The first warning was the concern in the voices of his teammates. You have scheduled an interview with Grey Ruegamer, Arizona State's eccentric center, and his fellow Sun Devils are acting as if you've made a dinner date with Hannibal Lecter. "Good luck," says tight end Kendrick Bates.
Yes, Ruegamer comes with a reputation. On the field the 6'5", 304-pound senior is a punishing run blocker who also provides outstanding pass protection. Arizona State coach Bruce Snyder has likened Ruegamer, a consensus preseason All-America, to former Pro Bowl lineman Conrad Dobler, who was notorious for his intense style of play.
But Ruegamer's on-field behavior is genteel compared to his life away from football. This summer a family friend asked Ruegamer, who grew up on a ranch in Montana, to help castrate his large herd of sheep. Ruegamer agreed, not knowing that the castrations were to be done in the Basque tradition in which ranchers use their teeth in lieu of a knife because it is supposed to be less painful for the sheep. "I was a little leery of indulging in the testicle festival, but then I said, 'Hey, what the f—,' " says Ruegamer.
Over a weekend Ruegamer and two others performed oral surgery on some 1,400 rams, and he has the stomach-churning pictures to prove it. "It felt like trying to fish peeled grapes out of a bowl of Jell-O with nothing but your teeth," Ruegamer says. "Only it tasted a little saltier."
McNabb Soars As Orange Falls
Syracuse's 34-33 loss to Tennessee may have dampened Orange quarterback Donovan McNabb's Heisman hopes, but it shouldn't have. He created one big play after another. "Half their offense," Volunteers defensive coordinator John Chavis said after the Vols' win, "came on plays where the average quarterback would have been on the ground."
...Oregon State routed Nevada 48-6; the 42-pofnt winning margin was the Beavers' biggest in 22 years. What was more impressive was that Oregon State won without its defensive star, end Inoke Breckterfield, suspended after he was arrested for disorderly conduct....
Either there's a lot of indecision about who's good in the SEC, or there's a bad case of grade inflation by writers partial to the conference. In the latest AP poll, 11 of 12 SEC teams received votes....
No one enjoyed Grambling's 11-0 victory over Alcorn State more than Doris Robinson. After watching the Tigers for more than 50 years, she finally got to sit through a game with her husband, retired Grambling coaching legend Eddie. "It's a treat and a privilege we've earned," she said.
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