Monthly Archives: January 2020

Ray Krouse Jersey

Dick Modzelewski, a star defensive tackle who appeared in eight NFL titles game with the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns during the 1950s and ’60s, has died. He was 87.

He died Friday at his home in Eastlake, Ohio, outside Cleveland, the Giants said in a statement Saturday. No cause was given.

Modzelewski spent 14 years in the NFL, eight with the Giants that included six title games. He teamed with Andy Robustelli, Rosey Grier and Jim Katcavage on one of the great defensive lines.

Modzelewski also appeared in two championship games with the Browns. He joined the NFL with Washington in 1953 and also played for Pittsburgh, never missing a game in his career.

He coached in the NFL for 22 years, including the 1978 season as the Giants’ defensive coordinator.

Modzelewski was an All-American in 1951 and ’52 at Maryland and won the Outland Trophy in 1952 as the nation’s best lineman. It resulted in an invitation to the White House, where he had lunch with President Dwight Eisenhower. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

The Redskins drafted Modzelewski in the second round. He played two seasons there before his trade to the Steelers. Modzelewski was briefly reunited with brother Ed, a fullback.

After one year in Pittsburgh, Modzelewski was again traded, this time twice in less than a week. The Steelers dealt him to the Detroit Lions, who three days later sent him to the Giants for another defensive tackle, Ray Krouse, a former Maryland teammate.

Modzelewski was traded to the Browns in 1964 for wide receiver Bobby Crespino. He was expected to be a backup but became a starter when Frank Parker was injured. Cleveland played in the championship game in each of Modzelewski’s first two seasons, beating Baltimore in 1964 and then losing to Green Bay.

Modzelewski is survived by his wife of 64 years, Dorothy Jane, and four children.

A funeral is set for Oct. 26 in Mentor, Ohio.

Bryan Smith Jersey

Brian Keating was 12 when he first started birdwatching, a hobby that kicked off a love of nature that’s carried him throughout his career as a naturalist, wildlife expert and charismatic educator.

“I can remember like it was yesterday the first time I saw a certain species of warbler when I was a little kid by myself with my second-hand binoculars in the woods,” he says. “Kids these days, there’s not enough of them getting those kinds of experiences.”

Keating and TV veteran Bryan Smith hope to change that with their new series Great Big Nature, launching this week on the Postmedia Network. It’s a series of mini-docs hosted by Keating, taking viewers from Madagascar to the High Arctic with a goal of stimulating discussion about nature.

“Our new digital world is keeping people indoors more often than not and if you compare it to when I was growing up, the generational change is remarkable,” says Keating, who was the Calgary Zoo’s head of education and conservation outreach for nearly three decades. “It’s huge, the transition from the real world play environment to the virtual world play environment.”

Smith and Keating see the path to getting people back out into the real world starts with the virtual world. They’re hoping these tastes of nature will inspire people to go outside.

“The more we engage with nature, the more it becomes part of our life, then we will start taking care of it better,” says Smith, who is the executive producer and director of the series. “A lot of these websites or programs you see out there, they’re all very negative towards nature: we’re losing it, it’s a lot more doom-and-gloom approach. We celebrate what is still there. We think if you engage with it a little bit more, you’ll appreciate it a little bit more and, eventually, help save it because it’s become part of your life, it means something to you, it’s personal now.”

“The idea is that nature isn’t talked about enough,” Keating adds. “If we can get more awareness out there, more inspirational messages, we think that we can make a difference.”

Keating’s enthusiasm for nature is contagious. It’s what’s made him an in-demand speaker and tour guide. And despite a full career of globe-trotting, even he found new things to be inspired by as he travelled and filmed this series.

“It’s endless, I think that’s what’s drawn me to the concept of nature discovery ever since I was a little kid,” he says. “If your eyes, ears and your heart are all open when you’re out there, stuff happens, you encounter things. Mink fishing for fish along the Bow River or an eagle flying over scaring the bejeepers out of the Canada geese that are sitting on the ice down below or a falcon terrorizing your neighbourhood and taking one of the birds at your bird feeder.

