Freestyle Friday

Some of you may know that, after a very successful stint as the head football coach at St. Cecilia High School in Englewood, New Jersey, Vince Lombardi was an assistant coach at Army under the legendary Earl “Red” Blaik. It was from there that Lombardi jumped to the NFL as an assistant coach with the New York Giants in 1954.

Whose departure created the vacancy that Lombardi filled at Army? It was Sid Gillman, who only coached there for one season (1948) in between successful tenures as head coach at Miami of Ohio and the University of Cincinnati. Of course, Gillman was a revolutionary coach in his own right, pioneering the use of the vertical passing game in pro football and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well as the College Football Hall of Fame. Going back to Gillman’s one season at Army, I am puzzled by why he left Miami of Ohio, where his teams had a 31-6-1 record in his four seasons as head coach. At Cincinnati, Gillman’s teams were 50-13-1; he then became head coach of the Los Angeles Rams in 1955. The Rams played in the NFL Championship game that season.

I don’t know why Lombardi succeeding Gillman at Army is just now coming to the forefront of my consciousness, if I have any. It is ironic, of course, that the two coaches had diametrically opposite views about pro football offenses. Lombardi’s pet play was, of course, the power sweep, which was really just a play from the single-wing days of football. He believed in running the ball as the primary focus and using the run to set up the pass.

As stated earlier, Gillman believed in throwing the ball as the primary focus of an offense. Love him or hate him, Al Davis took that philosophy to the Raiders. Davis coached under Gillman with the Chargers from 1960 to 1962. Davis once said, “Sid Gillman brought class to the AFL. Bring part of Sid’s organization was like going to a laboratory for the highly developed science of professional football.” Davis also remarked, “Sid Gillman was the father of modern-day passing.”

Bill Walsh, who coached under Davis with the Raiders, said this about Gillman, “He was so far ahead of his time, people couldn’t totally understand what he was doing. He was one of the great offensive minds in football history. He was a mentor to me and had a lot to do with any success I had. There’s a lineage between Sid Gillman and what you see on the field today.”

Thanks, in part, to rules changes implemented in the NFL beginning in the late 1970s, modern pro football offenses much more closely resemble Gillman’s idiom than Lombardi’s. I don’t watch too much of the football talking head shows, but it seems as though Gillman is more or less forgotten today. Maybe if more people knew that one succeeded the other as offensive line coach at Army under Red Blaik, Gillman would be remembered more. Of course, maybe he wouldn’t.

I did not intend to write 500+ words on Sid Gillman this morning. I also did not mention that Gillman was Jewish and felt anti-Semitism played a role in his not getting the Ohio State head coaching job in the 1950s. At times, Lombardi believed anti-Italian prejudice hindered his advancement in the coaching profession. Again, I am struck by the parallels and differences between the two legendary coaches. I haven’t mentioned, until now, that Gillman was really the pioneer of the use of film study in football (his father owned a movie theater and the younger Gillman would take the football segments out of newsreels so he could study them) while Lombardi was also ahead of the curve in the use of film.

 

See the source image

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This recent piece in Mac’s Motor City Garage begins, “While the Studebaker Avanti is celebrated as a masterpiece in American design today, it was the product of a rush job by an automaker that was almost out of business.” Also from the article:

 

 

The post is worth reading even if you’re not a big fan of the Avanti. I am, of course, and the car was listed among just seven in my first Ultimate Garage for my previous blog that was hosted by the Evil Empire, AKA Google. If the legislation permitting low-volume replicas of classic cars were really meaningful, maybe we would see the production of a modern Avanti.

 

#FreestyleFriday

#SidGillman

#VinceLombardi

#StudebakerAvanti

#somanyCARSjustonelife

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Wednesday Words Of Wisdom

Once again, from Vince Lombardi:

 

“We as individuals have struggled to liberate ourselves from ancient traditions, congealed creeds and despotic states. Therefore, freedom was necessarily idealized against order, the new against the old and genius against discipline. Everything was done to strengthen the rights of the individual and weaken the state…and weaken all authority. I think we all shared in this rebellion, but maybe the battle was too completely won, maybe we have too much freedom. Maybe we have so long ridiculed authority in the family, discipline in education and decency in conduct and law that our freedom has brought us close to chaos.”

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From last week an article from Hagerty about “records” the C8 Corvette Z06 engine will/could set for production car V-8 engines. Two are the highest redline in an American performance car, but more significantly and one about which I have written, the highest output from a naturally-aspirated V-8.

 

 

It should be obvious that this is not a C8 Z06 as they have not been officially introduced. This is my “go-to” picture of a C8 because I really like the color combination.

The LT6, the designation for the C8 Z06 engine, will almost certainly be the last exciting iteration of a naturally-aspirated, internal combustion motor for a Corvette. The E-Ray, supposedly to be introduced the model year after the Z06, will bring hybrid technology to the Vette. If the rumors are true, the ZR-1–with a twin-turbo version of the Z06 engine–will be next and then the Zora, which is supposed to have the twin-turbo engine PLUS electric motors. After that, it’s entirely possible that either the C9 or C10 will be electric only. By the way, the rumors are that the Zora will have 1,000+ HP and 1,000+ LB-FT of torque. Oh, it won’t cost seven figures like the McLaren P1 or the Ferrari LaFerrari.

My head is spinning and my heart is heavy at the thought of being able to buy a new Corvette only with an electric drivetrain. With almost 1.8 million Corvettes having been sold, will Chevrolet make it to two million before total electrification?

