Just read and now recommend this remarkable book. David has done his homework and some fascinating data is included for sports professional and fans in general.
Just read and now recommend this remarkable book. David has done his homework and some fascinating data is included for sports professional and fans in general.
Danny Morrison, current president of the CAROLINA PANTHERS professional football team, is from Burlington, N.C. He graduated from Wofford College where he played varsity basketball for the Terriers . He returned to Burlington’s Williams High School, his alma mata, as a math teacher and coach. Soon he was recognized and hired by Dr. Alan White and Bill Morningstar of nearby Elon College (now Elon University). He had three assignments at Elon: 1. Assistant to Athletics Director–Dr. White 2. Assistant Basketball Coach for Coach Morningstar and 3. Men’s Tennis Coach. The latter position is where I learned to know him well and to join those impressed with him.
Highly successful in all three roles, Coach Morrison was soon offered and accepted the Athletics Director’s position at alma mata Wofford. Coincidentally I was hired in similar (no basketball) roles at Elon. Wofford’s program took off under Danny’s leadership. Remember Shawn Graves (who made Sports Illustrated) and Terrier football success? And soon a marriage made in football heaven joined Danny with Mr. Jerry Richardson, owner of the Panther’s and among it’s most notable alumni. In no small part this union brought the Panther’s training camp to the Wofford campus and formed a strong bond between these two men.
During his tenure at Wofford Danny “moonlighted” his way to a Doctorate degree. The school promoted him to Business Manager of the school. About this time there were suggestions he would soon be the next President of Wofford. However, a new opportunity arose and Danny became the Commissioner of the Southern Conference (the SoCon).
Still quite young , his managerial talents created an even better athletics organization in the SoCon and respect for his abilities grew. Elon was the recipient of his aid as it was accepted for membership under his tenure. What a boon for Elon, where people will still tell you of their admiration for and gratitude to Danny. Yet, it wasn’t very long that a new call beckoned: Texas Christian University and their top athletics position. Danny is quite self-effacing. He will give credit to others and tell you how lucky he has been. One might tend to agree when looking back at Danny’s first football game at TCU: The Horned Frogs vs the Sooners of Oklahoma. In Norman, no less. Results: A remarkable win for TCU. And just a beginning. Danny and Peggy loved the whole scene and an unusual number of all TCU’s total teams began to blossom at a surprising rate. Blessed? Pure luck? You tell me, but even now another call. And it was from “home”.
Mr. Richardson needed a new person of trusted and proven ability to serve as President of the Panthers. Enter one Daniel Morrison.
There was a time early on at Elon I was actually upset about Danny. I mentioned his attractive looks and natural pleasant demeanor to his Mom. Anne said “…he doesn’t even know he is good looking”. One of my duties as an administrator at Elon was business dealings that were mostly with female Elon staff workers. On my initial trip with Dr. White to meet these women the most frequent response went something like “HE is taking DANNY’S place”?
I once heard a football coach putting down another coach who had been successful at several different high schools: “He has just been real lucky that in every town he moved to had a great running back there.” Couldn’t help thinking “…yeah 5 or 6 times LUCKY, as I had watched that coach develop several ordinary kids in to great running backs in any town he moved to.
The Panthers have won 8 in a row. Lots of different coaches, players, the owner and many others remember the recent past. The “luck of Danny Morrison”? I surely don’t know, but sure is fun to watch. And, who knows that the great philosopher POGO wasn’t right when he contended “…well, it did happen during my administration”
Just attended the 50th wedding anniversary party for friends, Faye and Earl “Country” Boykin. Country Earl recalled asking Faye out for their first date. Faye told him he’d have to meet her parents first.
Country was apprehensive. But then remembered a kid who went to Earl’s church. The church awarded “perfect attendance medals” if a youngster didn’t miss a year’s worth of Sunday School. This particular kid had nine years worth of pins, all attached vertically. Country borrowed the pins and took off to Faye’s house. He concluded, “…I think it sealed deal.” And this from a friend who once advised me, “…the best thing about marriage is you don’t mind dying as much.”
