Once Upon a Time in the Vest

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Vol. 3 No. 77 Byron Berline, Javelin Thrower and Bluegrass Fiddle Legend

      Byron Today                                       Back in the Day

In 1963 when I was on the track team at University of Oklahoma,  a football player , came out for the track team as a javelin thrower.  I knew little about him, but had occasionally heard him playing the old time fiddle in the football dorm , Washington House.   He had left the football team and moved over to Jefferson House where the non-revenue sports athletes lived.  It was a big step down in real estate to come from Washington to Jefferson.  We were two to a room in those days and could only accomplish that by sleeping in bunk beds.  The rooms would be considered inhumane by today's standards for prisons.  Except we could walk out of there anytime it pleased us. 

The fiddler's name was Byron Berline, and he was already making a name for himself in the music world.  He had learned fiddle from his father Lou Berline , a rancher on the Kansas-Oklahoma line.  Byron and Lou were invited to play in the prestigious Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island where Bob Dylan once broke up the place going electric.    Byron had already played with one of the top bluegrass groups in the country, the Dillards and had been crowned National Old Time Fiddle champion before he graduated from college.  He would earn that title on three occasions.   His musical career includes playing with the Flying Burrito Brothers (formerly the Byrds) and being a session fiddler with Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and even appearing on a Star Trek episode as a violinist in a Baroque String Quartet.  He told me they dubbed in that music.  He also gave Vince Gill his first paying job as a musician.

Byron held the javelin record at the U. of Oklahoma at 225 feet.  And his friendship with coach J.D. Martin as fellow musicians and golfers extends back for 50 years.  On track trips there were endless jam sessions with the local fiddlers, guitar and banjo players who lived in Tuscon, Tempe, Lawrence, Austin, wherever we went.  They would somehow find out where we were staying and be waiting to jam with Byron.  Fiddle makers would show up with their instruments to have him try them and give an opinion.  Google his name and you will find an incredible website.  There are numerous pieces on youtube as well.   If you drive near Guthrie Oklahoma on a Saturday night, stop in at the old Opera House, now the Double Stop Fiddle Shop and take in the show.   You never know what famous musician might be sitting in with Byron's band.    Below is a copy of an article which recently appeared in the Sooner Magazine, of the OU alumni organization.  George Brose

This link is Byron playing Sally Goodin with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys

Here is a musical tribute to Byron by Steve Spurgin.  In it there are two track pictures of Byron.

George, it was a neat article. I read it over the weekend in SOONER (alum) magazine.  Walt M. and I have been to Guthrie often times  to see/hear him.  He and Garth Brooks (OSU javelin and " musician") have had fun discussions re: javelin and music.


Vol. 3 No. 76 More Quotes from Abe Lemons

I have to add these quotes by Abe Lemons about a former track athlete,  and Athletic Director at University of Texas, DeLoss Dodds.   Dodds was a very good quarter miler in the late 50's early 60's at Kansas State.  He has been the AD at U. of Texas for the past 32 years.  Many UT fans are calling for Dodds' head these days as athletic performances are waning and the university finds itself in a weakened  conference.  Years ago, Dodds fired Abe Lemons which provided some interesting quotes from Abe.    These quotes come from the Baylor University Fan website.

 . . . . . When DeLoss Dodd's fired Abe at Texas it hurt him very much and he took it very personally. Texas had given him a pickup to drive. He drove it home and parked it in the drive-way. The athletic dept. called him for about a month to return it, but he never answered their calls. Finally, they sent some flunkie out to Abe's house to get it. Abe said something like "sure, it's out in the driveway, take it" The guy then asked Abe for the keys and he responded that he had the truck but he didn't have any keys. The guy had to call a wrecker to come get it.

. . . . .He told some of us that he was going to buy a glass-bottom car so he could run over DeLoss Dodds and look at his face while he ran over him.

 may have to fill in a little background for you to fully understand the glass-bottomed car part.  Down I-35 south of Austin about 30 miles is San Marcos.  There's a tourist attraction there called Aquarena Springs. It's a clearwater park created by some natural springs.  One  of its features is a glass-bottomed boat, to view the underwater fish and turtles and things.  Lemons stole the concept of a glass bottom from that.  Anyone in the Austin area would make the connection and know where Lemons got the concept, but unless you were from around here the idea of a glass-bottomed car would sound pretty inventive. from an anonymous reader.

It's still a good quote and Lemons made no secret of how little he thought of Dodds.  Dodds reciprocated, of course.  He thought Lemons was way too unrefined to represent the University of Texas and eventually ran him off.  Good theatre in all respects. 

. . . . . he commented that he felt no shame for being fired as coach, but he was humiliated that he was fired by a track coach. (Dodds had been a track coach at Kansas State).. . . .