“I call it the parallel nature universe,” he continues. “There’s stuff happening around us all the time but because we’re all so busy and focusing on our day-to-day, we’re not giving it the time and the freedom to enter our awareness. I’m hoping that we’ll draw more attention to it. At the end of the day, we’re not talking about nature enough. Nature’s intact ecosystems are what allow us to survive. It’s what we need. We’re no different than the pronghorn antelope or the grizzly bear or the squirrel in your backyard; we’re mammals and we require clean air and clean water and productive soil.”

Levi Brown Jersey

This week the Akron High School wrestling team hosted a dual against the Yuma Indians on Thursday night and then traveled to Englewood for a tournament on Saturday morning.

Thursday night was a blue out in honor of parent’s night. The Akron High School wrestling coaches would like to thank everyone who came out to support our athletes and their parents. Cameron Collins (138 lb. senior) received a forfeit. Caden Zimmerman (145 lb. senior) wrestled what was arguably his best match this season against Will Marshall, taking it into overtime where he would unfortunately lose by a takedown. Gavin Brown (170 lb. sophomore) wrestled up a weight class to find a formidable opponent in the #8 ranked senior, Cayden Lynch. This was an edge-of-your-seat battle that was decided with an escape in the last 45 seconds, making Lynch the 3-2 victor.

Xavier Livesay (220 lb. sophomore) made a dominating debut for the season with a quick pin over Jose Ruiz. Livesay is the only dual sport athlete, competing in both wrestling and basketball. You can look forward to seeing him in action again in Wiggins on January 18th. Destiny Henderson (126 lb. freshman) and Mackenzie Phelps (152 lb. sophomore) made a very courageous debut being the first female wrestlers on the Akron wrestling team. Unfortunately, both fell to the more experienced Ximena Garcia and Eva Ruiz, respectively.

Gavin Brown was first in his weight class.
Saturday, the team traveled to Englewood for some stiff competition against several 3A and 4A schools. Collins had a dominate win over Rashon Woody pinning him in the third period. Unfortunately, his day would be cut short after losing to Tanner Stone and Hunter Harris.

Destiny Henderson receives 3rd place.
Zimmerman went 0-2 on the day, losing to Steven West and John Pohl. Henderson wrestled in the girls’ 127 lb. division and found her way onto the podium, bringing home a third place medal.

Brown went 5-0 on the day, earning him first place. His most noted match of the day would be a dominating win over the 13-1 senior, #8 ranked in 4A’s Cole Fuller of Palmer Ridge. Brown was taken down early in the first period, but would quickly reverse and then pin Fuller in just one minute and 24 seconds.

The team will travel to Wiggins on Saturday, January 18th for what most consider to be a regional preview. We look forward to seeing you there and thank you for your support.

Bob Schmit Jersey

France is a dangerous place in 1793, just a few years after the French Revolution of 1789 and smack in the center of the infamous Reign of Terror of 1793-94, when public executions by guillotine were de riguer.

It’s especially suffocating for women, as feminist writer Olympe de Gouges observes that the national motto of “Liberte, egalite, fraternite” is missing “sororite,” with women still relegated to second-class citizenship. So, de Gouges is more than interested when her friend, revolutionary spy Marianne Angelle, arrives in Paris urging de Gouges to become involved in Marianne’s cause to free the slaves in the Caribbean province of Saint Domingue.

De Gouges also is visited by young Charlotte Corday, who is in search of her “final line” before she follows through on her commitment to assassinate Jean-Paul Marat, politician and journalist aligned with the bloodthirsty Jacobins who thrived on torture. When deposed and addle-brained Queen Marie Antoinette pops by unexpectedly, the quartet of women commiserate with each other even as their frustrations mount.

Marianne sorely misses her husband, a fellow revolutionary who like his wife has written an “ultimate” letter to be delivered to her only upon his death. The virginal Charlotte is driven by her allegiance to the moderate Girondins to slay Marat and “kill one man to save 100,000.” Marie realizes she is shallow but still has enough dignity to protect her children and strike back at outrageous accusations of incest.

