As I told you, West Side Story was marvelous and it was a great thrill to see my first Broadway show. I plan to see many, many more.
Murray, this pro football is the greatest challenge of my life. I want to make good so bad I can taste it. I'm going to hit the weights in the off season and bulk up so I can take the punishment those big burly linemen have to dish out. I can't wait to throw my first pass to Frank Gifford, Kyle Rote and Alex Webster. Those guys are fantastic receivers.
As for school, I guess I'll have to come back and get my degree after the season because I don't see how I can possibly graduate in June. I've lost too many credits by transferring around. I hope to continue studying dramatics. The future holds a great deal for me and I'm excited about the prospect of pro ball. It's great to feel this way because now I have something to work for, and like I've said: "You've gotta have a dream."
By the time of his next letter, a fortnight later, football had been, temporarily at least, completely obliterated from Lee's mind by the impact of another event. Although he completed 14 out of 26 passes for his old friend Cactus Jack in the Senior Bowl (an All-Star college game played annually in Mobile, Ala., by players who are college athletes who have completed their eligibility and are paid for playing), that
performance was eclipsed by what he did immediately after the game:
January 5, 1959
Guess what? I'm engaged—yeh, me the wandering bachelor. Boy, I really lost my head in a weak moment and blew my entire Senior Bowl check on a diamond ring. Wow! Still can't get over it. Just think, I'm giving up all the bliss of bachelorhood and plunging into the state of holy matrimony! I know: "Marriage is an institution and they lock people up in institutions," but gee, I'm in love and they say love conquers all. I've been fighting it for a year now, but finally I find that this gal (Sue Hancock is her name) is too much to fight. She's just the livin' end, that's all. Beautiful face, healthy body, talented, athletic, artistic and she loves me. And I love her too much for words.
I'm happy as hell to be home, engaged and using Ponds or however that silly commercial goes. See what I mean about being punchy. The post-season games were a million laughs and I loved traveling around, eating good and seeing so many new and exciting faces. The Senior Bowl game was great fun and I loved playing behind that big line and running a pro offense. Really gave me a world of confidence and I think I'm going to love pro football more than anything. Just think, no more defense, optioning huge ends or throwing cross-body blocks with my bony ribs. Just pass, hand off, call signals and run only when I absolutely have to. Let's hope the Giants don't adopt the split-T starting next year.
Bumped into Otto Graham in Atlanta and he wants me on his College All-Star squad this summer and, if he meant what he says, that could be very nice. My arm will be back in top shape by then and I'll be "whipping" that ball again (pro coaches call it "driving" the ball, I call it "whipping." "Driving," "whipping," vots da difference?) At any rate I haven't been "driving" or "whipping" the ball since my injury and I'm looking forward to the time when I can once more put the "magic touch" on the ball. Notice how I'm dropping all these cute phrases on you tonight? See, Murray, I'm becoming affected. Success is spoiling "Rock Grosscup." I've even become aware of all the nicknames since I've been at Utah. I've been called "The man with the golden arm," "Bambi," "The slender splinter" (counterpart of my baseball idol Ted Williams who is the "splendid splinter" and sometimes "spitter") and I've been referred to as the "gross" output of Utah's football team. See, Murray, it's going to my head. Just so no one calls me "late for dinner" I don't really care, and I don't care what people say about me just as long as they keep talking. Yes, egomania is definitely setting in—within six months I'll be in Hollywood if this keeps up. Save me Dr. Olderman from this life of possible debauchery. Boy, I must be in love, or drunk, or something.
So that about wraps up the latest on your frustrated flinger for a while since I've once more typed myself into oblivion in the wee small hours of the morning and if I'm going to hit the weights tomorrow I must proceed to Sackville.
January 22, 1959