"George, great stuff about Abe Lemons and Deloss Dodds.  I have always thought very highly of Deloss Dodds, because he took the time to speak to me and offer a compliment a couple of times when we ran against K-State.  That meant a lot to me, a young runner awed and intimidated by the outstanding K-State runners."  Bill Blewett

 . . . . the quote about having one more rebound than a dead man was spoken about John (6'9") on the occasion of the team's rather poor performance during the first half of a game in Madison Square Garden at the NIT. Abe was so pissed off that he made the team strip off "shirts and skins" and scrimmage at half-time instead of go to the locker room. The Garden crowd loved it.

. . . . Abe recruited  by saying "tell me where you want to go. If they have a team, I'll schedule them". As a result, they played Hawaii, Alaska, Vegas, you name it. Once they had to play Hardin-Simmons in Abilene the night after they had been to Vegas. Needless to say, the Chiefs were tired and put on a pitiful performance against HSU. As punishment, Abe made the entire team stay out until 1 a.m. in Abilene. By ten o' clock they were all begging to come back to the motel, but Abe refused. There's probably not a deader town in America at one in the morning.

At a coaches conference Digger Phelps, coach at Notre Dame University, was talking about the big pressures on an 18 or 19 year old athlete playing for Notre Dame with all that tradition.   Lemons was heard at the back of the auditorium saying something like,  "I bet that an 18 year old Marine with his face down in the sand, under fire at Iwo Jima was thinking to himself, 'Gee, I'm glad I'm not a freshman at Notre Dame.'  " 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Vol. 3 No. 75 Photos of 1500 WR in the Commonwealth vs. USA meet 1967

David Bailey sent us two pictures of the Commonwealth vs. USA  meet in 1967.  In the press photo Kip Keino leads Jim Ryun and David Bailey.   Second photo Bailey leading Grelle, , unk, Keino , and Ryun.   Ryun set the 1500  WR  at the Los Angeles Coliseum. ed.
Thanks to Orville Atkins for making this possible by contacting David Bailey who sent along the pictures. 
Hi Orville,
Attached are a couple of photos of me at the Commonwealth vs USA match in 1967 in which Jim Ryun broke Herb Elliott's world record for the 1500m in (3:33.1, Keino had a 3:37.2 ed.).
It was a big thrill to be selected to the team.  I hung with the fast pace that Kip Keino set after the first lap but was left in the dust with 300 m to go.  Nevertheless, I still managed a national record of 3:41.
All the best,

The link shows the race from a youtube clip. 
Pete Brown sends us these comments about Canadian runners of more recent vintage.
 My favorite Canadian runner story: On Sunday, July 8, 2001, I had some time to kill while in Halifax before starting an educational tour of the history of Nova Scotia. I took a cab over to a nearby track venue to see a skinny little HS kid from Ontario attempt a 4 minute mile. His name was Nathan Brannen. He closed fast and ran 3.59.85 and it was greeted very casually by all 100 people in attendance. I was probably the most excited person in the stands. Brannan went to Michigan with Alan Webb and made the Canadian Olympic team once or twice I believe.
Nathan Brannen

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vol. 3 No. 74 Two Letters from Orville Atkins and John Bork


Our mention of Franz Stampfl in the previous post elicited several nice letters from readers
The first letter is from Orville Atkins, giving us the Canadian perspective of the early days of 4 minute miling.    The second is from John Bork on the Mexico Olympics. We've added a few photos and some research on Dr. David Bailey.
From Orville Atkins:

Hi George, Thanks for keeping the good info from those olden days coming. 
I remember when Bannister broke 4 minutes.  It was 1954, the same year that the new magazine "Sports Illustrated" was published.  Their first athlete of the year was Bannister.
Then on August 7, 1954 Bannister defeated John Landy in the British Empire Games.

You can see that Vancouver mile in its entirety at the following link.  Please forgive in advance the commentator who obviously knows little of the event, and badly miscalls this race from the start.
Nothing new to track and field TV announcers of our modern era. ed.

Canadian Rich Ferguson was 3rd in that race with a new Canadian Record4.04.6.               

                  Rich Ferguson

 In the early 1960s several other Canadians aimed at that 4 minute barrier.----

Ergas Leps ran 4.01.1,
                                                   Lepps (59)   in a 1500 heat  at Tokyo 1964

Bruce Kidd 4.01.4, Jim Irons 4.01.9,

                                                                     Jim Irons

Bill Crothers 4.02.4, John Valiant 4.02.7, Vic Reeve 4.03.4, and Allan Birtles 4.03.9.  Also 17 year David Bailey ran what I think was a World age Group record of 4.07.7 in 1962.
In 1972, I was at at a Track and Field News banquet with many of the most knowledgeable Track and Field experts of the era when a tall, thin man and without warning stepped out on the stage.  The whole audience stood and gave him a 5 min+ standing ovation.  It was Sir Roger.

