Written by Bill Wood
Tall quarterbacks that could actually see over the line as drop back passers, along with three knee operations, signaled the end of any desirability for me as a college QB. In high school and junior college, I was able to rely on speed, quickness and an average arm, using roll outs, sprint outs and option passes along with some drop backs. From the pocket, I usually had to throw to spots on timing. Without a pass blocking lane, I just wasn’t able to see the receivers I was throwing to unless I was on the move. By the time I got to UNC, Sonny Gibbs and a few others were having some success. Coaches began to look for and prefer taller, less quick-footed QBs…and then there were the knee injuries. In retrospect, I might have had a better chance to play baseball a bit longer that football. I loved it all. Even with the injuries, I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences in athletics for anything-and they all began in Midland, Texas. Lasting relationships with coaches, fellow players and friends were all commonly born of goal setting, building platforms to ensure reliability on, and trust of each other and giving great effort toward common dreams. These are important ideals that have a way of becoming lifelong habits, especially, I think, when nurtured right there in Midland. I know I learned to compete there. Along with plenty of failures, my small amount of success as a trial lawyer comes from wanting to compete, to try like hell to win, and to help someone. Old coaching thoughts like “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” have probably stuck in all the minds that had the good fortunes to find something “in the water” early in life.
My Dad used to tell me “Make your mistakes on your toes and not your heels” and I keep passing that on to all of my children and theirs. All of us will have failures and our own share of mistakes. I’ve certainly had mine, but I still think of those things and I’m still trying to stay on my toes and off of my heels. I think that whatever was in the water prepared all of us to keep trying and doing our best. We are pretty lucky.
…. and one more thing. I actually still have dreams about having one year of college eligibility left. 😊
I will be in the stands for your final year of eligibility, Bill. You are the only 3 sport letterman I know!