Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kicked Ball

Does this guy do driveways?

Remember the infamous 1982 "Snow Plow Game" where the Patriots beat the heavily-favored Dolphins with a late field goal on a snowy field cleared by a snow plow operator on prison work release?

The name of the con on the plow was Mark Henderson, but the kicker was John Smith. And it turns out John Smith probably owed his NFL career to the late Columbia Lions great basketball coach Jack Rohan '53.

Say what?

Well, it goes like this. Smith was a Brit who came over to the U.S. in the summer of 1972 to teach soccer at a camp in Pittsfield, MA. Also at the camp that summer was Rohan, who noticed Smith's kicking ability and encouraged him to try American football. He got a tryout with the Patriots not long after and was on the starting roster by the '74 season.

Some coaches just have a great eye for talented athletes, no matter what sport they actually coach. Jack Rohan was one of those coaches.


At Wed Mar 11, 10:27:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, Rohan used to spend summers at Camp Lenox, in the Berkshires near Pittsfield. I would see him watching, but not game-coaching, their teams when my camp played them. The Lenox kids must have had some amazing basketball instruction. They were the toughest games on our schedule every year.

At Thu Mar 12, 01:13:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my roommates played for Jack in the 60s. He used to say that Jack was a great coach if you were a great player. I never quite understood what he meant. My own observation was that Jack always go the most out of his talent but in later years wasn't a great recruiter.


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