             Dr. David Bailey

 Several East York Track Club team mates of David Bailey were to run in a meet in San Diego on June 11, 1966 but the meet officials would not provide David with a plane ticked so Coach Fred Foot gave him his own ticket and did not go.  David went on to run Canada's first mile under 4 minutes by running 3.59.1.
On July 22, 1967, David Bailey and Bill Crothers ran in a mile race at Varsity Stadium at the University of Toronto.  Bill stepped of the track at the three quarter point and David Bailey went on to run 3.57.7 becoming the first Canadian to run under four minutes on Canadian soil.

 Several years ago, David Bailey, PhD was in London England.  He called Dr. Bannister and asked to meet with him.  Sir Roger drove up at ten on the dot and they walked around Iffley Field.  David then said:
"Thank you for leading the way."'  "Thank you for changing my Life."

Dr. David Bailey is today a renowned pharmacology researcher who has elaborated  the adverse effects of grapefruit on uptake of many common drugs we take daily.  If you use any statin drugs for controlling cholesterol levels in your blood,  and your doctor has warned you not to consume grapefruit, you can thank David Bailey for making that discovery.  Grapefruit can have the effect of augmenting the uptake to cause an overdose.   Over 85 different drugs are affected in this way by grapefruit. ed

You did a great job of adding pictures to my short history of Canada's first sub four minute mile. 
I still have all of my programmes from the 1964 Olympics with the times written in as they were run.
Leps was 4th in his heat in 3:46.4..  W. Baran of Poland was first in  3:45.3.  J.L. Davies of New Zealand was second in 3:45.5 and Dyrol Burleson was third in 3.45.6.
You can see Burleson in lane 2 over Leps right shoulder in the picture.
"The first four in each heat together with the two fastest losers will quqlify for the semi-final".  I never liked that phrase.  If they go on to the next round they are far from losers.
#416 in the picture was R. Subramaniam  (Mal) was not in the top six.
Leps was 8th in the first semi-final and Burleson won the second in 3.41.5 and was 5th in 3.40.0 according to what I wrote.
Did you know the there was at least one United States citizen 
in every men's running event in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics?
I consider it the best Olympic Games of the 7 that I have seen I have seen.


When I went to the 1968 Mexico Olympics, I met Ralph Doubell, Tony Sneazwell and others.
                         Ralph Doubell Today

    Ralph Doubell Taking the 800 at Mexico City 1968
It was my first Olympic Promotion for Onituska Tiger.
I traded a Strider T-Shirt with Tony Sneazwell for one of his Olympic Singlets, which I still have.
I also traded with Arndt Krueger (UCLA) who ran the 1,500M for Germany.and traded a Strider shirt for an German olympic singlet.as well. That's how prestigious the Striders were in those days!

If Wade Bell had not been incapacitated by Montezuma's revenge, I think that the home stretch run with Bell an Doubell would have made "Special History".

PS, My former charge, Jack Bacheler from Miami of Ohio, was also stricken with Dysentery and could not make the start of the 5,000M.  He would have been my only "Tiger Shoe" performer. Conrad  Nightingale had been lured away from me by Adidas with $$.
Conrad Nightingale
in Halstead Kansas HS photo
He ran in the Steeplechase in 1968

I just finished reading "Something in the Air" by Richard Hoffer, last night.
I think that it is well researched and a fairly accurate account of the Mexico Games.
However, I think that his view of "officialdom and authority, while accurate is still somewhat overblown.
Yet, It is hard to overstate the disdain most us had for Avery Brundage.

I was sitting on the stadium's front rail directly in front of the long jump pit with Art Walker, our Strider Triple Jumper when Bob Beamon made his gigantic leap of 29'2"  When Beamon passed by us he was literally 2-4" higher in the air than the previous jumpers.
Then when they rolled out the surveyors measuring devise which was on a track and, it fell of the track at the end. (which was at 28' for good measure.)
I had my Track & Field News Metric Conversion tables in hand so, when they finally got a tape measure and then listed
8.9 Meters on the score board I quickly flipped thru my tables and said, "Art, this is 29 feet 2" inches. Can that be correct.?"
Then, as I looked over to the bench were Ralph Boston, Ter-Ovaneysan, Charlie May and others were seated, the looks on the faces said "It's all over" Never in my life have I seen world record holders and former world record holders so defeated. Not before, nor after.
 John Bork


Monday, November 25, 2013

Vol. 3 No. 73 Franz Stampfl Remembered

   Franz Stampfl has  been inducted into the Athletics Australia Hall of Fame.
                                   Franz Stampfl  (1913-1995)
John Bork and Richard Mach (Western Michigan University teammates)   recently brought the following article to our attention.  The Athletics Australia group has chosen to honor Franz Stampfl with membership in their Hall of Fame, eighteen years after his passing.  This is also the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1913.  Additional and informative reading on Franz Stampfl can be found on John Cobley's website  Racingpast.ca. 
Stampfl was an outspoken man with tremendous talent as a coach and mentor having played a significant roll in the first four minute mile in 1954.  He mentored and encouraged all three runners in that race,  Roger Bannister, Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher (Olympic gold medallist in the steeplechase in 1956).   He went on to coach and advise many Australian athletes throughout his career including Ralph Doubell, 1968 800 meter gold medallist. 

