He said what had happened was that he got bored. "I got bored with the pace. I didn't really know much about the South when I got here and I thought, 'Man, what a slow pace.' Things were going backward, it was so slow. I had planned to go out for the Louisville soccer team. I had played soccer in high school and prep school. I got down here and went out for the soccer team and discovered there was no soccer team. Like, what am I going to do now?"
At prep school he had punted, also barefoot, and once kicked a 52-yard field goal. For that he used a shoe. He lost some of his enthusiasm for punting at Cheshire when an opposing player (in cleats) ran across his bare foot and took out a divot that required seven stitches to close. It was left for Lee Corso to re-fire his enthusiasm.
"The fact is." Marcus said, "athletics turn me on. Besides being a grub at heart—you can tell by my clothes I'm a grub—I'm also a jock at heart. My father was the same way. He played everything at Lehigh—football, basketball, tennis. He still plays a lot of tennis. He was ranked sixth in the East in the 35-and-over class.
"He happens to be a pretty cool guy, my father. That's another thing I can't stand. People who always say, 'My father's a clod.' Listen, my brother has hair longer than mine. He wears a hair band all the time. My father doesn't let it bug him. Later on I'm going to join my father in the shoe business. Him and my uncle. My uncle designs the shoes. He sold 1,500 pairs to Jordan Marsh in an hour one day.
"What I'd like to do is be a professional kicking specialist in the fall and then sell shoes in the winter and summer. Cool. Coach Corso says I could be a pro kicker if the realization ever dawned on me. I don't know if it's dawned on me or not.
"The thing about athletics, though, is that they involve everything. Body, mind, spirit. You can be...you know, competitive. I dig it, that's all. I really dig it. I don't mind sitting around and rapping with the philosophy majors and like that, but I'm not hung up in one world or the other. I mean, I'm not a conformer and I'm not a nonconformer. Who is to say what 'the Establishment' really is?
"Some of the guys want to know why I'm not out with the freaks all the time. The freaks want to know how I can stand all this other stuff. I hear both sides. "Grass is great!' 'Oh, my, how could you take grass?' Hearing both sides is good."
Marcus says his extravagant image has actually caused him very little grief. "The players don't hassle me. They gave me the up-and-down the first day—those animals lined up looking at me, like 'What have we here? The supreme bummer'—and they call me Harpo and Lion and like that, but they don't hassle me. I mean, I don't go out of my way to embarrass them. When we take a road trip I break out my John Dillinger outfit, the three-button brown suit with 1920 tie-up boots and the wide-brimmed Capone hat and the elephant-leg bell-bottoms. I make an appearance. They like that one.
"Everybody said I'd have to conform at Lambda Chi, that frats make everybody the same. It's not so. They don't hassle me either. I hear at some schools they take you and hold you down and cut your hair off. That's like childish. They had a cheer for me at Southern Illinois when we played up there. 'Cut your hair, 67, cut your hair!' It was a pretty good cheer, actually."
Marcus said he didn't take to Louisville at first.