Some Funnies From the Pen of Fred Russell
Former Nashville Banner legend Fred Russell wrote multiple books during the World War II era. I was lucky that my grandfather was his friend. He worked across the street from the newspaper at the former main post office, and Russell visited him several times a week. Russell's books became mine after my grandfather passed away and my father gave them to me. My three favorite books of his are I'll Go Quietly, Funny Things About Sports, and I'll Try Anything Twice.
Here are a few of his funny stories:
One Word Too Many
An athlete at a small college was declared ineligible because of certain examination difficulties. The charge was that the boy's answers to the questions given were strangely similar to the answers of a student sitting beside him.
"But it is entirely possible for such a thing to happen," protested the football coach to the teacher. "After all, to some questions, there is but one answer."
The teacher agreed to review the case and in the presence of the coach brought forth the two examination papers in question. The coach was about to convince him, too, of the existence of a reasonable amount of doubt…until they came to question number nine. To that question, the first boy had written the answer: "I don't know."
To the same question, the athlete answered, "I don't know either."
An old, old newspaper includes the following opening sentence in the write-up of a football game: "
Rose Bowl Reporter
A quote to survive is credited to a wondrously plastered stranger at Pasadena, CA, who noting Michigan's two Rose Bowl Adventures in 1902 and 1948 both produced scores of 49 to 0 bellowed: "The bums, in 46 years, they a'int improved a lick.
Don't Tell Me I Don't Know
Starring at right tackle on the University of Georgia's undefeated Sugar Bowl champions was a big raw boned boy from Heath, Arkansas. Garland Williams was his name, but the coaches and players called him "Bulldog." If Williams had a weakness it was his inability to remember signals. When he was subbing as a sophomore, line coach Whitworth asked Williams if he knew his assignment on a particular defensive setup. Williams frowned in thought, but did not answer. "You don't know, you don't know," fired Whitworth. "Oh, yes I do," Williams drawled. "I get back there amongst them."
It's a Rough Game
"Red" Barber, the sports announcer, gets credit for one of the good lines that came out of an Army-Notre dame game. Late in the game, the Cadets were penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness and Barber gagged: "I guess all that went on before was necessary."
Signs in Tennessee's Dressing Room
A man's value to his team varies inversely as his distance from the ball.
The man in front of you feels just as bad—and maybe worse. Give him another one with all your might.
It's not what you have done in the past, but what you can do today.
Don't let one mistake cause another.
A good interferer is worth three ball-carrying backs.
The first law of football: NEVER UNDERESTIMATE AN OPPONENT.
A Baseball Funny
Asked by a teammate how much he was hitting, a Southern league outfielder replied: "Last time I looked, it was .282, unless they have taken something off for Social Security."