- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Before a recent Yankee-Oriole game, New York Mayor Abe Beame bet five gallons of Manhattan clam chowder on his team, while Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer wagered the same amount of Maryland crab soup on the Orioles.
The Birds won and Schaefer set about lauding crab soup ( Babe Ruth "used to soak his bat in it," he said, and H.L. Mencken drank it before writing epigrams) and making fun of the Manhattan chowder ("It has never been known to inspire even a chemist, but I realize it's the best they've got").
Beame not only failed to show up for the game—he had said he would—but he has not yet defended the honor of Manhattan chowder nor has he paid off his losing wager. A Schaefer aide pooh-poohed Beame's excuse for his tardiness: "It was something about how busy he had been because of an electrical blackout in New York City. A likely story."
" Coach Bryant always told us that education came first," said Alabama football player Tommy Parkerson. Indeed, that phrase was being repeated often after Bear Bryant was forced the other day to ax nine players from his team, including Parkerson, in order to get down to the new NCAA limit of 95 scholarship athletes.
Bryant called the decision the hardest in his 32-year coaching career. But to Alabama's credit, the university did offer academic scholarships to the players who received pink slips—providing they were deemed qualified.
Said Bryant in a form letter to the Nixed Nine: "I sincerely hope that your experience as a University of Alabama football player will in some small way be helpful throughout your life." Certainly the athletes learned life can be a jungle and that promises cannot always be kept. But Parkerson, who accepted an academic scholarship, was philosophical: "I am not going to let this ruin my life. I can live without football."
THE SECOND TIME AROUND
Shreveport's Baptist Christian College opened in 1960. By 1974 it considered itself ready to play college football. After its first six games Baptist Christian had been edged by a cumulative score of 334-0. Then it went on to fashion a 0-9 season mark, drawing crowds of under 500 in a 50,000-seat stadium. Football was promptly booted out.
This year Baptist will try again. The new coach is candid and excited Billy Fowler, who says, "I really put my foot in my mouth. I told the school, 'If you let me pursue my plan. I can build a program for you.' I didn't think they'd say put up or shut up."