Since Tim is a respected local business man and past president of the Rotary, I shall endeavor to not cause any consternation that would arise with any sudden exposure of events from the past. Not that there is any, mind you. I’m just sayin…
A football memory or two might be in order.
Everyone connected with the football program at Antelope Valley High School has great memories of the 1976 season. An undefeated season and the CIF Championship our senior year, it still feels good.
Tim was an inside Linebacker, I was an outside Linebacker. We were on the field together quite a bit. Together with Joe Maher and Jim Eckmann, we were the starting linebackers on what has to be considered one of the best defenses in the history of CIF football.
It was a home game at Mays field on a Friday night in Lancaster. The stadium was completely full. A nice, cool autumn night with a few thousand screaming fans, Football was king in those days and we were holding court.
It seemed hardly anybody could score on us. The team we were playing that night would regularly run a Quarterback option play. Where the QB comes down the line and either runs the ball or pitches it to a running back. My responsibility when they ran that play was to take out the QB.
By the way I believe that I led the team in personal fouls that year. Let’s just say that on the field I displayed a lot of bad intent. Infliction of pain, as a means to breaking down an opponent, just made sense to me.
The opposing team had the ball and they were inside our twenty yard line, which means they were close to scoring. They ran the option to Tim and my side. The Tight end tried to block me but was ineffective and I was immediately in the QB’s face. I reached up with my right hand and grabbed a hand full of facemask. Yes, that’s illegal. As I attempted to displace his head and helmet from his body, he exposed the football. I seized the moment and punched the ball from his grasp with my left fist. Tim had been closing on the ball and when he saw the loose pigskin, he did exactly what he should of, and he picked it up and ran.
A lot of guys really hustled and made some great blocks as Tim was not the fastest guy on the team. Tim managed to ramble with the football about 85 yards, all of the way to the end zone. There was a lot of screaming from the stands and it would have been a touchdown if there hadn’t been a flag thrown on the play. Stupid Referee! He called a facemask penalty on me. Tim’s fumble recovery and touchdown was nullified.
Later when the dust had settled and Tim and I reflected back on that almost glorious moment. Tim told me he received great satisfaction from that play. It was the only time in his high school career that he got to touch the football. “You always wonder what you would do if you had the opportunity” Tim shared with me. “When my moment came, I picked it up and ran.”
I have had the opportunity to work for Tim and stay friends; Tim has continued to do the right thing. In one of the darkest times of my life, the death of my daughter, when that moment came, Tim was there. When I needed him, he picked things up and he ran with it. Without hesitation. I love you Tim.