By Dr. Sharon Ocker
One year, the conference coaches picked the Morningside men’s basketball team to finish third in the pre-season poll. Coach Dan Callahan said, “I don’t know how to coach for third place.”
Rich Vanderloo 1965 transferred to Morningside from the University of Iowa. Baseball coach Don Protexter 1949 tried to shorten his swing. His first game with Morningside was against Westmar. Rich hit a homer. As he was coming around third, Pro grabbed his hand and said, “You’re gonna hurt yourself swinging so darn hard.”
Jamie Sale reflected about his National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II 2008-09 National Championship women’s basketball team that went 38-0. “They were willing to play together and they didn’t care who got the credit. One of the biggest examples of that was Dani Gass 2009. She was the National Player of the Year, but only the fourth leading scorer on our team. I doubt if that has ever been done before.”
The legendary Morningside coach and director of athletics, Jason Saunderson, had a piece in the 1929 Sioux annual that spoke volumes about athletics and citizenship. It is worthy of our consideration:
“That a keen, active mind be formed in a strong, virile body; that impulse be tempered with reason, and self-expression restricted by law; that measurements not of one’s own making be recognized and accepted at their proper values; that the courteous word and chivalrous deed be present even in the heat of combat, the flush of victory, or the sting of defeat; that in the atmosphere of the classroom these same ennobling principles, finding a fuller field for operation, may result in the most perfect development of manhood – an athlete, a scholar, and a Christian gentleman; these are the objects of college athletics.”
Here are a few more quotations from “Sports Shorts” by Glenn Liebman and “Sportswit” by Lee Green:
- Basketball: “If winning isn’t important, why keep score?” – Adolph Rupp, coach at Kentucky
- Baseball: “Baseball is a game where a curve is an optical illusion, a screwball can be a pitch or a person, stealing is legal and you can spit anywhere you like except in the umpire’s eye or on the ball.” – Jim Murray, sportswriter.
- Boxing: “I fought Sugar Ray Robinson so many times it’s a wonder I didn’t get diabetes.” – Jake LaMotta, former middleweight champ on his five bouts with Sugar Ray.
- Soccer: “The rules are very simple. If it moves, kick it. If it doesn’t move, kick it till it does.” – Phil Woosnam, American Soccer League commissioner.
- Basketball: “They were calling fouls like they were getting a commission.” – Peter Salzberg, Vermont coach, after officials assessed 57 fouls in a game.