Excerpt from the Chapter
"Coaching is more than teaching, in that coaching must not only teach, but in addition must persuade and convince as well. In coaching we are concerned not only that an individual should know what to do, but that he should have, in addition to the knowledge, the ability, the inclination, and the determination to do it. This involves a good many factors which are not essential in ordinary teaching, but which are very real part of coaching."
— KNUTE ROCKNE
For some inexplicable reason, physical educators seem to have the idea that they have a monopoly on all the big words in athletics, so that when a football coach mentions “pedagogy,” the average physical educator responds by chuckling. The football coach will allow the physical educator a monopoly on such words as “kinesiology,” “somatic,” and “anthropometry,” as those don’t impress too many folks anyway.
An experienced coach knows that motor coordination is developed through drills and exercises of the right kind, and that distance discernment of the eye and muscle of the arm can be developed and improved upon by practice. As for producing large, bulging muscles, that is absolutely devoid of any particular meaning.
But when you come to pedagogy – that is a football coach’s real dish.
The average professor goes into a classroom, gives his lecture, and leaves. His attitude is distinctly one of “take it or leave it.” He may flunk half the class and everyone is awestricken. The coach, however, has to be a super-teacher. He must see to it that the class learns what he has to teach. If he flunks half his class, he flunks with them.
It is not what a coach knows, it is what he can teach his boys, what he can make them do. Therefore, the coach must take every possible means to give the candidates a clear and concise picture of what he has in mind. Then he must convince the candidates of the importance of perfecting every detail.
There are similarities teaching in a classroom setting and teaching on a football field in that both strive to cause the student to use his mind. As an example of teaching football, imagine that I am talking to a group of guards and that I am going to explain to them the double coordination movement.
Say the guard is a right guard playing against a balanced line with the opponent’s backfield shifted to our left, making the guard the weak side guard. The right guard stands with his left foot to the rear, both toes pointed straight ahead and balancing on the balls of his feet. He should bend his knees so that his seat is low, so that he is comfortable and his position firm. He lets his arms dangle loosely in front of him so that he gives no intimation in any way as to what he intends to do or how.
It is third down and four or five yards to go, and therefore he is suspecting the play will be coming back to the weak side. His position as guard is such that he must maintain it or guard his own territory. In other words, he is expecting a play right over him and so he is alert for it, for previously he may have used, under the same conditions, the submarine or the flying squirrel over the top.
Also, since the offensive guard and tackle, from their stance, appear to be susceptible to it, he decides he is going to use the “double coordination” movement.
The instant the ball moves, his two hands are brought from underneath sideways near the ear of the tackle with sufficient power and vigor to deflect completely the tackle in his charge. His left knee is moved from the rear right along the ground between the guard and tackle as far as he can. In fact, the knee is fairly shot forward with a sort of loose hip movement, using the hip action and the upper thigh muscles of the left thigh to effect this. The reason that the movement is called double coordination is because the two parts must be done simultaneously.
Excerpt from Chapter
Nobody ever confused Alfred "Jake" Lingle with Ernie Pyle, Grantland Rice, or even a janitor sweeping the newsroom at the Chicago Tribune.
Solidly built of medium height with curly black hair and a prominent cleft on the bottom of a moony face that emitted a self-satisfied smirk of cynical boyish charm, Lingle married his childhood sweetheart, Helen Sullivan, and the couple raised two children born a year apart, Alfred Jr. and Dolores. Lingle held true to his marriage vows. He was a faithful husband who limited his drinking to a glass or two of beer, largely because of a stomach ulcer.
The streets of Chicago were Lingle's office. A bona fide "legman" reporter with a grade school education who started at the Chicago Tribune as a 20-year-old office boy in 1912, Lingle never staked claim to a byline. He wasn't illiterate, but he had no interest in culture, and he probably never read more than a half-dozen books. When it came to writing simple English, he couldn't, which is why Lingle's name was virtually unknown to Tribune readers.
Lingle earned $65 a week working under the title of "reporter" at the Tribune, although he never typed a word, had no interest in reading writers who wrote them, and only stepped inside the building that housed the prominent Chicago Tribune newspaper to meet with an editor or collect his paycheck.
