Yale graduate, three years after me, and evidently he applied himself to his studies somewhat more diligently than I, because he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa,  and he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Prior to his assuming the presidency of OU, he served as Governor of Oklahoma and then as a United States Senator from Oklahoma, resigning   the latter position to take the job at OU.)

The University of Oklahoma has come a long way in terms of prestige since the early 1950s, when its football teams were winning championships and the university president, a learned man named Dr. George Cross, made a sarcastic remark that, misintepreted, went nationwide as evidence  that the University of Oklahoma,  while renowned for its football program, was academically a joke:  ''We want to build a university our football team can be proud of.''

It’s essential to understand the context of the remark.  Dr. Cross had spent more than an hour in front of a state legislative committee, defending his university’s budget request.

When he wrapped up, one “sleepy old senator,” as Dr. Cross later described him, sat up and said, “That’s all well and good, but what kind of football team are we going to have this year?”

Dr. Cross, obviously irked by the man’s attitude, fired back with his now-famous quote.

Looking back, he realizes the dangers of sarcasm, well-known to those of us who have a tendency to be sarcastic.

''It was a cynical remark because I thought my whole presentation had been wasted,'' Dr. Cross recalled, ''but the quote was picked up all across the country.''

By the late 1980s, he was retired, and Barry Switzer was then head coach at OU, and Dr. Cross reflected on how big -time sports had gotten out of hand all over America:

''I remember how all of it started here,'' Dr. Cross continued. ''It was 1945 and the war had ended, and here in Oklahoma we were still feeling very depressed from those tough days that Steinbeck wrote about in 'The Grapes of Wrath.' At a board of regents meeting, it was suggested to me that I try to get a good football team. It would give Oklahomans a reason to have pride in the state. And it did, but I don't think it was very good for the university.''

Dr. Cross hired (Jim) Tatum, and Oklahoma was on its way. But Tatum ran the football team in so crudely professional a manner that the next year Dr. Cross hired (Bud) Wilkinson, a former English major from the University of Minnesota from a well-to-do family.

''Bud was a class act,'' said Dr. Cross. ''Over 90 percent of the football players graduated. Now it's well under 50 percent. One year our starting quarterback flunked out. But he was technically still eligible for the Orange Bowl game. Bud refused to let him play.''

Dr. Cross said that he had always kept in close touch with athletics, ''and broiled a steak at least once a month with the coach.''

He remembered the exact words his successor said about the athletic department when he left the presidency, ''Ah hell, the v.p. of nonacademic affairs can handle that.'' ''You'll be shocked,'' Dr. Cross told him. ''And he was,'' Dr. Cross recalled. ''And so were the four presidents who followed him.''

''Football players became separated from the rest of the student body, and didn't participate in other activities,'' Dr. Cross said. ''In the end, the president must assume responsibility for the entire school. The buck must stop there.''

https://www.nytimes.com/1989/02/18/sports/sports-of-the-times-the-grapes-of-wrath-at-oklahoma.html

*********** It’s rather interesting looking at the lineups of high school games these days because quite often you can’t tell whether you’re looking at the boys’ or girls’ roster.

There are Morgans and Taylors and Skylers and Rileys and Dakotas and they could easily be boys or girls.

They’re called “gender-neutral” names, and more parents these days are giving them to their newborns.  Because - you’re not going to believe this - the kids have not as yet decided on their gender, and the parents don’t want to handicap them in their pursuit of gender change by slapping a too-masculine name on a boy, or a too-feminine name on a girl.

Said one woman in San Antonio (whose name happens to be Lori),  “We chose a gender-neutral name, Riley, for my daughter.  We knew her sex, but gender is fluid and yet to be determined. Of all the difficulties faced by those who live beyond, or across, the binary, we didn’t want name-changing to be one of them. ... I like that she feels she has options and knows she’ll be accepted by us no matter what.”

Riley is 3.

(Interestingly,  unisex names are banned by law in Denmark, Iceland and Portugal.  And in Germany, unusual names must be approved by local officials for fear that they might negatively affect the child.)

https://apnews.com/407c69a1155b4231894f4f311bb27d82

*********** My wife had reason to call Sports Illustrated about a subscription offer that included a jacket in the colors of “your favorite NFL team,” and she immediately  encountered the all-too-frequent English language insufficiency of those we have to speak to.  Compounding the “failure to communicate” on the part of the representative was a total lack of knowledge of the subject matter.  When my wife was told there were no Bills or Steelers jackets, she asked what they did have, and the helpful response was, “WE HAVE N-E-W-E-N-G-L-A-N-D-P-A-T-R-I-O-T-S”

*********** Just when my Friday needed a little brightening, along came Michael Bennett to provide it.

I was really down.   It was tough, learning that President Trump wasn't going to veto that big spending “omnibus” bill sent to him by Congress.

And then I saw the news crawler about Michael Bennett.  The Houston Police had  a warrant for his arrest on charges of assault or elderly abuse or somesuch.

It appears that in the moments following the 2017 Super Bowl, in his eagerness to get onto the field and congratulate his brother, Martellus, who played for the victorious Patriots, he “allegedly” pushed past an “elderly” security guard and knocked her over - while she sat in her wheelchair.  Now maybe I’ve got it wrong, and the people in charge of game security didn’t really think a handicapped older person in a wheelchair could keep boisterous fans off the field, but that’s how I read things.

The Houston police said they waited this long, more than a year after the event, because they had other, more important things to chase down before they got around to this one.

Bennett himself wasn’t immediately available because he was said to be “out of the country.” No doubt he was backpacking through Europe, living in youth hostels and serving as a proud ambassador of his country.

Other than the normal professional athlete's sense of entitlement,  there's nothing in Michael Bennett’s background that I'm aware of to suggest that he's guilty. For me, it’s just that he’s an arrogant  loudmouth who wouldn’t have a thing going for him if he weren’t a big, fast, accomplished defensive lineman. Unfortunately, though, that, combined with his big mouth and his arrogance, have made  him a Soldier for Social Justice.  Empowered by his coach, Pete Carroll, and by the Seahawks, who actually nominated him for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, and by the fawning Seattle news media,  he’s been more than willing to share with the rest of us his unique insights into the ills of American society. 

Problem is, he's walking , talking evidence of the Dunning-Kruger Effect: "a cognitive bias wherein people of low ability suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority derives from the metacognitive inability of low-ability persons to recognize their own ineptitude; without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence."

As if to prove it, he has even "written "a book (well, actually, the writing was done by a professional writer named Dave Zirin, a Social Justice Warrior himself who has been identified with a number of left-wing causes) entitled, “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable.”

Here’s Amazon’s brief description of the “author."
Michael Bennett is a Super Bowl Champion, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, a fearless activist, a feminist, a grassroots philanthropist, an organizer, and a change maker. He's also one of the most scathingly humorous athletes on the planet, and he wants to make you uncomfortable.

Bennett adds his unmistakable voice to discussions of racism and police violence, Black athletes and their relationship to powerful institutions like the NCAA and the NFL, the role of protest in history, and the responsibilities of athletes as role models to speak out against injustice. Following in the footsteps of activist-athletes from Muhammad Ali to Colin Kaepernick, Bennett demonstrates his outspoken leadership both on and off the field.

I have no intention of reading the book, but unless  Chapter One is titled, “ME,” I strongly suspect that Mr. Bennett has no idea of what makes white people uncomfortable.  Maybe, as Charles Barkley once admitted about a book he “wrote,” he hasn’t even read it himself.

As for the Houston charges, I have no idea whether he’s guilty or not and I don’t particularly care.  I’m just pleased to think that this could turn out to be “A Thing That Makes Michael Bennett Uncomfortable.”

*********** AN EXCERPT FROM THE UPCOMING ALL-NEW DOUBLE-WING PLAYBOOK…

66 and 77 are 88 and 99


*********** I’m very proud of my grandson, Connor Love, and his role as an M-C at Wake Forest's annual “Wake n Shake” marathon fundraiser which raised $376,000 for the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund.

*********** Charlie Wilson of Crystal River, Florida sent me this great article about how Bill Battle was way ahead of the game in what they now call analytics…

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/04/as_a_young_coach_bill_battle_w.html

Charlie, a wishbone/belly authority, also sent me this, the 1976 Alabama-Tennessee game

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmnLUvbG6vw

He wrote,
This is Bill Battle's Wishbone.  I actually remember this Factoid from my wayward youth: The FB was WAY close to the QB.  You should recognize the depth of the FB.  It's Double Wing type stuff.  The whole development of the Wishbone at Texas took off when the FB was dropped back to ~ 3 1/2 yards.  It appears that there was some gaming going on here as well since some plays had the FB a little deeper.

Nonetheless, Bill Battle was a bit star-crossed although he did beat the Bear once but it wasn't enough.  Tennessee wanted Majors, who won a NC at Pitt with the Veer.

How did Majors do?
(The question is rhetorical, but if you don’t know: not well enough for the folks at Tennessee.)

*********** This past weekend, I was working with a young quarterback for the first time and he confessed that he’d always had troubles throwing a tight spiral.  I asked him to throw a few for me, and he mentioned that it felt strange throwing without a glove - said that last season he’d worn a glove.

I asked him why, and he said it was because he had small hands, and he had trouble gripping the ball.

I don’t have big hands, either, but I’ve never had problems gripping a ball - and his hand is slightly bigger than mine.

And then he mentioned the ball that his team used, and when he handed it to me it slipped out of my fingers!  Sucker felt like it was greased!

It was a Spalding ALPHA, a top-of-the-line, high-quality, real leather football, and it was as slick as the screen on my iPhone.

The QB said his receivers didn’t like it, either.  I could see why.

WTF?

Well. This was Washington, and the Spalding ALPHA is the official WIAA (state association) "championship" ball. Note the word “championship.” In WIAA-speak, that means “playoffs.”

During the season, you can use any ball you damn please, so long as it has the NFHS logo on it.

But for the post-season, the “playoff,” the state takes control, and in return for some handed to it by a ball supplier - in this case, Spalding - it then dictates to the participating teams that they must use that supplier’s ball.  Nice of it to sell off what amounts to our playing conditions.

Let’s not kid ourselves - this is a naked attempt by the state to dictate what ball you’ll use during your regular season, too, because otherwise, if you’re having any kind of  season and you have a shot at the playoffs,  at some point you’re going to have to make the switch over to the state-approved tournament ball so you’ll be ready.

That’s exactly the thinking of a lot of coaches, including this QB’s coach last year. Unfortunately, they missed making the playoffs - in their final game of the season -  and who knows? They might have made the playoffs  had they used a different ball during the regular season, one that their QB could throw and their receivers could catch.

I personally would have put making the playoffs first.  I’d have used the manageable ball in the regular season and then, once we were sure we made the playoffs, I’d start to break in the state-approved ball.

And in the meantime, I’d be trying out ways to take  that slickness off that damned Spalding ALPHA.

*********** Like a bad penny, Himself Obama keeps turning up. And now he’s threatening to go nuclear on us. Speaking in Japan, he said that through the efforts of the Obama Foundation,  “I would create a hundred or a thousand or a million young Barack Obamas or Michelle Obamas.”

I'll let you provide the punch line.

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

Stanford has it figured out.  One of a few universities in this country that knows how to strike a balance between its academic reputation and athletics.  There are a ton more opportunities nationally to find the type of young people they want representing their school than just in California and the west coast.  Isn't it interesting how intercollegiate athletics at Stanford has not tarnished the academic integrity of the university overall??

If my wife wasn't so against living in the snow we would be living in Hillsdale, MI.  I would have asked to hand out towels to work in an environment like that. 

I remember reading about "the Fort" and its accomplishments many years ago.  Lomax may think he has all the answers now but within a year he will be asking himself a lot more questions, and have alot less answers.  But one question he will have to answer will be, "Why the h*** did I take this job?"

Lying.  As seldom used word today as the phrases "knock it off"  and "shake it off'.  Been replaced by words like "misled", "inaccurate", "misremembered", etc.

You would think that a fella like Richard Sherman (salutatorian of his HS graduation class, a 4.2 GPA, and a STANFORD grad in Communications) would have been able to figure out he would have been better off without an agent years ago.  But...money (and a big mouth - after all he IS a SoCal kid) tend to have an effect on people.

QUIZ:  Ray Eliot Nusspickel (no relation to Pete Elliott - also an Illini head coach).  I would have used Eliot as my last name too.

Have a great weekend, and stay safe in Camas!  We're able to open up packages again down here.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** TRUMP AND THE STRUMPET - (Now there’s a word I bet you’d never heard until just now - it’s an outdated word for a prostitute.)

We’re supposed, I guess, to be disturbed by the story, told by a strumpet - a “porn star” who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels - who claims she did the nasty with Donald Trump, back In 2006.  If you’re keeping score, that’s ten years before he was elected President.  Fast forward to 2016, and as the election neared, Mr. Trump’s lawyer offered the trollop (another outdated but appropriate word) $130,000 for her silence about the event.  Made sense to me. An irrelevant event from long-ago that opponents could turn into a distraction.  She took the lawyer’s money, and in exchange she signed what’s called a non-disclosure agreement (called an “NDA” in inside baseball).

But subsequently, someone else found out about the NDA and offered Ms. Daniels a lot more money than that to break her agreement and tell her story on television.  That she did - on CBS 60 Minutes, this past Sunday night.

What I find interesting here is the depths to which leftists will stoop in order to try to depose the President,  presenting this lowlife as an “adult film star.”  Just a poor working girl trying to make an honest living in a white-male-dominated world that keeps women from being engineers and surgeons and airline pilots. (Full disclosure - I have a grand-daughter who’s a civil engineer.)

Not to try to discredit the “adult film star’s” testimony, but guys, we’re talking about someone whose place on the scale of human life is mere steps above drug dealers and pimps and child molesters.

No man who’s ever had a daughter can even imagine a fate for her  worse than a life of prostitution.

Unless it would be acting in pornographic movies.  A so-called “porn star.” Some star.  Not only selling her body, often subjecting herself to various indignities, running the risk of contracting serious venereal diseases - but doing so for all the world to see.  For generations to come. (Is that really you, Grandma?)

This woman gave her body away to a man and then tattled.  For money.  What a shock.

Once again, TV builds us up then lets us down.  Anyone remember Geraldo Rivera and Al Capone’s vault?

*********** Sent me by Shep Clarke, of Puyallup, Washington

cosell simpson jenner


*********** Remember Inflategate and all the uproar over the charges that the Patriots were under-inflating footballs?  Australia’s got its own issue right now, and in this sports-mad country, and the rather pure and upright traditions of its biggest sport - that would be cricket -  it’s far, far bigger than Inflategate ever was.

It concerns tampering with the ball, not unlike the way the baseball old-timers would scuff a ball with an emery board or other abrasive device so that a pitcher could get a better grip, and throw a better breaking ball.

As I understand it from my son, Ed, who works in sports in Australia, this is something that just isn’t done.  Cricketeers are held to a higher standard.  They simply don’t look  at things like offensive holding or corking bats or such the way we do - everybody does it… it’s only holding if you get caught… if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying… etc., etc.

Yet in a big match between the Australian national team and  South Africa,  an Australian player was seen using a piece of tape to tamper with the ball - seen, by the South African crowd,  ON THE BIG SCREEN!

And then, almost comically, he was caught trying to hide the tape inside his pants.  (“Drop them, Fella.  We want to see what’s inside those drawers.”)

Said the team captain, a position of great prestige, somewhat like a player-coach, "We spoke about it and thought it was a possible way to get an advantage … poor choice and, yeah, we're deeply regrettable."

Interesting choice of words, that.  I’m sure he meant “regretful.”  I would agree, though, that the whole thing is regrettable.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-25/steve-smith-wont-resign-australia-confesses-to-ball-tampering/9584476


*********** Neither the University of Oregon nor Oregon State University has a medical school.  Instead, the state independently runs a highly-regarded medical school known as Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU), located in Portland.

The president of OHSU retired last October and I have no idea what his plans are, maybe because I didn’t read any further after learning what his pension will entail. 

I don’t know what other goodies he’s entitled to, such as use of a chauffeured limousine or a private jet and I assume that health care will never be an issue,  but I do know this:

He will receive $913,000 a year.  That’s $76,000 a month.  Yes, yes, I know - with his new contract, Kirk Cousins will make that much every time he throws a completion.  But otherwise, how many of you will make $76,000 this YEAR?  How many of you have parents who are retired and getting by on HALF that?

