Posted by: furmanbisher | January 16, 2012

The Missing Quarterback

That’s a misleading title. Jarrett Lee wasn’t missing at all. He stood on the LSU sideline, in uniform. In fact, a friend told me he had noticed Lee slip his headgear on, then off. If he did, I missed it.

I was among the thousands who watched Alabama play LSU for the national football championship on television, totally wondering why Jarrett Lee never entered the game. He had been the winning quarterback when LSU beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa for the SEC championship. Now, as LSU struggled to find its way to the end zone he sat. The game was well into the fourth quarter before LSU even crossed midfield. But through this offensive doldrum, Les Miles stuck with Jordan Jefferson. (Jefferson is a senior, and “you don’t lift your senior in the big game,” someone wrote. Jarrett Lee was a senior, too, a 5th-year senior.)

It’s possible I can help you here. Lee had started eight games, four of which Jefferson had sat out because of a street brawl. Lee had performed well, but he had an aversion to the classroom. In fact, he had stopped going to class. Abandoned his studies. (And let it be known that his father is a football coach.)

Les Miles made a deal: Arranged for Lee to go to special classes every day until the end of the fall semester, then take a test—and if he passed, he’d play. Otherwise, he would not play, nor would he graduate.

It turns out he missed a number of classes. His coach had gone the extra mile—no pun intended—with him, given Lee so many chances that he had no alternative but to keep him on the sideline. So those of us who had seen LSU beat Alabama with Lee at quarterback sat by our television sets wondering, “Where’ s Jarrett Lee?” And why?

Some of the Fighting Cajuns flew into a rage about it, but they had the answer eventually now. As do we.

Posted by: furmanbisher | December 18, 2011

Head Scratchers for Christmas

These are just a few botched parables I’d like to share with my friends at this Christmas time, not necessarily new, but well worn from being passed around era to era:

—” I wan’ all dem kids to do what I do, to look up to copulate me.” (Andrew Dawson, major league outfielder.)

—“I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first.” (George Rogers, New Orleans Saints running back.)

—“He treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings.” (Torrin Polk, University of Houston wide receiver.)

—“Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is some guy like Norman Einstein.” (Joe Theismann, former quarterback.)

—“I’m going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes.”  (Senior basketball player at University of Pittsburgh.)

—“You guys pair up, in groups of three.” (Bill Peterson, football coach at Florida State.)

—-“He’s a guy who gets up at six o’clock every morning, no matter what time it is.” (Lou Duva, veteran fight trainer.)

—-“I asked him, ‘Son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?” Frank Layden, (Utah Jazz basketball team president.) Player’s answer: “Coach, I don’t know and I don’t care.”

—-Chuck Nevitt, (N.C. State basketball player), explaining to Coach Jim Valvano why he was so addled in practice:  “Coach, my sister is expecting a baby, and I don’t know if I’m going to be an aunt or an uncle.”

—-Texas A&M basketball coach, Shelby Metcalf, when a player told him he’d received four F’s and a D in class: “Son, it looks like you’ve been putting too much time on one  subject.”

—Chuck Shackleford, another N.C. State basketball player, telling his coach of his versatility: “I can go to my left or my right. I’m amphibious.”

—-Lou Duva again, when someone suggested that Mike Tyson should be smarter, coming out of prison: “Why would you expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.”

—“Best win I’ve ever had.” (Steve Williams after caddying for Adam Scott in the Bridgestone Invitational.) “Was Steve the one playing, or am I missing something here?” asked Andy Roddick, the tennis player.

And, in signing off, let me wish a warm and hearty Christmas to all. (I made that one up all by myself.)

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