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Thursday, March 21, 2013



(1963 Westfield High Football Coach)

In 1963 I played high school football.  My best friend Charley (Chuck, Asshead) Widmer and I thought we were hot shit.  Our team was undefeated half way into the season and as the two starting guards on the team we took complete responsibility for the team’s success.

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.

The line coach on our team was Dick Zimmer; "Old Zimm."  We thought Coach Zimmer was old, in truth he was probably only ten years older than were we.  We thought he had no real life beyond being a football coach.  Looking back, I'm pretty sure he had very much of a life beyond coaching football.  We liked Old Zimm, but except for showing us the three point stance, telling us to run a lap, and generally being a YES man for everything the head coach Gary Kehler had to say we never felt he did much as a coach and we never gave Old Zimm the respect he probably deserved.

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.


  1. We've all had those "oh shit!" moments. You definitely got off very lucky. And BTW, I love the old MGA.


  2. This should be in I USED TO BR STUPID, unless you haven't learned any better yet!!

  3. Yep, you were so lucky. And maybe he just pretended to think that's what you did to give a pass to a couple of kids in a roller skate.

  4. I had a H.S. coach who requested we use his first name...
    ...because his last name was too easy to turn into an expletive.

    So we only called him by his last name when he wasn't within earshot.