Oregon’s Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) is, like most states’,  f—ked up.  In comparison with what private industry does and what its taxpayers can afford, Oregon pays out far more than it can justify, and as a result, in order to make the payments that its politicians committed to many years ago, the state has had to make cuts in all sorts of essential services, such as education.  And things will only get worse as more state workers retire and the state assumes their pensions.

For most Oregonians, the prime example of their out-of-control pension system is former Oregon Ducks’ football coach Mike Bellotti.

Bellotti spent 21 years at Oregon, as offensive coordinator, head coach, and - for one year - athletics director.

When he resigned to take a job with ESPN, he got $2.3 million “severance pay” (tell me how you manage to get “severance pay” when you “resign,” unless it’s a firing that’s called a “resignation” to look better in the newspapers.)

And, thanks to PERS and the generosity of the Oregon taxpayers, he started receiving, and will continue to receive until the day he croaks, $559,000 a year.

According to public records, there are some 2,000 retirees receiving pensions of more than $100,000 a year.

Here’s where I come in. I have no problem with the fact that Mike Belotti, while he was coach at Oregon, was paid maybe 50 times what a typical teacher-coach might be paid. The market determined that. But call me a socialist if you will, because I think that a state’s pension should be designed for people to live a life of dignity in retirement.  With, say, a ceiling of $100,000 a year.

But I don’t think that the fact that a person earned a high income during their working years entitles them to live a life of luxury in retirement.  Not on the taxpayers’ dime. 

When you’re a football coach making $3 million a year, or a school superintendent making $200,000 a year, I think you’re being paid enough that if you want to live well in your golden years, you can well afford to invest in a very nice retirement plan to supplement what you - and everybody else - can expect from the taxpayers.


*********** QUIZ ANSWER - Things seldom work out well when you succeed a legend, but Pete Eliot did just that, and he did so rather successfully.

He succeeded the great Bob Zuppke, whom he had played for and then assisted. Zuppke coached at Illinois for 29 years, and this coach stayed there for 18.

In the more than 70 years since the Big Ten started playing in the Rose Bowl, Illinois has been to the Rose Bowl just five times.  He coached in two of them - and won them both.

HIs 1946 team went 8-2 and won the Big Ten title.  It was the first Big Ten (Actually, then, it was still the Big Nine) team to play in the Rose Bowl, and behind the running of Buddy Young and Julie Rykovitch, it defeated UCLA, 45-13.  Big Nine/Big Ten teams would go on to win the next six Rose Bowls in a row.

His 1951 team finished fourth in the nation. It won the Big Ten (Michigan State having been added the year before) championship and went undefeated, with only a scoreless tie with Ohio State marring its record.  And in the Rose Bowl, it trounced Stanford, 40-7.

In 1953, with two sensational sophomore running backs, J.C. Caroline and Mickey Bates, Illinois tied for the Big Ten championship with Michigan State, but on the basis of who had gone most recently, they lost out to the  Spartans for the Rose Bowl spot.

In 18 years, his overall record was 83–73-11. Things have not been all that good for the school's  football fortunes since he left.

As an example: Combined, Pete Eliot and his processor, Bob Zuppke, spent 47 years at the school.  In the 47 years following his retirement, the school went through NINE different coaches.

Interestingly, his successor was also named Elliott - with two “Ls.”  It was Pete Elliott, one of two brothers (the other was “Bump”) who were standouts at Michigan in the years following the War.

In actuality, though, he was born Ray Eliot Nusspickel.  (I don’t know how and when he changed his name, but I have a pretty good idea why.)


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING RAY ELIOT:

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

*********** I’m indebted to Todd Hollis, of Elmwood, Illinois, for sending me thIS…

Ray Eliot
by Doug Cartland

3.6.18

It was the summer of 1946, and the war was over. America’s fighting men had come home from all over the world. College men were returning to their universities, including football players.

Ray Eliot was the head football coach at the University of Illinois. He had taken the job in 1942 only to see essentially his entire team leave for the war effort. He had a great class of talent coming in that first year … but off they went too.

Eliot spent his first four years coaching 16- and 17-year-old boys (at 18, they were off to the service). Not all universities had that problem. Purdue, for example, had a marine training program, so they still turned out great teams. As did Notre Dame, as did Great Lakes, and so on.

How Eliot won any games at all during that four-year stretch is a marvel. But he did. Astonishingly, one of those teams actually led the country in total offense.

When his boys finally came home for the 1946 season, the press immediately assumed Illinois would be the favorite to win the Big 9 (now the Big 10) Conference. They saw talent on paper. Eliot, though, saw a puzzle.

First, somewhere between 200 and 500 aspirants came out for football. Try to wade through that swamp.

Second, he had young players, who had won starting jobs the year before, wondering if these veterans just back from the war were going to simply come in and take their jobs away.

Yeah, that was a bit uncomfortable.

Most significantly, these comparatively naïve 18-year-olds now had to mix with men who had been to war. Men who were 23 or 24 years old; some of which had wives and families already.

“We were 24-year-olds trying to mesh with some who were as young as 17,” said one of those returning war veterans … All-American, Alex Agase. “What a job Ray and that coaching staff had—they had the toughest job a coach ever had.”

These men came home with a chip on their shoulders. And who could blame them after what they’d seen?

“The war veterans,” reported the Saturday Evening Post at the time, “were the most unpredictable, unsettling and—sometimes—unmanageable who ever set a coach to strumming his underlip. Outright insubordination was rare enough, but (some were) fed up with jumping every time someone cracked a whip. Many a conscientious kid found weight-reducing agonizing, some showed a fine disdain for the classroom, others simply could not rekindle the urge to play.”

As for Eliot’s situation, the Post said, “Ray Eliot had the same miseries as other college coaches, only more so.”

Talent on paper, yeah.

“This team is the most overrated team in the country,” insisted Eliot before the season. “And if you don’t say so too, you’re crazy.”

After starting the season appealing to his player’s best natures, his team stood at 1-1. Hardly world-beaters.

So, he changed his tune. He got tough and drill-sergeant demanding the next week, and Illinois seemingly responded, ripping Purdue. Well, maybe that was the ticket.

So, he dished out more of the same soup the next week only to see them fall on their faces at Indiana. They were 2-2.

Eliot was perplexed and seemingly without remedy. He didn’t know what to say. He had tried every approach imaginable, but his team had not responded. The papers were calling his team “uninspired,” and he could not disagree with them.

On the Sunday after the Indiana loss, Eliot went to see Doug Mills, the Athletics Director, and offered his resignation. He wanted the best for his boys, and if someone else could get it out of them, then so be it. Mills rejected the offer out of hand. University President George Stoddard came out swinging for him publicly the next day.

Reinvigorated, Eliot resolved to do something about the situation. On Monday, he called an all-player “gripe session.” He listened. Few ideas had merit, but the communication broke the tension. Speaking their minds, especially appealed to the war vets.

After hearing them out, Eliot led them to the film room. He showed them on the Indiana game film how they weren’t playing Illinois’ defense at all. They were hardheaded egos all doing whatever they wanted.

The film session got their attention, but they were still not wholly convinced. So, out to the practice field, they went.

The coach told his starting defensive players to set and run their defense, any way they wanted to—however they thought best.

Then, he called over his freshman offense, told them what to run, and put them against the players’ defense. His freshman offense destroyed this starting, veteran-laden defense.

“One by one,” Eliot told the story many years later, “after the workout was over, they came by my office and said they wanted to go back to my defense, and play it the way I wanted it played. It was then that I knew I had them.”

From that day, Illinois ran off five wins in a row to capture the Big 9 crown. They went on to dismantle UCLA, 45-14, in the Rose Bowl.

It should be said, here, that no other team in the country fared so well with the returning veterans. No one else found the key to unlock their enthusiasm and their collective potential. This is true. I could tell you stories.

Nope, only Ray Eliot.

Ray Eliot is my grandfather. He has just been elected to the University of Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame in its second year of existence. He died in 1980, at the age of 74, after serving his university most of his life.

I could not be more proud. No one could be more deserving.

Oh, and there’s a whole lot of leadership to draw from this story, if you care to draw.

Sincerely,

Doug Cartland, President
Doug Cartland, Inc.
The ONLY Leadership Resource with Guaranteed Results

*********** QUIZ-  He was born and raised in Nashville, where his father had played for Vanderbilt, and he attended Vanderbilt, too.

A quarterback,  he was named MVP of the SEC in 1951, and in the 1952 NFL Draft he was the first person taken, by  the Los Angeles Rams.  Other well-known first-rounders taken after him were  Les Richter, Ollie Matson,  Babe Parilli, Johnny Bright, Hugh McElhenny, Frank Gifford and Harry Agganis.

After spending two years in the service, he spent seven years with the Rams, mostly as a starter, and in 1958 he led the NFL in passing yardage.

In 1961 he was traded to the Bears. In 1962 he led the NFL in completions, and in 1963 he took the Bears to the NFL championship with a 14-10 win over the Giants.   Playing on a frozen field in close to zero-degree weather, he scored both of the Bears’ touchdowns - on quarterback sneaks.

Only once since then - 1985 - have the Bears won it all.

His durability was remarkable.  In his 14 years, he missed only one practice.

He played in 128 games.  He threw for 18,530 yards and 124 TDs, and he rushed for 24 TDs.

When he died in 2016,  Bears’ teammate Ed O’Bradovich recalled,  “He was a very serious person. Religion and family were first and foremost to him.  I never heard him say a cuss word.  You can imagine with all them guys we had on that team - ‘Gosh darn it’ wasn’t in our vocabulary. Very studious.  Wonderful man.”

So popular was he in his hometown that when he played for Chicago, Bears’ games were shown in Nashville on tape delay every Sunday evening, right after the news.


american flagFRIDAY,  MARCH 23,  2018 - “You begin to realize why there are thousands of books about management out there: It is a very difficult thing to do.” Tom Hodgkinson, in “Business for Bohemians,” his book on starting his own  business


*********** Despite Stanford’s long tradition as a Pacific Coast team, it has been cashing in on its prestigious reputation and has become a national football program. Of this year’s 19 football signees, only five are from California; four are from Georgia and three are from Texas. Eight different states are represented.  And - in case you’re reading this, Saban - there are two kids from Alabama!

*********** CRIME IN CAMAS!  It happened in a nice residential area near us, right across the street from an elementary school.  But when the live-in girlfriend finds red hair in the shower drain, and her hair is blue (!) things can happen. In this case, the lady went off to the mall and bought a samurai sword (no background check required, not even in Washington). Then she waited until lover boy was asleep and did her thing - stabbed him, sliced him and bludgeoned him. (Sounds like a Ronco commercial: “Slices! Dices! Chops and Peels!)

He’s going to survive, but I suspect the relationship is at an end. 

*********** I am so proud of my town.  There it was, Tuesday, the first day of spring, and kids at the nearby middle school were outside at lunchtime playing - football!

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

Your piece on the mess that is college basketball recruiting tied to the shoe companies and youth basketball reminded me of an article I read last week. The author is a high school classmate of mine who happens to be the Senior Editor at Vogue. The college recruiting problems/issues/dirty secrets have been around for a long time, going back at least to the late '80s at Georgetown.

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas

https://www.vogue.com/article/my-mom-and-march-madness

Greg’s referring to the great article he  sent  me the link to.  It’s about Georgetown basketball during the heyday of john Thompson, whose basketball program and the people he recruited certainly gave the lie to Georgetown’s claim to academic excellence.

The author’s mom is a perfect example of our (and I plead guilty to it myself) willingness, because of our love of sport, to close our eyes to the evils that we know are taking place right in front of us in the places we love.

*********** I’ve become a BIG fan of Michigan’s Hillsdale College,  a private college that’s so dedicated to its independence that it doesn’t take a nickel of federal funding - and that includes student loans and Pell grants to its students.  If Hillsdale wants to add a men’s sport, it can.  If Hillsdale wants to drop a women’s sport, it can. And that’s that.  No Title IX at Hillsdale. 

Here’s the Hillsdale Mission Statement:
Hillsdale College is an independent institution of higher learning founded in 1844 by men and women “grateful to God for the inestimable blessings” resulting from civil and religious liberty and “believing that the diffusion of learning is essential to the perpetuity of these blessings.” It pursues the stated object of the founders: “to furnish all persons who wish, irrespective of nation, color, or sex, a literary, scientific, [and] theological education” outstanding among American colleges “and to combine with this such moral and social instruction as will best develop the minds and improve the hearts of its pupils.” As a nonsectarian Christian institution, Hillsdale College maintains “by precept and example” the immemorial teachings and practices of the Christian faith.

The College also considers itself a trustee of our Western philosophical and theological inheritance tracing to Athens and Jerusalem, a heritage finding its clearest expression in the American experiment of self-government under law.

By training the young in the liberal arts, Hillsdale College prepares students to become leaders worthy of that legacy. By encouraging the scholarship of its faculty, it contributes to the preservation of that legacy for future generations. By publicly defending that legacy, it enlists the aid of other friends of free civilization and thus secures the conditions of its own survival and independence.
And if you need any further evidence of how Hillsdale diverges from the vast majority of today’s left-wing-oriented colleges, the answer is right on their home page:
The College values the merit of each unique individual, rather than succumbing to the dehumanizing, discriminatory trend of so-called “social justice” and “multicultural diversity,” which judges individuals not as individuals, but as members of a group and which pits one group against other competing groups in divisive power struggles.
Hillsdale sends out a great monthly publication called “Imprimis,” with intelligent essays and speeches by prominent conservative individuals.  You can get “Imprimis” by writing to Hillsdale at imprimis@hillsdale.edu and letting them know you’d like it sent to you. It’s free, but I won’t kid you - they will ask for donations.  After all, if a school’s going to turn down all that “free” federal money, they’ve got to get the funds somewhere, and lots of Hillsdale’s funding comes from people like me, people who never went there but support its mission.

I listened in awe last Sunday to Hillsdale’s president, Dr. Larry Arnn, when he appeared  on Mark Levin’s show on Fox News and talked in depth about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and their interrelation.

My friend Mike Lude, a Hillsdale grad who knows him well, calls Dr. Arnn “scary smart.”

Mike is a major reason why I care about Hillsdale.  Mike is one of the great people I’ve been privileged to know.

Mike entered Hillsdale right out of high school, and after service as a Marine officer in World War II interrupted things, he returned for his senior year to find that Hillsdale had a new football coach.  It was a guy named Dave Nelson, who had played at Michigan under the great Fritz Crisler, and had played in the same backfield there as All-Americans Tom Harmon and Forest Evashevski.  After Mike’s graduation - and his marriage to Rena Pifer, a Hillsdale native and Hillsdale grad - Nelson, also the AD, offered him a job. 

What a job it was! Offensive and defensive line coach, trainer, director of intramurals, physical education instructor and, to keep him busy in the spring,  head baseball coach. For $2400.  As Mike wrote in his memoirs, “Walking the Line,” “that’s for a year, not a month.”

Thus would begin a lifelong relationship and friendship between Dave Nelson and Mike Lude that would take them next to the University of Maine and then to the University of Delaware, and would be highlighted by their co-invention of what came to be called the Delaware Wing T (actually, they originally called it the “Winged T”).

Mike went on to become head coach at Colorado State, then Athletics Director of Kent State, and Washington, and at Auburn. Now in his 90s, he’s still active in NACDA - the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. 

And it all started at Hillsdale.

*********** Fort Vancouver High School, in Vancouver, Washington, was once an excellent public high school. 

Our four kids graduated from there, and my wife and I - and our kids - were pleased with their overall experience.  They had good teachers, they had decent (I hesitate to say “good”) coaches, and they ran around with good kids who, like them, went on to good colleges and now are well along in their lives as good, productive citizens.

Our four kids all went to what you’d call prestigious colleges. For people like us who couldn’t afford to live in a wealthy neighborhood and definitely couldn’t have afforded private school tuition, we’ll always be grateful to “Fort,” as it’s called locally.

But things have changed dramatically.  Fort’s enrollment is still around 1,000 or so, but its demographics have totally flipped.  From what it once was - a middle-class enclave of intact families - it’s devolved into the Ellis Island of Southwest Washington.  What does Vancouver, with four high schools, do when a kid arrives in the district from some exotic place , speaking a language that no one else has even heard of, (much less understands)?  Why, send him to Fort.

Fort’s sports teams, once area powerhouses, do about as well as you might expect when you realize that Fort is now a United Nations, and out of those 1,000-some kids who attend, maybe 300 have had prior exposure to American sports. Unfortunately,  the state association makes no allowance for that, so Fort competes against schools its size, but their demographics are more in line with the Fort Vancouver that once was.

