Here’s Johnny

Correspondent John Honell is a longtime contributor to the Tribune, and well-known throughout the San Gabriel Valley. He knows the area’s history, coaches, and always seems to have insider information. He will share some of it with his “Touching Base” pieces that will run from time to time.

Two Bagger:
West Covina football coach, Mike Maggiore, proved he has patience and a long memory. (or vice versa) Last Friday, West Covina knocked off Glendora 22-21 on a two point conversion. Ten years ago, when the Bulldogs were still in the Sierra League, they lost a homecoming game to Damien, 22-21. The Bulldogs were leading 21-7 when the Spartans scored then pulled off a surprise two point conversion. There are “cheat sheets” for coaches telling them when to go for a two point conversion or to kick the ball. Trailing 21-13, all those sheets say a kick for the extra point. The Bulldogs had the wrong defense on thefield and the surprise was total. The coach of that Damien team was
Mark Pasquarella, the current coach at Glendora.


Two Bagger:
West Covina football coach, Mike Maggiore, proved he has patience and a long memory. (or vice versa) Last Friday, West Covina knocked off Glendora 22-21 on a two point conversion. Ten years ago, when the Bulldogs were still in the Sierra League, they lost a homecoming game to Damien, 22-21. The Bulldogs were leading 21-7 when the Spartans scored then pulled off a surprise two point conversion. There are “cheat sheets” for coaches telling them when to go for a two point conversion or to kick the ball. Trailing 21-13, all those sheets say a kick for the extra point. The Bulldogs had the wrong defense on thefield and the surprise was total. The coach of that Damien team was
Mark Pasquarella, the current coach at Glendora.

Foul ball:
I’ve got an idea to get people back to work.
I’ve heard there are a lot of laid off “mattress policemen.” Those are
the guys that enforce those laws that make it a crime to remove tags
from mattresses. A new high school rule this year stipulates that players may only wear
gray gloves with an “approved logo” on the back, (read sponsor money
for CIF), just like batting and football helmets. Even more amazing
“under armor” bicep bands are illegal if the logo is showing. (read NO
sponsor money for CIF).Each head coach must certify that his players are wearing proper equipment, any infraction is a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty against
the coach. If he gets two in a game, he is ejected. As with any
ejection, he would have to miss the next game.
Coaches, today, seem to have high paid advisors up and down the
sidelines. (we used to call them fans and they didn’t expect to get
paid for their advice. they even paid to get into games). Coaches
should hire those laid-off “mattress police” guys. Checking under
football players arms before the game would be brutal, after the game
would be cruel and unusual punishment.
Let’s get this economy going!!!

Going home:

Anyone that reads or writes lost a friend last week. William Safire,
author and long time columnist died at the age of 79.
Safire was a speechwriter for Richard Nixon in the ’60′s and 70′s. His
“Safire’s Political Dictionary” is a must have for anyone that wants to
understand code words politicians use when blathering on radio or
television.
Another of his many books, “Fumblerules, a lighthearted guide to
grammar and good usage,” gives an example of each soecism it purports
to ban. Studying those rules is just as enlightening and, a lot more
fun, than parsing a sentence in an English Class.
He was the guy that put “nattering nabobs of negativism” into Vice
President Spiro Agnew’s denunciation of liberals. His book then said,
“avoid awkward, or affected alliteration.” He also said to “avoid
cliches, like the plague.” I could go on and on about his humor and his
love of good English but he said not to use run on sentences as they
are hard to read even though William Faulkner and James Joyce did that
a lot and they got away with it.
Mr. Safire, I’ll miss you.

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