As a high school runner in the late 1950's, I was lured to  his book Stampfl on Running. It was the definitive book on interval training available to me.  I must have checked it out of the library 20 times. 
Born in Austria, he was studying fine art in England at the beginning of WWII, was interned, then deported, as an enemy alien,  first to Canada, but his ship was sunk on the way.  He survived and was returned to England, and then re-deported to Australia.  He returned once more to England after the war and took up coaching that led to his association with Bannister, Chataway, and Brasher.  He was then recruited to be director of athletics at Melbourne University.   Sadly his life took a rough turn when he was rendered a quadriplegic after an auto accident in 1980, but he was able to continue his work for a number of years.  He passed away in 1995.    George Brose
 This is the link to John Cobley's chapter on Stampfl

From:  Australia Athletics website


Stampfl to enter Hall

Legendary Australian coach Franz Stampfl (1913-1995), whose many career highlights included mentoring Roger Bannister to the first ever sub four-minute mile and Ralph Doubell to the 800m gold medal at the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games, has today been inducted into the Athletics Australia Hall of Fame.

Stampfl, who was born in Vienna but immigrated to Australia in 1955 after having previously been interned in New South Wales during the Second World War, becomes the 35th person inducted.

Athletics Australia's Special Awards Committee recently approved Stampfl’s induction and his family was today presented with his official Hall of Fame citation at a celebration of the recent 100th anniversary of the great coach’s birth held for his family and friends at the home of former charge Doubell in Melbourne.

The full citation for Stampfl’s induction is listed below.

The Athletics Australia Hall of Fame was established in 2000 to recognise the outstanding achievements of Australia's truly great athletes from the sport’s rich history of success dating back over 100 years. At the discretion of Athletics Australia's Special Awards Committee, an induction into the Hall of Fame takes place to recognise the greats of the sport.

Stampfl joins Doubell as well as names like Catherine Freeman, Herb Elliott, Betty Cuthbert, Raelene Boyle and Robert de Castella as members of the Hall of Fame.

Brasher, Bannister, Stampfl, Chataway after the first 4 minute mile.

FRANZ STAMPFL MBE (18 Nov 1913 – 19 Mar 1995)

Franz Stampfl was born in Vienna in 1913 and in his early years studied art. He also had some success as a skier and javelin thrower.

In 1937 he left Austria and moved to England to pursue his interests in art. At the outbreak of World War II he gained a job coaching athletes in Northern Ireland.  In 1940 he taught physical education at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School but by June of that year he was interned as an enemy alien and shipped to Canada.

During the voyage to Canada the ship was torpedoed and sank. Franz survived the sinking and the icy waters and was shipped back to England where he was again interned before being sent to Australia. He was placed in an internment camp in Hay, New South Wales and later in Tatura. During his internment he organised various sporting activities within the camps including athletics.

In 1946 Franz moved back to London with his wife Pat whom he had met in Australia to practice as an athletics coach, doing so at various locations including Oxford and Cambridge Universities as well as the John Fisher School.

In 1954 Franz achieved one of his greatest coaching feats when he coached Roger Bannister to the first sub four-minute mile. In that famous race the two pace makers Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway were also coached by Franz. Brasher went onto win the steeplechase gold in the 1956 Olympic Games and become the race director of the London Marathon whilst Chataway emerged as a world record holder and Olympic finalist. Bannister that year won gold at both the European Championships and Commonwealth Games.

In 1955 Franz immigrated to Australia where he became director of athletics at Melbourne University. Franz introduced his interval training to the many athletes he coached there over the years - resulting in great success for many of them. His training methods became legendary for their toughness - many hard repetitions with short recoveries.

His most famous pupil was Ralph Doubell who won gold in the 800 metres at the Mexico Olympics in 1968 - equalling the world record, a mark that remains the Australian national record in 2013.

Franz did not only train middle distance runners - also coaching sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers and throwers. Many of his athletes went on to represent Australia at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, Pacific Conference Games, World Championships and World Cup. He had a magnificent eye for both talent and technical improvement, it often being said of him that he had a natural ability to see things in slow motion.

Some of his higher achieving athletes for all or significant parts of their careers included Hec Hogan, Tony Sneazwell, Gael Mulhall, Peter Bourke, Ken Roche, John Higham, Merv Lincoln, Alan Crawley, Petra Rivers, Sue Howland, Pam Matthews, Bruce Field, Judy and Lawrie Peckham and Bill and Erica Hooker – but there were many more. At the 1968 Nationals in Sydney, the Victorian male athletes he coached would have won the interstate points trophy – the Richard Coombes Shield in their own right.

