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THE STRIPER AND ACID RAIN (CONT.)
BULL CYCLONE (CONT.)
However, I don't have any sympathy at all for Bull when it comes to the way he treated his players. Why run them off? Why degrade them? Why not just cut them or say there are not enough uniforms to go around? Why disillusion these young men and ruin a fun part of their lives for no apparent reason?
There is no more room for coaches like Bull in any sport at any level. They can't take it upon themselves to rule, crush and demean a person's spirit. Give me the great coaches who can run a business but still treat people right, who can leave the enjoyment in the game and still win—men like Bill Walsh and Tom Flores. Close the book on the Bull Cyclones.
When television comes begging for screen rights, Deford should refuse and sell them to the movies instead. He should demand that George C. Scott portray Sullivan, because, like George Patton, Sullivan knew his destiny. The parallels between the general and the football coach are unmistakable. Both were Blood and Guts. Their demands on themselves and on their men were remarkably similar. Each was an uncompromising, unrelenting, truly successful leader of men. Each was hated. Each was loved, even by those who hated him. Both the four-star general and the five-star coach never stopped grieving for their war dead.
There is another parallel. When Patton's first love—combat—ended, he knew somehow that his end was near. So it was for coach Sullivan, and of course, sadly, both warriors were right.
I agree Sullivan's end was tragic. But, the man left his mark, and it seems those who knew him celebrate his life.