 

#WednesdayWordsOfWisdom

#VinceLombardi

#C8CorvetteZ06

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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The Beginning Of The Middle

Today’s post title refers to yesterday’s post/post title.

 

The good news is that blog views for April, 2021 were 16% higher than for April, 2020, when views took a quantum leap up in the wake of the damn virus. The bad news is that the average number of views per day for April, 2021 was 16% lower than the average of the previous six months.

As I wrote somewhere in this blog, I believe that the six months ending in March of this year will represent the high-water mark for blog views. As people stop being confined they will read less and spend less time with their computers and mobile devices. It is what it is.

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From a speech by Vince Lombardi, thoughts on a theme about which I have written:

 

“We as individuals have struggled to liberate ourselves from ancient traditions, congealed creeds and despotic states. Therefore, freedom was necessarily idealized against order, the new against the old and genius against discipline. Everything was done to strengthen the rights of the individual and weaken the state…and weaken all authority. I think we all shared in this rebellion, but maybe the battle was too completely won, maybe we have too much freedom. Maybe we have so long ridiculed authority in the family, discipline in education and decency in conduct and law that our freedom has brought us close to chaos.”

 

That last sentence rings very true for me. I think about the assault on the US Capitol in January, about the Antifa riots, about people refusing to wear masks and get vaccinated, and I think people have lost all respect for anyone except them, for any ideas with which they disagree. I would add that this behavior also stems from excessive narcissism, but that could be partly explained by the struggle “to liberate ourselves from ancient traditions, congealed creeds and despotic states.”

I have no answers, only despair. I think “social media” plays a huge role in the decay of respect for others and for other ideas. It is my fervent, albeit futile, hope that Fack Fucebook is broken up and that Zark Muckerberg ends up in prison.

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On this day in 1953 Zora Arkus-Duntov was hired by Chevrolet although, initially, he had no involvement in the recently introduced Corvette. However, before the year was over Duntov wrote an internal memo titled, “Thoughts on Youth, Hot-Rodders and Chevrolet.” He expressed his thoughts that an image for high performance cars should be developed by Chevrolet with the Corvette as the focus and, as such, was linked to that effort thereafter.

It was Duntov who first proposed a mid-engine design for the Corvette in the 1950s and that culminated in the first mid-engine Corvette prototype, the CERV I of 1959. That it took 60-ish years for Chevrolet and GM to actually produce a mid-engine Corvette…well, I guess large companies are like large ships in that it’s difficult to change direction quickly.

While I doubt my wonderful wife or I will ever own a mid-engine Corvette, I think the decision to produce such a car was the “right” decision and the overwhelming success of the C8 so far seems to confirm that thought. The obligatory picture of a C8 Corvette:

 

See the source image

 

Is it really May 1?!

 

#TheBeginningOfTheMiddle

#VinceLombardi

#TooMuchFreedomIsAlsoNotAGoodThing

#FackFucebook

#ZoraArkusDuntov

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Whistle While You Wednesday

Today’s post will be as random as the title…

 

One year ago today 56PackardMan wrote his last post (at least as of now). Dirty Dingus McGee informed me that he is still posting comments on Bring A Trailer.

While we did not agree on every issue he was a great booster of this blog. He did not reply to two emails I sent him after he stopped posting and I have respected his privacy since then.

I miss his contributions to this blog and his disappearance from the blogosphere has somewhat changed the direction of my blog in that I am posting less about defunct American makes–like Packard–than before. I hope he is still reading Disaffected Musings on occasion and will consider posting a comment or two in the near future.

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I am re-reading When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss’ biography of Vince Lombardi, for the eighth or tenth time. Can you say OCD?

During one of those readings 7-10 years ago I had a dream that I was Lombardi’s quarterback with the Packers. It was one of the most vividly real dreams of my life. I guess that dream was the definition of wish fulfillment.

Of course, when I first discovered sports at about the age of 8 I dreamt of being a professional athlete. While I actually played football and basketball (ironically, I didn’t play too much baseball, the sport in which I would make a living for 20+ years), much of my “involvement” consisted of making playing statistics for myself and for those friends/family who would be my imaginary teammates.

Around age 12 I discovered statistically based sports table top games like APBA and Strat-O-Matic and, some might say, the rest is history. I certainly felt that playing those games gave me insight into strategy and the power of data.

Playing those games also might have been the most fun I had during my teenage years. As recently as last year I played a computer football game based on statistics and that is not a video game. I am debating whether or not to order the game with the players based on last season.

Part of me thinks I am just too old to continue playing sports games. Part of me is turned off by the dismissive manner of the game’s creator and publisher when I informed him of the many bugs in it, a game that has been on the market for 20+ years and shouldn’t have any bugs. However, part of me wants to buy the game, have my usual random draft of players and see how the season turns out. It will give me something to do while I am hibernating during the hot Arizona summer.

I have not made up my mind. The new edition of the game is supposed to be available beginning today. My wonderful wife, (i)ncomparable niece and Dr. Zal all think I should buy the game. Do any of you want to offer an opinion?

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This was my view yesterday while walking to the mailbox:

 

 

If you look closely you can see houses on the side of the mountain. I don’t think I would ever live that high up on a mountain, but I’m sure the views are amazing.

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A photo I forgot to include in a recent post:

 

 

This is a 1948 Buick Super that I photographed while at the local Gateway Classic Cars franchise. I have an affinity for Buicks, of course, since the first car I ever drove was a 1956 Century.

I really like the looks of this car, especially the waterfall grille. Maybe one of these days…

 

#WhistleWhileYouWednesday

#VinceLombardi

#WishFulfillment

#DesertViews

#1948BuickSuper

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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