As for Olympe, she can’t decide between writing political pamphlets or penning a play for the feminist cause, and maybe she’ll do both. Time, however, is rapidly running out on all of them, and the guillotine’s bloody blade seems perilously close to all four, especially for those issued an appointment before the ominous Tribunal which oversees trials and executions. Viva le revolution, indeed.

Highlights: Insight Theatre Company offers St. Louis a Bastille Day bon-bon with its engaging version of prolific playwright Lauren Gunderson’s paean to several outspoken and accomplished women in the days of the French Revolution and its aftermath.

Other Info: Like Gunderson’s earlier effort, Silent Sky, The Revolutionists is a dramatization of women forgotten or maligned by history. While not as consistently engaging as Silent Sky (the story of pioneer astronomer Henrietta Levitt), Gunderson’s knack for clever writing helps make The Revolutionists an interesting exercise.

Gunderson, who has been the most-produced playwright in America since 2016, terms The Revolutionists “a Comedy, a Quartet, a Revolutionary Dream Fugue, a True Story.” Well, three out of four of those are accurate. It isn’t entirely authentic, since Marianne Angelle is a fictional composite of the symbol of French liberty (Marianne) and real-life slaves who fought to liberate Saint Domingue (now Haiti) from colonial France.

Marianne, in fact, is adorned with a sash proclaiming “Revolution for all” with her Caribbean-style costume, courtesy of designer Julian King, whose concept goes all out with the garish flamboyance of the deposed Queen Marie Antoinette, including her bizarre wig and its even stranger accoutrements. Leah McFall’s set design is simple but effective, with period furniture moved on and off the stage depending upon the scene.

Morgan Brennan’s lighting accentuates the darker moments in the piece, which ranges from broad comedy to touching drama, bolstered by Trish Brown’s and Bob Schmit’s sound design.

Gunderson’s script can be witty and pointed, but it also can meander off course for maddening stretches, as in the three different moments when Act I could logically conclude before it staggers to a halt. Perhaps juggling the causes and personalities of four strong but disparate characters can become too unwieldy.

Nonetheless, director Trish Brown culls marvelous performances from her quartet of players, all of whom work well off of each other. Jenni Ryan portrays de Gouze as frazzled but determined to not “write what you know, (but) write what you want.” What de Gouze desires is equality for women and she’s willing to fight with her pen to achieve that, as Ryan convincingly conveys.

Kimmie Kidd-Booker brings the symbol of Marianne to ardent feminist life as the tough but compassionate Caribbean revolutionary, committed as much to freedom as she is to her soul-mate husband. Samantha Auch delivers the goods as the youthful and fiercely idealistic Corday, whose place in history is decidedly less favorable than her treatment by Gunderson.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is Laurie McConnell’s portrayal of Marie Antoinette. While accustomed to the oft-quoted cliché, “Let them eat cake” to symbolize the queen’s indifference to the plight of the people, McConnell shows another side of the deposed monarch as well.

Her Marie, while admittedly dimwitted, also is capable of reaching out to her comrades in thought to share a lusty laugh or a moment of pathos (and Marie Antoinette didn’t die in 1789, as I erroneously thought).

Gunderson is a terrific playwright and a heck of a researcher as well, delving into the largely unknown lives of women who have had a strong if submerged impact on history. The Revolutionists, while striking a chord of familiarity with current politics, succeeds in opening our eyes to its “hi, story” of the past.

Tony Driver Jersey

We have received the sad news that Australian powered access industry veteran Tony Driver passed away on Thursday, January 2nd, following a period of illness, he was only 62.

Driver started out in the access business with the founding of Horizon Access in June 1988, when the industry was in its infancy. The company provided replacement parts and service to rental companies and end users in the Sydney area. Over the years Horizon expanded its operation to provide parts and service support in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne.

