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I've Got A Secret (Or) Say It Ain't So, Joe

Hey, you. Yeah, you over there, the funny-looking one. Come here for a sec, will ya.

Listen, I gotta tell you a little secret, ok. But, but listen, you gotta promise that you ain't gonna tell no one, because I promised Joe I'd keep quiet and all. I shouldn't even be tellin' you, but gee, just one person. Aw, he'll never find out, now, will he?

You see, the other afternoon--Wednesday I think it was--I was talking to Joe, Joe Restic, the football coach. Anyway, me and Joe, we're old buddies and all, and he told me--well, he didn't really tell me, because he never tells you nuthin', you have to read between the pauses--but he told me that Harvard was gonna finish first this year.

"Well Mike," he said, "let me tell you. Mike, let me tell you." And then he told me.

First he told me about the return of Jim Curry, who has the kinda talent that attracts proscouts to Cambridge. That's for his passcatching. Jim punts and kicks field goals for dessert.

Then he told me 'bout the defense line, with the two All-Ivies, Baggot and Kaye. Bob Baggot, the crazy dude from California on the weak end, Charley Kaye, the big guy in the middle. He told me about Russ Savage, second-team All-Ivy and underrated, and Steve Kaseta, captain and no slouch himself.

"At linebacker," Joe said, "we're talking about Russo (Frank), we're talking about Jason (Joe), we're talking about Goodreault (Joe), we're talking about Beling (Craig)." Then he mentioned a few others whom we're talking about.

Now Joe, he has this habit of makin' the same thing sound both good and bad, like he's an optimist and a pessimist at the same time. Nasty little habit, you know, because his real thoughts tend to get buried upstairs, with all the xxxxx's and ooooo's.

Why just last year, when he had to talk about a team others picked to finish first, he frowned. Nah, being the frontrunner, that ain't for Joe. Not his style, you know what I mean. Best to lay low, you see, play it cool for a while, and then sneak up on everyone around October or so.

But this time around, yup, this is for Joe. His ballgame, so to speak. The preseason predictions, you see, they got Harvard picked for third and fourth, so nobody'll be watching ol' Joe and his boys just yet. But you just wait, and remember two years ago, and if come the Dartmouth game, if Harvard ain't up there causin' trouble, then you can just say you never spoke to me.

So even while Joe's tellin' me about all his problems, I know that inside, he's just sittin' there smilin'. "The durability of the backs," Joe says, pointin' to a problem area. "That could be a key for us."

So I sit there and nod, but I'm thinking, "Joe, what are you feedin' me? Tommy Winn ain't here no longer, but Chris Doherty is, and Bob Kinchen is, and a few others is."

And then Joe talks about the quarterback, who is Tim Davenport, who I seem to remember once hung up 21 points in one quarter and almost pulled a miracle off against Princeton two seasons back. Naw, no worry here.

Joe next passed right by the offensive line with hardly a sound. Maybe he didn't want to say nuthin', but he didn't have to, 'cuz even I knew that Bruce McKinnon and Mike Clark were back, which is two more guys than was back in '76, and even Rod Carew, you know, the baseball guy, would take two for five and not hassle.

The only area left was the defensive backs. Yeah, Joe was hit pretty hard here by graduation, but he's got a few guys--John Tuke, Paul Halas, to mention two--who ain't exactly patsies back there.