Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on December 15, 1972 · Page 45
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 45

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Friday, December 15, 1972
Page 45
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i )j j T f I I 1 ij I li u'""iii ' i" ui "it r n in ' r"i ii r f"i I llllllltiltliil liii I m w "" j " ' u I I I I I I I I I 1 I l I I I I i I i i " I I I I I I I I I I I I I DETROIT FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 15. '72 1-D 'IT'S BEEN A BALL WITH LIONS' 1 t- " A ''ii fr A 'V -7 ... -' . .. IT ' v: . Wayne Walker has memories. Wayne BY JACK SAYLOR Frtt Prttl Spoiit Wrllir LOS ANGELES It was in the vast Los Angeles Coliseum, early autumn 1958, as the Lions tried to retain their role as pro football's champions. Bill Wade, the Ram quarterback, tossed a pass ... a crew-cut rookie out of Boise, Idaho, intercepted. "There were 81,708 fans .. . think I don't remember?" smiled Wayne Harrison Walker. "I went 37 yards for a touchdown ... I made a couple of moves and run over a couple of people." The memories came back since Walker, now one of football's senior citizens at age 35, Is back in the! city of the angels where Sunday he will conclude his 15-year career In his 200th NFL game. "I don't remember every score, but I remember something about every game I ever played in," Walker said Thursday In the Lions' plush headquarters at the Century Plaza. Walker's career as a Lion regular had begun a week earlier in 1958 against Baltimore. "They went on to win the championship," he recalled. "I played a pretty decent game." THEN THERE WAS the touchdown In his second start, ("That crowd was the biggest I'd ever played before up to then"), then another touchdown later in the season against the Giants ("I picked up a fumble and went 35 yards"). Walk er's. 15 Years! Walker was on his way to becoming Idaho's greatest export since Senator Borah. B jt it started back in 1958 rather ignominously. "Jerry Kramer and I left Boise heading for Chicago and the All-Star Game In my 1958 Chevy," Walker reminisced. "We allowed seven days for the trip. Five days later we were no farther east then Jackson Hole, Uyo." The pair, Idaho's first representatives in the All-Star Game, helped beat the Lions, of all teams, 35-19, and began their pro careers by receiving $300, a blanket and a sweater. "Looking back, that was probably the best All-Star team ever," Walker said, ticking off the names of pro-stars-to-be, "Ray Nitschke, Chuck Howley, Dan Currie, Gene Hickerson, Alex Karras, Lou Michaels. Jim Gibbons, John David Crow, Jimmy Taylor, Bobby Mitchell, Jim Ninowski, Lenny Lyles." And, of course, Kramer and Walker. THE SUMMER OF '58 may never become as renowned as the Summer of '42, but it is vital to the Wayne Walker Story. Wayne-o came to Cranbrook as the Lions' fourth-round draft choice, battling for an outside linebacking job against Roger Zatkoff, Bob Long and Jim Martin. The man in the middle was a veteran named J. Schmidt. "Two of the three guys played on the right side, only one on the left," Walker explained. "I'd always played either middle or right, but when Buster Ramsey (defensive coach) asked me which side, I said left. "I figured It would be better to line up as No. 2 rather than No. J. I became a starter In the fourth game Jim David played cornerback and Jack Christiansen played safety behind me. It wasn't until the next year they switched me to the right side." Even as a No. 2 Walker didn't feel secure. "I started the third exhibition game against the Eagles at Norman, Okla." he said. "I blitzed Norm Van Brocklin a couple of times for losses and got a reverse for an eight-yard loss. I figured then I had a good chance to make the team, but I never really felt sure until the last cut." THE MEMORIES piled up as he played, counting exhibitions, probably more than 300 games . . . Lion Most Valuable Player, All-Pro, Pro Bowl, etc. "The thing I'm most r: oud of," said Walker, who has played despite broken hands, feet, ribs and other nagging injuries, "is only missing four games in 15 years. They knew I'd be there." Naturally, the 19B0 game at Baltimore is included in the Walker Memoirs. "The most amazing game I ever played in," he called it. "Lennie Moore's touchdown off Night Train Lane was the greatest catch I ever saw, then Jim Gibbons Please Turn