Third, marked man that he is, Griffin will again benefit mightily from Ohio State's all-round running attack, a threat that makes ganging up on the Heisman hotshot "tactical suicide," as Minnesota's Moseley puts it.
And fourth, while his chief rival, Oklahoma's Joe Washington, will once more suffer from the TV ban imposed on the Sooners by the NCAA for recruiting violations, Griffin should be gaining valuable exposure points in the two Buckeye regular-season games that will be telecast nationwide this fall.
All told, Griffin's Heisman hopes seem endangered only by a pair of intangibles—prejudice and precedent. Some voters, particularly if the contest is at all close, will undoubtedly reject Griffin solely on the grounds that two Heismans are one too many for any player. And if Archie is to endure as something more than one-fifth of a trivia question, he will have to avoid injuries and other turns of fate that caused the other four players who won the award as juniors—Army's Doc Blanchard in 1945, SMU's Doak Walker in 1948, Ohio State's Vic Janowicz in 1950 and Navy's Staubach—to fade in their final seasons.
Margaret Griffin has a feeling that Archie will repeat. "When he was in high school," she says, "I saw it all in this dream. I saw Archie standing with the Heisman Trophy. I saw us standing beside him and all the people gathered around." Have there been sequels? "Well, I had the same dream more than once," she says, giving destiny a prod.
Long before the double features, way back in the barefoot days of Hatfield Bottom, Margaret Griffin had another dream—a home in the green suburbs. How that became a reality evolves, as do all things with the Griffins, from the resourcefulness of the patriarch, who says, "Every time I made one dollar God fixed it so I'd make the next one."
Sometimes in wondrous ways. Several years ago, James Sr. relates, while working the sanitation truck in an exclusive section of town, "I found some stock-market pamphlets in the trash of this older, retired fellow, and I began reading them. I thought you had to be rich to buy stocks, but I learned different. One day I told the man—he was out gardening—that I wanted to send my kids to college. So he took me inside, called his broker and I bought two shares of Big Bear Supermarkets at $6 each." Soon James Sr. was reading
The Wall Street Journal
during breaks, buying a few shares when he could, until by 1966 his investments had earned enough to help James Jr. with his partial grant-in-aid to Muskingum and, two years later, to put a $6,000 down payment on a $28,000 dream house.
Today the Griffin's two-story stucco and brick home is a model of middle-class Middle America. There is an American eagle over the doorway, a barbecue out back and a station wagon in the driveway. The neighbors on both sides are white.
James Jr. lives just up the winding road. Larry, who is completing his master's degree in physical education while working as an instructor at the Columbus East YMCA, resides with his wife in a nearby apartment. Daryle, after a six-month tour as a second lieutenant in the Air Force Reserve, returned home this summer to take a job with Ohio Bell. And Archie, who lived in an off-campus apartment with Cornelius Greene his first three seasons, and Raymond, who rooms in an OSU dorm, meet with their brothers at the Kenview Road homestead most weekends. That is when the recreation room becomes football central, a time when James Sr. holds critiques and moves the furniture back to demonstrate the subtleties of the forearm shiver.
And it is a time to pass the praise around. James Sr. says, "Larry would have been as famous as Archie if he went to Ohio State." James Jr. says that Raymond, who will start at safety this season while waiting to take over for Archie, has "more speed, agility and finesse than any back in the country." And Archie says, along with everyone else, "Keith will be the best in the family. He and Raymond could both win the Heisman, I think."
The clinics are invariably cut short for a more pressing concern—work. Incredibly, in addition to his weekday grind at the sanitation department, the foundry and the high school, James Sr. also holds down two part-time janitorial jobs on weekends. Piling mops, buckets, brooms and assorted Heisman hopefuls into the station wagon, Griffin & Sons spend eight to 10 hours every weekend cleaning up a warehouse and a candy factory.