Fizzy: It’s bad, but it’s been worse

Editor’s Note: The following story from Fizzy is one of the many reasons why I miss our talks at tailgates prior to games. Maybe next year.

Fizzy

By Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub

Instead of critiquing the game, I will tell a treasured Temple football story.              

 It happened  in Delaware and no one could make this up.                                       

    Towards the end of the 1959 season, and amid a horrendous losing streak, we traveled down to play Delaware. Delaware was the top-ranked small college football team. 

    Our bus arrived around dinner time at a motel and went to our assigned rooms to drop off our bags, and immediately returned to the restaurant for a meal. As the guys finished, they drifted into a small lobby where a hotel guest was seated in front of a little black and television to watch the Friday Night Fights. The guest had a beer on a small table and some kind of scorecard. Some of us found seats, while the rest stood as we awaited the coaches.

Pete Stevens

     I can’t remember the fighters, but they were well-known. We were all quiet as we watched the introductions by the ring announcer. Just as he brought the fighters together in the middle of the ring, Head Coach Pete Stevens came thundering in. He looked around at us, and then the television. “What the hell is wrong with you guys,” he yelled. “We’re playing the number one team in the country tomorrow, and you idiots are watching boxing?” With that outburst, Pete stormed over to the television and turned it off. 

     The hotel guest stared at Pete like he was an alien from Mars. We, on the other hand, were trying our best not to laugh out loud. Many of us did not succeed, and Pete was getting irate. When he got that way, his face would turn a bright red, and now he could have taken over for Rudolph the reindeer. He glanced at some notes he took from his pocket, and that’s when line coach John Rogers walked up to Pete. “Pete, you turned off the guy’s television. He’s not one of our kids.”

The largest crowd in Delaware history watched TU win in 1973

     Startled, Pete turned and saw the guy looking at him and rushed over. “Oh, I’m so sorry, sir. I thought you were one of my players. Look, let me turn the television back on, and I’ll get you another beer.” Pete turned the set back on, and just as the picture finally came clear, the announcer said, “Ten! You’re out!”

         The room exploded. The man stood up, and I thought he would punch Pete, but he just shook his head and walked away. We couldn’t control ourselves, and Pete was infuriated. He pulled out another piece of paper and read off thirteen names (out of twenty-six). “These guys stay here. The rest of you go the hell back to your rooms because we don’t need you anyway.”

__________

     The game itself was a horror. All week, we had practiced a sort of a single-wing formation instead of our usual “T.” Our tailback was Charlie Lotson, later to be the football coach at Gratz high school. Unfortunately, it had rained for three days before game day. The field was a sea of mud, and the temperature was around 34 degrees. 

     Somehow, in the first quarter, we’d driven down to about the Delaware 30 yard-line. Charlie was looking for a receiver when he got hit. The ball plopped into the hands of Delaware’s all-American end, Mickey Heinecken, and he took it 70 yards for a touchdown. The rout was on.

      In the fourth quarter, our coaches finally gave up and put in the scrub team. We were the guys who had been sent to our rooms the night before. When we stood on the sideline ready to go in, we were missing our center, whose name was Moses. Moses was hiding on the bench under the large, all-weather jackets and didn’t want to go in. Two of the starters went down the bench from either end, yelling “Moses.” They found him and dragged him to the sideline. Shortly thereafter, a nose-tackle crashed over Moses and nailed me in the backfield for a three-yard loss. At least I got my uniform dirty.

     Later, on defense, I ended up about 10 yards from Delaware’s legendary coaches, Dave Nelson and Tubby Raymond. I stood and stared at them. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I said, “What the hell are you doing? The score is 55-0, and you still have your first team in?” They turned and walked away. One of the reasons they did that was back then; there were “Dunkel Ratings” each week. If you won by a large number, your rating went up. Oh, the final score was 62-0. 

     The only possible moral of the story is if you think things are bad now, remember the past. 