Earl also commented on his higher education: “I went to college for three terms. Eisenhower’s, Kennedy’s, and Nixon’s.”
As often happens I recently learned something from one of my former players. Albeit this player was among my first and has often opened my eyes of various issues. Thinking it all over, I have gone back to article 13 (on FREE THROWS AND GOLF PUTTING) and added a comment there, as to how I was enlightened
I’ve “earned my letter”. And, thankfully I can play golf for fun. Fun is the operative word. Golf can be maddening. Someone said “…golf is not a game, it’s a disease.” Another suggested we make prisoners play. I have felt like sitting down on the course and crying.
With the goal of making the game fun for us guys (not you “low to scratch” PLAYERS) here a a few ideas.
Upon my arrival home after a golf day, my wife asks “…how did you play”? My answer is usually something like this: I played ok except for (pick one) a few bad holes, a triple bogey, one damn hole, etc. My guess is a lot of hackers have admitted the same or similar summations.
The big problem is MEDAL PLAY. This requires you count all strokes on all holes. MATCH PLAY allows you to play hole by hole, thus alleviating that lingering memory of the unwanted “snowman” or 8 on a par 5. I guess being a tennis coach affects my thinking. No matter how bad you are playing you still have a chance. Where would you be without the second serve?
Borrowing from education, why not “grade on the curve”, or throw out one bad hole (or one per side”). Count it ( or them of your choice) a par, and move on. I’m calling this game CULL, or THROWAWAY. Someone told me there is a variation of this that has been played by others, trying to stroke their crushed egoes…
GAME TWO, OR DOTS, is a game for those of us who like bets.
1. Assign a monetary value to each “dot” and dispense dot accordingly:
2. HOLEY: You, or your team win that particular hole.
3. POLEY: For a made putt longer than the flag pole.
4. GUACAMOLE: Make par or better with a hispanic worker in sight
5. NASCAR: Par after hitting a cart path.
7. SANDIE: Make a par out of a sand trap
8. GREENIE: Closest individual to the pin on par 3′s…(option: if no one is ON the green, then GREENIE goes to the closest to the pin)
9. BARKIE: Par after hitting a tree.
10. FRINGIE: Make any shot form off the green.
11. CARRYOVERS: Bet (or HOLEY) continues if no one wins the hole…example: No one wins hole 1, hole 2 is worth two dots, etc.
