|Elmore Banton at left getting instructions from coach|
Stan Huntsman, Robert Heller between Huntsman
and Banton, Larry Smith, right.
|Mo Banton today|
Today, this great conference, The Mid American has sold out to the football gods and ESPN. Central Michigan of the MAC is playing Western Kentucky in the Popeye's Bahamas Bowl to a grandstand more sparsely populated than the team members standing on the sidelines. Two friends Bill Schnier and Dick Trace summed it up, " Thirty-two bowl games, 64 teams. Some obviously don't deserve to be there. but.... Late December, Bowling Green, Kentucky, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, the Bahamas.... take your choice."
John Lawson, 24th, Bill Silverberg 26th, Darryl Beardall 29th, Ed Duchini 40th, Tom Sullivan 44th, Darnell Mitchell 45th and Bob Delany 47th. 180 finished.
This comment came from Bill Schnier, former U. of Cincinnati coach:
|Snell and Odlozil at another track, another date, unknown|
The Sad End of Life for Josef Odlozil I'm sure many of you remember Josef Odlozil not only for his silver medal in Tokyo but also for his marriage to Vera Caslavska, shortly after the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Caslavska was the winningest gymnast in Olympic history at the time and had made headlines by turning her head away from a flag ceremony when the Russian national anthem was played to denounce the recent Russian invasion of her country that summer. She was forced into retirement when she returned home. After the Russians left, she was resurrected and eventually became president of the Czech Olympic committee and a member of the IOC, but by then the marriage had ended in divorce. The story turns bizarre and even more upsetting , in 1993 with Josef Odlozil's untimley death at the hands of his son Martin in a bar fight. Martin would eventually be pardoned by Czech Republic leader Vaclav Havel. GB
See below from the English language Prague Post:
Death of Olympic Hero After Dancefloor Fight
|Josef and son Martin|
More research uncovered the some other pieces of the story. There were two very conflicting accounts of the incident in the pub. However what is clear is Josef had run into Vera earlier in the evening, but they had not gotten along and he moved on to the pub where Martin was supposed to be hanging out. Josef had been trying to help with some arrangements regarding Martin's pending graduation. . Josef who was in the Czech army at the time had just returned from duty in Iraq and son Martin who was estranged from his father asked the DJ to play the song Green Brains which was very derisive of the military. He had earlier vandalaized Josef's car outside the pub. Everyone involved was very drunk causing conjecture in many of the witness stories. Martin was involved in the fight that broke out and did strike his father who then fell hitting his head and died as a result of that fall. Martin was charged with another youth Jaroslav Lieskovany. See photo below. Lieskovany was acquitted and Martin received a four year sentence but was pardoned by Czech president Haval. It is not clear if this was a favor to Martin's mother Vera because of her close ties with the government or some other circumstances regarding the court process.
|Vera, Josef, and Sgt. Lieskovany|
And finally . Pete Brown sent this with the following note.