But he did not work only with the elite. His squad often grew to 50 or more ‘regulars’, and required his attendance at training from 10:00am until well after normal working hours had ceased. The size of his team led to both group and individual sessions, with even the burliest of throwers often engaged in Sunday morning time trials.

And he was an early advocate for participation and was perhaps also Melbourne’s first ‘personal traine’, initiating the Como Park Joggers at 6.00am every weekday, a concept which drew people from all walks of life to running for fitness, including come of the city’s most affluent and successful in business. Some even ended up at the Melbourne University track doing ‘reps’.

International athletes came to Australia for his tutelage and it was not unusual for AFL players or test cricketers to seek out his guidance.

Tragically Franz was seriously injured in a car accident in 1980, which left him a quadriplegic. But this did not stop him continuing to coach from his wheelchair and famous office beside the Melbourne University track.

Franz was a very fit man prior to his accident and was a strict disciplinarian. However, he was also a great motivator and was able to get the best out of his athletes. He was a great talker and could do so on many subjects and, from the recollection of some of his athletes, was “always right” - according to himself!

He never lost interest in art and his athletes and others retain many of his works amongst their proudest possessions.

Sadly athletic officialdom never fully embraced him nor recognized his enormous input into the sport. However he was awarded an MBE in 1981.

Franz was a larger than life figure and a legendary coach.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Vol. 3 No. 72 Humorous Quotes from Our Readers

A week ago, I sent out a request to a number of our readers to see if they had any favorite humorous stories or quotes about the sport of Track and Field

Sylvia Gleason:  The Talmud says it is ok to tell a lie or break a law if it will save someone's life.  We're not supposed to run on the Sabbath, but if I stayed at home that day and did nothing I would probably kill somebody.

Ernie Cunliffe, Stanford University, US Olympic team 800 meters 1960, wrote:
Our coach Payton Jordan wrote slogans on the dressing room wall.  One was :  "Champions are gracious and humble."  Someone added two words   "and fast." 

Steve Price:
Two quotes from   Wayne Yarcho (U. of Nebraska, 1939).  Wayne was a track athlete, then road runner, later a race walker.

After participating in a 24 hour relay (8 guys running repeat miles for a day) Wayne stated.
"You know,  this is almost too much of a good thing."

The other memorable quote from Wayne was:  "I'd push my mother out of the way to finish one place higher in a race."    I am not sure   he didn't really meant it.

Ed Bowes:  "I'm a masochist when I run, and a sadist when I coach."

From Bruce Kritzler comes a Marty Liquori quote. 
"Road racing is  Rock and Roll.  But track racing is Carnegie Hall."
Doug Brown always told the team, "Never bet on a horse with a hard-on." Also told them, "Don't piss down your leg" (meaning don't choke).

From George Brose:   on  Bill Carroll, former coach at the U. of Oklahoma (1959-63).  He would have a team meeting at the beginning of the year.  Bill had a habit of getting all nervous and worked up while he was talking.  He would say something like.
"You're grown men now, not high schoolers.  So I'm not going to lay down any rules."  This would go on for awhile, and then at the end he was really carrying  on  like a Baptist preacher in a lather, and I distinctly remember the capstone to that speech was.  "Keep it in your pants, and dammit , go to church on Sunday!"

True but not so funny,  we usually went on Spring Break to Arizona State for a dual or triangular meet, then down to U. of Arizona for a dual meet.   Normally we  got dusted pretty bad as we were just coming out of indoor season and the Arizona teams were three meets  into their outdoor season.  Well, we upset Arizona edging them on the last event, the mile relay.  After the meet one of our top athletes went to the coach and suggested that a nice reward for the win would be a trip down to Mexico, so the coach rented three white convertibles. We drove down to Nogales for the day/evening and three guys came back with something they picked up in a bordello.  Team meeting a week later.   The coach says, well, our broad jumper came back with a runny nose.  Any of you others having a similar problem?  
One that comes to mind was from one of my teammates Anthony Watson at Oklahoma describing the runners at Texas Southern University who were tearing up the relay circuit in the mid 1960's. 
"They put their pants on one leg at a time......vastly superior legs.

From Walt Mizell, former Oklahoma half miler on Bill Carroll the OU track coach:

One of Bill's favorite sayings when meeting the team before an important track meet was,
    "This ain't no county track meet."
 Hal Higdon once told a story in possibly  "On the Run from Dogs and People" about being on a long Sunday morning run in the Bible belt in the Midwest.   As he approached a church that was emptying after the Sunday service,  a couple of old biddies looked with distain and horror at the near naked heathen coming down the road.   The runner/heathen yelled up to the old gals,  "Ladies, for the last two hours, I've been closer to God than you will ever be." 