Lingle's gift was an uncanny ability to blend into the streets and back alleys of Chicago's toughest core and dig up stories from the underground whispers of a wide spectrum of sources. Everybody knew Lingle, and Lingle knew everybody – from hotel clerks, bookies, gambling house owners and bootleggers to the highest order of Chicago’s power elite on both sides of the law, spanning police ranks, judges, lawyers, prosecutors and politicians, including the city’s two high lords of crime, Al Capone and George "Bugs" Moran
Instead of writing, Lingle relentlessly plied his trade on the phone. Story after story, scoop after scoop was called into the Tribune's city editor's desk then turned over to the paper's rewrite men. Jake Lingle was the Tribune’s house crime expert, the paper’s golden goose, the bridge between the streets and the actual writers who turned the deepest, darkest secrets of Chicago's underworld into the light that shined from front-page headlines on the crime story of the day.
The $65-a-week Lingle pulled from the Tribune was chump change, a legitimate paycheck that kept the eyes of the IRS off the massive flow of cash he piled up moonlighting as a bagman on the payroll of Al Capone. Along with gathering street chatter to phone in to the Tribune's city editors, Lingle delivered payments from Capone's Cicero headquarters to crooked politicians and judges to the tune of an estimated $60,000 a year.
Balancing enormous press clout with gangland street influence gave Lingle money to burn. He owned a Lincoln car with a chauffeur. He plunged on the stock market. He hit the horse track daily during the season in pursuit of his lone vice, gambling, sometimes laying as much as $1,000 down on a horse race but never betting less than $100.
Lingle took care of his wife and two children handsomely by providing them with a lavish apartment on Chicago's West Side. When he worked the streets, Lingle resided at the best hotels, most notably a suite of apartments at the plush Stevens Hotel on Michigan Avenue where the switchboard operator had orders never to disturb him unless the caller's name appeared on the list Lingle had provided.
When he needed to get away from the city, Lingle stayed at a posh $25,000 Lake Michigan-front summer home he owned on the "Michigan Riviera" at Long Beach, Indiana. Winter vacations were spent a month at a time in Havana, Cuba, where Lingle made sure every bookmaker at the race track and every dealer at the gambling tables knew when he was in town.
He hobnobbed with millionaires. Dined at the most expensive restaurants. Smoked 50-cent cigars. Rubbed elbows with the governor of Illinois, the state's attorney general, judges, and county and city officials of Chicago's political machine. Lingle golfed, vacationed, and became close personal friends with Chicago Police Commissioner William P. Russell.
Then there was Al Capone.
Excerpt from Chapter
Lingle's tight bonds with Chicago police and Capone put him on the right side of perhaps gangland's most prolific power play, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
At 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 14, 1929, seven members and associates of Moran's North Side Gang were lined up against a wall inside a garage at 2122 North Clark Street and mowed down in a heavy blaze of Thompson submachine gun fire.
The four executioners were never identified. But the suspects were rumored to be former members of the Egan's Rats, a notorious organized crime gang in St. Louis named for mobster Tom Egan who co-formed what became feared as the city’s worst political terrorists. All four hitmen were working on the orders of Capone with inside help from members of the Chicago Police Department avenging the killing of a police officer's son. Two of the shooters wore suits, ties, overcoats and hats, while the other two were dressed as uniformed policemen.
Moran was the prime target. Capone’s main rival avoided the slaughter when he showed up at the garage early, saw nobody there, then drove away. Afterwards, Capone allowed Moran to live and continue to operate his business on the North Side as long as Capone got his cut of the action. It became crystal clear to everyone on the streets that there was only one crime boss calling the shots in Chicago.
By 1930, the protective wall put up around Lingle by Capone began to crumble. Too many loans taken in return for favors that weren't paid back were piling up on Lingle's tab. His street cred on both sides of the law suffered when he got too deeply involved in the struggle for money and power in the city's gambling syndicate. Lingle may have been the resident "gangologist" at the Tribune, but out on the street he was a "favor seller" whose word was getting cheaper by the day.
Lingle took one step closer to the morgue the day he was given $50,000 by Capone to secure protection for a West Side dog track. As he had done so many times before with loans, Lingle failed to follow through and kept the money. Except this wasn't some low-level street gambler trying to buy favor through Lingle's press influence... this was Al Capone.
The noose tightened when Lingle got involved with the re-opening of the Sheridan Wave Tournament Club, an elegant society gambling parlor on Waveland Avenue under the protection of Moran's North Siders before it shut down in the wake of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. In its heyday, the club was the ritziest casino in the city and perhaps the entire country, a social hub for the city's fashionable clientele who enjoyed food, drink, women and whatever else they wanted on the house, and enriched the owners by tens of thousands of dollars each night.