The results haven’t been pretty. In football, Fort was winless last year. In the last 10 years, they’ve won a total of 12 games.

I know one of the coaches who endured through part of that period.  He’s a heck of coach. I’ve coached against him and I know what kind of a team he can put on the field if he has any kind of talent and any kind of support.  He just couldn’t get it done there, and after he was let go he told me some disturbing things about the administration’s interference in his attempts to hold his players accountable. Like so many of today’s gutless administrators, they have nightmares about coaches kicking bad actors off their teams.  When you start with little talent, and then you do away with discipline, you’ve got the makings of an ugly situation for a coach.

The most recent coach lasted one season.  His name was Steve Broussard. You may recognize the name - a running back, he played at Washington State and then spent nine years in the NFL, with the Falcons, Bengals and Seahawks. He’s been a lot of places as a coach, and it took him only one year to decide that Fort wasn’t the place for him.  After an 0-9 season, he resigned, citing “health issues.” But a couple of months later, his health miraculously restored, he took another coaching job in Southern California.

Which all brings me to the latest chapter in the saga. The headlines in our local paper Wednesday excitedly announced, “Ex-NFL Quarterback Neil Lomax to Coach Fort Vancouver.”

Yes, that Neil Lomax.  Big star at Portland State, played nine years in the NFL with the Cardinals.

In recent years, he’s been a high school assistant coach at a number of schools in Oregon.  In his most notable stay, he assisted at Portland’s Roosevelt High, a school not unlike Fort Vancouver in the makeup of its student body. 

I’m sure he was a huge help to the head coach, an idealistic young guy.  And it appears, understandably,  that he’s had some sort of connection with Nike, because that worldwide sports apparel giant bestowed all sorts of largess on the Roosevelt program, including a new artificial turf field.  Starting at about the same point as Fort Vancouver’s at now, Roosevelt did become competitive for a couple of years.  Give him that.

But the key thing is that he wasn’t the head coach.  He never has been a head coach.  And I’m here to tell you that after spending the past several years as an assistant, there’s nothing better than being able to just coach, while someone else  is the head coach and handles all the issues, from ineligibility to drugs to  inattendance to homelessness, to run-ins with unsympathetic teachers or administrators, to confrontations with disaffected parents and (occasionally drunk) community members.  (And that’s when you’re winning!)

So far, he’s said that  Job One is not about winning.  It’s about academics, changing lives, blah, blah, blah.  “They need me there,” he told the Vancouver Columbian, “And I need that type of school to remind me why I coach football.”

I’m waiting for how long it takes for him to discover that there’s an awful lot of kids who might want to change their lives but won’t pay the price to make it happen, and, even more discouraging, there are just as many who don’t want to change their lives.

And, of course, we live in an America in which, no matter how well you treat youngsters and how good a job you do of directing their lives, people - including  many of those very youngsters whose lives you've been touching - eventually get tired of losing.  Americans want to win.  The Law of the Jungle applies as much at New Mexico State as it does at Alabama.

Once Coach Lomax finds out that there’s no longer a head coach to do all the heavy lifting - that he’s now the head coach, and he has to do all the sh— jobs himself - it’s going to be interesting to see how long he can take it before, as with Steve Broussard, “health issues” ensue.

http://portlandtribune.com/pt/12-sports/390105-281581-former-nfl-qb-lomax-takes-prep-coaching-reins

*********** By Jason Gay in the Wall Street Journal…

(And please—please—remember that when UMBC says ‘Retrievers,’ they’re talking about a proper Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and not those plebeian goldens and labs that are nice to throw a tennis ball to, but not, you know, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the state dog of Maryland. My Maryland in-laws are very sensitive about this point—it’s almost worse than not having Old Bay in the cupboard. I said almost.)

***********  A sure sign that certain college football programs have way more money than they know what to do with is the proliferation of “analysts” on their staffs.

Analysts are coaches who aren't permitted to coach. In this day of “big data,” you just can’t have enough people analyzing all the reports that computers can generate.

Analysts can analyze video, they can analyze practices, they can attend meetings and participate in them, and they can sit up in the press box on game days and “analyze.”  Hell, the right “analyst” could even call plays.

An analyst just can’t “coach on the field.”  He can’t do that, because that would make  him a “coach,” not an analyst, and while the NCAA doesn’t give a sh— how many analysts a program has, it does place limits on the number of “coaches” it can have.

These analysts are not necessarily beginners, either.  Some of them are highly respected former head coaches who are temporarily “between positions.”

One such is Butch Jones, fired at the end of this past season after five years at Tennessee.  Nick Saban has hired Coach Jones as an “intern,” uh, “analyst,” uh, whatever.

Said Saban,  “He can't coach on the field. He can work with us off the field. And today was actually the first time he was cleared by the NCAA. We have these rules and I don't even know what they're called, like we can't hire high school coaches. We can't hire people that have recruited other players that we're recruiting and all that. You have to go through a process with the NCAA, and that finally got completed today."

It’s certainly a good deal for Alabama because Jones is a bright guy who can offer the program a lot of intelligence.  It’s a great deal for Coach Jones because it keeps him in the game, ready to step in should an attractive head coaching position arise.  Not only that, but when he does apply, he’ll do so not as a failed head coach at Tennessee but as a valued member of the staff at highly-rated Alabama.

But - call me suspicious -  it could be a bad deal for Tennessee.  That’s because when a coach is given a severance package, it’s usually with the understanding that any pay he receives from a new coaching position will be deducted from that package.  But, uh, this isn’t a “coaching position,” is it? Hmmm.

So it looks like you could be stuck for the whole deal, Tennessee. And it looks like Coach Jones could be double-dipping.

https://www.si.com/college-football/2018/03/20/former-vols-coach-butch-jones-alabama-intern

*********** One top government official is fired for “lack of candor.”  Another is accused of “inconsistencies during testimony.”

WTF ever happened to the word “LYING?”

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

I'm with you regarding the sham that basketball has become.  When the AAU allowed the commercial promotion of the sport to increase its own gain the game as we once knew it became the circus we now see today, including the once proud bastion of college basketball Duke University.  I used to enjoy watching college basketball, especially in March.  Today, other than the monumental upset UMBC pulled off, I can't even begin to tell you what teams are in what brackets, and which teams are favored.  Frankly, I haven't watched any of the games, but have caught a few highlights.  Does anyone pass the ball 10 times before shooting it anymore??

Love that picture you put out there.  Nice shorts!  Were they the now infamous Bike shorts we all used to wear back then?

I recently read that Portland Madison is looking for a head football coach.  Wasn't that the school where you served as the OC?  I still have a DVD of the team's highlights.  You guys had some talent!

QUIZ:  That paisano is Ray Malavasi.  

Enjoy your week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

I still have the shorts but they are, uh, a bit TIGHT.  Yes, Madison is open.  And I did coach there, two years as an assistant under Tracy Jackson and one year as HC. The highlight was from 2004, my second year there. We did a lot of stuff because we did have some very good kids. We didn’t have very many of them, though, so the critical thing, I think, is that we managed to get every kid into the perfect position for him and for us.

*********** Jeff Rohrer was a Yalie who made it to the NFL.  A number two draft choice, he played seven years with the Cowboys.

Now, he’s partner in a Los Angeles company that produces commercials, and he’s quite an accomplished artist. Read about the 500 Club:
The 500 Club. Jeffrey Rohrer is a painter on a mission to release 500 Portraits of icons such as JFK, Ted Williams, Tom Landry and even the amazing Donald Trump. Jeff paints fast...like real fast. He used to actually be fast on his feet when he played for the Dallas Cowboys and Yale Football Teams as a nasty Linebacker but his body is somewhat broken now as he awaits his dark days as a drivelling idiot. Jeff generates 50 paintings a year. Most of the canvasses are devoted to portraits but sometimes Jeff strays into other weird stuff like florals next to candelabras at night or guns but the 500 Club is all about the Portrait world. Speaking of night that is when Jeff paints. Jeff likes to paint while the rest of the world sleeps. Like the Werewolf he is, Jeff transforms when he paints at night and becomes a creature in tune with the other side. When the sun comes up Jeff is covered in oil paint stinking of fine wine only to wake and discover a work of art nailed to the wall of his studio with his name on it. Hopefully you will enjoy this art of a legitimate idiot savant . The 500 Club are only Portraits of people Jeff wants artists and historians to talk about hundreds of years from now...like who is this person and why would someone want to paint them. History past has given us paintings of royalty like kings and queens and of course the religoius work. Jeffrey paints all kinds of people...kind of using one test as to why the subject is being included to the club...would this person be interesting to meet at Coffee Shop for a beverage and of course what kind of beverage would that person order? Stay tuned for further additions to the 500 Club.

Jeff Rohrer art

(I would love to have one, but shuddet to think of the price. I have a feeling that bottom right - “Man” - is Ernie Stautner, Cowboys’ defensive coordinator when Rohrer played.)

https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/jeffrey-rohrer.html

*********** A great video by movie producers the Erwin Brothers, explains the origin of the B-29 in their logo…

http://erwinbrothers.com/legacy/

*********** Former NBA great Ray Allen was profiled in a recent Wall Street Journal article in which he explains how people get so caught up in identity politics that they fail to understand his interest in the Holocaust: “Some people didn’t like the fact that I was going to Poland to raise awareness for the issues that happened there and not using that time and energy to support people in the black community.   I didn’t go to Poland as a black person, a white person, a Christian person or a Jewish person.  I went as a human being.”

*********** HERE'S ANOTHER CLIP FROM THE UPCOMING NEW EDITION OF MY DOUBLE-WING PLAYBOOK… I APPRECIATE THE INTEREST AND THE PATIENCE OF GUYS WHO ARE WAITING AND ALL I CAN TELL YOU IS THAT AT MY STAGE OF THE GAME THERE ISN’T GOING TO BE A “NEXT” EDITION AFTER THIS ONE, SO BEFORE IT GOES TO PRINT, IT’S GOING TO BE DONE RIGHT. NO MORE DEADLINES FOR ME.  I'M GOING TO APPROACH THIS AS IF I WERE AN 18TH CENTURY GERMAN GUNSMITH OR SWISS WATCHMAKER OR AN ITALIAN BOOTMAKER -   NOT THAT I'M THAT SKILLED, BUT IF IT TAKES ME UNTIL JULY TO BE  SATISFIED THAT IT'S THE BEST I CAN PUT OUT, THEN THAT’S THE WAY IT'LL HAVE TO BE…

WINDOW ART

*********** In the March 13 Wall Street Journal, a writer named Abigail Shrier wrote about the need for today’s kids to be exposed to “Dad-style parenting,” represented by two simple commands - “Knock it off!” and “Shake it off!”

I don’t know whether anyone even uses either term any more, but I would say that if you’re north of 50 years old, you’ve been told at least once to “Knock it off!” - stop doing something that bothers a person with power over you (such as a father).  It always worked because the fact that there will be consequences if you don’t is understood.

Today, she argues, there’s way too much, “That’s it! No More!”  and then, when it happens again, “I mean it! Once more and you’re going to your room!”  “Okay then  twice more.”

I well remember the time I sat in an airport while a little kid nearby acted like a little sh—. His mother clearly had never disciplined him but I suppose because they were out in public she felt she had to put on an act to fool us into thinking she was in charge, so she told him  that he’d better stop whatever he was doing before she counted to three. She counted “ONE…” and nothing happened.  She counted “TWO…” and still nothing.  And then she counted “TWO AND A HALF…”

A real dad would never have let it get past “ONE.” In fact, there would never have been a count.

One simple “Knock it off!” would have done the job.

“Shake it off?” Writes Ms. Shrier, that “conveyed a dad-style certainty that children could survive minor injuries.  Not every scratch called for a stretcher.  Children should learn to overcome, not to exaggerate, their pain. If an injury is unserious, a child should rise up to the occasion and play on.”

I well remember the first time I ever heard it.

I was in seventh grade and it was my second or third week at my new school, Germantown Academy.  “GA” was a K-12 school, and GA was where I first encountered male teachers.

On that particular day, we were out on the field for PE, and we were playing touch football.

Off to the side watching us stood our PE teacher, Mr. McCloskey, and the head football coach, Mr. Lawless, two hard-nosed Irishmen who’d served in the Marines in World War II and then had been football teammates at Penn. Mr. McCloskey - Jack McCloskey - was the head basketball coach. (He’d only last one year at GA before moving on, to a career that would take him to Penn, to Wake Forest, to the Portland Trail Blazers to the Detroit Pistons, where as GM he assembled the “Bad Boys” and hired the great Chuck Daly.)  Mr. Lawless - Eddie Lawless - would stay at GA long enough to be my head coach.

In this particular game of touch, I collided with somebody head-on and it HURT.  My head ached. I may have been a little dizzy.  I can’t remember.  (Does that mean my memory’s failing me?)  I was starting to kneel down when I heard Mr. Lawless say, “Shake it off, Wyatt!”

Huh?  I had no idea what “shake it off” meant (I quickly learned), but there was the HEAD FOOTBALL COACH of the WHOLE DAMN SCHOOL - and HE KNEW MY NAME!

You bet your life I “shook it off” and got back into that game!

“Knock it off!” and “Shake it off!” - Things that dads used to say.

Nowadays, other than coaches, who tells boys either one?

*********** Richard Sherman, cut loose by the Seahawks, sounded quite pleased with the new deal he signed with the 49ers. And with the job his agent did.

What’s interesting is that he was his own agent.  He did all the work.

Will more players follow his lead, doing away with some of the incestuous stuff that has to be taking place when the same agent represents a player, and also his coach, and also other players competing for the same position?  Will more players realize that they can save the money that they’re paying to agents? Will this protect them from the shysters who mishandle their money?

Maybe.

But based on the things we read about the spendthrift ways of semi-literate young guys with way more money than they ever dreamed of having, accompanied as they are by the leeches that make up their entourages and the women who hope to entrap them,  you have to wonder how many more pro athletes will quickly go from millionaire to dead broke without the discipline imposed by an agent/financial advisor.

*********** Not to beat Bobby Dodd to death, but I can’t get enough of the guy, and you might enjoy this talk he gave, years after he’d retired…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xpt85vdBB0E

*********** John Vermillion, of St. Petersburg, Florida had to remind me that while I talked about how much I liked Duke, I’d completely forgotten the close-to-100 left-wing louts on the Duke faculty who bought a full-page ad in the school paper attacking the members of the lacrosse team  before anything had ever been proved, and well before it was eventually proved  that the boys were being railroaded by a dishonest DA named Mike Nifong who was running for reelection and figured that sending those rich white boys to jail would help him  in the black community.

Nifong at least was punished. He was removed from his job, spent time (okay, a day) in jail, was disbarred, and sued into bankruptcy by the familes of the young men whose lived he'd tried to ruin.

But not a damn thing happened to those turds on the faculty. Isn't tenure wonderful?

*********** I had Organic Chem and Physics....good memories brought back.....for some reason we took a “team” picture in Organic....in it were 6 Doctors,5 Dentists and 1 Biology/Health/PE teacher....Please bring back those Bike coaching shorts!

Kevin McCullough
Lakeville, Indiana


*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  When Ray Malavasi finally got an NFL head coaching job, he had coached for 24 years in nine different places.

He was born in Passaic, New Jersey and raised in Clifton, New Jersey.   It’s safe to say his lineage was Italian: his name has to be a pro football record: Raymond Giuseppe Giovanni Baptiste Malavasi.

As a lineman, he lettered on Army’s Number 2-ranked 1950 team, but was dismissed from the Academy, one of 37  Army football players expelled as a result of the so-called “cribbing scandal.” 

He enrolled at Mississippi State, where former Army assistant coach Murray Warmath had become the head coach, and coached the freshman team there while earning a degree in civil engineering.

After graduation, he served as an Army officer and coached service ball (it was very big at that time). After the Army he coached in college, at Minnesota (where Warmath had moved), Memphis State and Wake Forest, before being hired as defensive line coach of the Denver Broncos of the AFL.

He served as interim head coach of the Broncos for part of one season, then was hired as head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, where he stayed for two seasons.

He coached defense with the Bills and Raiders before being hired by Chuck Knox to be defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams.  After five years, when Knox moved on to Buffalo, he thought he had a decent shot at the head coaching job.

Rams’ owner Carroll Rosenbloom had other ideas, and hired George Allen instead.  Malavasi agreed to stay on as DC. Allen lasted exactly two weeks before it became obvious that things weren’t working, and now Rosenbloom did the smart thing and hired Malavasi.

