STAGG BOWL TIES
Nick Sirianni, who was recently named the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, knows his way around the Roanoke Valley. . .at least a little bit. He visited five times as a player and coach for the Mount Union football team when the Purple Raiders played in the Stagg Bowl at Salem Stadium.
Sirianni was a receiver from 2000 to 2003, and all four years the Raiders made the Division III championship game. They beat St. John’s, Bridgewater and Trinity the first three years but lost to St. John’s in 2003 in a memorable game his senior year. The “Johnnies” were led by legendary coach John Gagliardi, who the Division III Player of the Year is named after.
Sirianni returned to Salem in 2005 as a member of the Mount Union coaching staff and the Raiders beat Wisconsin-Whitewater that season, 35-28, in the first of many meetings between the two. Sirianni’s older brother Mike played for Mount Union in the first Stagg Bowl held in Salem in 1993.
After the 2005 season Sirianni moved around, climbing the coaching ladder to the point where he was the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts. That led him to Philadelphia as an NFL head coach, but he’s never forgotten his Mount Union roots. In a story by Steve Doerschuk of “The Repository” Sirianni relates the following story about his former college coach, Larry Kehres, who has been in Salem enough times to pay taxes.
Doerschuk wrote. . .When he(Sirianni) began to explore coaching, he interviewed with his college coach, Larry Kehres, for Mount Union’s offensive coordinator job. Kehres asked Sirianni what kind of offense he might like to install. Sirianni presented some specific ideas and was surprised when Kehres pounded the table. “You don’t even know what players we’ll have,” Kehres said. “Until you know that, you won’t know what our offense needs to be.”
Sirianni applied the concept after he actually landed a job with Kehres, and 15 years later he’s an NFL head coach.
Normally the Super Bowl marks the end of football for a while. Not so in the world of the coronavirus pandemic.
While the college season ended in January and the NFL season ended last week, the high school season is just getting started. Local teams began practicing for February 22nd openers last week. The Super Bowl is over, but football is still here. I knew there was something good due to happen.
Unfortunately, who knows how many fans will be allowed at the high school games.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY IN MAY?
If you expect to get a Valentine’s card in the mail from me this week, don’t fret if it doesn’t arrive before Sunday. It may be in your mailbox this summer.
I’m in a fantasy basketball league with some college friends and others and there’s a small fee to be in the league. I sent a check to our treasurer in Warren, Ohio the day before Christmas and it arrived last week. It was postmarked December 24 with a Greensboro postmark.
In addition, some Christmas cards I sent to friends and relatives in Pennsylvania also arrived within the past two weeks. I sent them on December 7.
What a great job our postmaster, Louis DeJoy, has done with the postal system. This big donor to the Donald J. Trump campaign, who had no previous experience with the post office, has indicated he’d like to stay on. He has about as much chance of that as Adam Gase did of keeping his job with the New York Jets.
I’ll bet there’s still ballots arriving with Joe Biden’s name on them. By the summer he may have won by 10 million votes instead of seven million.