to Page 4D, Col. 4 'Football Factories'? Blame the System! j "They raise cattle and football players in Texas. The cattle are treated better." That's only a portion of the sweeping expose of football as 1 played In the "football factories" across the nation by first time author, Gary Shaw, in his book, "Meat on the Hoof." Since Shaw spent four years playing football for Darrell Royal, the book, naturally, is about the recruitment, dedica-i tion and degradation of the young men who play at the University of Texas. p "The book is not meant to be an indictment of college football," Shaw declares. "It is only an attempt to put the sport into Jts proper perspective and eliminate the human degradation involved in the present system of producing football heroes." Meat on the Hoof, published by St. Martins Press, $7.95. describes in minute detail the tribulations of a player trying to achieve a place in the Texas football sun. Shaw tells how a player's fears are used to keep him obedient and how this destroys personal growth and self respect. It reveals how players, though injured, are expected to play for the glory of the Longhorns. Big-time college football is never child's play at any of the "football factories." Shaw declares the only ones who enjoy the sport are the fans, pom-pom girls and the band. In some ways, Shaw draws a parallel between the Texas grid candidate and the breeding of bulls for the fighting ring. A number of psychological, physical and mental tests eliminate the "quitters" among football squad. How They Get Rid of You Texas has long been one of the top powers in college football and Shaw declares it's through the elimination of any borderline personnel that the school has achieved its greatness. "Once you get below the fourth team status," Shaw says, "you wouldn't believe the drills designed to eliminate some players so that coach Royal can use the scholarship for another candidate. In a chapter devoted to these "elimination drills," Shaw spells out the brutal physical methods used to get the players to give up. Some of the machinations are virtually unbelievable. In one drill, two players were placed approximately 15-20 yards apart. Both were to run full tilt toward a point X, 20 yards away. An assistant coach would throw the ball to the player labeled runner, just before he reached point X. Just as the runner was reaching up to catch the ball he was clobbered by the tackier. Another, involved a ballcarrier and 14 or 15 tacklers. They were separated by 10 yards. Then on signal, the ball carrier and Die tacklers would run full tilt 25 yards up field and turn toward each other. The group met between two tackling dummies placed five yards apart. What usually happened, four or five made the tackle and the rest Just ran over the ballcarrier. There is little doubt that parents of high school football play- j ers who read the book" would think twice about sending their i youngsters to one of the football factories. 1 College Education Is First! "That's exactly what I have in mind in writing the book," Shaw said. "If the parents start to think about the welfare and education of their youngsters, they will demand more than just : four years of instilling the importance of winning football games Into the heads of their bys. "If there is enough pressure brought to bear this way, then i the schools will have to re-evaluate their programs and alms. They would have to admit that there is more to a college edu- cation than Just football." I Shaw feels that the schools should end the hypocrisy of the , present system. "Under present conditions, football is not a sport, but a business In many colleges," Shaw declares. "If that be the case then the schools should pay the football players, not under the table, but above the board. "If a youngster wants to go to college for an education, then he shouldn't have to make everything else subservient to football. If he wants to go to college to prepare for a career in pro football, then he should be willing to suffer the personal inconvenience and the knowledge that if he doesn't produce he's through." Coach Royal recruited Shaw from Denton (Texas) High , School and assured his parents that an education was the primary interest in getting him to go to Texas. "During my four years at Texas, I spoke with Royal only 1 twice," Shaw said. "The man was just too busy to take any personal interest in the players. 