- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"It's funny," said Holleder, "but we really weren't disappointed at all because we didn't score. Everyone felt real good; just real good. Because we'd run through them for about 80 yards and we knew then that we could beat them."
There was a little boy standing in the dressing room with his father, a sergeant attached to the training detachment at The Point, and Holleder broke away to shake his hand and rumple his hair.
"Hi, Dee," he said. "Did you like the game?"
Then, with a "sir," he asked to be excused so he could shower and dress and catch the rest of his teammates who were already piling on the waiting bus, heading for downtown hotels and families and friends and the big victory party that night. But before he could get away someone asked Holleder the question that had to be answered. How did he feel, now that it was all over, about the big experiment: the switch to quarterback after being a great end—and giving up a chance to be an almost-cinch All-America this year?
"Well," said Holly, "it was a real challenge and...well, I have a certain feeling now, knowing I had a big hand in the victory over Navy this year. If I was still playing end I'd have just been doing what I was told."
He thought this over a minute and then grinned a little. "Maybe I can say it better," he said. "Here's the difference. Last year I played end in the Navy game—and we lost. This year I played quarterback and we won."
OPEN SEASON ON COACHES
Anyone who has kept in touch with the hangings of football coaches this season—in effigy, up to now—is entitled to conclude that this year there are more sophomores in college than usual. One recent day at San Jose State the effigy trick took a new twist when an ill-mannered crowd strung up an effigy of the coach's wife. This wiped off whatever smiles were left to the idea and may have ended the effigy act for a while.
It has not, of course, eased the coach's fundamental situation—uncertainty of tenure. At the University of Washington, where no coach, not even the illustrious Gloomy Gil Dobie, ever has resigned of his own accord, Johnny Cherberg faced mutiny in the ranks of a team he had coached through a 5-4-1 season, successful by comparison with two previous autumns (2-8 last year and 3-6-1 in 1953) and in the light of mediocre material available to him. A delegation of more than 30 players presented Harvey Cassill, athletics director, with a list of grievances. Among them: a slap supposedly administered to Guard Gene Pedersen for incurring a holding penalty, whereas the fact was, as Pedersen and Cherberg agreed, that the coach had only chucked Pedersen under the chin in an effort to cheer him up.
But there were other allegations: "He appears to be affected...by pressure to win...Players have been shocked and befuddled by the coach's reaction under various pressure conditions."