University of Kentucky football fans were unhappy with Coach Blanton Collier in 1959, and they wrote a lot of letters complaining and asking that he and his incompetent aides be gone. The staff was gone by 1961. Of the eight coaches, exactly eight went on to success in pro football, five of them becoming NFL head coaches. Beginning from the left, they are Ed Rutledge, an NFL scout; Howie Schnellenberger, head coach at Baltimore; Ermal Allen, assistant coach at Dallas; Collier, who succeeded Paul Brown at Cleveland and won an NFL championship; Don Shula, of whom you may have heard; John North, head coach of New Orleans; Bob Cummings, his assistant; and Bill Arnsparger, who is taking over the New York Giants. Another Collier assistant, Chuck Knox, was on the staff in 1961 but not in 1959. He was just named Coach of the Year following his first season with the Los Angeles Rams. Fired anybody else lately, Kentucky?
The year 1974 just has to be better than 1973 for Davey O'Brien, All-America quarterback for Texas Christian in 1938. When O'Brien turned on his Christmas tree lights on December 21, an explosion resulted, burning down his Fort Worth home and with it the football trophies on display in his den. O'Brien is seeking replacements for his Walter Camp Award, his Maxwell Trophy and his Hall of Fame plaques. Fortunately, his Heisman Trophy was elsewhere: on display in the Texas Hall of Fame.
Johnny Miller, who was hot on the pro golf circuit but suffering from a cold in the head, took time off after winning his third consecutive tournament to go fishing with his son John, 3. The towheads, not towing in much, ironed out father and son things on Santiago Creek near their home in Silverado, Calif.
Alan Bird, the landlord of a pub in Woodseaves, England, has offered a daily free pint of beer in his pub to anyone finding his missing black Labrador. The locals will swallow hard before they refuse that bargain. But doesn't it seem that the dog, if it can't find Bird by itself, isn't much of a retriever?
February 3, 1974
Even though he scored 135 points in a recent basketball game, one player not being scouted by the pros is Rich (Pee Wee) Kirkland. Kirkland is not exactly a free agent. Right now he is playing all his games for the federal penitentiary in Lewis-burg, Pa. A 6-foot-2-incher from Long Island, he scored the 135 in a 228-47 Anthracite League victory over the Lithuanian Club of Shamokin, Pa. Kirkland is averaging 70.9 points a game in 10, er, outings, if that's the word for nothing but home games.
In order to watch a pacer named Cassius Clay, Muhammad Ali took a respite from training and visited Delaware's Brandywine Raceway where the night's feature race was also named for him. As the evening grew late, he worried aloud that he "should be back in camp, in bed." But his training, and the Moslem prohibition of alcohol, already had been symbolically shattered. The winner of the Muhammad Ali Feature Race at Brandywine was named Full Scotch—in the fifth.
The NFL's rushing record behind him, Buffalo Bills' Running Back O.J. Simpson headed to Rotonda, Fla. for the second round of the ABC's Superstars competitions, and he was worried about a super weakness. He can't stand sports where his feet are not on the ground. He hasn't practiced for the nearly $300,000 top prize, figuring he is always in shape and loves to play year round. He will try seven events including the obstacle course, the half-mile run and baseball hitting but will not mount a bike or plunge into a pool. "I want to keep my feet on the ground," he says. It's the safe way to score.
Johnny Bench of the Cincinnati Reds, who admitted that he had no better than an average year for a SI 15,000 player, wasted no time signing his contract. "Give me your best offer," he told General Manager Bob Howsam, and signed within two minutes, probably for the same $115,000. One explanation for this behavior? Bench w ill soon open a restaurant in Cincinnati, named, of course, Johnny Bench's Home Plate. If he got traded he might get his plate cleaned.
Remember Quarterback Jim Weatherly, one of the best Ole Miss passers of all time, ranking up there behind Archie Manning, Charlie Conerly and Norris Weese? The same Jim Weatherly who was not permitted to help coach the Ole Miss freshman team in 1966 because his hair was too long? Loath to further impair the moral tone of Mississippi, he moved to the West Coast, where he has been making a living by singing and writing songs. His decision to cut records instead of hair may pay off; he is the lyricist of Neither One of Us, a big hit for the group Gladys Knight and the Pips.