1 "The drills were handled by a corps of assistants and I doubt he knew that some of us even existed. That's the thing that has to be changed. There has to be some communication between the coach and the players." After participation in "frenzy" drills in 120-degree heat in a training room, running up and down the aisles of Texas Stadium wearing heavy weights and all the other degradation, would he permit his son to play football? "Only if he wanted to play," Shaw said. "If he got some personal enjoyment and picked up the lessons that can be learned in playing the game." Parents Are to Blame, Too Shaw made it clear that he wasn't condemning the coaches. It's the system that's to blame. If a coach doesn't win, he's replaced. That's the Ail-American obsession winning at all cost. That fanaticism for winning can be traced through the parents, who instill the myth of being a winner when the kids play in the little leagues and high school. "Some day they'll have to learn that losing Isn't the AII-A- Pleasc Turn to Page 4D, Col. 4 SPARTAN PRESENTED MAXWELL AWARD VanPelt Named No. 1 Player of ' 72 PHILADELPHIA (AP) Brad VanPelt probably set the tone of the announcement best: "I couldn't believe it," said the Michigan State defensive back when informed that he was the Maxwell Club's choice as the outstanding college football player of 1972. "I didn't really think I could achieve something like that," said a surprised VanPelt. '"For a defensive back to win it ... I never thought I'd win it. It's kinda like a dream come true." Nebraska's Johnny Rodgers, winner of the Heis-man Trophy as the best In college football this year; Greg Pruitt of Oklahoma, Nebraska's Rich Glover, Alabama's Terry Davis, and Penn State's John Hufnagel also may not believe It. They were the other candidates among the final six from which the Maxwell Club chose its winner. I HE 225-POUND VANPELT, a native of Owosso, Mich., made 84 tackles, 42 unassisted; intercepted three passes and handled punt return and kickoff duties for Michigan State. The 6-foot-5 strong safety was referred to by retiring Spartan coach Duffy Daugherty as his "Secretary of Defense." The club also announced that Washington Redskins' running back Larry Brown was its choice for the annual Bert Bell award as the outstanding pro football player of the year. VanPelt and Brown will be honored here Jan. 22 at the Maxwell Club's annual banquet. "It's an honor to be associated with the previous recipients of this awurd." said Brown from Washington where he's getting ready for Sunday's game against Buffalo. "It's surprising to me that I've reached this plateau so early in my career." Brown joins a list of Bell Award winners that Includes last year's recipient Roger Staubach, George Blanda, Roman Gabriel, Leroy Kelly, Johnny Unltas twice, Don Meredith, Jim Brown, Paul Hornung and Norm Van Brocklin. Brown won the award over such players as Green Bay's John Brockington, Pittsburgh's Franco Harris, Redskins' teammate Billy Kilmer and Earl Morrall of the Miami Dolphins. f f 2 I f.;3-. j y Z? 1- " Brad VanPelt r V ' iT ,'V-. ' f( Ed Coil Trades Start to Pay. Off for Pistons BY CURT SYLVESTER fre Prttl Svartt Wriltr For several years now the mere mention of the word "trade" would set the Piston top brass blushing, squirming and calling for a Bromo. It's been a very embarrassing situation, the way the Pistons have been short-changed at the bargaining table. Remember how they gave up Bailey Howell. Don Ohl, Wally Jones and a couple others for the likes of Rod Thorn, Don Kojis and Terry Dischin-ger? How about sacrificing Dave DeBusschcre for Walt Bellamy and Howie Komives? Or the real prize w inner . . . gelling Bill Hewitt for Happy Hair-ston? OVER THE years it seems the Pistons have practically put themselves in the poor house with a ready w illingncss to give up good ballplayers on the trading market. But general manager Ed Coil, who has had to live with the criticism over the past several years, has finally come up with some deals that are paying dividends. In fact, the Pistons' 11-10 record under Ray Scott is due, in at least some portion, to three deals in which the Pistons gave up practically nothing. They got Fred Foster, a starting forward, for Terry Dischinger, who had refused to play another game in Detroit. They got John Mengelt, the sixth man, for a second-round draft