Along the lines of the Higdon story…
A riding buddy of mine Wayne DuBois told me once how to justify missing Sunday services for a ride. -  “I’m pretty sure the good Lord would rather I be on my bike thinking about him than sitting in church thinking about my bike!”
From Ray Olfky (Centerville, OH)
From Bill Blewett U. of Oklahoma

 I like the quote of Abe Lemons, the Oklahoma City University basketball coach and humorist who once said, "track is the easiest sport to  coach.  Just tell the runners to bear left and hurry back."

From Stephen Fisher,  
Yes, that sounds like Abe Lemons. He also said, in my hearing, "No, I don't jog. I wanna be sick when I die." Some time after that Billy Tubbs got his ass nearly killed running on  a Norman, OK  road, but I think Abe was referring to actual illness. Runners are too healthy.

These quotes from Abe Lemons are so good, I had to look up some more to include.

"One day of practice is like one day of clean living. It doesn't do you any good."
"I told [Johnny] Bench once, 'If you had come with me, you could be the principal of a high school by now'."                                                   
"Coaches are creatures of habit. I knew a coach who got a deal going where his players had to run a mile in six minutes. I asked why. He said, 'gut check'."                                                   

From John Bork  1961 NCAA 880 Champion at Western Michigan.

George the best track and field quote I remember was by John Telford of Wayne State University,who made a USA team and toured Europe
in 1959 or thereabouts.

When he was participating in a "clinic" he was asked how he ran the 400.
John's response was "I start out all out and then gradually build up the speed".

My favorite sports quote was in the aftermath of Mark Spitz' 6 gold medal preformance. at the Munich Games.
When a reporter asked another Swimmer who won a single Gold medal  from USC, what he thought about Spitz'
amazing performance he said "It could have happened to a nicer guy!" 

The craziest story I heard was before the 1972 Olympic Games. As I remember it  the AAU Committee was meeting and were dolling out
positions for the 1971 Team management and coaching positions. When someone nominated Eldon Fix, who was from a small Oregon school and was a long time AAU "plugger" was nominated for head coach: 
But, Olympic Coach for 1972 - Bill Bowerman, shot up out of his chair and said "You can't choose Eldon Fix, He's a potato head!!
The guys on either side of Coach Bowerman, tried to restain him and get him back into his chair.
So, much for Bowerman's disdain for AAU croniism !

George: I had a super polite girl I coached in High School cross country. When she would pass someone during race she would say EXCUSE ME!!

I also had a boy scout, my  number two runner on the  team.  In one meet he came in toward the back of the pack. I came up to him after the race wondering what had happened. He showed me with excitement his collection of praying mantis insects all over his jersey that he collected during the race for a school project !!

Quote: My Dad thought that the only reason to do Track and Field is to Win. If not “you might as well stay home and work.” He said that “Run For Fun” sh.t is for losers.

My father would go to the track with me occasionally to watch and time me ,in the summer when I was home from college. One day Dad said some cat he worked with  said he could beat him in  a sprint. They were going to race on lunch break in a alley at General Motors. So Dad said would I time him for a 100 yard dash. He was wearing slip on canvas Vans like shoes.  With a standing start he ran 10.9 hand timed. He was a chain smoker, coughed for 10 mins. I said you better walk some. He said he was waiting for his ass to catch up with him. Dad was WWII seabee. He was 56 at the time.s!!



Phil Scott



This from an Aussie website:  How's the nipples Mate?"
        "Fantastic..they are the only part of me that doesn't hurt"
        Conversation after the 10km event at the Noosa Half Marathon
This was  purloined from the internet.  I had to wade through a lot of inspirational, syrupy tripe.  This one got through the filter.


If you run 100 miles a week, you can eat anything you want -- Why? Because
(a) you'll burn all the calories you consume,
(b) you deserve it, and
(c) you'll be injured soon and back on a restricted diet anyway.
--Don Kardong

Here is a link to some digital age track humor.  I think we ran this one a few months ago.  number 5 definitely is material for a blonde joke.   http://www.buzzfeed.com/skarlan/25-things-only-track-and-field-runners-can-underst-82j3
The inspiration for this exercise came from the list of football hockey and baseball quips below.

