By Ben Brake
I was driving by a park the other day and noticed some school age kids throwing a football around. It reminded me of when I was younger watching the football games when my father coached flag football. I donít know if you remember those flags back then, but they had plastic flags attached to a plastic base that had a knob on the end. These knobs fit into another plastic piece that was attached to the belt. Boy, were these things a pain! Some of them would just slip out with a simple knock, but then there were the others that you could grab onto and be dragged down the field like a plow behind a tractor. Then they eventually went to the Velcro and the rest is history.
Anyway, seeing these boys play a little football reminded me of some kids back then that played for my father. These boys that played for my father were the friendliest, neatest, and well-mannered young men that you could meet. They were the Madison brothers, L.E. and Lamont. The older brother Isaac wasnít on the team, but you could bet he wouldnít be far away. L.E. and Lamont were two of the biggest and best players on the team. Other teams would look at them and think these guys are going to kill us. Then L.E. and Lamont would smile at them and be the nicest they could be to the other teams kids right up until the ball was in play. When the play was over L.E and Lamont would pull the opponents out of the dirt, smile, and compliment them on how good their "try" was then get ready for the next play. They added a whole new meaning to the word sportsmanship.
L.E Madison eventually played for Manhattan High School and K-State as a defensive end. He also was good enough to try out for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I have sat back trying to think what in the world my father could have taught him that he could have carried on to the professional level. Could it have been how to get past the line to the quarterback? No, I doubt it. Maybe it was how to manhandle his opponent and smash him in the dirt? Yeah right, not a chance. Then I thought, maybe just maybe he taught him how to tie his shoes in a double not so that they wonít come untied and make him trip. He could have taught him the famous "Double Brake Knot" and L.E. could have passed it onto MJHS, K-State and The Steelers. Wow! Can you imagine that the Pittsburgh Steelers could be tying their shoes in the famous "Double Brake Knot" today because of my fatherís coaching ability....? Nah, I think he already knew how to tie his shoes. Oh well, I tried!
I always looked up to the Madison brothers, the only time they showed their size was on the playing field. In person you couldnít ever find a nicer family. L.E., you and your brothers will always be proís in my book. It was nice talking to you after all those years.
Have a Great Wildcat Day!