He lasted five years as head coach of the Rams, and made the playoffs his first three seasons.  In his second season, he made it all the way to the Super Bowl, where the Rams lost in the fourth quarter to the Steelers, 31-19.  After two straight losing seasons, he was fired.  His overall record in Los Angeles was 44-41.

He coached briefly in the USFL after that.  In 1987, Ray Malavasi died of a massive heart attack.  He was just 57.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Malavasi


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING RAY MALAVASI

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH -LAKEVILLE, INDIANA (Good coach....used Vince Ferragamo to get a lead in the Super Bowl.)
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
MIKE FORISTIERE - MATTAWA, WASHINGTON
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON


*********** QUIZ - Things seldom work out well when you succeed a legend, but this coach did just that, and he did so rather successfully.

He succeeded the great Bob Zuppke, whom he had played for and then assisted. Zuppke coached at the same school for 29 years, and this coach stayed there for 18.

In the more than 70 years since the Big Ten started playing in the Rose Bowl, his school has been to the Rose Bowl just five times.  He coached in two of them - and won them both.

HIs 1946 team went 8-2 and won the Big Ten title.  It was the first Big Ten (Actually, then, it was still the Big Nine) team to play in the Rose Bowl, and behind the running of Buddy Young and Julie Rykovitch, it defeated UCLA, 45-13.  Big Nine/Big Ten teams would go on to win the next six Rose Bowls in a row.

His 1951 team finished fourth in the nation. It won the Big Ten (Michigan State having been added the year before) championship and went undefeated, with only a scoreless tie with Ohio State marring its record.  And in the Rose Bowl, it trounced Stanford, 40-7.

In 1953, with two sensational sophomore running backs, J.C. Caroline and Mickey Bates, his team tied for the Big Ten championship with Michigan State, but on the basis of who had gone most recently, they lost out to the  Spartans for the Rose Bowl spot.

In 18 years, his overall record was 83–73-11. Things have not been all that good for the school's  football fortunes since he left.

As an example: Combined, he and his processor, Bob Zuppke, spent 47 years at the school.  In the 47 years following his retirement, the school went through NINE different coaches.



american flagTUESDAY,  MARCH 20,  2018 - “All the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.” James Russell Lowell

*********** I hate pro sports and what they’ve done to our culture.  For me, "pro sports" now includes college basketball, which explains why I haven’t been paying much attention to this year’s March Madness.

A huge investigative article in Sunday’s Portland Oregonian shows how sick, sick, sick is the incestuous  relationship between shoe companies and youth basketball and - there’s no way around it - college basketball.

Why a Portland newspaper?  Well, Portland is Command Central in the shoe wars.  Nike’s world headquarters is in suburban Beaverton, and Adidas’ USA headquarters is in North Portland.

Those
poor college kids who ought to be paid?  Save your breath.  Some of them have been paid to play basketball since they were in middle school.  Many of their youth team coaches have been paid far better than any high school coaches.  Follow the money back to the shoe companies.

The mere fact that a 6-11 basketball prodigy named  Marvin Bagley III is a “student” at Duke is enough to turn me against college basketball.  Duke’s admissions standards for ordinary, non-basketball-playing  applicants for admission are so high that they routinely screen out hundreds of valedictorians, National Honor Society members  and kids with SAT scores north of the 95th percentile.  But somehow, Mr. Bagley, who attended three different high schools and didn’t actually “graduate” until this past September, just about the time Duke’s school year started, was whisked right up to the front of the line, cutting in ahead of dozens of academically gifted kids on the wait list. (Did I say he was 6-11?)

In the process of moving his talented son around from team to team and  high school to high school, Marvin Bagley, Jr. - the player’s father - has enriched himself handsomely thanks to Nike’s “support” of his youth team, and he now lives in a posh gated community outside Los Angeles. Not too bad for a guy whose “job” has consisted of coaching his kid’s junior team.

(Full disclosure: my daughter and son-in-law are Duke grads.  They love their school, and they support it. But none of their three sons, all good students who wound up going to excellent colleges, was accepted by Duke.)

Mr. Bagley's time at Duke is nearing an end.  He's a one-and done. Once basketball season is over, I rather doubt that he'll continue attending those organic chemistry or physics classes.  No, having spent most of his seven months on a college campus playing basketball, he'll be off to the NBA.

And Duke? They'll crawl back  down in the mud that recruiting has become and resume wrestling with the rest of the pigs.

I still like Duke and I still like Coach K, but I’ll never again be taken in by Duke’s claims that it’s special - that somehow it’s able to play big-time basketball and still maintain its high academic standards.

In reality, it’s a first-rate university that sponsors a semi-pro basketball team.

http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/page/the_loyalty_game.html

***********  I officially resigned today from Hoosic Valley. I let the kids know that I was not coming back and I appreciated everyone's hard work and dedication through the years it was a wonderful experience it really feels good and feels like Vindication when you can stop coaching somewhere on your own terms I would say 90% of My Success as a coach and attaining 100 Varsity wins could not have been accomplished without your system and your guidance Through The Years thank you for being a mentor to me and a great person.

Pete Porcelli
Watervliet, New York

*********** President Trump didn’t give people a lot of time to comment on the Rex Tillerson firing before moving on to the next news-making event, but I can’t let it go without a few more words on the subject of staff loyalty.

I’ve heard a few people saying that Mr. Trump insists on being surrounded by yes men.

While I can’t comment intelligently on that point, I do know that when an underling doesn’t disagree openly with the boss, it doesn’t make him a yes man.  It makes him a loyal subordinate.

What takes place behind closed doors, out of earshot of the public, is where you find out who’s a yes man and who isn’t.

It’s in those closed-door meetings that a good leader encourages - and listens to - opposing arguments.  And it’s where loyal employees make those arguments, while the unctuous yes men provide  fawning support of his every idea.

And then, when the meeting’s over and the decision’s been made, the argument is at an end.  There can’t be any further opposition. 

A football team and the need for the coaching staff to show a united face to the team is a perfect example of this.  The very idea of an assistant coach openly disagreeing with a decision by his head coach is absolutely unthinkable in the profession.  He’s the head coach, and we support him.  So why should things be any different at the level of the national government?

I’m not a veteran, but thanks to my affiliation with the Black Lion Award, I’ve been exposed to a lot of the thinking of the US Army, and one thing I’ve learned - and put to good use as an assistant coach - is that it’s my duty to make the head coach know what my thinking is, even when it means disagreeing with him.

But here’s the point so many ego-driven assistants can’t seem to grasp - once the boss has made his decision and we leave that room, whether I like it or not, it’s MY decision, too.

*********** AN EXCERPT FROM MY UPCOMING DOUBLE WING PLAYBOOK…

teaching toss


*********** Central Florida may have been left out of The Playoff, but the people at UCF say that the unbeaten season and the recognition it brought meant an extra $200 million to the school.

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/22797498/university-central-florida-says-unbeaten-season-was-worth-more-200-million

*********** By now the UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County) dream is over, but unless you had UVa in your bracket, it was fun while it lasted.

As for that nickname - The Retrievers… The state dog of Maryland is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, a wonderful dog that derives from a couple of Newfies (Newfoundlands) that survived a shipwreck off the Maryland coast and were bred with local hunting dogs.

We’ve had eight dogs in our married life - two Weimaraners, two Golden Retrievers, two Cairn Terriers, a Carolina Dog and a Chesapeake Bay Retriever.  We haven’t ever had a bad one, and the Chesapeake - which we got when we lived in Maryland - was among the best.   Like Newfies, Chesapeakes love to swim, and there’s no water too cold for them.

*********** "Unlike art or music or architecture, being shocking or “transgressive” in sports is always a sideshow, not the show itself. Yes, Dennis Rodman gussied himself up to look like a cross-dressing assassin in a bad Blade Runner rip-off. But if he didn’t get 20 rebounds a game (or whatever the stat is), people wouldn’t care whether he’s edgy or radical, they’d just think he’s an idiot with a pierced nose and improbable hair color. I remember in the 1980s reading stuff about how Chicago Bears QB Jim McMahon was some radical new kind of rock-and-roll quarterback. Whatever. If he didn’t score touchdowns, no one would care how radical he is.

"There are a lot of similarities between sport and various art forms. They both involve personal excellence, performing for an audience, etc. But one thing sports has that most art forms don’t: defined rules. And with those rules come defined metrics of success.

"This takes a lot of power away from the critics of the sports world, a.k.a. sports writers. They can celebrate this guy’s style over that guy’s. They can say so-and-so hasn’t gotten his fair chance. But they can’t overrule the authority of the scoreboard. There’s an objective authority that completely trumps their subjective authority – or almost completely. Every now and then a sportswriter can make the case that this or that boxer was “robbed” by the judges or that the umps or refs blew it. But that’s small-bore stuff. In the big picture, the critics don’t get to choose the winners, they only get to write about them."

Jonah Goldberg

*********** I was recently hired as HC of the Cruziero Imperadores in Juiz de Fpra/ Belo Horozonte Brazil and yes I am running the DW!
This is the Brazil pro league and looking at their films and vids, they have never seen a WingT based offense should be fun!

Joe Daniels
Sacramento, California

Football really seems to be growing in Brazil.  I’ve seen some video and they look halfway decent.

It’s a big country and they’ve got some good athletes that I’ve seen play soccer and basketball so there’s plenty of room for football to grow



***********
Central Catholic 1979 Staff
The photo above was sent to me recently by Tom Sunseri, a fellow coach on the 1979 Portland Central Catholic coaching staff.  Great group of guys.  It was my first experience as an assistant coach, and head coach Steve Stanich, at left in the back row, was a really good coach to work with.  Unfortunately for us, the best player in the program was a freshman named Tony Cherico -  and it was doubly unfortunate when his dad’s job transferred him to Kansas City.  Tony wound up going to high school in Olathe, Kansas, then went to Arkansas, where he was an All-American nose guard in 1987.

https://www.arkansasfight.com/2010/8/25/1649955/q-a-tony-cherico-part-1

*********** I came across a series of videos about/by Bobby Dodd, great coach at Georgia Tech.  This first one starts out as a look back by his daughter, a rather personal look at her dad; but it ends up with Coach Dodd, a very good college punter himself at Tennessee, giving some great tips on the kicking game for which he and Georgia Tech were famous.

The film (which is what it was) was way ahead of its time - it was probably shot some time in the 50's or 60's, and Georgia Tech managed to get Coca-Cola (headquartered in Atlanta) to put up some money for it. To he’p pay them back, there’s a shot of the Georgia Tech team taking a Coke break at practice.

“That hot action calls for ice-cold Coca Cola!” Coach Dodd tells us, going on to say that for several years now, they’ve served their players Coke after practices and at half time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foo2_fkksJg&t=3s

The 1952 Georgia Tech team ranks among the greatest teams of all time.  It certainly was one of the best coached, with head coach Bobby Dodd, offensive coach (before the term “coordinator” found its way into football) Frank Broyles and defensive coach Ray Graves. Broyles went on to become a legend as head coach at Arkansas; Graves, who became head coach at Florida, is considered by many to be the inventor of the 5-2 Monster defense.

If you like Belly-T football, you’ll enjoy this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP3tqpmcQ74

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

Last I checked if I didn't agree with my boss on a seemingly unimportant subject we would agree to disagree.  But I always came out of those meetings knowing he was still my boss.  If I disagreed with him on many more serious issues I wouldn't be attending any more meetings.

Many people don't realize that Tom Benson spent many years building his empire in San Antonio (car dealerships and banking).  A devout Catholic and eventual philanthropist, there are three Catholic schools in SA that bear he and his wife Gayle's names.  The University of the Incarnate Word's football stadium and strength training facility is named after the Bensons; Central Catholic HS has an endowment named after a son who was a CC graduate, and died at 37 of cancer; and he provided St. Anthony Catholic HS a state of the art library/media center.

His philanthropy didn't end there.  He also provided Tulane University the funding to build (re-build?) their own football stadium on their campus.

His popularity in New Orleans faded after Hurricane Katrina when he threatened to move the Saints when the city of New Orleans wouldn't negotiate to build a new stadium to replace the Superdome.

As I mentioned in my previous email regarding Title IX.  It's one thing for Title IX proponents to insist on providing equal opportunity.  However it is completely another thing when the opportunity provided turns out to be a financial albatross.

Just the mere mention of a 3.5 GPA having a wide ranging variance between schools should be enough of a factor to prove that standardized tests would be a better gauge of a student's academic knowledge.  I see that first-hand at my school.  Students transferring in from public schools with 3.5 GPA's struggle to achieve the same GPA in our school.  One student transferring out told me, "why stay here and struggle to get C's when I can go back to my old school and get A's and B's?"  Probably says more about the kid's character (and mom's and dad's) than anything else. That's another story for another time.

Have a great weekend, and Slainte Mhaith!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

I especially appreciate the information on Mr. Benson. Out of town newspapers didn’t say much more than “Benson, Owner of Saints and Pelicans, Dies.”


*********** QUIZ  ANSWER-  Milt Morin was a native of Fitchburg, Massachusetts and played college ball at UMass, where in addition to football he was New England heavyweight wrestling champion and played on the varsity lacrosse team.  He was a three-time Little All-American, playing both ways and, in his senior year, doing the placekicking.

He was a first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns, the first player from UMass ever to be a Number One draft choice,  and in ten seasons with the Browns he played in 129 games and made it to three Pro Bowls.

At 6-4, 240 he was that rare tight end who could block like an offensive lineman, but also catch like a wide receiver.  In his career he caught 271 passes for 4208 yards and 16 touchdowns, and was the Browns’ leading receiver in 1970 and 1973.

He died exactly a week before his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Recalled former teammate Paul Wiggin, who would go on to the head coach of Stanford and of the Kansas City Chiefs, "He was a complete player, a prototype tight end.  Back then, they had 240-pound tight ends who couldn't catch the ball, and 200-pounders who couldn't block. Milt did both."

"He could have played tight end in this era," said Paul Warfield, a teammate with the Browns and later a long-time Browns executive. "He'd be worth his weight in gold because most teams have a tight end who can catch, or a tight end who can block. (He)was such a good blocker, we ran Leroy Kelly's sweeps around his end. He could run precise patterns, and he could blow you off the ball with his blocks."

http://www.cleveland.com/pluto/blog/index.ssf/2010/07/a_wonderful_guy_vintage_clevel.html

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING MILT  MORIN
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
KC SMITH - WALPOLE,  MASSACHUSETTS
MIKE FRAMKE - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
OSSIE OSMONDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
DAVID BUCHANAN - BARRE, MASSACHUSETTS

*********** I love this from Wikipedia:

"After he made the team, team owner Art Modell called him into his office and asked Morin what salary he would have made if he became a school teacher; Morin's major was education. He told Modell that $6,000 was the salary. Modell told him that he would pay Morin $6,000 a year as tight end."

Greg Koenig
Cimarron, Kansas
 
And on Thursday, Kirk Cousins signed a 3-year contract for $28 million - A YEAR!

*********** QUIZ:  When he finally got an NFL head coaching job, he had coached for 24 years in nine different places.

He was born in Passaic, New Jersey and raised in Clifton, New Jersey.   It’s safe to say his lineage was Italian: without giving you his last name,  the rest of his moniker has to be a pro football record: Raymondo Giuseppe Giovanni Baptiste.

As a lineman, he lettered on Army’s Number 2-ranked 1950 team, but in spring 1951 he was dismissed from the Military Academy, one of 37  Army football players expelled as a result of the so-called “cribbing scandal.” 

He enrolled at Mississippi State, where former Army assistant coach Murray Warmath had just become the head coach, and there he coached the freshman team while earning a degree in civil engineering(!)

After graduation, he served as an Army officer and coached service ball (it was very big at that time). After the Army he coached in college, at Minnesota (where Warmath had moved), Memphis State and Wake Forest, before being hired as defensive line coach of the Denver Broncos of the AFL.

He served as interim head coach of the Broncos for part of one season, then was hired as head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, where he stayed for two seasons.

He coached defense with the Bills and Raiders before being hired by Chuck Knox to be defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams.  After five years as DC, he thought he had a decent shot at the Rams'  head coaching job
when Knox moved on to Buffalo.

Rams’ owner Carroll Rosenbloom had other ideas, and hired George Allen instead.  Our guy agreed to stay on as DC. Allen lasted exactly two weeks before it became obvious that things weren’t working, and now Rosenbloom did the smart thing and hired our guy.

He lasted five years as head coach of the Rams, making the playoffs his first three seasons.  In his second season, he made it all the way to the Super Bowl, where the Rams lost in the fourth quarter to the Steelers, 31-19.  After two straight losing seasons, he was fired.  His overall record in Los Angeles was 44-41.

