Thursday, March 21, 2013
(1963 Westfield High Football Coach)
When not in school or on the field we cruised the town in my 1958 MGA convertible sports car (GIYP.) That’s right; we were completely full of ourselves.
On a Sunday after we won our fifth straight game, Charley and I were hot-rodding around town in the MGA with the top down. We were waiting at a stop light and just as it turned to green, some ass-hole behind us leaned on the horn. Being cocky seventeen year olds and completely full of ourselves we were not going to allow anyone to disrespect us at a traffic light.
I raised a uni-digit salute and Chuck turned and hollered “Eat a Dick.” He then turned back to me as we sped off and with a suddenly ashen face informed me that the honker was Coach Zimmer.
“Oh SHIT, that was Old Zimm!”
We were no longer feeling like hot shit. We felt more like scared little boys. On Monday at practice we would be sure to face a very angry Coach Zimmer, worse still his good friend Coach Kehler, and even worse, the backfield coach Norm Khoury, who we were convinced was a homicidal maniac.
We sweated it out all day at school on Monday. We did not have contact with any of the coaches, but we knew we were in trouble come practice. It was highly unacceptable to disrespect any coach on the team. If coach Zimmer knew we called him “Old Zimm” it would be bad. Telling him to “Eat a Dick” and flipping him off was a disaster. We expected to be running laps for a week, probably be benched for at least one game and we would be on leaf-raking duty the rest of the season for anyone on the high school faculty that had a tree.
That Monday afternoon we dressed for practice thinking the worse was going to come down on us. We trotted out to the field and took the usual warm-ups. Then Coach Kehler called everyone in.
“Hagy…Widmer…front and center, Coach Zimmer has something to say to you guys.”
Oh shit, here it comes.
“Listen up you guys, maybe you didn’t think I heard you over that loud motorized roller skate you drive, but when I beep a friendly hello, I do not expect you to respond to me using my first name! Remember, it is COACH ZIMMER! I demand that respect, now give me 50 pushups and after practice you are going to run 10 laps!”
Fifty push-ups and 10 laps? That was a piece of cake. Apparently the coach thought I waved and not that I flipped him a bird, and all he heard from Charlie’s hollering was “Dick!”
We only got into trouble because the coach thought we called him by his first name.
Damn we were lucky that Old Zimm’s first name was not Fred.