Tom Landry, Cowboys, Calvin Hill discussed on Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network

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Calvin Hill has joined us on Sports Byline USA. You're taking in the first round of the sixty sixty nine draft by the Dallas cowboys were the first player from an Ivy League school to be drafted in the first round and it was a controversial pick and I assume that it was because because they didn't feel that Yale playing the Ivy League played up against the talent of some of the other schools we talked about a little bit earlier yeah according to you know what I what I subsequently learned that they put all the stuff in the computer your test scores and your physical fitness times etc and it and it spun me out and I was like third or fourth you know a- ranked meets three to four and then it was adjusted by by the coaching staff and you know I was there you know when when when the cowboys I think it was the twenty fourth choice I was available and you know it's interesting. I've told this story I had called. It's not like it is today where the draft is is is televised and you know exactly you can watch it on TV or who it on the radio back then you know you it was it was done pretty much obscurity and they were just notified the press excetera and I had called a team mate of mine to tell him that he had been drafted by the New York football giants in the second row and I pretended to be Wellington Mirror and and I could hear him tell his teammates his roommates is the giants and you know I went on and on about how excited we were to have them etc and you know just when I could hear him. No you know loop and everybody nobody was getting excited. I started laughing and told him it was a joke and then I locked my door because he was a pretty big guy and you know and then and I don't know about an hour later I got the call from from from the cowboys and I pretty much thought it was somebody playing the same kind of joke on me and as it turned out you know it was Gillibrand and I think then he put Tex Schramm on the phone and I'm playing alone and then you know they put coach Landry on the phone and it was something unmistakable about his voice I guess I had heard it on TV and and all of a sudden I realized this could be the real deal and it was only when I got a phone call from the sports reporter for for the new haven register that I realized it was a real deal and it was you know it was a shock it was really shocked to me. Calvin you mentioned when we were talking about playing baseball jail that she had no desire to go south of the Mason Dixon Line and last time. I looked Dallas south of the Mason Dixon line. Did you have any hesitation. He shouldn't for those reasons as well that really I mean you know I. I guess I consider Texas as being more west. I didn't realize you know and it is I mean it's much south as it is West but you know in my mind it was more West than anything and I didn't know what you know. I never been west the alleghenies so I wasn't you know necessarily no I had no knowledge or no no preconceived notions of what to expect. I guess when you know when I flew out there two things one I thought I'd see a lot of the cowboy boots and I thought you know Sagebrush and all that and and it was a little different from the APOCRYPHA was a little different than what I expected because you know it didn't look like West Texas. didn't look look like Texas of the movies etcetera and then you know this is only six years after President Kennedy had been assassinated so that was also in my mind this is the place that you know President Kennedy was assassinated and that was still very fresh. and you know it was still fill us very much a shock that that could happen in this country and so those are the things that I was concerned about in terms of moving and then you know obviously you know I was going to a team that had Bob Hayes and Mel Renfro and Don Meredith Etcetera and so that was a little sobering Aubrey. thought that I was going to be playing with these guys that I've seen on television. Let me ask you about the organization and the team because I think most people think back to that period of time if they've read North Dallas forty that they probably got a different impression and Tom Landry. I got to know pretty well over over the years he was a very strict guy was a religious guy as well and I'm just wondering the organization the way it was portrayed in the way it was actually was for a player. You're who played in the organization. What are the pros and cons what were the myths and the realities well? You know it was very corporate. I mean you know I I think you know they elevated. Is it you know to to corporate level and they did things in a very business like you know way. Hey and make decisions very you know I mean in some respects she the way it was portrayed was was was was was very correct. Although although you know I I think you know one of the people that I really you know really came to like and respect and I think he has been portrayed a very wrongly by a lot of people what's Gillibrand Gillibrand was a genius is a genius and personnel personnel genius and that was a very human quality about him. at Tom Landry was brilliant as a as a football coach as XS is in those coach you know I don't know if he was shy but you know he could also he you know he could he could also be very you know sort of cold. TEX TEX SCHRAMM was very business oriented and very tough extremely tough but you know obviously a genius in his own right when you you think in terms of the things that he did you know and helping them make the cowboys America's team cheerleaders the helmets etc era and then we were owned by a Guy Clint Murchison who you know I mean he's like the forgotten man he was the initial owner and he left he left after football people alone. you know hired the best people and let them do their job but I think you know when you look in terms of this whole stadium a phenomenon and boxes etcetera and the way these stadiums financed now he was the first person I've really come up with that concept at Texas Stadium India. Let me take you to January Sixteenth Nineteen seventy-two the site is New Orleans for the Super Bowl and the cowboys pick up their first super bowl victory by beating the dolphins twenty twenty four to three and this was the second Super Bowl for the Dallas cowboys their second appearance and they really had come into that game had they not with a reputation and not being being able to win the big playoff game such as super bowl number five and and the nineteen sixty six and sixty seven. Nfl Championship Games was that a stigma that the team had had the organization had going into that super bowl yeah I I would even say one of the reasons. Danny Dan retired is because you know he you know he he just got ah overwhelmed by by that stigma. You know we always next year's champions. in fact one of the Writers Steve Perkins wrote a book called us with next year's champions and we just could not get over the Hump and so you know I it was it was a relief I think because finally only we had one the big one and you know it was it was a really exciting time. I mean you know to see I mean yeah to see coach to coach Landry who was so instrumental in so many of the innovations of the of the Martin Professional Professional Game Now finally get his due as the winning super bowl coach and you know I played on a team I mean people don't realize what played played Miami and they had I think five or six future pro bowlers hall of Famer on their offense they had you know you know Brian Greasy to hit Paul Warfield Larry's Donka they had learned little I'm trying to think of this center. I think is is in the hall of fame and we you know we stop stop them. They got three points and we dominated that game almost from the beginning and you know it was yes those ten seconds when they start counting down before the final gun goes off and you know as a team that you know uh you are you going to be the winner. Let me let me ask you about a couple of other players just briefly because I do want to talk about the redskins and also Cleveland even here but let me what are your memories of Roger Starbuck and Bob Hayes well. you know Roger Rogers the kind of guy that if he we're after you a job it'd be difficult to sleep because you know he's he would stay up all night. If it had to trying to figure out how to get your job very competitive guy competitive person as anybody I've ever met you know you hear stories about Michael Jordan and you know Roger has that same level of a competitiveness a great team mate you know he was just a sensational teammate and I mean he's he and his family a friend of mine to this day. you know Bob Hayes was just a a freak of nature her I mean he I mean even today when we talk about Him we talk about this is incredible speed and you know the things he was able to do because of that speed sometimes you'd watch him catch a pass and take two or three steps and then he was just explode and you don't think that the film had been spliced Bob was a very easy going guy sort of a happy go lucky guy. you know Roger was much more serious but both of them yeah I mean I I I was very fortunate to to to to to a play on a team with both of them in relative to the fact that I was able to do that after one year in the WFL you come back into into the national football league. He signed as a free agent with the Washington Redskins. Now you have played for coach Tom Landry and now of course you have George Allen as your coach. What what was the dichotomy between the two? What were the similarities between the two Calvin well the similarities that both of them were great defensive coaches? you know a a I mean they. They started out a great defense coach. I think George you know whereas you know. Coach manager was also very involved in the offense leading a multiple offense George one of the very simplistic offense your the thing that really stood out as far as you know George Allen was his understanding of the importance of special teams prior to coming through the redskins special teams but something you.

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