He coached briefly in the USFL after that.  In 1987, he died of a massive heart attack.  He was just 57.

 


american flagFRIDAY,  MARCH 16,  2018  “Youth may outrun the old, but not outwit.”  Geoffrey Chaucer

*********** There’s a lot of fuss being made over the President’s firing of Rex Tillerson, a Secretary of State who seemed to think it was appropriate for a subordinate to  disagree publicly with the person he answers to.

(So Presidents have some of the same problems football coaches do, eh?)

Knocking heads is always a possibility, of course, when a person such as Mr. Tillerson, a former CEO of a major oil company, comes on board without any recent experience at being on the other end of the chain of command.

In the position of Secretary of State, talented people with big egos are afforded a fair amount of autonomy,  which evidently has led more than one of them to forget sometimes who’s the boss.

Dean Acheson, who served as Secretary of State under Harry Truman, explained -  “The most important aspect of the relationship between the president and the secretary of state is that they both understand who is president.”

*********** Billionaire Warren Buffet has lived in the same house in Omaha since 1958.    No special reason - just typical midwestern practicality: “I’d move if I thought I’d be happier someplace else.” 

*********** Wow.  Being a pro football player is almost as hazardous as being a high school coach…

A list of recent cuts… Tyron Mathieu… Jeremy Maclin… Jordy Nelson… Adrian Peterson… Ndamukong Suh…

*********** Not sure what the problem was, but baseball’s out to fix it anyway…

Next season, when AAA and AA minor-league games go into extra innings, each inning will start with a man on second base.

Maybe they should have done what I used to do when our kids were younger - you get three balls and two strikes.  Talk about speeding up the game.

*********** Tom Benson, long-time owner of the Saints, died Thursday.  He was 90.  He was a native of New Orleans, and he kept the Saints in town when there was a chance someone else could buy them and  move them.  He seemed to me, an outsider, to enjoy his role as owner of the NFL team in a city that loves to party, and he seemed to have more sense than a lot of owners. Thanks to a sizable donation he made, the stadium at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where the Hall of Fame game is played annually, is named in his honor.

*********** Charlie Wilson, of Crystal River, Florida, started doing research on George Young and it took him to the “Miracle at the Meadowlands,” the name given to the 1978 game in which the Giants led the Eagles, 19-12, and had only to take a knee and go home, but instead chose to hand the ball to Larry Csonka. But it was not just an ordinary dive play - it required the Giants’ QB, Joe Pisarcik, to reverse pivot to hand to Csonka hitting off the left side.  By the time Pisarcik could get around to make the handoff, Csonka was almost into the line.  Pisarcik’s handoff hit Csonka in the back and fell to the ground, where it was scooped up by Eagles’ cornerback Herm Edwards (yes, that Herm Edwards) who ran 26 yards with it for the winning score.

That, many think, was what led Giants’ ownership to improve the entire football operation, which led, on the recommendation of Commissioner Pete Rozelle, to hiring George Young.

But what Charlie Wilson uncovered was really interesting - the story of Bob Gibson.

Bob Gibson was an old World Football League guy - an assistant to John McVay at Memphis in 1974 and head coach at Charlotte in 1975. But in 1978 he was offensive coordinator of the Giants, and he’s the guy who made the fateful call.  It may have hurt the Giants, but it ruined Bob Gibson's life…
Playing their archrival the Philadelphia Eagles, the Giants were leading 17–12 and had possession of the ball with only 30 seconds left. They had only to kneel the ball to end the game, as the Eagles had no timeouts. Gibson ordered Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik to run play "Brown right, near wing, 65 slant", which called for Pisarcik to hand the ball off to fullback Larry Csonka. The handoff was botched and Eagles cornerback Herman Edwards picked up the loose ball and ran in for the game-winning score.

Gibson's reasoning was governed by what happened a play earlier. Pisarcik had taken a knee, only to be knocked over when the Eagles' Bill Bergey charged into Giants' center Jim Clack. This violated an unwritten rule that defensive players do not rush in a situation when the quarterback kneels down. Gibson didn't want to risk getting Pisarcik injured or expose his players to penalties or fines for fighting. However, he didn't explain this to the players, and it came across as a power trip. Head coach John McVay's headphones weren't working, and he later said that he would have overruled Gibson had he known what was happening.

With angry Giant fans demanding someone be held responsible for the debacle, owner Wellington Mara and operations director Andy Robustelli met and decided Gibson had to go. He was fired the next morning. So great was the stigma of having called the play that he never worked in football at any level again. He refused to speak about the incident up until his death in 2015; when ESPN reached him by phone in 2008, he said, "I haven't talked about the game for 30 years, and I'm not about to start now."

Gibson left New York and opened a bait shop and general store on Florida's Sanibel Island, where he raised cattle on his ranch. While he had stayed in contact with McVay and another member of the 1978 staff, Lindy Infante, few other members of the 1978 Giants ever spoke to him again. Gibson died at age 88 on April 10, 2015.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Gibson_(American_football)

*********** My son, Ed, sent me an interesting comment by Jason Flowers, head women’s basketball coach at Cal State-Northridge, on a major difference in coaching men’s and women’s college basketball.
 
"These young men, who are kids, the first time there's a sign that they could be good, they get all of these people trying to latch on and advise, do this and that. But I don't have to worry about a player coming in here and being one-and-done. … I can focus on four years of development, not just in basketball, but developing these players as young women and being successful in whatever it is they want to do."
Notes Ed, “Might also be a reason why there are so many ‘dynasties’ and so much imbalance in the women’s game. Can’t turn it around with a couple of one and done superstars like the men’s game.”

*********** The March 12-18 issue of Sports Business Journal contained some very interesting facts pertaining to women’s college basketball:

(1) Only two teams - South Carolina and UConn - average more than 10,000 per game

(2) Only ten teams - SC, UConn, Iowa State, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Louisville, Mississippi State, Michigan State, Purdue and Baylor - average more than 6,000

(3) There’s not a team in the Big East (a basketball conference) that averages 2,500 per game

(4) There’s not a team in the Pac-12 that averages 5,000 per game; there’s only one (UConn) in the All-American Athletic Conference

(5) The ACC and Big 12 have only two teams each averaging more than 5,000 per game

(6) The Big Ten has five teams averaging more than 5,000 per game; the SEC has four

(7) USC, Washington State and Clemson all average fewer than 1,000 per game

(8) Six teams in the Big East and five in the American Athletic Conference average fewer than 1,000

(9) A survey of more than 2,000 “senior-level sports industry executives” taken in February asked “When will women’s basketball programs as a whole become a viable revenue contributor to Division I athletic departments?  4 per cent answered “They already are.”  26 per cent answered “More than 10 years.”  A full 45 per cent answered, “Never.”

(10) Time for all those people who over the years have pushed and pushed for Title IX and complained about the lack of attention paid to women’s sports to get their asses into the seats at women’s basketball games.

*********** AN EXCERPT FROM THE DOUBLE WING PLAYBOOK I’VE BEEN WORKING ON-
DRILLING FOR THE SCRAMBLE BLOCK…

scramble drill

*********** For years social justice warriors have been working to discredit the SAT, mainly because it didn’t produce the outcomes they wanted, and stood in the way of “diversity.”

But no matter what the do-gooders say, the SAT works - especially in this time when everybody gets trophies - and A’s.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-truth-about-the-sat-and-act-1520521861?emailToken=64c1dfcda7edcedcaf70d1cb7dbdf8d33OhjDPy49X6%2BM8qvVy2g73SnRZuQVPVIrdEMPdoTSnReExrt%2BcKY9rt9L%2BZfD4FlqxwBU0FrGUxdDN59U4m1og%3D%3D


*********** Good morning Hugh,

Shameful.  It's all I can come up with after reading about the coach who did such a commendable job for 17 years only to be "rewarded" with a pink slip.  Goes the same for the other coach you spoke about.  Someone you and I both know.  His story is even more galling.  In all my years I have never known a more dedicated, hard-working, and giving man.  No matter where he has been his kids and their parents truly believe he made a difference in many of their lives.  After all...isn't that the ultimate goal?  He'll find work again, in a better place, where they will truly appreciate him, and his work.

Funny how those NFL characters always find another team to test the character of the new team.

From the first time I started utilizing your system I've always maintained the integrity of tight splits, aligned off the ball as far as the rules allow, and shuffle pulls through the hole.  Has always worked, and will continue to work when coached correctly.

I call colleges that play football "real" schools.  I call colleges that don't play football "wannabes".  Interesting though how in this age of disparaging the game many smaller liberal arts colleges are either bringing back dormant football programs, or starting football for the first time.  Why?  Improve male enrollment numbers.  Hmmm.  Title IX not working out too well financially??

It's heart wrenching to see and hear about school shootings.  No parent should ever have to suffer the loss of a child, let alone in that manner.  But don't get me started on this orchestrated manipulation of our young people to organize and protest gun laws.  Because that is EXACTLY what it is.  

Have a great week!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** Since being a “survivor” of the Parkland shooting has evidently conferred on certain teenagers the credentials to pontificate to us on the subject of guns,  is it maybe time to come to a decision on what constitutes a “survivor?” 

Is it someone who was actually shot, and didn’t die?  Is it someone who was shot at but the shooter missed?  Is it someone who was in the same room as the shooter?  The same floor?  Same building?  How about the next building over?  Or the same school campus?  Same neighborhood? A student, but home sick that day?  On the phone to someone at the school?

Either way, how does being on the scene qualify anyone as an expert on the prevention of future school shootings?

We've just had an awful incident in Miami, in which people were killed by the collapse of a bridge. I somehow doubt that any of those who actually survive having a bridge fall on their car will be asked for advice on how to build bridges better.

*********** Adam Wesoloski, of Pulaski, Wisconsin, takes pride in being a Yooper - from Michigan’s U.P. (Upper Peninsula).  And he takes pride in his hometown, Menominee, Michigan, so he sent me a link to a great article about one of Menominee’s favorite sons, a Michigan State player from the 1950s whom I remember well - Billy Wells.

http://ehextra.com/Content/SPORTS/Sports-Articles/Article/Menominee-s-renaissance-man/14/37/45833

*********** QUIZ ANSWER: George Young was born and raised in Baltimore.  He played college football at Bucknell, and played briefly for the NFL Dallas Texans.

He was a highly successful high school coach in Baltimore, and taught history and political science, earning a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins.  After 15 years of high school coaching, in 1968 he was hired by the Baltimore Colts, first as a scout, then as offensive line coach, then director of player personnel, then offensive coordinator.

In 1975, he moved to the Dolphins as director of player personnel and pro scouting.

In 1979, on the recommendation of Commissioner Pete Rozelle, he was hired by the New York Giants as Director of Football Operations.

He drafted such standout players as Joe Morris, Phil Simms, Michael Strahan and Lawrence Taylor, and he hired Bill Parcells as head coach.

When he took over, the Giants hadn’t made the playoffs in 15 years, but in his years in New York, they made the playoffs eight times and won two Super Bowls. 

George Young was named NFL Executive of the Year a record five times.


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING GEORGE YOUNG -

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
PETE PORCELLI - WATERVLIET, NEW YORK
MATHEW HEDGER - LANGDON, NORTH DAKOTA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
DAVID BUCHANAN - BARRE, MASSACHUSETTS
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

*********** George Young was the guy who was smart enough to hire the Big Tuna. He also drafted a kid that's local to us (Joe Morris and his 3 brothers all starred in football and track at Ayer High School, and a couple still live in the area). Sports Illustrated did a story on the family in the 1980s (while Joe still at Syracuse).

David Buchanan
Barre, Massachusetts

https://www.si.com/vault/1981/08/24/825874/the-fearsome-foursome-the-morris-brothers-of-ayer-mass-are-perhaps-the-most-spectacular-quartet-of-siblings-who-ever-laced-up-football-cleats-and-track-spikes

*********** QUIZ - He was a native of Fitchburg, Massachusetts and played college ball at UMass, where in addition to football he was New England heavyweight wrestling champion and played on the varsity lacrosse team.  He was a three-time Little All-American, playing both ways and, in his senior year, doing the placekicking.

He was a first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns, the first player from UMass ever to be a Number One draft choice,  and in ten seasons with the Browns he played in 129 games and made it to three Pro Bowls.

At 6-4, 240 he was that rare tight end who could block like an offensive lineman, but also catch like a wide receiver.  In his career he caught 271 passes for 4208 yards and 16 touchdowns, and was the Browns’ leading receiver in 1970 and 1973.

He died exactly a week before his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Recalled former teammate Paul Wiggin, who would go on to be the head coach of Stanford and of the Kansas City Chiefs, "He was a complete player, a prototype tight end.  Back then, they had 240-pound tight ends who couldn't catch the ball, and 200-pounders who couldn't block. (He)  did both."

"He could have played tight end in this era," said Paul Warfield, a teammate with the Browns and later a long-time Browns executive. "He'd be worth his weight in gold because most teams have a tight end who can catch, or a tight end who can block. (He)was such a good blocker, we ran Leroy Kelly's sweeps around his end. He could run precise patterns, and he could blow you off the ball with his blocks."


american flagTUESDAY,  MARCH 13,  2018  “Trump didn’t get where he is by being house trained.”  Mark Steyn

*********** As someone who loves football coaches and deplores the callous way they’re so often treated by supervisors who don’t understand a football coach’s importance in the lives of our boys, this was a bad weekend for me.

On Saturday,  I got this, from a coach whom I first got to know more than 20 years ago, when he was a young line coach.  He subsequently went on to be a successful head coach, but I’ll let him tell it:
Coach, After 17 years as a HC, I finally got fired. I knew it would eventually happen. Average of 7.5 wins a year and 9 region championships,  with many first-evers…..I can take it. Two Board members kin folk will be taking my place!!  Thank you for your help, positive influence, love of the game and most of all for being a part of instilling the right mind set in me. I would have never been a HC if were not for your system. I love you man! Think I may hang up the whistle and raise hogs and calves.... their parents don’t bitch.
Imagine! Guy gives them 17 years, averaging 7.5 wins a season.  In most places, they’d name the stadium after him!

Just think - in his first 17 years at Clemson, Frank Howard had SEVEN losing seasons, and averaged  just FIVE wins per season.  He got to stay for 12 more years. And they named their field for him.

And then on Sunday, I worked with some quarterbacks and receivers from a town four hours to the east of me. The coach and I agreed to meet at a place midway, so we’d each only have to drive two hours.

So right after church he loaded four kids in his rig and met us, two hours later, at a small-town high school field. 

It was a lovely day in a nice little town in gorgeous country, and we had a great workout.

I’d met his boys before so I knew what good kids they were - you can tell a lot about kids and about the program they come from by the way they take instruction and the way they take correction.
The coach is a good friend, so it was a lot of fun for me. 

It was obvious that the kids like and respect their coach.  And when a guy will carve six or seven hours out of his Sunday to take them someplace to get some instruction, it’s obvious that he likes and respects them.  (Not that I didn’t already know that.)

But here’s the amazing thing - HE’S NO LONGER THEIR COACH!

After three years of coaching their team without a teaching job in the high school, at the conclusion of this past season he began to check out some other jobs.  And when the AD  at his school  cautioned him  to  stop looking around and commit to coaching there or else he’d have to open up the coaching job, he said he’d commit to coaching there if they’d give him a job in the high school.  He was refused.  And now their open head coaching job is being advertised.  His kids are furious, but they’re also frustrated because there’s not  a damn thing they or their parents - most of whom, I should add, speak Spanish - can do.

So yes, I had a great time working with those kids.  But as my wife and I drove home I alternated between anger and sadness at the way society’s weaklings, the pussies who have become education administrators,  dismiss the needs of our young men and devalue the work of the coaches who make such a difference in their lives.

They’ll put posters on the school walls telling kids how important they are, and how they can be anything they want to be, blah, blah, blah.  They’ll pump them full of self-esteem garbage and line their shelves with meaningless participation trophies.  But let boys show some stones by actually participating in something manly, and they’ll pull the rug right out from under them and put them back in their places.

America Needs Football!  American Needs Football COACHES!

*********** Years ago, there was  a baseball player named Dusty Rhodes, a southern boy from Alabama whose career was nothing special. 

He had a few things working against him. For one, he loved a good time, and playing in the era when they played games in the daytime, that meant games were over by five o’clock at the latest, leaving a lot of evening for ball players to have a good time. 

Along with that, he was a terrible fielder.

