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Posts tagged: football coaches

“Put a hat on him!”

If you click on the link below and scroll down to the capsule preview for Central Michigan, you will see a reference to a guard named Ken Bickel. He would be my ninth grade football coach.

He used to yell “Put a hat on him!” Which meant use your helmet as a battering ram.

That advice notwithstanding, I think he knew what he was doing. And though he could be intense, he was not a humorless hardass 24/7.

I still resent being pulled out of a game after my pass for a two-point conversion was off the mark. There was a penalty, so we got a do-over. My replacement, a guy who would have a brief career in the NBA, ran the same exact play and zipped a completion.

Anyway, I expect to get over that any day now. 

I think about Ken Bickel for a moment each August, when I briefly savor not having to sweat out two-a-days.

Hope he had a happy life.

(This all sounded a bit familiar. So I checked the archives and was reminded that I had written about Coach Bickel in 2008. Seems like I would have remembered that. But maybe I followed his orders to “put a hat on him” too many times.)

Where have those shoes been?

I only bring it up because John Blanchette tells a story about the glamour of sportswriting that involves interviewing Don Shula while the coach was on the toilet. 

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Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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