Horizon Access also provided major inspections for aerial work platform since the release of AS2550.10 in the early 1990’s and has continued providing them to this day. Tony Driver Jersey

Tony Driver

In the words of someone who has known him for many years “he was always helpful to everyone, Tony will be missed in our Australian work platform industry, and our thoughts go out to his family, at the loss of another Grandfather of the industry.”
In the words of another: “A great mate with a heart of gold”
A memorial service will be held at the Pinegrove memorial Park West, Chapel Minchinbury – Kington Street, Minchinbury, NSW 2770 on Friday January 10th at 11:30. A celebration of his life will follow at the Plumpton Hotel, Richmond Road, Glendenning at 13:00.

Red Morse Jersey

The Buffalo Bills announced on Wednesday that starting center Mitch Morse was placed in concussion protocol.
On Wednesday, head coach Sean McDermott announced before practice that the Buffalo Bills’ top free agent signing Mitch Morse had been placed in concussion protocol. The team’s starting center had missed the last two practices.

The fact that Morse has suffered a concussion this early is certainly a call for concern as this would be his fourth documented concussion in the NFL, according to Howard Simon of WGR 550.

Mitch Morse has suffered 3 concussions in the NFL:

2015 week 12, missed 1 game
2015 week 17, missed playoffs
2018 week 6, missed 5 games

— Howard WGR (@hsimon62) July 31, 2019

Mitch Morse was a second round draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs and spent the first four years in the league with them. However, this offseason the Bills made a substantial financial commitment to Morse and signed him to a deal that made him the highest paid center in the NFL.

The hope was that he could bring stability and production to the position, something they did not have last year with Eric Wood retiring before the start of the season.

The impact of Morse missing time is two-fold for the Bills offense. The team entered camp with an almost complete overhaul of the offensive line, with four new starters. The fact that they had this much change, this starting line needed as many practice reps as possible to come together.

The other issue this impacts is that Josh Allen and Morse need reps to work on the snap exchange. This was something that came up on the first practice when there was a botched snap in the red zone and the two had to run a sprint the length of the field.

Josh Allen and Mitch Morse just botched a snap in a red-zone drill. Sean McDermott made them run to the other end of the field and back.

— Prescott Rossi (@PrescottRossi) July 25, 2019

Kyle Nelson Jersey

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Every spring the Indians invite about 20 non-roster players to spring training. The majority of those players usually come from outside the organization, baseball roustabouts looking for one more chance before disappearing over the horizon.

The practice has yielded useful regular-season players over the last several years such as Scott Kazmir, Rich Hill, Jeff Manship, Scott Atchison, Jason Giambi, Ryan Raburn and Jerry Sands.

It appears the Indians are doing something different this spring. With pitchers and catchers scheduled to report to Goodyear, Ariz. on Feb. 11, the Indians have announced the signing of just one player from outside the organization to a minor-league deal. That would be catcher Beau Taylor. Infielder Mike Freeman, who spent a good chunk of last season with the Tribe after going to spring training on a minor league deal, has also been invited to camp on a minor-league deal after being taken off the 40-man roster.

Later this week the Indians will release a list of spring-training invitees and most of them are expected to come from within the organization. Part of it is a cost-cutting move, the other part is to give the Indians prospects a chance to show what they can do. The Indians’ farm system has received high grades from several websites devoted to the topic.

The Indians projected 25-man payroll for 2020 is hovering around $90 million. That represents an estimated $44 million dip from Tribe’s franchise-record $135 million payroll in 2017.

Look for players such as outfielder Ka’ai Tom and right-hander Cam Hill to be invited to camp. Tom hit .285 (83-for-291) with 14 homers and 42 RBI at Class AA Akron. He then hit .298 (56-for-188) with nine homers and 44 RBI at Class AAA Columbus. Tom, in the postseason for Columbus, hit .433 (13-for-30) with three homers and six RBI.

Hill (4-2. 4.74) struck out 36 and walked 12 in 24 2/3 innings at Columbus. He underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in July of 2018.

