Football and More Mid-Nov. 2018

Boise State has a unique field and it will stay that way according to a book I read. The field is artificial turf and what makes it different is that it is blue in color. The book says it is the only blue field in college football and, due to a rule banning the use of any color other than green for fields, it will remain the only blue field in the game.

The Arkansas football program produced two coaches, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer, who won a NCAA title and a Super Bowl championship. Both won a Super Bowl with the Cowboys who were owned by another Arkansas product, a former player by the name of Jerry Jones. In addition, four men from the 1964 undefeated team went on to win a national title as a coach: Johnson and Switzer along with Frank Broyles and Johnny Majors.

Arnold “Pope” Galiffa tied for the most letters ever won at Army (I believe it was 11). I never saw his college stats until today. He led the Black Knights in passing three seasons in a row (1947-1949). Remember, passing stats back then are much different than in more recent years, but Galiffa was impressive enough to be featured on the front cover of a national magazine.

Stats: 1947– 22 of 49 for 295 yards; 1948– 44 of 95 for 701 yards; 1949– 50 of 97 for 887 yards. I believe there were many factors for the passing game not being as prolific as it later became including the fact that the ball itself was shaped differently making it more difficult to throw. The game has changed, but Galiffa, for his time, was clearly something special. There’s a story about when he fought in Korea and heaved a hand grenade a great distance, accurately taking out enemy positions. Reportedly, he could throw a grenade around 75 yards.

More on MLB strikeouts (see other blogs for original info on this topic): In 2018, 22.3% of all plate appearances resulted in a strikeout. I remember as a kid if a batter in a crucial spot struck out, to me it was a dramatic moment (especially if he took a called third strike–like maybe he froze on a curve or a beautifully placed fastball). Now K’s are so commonplace, I almost expect rallies or big moments to end with a whiff. The 22.3% is the highest in MLB history.

Plus, 33.7% of all plate appearances end in either a strikeout, a walk, or a home run. Everyone swings from the heels it seems. No wonder some fans are turned off by the lack of activity on the diamond–all the walks and K’s can become tiresome and the over abundance of homers waters down it’s dramatic input (I think). The 33.7% is also the highest rate ever.

2 thoughts on “Football and More Mid-Nov. 2018”

  1. Gonna drift a little here Wayne…..you talked about the Arkansas football program so that stirred something in me.Little known to a lot of football fans in the Mon Valley area is a person named Bob Stankovich,from Bentleyville.He attended Mon Valley Catholic High School,graduated from there in 1964….a year after my older brother…..and was an exceptional football player,I believe he made All -Catholic that year….which really did not mean that much to the rest of the western pa football world…….the guys that were good there received very little attention as far as being recruited by major colleges…..at any rate Stankovich was shown no interest by anyone evidently…..supposedly to slow although I believe he was about 6ft 4 in,and topped 250 pounds…but I’ll get to that later….his coach …also from Bentleyville ….named Val Jansante was an ex-Steeler,,,,had been a starting end from sometime in the late 40’s to early 50’s…was there when Rudy Andabaker was with the Steelers….and like Rudy he had football contacts thruout the country….at any rate he recommended Stankovich to a junior college coach in Kansas….he went there and this coach completely turned Stankovich around…..and he became a hot commodity for colleges in the midwest and southwest….he ended up getting a scholarship for his last 2 years at Arkansas where he became an instant starting offnesive guard,made all-conference was drafted by and was on the Kansas City Chiefs roster for I believe 2 years before either injury or just not being good enough ended his football career…..I remember this because his younger brother and I were in the same class when I was at Mon Valley….and he kept me supplied with info.One reason he was not looked at by major colleges that year was because the MVC football team of 1963 (grad in 64)had what was probably their best year in talent.Joe Hornak,from Donora,was all-state honorable mention at tackle,Joe Dzurinko from Charleroi was an all Catholic selection,Frank Brletich from Donora was also all Catholic,Mike Vitalbo …again from Donora….as a sophomore was on again off again starter at q.b.Chuck Defobis and Rich Rippepi from Monongahela were extremely good and fast running backs….all of them ended up going to college…..Hornak,Dzurinko,Rippepi,Vitalbo all went to Waynesburg and were starters or backups for the team that was 1966 NAIA chamions,Frank Breletich played for Naval Academy for 2 years till I believe an injury sidelined him….it actually was,even though they had a 5-4 ,or 5-3 record an exceptional team considering they were playing schools that had 2-3 times their enrollment…..okay I drifted again….just some info thought you might like

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  2. I did enjoy hearing and Learning about all your information. You know how I could contact any of those guys? maybe I could do an article about them or certainly about Stankovich sometime down the road. Thanks for such information, Pat, it is always appreciated By the way I know bill Stankevich who lived on Thompson Avenue near 10th St. who also went to mon valley I wonder if they’re related

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