Golden Football Magazine
December 29, 2017


"Blindfolded, with his back to the wall, with his hands tied behind him, Steve Spurrier would still be a two-point favorite at his own execution."

John Logue, The Atlanta Journal, during Spurrier's days as Florida QB

Tiger Den

1996 Comebacks: Tulane

For the second time that season, the Tigers clawed back from a 2nd half deficit.

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Saints Saga

Profile: Jim Finks - III

The Saints almost lost their GM when he was proposed as Pete Rozelle's replace­ment as commissioner.

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Seminole Sidelines

Profile: Burt Reynolds

The future Hollywood star played LHB as a freshman and contributed to an 8-3 season that merited a bowl invitation.

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Super Bowl VII

The Dolphins were trying to complete a 17-0 season but, more importantly to them, prove that they could win the big game.

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Profile: Bill Walsh - IX

The 49ers used a devastating playoff defeat to impel them to another Super Bowl victory.


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How Well Do You Know the Rules?
Offensive player catches shanked punt behind neutral zone and advances it.
Hall of Fame RBs' last teams
Paranoia Abounds
"Spying Eyes," Jon Solomon, Athlon Sports 2017 College Football Preview
Congratulations, Wakey Leaks. Wake Forest's game-plan breach from a highly unlikely source - radio analyst and former assistant coach Tommy Elrod - managed to make already-paranoid college football coaches even more paranoid. That is no small achievement. ...
Practices open to the media are now typically a distant memory. Television announcers who watch practice and receive inside access to the team are closely scrutinized by coaches. Covered fences prevent prying eyes from seeing anything at practice. During games, coaches even cover their mouths when talking to their players or into their headsets in case any alert lip-readers might be watching. ...
In 2015, then-Georgia coach Mark Richt approached an reporter at practice during the week of the Georgia-Alabama game. The reporter was one of several journalists shooting video of receivers running routes with QBs near the end of a media-viewing period.
"[Richt] asked what was being filmed and asked that tight shots of certain routes not be shown," wrote a couple of days before Alabama routed Georgia 38-10. "The coach said he didn't want Alabama seeing what they were doing at that moment. Richt then asked that all video recordings cease. The three viewing periods were open to photographers and videographers. Restrictions on what could be filmed were not listed on an advisory to media viewing practice."
When Mike MacIntyre became Colorado's coach, he initially allowed the majority of his practices to be open to the team's fans. That lasted one season.
"I got burned," MacIntyre said in 2015 about open practices ... "Last fall camp I did more, but I also got burned off that. I know for a fact, but I definitely want to do it."

L-R: Mark Richt, Mike MacIntyre, Gerry DiNardo
As LSU's interim coach last season, Ed Orgeron opened practices far more than predecessor Les Miles had. Miles hadn't opened an in-season practice to reporters since at least 2006. Orgeron opened certain periods, especially on Mondays, which he called "Tell the Truth Monday" for coaches to honestly analyze players' mistakes.
Whether Orgeron will stay this open as LSU's permanent head coach remains to be seen. In an interview last fall, Orgeron said he wanted to be more open with the media.
[LSU Coach Gerry] DiNardo had open practices everywhere he coached. During the week of an LSU-Georgia game, then-Bulldogs coach Jim Donnan called to tell DiNardo he needed to read some blogs.
"They were telling everyone what we're doing at practice," DiNardo says. ...
"I always stressed, 'Let's not share our ideas with the wrong people,'" DiNardo says. "When I was at LSU, Brad Scott was at South Carolina. We didn't play each other on the schedule. He asked to send his offensive staff to LSU during an off week. I said, 'Brad, I just can't do it.' You never know where your coaches will be in the future."
Sometimes coaches even take advantage of visits with other staffs to help their own recruiting.
In 2013, Clemson brought in a strong recruiting class but lost highly recruited defensive linemen Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams to Auburn at the very end. Clemson assistant coach Jeff Scott said Lawson and Adams told him that Auburn's superior housing for athletes was a major factor in their choices.
So one day after meeting with Auburn coach Gus Malzahn's staff, Scott decided to see the Auburn apartments for himself. He snuck into one of them and asked a player if he could take some pictures. "He didn't know who I was, but I'm in there taking pictures of his room," Scott says.
Scott showed the pictures to Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and university officials. Now the university is in the process of spending $2 million on renovations for an apartment complex that houses football players and non-athletes. ...

L-R: Brad Scott, Rick Neuheisel, Mike Riley
[Former UCLA coach Rick] Neuheisel remembers how he once got considerable blowback from fellow coaches about a rule that most of them wanted, but they were suspicious because he was the one proposing it.
At a meeting of the American Football Coaches Association, Neuheisel proposed more leniency for medical redshirt players. By limiting a medical redshirt to no more than three games, he wanted playres who got hurt early in the season to have the ability to return later to beef up rosters as injuries mount. Most teams just have a doctor fudge that the player was hurt the whole year anyway when in fact he can often return, Neuheisel says.
"Every head coach looked at me like I was trying to pull a fast one on them," Neuheisel says. "It's the perfect scenario of the world of paranoia. They think because Rick Neuheisel has this reputation of being creative, the rule is a deal-breaker. I realized then the deal wasn't so much the rule I proposed, it was me. They didn't trust me.
After that incident, Neuheisel took different approach with rules. One year at the Pac-12 coaches' meetings, Neuheisel wanted to increase the conference's travel-squad numbers (60 players per team) closer to the Big Ten and SEC limits (70 players).
But Neuheisel knew he was toxic, especially in a room with so many big egos, such as Stanford's Jim Harbaugh and USC's Carroll. So Neuheisel had then-Oregon State coach Mike Riley pitch the idea.
"Mike is the nicest guy in the world, so he pitched it to the ADs and we got 70," Neuheisel says. "Had Rick Neuheisel pitched it, we'd still be at 60. ..."