"I will not
talk to you."
"Well, in that
case," I said, "we don't have any other choice but to retire." And
out of the corner of my eye I saw Frank do a slow die. This was not supposed to
is up to you."
Outside, Frank and
I looked at each other and laughed. It was done. Frank made a circle with his
thumb and forefinger and gestured at me as he said, "Good plan,
"Uh, uh, I'm
absolved," I said. "It was your plan. And thanks for the help. You were
a real eagle in there."
"I was about
to jump in and slaughter Sid with reason, but you were doing so well. Ugh. Are
you kidding? I think if we had stayed another minute you would have thrown your
arms around Sid and condemned me."
On the second day
of our retirement Frank visited my wife and myself and informed us that he had
decided to return to camp and reopen negotiations. He spent the night at our
apartment and had already left by the time we awoke the next morning. The story
goes that at 5 a.m. Coach Gillman was awakened by a light tapping at his door;
it was Frank knocking on Sid's door with a pen. Still, Frank ended up with a
good contract and would never really have to grow fond of an occasional dinner
of "a grape...a glass of water and half a macaroon." But, I still don't
think he was cut out for all that plotting. For that matter, neither was my
wife Pat. On the day of Frank's visit a newscaster called my apartment for a
statement. Pat, explaining my absence, told the man that Frank and I were
working out, thus somewhat shaking the credibility of our retirement.
Now, I relate this
isolated incident to the mass football-labor movement because I believe that
the same emotional drive that inspired Frank and me to walk out motivates the
mass of football players to have a propensity, a desire, to strike. We are
physical people. We get results by physical expression, and it is of general
truth that other forms of expression are not likely to be as satisfying. In
other words, an act must be performed to show our disdain.
conversations Frank and I confided in each other that each was hoping that an
agreement would not be reached with Coach Gillman at that time. There it was:
we wanted to walk out of camp. We wanted that brief glowing satisfaction that
comes with telling the dictating powers that you are fed up, that you don't
need them, that you are tired of compromising, that they can keep their little
football. Rhetoric is so much nonsense. One's sincerity is judged by one's
acts. Hit 'em: walk out, strike. And, Lord, it feels good.