today: Tonight I was thinking again about The Ghost leaving, and I was
wondering again if he'd made the right decision, and I remembered I'd met Ernie
Banks once, in Las Vegas. I'd always thought he must be the most well-adjusted
human being in the world. But I saw an interview on TV in which Ernie said he'd
had to have some counseling after he left baseball so he could manage to go
back into the real world. Maybe it's just that once you've been a baseball hero
or a football hero there's no easy way out.
TUESDAY, AUG. 10:
The worst day in
camp by far. You're going to have days like this, Frank. You just pray there
aren't too many. It seems that everybody was as bad as I was, too—no
enthusiasm, ev- everything dragging. After a day like this at Oregon once I
quit the team. The next morning I just didn't get up. I was living at home
then, and my parents were away on vacation, and I heard the phone ring. I knew
it was the coaches calling, but I didn't answer. Just let it ring again and
lunchtime a coach came over to the house. The head coach at Oregon then was a
terrific gentleman named Jerry Frei. He's an assistant with the Broncos now.
The reason he's not a head coach anymore is that he cared more about his
players than he did about winning. It really showed on this occasion. It was
brilliant the way the assistant handled me. He just came in and said it was
time to get going if we were going to make lunch and the afternoon practice. He
never screamed at me. None of the coaches ranted and raved and called me a
quitter. They never even asked me any questions, because they were smart enough
to know that every football player has his dog days. All of a sudden, it's just
no fun at all, and you hate it.
Times like that,
like today, I try to think about my parents, God bless them. Or I think about
my older brother, whose name is Dennis Moore and who's the older person who
most encouraged me in athletics. He threw me my first football. Dennis is the
real star of the family. He's a self-made millionaire in real estate out in
L.A. Whenever any of my three sisters see me, they always start in right away
on when I'm going to stop playing games, get on with the rest of my life and
start playing catch-up ball with Dennis. And they're absolutely right, of
I also called up
my old friend O.J. Simpson when I got back to my room. That helped. He
remembered days like this one. Hell, even he had days like this one.
today: Everybody always wants to know why there have been virtually no black
quarterbacks in the NFL. Well, there's hardly ever been a black center, either.
I think, too, that especially nowadays, when quarterbacks seldom call their own
plays, center might well be the most cerebral position in football. The center
has to call all the line-blocking, adjusting to both offensive and defensive
check-offs. Now, do you suppose, Frank, that black centers are a rarity because
black linemen aren't smart enough or because the white coaches assume that
black linemen couldn't possibly be smart enough? It has to be one or the other,
doesn't it? Good night.
question, Frank. Do they have a black center at Grambling?
The Vikings give
you a short day Wednesday. Bud probably wants to go fishing. If I were a doctor
I'd play golf, but, instead, my girl friend Diane came down and we drove to a
little town just up the road called St. Peter, because she went to school there
at a small college named Gustavus Adolphus. It was just an afternoon retreat, a