Friday, August 17, 2012

the last book I ever read (Instant Replay, excerpt five)

from Instant Replay: The Green Bay Diary of Jerry Kramer by Jerry Kramer and Dick Schaap:

Vince has always chewed Fuzzy and me pretty hard, and once we stopped and figured out why. First, Vince was an offensive coach before he was a head coach, so he's tougher on the offense. Second, he played the line himself, so he's tougher on linemen. Third, he was a guard, so he's tougher on guards. And fourth, from my own point of view, he was a right guard, so he's tougher on me than anybody.

In 1959, his first year, he drove me unmercifully during the two-a-days. He called me an old cow one afternoon and said that I was the worst guard he'd ever seen. I'd been working hard, killing myself, and he took all the air out of me. I'd lost seven or eight pounds that day, and when I got into the locker room, I was too drained to take my pads off. I just sat in front of my locker, my helmet off, my head down, wondering what I was doing playing football, being as bad as I was, getting cussed like I was. Vince came in and walked over to me, put his hand on the back of my head, mussed my hair and said, "Son, one of these days you're going to be the greatest guard in the league." He is a beautiful psychologist. I was ready to go back out to practice for another four hours.

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