But he could hit, and he knew it, and he wanted to be the guy at the plate when everything was on the line.  In other words, Dusty Rhodes was the consummate pinch-hitter.

Among serious baseball fans, he’s legendary as a major reason why the New York Giants swept the 1954 World Series from the Cleveland Indians, who had won 111 games in the regular season, and had one of the greatest pitching staffs in the history of the game.

In the bottom of the 10th inning of the first game, Giants’ manager Leo Durocher sent Rhodes up to pinch hit for Monte Irvin (a good enough player that he’s now in the Hall of Fame) and Rhodes responded with a game-winning three-run homer off Bob Lemon.

In the series, he was four-for-six with two home runs and seven RBIs.

I once read, possibly in Durocher’s book, “Nice Guys Finish Last,” about how obvious Rhodes made it that he wanted to be “The Guy.”

Durocher said that whenever a situation came up that appeared to call for a pinch-hitter, he’d look down the dugout and it was almost comical how most of the guys would be sitting back against the wall, making sure not to stick out for fear he’d see them.  But clear down at the other end of the dugout, there would be Dusty Rhodes, a couple of bats in his hand, standing up and saying “Ah’m your man, Skip!”

In my early days as a high school coach, I had a kid like that, a player named Tom Hartley.  Hell of an athlete. Big (6-5, 210) with shoulders a yard wide, fast (4.6) , great hands, great in all sports.  Could have played college football or basketball. He wound up being drafted and signing with the White Sox, but that’s another story.

At the end of every football practice, in trying to build teamwork and at the same time teach dealing with pressure, I’d get the players in a single line and then - linemen, backs and ends alike - one at a  time, have the QB throw passes to them.  Once they’d caught 25 in a row, practice was over. That was pressure!  It was a good team-building drill, too - there was a lot of sincere praise for guys who didn’t often get to catch passes, and encouragement when a guy dropped a ball and they’d have to start over.

One day another coach told me to watch Tom Hartley.  As the count would near 20, he would stand off to the side of the line and count people, figuring out where he would have to slip in so he could be the one to make catch number 25.  He managed to do this every day.  We never said anything about, (and nobody else did, either, because they knew that Tom would never drop the pass).

Just a couple of illustrations of the fact that while some people don’t want any part of pressure, others crave it.

The really good ones not only want to be there - they can deliver.


*********** Got this from out of the blue the other day (it’s unedited):
Hello,

I was wondering since im running the pottstownfirebirds.org and making a book about them if you have any memorabilia items of them or stories as well as contAct information of any former firebirds players?
Thanks and let me know
Wow. So professional. I can only imagine how well done the book will be.

The Pottstown (Pennsylvania) Firebirds were a very, very good minor league pro football team in the late 60s and early 70s. Maybe you’ve seen the two documentaries that NFL Films has done on them.

Which raises a couple of questions about this guy’s project:

NFL Films is possibly the best storyteller our game has ever known.  And they’ve told the story twice.

In addition, a writer named  Jay Acton spent a season with the Firebirds, which he turned into a best-selling book, “The Forgettables."

So how many times can/should you basically tell the same story?  How many untold little facts and stories are you going to come across, 50 years later, that ESPN with all its reporting ability, didn’t unearth?

And then, finally,  there does seem to be a bit of an English language deficiency.  I mean, “making” a book?  To me, that sounds more like what the  barber used to do when the phone would ring.


*********** Big news from Seattle!  Big Mouth - sorry, I meant “opinionated and articulate” - Richard Sherman is gone.  So, too,  is Social Justice Warrior (“they held a gun to my head”) Michael Bennett, author of that sure Pultizer Prize winner ,"Things That Make White People Uncomfortable.”  (Good Luck with that one, Eagles.)

Now, all that’s left is Doug Baldwin, that class act who simulated crapping a football in the end zone during the Super Bowl, and Pepsodent Pete Carroll, who on the one yard line in the Super Bowl  thought that a quick slant pass was a better call than giving the ball to the toughest runner in the NFL.

It would almost be enough to make me like the Seahawks again.

Naaah.   Just kidding.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2763153-ousting-of-michael-bennett-richard-sherman-brings-an-end-to-woke-era-in-seattle


*********** After I e-mailed you about 30 minutes ago, I was reading "Coach Wyatt's News Archives" dated October 22, 2010 where a coach asked about cheating his playside lineman up so they get contact faster and quicker.  He also asked about widening the splits some.  You replied that defenses will tackle your pulling lineman; defensive lineman will be more likely to beat offensive lineman to the gap; and then you said something that I honestly have never considered..... you said pulling lineman will have to turn their shoulders more to get past the center.  This is such a great coaching point.  Even though this conversation occurred back in 2010, I assume you still stand firm in your comments.  Re: widening splits..  more vulnerable to blitzes and gap stunts.

Coach-

Haven’t changed in the slightest on splits or the depth of our linemen.  

Turning the shoulders has always been a major concern.

My answer, after years of work on it, has been to teach “pulling” linemen to “shuffle.”

This attachment (below)  is from a page in my upcoming Double Wing playbook.


Shuffle
*********** When/why did otherwise articulate people start to answer every question with the word "So?"

*********** Not saying something isn’t awry in college sports right now, but it seems to be divided into "basketball schools” and “football schools,” just as  in high schools.

For example, of the NCAA Tournament's eight number 1 and 2 seeds, not a one had a football team in the Top 25. One of them - Xavier - doesn’t even play football, and another - Villanova - plays FCS football.

Add in the #3 seeds and you pick up Michigan State, which finished last season ranked 15th, and when you add in the #4 seeds, you get Auburn (#10). But you also pick up Gonzaga and Wichita State, neither of whom play football.

In other words, of the top 16 seeds in the NCAA tournament, there are more schools that don’t play football than there are schools ranked in the Top 25.

*********** Don’t know where OJ’s attorneys have been on this, but if I were his attorney I’d take that story he’s peddling about seeing a knife and then not remembering anything after that except for “blood and stuff around.”, and I’d turn it into the damnedest case of CTE you’ve ever seen.  Of course, in order to prove it conclusively they’d have to kill him. Never mind.

***********  Coach -  BU has the Hockey/Basketball Arena named after Agganis (deservingly so)   but the 2 sports Football & Baseball he played at the School are Gone ( mostly because of that Former Asshole President  Dr. John Silber who was ANTI-Football from the get go and the great Title IX )
 
Gaffney Way where Nickerson Field  ( aka Braves Field ) is on was changed to Agganis Way.  I am NO  Engineering or Architecture expert but for baseball guru's 15 % - 20 % of Braves Field is still standing  The Home Side Bleachers  is the former Right Field grand Stands of Braves  Field and the Boston Braves  Ticket & Team  Office Building  is now home to the BU Police
 
Coach There was another Greek from Lynn that was classmates with Agganis, Lou Tsioropoulos  He did 2 years at Lynn Classical than moved cross town and did 2 year at Lynn English  was an All-American for Adolph Rupp at Kentucky and and played on 2 NBA Title teams with the Boston Celtics  , UCLA and other schools wanted him for Both Football & Basketball any other Area of New England His Legend would have been Bigger but he got over shadowed By Agganis
 
than there was an Albanian who was on the St.George Basketball team with Agganis & Louie T.   Vic Pujo  who was  Harry's  End at Lynn Classical and his Favorite receiver  and was later Captain at Cornell when they upset Michigan in  1951  ?
 
John Muckian 
Ipswich,Massachusetts

Believe it or not, I remember them both, Tsioropoulos because I followed Kentucky - Beard, Groza, etc. - when I was a kid.  And Pujo because Cornell was Penn’s traditional Thanksgiving Day rival, and every Philly kid rooted for Penn.

*********** She was executive editor of the New York Times  and the loyalty inspired by  20 years with the paper compelled her to celebrate her 60th birthday by having the Times' "T" tattooed on her back.

She was fired two months later.

*********** Todd Hollis, of Elmwood, Illinois, sent me this great Lombardi quote from Bill Curry’s book, “Ten Men You Meet in the Huddle.”

“Our system is complete, simple, and comprehensive.  We can attack the whole field.  We have very little trickery.  We don’t really need it.

“We win with execution.  Something works, not because it’s a brilliant piece of strategic or tactical thinking, but because our team has practiced the same plays, the same movements, and the same fundamentals over and over and over again.”

Sounds a lot like the Double Wing (or the Open Wing) doesn’t it?

It’s exactly what I’ve been preaching for more than 20 years, and it’s what I’m stressing in the Double Wing playbook I’m working on (yes, I’m still working on it): If you have the ability to run five basic plays - (1) a power off-tackle, (2) a counter, (3) a pass, (4) a Wedge, and (5) a sweep - you are set.  You can run varieties of those plays, and you can run them from different formations - and you can even add a few other plays (trap, G, bootleg pass) but Lombardi’s point - “we win…because our team has practiced the same plays, the same movements, and the same fundamentals over and over and over again” - holds true for us.

Bill Curry’s “Ten Men” - ten men who through football had a great impact on his life…

Bill Badgett - His high school coach in College Park, Georgia.

Bobby Dodd - HIs college coach at Georgia Tech

Vince Lombardi - Who drafted him with the 20th pick in the 1965 draft (the NFL had 20 rounds then. The Oakland Raiders drafted him with their 23rd pick)

Bart Starr - the Packers’ great quarterback

Willie Davis - A black man who helped Curry, a white rookie from the South, adjust to life on an integrated pro football team.

Ray Nitschke - A mean dude - a real prick, actually - who taught Curry about the Law of the Jungle.  Also about the need to forgive.

Don Shula - His coach at Baltimore after he was traded to the Colts. Shula was hard nosed and he worked his players hard, and stressed the importance of ball security, special teams, and eliminating penalties. Shula and his assistants, Don McCafferty and John Sandusky, convinced him he could be a pro center - and taught him how.

John Unitas: (to all real Colts and Colts fans, he was never “Johnny.” That was always something the out-of-towners, the New York media guys, called him. Being in the locker room with Unitas, writes Curry, “was like being in the phone booth with Clark Kent.”  Great line about Unitas by Colts’ lineman Dan Sullivan after drunken owner Bob Irsay had cold-hearted GM Joe Thomas bench the Greatest QB in the History of the Game (this is my Web site and that’s my opinion): “The only player in professional football history to have his jersey retired - with him still in it!”  Curry does a wonderful job of telling what being a Baltimore Colt was like, at a time when few places before or since ever experienced such mutual love between a team and its fans, and he holds back no punches in describing the horrible way the Irsays jilted those fans.

Bubba Smith: The big defensive linemen whose size and toughness was put to use by Curry’s offensive line coach in preparing Curry for the odd-front defenses then coming into vogue.  The big guy who convinced Curry he could become more flexible by being his stretching partner.

George Plimpton: The Harvard-educated writer who as a sideline wrote of his ventures as a pro football player in “Paper Lion.”  Curry writes of the day in 1971 at Colts’ training camp in Westminster, Maryland, where Plimpton, preparing to write another book about life with the Super Bowl champion Colts, lined up to run in a nutcracker (aka Oklahoma) drill. He was going up against all-pro Ray May, and to put it mildly, May skewered him. (True story.  I was there and saw it.)  Curry and Plimpton wound up collaborating on a book, “One More July.”

I’d forgotten what a great book it was until Coach Hollis reminded me.

Curry especially remembered a Unitas quote..  The year before Unitas  died, Curry asked the QB if he really loved football as much as he always said he did. Unitas said something he'd said years earlier,  when he and Curry first met: “You’re a long time dead, Billy.”

He explained, “I mean, if you find something you love, you better do it, and do it right, because we’re only on this planet a little while.”  Then a short pause. “We’re all gonna die, Billy.  And once you’re gone, you’re gone.”


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

As I look forward in our program I don't see that kid that jumps out as the prototypical quarterback (a thrower).  But, we have a load of runningbacks, so I am going to move a couple of those that I really have a lot of faith in (trust, toughness, brains) to quarterback.  I figure I can develop the ability to throw, right?

I need a little advice.  Having never really used a quarterback as a running threat I'm at a bit of a loss.  But with athletes back there who are good at running the ball it seems logical to use their skills (and create another threat for the defense to account for).  If you had to pick three or four "designed runs" for a quarterback, what would they be?  Your "you better have these plays if you plan on using your quarterback as a runner."

Coach,

I’d ask you to be patient with me on this just a little longer because in the upcoming new playbook there isn’t a single base play - power, counter, wedge, reach sweep, trap, G, X - that doesn’t have at least one QB keep off of it.


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

ANC!  America Needs Coaches!  I will be wearing such a pin around my school.  Apparently those who decide on who teaches around here don't believe that coaches make good teachers.  I could go on but I don't want to start my Friday before spring break on a sour note.

"Fatties?"  Brings me back to the times in a land far, far away where terms such as "fatty", "tubby", "slim", "porky", "mumbles", "squints", "buckwheat", "freckle face", and other such colorful nicknames were not only acceptable, but the norm.

Not sure what's worse.  Dads like that guy you described, or dads who don't have the balls to stand up to their wives who don't want their widdo boys pwaying such a wuff game.

Have no intention of watching that particular show.  It is a "Red Line" for me.

I don't think Sheriff Grady Judd will ever be hired here in Travis County TX.  Our sheriff's department would probably all be fired if he were the guy in charge.

Looking forward to the possibility of attending your KC clinic if you can pull it off.

Have a great weekend!

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas

*********** In another week or so, in mid-schoolday, our nation's schools will disgorge tens of thousands of brilliant teenagers, allowing them to give us the benefit of their  astounding wisdom, life experience, and knowledge of the Constitution by, uh, "marching." Against guns.

Now, I'm not what you'd call a conspiracy nut, but...

If the purpose of the "march" is - ultimately - to disarm Americans, wouldn't it make sense to stir things up by arranging to have some supposed "right wing gun nut" shoot up some  marchers somewhere?

Fortunately, such an idea would never occur to anyone on the political left.   And certainly not to anyone in "our" FBI.

*********** QUIZ ANSWER: Only one of Frank Howard's teams was ranked as high as tenth nationally, but he managed to coach 29 years at Clemson.  His overall record there was 165-118-12. 

He was a real  southerner, born in  rural Alabama (”three wagon greasin's from Mobile”) and very colorful,  so I thought I’d identify him by some of his more famous quotes:

Once, after his team missed a first down near the goal line by inches and his archrival won, they gave their coach a new Cadillac, and he observed,  "the difference between a Cadillac and a coffin is six inches of dirt".

“That goal line is called the ‘alumni line’. because if you don't cross it you’ll be fired by the alumni.”

He liked the idea of his stadium being called “Death Valley” and he placed a rock from the real Death Valley at the top of the long flight of steps leading down to the field.  He started the tradition of the school’s players rubbing the rock before descending the steps before every home game.  But he would caution them, “If you can't give 110%,  keep your filthy hands off my rock.”

“Virginia is the white meat on our schedule.”

Asked how he’d prepared his team for the speed of Oklahoma's backs: ”I took them over to Darlington to watch a race."

(About Bear Bryant):  “He can take his'n and beat your'n........or........ He can take your'n and beat his’n.”

When he was AD and someone asked him about adding rowing as a sport. “I ain't  gonna have no sport where you sit on your ass and go backwards.”

Asked what was the turning point in a loss to Duke: "It was three years ago when I didn't recruit any half backs."

He never made more than $25,000 a year, but the faculty was paid even less, and the president of the university didn’t want the faculty to know what he was being paid. "He called me up and said that he didn't want me to tell anybody what I made. I said: 'Doc, you don't have to worry. I'm as ashamed as you are of what you pay me.' "

Once, tired of Senator Strom Thurmond talking too long at booster club meetings,  he introduced him by saying that Senator Thurmond couldn't stay long that evening - he had to go to the hospital where his next wife was being born! (In 1968 at the age of 66, Thurmond married a former Miss South Carolina. She was 22.)

“I had a lifetime contract - but the administration declared me dead."

“I finally retired for health reasons; the alumni were sick of me."

Finally, ”I love this place, I've got a spot already picked out where I want 'em to put me when I die - up there on that ole hill near the stadium. I want to be there so I can hear all them people cheering my Tigers on Saturdays; then I won't have to go Heaven; I'll already be there."