12. EAGLES: Four dots
13. Holes in one: Ten dots
14. Doubles eagles: Fifteen dots
1. Quitting: Twenty dots
2. SNAKES: Three putts or more–2 dots
3. UNFORCED WINDY
4. PECKER SHOT: Failure to get to women’s tee
5. TRAP TO TRAP
6. GREEN ON WRONG HOLE
7. FLAG STICK: Carry the flag off the green
8. LEAVE CLUB: Must be after teeing off on next hole
9. NON EMERGENCY PHONE CALL
10. FORBIDDEN CLICHES:
A. “…Every now and then a blind hog finds an acorn”, or anything close.
B. “I pulled (pushed it)” on a short putt.
C. Wimpy cussin
D. “…Be the right stick”
E. “Blew by you”
11. Being further away on your second putt
12. Back to back shanks
13. Hitting the wrong ball
PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE 13 OF THESE. GOOD LUCK WITH GEEZER GOLF
In the early part of the last century the North Carolina legislature passed a law prohibiting the teaching of evolution in the public schools. Asked about this action a young Sam Erwin concluded that the one good thing about this action is that it “…absolves the monkeys of the jungle of any responsibility for the behavior of the human race in general, and the North Carolina Legislature in particular.” If the Republicans get by with their intentions in Raleigh, it won’t be the News and Observers fault ( “…lot of water under the bridge, lot of other stuff too. Don’t get up gentlemen, I’m only passing through” ( THINGS HAVE CHANGED–BOB DYLAN). Lots of issues. I recently expressed my concerns about education and what’s going on with teachers. A retired highway patrolman said he had carried a gun his whole career, and his profession had often been neglected compared to N.C.teachers. I don’t question that profession and all they do and risk. Firemen, Policemen, and the Military. I did note later that he had retired at age 52. And that perhaps soon, wise teachers may want to carry a weapon also. School teachers have long been underpaid. Add integration and discipline problems and many good teachers, coaches, and administrators have abandoned education. If we continue to whittle away at this rate (abandoning tenure, cutting out aides, larger class sizes, no reward for increased education, no scholarships for talented future in-state teachers, larger classroom sizes, undermining the values of public schools and funding for them, etc.), who will fill the slots? Think for a minute. Fire Donald and hire Daffy? Who do you hire, Mr. Superintendent, or N.C.legislator, when no competent people will take the jobs? Haven’t we seen too many sorry people who gravitate to youngsters, if allowed. Who takes a job no one else will have? Aren’t some of the problems we have with tenure because we had to hire improperly vetted dregs. How can the proposed changes not make things horribly worse!
The old school tennis coaches will remember when we had to referee our own matches. Talk about a mess. Finally they funded one official. Often these people were retirees: Nice people who were underpaid but wanted to help. Pretty soon some of the young coaches who hadn’t witnessed matches minus a referee, took this as an opportunity to argue with these sometimes volunteers, or underpaid godsends. It wasn’t long before you couldn’t find an official. And those you got didn’t know an “unforced error” from most first marriages. It is time, North Carolina, to get up on your hind legs and stop this ruinous, dangerous bunch. PS. Two contemporary authors of note made comments that are related: 1. Pat Conroy from MY READING LIFE: “…if anyone knows a more important profession than teaching i wish they would let me know what it is before I die.” And 2. From Malcolm Gladwell’s OUTLIERS: Paraphrasing Mr. Gladwell’s “outlier” concerning education, he contends that the most important factor in education is that each individual child must have at an early age (pre-kindergarten) a loving person who reads to the child and conveys the importance of reading to that child.
I have lived seven years at Emerald Isle, N.C. People often ask what I do. One favorite pastime is our fishing pier. Most of the time, and year, it is a docile scene. If the fishermen/women are sitting down and the fish cleaning table is vacant, nothing is biting. Even then it is magic to me. The sea changes are fascinating. Sunsets, sunrises, and nights are the best. The people will talk more when things are slow. Those I call “food fishers” are more serious. Most are recreational fishers. There is one guy who is our #1. He can tell you a lot. And will.
I’ve too many interesting things to mention but a few : A 130lb woman catch a 140lb tarpon. Took two hours. Seven foot sharks 30 yards from unconcerned surfers (or sharks). When any species (Hatteras blues, blues, spots, red drum, black drum, pompano, etc.) decide to show up, things get to be a lot of fun. The most impressive scene I’ve witnessed (not the thongs or tattoos), features the fish that don’t bite–mullets. These guys are a show. Only once have I been on the pier when the “mullet blow” came through. It was 11am. I asked a fisherman how long they had been coming? He said he’d had been fishing since 8am and nothing had changed. From the pier for 300 yards sideways the sea was black with fish. From the east they swam down the shore line, but took a hard left at pier. Wouldn’t swim under the pier, but at the end of the pier they took a hard right, back to the west. Every so often, at meticulous intervals they would jump out of the ocean, turning from black to silver. I had seen the locals with tractors and long large nets. Haul them in by the tons. I mentioned “tractoring” them in, to the pier group. There are lots of fish tails/tales at the pier: An “old salt” said he was here one morning during the “mullet run” when one of the tractors wouldn’t run. So–the gang of fishermen attached one end of the net to the working tractor and the other to a Cadillac Escalade with four wheel drive. Upon tractoring the engorged net full of fish toward the shore, the fish altered the course of the Escalade, from inshore to offshore. (“… every now and then, the cow eats the butcher.”—Scope Wallace). The guy said they cut the Escalade cable just in time.