"Last year we couldn't win at home and we were losing on the road. My failure as a coach was that I couldn't think of anyplace else to play."
- Harry Neale, professional hockey coach
"Blind people come to the ballpark just to listen to him pitch."
- Reggie Jackson commenting on Tom Seaver
"I'm working as hard as I can to get my life and my cash to run out at the same time.  If I can just die after lunch Tuesday, everything will be perfect."
- Doug Sanders, professional golfer
"All the fat guys watch me and say to their wives, 'See, there's a fat guy doing okay.  Bring me another beer.'"
- Mickey Lolich, Detroit Tigers Pitcher
"When it's third and ten, you can have the milk drinkers; I'll take the whiskey drinkers every time."
- Max McGee, Green Bay Packers receiver
"I found out that it's not good to talk about my troubles.  Eighty percent of the people who hear them don't care and the other twenty percent are glad you're having them."
- Tommy LaSorda, LA Dodgers manager
"My theory is that if you buy an ice-cream cone and make it hit your mouth, you can learn to play tennis. If you stick it on your forehead, your chances aren't as good."
- Vic Braden, tennis instructor
"When they operated, I told them to add in a Koufax fastball.  They did – but unfortunately it was Mrs. Koufax's."
- Tommy John N.Y. Yankees, recalling his 1974 arm surgery
"I don't know. I only played there for nine years."
- Walt Garrison, Dallas Cowboys fullback when asked if Tom Landry ever smiles
"We were tipping off our plays.  Whenever we broke from the huddle, three backs were laughing and one was pale as a ghost."
- John Breen, Houston Oilers
"The film looks suspiciously like the game itself."
- Bum Phillips, New Orleans Saints, after viewing a lopsided loss to Atlanta Falcons
"When I'm on the road, my greatest ambition is to get a standing boo."
- Al Hrabosky, major league relief pitcher
"I have discovered in 20 years of moving around the ball park, that the knowledge of the game is usually in inverse proportion to the price of the seats."
- Bill Veeck, Chicago White Sox owner
"Because, if it didn't work out, I didn't want to blow the whole day."
- Paul Horning, Green Bay Packers running back on why his marriage ceremony was before noon.
"I have a lifetime contract.      That means I can't be fired during the third quarter if we're ahead and moving the ball."
- Lou Holtz, Arkansas football coach
"I won't know until my barber tells me on Monday."
- Knute Rockne, when asked why Notre Dame had lost a game.
"I tell him 'Attaway to hit, George.'"
- Jim Frey, K.C. Royals manager when asked what advice he gives George Brett on hitting
"I learned a long time ago that 'minor surgery' is when they do the operation on someone else, not you."
- Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers
"Our biggest concern this season will be diaper rash."
- George MacIntyre, Vanderbilt football coach surveying the team roster that included 26 freshmen and 25 sophomores.
"The only difference between me and General Custer is that I have to watch the films on Sunday."
- Rick Venturi, Northwestern football coach
And my favorite, which I can really identify with, is:
"My knees look like they lost a knife fight with a midget."
- E.J. Holub, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker regarding his 12 knee operations 


Monday, November 18, 2013

Vol. 3 No. 71 More on Non Collegiate Competition

In previous postings we've been discussing delayed entry rules of the NCAA and how it affects athletes who do not go directly into university after high school or who seem to be getting some advantage from play in church leagues or against professionals in non collegiate competition.  One of the things I brought up was how military teams during WWII used college players who were in the service and how it affected their eligibility in those days. It seemed possible that some could have gotten 8 years of eligibility and come out with a Phd.   I don't know if any went that far.   Bill Schnier answered this question in part , but he has now added some further information.  I know that this applies to football rather than track and field, but it is still an interesting situation and a part of our history.    Also let's not forget that a lot of guys went into the service after college careers and continued to run on military teams and participate in Conseil Internationale du Sport Militaire  (CISM)  international meets that in some races resembled a world cup or world championship type event back in the 50's 60's and 70's.  One runner who was 'discovered' in the military and then went to university  was Adolph Plummer who eventually set the world record in the 440 yards while at the U. of New Mexico.

Here is Bill's additional information about the Great Lakes Naval Station teams out of Chicago.

    I have no idea whether college players avoided combat by playing football, but I do know that bases such as Great Lakes Naval Station and Quantico Marines wanted strong teams to indicate a strong military.  College football was far more popular than pro football then so this provided a natural stage.  Otto Graham played there as did many others such as Marion Motley.  It was a time when black players played on those military teams which also helped to integrate college teams afterwards.  Otto Graham had played at Northwestern before going to GLNS then the Cleveland Browns.  
   Paul Brown was the coach at Massillon Washington HS (Paul Brown Stadium) then Ohio State.  He entered the service as a coach and got a guarantee from OSU that his job would be available upon returning after the war.  When the war ended he instead opted to go to the pros.  The Cleveland Rams had gone to Los Angeles so he started a new team in Cleveland which he named after himself.  With many of the stars from Great Lakes Naval Station, the Browns were immediate successes, a trend which lasted well into the 1970s.  Since then they have fallen on hard times and even fled Cleveland to go to Baltimore.  A new team is now in Cleveland, also called the Browns.

From Steve Price.    Really enjoyed all the pap re; N.C.A.A. rules and "out of school" competitions. The runners who competed for the Kettering Striders probably broke some of those rules hundreds of times. Only good fortune prevented them from being caught. I know that I was always involved in some type of flap with the high schools as to who can compete, where, and when. Everybody wants to be in control don't they !