*********** CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING FRANK HOWARD

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
DAVID BUCHANAN - BARRE, MASSACHUSETTS (Frank Howard placed Howard's Rock at Clemson! Great coach who influenced my love for the game. Grew up watching the Tigers and the Nittany Lions on Saturdays (when the Black Knights of the Hudson weren't on national TV all the time yet).
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
GREG KOENIG - CIMARRON, KANSAS (Wouldn't he love what Dabo Swinney is doing at Clemson today?
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
CHARLIE WILSON - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA (I put the "Cadillac..." quote into a search field and got a whole page of contributions to our Body of Knowledge of Frank Howard (not all of them true but entertaining nonetheless...). I miss the "Southernisms" and the characters.  Bear Bryant would say things like, "We were luckier than a three legged dog" and the Sofistikats in the press would look at each other and wonder just what he meant.
Well, some of 'em anyway...
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON

*********** De mortuis nil nisi bonum  (Say) nothing but good about the  dead. (It's Latin.)

I’ll be careful how I say this, because Frank Howard's dead, but it’s something of a mystery to me how a coach with his mediocre record could have stuck around as long as he did.

Maybe it’s because the sports writers thought Ol’ Frank was so dang funny with them there witticisms, because otherwise  there’s nothing in his record to suggest that he was worthy of the long tenure Clemson gave him.

Otherwise, he simply wasn't that good a coach.

No less than 11 of his  29 years at Clemson were losing seasons.  When divided by 29 (years)  his 165 overall wins, come out to just a sliver over five wins per season. (Do that nowadays and you might get to finish your second season. ) He wrapped up his career with ten straight years of not making it to a bowl game.  Yes, he won six ACC championships in 17 seasons of conference membership, but the ACC was a very weak conference then - no Georgia Techs, Virginia Techs, Florida States or Miamis. Not even any Pittsburghs or Boston Colleges.

And  - God, I hate to do this, because I can’t stand the way people throw the “R” word around nowadays, and I’m fed up with the tearing down of statues of Confederate leaders, but there’s no way around it: Frank Howard was an uncouth racist.

He never coached a black player. That, I don't hold against him.  He knew his constituency and what it wanted, and he knew that they weren't ready to integrate the Clemson football program.  What I do hold against him is the way he treated a visiting player named Daryl Hill.

Hill, who in 1963 transferred from the Naval Academy to Maryland (recruited there by Lee Corso) was the first black player in the ACC, and in 2008 he spoke to the Frederick (Maryland) News-Post’s Stan Goldberg about his experience as the first black ever to play at Clemson. 

According to Hill, the university’s president did what he could to make the best of a bad situation, including appeaing to the catcalling crowd to be more hospitable to their guests.   But Frank Howard, the athletic director as well as the head coach, was the point man of a racist policy that extended to excluding blacks from the very stadium itself.
The scariest moment came when his mother went to watch him play at Clemson. They wouldn't let her in the stadium.

"There were no blacks allowed in the stadium, sweeping the floor, selling popcorn or anything," he said. "When I heard they weren't going to let her in, I told the coaches I wasn't going to play the game. I was going to escort my mother to safety. I actually put my street clothes on."

But the president of Clemson found out about it and invited Hill's mother to sit in his booth. Hill went back down to the field.
Hill also remembers that before the game, Clemson coach Frank Howard came over while Hill was working out and, with a big cigar in his mouth, just stared at him.

"He stared me down," Hill said. "I thought, he's a head coach, what's he doing?"

He said the Maryland assistants asked Howard to move and he cursed at them.
https://www.fredericknewspost.com/archive/i-just-wanted-to-play-football-i-didnt-want-to/article_14f27f0c-ac6d-5f56-93e7-5bd3f334cc4d.html


*********** QUIZ: Born in Baltimore, he played college football at Bucknell, and played briefly for the NFL Dallas Texans.

He was a highly successful high school coach in Baltimore, and taught history and political science, earning a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins.  After 15 years of high school coaching, in 1968 he was hired by the Baltimore Colts, first as a scout, then as offensive line coach, then director of player personnel, then offensive coordinator.

In 1975, he moved to the Dolphins as director of player personnel and pro scouting.

In 1979, on the recommendation of Commissioner Pete Rozelle, he was hired by the New York Giants as Director of Football Operations.

He drafted such standout players as Joe Morris, Phil Simms, Michael Strahan and Lawrence Taylor, and he hired Bill Parcells as head coach.

When he took over, the Giants hadn’t made the playoffs in 15 years, but in his years in New York, they made the playoffs eight times and won two Super Bowls. 

He was named NFL Executive of the Year a record five times.

(Tough one.)


american flagFRIDAY,  MARCH 9,  2018  “For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.” Plato


anf*********** ANF - Years ago, when America’s farms were hard-hit by the economy, Iowa’s Hayden Fry put  yelllow stickers on the Hawkeyes’ helmets with three initials on them:  “ANF."  America Needs Farmers.

You'll get no argument from me there.

But with apologies to Coach

Fry and the great state of Iowa and America’s farmers, (plus whoever owns the trademark) I think it’s time that those initials be put to another use: America Needs Football.

If you had any question in your mind about whether American needs football…

(1) The commandant of the US Marine Corps said that “because of physical, mental or moral issues,” only 30 per cent of military-age youngsters are qualified for the military.  A major factor is obesity.  We need to get those fatties out for football,  the only sport in any school where there’s a place for the big, overweight kids.

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/marine-corps-commandant-less-30-young-men-and-women-are-qualified-join-us

(2) If you find yourself having to listen to someone tell you that other sports will fill the void left when football goes…

Print this out and show it to them

ANF

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/08/sports/opioids-suicide.html?em_pos=large&emc=edit_sp_20180308&nl=sports&nlid=23696377&ref=img&te=1


*********** Major Lloyd,  military science instructor at West Point , 1977,  defined the difference in strategy and tactics:

Strategy vs Tactics
Strategy is the plans made
Tactics is what you do when those plans go to hell

Tim Brown
Florence, Alabama


*********** It’s not often that I root for Mom in a custody case, but here’s one: In Western Pennsylvania, a father is suing ex-wife to prevent her from allowing their high-school-age son to play football…

PITTSBURGH — In this city with a deep and proud relationship with football, a custody dispute has pushed the debate about the sport’s safety into a new arena: family court.

A father, John Orsini, has gone to court to prevent the youngest of his three sons from playing high school football because, he said, scientific studies have revealed the perils of repeated blows to the head — especially for an athlete, like his son, who has a history of concussions. The boy’s mother, Mr. Orsini’s ex-wife, believes he should be allowed to continue playing because he understands the risks.

“You always heard it sometimes, when one parent would say I don’t want him doing that because he might get hurt,” said Allan E. Mayefsky, a leading divorce lawyer and the former president of the New York chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. “Usually, we thought the parent was just overprotective. Now, it’s more of a real medical issue.”

In the decade since scientists began to link football to long-term brain damage, the debate over the future of the sport has moved from research laboratories to the halls of Congress, to locker rooms and owners’ suites. Families, too, have grappled with the question of how dangerous the game is — and now parents’ concerns are surfacing in legal battles between divorced couples, leading to an increase in fights over whether to amend custody orders to prevent their children from playing the game.

It is impossible to say precisely how many disputes over football are occurring in family courts. Most records are sealed and disputes often settle before they go to trial. But Joe Cordell, the founder of Cordell & Cordell, which specializes in divorce law, said that about a third of the 270 lawyers at his firm, which is spread across 40 states, said that they have seen an increase in custody battles over whether a child should be allowed to play football. In some parts of the country, football has replaced hockey as the sport at the center of custody battles, other lawyers said.
Most of the disputes over football are occurring in states where football remains very popular, like Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio, places Mr. Cordell described as “heavy football states.” In states where football appears to be on the wane, including those in the Northeast, disputes are less common because both parents have already decided that the game is too dangerous for their child to play.

One of those football-heavy states is Pennsylvania, where Mr. Orsini, a musician and former lawyer, went to court last summer to prevent his youngest son from playing tackle football. The case will likely result in a trial.

Like many fathers of his generation, Mr. Orsini, 66, was for years an enthusiastic supporter of football. He played the game in grade school and rooted for the hometown Steelers. He enrolled his sons in youth tackle football leagues when they were as young as 5 years old, including his youngest son. Mr. Orsini said he attended their practices and games, including in the years after he and his ex-wife, Janice, divorced in 2004. Their oldest son, Giuseppe, who is now 21, plays football at Case Western University in Cleveland.

Mr. Orsini’s view of the game changed when his youngest son, 17, sustained three sports-related concussions. The first was in 2013, when he was hit in the head with a metal baseball bat while not wearing a helmet. He took a battery of tests at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and, after several weeks, was allowed to resume playing sports.

The second and third concussions were in 2015 and 2016 during football games. Orsini said that afterward, his son was sensitive to light and noise, experienced headaches and was lethargic. His son, he recalled, sat slumped at the table during meals. Again, within a few weeks, doctors cleared him to return to play. Orsini said that when he asked the doctor whether his son should stop playing football, he was told there was no medical evidence that he should cease playing.

“The moment for me started when he repeatedly got diagnosed with concussions and the doctors kept telling me there was no reason for him to not keep going,” Mr. Orsini said. Having worked as a plaintiff’s attorney, he was alarmed. “His mother didn’t question the doctors, but in my profession it is an impossibility.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/05/sports/football/concussions.html


*********** Don’t  watch “Redline” on CBS.  Consider yourself warned. 

The proposed  drama series, for which they’re shooting the pilot show, is based on a story about a white single father, left widowed after a white cop killed his black husband…

Now, if you go ahead and watch it anyhow, and you turn into a pillar of salt -  don't blame me.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2018/03/06/cbs-pilot-white-dad-widowed-cop-kills-black-husband/


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

I’m reading Bill Curry’s “Ten Men You Meet In the Huddle.”  I’m really enjoying it. At one point “Bobby Dodd on Football” is mentioned. Have you read it? If so, should I find a copy?

Thanks,
Todd Hollis
Elmwood, Illinois

It’s a good read.  I admire Bill Curry.  And I admired Bobby Dodd. Heck of a coach.


*********** MY KIND OF LAWMAN - Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida, is the polar opposite of that Israel creep in Broward County.

And he’s not like the weenies in charge of so many of our big-city police departments who are constantly in search of the next “non-lethal” way of dealing with dangerous criminals without giving them what they have coming.

No, sir. Not Sheriff Grady Judd.  To put it bluntly, Grady Judd is a take-no-prisoners lawman.

Asked once why his men had shot a criminal as many times as they did, he replied, “That’s all the bullets they had.”

Recently, when a guy came after a couple of his deputies  with a knife - you guessed it - they drilled him.

At the news conference at which he explained his deputies’ actions,  he had a word or two of advice for those contemplating future dealings with his department:

“Threaten one of my deputies with a gun - or in this case a knife - we’re gonna shoot you.”

http://www.theledger.com/news/20180305/sheriff-judd-deputies-shoot-kill-knife-wielding-man-in-s-lkld


Tree well


*********** A couple of Oregon skiers died on the same day last week when they fell into tree wells.  Tree wells are found mostly in the mountains of the Northwest, where there’s a lot of snow - and a lot of evergreens.

The snowpack on the mountains can get quite deep, but the low-hanging branches of the trees can act like umbrellas, creating a relatively snowless area  around the base of a tree. 

You see the tree sticking up out of the snow  without realizing  that the snow around it can be a booby trap.

Falling into a tree well - especially head-first, as often happens - is frequently a death sentence.

I’m thinking that a lot of the tree-well accidents happen because people ski out of bounds, but what do I know?

http://www.adventuresnw.com/dangerous-powder-the-deadly-pitfalls-of-tree-wells/





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

Art passed away almost two weeks ago at age 90. Spoke at his service in Newton, Massachusetts. Amazing guy and I am lost without him.

 Art had over 100 guys at service from the 1963 team to 1989 teams in Newton. All very successful and filled up with appreciation. This was my first year out of football in 37. Coached the offensive line for a modified wing-t offense the two previous years. This allowed me to teach Art's flipper. Bottom line...I missed the double wing. When I find a place to run it then I will be back in. Still teaching history full time and enjoying it. You have another clinic in the area and I will be there. My daughter works for the Notre Dame football team so I attended some of their games. Wish they ran the snow plow offense! Thanks for your support and insight over the years...blessings to you and your family.

Gordon Leib
Fairfax, Virginia

I’m so sad to hear the news.  Coach Art Kojoyian and Coach Leib attended my clinics together for years.  You couldn’t see one without the other.  Art was the seasoned right-hand man that every young coach deserves to have in his life.

I loved Art in the short time I knew him and looked forward to seeing him every year -  an old-school guy like me, a guy who loved (and knew) the game, and best of all, a guy who was obviously devoted to Coach Leib.  You can tell a lot about a guy by the people who choose to work with him, and Art’s choosing to work with him was a great compliment.

I can understand what a loss it is.


http://hosting-6673.tributes.com/obituary/show/Aredis-Konji-Art-Coach-Kojoyian-105848153
     

*********** Colorado State is said to be considering a woman as their next head basketball coach.

Becky Hammon, a Colorado State grad, was a WNBA All-Star, and since 2014 she’s been an assistant in some capacity with the San Antonio Spurs.

She would replace Larry Eustachy, who “left the program” amid an investigation into charges that he verbally abused players. (If you didn’t know, the days of Bobby Knight-Style “motivation” are gone.)

Former Colorado State AD Jack Graham, who hired Eustachy and tried to fire him in 2014, told the Denver Post, “The Eustachy era started on my watch. I hired him. I’m sorry he was allowed to take control of another four classes of young men for what they had to endure. I’m thankful there won’t be any more.”

What the hell - give her a shot. Aren't there plenty of men coaching women’s basketball?


https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2018/03/07/colorado-state-becky-hammon-coach-spurs-woman


***********  Hey Coach,

It’s Pat Pimmel from Saint Louis Mo. Brought you here years ago if you remember. Long story short I got really involved in arena football and haven’t coached kids in a while.

Who would of ever thought the the Double wing would put me on the map. Lol. Before I went to arena ball we won 5 state championships in a row in the youth league. That got me to High School with a Double Wing Coach named Pat Luck. From there I was blessed to be pick up as an assistant in arena ball. Then HC.

Couple of things. I’m going back to the double wing. I still have playbook, but am curious about this open wing offense.

Can you combine them

Thanks

Pat Pimmel
St. Louis, Missouri

Hi Pat -

Nice to hear from you.

First of all - that old Double Wing playbook is pretty much obsolete.  Just figure out all the teams I’ve coached and all the clinics I’ve put on and all the guys that I’ve worked with, and there’s been a lot of changes.  (SEE BELOW!)

I am just about done redoing the new edition of my Double Wing playbook.  It will be a killer.

The Open Wing is my way of using Double Wing blocking rules and terminology while running a spread shotgun.

Yes, you can combine them.  I do.  The trick is to make sure that you don’t try to run too much in your Double-Wing package.

(Pages 7 & 8 of my new Double Wing playbook)
Evolution pages

(Pages 7 & 8 of my new Double Wing playbook)

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

I contacted you about your yearly double wing clinic and was wondering a date had been set yet?

I was also wondering if you will be discussing at all the double wing or if the clinic will be more geared toward the open wing concepts?

Hi Coach-

I am getting close to a clinic in KC around mid-to-late April.

It will be mostly Open Wing.

If it’s Double Wing that most interests you, I highly recommend the playbook I’m now working on.  It will be ready by mid-April and it will be as good as any clinic I have ever put on.  In fact, a lot of the material has been accumulated from my clinics over the last 20 years.


*********** Ask 100 people who think they know their football what William “Refrigerator” Perry is most famous for and at least 90 of them will say, “Running the ball.”

True, in 1985, The Fridge’s rookie year, he became a sensation as a 350-pound running back for the Bears.

But here’s the real story:  he touched the ball just eight times, for a grand total of 11 yards.  HIs longest run was two yards.  His longest play was a 4-yard pass reception (he went in motion and nobody covered him).

He lost a yard when he suffered a sack (actually, he was tackled for a loss while apparently attempting to throw a halfback pass).

Yes, he did score four touchdowns, three of them bowling over people down on the goal line.

The fourth was the four-yard pass reception.

Six carries for eight yards; one pass reception for four yards; one sack for -1 yard.  Eight touches, 11 yards. Of such monumental feats are legends made.

*********** QUIZ ANSWER : In seven seasons as a high school coach, Lavell Edwards never had a winning record.

But when he retired after 29 years as the head coach of the same school, he had built it from a regionally-known church school into a national power, and  was second only to Joe Paterno in the number of games won at a single college.

Along the way, he won a national championship and coached a Heisman Trophy winner.  The school’s stadium is now named for him.

When he was first hired as an assistant at that school, they were still running the Single Wing.

