Sports Extra with Dave Ross: 1992: Dan Quayle to Tim McGee… almost


Sports Extra - With Dave Ross



Thirty years ago I made one of my regular treks to Cincinnati Bengals training camp at Wilmington College where Bengals personnel man and former Sidney and Marion Local coach Jim Lippincott always provided great up-close access. On a hot day I noted the presence of the Secret Service which I hadn’t engaged since President Ronald Reagan came to Sidney eight years earlier.

Lippincott advised that Vice President Dan Quayle was on the campaign trail and would join us after a visit to the nearby Clinton County Fair. This was ironic since President George Bush (Sr.) and Quayle were running against eventual 1992 victors Bill Clinton and Al Gore. The VP jokingly mentioned the Clinton connection when he joined a team huddle at the end of practice before becoming a quarterback for one play.

The former Indiana US Senator took the snap and faded back to throw deep to star receiver Tim McGee who was running hard and covered by defender Eric Thomas. The crowd actually gasped as a perfect spiral sailed over 30 yards downfield, right on target, before being batted away at the last moment. Quayle then had some final comments for the team, shook some hands, and departed.

Apparently what I witnessed was no fluke. A friend later told me that he’d played golf with Quayle, and that he was also very good on the links.

Bradford

The ongoing battle to sustain high school football in Bradford has hit another bump in the road as that school will not play a varsity schedule in 2022. While researching my book on the first century of Sidney HS football, I discovered that Bradford was once totally dominant on the gridiron with what I term an “immaculate perfect season” back in 1926.

Undefeated and untied in nine games without yielding a point, that was Bradford football 96 years ago. Opponents included Versailles (twice), Greenville, Celina, Tipp City, Fairmont, Sidney, Arcanum, and West Milton. Final aggregate score, 276-0 with 13 of those against a solid Sidney squad that went 6-3-1.

Bradford also has a place in Sidney’s Catholic football history. In 1936 the Railroaders were the final opponent of Holy Angels before the Titans dropped the sport. In 1970 Holy Angels merged with Piqua Catholic to form Lehman in Sidney with football again on the menu. As it still does today, the Lehman home schedule included games in both Sidney and Piqua. The first opponent to come to Sidney in 1970 was Bradford. I can still envision the Bradford coaches in their bright orange blazers on a cool Saturday night at Julia Lamb Stadium.

Several months back I received a tip that there was an excellent “mom and pop” diner in downtown Bradford, so I checked it out in late June and found that to be true. The restaurant is in Darke County and I parked across the street in Miami County, making for a unique experience. Yes, Bradford is in two counties, split north and south by state route 721.

Vermeil

I recently viewed and enjoyed the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction of former coach Dick Vermeil who still displayed great enthusiasm and emotion during his acceptance as he approaches his 86th birthday. Vermeil took a break in his coaching career in 1983 to become a college football TV analyst for a decade and a half. He commented that his TV years afforded major learning opportunities with his inside access to the nation’s best college teams.

This reminded me that Vermeil had several sessions with Ohio State quarterback Bobby Hoying in the 1990’s. This week I contacted Hoying in his Columbus-area office for some recollections of the coach venturing into the Buckeyes film room the day before the game.

“He was passionate about football and quarterback preparation. He watched film with us, pointed out tendencies, and asked a ton of questions,” the St. Henry native recalled. “He was very engaging every time I met him.”

Sounds like the same guy I just saw on TV…

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Sports Extra

With Dave Ross

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross is an award winning columnist and 47-year media member.

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross is an award winning columnist and 47-year media member.