I mentioned Mrs. Mildred Southern and her talk upon her induction to the North Carolina Sports Hall oF Fame in an earlier article. (article #72-ATHLETIC BANQUETS-PART 2). Her reason for her many tennis involvements she said was due to the joy on one youngster’s face, that she was helping. The ocean in general, and our pier have a lot to offer. To watch a child catch a fish. Any fish. Now that’s a worthwhile way to spend your retirement.
I wasn’t a good drinker. Not that I didn’t drink a lot, I just didn’t handle it well. Some do, some don’t.
So I quit years ago.
As a non-drinker you have some advantages, some disadvantages. One of the things I’ve observed is a shift in the beverages consumed. And the consumers.
When I left the “participant” category, hard booze and cocktails were in large part consumed by males. Boone’s Farm and Lake Country Red were about all I knew about wine.
Maybe Allison Krauss was right: “… you’re drinking whiskey when it should be wine.’
This seems to have happened. And probably for the greater good. More men drink wine today.
Still, like Yogi said “…you can observe a lot by watching.”
Are more women drinking too much now? “After the third glass the wine drinks man (woman too?).”
Maybe its because I’m some what of a tightwad, but it bugs me to split a restaurant bill with three 60$ bottles of wine on the tab. Once, after the main meal, I ordered four different desserts. “Trying to even things up”, I threatened. Vetoed again by my Bride.
Many say legalizing pot would be a bad decision : A” gateway” drug that would lead to bigger problems? Have you seen the movie HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING DRUGS? No one seems to be getting anywhere toward solving the number of young people jailed on pot charges. Would legal pot take the money out of the criminals hands? Maybe save some salvageable young people. Isn’t it worth a try given current failures? Bet our North Carolina farmers would love it. Plus “sin tax” revenue.
Some of us have trouble with “moderation” I’m still fighting ice dream and BBQ. Is that a “word to the wise”, Moderation?
Allison again: “He put the bottle to his head and pulled the trigger” (WHISKEY LULLABY).
Here is a list of the articles on the blog. They are in REVERSE ORDER. Or, the first “previous post” is the latest article published or posted. The numbers posted next to the titles show where each article appears. As you scroll backwards (by punching “previous post”, or “older posts”) you can back up to desired, or earlier articles. Got it?
73. THE GUIDE TO WWW.TOMPARHAM.WORDPRESS.COM
72. ATHLETIC AWARDS BANQUETS ( PART2)
71. GAME OVER
70. “MAXIMUM BOB’ OWENS
69. VIRGINIA BEACH PHOTOGRAPHER
67. THIRTEEN SIBLINGS
65. A NEW DAY
64. WHY TEACH AND/OR COACH?
63. MODERN VS CLASSIC TENNIS TEACHING
62. THE SPIRAL OF CORRUPTION
61. VOLLEY REMINDERS
60. TENNIS CAMPS
59. “I DIDN’T CHANGE ANYTHING”
58. BORG’S SPEECH
57. THE OLD COACH
56. MALE/FEMALE COLLEGE RATIOS
55. PULLING THE TRIGGER
54. THE ELIMINATION MONOLOGUES
53. COLLEGE ATHLETICS: PARADOXES AND PONDERINGS
52, COACHING THE GREEN JAYS
51. “BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS”
50. THOUGHTS FOR YOUNG COACHES
49. “TRUSTWORTHY TOOLS”
48. “FOR BAPTISTS ONLY” HYMN TEST ANSWERS
45. TECH TOM
44. PARHAM’S IDEAL BOOK LIST
43. THE “FOR BAPTISTS ONLY” HYMN TEST
42. HELPFUL HINTS FROM THE COACH
41. THE “EASTER BUNNY” TEST
40. JIM VERDIECK
39. THE COACH AND “THE CLOUD”
38. “MOVE!”–”CONCENTRATE!” WHAT DO MY PARENTS MEAN?
