says Mossie today, shuddering at the recollection of Manning's presentation,
"the Lautsches, very delightful people, offered us a refreshment. Now, it
would have been better if they had offered us lemonade, but they happened to be
civilized human beings and offered us alcohol, and I said, 'Oh, I'd love one!'
My theory is, don't insult our hosts. But Red says, 'No, none for me. I'll have
Lautsch says, 'Just a glass of wine?' So Red says, 'Well, all right, I'll have
a little wine.' Later, we're driving back to Pittsburgh and Red is very quiet.
Finally he says, 'Well, I only took a few sips of my wine, but I noticed you
finished your whole drink.' And then he says, 'That's all right, I guess these
are things we have to tolerate.' "
indeed tolerate them, for without Walt Lautsch he would have no big man today,
and Lautsch himself says, "Really, Mossie was the one who sold my mother
and dad, just by making himself at home and yelling at us in that immense voice
For all his
ability as a recruiter, Mossie Murphy is accorded none of the deference coaches
customarily show their active alumni. When Mossie visits the gymnasium to watch
the Dukes practice, Manning does not permit him to speak to the players.
But Mossie is
accustomed to having Duquesne authorities slap, kick and deflate him as though
he were the beach ball he resembles, for he has been receiving such treatment
since he was a Duquesne freshman. At that time Duquesne had no cheerleaders, a
lack which distressed the team. Consequently, a player named Fletcher Johnson
turned to Mossie in the school cafeteria one day and said: "You're the
bigmouth around here. Why don't you become our cheerleader?"
Mossie asked the
athletic department to buy him a cheerleading sweater but was promptly turned
down. He bought his own. He then drafted five assistants, persuaded the student
government and an alumnus to buy sweaters for them, but quickly fired three of
them for insufficient vigor. Shortly thereafter he was restricted to campus by
a faculty priest after a nurse in the dispensary reported that he had barged in
and dragged out a sick lad—one of his two remaining assistants—to lead
Later that season
Mossie was again restricted to campus for having drawn his initials in the
fresh cement of a girls' dormitory then under construction. Going AWOL, he
sneaked off to Dayton to lead cheers. The announcer broadcasting the game back
to Pittsburgh thoughtfully noted Mossie's presence and said hello to his mother
for him. The priests, of course, were listening.
Mossie bounded to a courtside press table and denounced a sportswriter who had
been critical of the Dukes, then coached by the popular Dudey Moore. The next
morning Moore summoned him to reward him for fidelity. "Listen,
Murphy," growled Moore, "I've spent a lot of time and effort
cultivating these newspaper people and I'm not going to let a young punk
cheerleader ruin it."
undergraduate days Red Manning, then Moore's freshman coach, repeatedly advised
his frosh: "Never loaf with that big, fat loudmouth or you'll get thrown
out of school for sure." Having paid for his own cheerleading sweater,
Mossie also had to pay his way into the games, inasmuch as his student
activities card entitled him to see only half the home schedule. And when the
time came for him to graduate his mother received a telephone call from the
athletic director's office.
will not receive his degree until he returns that sweater," she was