Fanview Lite: December 2, 2009

Does anybody remember "The Diesel"? If you don't check out, Toby Gerhart

Does anybody remember "The Diesel"? If you don't check out, Toby Gerhart

Good Evening!

Note to Steve Bogan: Bro, you need to come on the show.

This just in Matt Koffler has turned down an offer to become the new head coach at Louisville.

One thing we’ve learned this football season about Diamond Ranch HC Roddy Layton is a wise sportswriter can use one Layton response to a question for the entire year. Peterson has had his fun with SD’s Bill Zernickow, but you gotta love the guys who just let it rip.

Favorite Steve Garrison moment came about five years ago, I asked one question, and the dude just went…I got most of it on tape and when the tape ran out I jotted the rest of it down…When he was finished, he smiled and said; “You’re gonna clean that up for me right?”

Of course I did…Anything for Garrison, especially after he stopped confusing me with for Trib sports guy Aram Tolegian…

I think we need a spring high school football league…The J.V. season should be moved to the spring, so all the talent can be evaluated and they don’t have to feel like a warm act to the varsity. Junior Varsity football, Thursday afternoons, all local, 3:15 P.M., its good for programs stretched thin with coaches…its good for the junkies…and it keeps the sports guys talking football legitimately 12-months out of the year…

Somebody tell me this project doesn’t have legs?  

Are we overlooking Shawn Kennedy as a key at San Dimas this weekend?

Charter Oak? Donde gear?

Hey, I agree, got to get off the snide…Its basketball season La Canada’s Tamar Hill and El Monte’s Brian Tabatabai are already sending me their stuff.

Though I hear they are about ready to call it a basketball season UCLA?

Of course I’m rooting for the local team on Saturday night, but Whittier Christian you have a great fan base…Welcome to The Mid…Garrett Fulbright has played so well this season, you really ought to let him have the second “L”…He’s earned it…

Stanford HC Jim Harbaugh has done it, but few others have mentioned much on Cardinal running back Toby Gerhart being the next John Riggins…Being old enough to have seen Riggins play for the Jets and Redskins, Gerhart is Riggins: A dominant power back, with break away speed, a true punisher of defenders.

Did you know in the last 50-years Monrovia has reached the semifinals in football 11 times? In ten previous final four trips the Wildcats advanced to the title game six times. And (if I can use “And”) six times they have come into a semifinal undefeated, four times they have moved on to the finals.

Research Limited: I did not have the time to check how many semifinals Monrovia has been in all time. We do know they went from 1922 to 1935 without a playoff appearance, and that they reached the finals in both 1935 and 1951.

The 1951 squad was 11-0 before falling to Pomona in the title tilt (to borrow an expression from back in the ancients) 26-13. The game was played at Mount San Antonio College in front of an estimated overflow crowd of 17,000 people.

In 1935 Pomona handed the Wildcats their lone regular season loss, 7-0, in week three. Coach Gene McCallister’s group led by offensive lineman Louis Bowman, quarterback Frank Spratt, fullback Leroy Zimmerman, and halfback Lee McNeil recovered to reach the semifinals before falling to Muir at the Rose Bowl. That was on December 7th, 1935. On December 10th CIF Official Seth Van Patton informed McCallister that Muir had forfeited the game because of an ineligible player, thus M-Town advanced to the finals to face Santa Barbara.

Four days later Santa Barbara scored with five minutes remaining to defeat Monrovia, 14-12, for the CIF title in front of 10,000 at the Rose Bowl.

Last Add Muir: The ineligible player was reserve quarterback Tony Beebe, a transfer from the Army-Navy Academy in San Diego, who didn’t reveal to school officials he had passed only two courses the previous semester.

(Those transfers will get you every time)

Last Add Monrovia: Not trying to stir the pot, but attempting to show how the reporting has changed in sports (Remember this is 12 years before Jackie Robinson). Wildcat halfback Lee McNeill was nicknamed “Little Comma” Lee McNeill. This guy had a terrific season and scored two touchdowns in Monrovia’s first round playoff win against Riverside, including a 66-yard sprint over left guard to paydirt.

What’s the big deal? McNeil was black, and the sportswriters of the day were very careful to point out he was black, along with Cats lineman Don Presley (who keyed a victory over Burbank in week five when he fell on a fumble in the end zone).

What’s the bigger deal? They didn’t call McNeill black…One headline read: “Speedy Negro Ace Leads Cats”. Another in the course of a game story described him as “Monrovia’s colored ball-toter”…

I was blown away…I’m not ignorant to history, and I understand the world was a different place then, but I do have to admit seeing all of that in bold print stopped me in my tracks.

…And I don’t have a comment to add…Except I’m grateful for my upbringing, where I was raised, how I was raised, and who I was raised by…Weird, but it made me think of my recently passed mom, who was a young girl in 1935 and somehow escaped being part of that mindset.

Stay thirsty my friends…


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