Duffy threw back his head.
"I guess I'll have plenty of time to rest up," yelled Popp, "before the Kansas State game, Coach?"
Duffy laughed again. Kansas State is the last opponent on the Michigan State schedule.
Duffy had nothing to do over the weekend but make a speech at an alumni dinner, entertain some visiting relatives, ad-lib a half-hour television program over Station WJIM-TV in Lansing, hold a couple of staff meetings and examine minutely the motion pictures of the Indiana game.
He appeared to be thoroughly refreshed by all this when he showed up for a football writers' luncheon at Kellogg Center, the student-staffed hotel on the campus, at noon Monday. In a spirited discussion with Edgar Hayes, sports editor of the Detroit Times, he defended recruitings and expressed strong opposition to the idea (which Hayes liked) of making a high school athlete sign a "letter of intent" once he has chosen his college. "A boy should have the right to make up his mind without pressure from anybody," said Duffy. As for his brand of recruiting, he said, "all we do is bring a boy down here to look things over. We don't try to sell a boy. If he likes the school and needs help, then we sit down with him and try to figure things out." The solution is usually a books-room-tuition proposition with some kind of on-campus work thrown in. The same kind of deal, Duffy said, that is given to some members of the marching band. Edgar Hayes remained unconvinced, but Duffy's good humor was restored as usual before the waiters brought on the dessert. He loves to needle sportswriters gently by speaking in the clich�s of the sports pages. When somebody raised the question of what constituted a "traditional rival," Duffy said with a straight face:
"Well, I think the rivalry of Michigan and Michigan State bids fair to develop into a competition that will one day capture the imagination of football fandom."
Duffy was in high spirits that afternoon when the squad reported for practice. There had been no serious injuries in the Indiana game. Clarence Peaks, an apparent cinch for All-America halfback, was at top form. Pat Burke, the guard, hadn't hurt his leg at all but merely suffered a charley horse. It even appeared that Dave Kaiser might be ready to see action against Notre Dame—if his replacement, Jim Hinesly, would let him. And Walt Kowalczyk, as Duffy put it, was "limping much better."
Just as he had told the alumni, all Duffy seemed to do was walk around from group to group, watching Burt Smith work with the offensive linemen, Sonny Grandelius with the backs, and Bob Devaney and Lou Agase and Bill Yeoman at their respective chores. Now and then Duffy would make some comments. Once, watching his first-stringers run a play, he called out with a trace of irritation that the backs were executing such and such a play all wrong. The quarterback replied softly that it wasn't to be such and such. He had called so and so.
Looking crestfallen for an instant, Duffy recovered almost at once. "Can't you take a joke?" he said.
He went on down the field and watched another team working against the freshmen. He listened in the huddle. "Here's a play," he sang out, "that will go all the way!"