Steve,    The Kettering Striders were an organization which was ahead of its time, doing much of their work before high school teams for girls had been established.  In the early KS days there were few or no HS teams so there was no real problem.  When HS teams began to proliforate in the early 1970s, the KS were at odds with them and had to be dealt with.  I remember talking with you at the time about these controversies with high schools and coaches and was very glad I was at a school (Trotwood-Madison).  I understood schools and did not really understand clubs although I certainly was a spectator as well as a member of the KS.  
   It appeard to me at the time that eventually your girls would prefer their school teams, especially when they got good coaches and good teams which eventually happened.  Once that happened there was not nearly the need for the KS club so it eventually disappeared, especially after you left to go to UD & BGSU.  Ironically you left a club and went to a school, much like your girls did.  All of this reminds me of the Women's Professional Baseball League of "A League of Their Own" fame.  Once the major leaguers returned from war, the women's league was not as necessary and faded a few years later.  None of this diminishes the women's baseball players nor the T&F clubs but instead enhances their contribution.  In essence schools and baseball saw a good thing and emulated it.  You were a pioneer.  Enough said!nn  Bill Schnier

 George: (From John Bork, Jr.)

I'm passing this blog on to my Western Michigan Coach, Geroge Dales, who was a P.T. Instructor at Great Lakes during WWII and then served on a Cruiser/Destroyer in some of the most ferocious naval battles of WWII. 
Coach Dales was the youngest Chief Petty Office in the Navy in WWII

Coach Dales may be able to fill us in on the Great Lakes P.T and atheltic programs during WWII.

I plan to visit Coach Dales in December when he comes out to S.Calif. to visit his daughters in Costa Mesa.

John Bork

Here is a link to a blog about Notre Dame playing a professional studded GLNS baseball team during the war. http://tomandkatehickeyfamilyhistory.blogspot.ca/2013/08/notre-dame-and-my-father-play-major.html

m:  Richard Trace        Great Lakes could have won the pennant!

From George Brose;
One case, more modern,  that just came to mind is that of Bob Schul, the 1964  5,000 meter Olympic champion.  ln his autobiography he mentions that he did not attend college right out of high school, but instead, worked in a factory for a year.   There probably wasn't much opportunity for a 4:30 high school miler to run in any open or road races then in the Dayton, Ohio area.  Bob then went to Miami of Ohio for a couple of years and made significant gains but left for the Air Force before graduating.  In the Air Force he worked a regular military schedule but trained after hours with some other good runners at his base including Max Truex.  I'm not sure if this is when he connected with Igloi.  After the Air Force he came back to Miami and ran for them for a season and trained through a hard winter outdoors for the indoor racing season.  He eventually had some disagreements with the school about where he could compete and left the program.  But there was nothing that the NCAA did about restricting his eligibility.    Bob, if you are reading this and have corrections to make, contact me.

Les Hegedus who was a three time All American in the College Division of the NCAA back in the 60's did not go to school right after high school, but he did compete for the Cleveland Magyar Club for a year where he developed his talent.   Subsequently he was discovered by the Central State coach Dave Youngblade  and offered a scholarship to run.

 The real grumbling in the ranks began when Houston and several other Texas schools and Oklahoma City University started having success with older Aussie imports.   The Aussie Athletics Association also grumbled on their side saying the American schools were draining their nation of talent and put a ban on their own athletes going overseas to compete for US universities.    Good Irish runners such as Ron Delaney and Noel Carroll were already in US universities but the Irish powers that be took a different view of their talent drain.  Then by the late 60's American coaches discovered the Kenyans and Tanzanians.   Getting secondary school education in English in their own countries made the transition to the US somewhat easier, compared to recruiting in Ethiopia.  The recruiting wars overseas began, and eventually the age restrictions etc.  began appearing in the rules.  More aggressive coaches were always looking for an advantage, and as they found them,  other coaches would complain and lobby for rules to change.  Now it seems that we have arrived at the point that the NCAA has imposed a lot of restrictions on outside competition, but it applies  mainly to sports that the NCAA is less and less interested in supporting.  Most of our readers seem to feel that in football and basketball schools can get away with a lot more serious wrong doing and suffer less severe penalties, because they bring a lot of revenue into the NCAA coffers. 

George: I became a member of the Kettering Striders age 14 and immediately was at odds with my H.S. I was victim or maybe an over achiever when it came to track and field  and my interest in becoming better. Steve Price and Kettering Striders filled the void that my High School did not offer. I was  looked down on by my high School coaches because I was a traitor not representing the school in open summer AAU meets and indoor meets. Without becoming bitter all over again in my old age, I used those weird athletic experiences to overcome a lot of obstacles that life as thrown my way! WOW I said that!!! Drinking coffee after 6 P.M. does wonders! lol
Phil Scott

V 11 N. 3 "Quicksilver: The Mercurial Emil Zatopek" by Pat Butcher, a Book Review by Paul O'Shea

When we come across books to review, we know that there is a particular skill set needed to be fair and honest and at the same time literary...