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WIN ONE FOR THE FLIPPER
Tom C. Brody
August 08, 1966
A cheer that would verge upon sacrilege at Notre Dame makes sense in Miami, where razzle-dazzle publicity and an All-America linebacker are helping to launch the AFL's newest team
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August 08, 1966

Win One For The Flipper

A cheer that would verge upon sacrilege at Notre Dame makes sense in Miami, where razzle-dazzle publicity and an All-America linebacker are helping to launch the AFL's newest team

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As for Emanuel himself, the term most often used to describe him was "intense." By Thursday before a game he was no more talkative than the two turtles he kept as pets. A ringing phone, a slamming door or just the mention of his name would send him leaping out of his chair. "They used to call me Punchy," says Emanuel, "and I guess they had good reason. The guys would tease me by coming up behind me and clapping their hands. Boy, I'd really jump. It was just that I was thinking so hard about the coming game I'd get lost in myself, and I'd trained myself so hard to react quickly that any little thing could set me jumping."

His preparations for a game were as consuming as the playing of it. A nightly session with game films was not just a casual study of the situation but a period of deep concentration. "I was looking for anything that would give me a clue," says Emanuel. "You'd be surprised how many players have little mannerisms that give them away."

Once Emanuel spotted a guard at Kentucky who had the habit of lining up with either his left or right leg pulled slightly back, depending on where the play was going. Emanuel watched that leg and made 26 tackles, 17 of them unassisted. Four came in a row at the goal line when the score was tied in the third quarter. The next time Kentucky got the ball Emanuel intercepted a pass, and Tennessee went on to score the winning touchdown. "It was right there," said one pro scout a few months later, "that I got the feeling Emanuel could solve all of our linebacking problems for the next 10 years."

It will all be a lot easier for the Miami Dolphins if that pro scout was right about Frank Emanuel.

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