Or, how about this? Glenn's teams are traditionally made up of small kids; Mike's boys tend to be disciplined; Bill's teams are defensive-minded; Bob's emphasize offense; Jim, who coached the 49ers' Eric Wright and Notre Dame standouts Jerome Heavens and Mansel Carter, has the best overall career record (96-44), although all the brothers except Bill are above .500.
Maybe Glenn can help clarify matters even more: "Mike is the quietest of us, Bill has the heaviest temper and I'm the smartest."
Until a few years ago, the Monkens got together for several days every summer at a motel in Bloomington, Ill. and conducted what amounted to their own mini-clinic. Each would bring an assistant coach and plenty of reels of film and talk football. After a couple of days, says Jim, "we'd go out on the town and raise hell." Although they've discontinued the summer get-togethers, the Monkens still compare notes at family reunions at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. When the entire clan meets, it numbers close to 40, including wives, children and girl friends. "We talk football all the time," Glenn says. Jim adds, "Sometimes my sister Julie gets really mad at us, especially when things get too heated. She'll say, 'Will you guys please shut up?' " If that doesn't work, Julie can always drag her husband, Art Abegg, into the room to call time-out. He's a high school football referee.
THE BAD NEWS BEARS GO SKATING
When the youth hockey program in Tyngsboro, Mass., a community of 6,000 just across the line from Nashua, N.H., was disbanded last summer for lack of interest, 26 youngsters who did want to continue participating in the program, which had been sponsored by the Amateur Hockey Association of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, found themselves very much out in the cold. The displaced boys, ages 7 to 16, subsequently joined a youth hockey program under the aegis of the Nashua-based Southern New Hampshire Amateur Hockey Association. What made that a logical step was that the southern New Hampshire teams play their home games at the Tyngsboro rink, which would seem to indicate that state lines don't mean much in youth hockey. And why should they? The important thing is to just let the kids play, right?
Wrong. The switch to the New Hampshire program was opposed by the Massachusetts association, whose president, Matthew O'Neil, took the position that the Tyngsboro youngsters should play for Massachusetts teams. But the nearest available association-sponsored Massachusetts program was at a rink in Lowell, 15 miles away from the Tyngsboro rink, and parents of the Tyngsboro boys understandably preferred having their sons play in their hometown facility. The dispute escalated last October when an official of the Massachusetts association showed up at the Tyngsboro rink on the night a Tewksbury, Mass. team of 13- and 14-year-olds was playing a southern New Hampshire team that included a couple of the Tyngsboro kids and persuaded the Tewksbury coach to pull his team off the ice.
That was too much for the Tyngsboro parents, who obtained an injunction in Middlesex (Mass.) Superior Court allowing the boys to play in their hometown rink. But New Hampshire's statewide amateur association, which had pretty much stayed out of the controversy up to that point, then sided with the Massachusetts amateur officials. Maintaining that the Massachusetts injunction wasn't binding in New Hampshire, a position upheld by a Manchester, N.H. judge, the New Hampshire association sacked Steve Schaffer, the southern New Hampshire official who had let the Tyngsboro boys participate in the New Hampshire program. The youngsters were dropped from that program.
Amateur hockey associations doubtless have reason to be concerned about setting a precedent that might encourage team-switching across state lines. But SI's Bob Sullivan, who interviewed all parties to the dispute, observes, "This was clearly a special case. The kids were left in the lurch because of a disbanded program and they merely wanted to play in their own hometown. As so often happens when adults get involved in children's sports, the hockey officials in both states appeared to be less interested in the kids than they were in asserting their own authority."
The upshot is that none of the 26 Tyngsboro youngsters is currently playing in association-sponsored youth hockey in either Massachusetts or New Hampshire. Under the circumstances, Schaffer can hardly be blamed when he says, "This is my first and last attempt at getting involved in youth hockey."
ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR RECRUITER