On a Special Cap

I was still on summer break after my first year in college and working at a power plant during the 1972 Olympics. My sophomore year would not start until well into September, but an event of 40 years ago is etched into my memory with pride.

Many recall the Summer Olympics in Munich regarding an act of terror on Israeli athletics, but for me, it also was a golf cap worn by an upper classman who shared chemistry lecture time with me. I can’t recall ever speaking to him, but he is on the cover of our recent alumni magazine – and the accompanying article shows the cap.

Some readers around my age may remember this Olympic 800-meter race involving two sprints around the track; meanwhile others may appreciate the thrill. As a result, during a halftime show at home and away, we formed the Olympic torch and played the Olympic theme in his honor. This less-than-two-minute race is simply a wonderful memory. Does anyone remember this?

On 1972-73

It was the summer of 1972 and the Munich Summer Olympics. Although an Olympiad of tragedy, it was also one of pride. We Bowling Green students were excited that one of our own was in the Olympics.

Back to campus in the fall, a longtime friendship with Randy started. We talked tons of sports (and still do). At the start of the season I predicted not only would Miami would win the Super Bowl, but they be 17-0. Of course I haven’t let him forget that he calls it “the greatest prediction he’s ever heard.”

The coach Don Nehlen’s young Falcons were coming off a successful year and picked by many to win the MAC. After winning at Purdue and a 3-0-1 start after 4 road games, a tough Don James coached Kent State team burst on the scene at our home opener. That was my first exposure to HOF LB Jack Lambert, who made sure there was no Tangerine Bowl for us.

Randy was a Pirates fan, and October was the memorable Reds-Pirates playoff. Who could forget Johnny Bench’s game-tying HR in the bottom of the ninth! The eventual winning run for the Reds scored on a wild pitch by Bob Moose. To this Randy, Randy still steams about the game.

The Falcon basketball team was horrible the year before, but was loaded with a promising sophomore class. (Remember, freshman didn’t play in those days). The next three years were the same for basketball and football; high expectations and always the bride’s maid yet never the bride.

I loved Falcon hockey. The season brought us future ’76 Olympians Bob Dobek and Doug Ross; the latter was sitting out his transfer season. Little did I know that they were the prelude for a future Falcon to be the first to win an Olympic Gold and a Stanley Cup the same year; actually months apart. In the spring, Coach Jack Vivian jumped up to the newly-formed WHA, which that brought us Ron Mason, who would become the winnest coach in NCAA hockey history. And I’m sure Scott Hamilton skated between periods.

I never imagined that technology would remind me of those events 36 years later; let alone share it with others. After reading Basic Blaganomics about the Dolphins perfect season, Randy and I talked and laughed about the prediction, which led us into other events of that year. He still hasn’t forgiven Bob Moose, he won’t listen to my recording of the homer or the pitch, and I haven’t found the pitch on YouTube – at least not yet.

1972-73 was an interesting sports year for me; so here’s Dave Wottle’s 800 m race as called by the late, great Jim McKay …. and to think the Olympian was in one of my chemistry classes.