Just as it took courage to admit in certain circles a few years ago that one did not understand the Wishbone, so today the Veer is making chickens of us all. Well, the time has come to own up and bone up, because the Veer will be this fall's fashionable offense. A survey taken by National Collegiate Sports Services reveals that the triple-option Veer, made famous by Bill Yeoman of Houston, has outstripped the I formation, popularized by John McKay of USC, 36-35 among major college coaches. Last year 51 schools used one version or another of the I (there are at least six of them) and only 24 the Veer.
The Veer, fans, is derived from the old Split T, in which a defensive end was not blocked and the quarterback either kept the ball or pitched out, depending on what the end did. In the Veer, neither the defensive end nor the defensive tackle is blocked, thus freeing the offensive end and tackle to block downfield, and the quarterback reacts to what the end and tackle do by keeping, pitching out or handing off to the fullback. The Veer also facilitates a drop-back passing game with the split end and flankerback as the wide receivers.
Oddly, the switch is on from I to Veer rather than I to Wishbone, the other celebrated triple-option offense, despite the fact that the 10 teams using the Wishbone last year had a higher winning percentage than those employing the Veer or I. Apparently the trouble with the Wishbone is that it requires more talent than most college teams can come up with.
Coach Bob Tyler of Mississippi State, who is planning to switch from the I to the Veer this fall, says, "You must have a minimum of four running backs for the Veer to six for the Wishbone ( Alabama used nine) and the blocking for the backs isn't as tough."
Watch this space for a pop quiz.
By profession Barney Corrigan is a golfer. He teaches and runs the pro shop at the IBM Country Club in Sands Point, N.Y., close by the edge of Long Island Sound. A year ago Corrigan began fishing for striped bass on the Sound and taking his 10-year-old son Kevin along for company. Kevin's interest tended to wane after too many hours in a small boat, so Corrigan retreated to the beach. He soon found, however, that his surfcasting form was not yet good enough to reach the rocks at the edge of Hempstead Harbor where the stripers lay in wait.
Indefatigable as only a surf fisherman after striped bass can be, Corrigan took stock of his assets and found a solution. He now tees up a yellow golf ball to which a leader, hook and bait are attached, pays out about 50 feet of line to absorb the initial shock, and with the bail open on his spinning reel, drives the ball with a three-wood.
Corrigan's average tee shot travels some 240 yards, but with a worm attached it is 180 and with a chunk of mackerel 140.