On the Tunney Side of the Street 46

by Jim Tunney

Hoodlums or Choir Boys?

After further review... Allen Pinkett was an outstanding football player at Notre Dame University in the 1980's. Pinkett was a two-time All-American running back and finished 8th in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 1985. Pinkett's record of 4,131 rushing yards stood for 13 years, and his 53 touchdowns still lead all Irish scorers. The Houston Oilers selected him in the 3rd round of the 1986 draft, and he played there for six years. He has been serving as color commentator for the Irish football broadcasts.

Pinkett sped one of his famous feet directly into his mouth recently when, during a radio interview on Chicago's WSCR, he said "I've always felt like to have a successful team you've got to have a few bad citizens on the team. That's how Ohio State used to win all the time. They would have two or three criminals and that just adds to the chemistry of the team. I think Notre Dame is growing because maybe they have some guys that are doing something worthy of a suspension which creates edge on the football team. You can't have a football team of choir boys."

"Worthy of suspension"? The contradiction has Knute Rockne spinning in his grave! It seems here that one who is "worthy" of attending Notre Dame University and has the privilege of playing football for the Irish avoids acts that would draw a suspension. Irish head coach Brian Kelly suspended several starters for violation of T*E*A*M rules. Kelly determined those players were not "worthy" of representing Notre Dame, at least temporarily. Good for Kelly!

Football is a violent sport - "yagottaknock somebody down" is one of its maxims. Certainly an "edge" is important in playing this game; but not one that violates rules and laws. That's the criminal domain. Rules of conduct are important in the game of football. Surely, Notre Dame's T*E*A*M rules were agreed to by all the players before the season, so consequences had to follow when they were broken.

The game of football demands courage, extra effort, a never-give-up attitude and a sense of fair play. The game teaches personal life skills one of which is working together for a common good. That's what T*E*A*M stands for: Together Everyone Accomplishes More.

Will you agree to play by the rules when working together for the common good?