Moran took 25 percent of the gross from the Sheridan Wave Tournament Club. Lingle's cut was 10 percent.
Moran worked for 18 months trying to persuade sympathetic city officials to help him reopen the Sheridan Wave Tournament Club. With city approvals in hand, Moran brought in Joe Josephs and Julian "Potatoes" Kaufman, an old friend of Lingle's, to manage the club. Kaufman approached Lingle and asked if he could use his influence with the police department to get the club reopened.
"You'll be satisfied, of course," Kaufman pitched with a rhetorical question, "with the 10 percent cut you got before?"
"Not by a damned sight," Lingle shot back. "I want 50 percent this time."
"But we have to pay Bugs Moran 25 percent," Kaufman reasoned.
"To hell with Bugs Moran," Lingle huffed.
"Well," Kaufman insisted, "Bugs is the boss of the North Side. You know that. We couldn't do business unless he said the word."
Fully aware that nobody did underworld business in Chicago without Capone's word, Lingle puffed his chest out and refused to back down.
Excerpt from Chapter
For months, those random threatening confrontations and anonymous letters had made it perfectly clear that the underworld didn’t want Father Reynolds to testify. But his civil duty was completed. Father Reynolds, got off the witness stand, walked out of the courtroom, and left the courthouse with the sole intention of catching the next train back to South Bend and putting the entire ordeal behind him.
The next day, Father Reynolds decided to unwind with a peaceful Saturday afternoon stroll on campus. Walking in front of the main building, the Golden Dome, he spotted a familiar face approaching from the opposite side of the courtyard with a smile on his face.
Father Reynolds recognized his pal Knute Rockne immediately. The two had been friends since 1916 when Rockne was Notre Dame's track coach, and Father Reynolds was a star of the track team who set a national record that year for the 2-mile run.
The two greeted each other with open arms. After a brief chat about the trial, Rockne mentioned the Universal Pictures offer. The filmmakers wanted him to travel to Hollywood the following week to lend his expertise during production of "The Spirit of Notre Dame," a film starring Lew Ayres and Andy Devine. Rockne mentioned that there had been other film offers the past couple years, but each one focused on Notre Dame football, and each was met with opposition from the Notre Dame hierarchy who wanted to distance themselves from football in favor of portraying the school as an academic institution.
This offer was different, however. Rockne told Father Reynolds how excited he was to get out to Hollywood and finalize his contract to work on this movie, and there was a jam-packed two-day schedule planned the minute he arrived. But it was difficult to find a plane ticket to Los Angeles in such a short time, and a train would take too long to get to the West Coast.
Father Reynolds looked Rockne in the eye. He pulled out the flight reservation to the West Coast that he was unable to use.
"Take it, Rock," Father Reynolds said. "I'm in no hurry to get to Los Angeles."
The ticket was for Transcontinental & Western Flight 599, a passenger/postal delivery flight set to leave Kansas City for Los Angeles on Tuesday, March 31.
It was a perfect flight to accommodate Rockne's tight two-day West Coast schedule: He could travel to Chicago on Sunday, take the overnight train to Kansas City on Monday, and arrive just in time Tuesday morning to have a brief rendezvous with his sons, Bill, 15, and Knute Jr., 12, both of whom were attending boarding school at Kansas City's Pembroke Hill. The boys were still with their mother in Florida for the family's spring vacation trip, and they were expected to return by train to Kansas City at 8 a.m. on March 31. The timing was tight, but it did allow Rockne a few precious minutes with his sons before the plane departed Kansas City at 8:30 a.m.
This flight put Rockne in Los Angeles by nightfall - where his two close friends, "Navy Bill" Ingram, head coach of California, and his old pal, Pop Warner, who had moved on to coach Stanford, had already flown from San Francisco and were awaiting a reunion.
Rockne stuck out his hand and thanked the priest for the ticket. Father Reynolds grasped his pal's hand without mentioning anything about the mob intimidation tactics that had followed him the past few months.
The trial was over for Father Reynolds. Two anonymous letters he received on two separate occasions at his residence at Morrissey Hall, the last of which arrived in his mail just a few days ago were in the trash and all but forgotten. "Notre Dame will be more sorry than it realized if they allow you to testify” was a message that was gone with the wind.
Rockne was grateful for the priest’s generosity. The two said goodbye and went their separate ways.