Friday: Cincy and Why We Did It

22 thoughts on “Fizzy: It’s bad, but it’s been worse

  1. The Delaware football games were always good but the real rivalry back then was the Temple/Delaware baseball games! Sometimes we played football… several bench clearly (donnybrooks) what made it sweeter we had several scholarship players from Delaware. Thanks to John D.

  2. My Delaware story: Only place I was ever booed. Our “Today’s Agenda” when I was the football beat writer at The Temple News was to meet up with soccer beat writer (and future Inquirer co-worker) Joe Juliano at halftime of the morning men’s soccer game with Delaware to map out stories (column, game story, sidebar) for the football game. I’m walking toward Joe and say: “hey, what’s the score?” He said, “0-0.” I said, “That’s the great thing about soccer. You can get there at halftime and not miss a thing.” Major boos coming from the Delaware crowd. 🙂

  3. Mickey Heinecken was my classmate in class 207 Central High School. He was a star receiver and punter on our high school team and also a top level player on our basketball team and on our public league champions baseball team. Last saw him at our 50th reunion, and he still looked great, and what a great gentleman. Rabbi Dick White

  4. My kids went to Central. My son was second team All-Public his senior year playing d-tackle at 220 pounds while playing against 300 pounders week in week out. His senior year Germantown won the championship and their offensive line averaged 320 pounds.

  5. Saturday’s game has been canceled and won’t be made up. The season is over.

  6. An intriguing match up that should take place is BYU and Cinncy on December 5th. Both schools have open dates that day. It would solidify either school’s bona fides about whether they belong in the playoffs.

  7. BYU-UC would be a great “play-in” game. ESPN would throw some $ at them to play it, or BYU could have their network cover and syndicate it elsewhere. Marshall/Coastal would be another good one.

    I don’t see UC-Tulsa for the AAC title game causing much of a stir.

  8. “I think it will be good to step away from football for a moment and let the players finish up the school semester strong. We all look forward to decompressing, learning from this experience, and coming back stronger in 2021.” Rod Carey.

    If it wasn’t sad, it would be funny. Decompress? From getting shellacked? Learn from experience? This is the guy that has not improved one aspect of this team over the past 2 seasons (see Special Teams). Coming back stronger? Anyone w/ any talent or sense will be departing this program faster than an Eddie Jones crossover dribble.

    This entire athletic department needs to be revaluated. You have a school that has improved in academics, facilities, and reputation yet the football and hoops are moving in the wrong direction. Get an AD in place, can Carey (somehow), I am a fan of Aaron Mckie and Mark Macon as players, but let’s be candid, does anyone think they are capable of putting basketball back to any relevance at TU?

    What is worse Mark Macon record at Binghamton which was 23-70 or Rod Carey’s 0-7 Bowl game record?

    Happy Thanksgiving. Disgraceful attitude shown by Carey, guy is happy they won’t play the game. For some players it might have been their competitive athletic finale. Don’t you say, listen, “I want to thank our seniors that unfortunately did not get to play their last game in Cherry and White, etc, etc, etc. Wish them well.

    Come back stronger in 2021 is freaking hollow from this dope.

    This guy has no class. No sense of how to build a program. Absolutely freaking clueless. Done w/ this program.

  9. Why was the game cancelled?

  10. O/U on the number of transfers?

  11. While i would like to see Cinncy and BYU play, I don’t think Cinncy will agree because they have more to lose. Right now they’re ranked seventh and if they win the AAC championship game they are guaranteed a premier bowl game. Even if they beat BYU, they will not be selected for the playoff unless every one of the teams raked ahead of them loses and even though it will not happen. .

    • Georgia getting into the playoff top 10 with two losses is a joke. If Cincy could get one of those P5 teams ahead of them to play, that would be great but Dec. 5 is out because the AAC won’t let them play against anyone that day.

  12. Florida-Alabama and Clemson-ND appear to be destined to face off, so two of the teams will lose. Yes, A&M would move into the top four then. Question is how far the two losers would fall….in front of UC or below them to elevate the Bearcats into real contention?

    Good point by John B regarding UC gaining nothing by playing BYU. Maybe BYU can get Utah to play them.

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