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Field trip to eternity

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first_imgRicky Jackson and Russ Grimm both played at the University of Pittsburgh under Jackie Sherrill. Both were drafted in the second and third rounds in 1981 by the Saints and the Redskins, respectively. Imagine some of the practices at Pitt in the late ’70s! How could Sherrill prevent unintended bloodshed with Grimm and Jimbo Covert on the offensive line and Jackson along with Hugh Green patrolling along the line of scrimmage for the Panthers? Jackson talked about his Pittsburgh connection. “I tell you, I end up going to the University of Pittsburgh. We had a lot of great athletes. You got Russ Grimm, Dan Marino, Mark May. When I went there on a recruiting trip they had Tony Dorsett showing most of us around. They had just won the national championship. They was 12-0. One thing that I can say, coach Jackie Sherrill, he put a lot of young men together from all walks of life.”In the beginning of an emotional acceptance speech Grimm said; “Of all the guys that I could’ve picked, [to introduce him] I knew picking Joe [Bugel] would start me out being a little bit emotional, but with the humidity and some of the pollen, if I start to tear up little bit, that’s the reason.” During Grimm’s stellar career, I am certain that many defensive linemen “cried a few tears” at the thought of spending 60 minutes picking themselves up after being brutalized by Grimm and the rest of his “hog mates.’The football intellect and savvy of legendary Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has not, now or ever really been questioned. Michael Herr, writing for the Detroit News, asked LeBeau if he remembered an incident in which Lions head coach Joe Schmidt had considered using LeBeau as a player/coach late in his playing career.LeBeau said that; “Actually, I remember it very well. Coach [Bud] Grant from the Vikings had called Coach Joe about the possibility of me going to work up there. Joe said no, he’s going to continue to play. I guess that might have gotten Joe thinking about using me as a player coach. We talked about it a couple of times. I think that’s about where it ended. I think that I really would have liked to have done that because I was quite a bit older than most of the guys anyhow but there had not been a whole lot of player-coaches in the history of the league but I would have liked to have tried it. I kind of knew from a pretty early age that I was going to go into coaching on some level.”The love that LeBeau had for his players was obvious in his humble and emotion- filled acceptance speech. He pointed out that “A few years ago we played in this game. Joey Porter and James Farrior got this idea that they would put on Dick LeBeau jerseys and wear them all over. Last year Rod Woodson stood up here in his induction speech and he mentioned me.” He also talked about Ike Taylor. “I might be a bit off on this but when I first came there [Pittsburgh], I don’t think I started him [in] one game. Now he’s started every game that we’ve played for the last six years. He hasn’t missed a game, hasn’t missed a snap. That’s a great record of durability and dependability. “But back to Little who grew up in a time when it was okay for African-Americans to belittle each other because of their skin “tone” and “African” physical characteristics.Gary Smith wrote for Sports Illustrated that Little had an “old hurt from childhood when even Black kids called him Cheetah, after Tarzan’s chimp, because his skin was so Black.” It is apparent that time and life’s experiences have added class and clarity to the journey of Little and have been the ointment that helped heal those old wounds. Little said, “There’s no words to describe the joy of experiencing this final sports chapter of my life. Every player wakes up wishing to have this honor. I have been favored by God and by those who have had a say in what happens to me.”Indeed if the pilgrimage to Canton by the 2010 Steelers to honor and induct Dick LeBeau and his fellow “classmates” into the “corridors of forever” amounted to a “field trip” then that getaway from school has to be one of the greatest trips of all time.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412-583-6741.) There was something special in the air regarding the 2010 Pro Football Hall-of-Fame inductees. All of these men deserved to be enshrined and in the case of Floyd Little and Dick LeBeau, better late than never. What struck me, aside from the heat and humidity at Canton, was the humility of Russ Grimm and LeBeau; the swagger and bright personality of Emmitt Smith; the coolness and calm confidence of Jerry Rice; the quiet intensity of Ricky Jackson; the craftiness of John Randle and the relieved smile of Little. They all have my heartfelt congratulations at being part of one the world’s greatest sports fraternities. Oh by the way, Emmitt Smith gave a 24-minute speech without any notes and without the use of a teleprompter. Mr. Smith does not need me to write any of his quotes.last_img read more

Thurston County Residents Reminded of Summer Safety as Heat Wave Approaches

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first_imgFacebook37Tweet0Pin0  The heat can be hard on the young and the elderly. Check on relatives and neighbors who may be more sensitive to hot weather—young children, infants, seniors and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk during extreme hot weather.For additional safety tips on how to beat the heat, download the Thurston County Medic One pamphlet at www.co.thurston.wa.us/medic1/documents/Heat-injury-pamphlet.pdf. Know the basics and know your limits. Stay sober, learn CPR and always take a cell phone with GPS.Do you need a life jacket before you hit the water? Safe Kids Thurston County has a life jacket loaner program, where you can borrow life jackets at no cost. The life jacket loaner program has life jackets in every size, from infant to adult, available at Kenneydell Park, Pioneer Park, Millersylvania State Park, Clear Lake, Summit Lake, Lawrence Lake and Offutt Lake Resort. Visit www.SafeKidsThurstonCounty.org/water-safety for more information on the life jacket loaner program and other child safety information.As temperatures climb this weekend, keeps tabs on weather conditions and hot weather tips and information with the Thurston County Emergency Management Division web pages at www.co.thurston.wa.us/em. If temperatures rise to the mid-90s or higher, additional tips and possible cooling center information will be posted on the Emergency Management Facebook and Twitter accounts.Stay connected with TCEM with social media. Get Thurston County Emergency Management updates on Facebook and Twitter:Facebook: ThurstonEMTwitter: @ThurstonEM Find cooler air in public places. Shopping centers, movie theaters, libraries and community centers are typically air conditioned, so go out, have fun and find some cooler air. Rivers, lakes and beaches have hidden hazards. Watch out for sudden drop-offs, riptides and currents, rocks, logs and snags that are hidden underwater. Take it easy and avoid heatstroke. Don’t over-exert yourself with heavy duty yard work or strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. Submitted by Thurston CountySummer heat is about to take hold in the Puget Sound region, and Thurston County’s emergency services staff are reminding residents that a few simple tips can help you beat the heat and stay safe, too.HOT WEATHER TIPSKeep a cool head and remember the basics: drink plenty of fluids; avoid the sun and stay in the shade; use sunscreen even if you’re outside for only a few minutes. NEVER leave children or pets in a hot car. The air may be hot, but the water is still cold. Many rivers and lakes in western Washington are fed by snow melt and glaciers, and the average water temperature for Puget Sound is only about 60 degrees. Stay close to shore and rest if you are cold or tired. Swimming in open water is harder than in a pool, and even strong swimmers will tire faster and get into trouble more quickly. Stay close to shore where rescuers can easily reach you in an emergency. WATER SAFETYA day at the beach or on the lake is a great way to beat the holiday heat, and following some simple water safety tips can keep your fun in the sun from taking a tragic turn.Life jackets save lives! The best way for kids and adults to stay safe when swimming, boating or floating is to wear a life jacket that fits you well. Always swim with a buddy, and swim where there are lifeguards when possible. Let friends and family know where you plan to swim and when you expect to return home.  Keep pets cool, too. Check on your outdoor pets frequently and make sure they have shelter from the sun and plenty of water.last_img read more