Other players who could be invited to camp include right-hander Nick Sandlin and left-hander Kyle Nelson. Sandlin struck out 38 in 26 1/3 innings at Class AA Akron and Columbus last year. Nelson (4-4, 2.28, seven saves) struck out 69 in 47 1/3 innings at Class A Lynchburg, Akron and Columbus last year.

Eli Morgan is a possibility as well. The right-hander pitched at Lynchburg, Akron and Columbus. He went 6-4 with a 3.79 ERA in 19 games, including 18 starts, at Akron. He struck out 104 in 102 innings.

All players on the 40-man roster will report to big-league camp. Most teams need 60 to 70 players to get through six weeks of camp and over 30 exhibition games.

Last year 11 of the Tribe’s 20 spring training invitees came from outside the organization.

Michael Mitchell Jersey

OHIO COUNTY, Ky. (1/15/20) — The following property transfers were recently recorded in Ohio County:

Michael G. Beatty to Melven D. Hack and Judylene R. Hack, lot or parcel.

Michael G. Beatty to Frankie Lee Skipworth and Hilda Jane Skipworth, tract or parcel.

Wanda J. Beatty to Melven D. Beatty and Judylene R. Hack, lot or parcel.

Wanda J. Beatty to Frankie Lee Skipworth and Hilda Jane Skipworth, tract or parcel.

Debra Bellamy, Debra F. Bellamy and Roger D. Bellamy to James H. Conder and Tina Faye Conder, tract or parcel.

Katherine Dickerson to Katherine Catherine Dickerson and Lynelle Smith Thomas, lot in Fordsville.

Christopher Chad Coots and Sarah Jane Coots to Bryan Daniel Staples and Myra Ann Staples, tract 9 of Southside Subdivision.

Rebecca Ann Coppage to James Dale Austin and Laura Michelle Austin, tract or parcel.

Elmer Lee Daugherty to Nathaniel Lee Daugherty and Lakayah Ashton Daugherty, parcels.

Kenneth Daugherty to Eric A. Roberts and Tamra Payne, southwest of Belltown Road.

Marketta Daugherty to Nathaniel Lee Daugherty and Lakayah Ashton Daugherty, parcels.

Tracy Daugherty to Eric A. Roberts and Tamra Payne, southwest of Belltown Road.

Alicia Renae Dickerson to Katherine Dickerson Cameron and Lynelle Smith Thomas, lot in Fordsville.

Rebecca Ann to James Dale Austin and Laura Michelle Austin, tract or parcel.

Donnell Paris Gordon and Joseph Thomas Gordon to Thomas R. Howe and Marquita Howe, tract or parcel.

Charles Hines to Jordan Hines, tracts or parcels.

Girthel L. Keown, Girthel Lois Keown, J.D. Keown and John Dalton Keown to John Denton Keown and Kristy Danette Keown, tract or parcel.

Leroy’s Land Sales Inc. to Ramona Allen, lot 16 in Westerfield subdivision.

Kelly Lewis to Anthony Scott Lewis, lots 7, 8 and 9 in block A of Barnard Addition.

Cody Pate, Cody Lawrence Pate, Katie E. Pate and Katie Estelle Pate to Katie Estelle Pate, tract.

R S G Inc. to Anthony Scott Lewis, lots 7, 8 and 9 in block A of Barnard Addition.

Responder Railroad Corporation to Respondek Rail Services Inc., tract or parcel.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to James S. Hornsby, 2621 Harmons Ferry Road.

Sarah Jane Staples to Bryan Daniel Staples and Myra Ann Staples, tract 9 of Southside Subdivision.

Debra Carol Stofer and John Allen Stofer to John Thomas Eaves, tract or parcel.

Leroy Aron Westerfield to Ramona Allen, lot 16 of Westerfield Subdivision.

Western Kentucky Leasing LLC to Larry Wayne Piper, tract on Pleasant Ridge Road.

Stephen Blake Wiggins to Linda L. Wiggins, tract west of Iron Mountain Road.

Karen Young to Michael Mitchell and Lane Mitchell, 496 St. Rt. 54 East.

