Speech Wasn’t a Dead Ringer for Rockne’s

Knute Rockne’s “Win one for the Gipper” pregame speech to his Notre Dame team is part of sports lore.

David Tarrant of the Dallas Morning News wrote that Grant Teaff, former Baylor coach, made a lesser-known but stirring motivational speech while he was a young coach at McMurry College in Abilene, Tex.

“Looking for an edge against a strong Arlington State team, Teaff spotted his team’s mascot, an old boxer named Ringer, outside the locker room. The dog had been in a fight and was limping, his ear torn and a chunk of hair missing from his hide.”


Said Teaff: “Fellows, last night those people from Arlington came in here and got hold of ol’ Ringer. Just look at him!”

Inspired and emotional, Teaff’s team beat favored Arlington by 20 points.

Trivia time: What former football coach holds the NCAA Division I-A record for career winning percentage?

Opinion: Bill Walton in Inside Sports’ 1995-96 NBA preview article: “The Lakers lose too many home games that really good teams should never lose--such as Game 6 of the semifinals against the [San Antonio] Spurs.

“That inability to close out an opponent at home is a result of overconfidence and showboating instead of taking care of business.”

Sky logic: Detroit Tiger Manager Sparky Anderson in an interview in the Detroit News: “I hear some of our guys complaining about where they sit on airplanes. Will they get there any quicker if they sit in a different seat?”

The actor factor: Former Ram defensive end Jack Youngblood chatted with novelist Laura Ford about playing the role of Buffalo Bill in the screen version of Ford’s soon-to-be-published book called “For the Love of Jenny.” Youngblood wound up accepting the part.

Said Youngblood: “I want to tackle this role.”

Ochres?John Hopkins in the London Times on the Ryder Cup: “Europe’s stunning one-point victory over the United States on Sunday afternoon daubed a blob of colour onto the palette of international golf as vivid as the autumnal reds and ochres on the thousands of trees that dominate Oak Hill Country Club.”

Just wondering: Now that the New Orleans Saints are winless in four games, will the “Aints” return?

In 1980, when the Saints had a 1-15 record, fans, known as “Aints,” covered their heads with paper bags to hide their embarrassment.

Mystery title: From the Good Doctor in Inside Sports:

Q: Settle a bet, Doc. Who is the heavyweight champion of the world?

A: No one knows.

Looking back: On this day in 1933, USC defeated Loyola, 18-0, in the last football meeting between the schools.

Trivia answer: Rockne (105-12-5) at .881. Notre Dame’s Frank Leahy is No. 2 (107-13-9) at .864.

Quotebook: Roger Clemens, Boston Red Sox pitcher, on signing autographs: “You can’t make people happy. You sign 30, and you don’t get to 20 of the people, and they all go home cursing you.”