37. MOVING ALONG
36. CHECK YOUR GRIP AT THE “HIT-SPOT”
35. PRACTICE? YOU NEED A FRIEND
34. THE EVOLVING SERVICE GRIP
33. GROUNDSTROKES AND WOMEN
32. THE USGA AND GOLF
31. THESE RANG TRUE
30. THE JUKE BOX
29. DANNY AND THE FOREHAND CHIP
28. ON CRITICS
27. ON LOSING
25. THE TOUGHEST COACH
24. ‘COACH OF THE YEAR”
23. DOUBLES STRATEGY
22. THORNQUIST AND SPORTSMANSHIP
21. TEN GROUNDSTROKE FUNDAMENTALS
20. COACHING GIRLS AND WOMEN
19. KNOW THE COURT
18. GRANDMOTHERS ADVICE
17. MENTORS (JIM LEIGHTON)
16. COACHING “EMOTIONS”
15. OBSERVATIONS ON PREPARING FOR COLLGE TENNIS
14. SPEAKING AT ATHLETIC BANQUETS (PART ONE)
13. PUTTING AND FREE THROWS
12. MADE IN THE USA
11. UNPUBLISHED LETTERS TO EDITORS: 1. FOOTBALL AT THE CROSSROAD 2. BEAUTIFYING EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA 3. CHILDHOOD READING
10. THE NEXT LEVEL
9. “THE CIRCLE STINGER”
8. BASIC TENNIS SINGLES STRATEGY
7. SUMMER UPDATE
6. CHAPTER 10–COACHING TEAM TENNIS
5. CHAPTER ONE (A SAMPLE)
4.BURLINGTON TIMES NEWS ARTICLE
3.”OUR STATE ” MAGAZINE (COMMENTS)
2. 3RD EDITION OF “PLAY IS WHERE LIFE IS
Earlier I wrote SPEAKING AT ATHLETIC BANQUETS (see article 14) . I do believe some took this to heart. The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame (2013) was well run. I was pleased that our state inducted Mrs. Mildred Southern this year. And Mildred stole the show (more to follow). Her brief talk stimulated my thinking about the good talks, comments, and speeches I’ve heard at past athletic banquets. I’ve selected a few, some original, some “stolen”, and some used too often. Mrs. Southern acknowledged Woody Durham’s glowing introduction by saying “…yes, Woody, I’ve won a lot ot tennis matches, volunteered a lot of time and effort and leadership , given money to support tennis and North Carolina specifically.” But then she revisited a simple beginning tennis lesson to a young boy : “I tossed him a ball, and he missed it. I tossed him another ball. And he misses it. Another and another, and he missed” An unspoken question stirred through the audience : How long is this going to go on?” Mrs. Southern concluded, “…then I tossed him a ball and he HIT IT”! She paused, then added, “…the look of joy on his face was why I did it all” She sat down. WOW! Last year (2012) my friend and certainly a coaching mentor, Henry Trevathan gave a similarly remarkable and short talk…Remember “1. Practice is mine, 2. The game is yours, 3. We rule the hall.”? Kelvin Bryant got a good laugh this year when, after the usual thank you’s, he realized “…I guess I need to add my ATTORNEY to this list!” Coach Russ Frazier told his wife they were moving to the beach! She said she’d have to have a new bathing suit…”Why?” Coach Frazier asked. His wife replied, ” …cause the old one has a hole in the knee!” At an Elon Hall of Fame banquet a recipient, unable to attend, simply sent a letter. The next inductee, Coach Sid Varney, began by quizzically saying “…I didn’t know you could send a letter!” One tale on Coach Varney was that he took his football team to a game in Florida, where their opponent vastly over matched his team. Six Elon players were injured to the point of hospitalization….Picking them up at the hospital the manager asked good Coach Varney “…Coach, should I go in and get them?” Varney’s reply: “Nah! Just blow the horn!” Every school used to have some “hard” coaches..here are some standard comments. Reporter: “Coach, what do you think of your team’s execution?” Coaches response; “I think it’a good idea!” Again—Stunned fan states “…that guy looks like he doesn’t know the meaning of fear.” Coach: “THAT guy doesn’t know the meaning of a lot of words.” Another coach summarized, “…we started slow and tapered off”. M.L. Carr did an interesting thing in selecting his inductor. While entering the NC Sports HALL of Fame “with your spouse”,M.L. was accompanied by a male. Turned some heads. M.L., when introduced said rather than spotlight