But when he became its head coach, he decided to throw.   At a time when it was commonly believed that you had to run the ball to win, he became perhaps the leading proponent of the passing game.  And he won.

His team led the nation in passing eight times.

He coached six All-American quarterbacks, and two of his QBs went on to win Super Bowls.

At least 11 of Lavell Edwards’ former players or assistants went on to become head coaches in college or the NFL.


CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING LAVELL EDWARDS

JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
TOM DAVIS - SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
JERRY LOVELL - BELLEVUE, NEBRASKA
DAVID BUCHANAN - BARRE, MASSACHUSETTS
MICK YANKE - COKATO, MINNESOTA
JOHN GRIMSLEY - JEFFERSON, GEORGIA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
KEVIN MCCULLOUGH - LAKEVILLE, INDIANA
JOHN BOTHE - OREGON, ILLINOIS
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
BILL LAWLOR - PALATINE, ILLINOIS
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON -WOODLAND, WASHINGTON


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

I hope you are doing well. I was reading your news from today, and I saw that you were asking about a coach with a losing record in HS and had success with a church school. That would be LaVell Edwards from BYU. I did have the pleasure to meet him once after he retired when he was speaking at an event in Washington D.C. He was friendly and answered my questions. As a the son of two BYU alums and now married to one, I know all about BYU football and the QB tradition under Coach Edwards.

I'm busy coaching golf and enjoying a different sport than football. Give my best to Miss Connie and I pray one day I'll get to use the Double Wing, but for now I am a good assistant football, head boys golf, AP World History teacher and happy father/husband.  I have to share pictures of my girls and the golf team, I'm the bald coach in the middle.

John Grimsley
Jefferson,  Georgia

***********  I think he told a clinic story once that as a first year high school HC he realized before the game (at the game site) that he had forgotten to install any special teams.  So for 30 minutes before the game they put in enough special teams to get through the game.

John Bothe
Oregon, Illinois

HAHAHA.  One of the first things I learned - I started out as a semipro coach - was that the fastest way to let it be known that your team wasn’t well coached was not to have enough men on the field in kicking situations.


*********** Adam Wesoloski wrote, inquiring about Lavell Edwards, “Was he running the single wing as a high school coach?”

He must have because in talking about his hiring by BYU (in 1962) he said “they were one of the last teams to run the single wing and I think I was the last living Mormon who knew anything about the offense.”


*********** Coach:

I don't ever remember to e-mail on these football VIP's but that has to be LaVell Edwards from BYU.  I remember as a kid watching them beat a 6-5 Michigan team in the old Sea World Holiday Bowl in San Diego I think.  I remember back then that game was not even played on a weekend evening and usually not part of January 1 bowls that I remember.  Ty Detmer won the Heisman.  I have always questioned that Mormon Code of Conduct they sign whenever I hear about a beer swilling Catholic named Jim McMahon who lit up the record books in the early eighties.    All the best.

Bill Lawlor
Palatine, Illinois

I read someplace that McMahon wanted to go to ND but they didn’t recruit him.

Probably the fact that he went to a place that had a Code of Conduct, plus there weren’t many other people like him to get in trouble with (or many places to go to get in trouble) and that his wife was a Mormon all kept him halfway straight until he could make it to the pros.


*********** Even before BYU, Stanford was known as a passing team because as a private school with very high standards it couldn’t admit as many big, strong and fast players as knucklehead schools could. And as Lavell Edwards said in his book, “Lavell Edwards,” (who thinks  up these titles?) “There is only one way you can beat a team that’s bigger and stronger and faster than you are and that is by passing."

*********** QUIZ: Only one of his teams was ranked as high as tenth nationally, but he managed to coach 30 years at the same place.  His overall record was 165-118-12. 

He was a real  southerner, born in  rural Alabama (”three wagon greasin's from Mobile”) and very colorful,  so I thought I’d identify him by some of his more famous quotes:

Once, after his team missed a first down near the goal line by inches and his archrival won, they gave their coach a new Cadillac, and he observed,  "the difference between a Cadillac and a coffin is six inches of dirt".

“That goal line is called the ‘alumni line’. because if you don't cross it you’ll be fired by the alumni.”

He liked the idea of his stadium being called “Death Valley” and he placed a rock from the real Death Valley at the top of the long flight of steps leading down to the field.  He started the tradition of the school’s players rubbing the rock before descending the steps before every home game.  But he would caution them, “If you can't give 110%,  keep your filthy hands off my rock.”

“Virginia is the white meat on our schedule.”

Asked how he’d prepared his team for the speed of Oklahoma's backs: ”I took them over to Darlington to watch a race."

(About Bear Bryant):  “He can take his'n and beat your'n........or........ He can take your'n and beat his’n.”

When he was AD and someone asked him about adding rowing as a sport. “I ain't  gonna have no sport where you sit on your ass and go backwards.”

Asked what was the turning point in a loss to Duke: "It was three years ago when I didn't recruit any half backs."

He never made more than $25,000 a year, but the faculty was paid even less, and the president of the university didn’t want the faculty to know what he was being paid. "He called me up and said that he didn't want me to tell anybody what I made. I said: 'Doc, you don't have to worry. I'm as ashamed as you are of what you pay me.' "

Once, tired of Senator Strom Thurmond talking too long at booster club meetings,  he introduced him by saying that Senator Thurmond couldn't stay longer that evening - he had to go to the hospital where his next wife was being born! (In 1968 at the age of 66, Thurmond married a former Miss South Carolina. She was 22.)

“I had a lifetime contract - but the administration declared me dead."

“I finally retired for health reasons; the alumni were sick of me."

Finally, ”I love this place, I've got a spot already picked out where I want 'em to put me when I die - up there on that ole hill near the stadium. I want to be there so I can hear all them people cheering my Tigers on Saturdays; then I won't have to go Heaven; I'll already be there."



american flagTUESDAY,  MARCH 6,  2018  “Of course I have my opinion about everybody and everything. But I learned a long time ago, keep your damn mouth shut if you want to stay in show business.  I'm not in politics. I’m an entertainer.” Dolly Parton


*********** For fun, I enjoy shooting pool, and I’m constantly reminded of the parallel between planning in pool and planning in football.

In both cases, planning entails thinking “a couple of shots ahead.”

In pool, the idea is to make the first shot and leave the cue ball in a certain spot so you can make the next shot, after which you’ll leave the cue ball in a certain spot, etc.  The great ones can look at a table and determine which ball is going to be the last ball left on the table - the so-called “break ball”  that they’ll use to break the next rack. 

Not me.  I can maybe look ahead a couple of shots, and sometimes, if things go according to plan,  my plan actually works.  But let’s suppose that although I make my first shot,  I don’t leave the cue where I needed it to be for my next shot.  And now that I can’t make my second shot as I’d planned, there goes my whole plan out the window -  after one shot.

In football, you base your plan on what you believe the opponents will do, and then, after they react the way you anticipate, you have just the plan for them.  But there are those times when you go out on the field on Friday night and it’s immediately obvious that the opponents aren’t cooperating - they’re doing something completely different from what you expected.  Bye-bye, plan.

No sense in complaining.  No sense in panicking. You’ve got a game to play.

And there’s no “Plan B.”  How can you possibly have an alternate plan when (1) you spent so much time on your basic plan, and (2)  there were so many possible other contingencies to plan for? 

In pool, you wait until it’s your turn again, looking for another shot that you know you can make,  one that can lead to another shot, and so forth.  You find another way. And if your fundamentals are sound, you have a chance.

In football, similarly,  you find another way.  Once it’s obvious that the original opportunities you’d counted on have been denied you,  you look for other opportunities that your players, with the preparation you’ve given them, can take advantage of.  If your system is flexible and your players are well-versed in it, you have a chance.

General Dwight Eisenhower, whose planning for the D-Day invasion may be as thorough a job of military planning ever, described it: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

***********  Coach,

The question about mental toughness in your most recent "News You Can Use" struck a chord with me.  This past summer I finished my Education Specialist degree in Coaching Pedagogy from Valdosta State University.  Our last assignment was a thesis and mine happened to be on the topic of developing perseverance in athletes.  I've attached the document for you to read and/or pass along to others if you see fit.  Coaches must play a big role in helping their athletes learn how to properly perceive events if they are to develop mental toughness.  In addition, coaches must help athletes learn how to set themselves up for success while creating opportunities for them to actually experience success.  It's an on-going, multi-faceted process that requires effort on the part of the coach and the player.

Joel Mathews
Fort Osage, Missouri

Hi Coach,

While I wasn’t able to read your thesis in its entirely, the abstract is quite good and addresses “perseverance,” a major component of mental toughness.  (It appears that the masses are beginning to catch on to it as “grit” becomes a fashionable word, although to most Americans I suspect that’s all it is.)

I’ve spent a lot of time in Finland.  The Finns have a word - SISU (“SEE-sue”) - that explains their renowned mental toughness,  and although it’s not easily translatable, if I were to be asked for a one-word definition, I would say “perseverance.”  But then, I’d have to add, “despite all odds, despite obstacles, despite setbacks, despite discouragement.”

SISU is embedded in the Finnish culture, while in America’s trophies-for-everybody society, the coach is often the only person in a young American’s life who values perseverance.



*********** A group hoping to bring the NHL to Seattle asked for season ticket deposits and in less than one day they got 29,000 deposits of from $500 to $1,000.

*********** It’s that time again - NFL Combine time.  Sunday was defensive linemen day, and it took me about two minutes of watching to wonder how devoid of anything interesting a person’s life must be if he’ll actually  sit in front of a TV and watch as large men in shorts, one after another, run 40-yard dashes.

*********** But then there’s Shaquem Griffin, the kid from Central Florida with one hand who wasn’t initially invited to the combine.  After some pressure, the NFL gave in, and the kid responded: with a special prosthetic arm brace that enabled him to balance the barbell, he bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times, and he ran a 4.38 40, the fastest for a linebacker since 2003.

https://www.newsday.com/sports/columnists/bob-glauber/shaquem-griffin-nfl-combine-bench-press-1.17070661

*********** An excerpt from my upcoming ALL-NEW Double Wing playbook …
REACH BLOCK


*********** My wife was born and raised in Abington, Pennsylvania.  Abington is an old town, dating back to the 1700s., and over the years it’s been engulfed by the spread of nearby Philadelphia, but it has maintained its own pride of community. One of the major reasons is its schools.

As one example of the pride Abingtonians take in their schools, twelve years ago a wealthy alumnus named Stephen Schwarzman stepped up and lent his support to efforts to build a football stadium on the high school campus.   A grateful community named the stadium in his honor.

More recently, Mr. Schwarzman, the billionaire chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group, a major investment firm, announced that he would donate $25 million to Abington schools to build a Science and Technology center on the campus.

The gift is one of the largest ever made to any public high school anywhere.

http://www.phillyvoice.com/abington-high-school-receives-record-25-million-gift-stem-facility/

*********** Duke beat North Carolina Saturday, which means the two arch rivals split their two meetings this season. 

How arch is the rivalry? There was a Wall Street Journal article this past week about the run on one very special license plate in every state where it’s available: “GTHCGTH”

It stands for a cheer that’s dear to the hearts of all Duke fans: “GO TO HELL CAROLINA, GO TO HELL!”

Former Duke player Kenny Dennard lives in Houston now, and he’s got the GTHCGTH plate for Texas.

*********** I love West Point and I love Army football, but I’m a donor (a small one, but a donor nonetheless), so that permits me to criticize an athletic department that schedules its spring football game for a Friday afternoon (Friday the 13th, yet), because there’s a lacrosse doubleheader - men’s and women’s - scheduled for their stadium the next day.

*********** Shortly before his death, Carroll Rosenbloom, the man who brought the NFL to Baltimore, told what it was that drove him to work out the deal (basically swapping the  Baltimore Colts for the Los Angeles Rams) that enabled him to leave Baltimore:

I promised Baltimore a world championship in five years. We got one in six.  More followed.  We went to the Super Bowl. Suddenly the media turned on us. I invited the press to a lunch.  I said, “Gentlemen, nobody seems to appreciate the Colts anymore. I wish you would tell me what we’ve done wrong.

No one said a word.

I said, “Doesn’t anyone have something to say?  You all write for the papers or talk on radio or television. We’re friends here. Nothing will be repeated.  Say what you please.  The Colts are looking for help.”

A sports editor said, “You have gotten us used to wins.”

I could not believe it.

I said, “Would you be happier if we lost?”

No one said no.  No one said yes.

I said, “Gentlemen, thank you for coming. I wish you well.”

I went home, taking my son.  I said, “Steve, we can’t stay here any longer. This town is satiated. They feel if you don’t win the Super Bowl every year, you’re due for trouble. I’m going to find a way to get out of Baltimore.”

*********** I'm not against children, but I am 100% against "think of the children." I like to think of what's best for the grown-ups. Whatever works best for free, honest, informed, self-reliant, and armed adults works best for their dependents, and if children are anything, they are dependent.  If they grow up into anything, it is more parents. If you love a child, remember that the purpose of cuteness is to make sure kids turn into adults – who in turn are in charge of making us more children.

Jeremy Egerer, in “American Thinker”

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

I have had many criticisms of many of our Presidents from JFK on up.  Doesn't matter whether they're Democrat or Republican.  I have a few criticisms of our current President as well.  Especially the tweeting.  I can understand at times why he chooses to use that form of communication, being what the mainstream media is today.  However, like you, my experience as a coach balks when he chooses to call out his own cabinet selections.  It is when he chooses to use twitter for those reasons he appears to be less of a leader than what many of us want him to be.

The only lips these lips kiss belong to my wife. 

I agree with your assessment on how we try to get kids mentally tough.  I also agree that it may be a thing of the past considering the education climate, and parental environment we live in today.

Gonna be interesting to see how this NCAA basketball issue turns out.  Either ESPN is going to look like a bunch of idiots not following through with their leads, and have the masses see them as an extension of our current justice issues,  or Sean Miller will be seen as a major liar and never get a big-time basketball gig again.


QUIZ:  I found out about Harry Agganis "the Golden Greek" from one of my former players who received a football scholarship out of JC to Boston University, and played for two years in the mid 90's before BU dropped football a couple of years after he graduated.  The weekend I was there they played UNH in one of the most thrilling college football games Nickerson Field ever saw.

Have a great weekend.

Joe Gutilla
Austin, Texas


*********** QUIZ ANSWER:  Harry Agganis has been dead for more than 60 years, but the Golden Greek, as he was known, is still generally considered the greatest all-around athlete ever to come out of New England.

He was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, the youngest of seven children of Greek immigrant parents.  He was baptized “Aristotle,” but that was shortened to “Ari,” which in time became anglicized to “Harry.”

He may still be New England’s best-ever football prospect.  When he played in high school, crowds of more than 20,000 packed Lynn’s Manning Bowl to watch him play.  He was heavily recruited.  Notre Dame’s Frank Leahy called him the best played he’d ever seen.  But he chose to stay home, close to his widowed mother, and elected to play at Boston University. Almost by himself he made the Terriers into a national power.  He was the first - and only - All-American ever to play at BU, which no longer even plays football. 

Selected in the first round of the 1952 draft by the Cleveland Browns, who saw in him the eventual successor to All-Pro Otto Graham, he turned down their $25,000 bonus offer to sign instead to play baseball with his hometown Red Sox.

Bostonians saw in him the successor to Ted Williams.  He played one year of AAA ball, and had a so-so rookie season, but hopes were high for him in his second year, 1955.  But in early June he was diagnosed with pneumonia.  After returning to the lineup for two games, he suffered a relapse, and on June 27, 1955, he died of a pulmonary embolism - a blood clot that makes its way to the lungs.

Harry Agganis, the Golden Greek,  was 26 years old.

More than 10,000 people attended his wake.

CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING HARRY AGGANIS
JOSH MONTGOMERY - BERWICK, LOUISIANA
JOHN VERMILLION - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
KEN HAMPTON - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
MARK KACZMAREK - DAVENPORT, IOWA
ADAM WESOLOSKI - PULASKI, WISCONSIN
JOE GUTILLA - AUSTIN, TEXAS
TIM BROWN - FLORENCE, ALABAMA
OSSIE OSMUNDSON - WOODLAND, WASHINGTON


***********  I think of Harry Agganis and other athletes who left us too soon - Tyler Hilinski. Howie Morenz.  George Gipp.  Nile Kinnick - and I think of A. E. Housman’s poem, ("To an Athlete Dying Young”)

To an Athlete Dying Young
By A. E. Housman
The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man a