"Well, yeah. That's what got them chipping away at one-platoon football in the '50s, coaches trying to protect skinny-legged quarterbacks."
"That's right, Scribe, but times have changed. You can always write in escape clauses to get a player or two in and out of the game, but quarterbacks are not the splinter group they used to be. The colleges have gone to veers and wishbones and other triple options. Quarterbacks are back to being what the old tailbacks used to be—runners and passers. Rick Leach could probably play both ways at Michigan, Thomas Lott the same at Oklahoma. Some of the great college quarterbacks of all time played both ways—Johnny Lujack, Arnold Tucker, Sid Luckman, Benny Friedman. Paul Hornung was a running back in the pros. So was Tom Matte.
"The time has come to restore the whole game to the kids who play it. Give 'em a chance to strike back. Let them have the thrill of scoring as well as stopping the other guy. If you want to talk about 'educational experience,' talk to me about real football. If you want to promote equality of competition, and give the Northwesterns and Vanderbilts a shot, talk to me about real football. If you want to talk about balancing the budget, talk to me about real football."
"Hear, hear," I cried, raising my glass. The Coach tossed a bill on the table and slid to the end of the booth.
"But it won't happen," he said. "The rules makers don't have the guts to buck the pro lobby, which would scream if the farm system quit turning out all those lovely round pegs. Besides that, most coaches on the committee today have never even heard of real football."
The Coach put on his glasses and winked at the hovering waitress, who grinned toothily. "No, Scribe," he said, rising, "it's a joust at windmills. It won't happen until college football is down to 25 teams that can still afford it. No, don't get up, finish your drink. I've got to stop by Dunhill's for a humidor they've been holding for me, then on to the airport for Atlanta. I'm addressing a group of law enforcement people tomorrow, together with some sociologists and tenant-landlords."
"Give 'em heck," I said, watching the Coach move smartly through the door.