Saturday, August 30, 2014

Vol 4 No. 57 Various and Sundry Items and Corrections.

While waiting for the proofreading to be completed on our next Olympic piece, there are a number of subjects to relate to our readers.   I realize that this news is more 'modern' than we usually report, but be patient with us.

Franz Stampfl

The following correction came to us regarding our posting on Franz Stampfl  Vol. 3 No. 73.

Hi, it's great that you spoke about Franz Stampfl here on your blog. Just wanted to let you know that the photo you have of him at the head of the Athletics Australia citation is actually of Otto Stampfl, his younger brother, and was taken by our photographer during our interview with Otto in Austria in 2011 for a documentary we are currently filming about Franz. The photographer was Ingo Folie. The documentary website is - in case you or your readers might be interested in knowing more about Franz's story and his athletes.

Best regards,

Sally McLean
A Life Unexpected: The Man Behind The Miracle Mile
Finish Line Films Pty Ltd
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 

Our apologies Ms. McLean and best wishes for the completion of your film. We have removed the picture of Otto Stampfl.  ed.

Dear George,

Thank you so much for posting that correction with my message and the link to the website - it is most appreciated.  Otto does look a lot like Franz did in his final years, so we're seeing that photo appear credited as Franz in a few places!

I was delighted to find your blog as I am spending a lot of time in the 1950's and 1960's due to the research for the documentary and immersing myself in the period as a result.  I loved reading that you checked his book out so many times from the library during your time as a high school runner.  Did you know that Franz was involved in setting up Olympic training programs in both the USA and Canada during the 1950's?  We're hoping travel to both countries to interview anyone who might have coached with Franz during that period once we raise the necessary funds  (particularly from 1957 when he set up the Canadian Olympic Training Plan under the auspices of the Royal Canadian Legion in Toronto alongside coaches Don Canham and Dave Rankin).  If you learn of anyone from that time who might be a good contact - feel free to pass them onto us!

Thank you again for putting up that correction and for pointing people to the site.

Best regards,


Jim Thorpe and Louis Zamperini

ernie cunliffe

Aug 8

Stumbled on a movie, They died with their boots On, about Custer of course but in the cast I noted that
Louis Zamperini played a soldier in the movie although he was uncredited.   I have seen the movie
years ago and would not recognize any soldier other than Errol Flynn.

Pete Brown

Aug 8

I did not know that about Zamperini, but USC had a pretty good pipeline into Hollywood.

Yesterday I chatted with Jim Donovan who wrote the best book ever on Custer fight: A TERRIBLE GLORY. It’s very much worth buying and reading.

 How did you figure out he was in that movie?   Was it mentioned in another article?
Jim Thorpe after they made the film about his life with Burt Lancaster, was befriended by the 
director and given some very minor roles in other films by that same director.  I noticed him in a
prison scene with James Cagney in White Heat. This may even predate the film about Thorpe. 
I remember seeing that film when I was in elementary school.  There was a line in it that Thorpe
Lancaster said, he didn't work out, he just imagined he was working out.  Early use of visualization.  You can go to youtube and type in James Cagney White Heat and the prison scene will come up.  Jim is easy to identify.

They died with their Boots On was on TV.   I was curious as to who was in the cast other than the leads
whose names I recognized.   I googled the movie and picked one site that listed the cast.   Louis
was way down at the bottom as they went by alphabetical order.  He was a soldier but I didn't
recognize him as I didn't actually watch the movie.   Maybe next time.   Also he was not credited
in the movie cast listing on TV.
Jim Thorpe was also IN  They died with their boots on.   Played an indian of course, but was uncredited also.

 James Cagney - White Heat
USC  Michigan State   Yale Triangular Meet 1950

Dennis (Kavanaugh)  found this article in the LB Press Telegram on the first major college track meet I attended, 64 yeas ago in the LA Coliseum, with my father, Merwin R. Brown. Jim Fuchs of Yale set a WR in the shot put and of course and got my attention right away. Then Bob Pruitt of USC won the 880 and Sim Iness, also of SC, won the discus.

Bob would become my 6th grade teacher that fall and Sim was my coach at Porterville JC in the spring of 1959 after winning a gold medal in the Helsinki OG. It was beautiful day with a good crowd of 15,000---the meet insured I would be a track fan for life.

Note the same day Occidental College was running well in the Drake Relays in Des MoinesIowa.

Pete Brown

Eric Finan, University Cincinnati graduate and Big East CC runner of the year in 2012 ran his first sub four minute mile this year.  In his blog he recently mentioned a good friend Steve Price former Bowling Green State U. coach and currently an assistant at Findlay University.

"A good friend, amazing coach, and even better mentor, Steve Price, once told me that it never mattered how great one workout was, only how many good workouts one could string together.  As I reflect upon the last 4-5 months, I see myself on the former side of that statement, but certainly working towards the latter."

Here is Eric's blog address:

On the opposite end of the spectrum of US college track and field , here is an article published by a Temple University student paper covering the history of an ongoing controversy involving harassment of an athlete by a coach, loss of scholarship, and general malaise of a program and its administration.    If the allegations are true, I find this type of behavior both by a coach and an athletic department very disconcerting.   It is a long article.  I wonder if any of our readers experienced this type of coaching and admin behavior back in the day, or are our athletes today just more aware of their rights as human beings?  Do the NCAA rules make this type of coach/athlete relations possible if not acceptable?

"My experience was totally the opposite of that experienced by the Temple athletes.  My coach, Jack Landrum, was extremely interested in the welfare of his athletes, coached them seriously, emphasized a team spirit yet had high expectations.  I believe that the situation at Temple was very unusual but the way it was handled was rather typical:  sweep the problem under the rug and hope it goes away.  I am absolutely sure that most athletics directors want two things about of their T&F coaches:  (1) stay under budget and (2) solve your own problems."        Bill Schnier

"Our coaches at Oklahoma (Bill Carroll, John Jacobs, and J.D. Martin) were both encouraging, humorous, and fair.  If you got in trouble for misdeed, you usually were forgiven and allowed to make amends.  There was no petty stuff between athletes and coaches.  If someone gave up a scholarship it was voluntary.  A few  slackers hung around and should have had them pulled, but it never happened to my knowledge.  George Brose

Matthew Busche,  former Luther College Cross Country All American participated in his first Tour de France this Year.  He finished 88th overall in the 21 day ride, several times being in the breakaways during various stages.   He rode for UCI Pro Team Trek.  He took up cycling as a form or cross training in 2005.

Matthew Busche in the black racing suit.  Breakaway on Stage 7 of the 2014 Tour de France

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