Beware the feather-brained football player who also has lead in his bottom—he has to be unbalanced.
Perhaps the most humorous item in gridiron history concerned famed Jim Tatum, in 1946, when he was coach at the University of Oklahoma. Pacing in front of a bench full of substitutes that November afternoon, Tatum watched Army giving his boys a 21 to 7 lesson. Close by sat punter Charlie Sarratt, his ankle sprained and his foot lodged in a bucket of ice in the wan hope of repairs to get him back in the game. Suffering with his team on the field made Tatum's throat dry. Without shifting his eyes from the play he reached down and drew Sarratt's foot out of the ice pail. While the substitutes blinked their astonishment Tatum lifted the pail, took a swig of melted ice and, still absorbed in the game, put the pail down, gently replaced Sarratt's foot and resumed his pacing.—Lawrence A. Keating, Columbia
Only one instance is on record of a kicker being told to punt on every first down. Coach Bill Alexander, of Georgia Tech, gave the order to avoid an astronomical score against a sadly out-classed opponent.
Every first down, Alexander's man kicked. But fate remained hard on the visitors, who soon fumbled on their own two yard line. Georgia Tech recovered and, true to his instructions, the back punted. That ball hasn't been seen since and the game proceeded to a rout.—Lawrence A. Keating, Columbia
At the training table luncheon before a bowl game a football player refused to eat a portion of quivering gelatin.
His explanation was to the point, "I just can't eat anything that's more nervous than I am."
"I've been asked for a reference on our last football coach," the superintendent explained to the high school principal. "Among other things I said he was lazy, disorganized, and impertinent. Isn't there something good I can write about him?"
After a moment of silence the principal offered a suggestion, "Why don't you just say he relaxes well and eats well in the best restaurants when he 'scouts' on the expense account?"—M. Dale Baughman
A football player was invited to a dance. Having been accepted by a pretty girl as a partner, it soon became evident that he didn't know even one dance step. When the music finally stopped he bowed and said: "It was lovely, and I shall always remember it."
"I don't doubt it," answered the foot-sore girl. "Elephants never forget."—Arizona Kitty Kat
"Uncle Robert, when does your football team play?"
"Football team? What do you mean, my boy?"
"Why, I heard father say that when you kicked off we'd be able to afford a big automobile.—Boston Transcript
The football player for a southern school was having trouble with his grades. Since his services were needed, he was called into the president's office for re-examination. A one-question examination was decided on. The question was, "What is the capital of Florida?" The lad sweated over the question and finally wrote "Monticello." He passed. The officials, in checking the answer, said that 100 was perfect, and Monticello is 25 miles from Tallahassee. 25 from 100 leaves 75 and 75 is passing.—Florida School Bulletin
A doctor who was a prominent alumnus, was asked to give the boys a pep talk at a rally before the first football game of the season.
The doctor was most enthusiastic. Throughout the speech he interspersed the following statements: "Give 'em hell boys ... . When you get in that game, you want to give 'em H-E-L-L."
The next speaker was a mild-mannered minister. He arose and in a small voice said, "Give them what the doctor ordered."—A.M.A. Journal
Here again is the bobtailed limerick presented in The Rotarian for November:
A quarterback speedy and strong
Hugged the football as he ran along,
But as he passed the ball,
He found no ends at all,
His aim, not his signal was wrong.—Rotarian
"I have bin coachin' at Splinter Ridge and the work ain't stiddy—they shoot you if you don't win . . . I allus train my boys on this skedule: (1) Feed 'em Mexican beans and frogs' legs to make 'em jump . . . (2) For open field runnin', I send 'em out to snatch watermelons on bright moonlight nights. In dodgin' shotgun blasts they lam in a hurry how to git—or be got' . . . (3) Fer line work, I turn 'em loose in the barnlot with a bunch of onery ol' goats. Buttin' heads is also good trainin' fer what they'll meet when they git out of college .. . (4) I give 'em a leetle cornsqueezin's in their water. Once—fer fun—the boys poured some of this squeezin's in the gas tank of my old Model T. When I cranked up, it got clean away, an' when I taut up with it, it was at the intersection darin' a Greyhound bus to cross Route 66 .. . My onlie weakness is english."—Earle Wilson, Champaign News-Gazette
After his team had lost an important game, football coach Hugh Duffy Daugherty of Michigan State told a gathering of disgruntled alumni: "I appreciate the wonderful support given me by this group I shall always treasure your telegram, 'We are with you, win or tie."—David Condon, Chicago Tribune Magazine
All sports fans know the dangers of football officials. Some have been known to suffer physical injury. One South American referee recently bought an old army tank which he uses for refuge when violence erupts.
Second thoughts are best but the quarterback seldom gets a chance to prove it.—M. Dale Baughman
Describing the campus atmosphere after his team had lost 7 straight football games, the coach said, "I didn't see any dummies where they had hanged me in effigy—I soon learned why. They were waiting for the real me."