Warren B. Young to Michael Mitchell and Lane Mitchell, 496 St. Rt. 54 East.

John Matuszak Jersey

ORLANDO, Fla. — The City of Orlando as we know it today is much different than what it was in 1972.

Back then, Disney World had been open just shy of four months and a ticket to “The Happiest Place on Earth” would set you back a pocketful of quarters at $3.75. During the early ‘70s the population of Orlando hovered around 500,000 people – today, 2.13 million people call the Greater Orlando area home. UCF football didn’t exist, and wouldn’t start for another seven years.

Nearly 50 years ago, there was no Citrus Bowl — at least not in its current form. There was, however, the Tangerine Bowl, the original iteration of Orlando’s New Year’s Day classic. And for a West Virginia native and Alabama resident, Nick Saban knows an awful lot about his Florida citrus.

“I guess I have a unique perspective on this because I played in 1972 Tangerine Bowl here,” Saban chuckled on Tuesday when asked at this year’s head coaches press conference about how the sport of football has grown in Orlando since the original Tangerine Bowl was played in 1947.

To his right, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh smiled and asked, “Is that right?”

That’s right.

Juggling scholarship offers from Navy, Miami (Ohio) and Kent State, Saban chose what he called “the worst program of the bunch” in Kent State – a team that went 1-9 a year before his arrival.

Saban, a 5-foot-6 defensive back, was joined on defense by linebacker Jack Lambert – the same Jack Lambert who helped the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowls.

With a 27-9 win over Toledo that fall, Saban and Lambert helped the Golden Flashes capture their first and only Mid-American Conference title.

The reward? A Christmastime visit to Orlando to take on the University of Tampa, led by eventual No. 1 NFL Draft pick John Matuszak — who later played Sloth in the movie “The Goonies” — future Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Freddie Solomon, and Paul Orndorff, who later became a WWE superstar best remembered as “Mr. Wonderful.”

My how things have changed.

All these years later, Saban is back for his third Citrus Bowl appearance as a head coach — he coached LSU in the 2005 game and the Tide in the 2011 edition — and unlike 1972, a nation of fans will be watching him and his team this time around.

And while Alabama may lament missing out of the College Football Playoff, Saban seems pretty satisfied to be returning to Central Florida to play the Wolverines.

“We were excited about having the opportunity to come here and play because we were here in, I think, 2010 and had a great experience,” Saban said. “And I’ve actually experienced and seen growth ever since then in terms of what this game does.”

To some degree, that growth has come in the stands — when Saban played in Orlando in 1972, the reported game attendance was 20,062; at the 2011 game, 61,519 people watched Alabama thump Michigan State 49-7 — but he’s also witnessed development in the shadow of Camping World Stadium, where Lift Orlando has worked to transform the underserved neighborhoods that call the area home.

Jeff Wilkins Jersey

Save
The area between the free throw line and the top of the circle is a short distance. For Tom Gramkow, it was precious real estate.

He calls it, “My spot.”

“I shot a lot of shots from there in my four years at Wesleyan,” Gramkow said.

Enough went in for Gramkow to amass 1,418 points as a Titan, 15th-most in school history. One that went in has a life all its own.

Gramkow’s shot as time ran out on Jan. 13, 1970 touched a lot of rim at Horton Field House. It hit the front of the rim, the back and, finally, trickled through the net.

The senior captain’s buzzer-beater gave IWU a 69-68 victory over Illinois State in the final basketball game played between the schools, capping a series that spanned 111 games and 61 years.

“It was a good way to end it,” Gramkow said. “When it happened, you never thought 50 years later people would still be talking about it. But for a lot of people in Bloomington-Normal, that (the series) was a pretty big deal.”

The deciding hoop is “The Shot” at IWU. It’s been called a lot of things at ISU, none printable.

Wesleyan will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the victory Wednesday when the current Titans play host to North Park at 7 p.m.

Gramkow and several other players from the 1969-70 squad will be at Shirk Center along with former IWU coach and athletic director, Dennie Bridges. The first 300 fans receive a commemorative poster.

