Feb 25 2008
07:36 am
By: WhitesCreek

By Ray Collett

Hello Readers, First a little pencil trivia from Peggy Roberts Courtney, "More than 2 billion pencils are used in the United States each year. Most of them have erasers, whereas, most of the pencils sold in Europe do not have erasers. Guess they don't make mistakes! Your typical pencil can draw a line 35 miles long." Thanks Peggy for the trivia. And now to this week's story. I made a solemn promise to the writer not to reveal his identity, and I ALWAYS keep my promises, I know you will enjoy his email story.

" I started playing football on the B-team in 1955 when I was in the seventh grade. Well, I had better correct that before I get a bunch of calls from some of the old players that knew me back in those days. As I was saying, I went out for football in the seventh grade, but I know there is a difference from being on the team and playing. What I did mostly that year was learn how to put the pads in my uniform, run around the football field, do a lot of exercises, and also fill in as an extra blocking dummy once in a while. Oh yes, I almost forgot I also learned what it was like to be a billy goat by running up and down a small hill, some called it a bank, which was located on one side of the field. That hill, or bank seemed more like a mountain after a few times of going up and down it. Both Coach Tom and Coach Baskin seemed to really love that hill and we spent a lot of time running up and down it. I thought maybe it was to get us ready to play some team that had a football field located on the side of a mountain, but we never did. A few years later, when I was in the Marines and they called me a hillbilly, I figured some other Rockwood Tiger had told them about that hill. Of course, there are those that say I was never too good about figuring."

"The B-team in 1955 played five games with other schools, but a lot of the time the second string varsity played in those games. That didn't give someone like me much of a chance to become a football hero. I could count the total number of plays that I was in on with one hand. Mostly that year in the seventh grade I was just thankful they didn't have a c,d,e,or f team. At least I had bragging rights of being on the "B" team."

"In 1956 and in the 8th grade, I had greatly improved my capabilities of being used as a blocking dummy and was used a lot more in that capacity. As an award for being beat up as a blocking dummy, the coach let me play in a few more B-team games. The downside of playing in more games was that I spent a lot of time on the sideline looking like a cheerleader, counting the number of plays that I had been in on both hands. I guess that year I was just thankful that I didn't play more because it was really hard to count on your toes with those football shoes on. I kinda think those dances in the end zone got started by a player scoring, and then trying to count the number of plays that he had been in on using both his hands and toes."

"In 1957, I was promoted to the ninth grade. We had some really smart teachers back in those days and none of them wanted to see me for a second year so they always passed me to the next grade, and on to some other unsuspecting teacher."

"I was still on that famous B-team in 1957, but there were fewer of us so we dressed out and exercised with the varsity that year, and from time to time, Coach Pemberton would use my skills as a blocking dummy. Being a blocking dummy with that 57 team wasn't a whole lot of fun. Like all boys that play football I loved the game, but in 57 I just hoped that I would live to play another year. Those boys on the line in 57 were big and mean. Sometimes Coach Pemberton would use some of us B-team boys on defense against the first string varsity offense. Now that 57 team had players like Tommy Ray Brown, Jim Brown, and J.B.Billings, and those boys spent a whole lot of time at the food trough growing up. As for me, I was already six feet tall by the ninth grade, but skinny as a rail Just one of the kids that could tread water in a test tube. I had seen a couple of cowboy movies that had matadors fighting bulls, and I tried to imitate being one of those matadors when I was playing defense against that 57 team. I knew those boys could kill me just as easily as any bull, and I wanted to live to be a football hero some other day. I did get to play in one varsity game that year. We were playing Sunbright at home, and at half-time we were up by 32 points. Coach Tom let a few of the starters put on their street clothes at the half, and allowed a few of us B-team boys to dress out for the second half. I went in for a few plays in the fourth quarter. Now who knows, if we had played FIVE quarters, I might have became a football hero during that game in 1957."

We are going to leave this determined young football player until next week when we will find out more of his effort to be a football hero. Will he? Tune in next week to find out.
Until next week.........Ray

Eco Warriors and Politics

Science and Stuff

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid / TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.