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I SWORE I WOULD QUIT FOOTBALL
Ron Mix
September 16, 1963
That was the vow Ron Mix took in high school, but he broke it and went on to become the best offensive lineman in the AFL. He is also the best writer in professional football—a curious accolade, perhaps, but one he earns with this revealing training camp diary
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September 16, 1963

I Swore I Would Quit Football

That was the vow Ron Mix took in high school, but he broke it and went on to become the best offensive lineman in the AFL. He is also the best writer in professional football—a curious accolade, perhaps, but one he earns with this revealing training camp diary

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The coach answered my knock on his office door wearing a pair of workout shorts, no shirt. Clearly the advantage was mine. I did not believe a man in shorts could discuss business, especially with his stomach hanging over the shorts.

"Tell you what I'll do," he said. "You sign this contract, and if we win the division title and if you make All-AFL, I'll give you an extra $500."

I laughed at all those ifs.

Finally we reached a point where we were $1,000 apart. "Ron," he said, "I have too much respect for you to quibble over $1,000."

"Coach," I said, "I have too much respect for $1,000 not to quibble."

He laughed, we met halfway, and I sold my body for another year.

I checked the room list and found I would be rooming with Jacque MacKinnon. Jacque and I are good friends and get along well together. He had come into camp with the rookies to get into condition. He bounded into the room late, announcing, "The kid with the blond hair and the blue eyes and the big heart is here." He always calls himself that.

I asked him about the camp.

"Sid has really stuck it to us this time," he said. "I'm not fond of practice anyway, and this heat doesn't help, but I expect tough practice. But when they're over I want to relax, and you can't do it around here."

"What about after lunch?" I asked. "Don't you have time to relax then?"

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