choice and they got Don Adams, the present No. 3 forward, for a similar second-round draft choice. DISCHINGER'S ultimatum forced Coil's hand in the first deal but the other two were made because. Scott saw a need to improve his bench strength. "The Pistons have been criticized over the years for making bad deals," noted Scott, "but here Ed Coil went out and got mc two good ballplayers. "The way I see It," he added, "there is nowhere we could find a second-round dralt choice w ho can do the things for us that John Mengelt does." The Pistons got Adams for his own No. 2 draft choice next spring and they got Mengelt for Buffalo's No. 2 choice, acquired when they gave up Komives earlier in the fall. The rejuvenated Pistons had Please Turn to Page 3D, Col. 1 What's Wrong With Wings? It's No Goals BY HOWARD ERICKSON Fro Prti Sport Writor What's wrong with the Red Wings? Nothing that the team's goal-scoring statistics can't answer. Look: Red Berenson one goal in the Wings' last 26 games and Bank Buys MIS, bill Sale Wails ADRIAN (AP) The Manufacturers' National Bank of Detroit Thursday purchased the Michigan International Speedway for $1,458,690, but the purchase will not take effect for six months, and the present owners of the track will have a chance to buy it back. The bank was the only bidder on the track. The bank holds the mortgage on the track, which drew in a $250,000 profit last year. That profit, however, was drained off because of other tracks operated by the owners, American International Speedway Corp. American International once owned five tracks, but now has only a 25 percent interest In a track in Atlanta, Ga. THE AUCTION was scheduled after the bank exercised its option to foreclose on the $1.3 million mortgage when track owners were unable to clear up overdue debts.' The track, south of Jackson, was built at a cost of $6 million. The first race of 1973 is scheduled May 20, before Manufacturers' takes over ownership. Speedway officials speculated attempts would be' made to draw record crowds to the speedway before the bank takes over June 14, and use the profits to help repay the debts and reclaim the track. Bank attorney Alfred Wor- the Wings' last 26 games three goals all .season. Nick Libctt one goal in 21 games, five all season. Guy Charron one goal In 12 games, seven all season. Len Fontaine one goal In 11 games, six all season. Al Karlander two goals In 22 gaaies, four all season. Bob Cook one goal in nine games, three all season. Henry Boucha no goals In 23 games. The list sounds like a blind man's marksmanship score. BUT WHAT especially Is killing the Wings and causing them to play stumble-bum hockey is that the team's top scorers are having equally as much difficulty in putting the puck in the net. Sure, Marcel Dionnc has scored 12 goals this season. But he has pulled the trigger just five times in his last 17 games. Mickey Redmond is worse yet. He is the team's leading goal scorer with 13. However, he has just one goal in the last nine games. Only ageless Alex Dvlvec chlo, who happens to be 41, and Tim Ecclestone are carrying their load. Both have eight goals, which Is more than they had last season at this time. Now for the defense. Coach Johnny Wilson can say the same thing about his defensemen as he does about his forwards: "They're in a goal-scoring slump." Of the Wings' six defense-men, three still are scoreless after 28 games. As for the other three, Thommie Berg- man and Ron Stackhouse each have three goals and Gary Bergman collected two goals before being sidelined by torn knee ligaments seven games ago. THE STORY gets pretty Please Turn to Page 3D, Col. S - LUIIUniOL'S 2-TnOU5En suits in WOOL WORSTEDS, wool simniismns now just O o)85 Considering the quality of ' fabric, the styling, the workmanship, the detailing this would be a good value for a one-trouser suit. With the extra pair of trousers, it's fantastic at just 69.85. Choose from fine wool worsteds, in neat patterns and classic Glen plaids; fine wool sharkskins in handsome iridescent shades." no charge for alterations X : STOl SB I INO" WOODWARD NEAR STATE NOW OPEN SUNDAY. ALL OTHER STORES 'EXCEPT WOODWARD & MONTCALM AND BIRMINGHAM! OPEN SUNDAY 1 2-5 P.M. ALL STORKS OPEN FRIDAY & SATURDAY EVENING EXCEPT WOODWARD (NEAR STATE) AND BIRMINGHAM OPEN SAT TO 5 30 Please turn to Page 2D, Col. 1

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