himself he had elected to spotlight this friend, a man who had befriended and mentored him as a youngster in need of help. He chose this special time to recognize his depth of appreciation for an unattached person who saw fit to help a struggling youngster. Bill Weathers was an inductee into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame some years back. A fine golfer as well as a stellar tennis player, Bill snuck up on us in this way: He would cite a time he went off to play golf or in a tennis tournament and tell some detail about his “play”. He would then add what his Wife did while he was away. Bill described his use of that time, generally some kind of play. He would then juxapose his wife’s use of that same time, which included “minor” issues such as childbirth, a job, child rearing, helping a friend in need, dealing with serious health problems, and the like. She had done some truly tough and good things. And while Bill used his time to thank and reccognize her, she rose to say “BILL WEATHERS—when we get home I’m gonna kill you.” What a fine woman and tribute. Coach Jerry Moore asked his wife, “…honey, did you in your wildest dreams, ever think this could happen to us?” Wife’ answer? “You weren’t in my wildest dreams.” OUCH! Actually this one has been passed around quite a bit. We are getting more creative. For years the old one about “Peahead’ Walker, the Wake Forest football coach, taking a Wake recruit to Duke’s campus and later calling it our “western campus”, was told at every banquet. Guilty myself , I used a line from a European tennis player, who when asked about the inconvenience of coming from Europe for his induction into the Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame, asserted “…I would have walked.” Me too! Here is a good opening line: Inductee; “What should I talk about?” Monitor: “Talk about 5 minutes.” Remember that one if nothing else. An old timer, “Lefty” Briggs of Elon rose to accept his award: “I’ve practiced my speech so much, I’m too hoarse to give it. Thank you.” And sat down. Bobby Bowden of Florida State University’s football team spoke for F.S.U. when they tied The University of Tennesse’s women’s basketball team for ESPN Team of the Year. Coach Pat Summit of U.T. was unable to attend and was represented by a U.T. athletics administrator who spoke of the tremendous strides of women American sports. Coach Bowden struck a blow for male chauvanism when he followed her speech with this jewel: “My wife really wanted to be here. She’s been planning for weeks. Been packed for days. But what the heck, you can’t remember everything!” Surely one can get over the line with smut, length, politics, religion, cliches, etc. And not all great people are great speakers, or interviews. I think its best to memorize you speach. Have a glass of water nearby. And watch your emotions. Humor is certainly helpful. One source I’ve used lately is, oddly, obituaries! Here are a few examples. 1. A professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, bothered by all the recent criticism of athletics penned several obits that featured the deceased’s loyalties to college sports programs, i.e., “…he was a lifelong Tar Heel fan!” Or, “…ever loyal to the Wolfpack” etc. One he cited was a man from Wisconsin. He was said to “…love the Badgers, the Green Bay Packers, and MOST of his grandchildren.” Another fanatic, no longer able to attend games in person, watched his favorite school everytime they were onTV, “…often from a three point stance.” Most recently a Cleveland resident and Cleveland Browns football diehard requested six players from the Browns to be his pallbearers. He said he wanted the Cleveland Browns to “,,,let him down one last time”. A man named Tom Taylor of Chapel Hill, and a cancer victim had called and asked if he could renegotiate with the crematory. His reasoning: ” I’ve lost down from 180lbs. to about 120lbs and think I deserve a discount.”