I decided to stop in and check on the fellows this week to see if they had anything insightful to say about our Kentucky Wildcats against the Kent State Flashes. I made up my mind last week that I wanted to check on them from time to time because they were definitely fun group to listen in on. You all know 'fun' is my favorite word, after all.
I wasn't exactly sure if they would even be congregating today, with the offense having a pretty good game this week, regardless I had to check to see. Our defense needed help and I was hoping they might detail what they would do if they were in the same shoes. So with my notepad in tow, I headed out to find the conversation. In my mind I just knew these guys are always talking about football.
Ahh, there they are, this gathering of great football minds that show me a little more insight than my blue-bleeding soul can see. I know that they will call it like they see it. I was happy to see them sitting around.
Bear was there, of course. It appeared to me that he was the head chief of the gathering that were discussing Kentucky football. I guess he still has a somewhat vested interest in our team. The man does love football, even though he was more famous after going to 'Bama. Joe Pa was there again. It was obvious that he would wear the rookie helmet until someone else was given the job. My thoughts were that this group looked liked his best prospect for a newbie to come in since he knew that Lou wanted in so badly.
The first thing I heard Bear say was, "I've always said, Offense sells tickets. Defense wins championships. This is were UK needs to work, work, and work on their defense, though they do need to sell tickets."
Vince Lombardi stood up in response. "Come on, Bear. Just because you said that, doesn't mean you can claim it. We all know every coach has preached that before. I don't think anyone knows who actually said it first."
"Okay, Vince. You are totally right. But I did say it several times.", as he winked and let off a smile as big as Texas. I then knew that Vince was also there to keep Bear and the others in check.
Bowden Wyatt, new to the group this week, offered his input. "My advice to defensive players is to learn to Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in a bad humor." I really liked that advice, even if he was from Tennessee.
Then I heard the man hidden beneath the helmet yell loudly, "When's Lou coming?"
Bear pointed at him saying, "Joe, you know the rules." Then answered, "I'm sure that sneak is around here somewhere."
About then is when this ancient looking gentleman spoke up and said, "It isn't necessary to see a good tackle. You can hear it. That is how you stop the run." It was Knute Rockne, from Notre Dame, regarded as one of the greatest football coaches of all time. I remember thinking this man had lived and talked football for a century now and he should definitely know how to stop the run.
"THE TEAM! THE TEAM! THE TEAM!", I heard shooting from another unfamiliar face while he jumped and stomped as if he was motivating a real team. " And if we think that way, all of us, everything that you do you take into consideration what effect does it have on my team. That's the thing that will help this Kentucky team." Oh yeah, The Team speech, I thought. That's Bo Schembechler from Michigan fame and I've always loved team play.
Then I heard it. Tap, tap, tap ... tap, tap, tap. I smiled because I knew the comic show was about to begin. I looked to see how Joe Pa was responding and his eyes no longer looked tired and he had brought out another grin.
"Who is it?", Bear asked although I could tell he already knew by the look on his face.
"It's me again, Coach. Umm ... I wanted to drop by to say hello.", he said trying to be coy.
"Hello, Lou. Goodbye, Lou.", Bear said with a smirk.
"Coach, what are you talking about today? The defensive play of the Wildcats?"
"Now, Lou, why would you ask if we are talking about that today?" , Bear asked.
Lou stuttered a bit, "Um ... I don't know ... I guess ... it was just a guess ... ?"
Now, Bear, I could tell he was a smart ol' fellow. He knew that it would just be quicker and easier to just let him have his say and get it over with and he really didn't seem to be in an arguing mood today anyway. "Say it and be gone, Lou."
"Well", Lou stated, "You have to motivate the players. You have to show them how to win." "Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated."
Bear replied, "Lou, we are not talking about 'Bama. There's only so much eliminating that Joker can do. He has to field a team for the rest of the year. Get real."
I could hear Lou's voice becoming softer as if he had turned and was walking away from the door. "Why do I even come here and try to be rational? There's nothing is this world more instinctively abhorrent to me than finding myself in agreement with my fellow-humans."
"I heard that, Lou!" , Bear shouted through the door with a smile. "And ... you had better stop trying to get in here every week. You'll be the one that misses those bright studio lights for sure."
Vince again spoke up and asked, "When are you going to put a stop to that pest, Bear?"
Bear smiled for at least 30 seconds before he granted his response, "What fun is there in that, Vince?"