Bridges coached 986 games and won 667 in his fabulous 36-year Titan coaching run. In regard to that crosstown contest 50 years ago Monday, he said, “I remember it like it was yesterday.”

Bridges can tell you that ISU’s Greg Guy hit a shot to put the Redbirds ahead by a point with seven seconds left. The Titans called a timeout and Bridges decided to “let Tom go down and create his shot.”

Game action from final IWU-ISU basketball game
Illinois State’s Dale Janssen (53) leaps to block a hook shot by Illinois Wesleyan’s Sheldon Thompson (45) on Jan. 13, 1970 at Horton Field House in the final game between the schools. Other ISU players are Myron Litwiller (45) and Dave Handy (30). Other IWU players are Tom Gramkow (25), John Gibson (41) and Fred Evans (51).

PANTAGRAPH FILE PHOTO
Gramkow knew where to find it.

“We took it out on the sideline, so I tried to get over to my spot where I felt comfortable,” he said. “When I let it go, I thought it was a swish. When it hit the rim, my heart fell for a second. But then it went in.”

Those in an overflow crowd listed at 7,000 let out cheers and groans, depending on allegiance.

The neighboring schools had played twice per season in Gramkow’s first three years at IWU. The January meeting was the only one in the 1969-70 campaign.

ISU was moving to Division I the next season and was ready to move on from IWU.

“Part of the deal was they said they didn’t have room on their schedule for a non-Division I team,” Bridges said. “It was controversial. I was a young coach. It was like my fifth year at Illinois Wesleyan. I was outspoken that we shouldn’t quit playing. I had quite a bit of support, even from ISU fans. They didn’t want to give it up.”

Redbird athletic director Milt Weisbecker hired Will Robinson as head coach later in 1970. Bridges recalls Weisbecker saying to him “that in effect we’re doing you a favor because as we go Division I, we’ll make you want to quit (playing).”

IWU vs. ISU box score
The box score from Illinois Wesleyan’s 69-68 victory over Illinois State on Jan. 13, 1970 in the last basketball game played between the schools.

“It wouldn’t have happened for a few years because three years later we had Jack Sikma,” Bridges said of the recently inducted Basketball Hall of Famer. “But they had Doug Collins and then Bubbles Hawkins and Jeff Wilkins, so it would have been really hard for us.”

Ah yes. Doug Collins. He was at Horton on Jan. 13, 1970, but was on the freshman team at a time the NCAA prohibited freshmen from playing on the varsity. He played in the freshman preliminary game won by IWU.

Collins went on to score 2,240 points over the next three years and become the first pick of the 1973 NBA Draft. On this night, he could only watch IWU celebrate Gramkow’s shot.

About the shot …

Bridges said he was going to suggest that Gramkow “put on a uniform and reenact it” Wednesday night.

Don’t be so sure it won’t happen, though the uniform is unlikely.

“Actually, I was in the gym today (Monday),” said Gramkow, a retired State Farm agent. “I’ve been shooting around the last few weeks. I tried that shot. It’s really hard to square up now. But at least I tried it.”

The end of the series quelled what had been an intense IWU-ISU rivalry. Bridges said an offshoot was that eventually, many people became fans of both teams.

In 1970, you were attached to one or the other, and Gramkow said IWU coaches at the time — Jack Horenberger, Bob Keck, Don Larson, Bridges — reminded the players frequently of what beating ISU meant.

Bridges said Larson, the Titan football coach, “wouldn’t let a kid wear a red shirt in Fred Young Fieldhouse.”

That’s a rivalry.

“Over the years the idea was ‘Why aren’t we playing?'” Bridges said. “For lots of reasons, it just never happened. At the time, I really wanted to keep playing. Later, after we didn’t play them for a while, I thought the idea of playing maybe wasn’t a good idea.”

Thus, the series has remained dormant. It’s likely to stay that way.

That’s OK.

Gramkow’s shot is alive and well.

“It’s kind of cool to have good memories like that,” he said.