Roy Exum: Pat Sullivan Sad And Glad

Thursday, August 29, 2013 - by Roy Exum

Pat Sullivan, the head football coach at Samford, just announced he will miss his team’s opening game this Friday against Georgia State. Sadly, he is still recovering from back surgery. Chattanooga fans will remember that he wasn’t on the sidelines last year when UTC beat the Bulldogs, 20-13, due to pneumonia.

Sullivan, a cancer survivor, has missed all of fall camp this August after his back was fused in July, yet he hoped to be back by the Friday game. Defensive coordinator Bill D'Ottavio will serve as head coach in Sullivan's absence, just as he did against UTC last year.

But the 1971 Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn had to be glad when AL.com, after conducting a reader’s poll all summer, named him as both the best all-time high school quarterback and high school player ever in the state. Sullivan played at John Carroll Catholic and was a high school All-American as both a junior and a senior before he became a sensation at Auburn.

In the voting for the “greatest player,”  Sullivan was followed – in order -- by David Palmer, Kenny Stabler, Cornelius Bennett, Ozzie Newsome, Tim Castille, JaMarcus Russell and Andre Smith. In the “best quarterback” race, Stabler was second, followed by Bart Starr, JaMarcus Russell, Jeff Rutledge, Condredge Holloway, and Pat Trammell.

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Four football players from William Patterson University, a Division III school in Wayne, New Jersey, walked into Buddy’s Small Lots store last Sunday to get some sunglasses and batteries. They waited for the clerk, looking everywhere for somebody after gathering the items, but the store was quiet. Finally, one player posed in front of the security camera, waved enough money to pay for the items, and the players left the cash on the counter.

Thomas James, Kell’e Gallimore, Jelani Bruce and Anthony Biondi did the right thing and suddenly, in a day when players’ off-the-field antics so often wind up on the police blotter, the Pioneers of William Patterson U. are getting far-different raves across the country.

It turns out Buddy’s Small Lots was supposed to be closed but somebody left the lights on from the night before. The locking system on the door also malfunctioned. Police called the owner to say the burglar alarm had been tripped and, when Marci saw the money, she got the thrill of her life when she finally studied the security tape.

William Patterson’s head coach, Jerry Flora, wasn’t surprised at all when he heard what the players had done. “That’s the kind of kids we try to recruit so we can obviously deal with a lot less headaches, if you know what I mean.”

Store owner Marci Lederman was thrilled by the players’ honesty. “They could have ransacked the store. They really could have done anything. They were perfect gentlemen. They were looking to see was anybody here. They even looked in the back to make sure no one was lying on the floor dead.”

Lederman was so moved she called a local TV station to share the tape and the story. On Tuesday she gave each player a $50 gift certificate. “They were just very thankful and grateful. They’re nice kids.”

* * *

There is a classified ad in the current issue of Indiana Auto & RV classifieds that is causing quite a stir and has gone viral on the Internet. It reads: “2002 Harley Davidson V-Rod. 12,500 mi., nice bike. Fast, pretty, great ride, girlfriend pregnant, wife knows, must sell, lawyer wants money. $7,800.

* * *

Glenn Miller wouldn’t know what had hit him if the famed band leader were still alive today. A dazzling singing group made up completely of Russian women is called ??????? 10, or Soprano 10 in English,) and it is fun to watch them sing the “Chattanooga Choo Choo.”

royexum@aol.com



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