Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Opinion

February 2, 2013

JACOBS: My lunch with Dolphins

So, I was lucky enough to have some former football players out to my house a couple of weeks ago for lunch. It was my dad, Ray Jacobs, of course, and his pals from the Miami Dolphins, Larry Czonka and Bobby Neff, and their significant others.

It was pretty casual, steaks on the grill and banana pudding, and everyone seemed to have a lovely time, and the guys told stories that had us rolling, some about action on the field, most of what took place off the field.

I grew up hearing the Zonk stories because my dad was hunting and drinking buddies with him for years, so I was eager to meet him. He turned out to be very sweet, funny and self-deprecating.

I did have to ask him, however, if all the stories were true — shooting a shark and sinking the boat? wrecking the airboat? shooting the snake next to his friend? and he simply said they were, owning all his previous history with a certain degree of quiet pride.

Bobby Neff, who has often been described by my dad as one of the most determined and motivated players he’s ever known, was modest and a pleasure to have over.

Neff lives over near Waco, Zonk is a part-time Floridian and a part-time Alaskan.

I also got a chance to hear stories about my dad that I’d never heard before, which intrigued me. My dad’s a pretty loveable guy, but I didn’t know him as an adult in his wilder days when he played football. When I was a tiny kid, he was that tall guy who spent the first part of every week bruised and limping, and the rest of the time joking around and pulling pranks.

Although it was a private lunch, and everything was off-the-record, I think they’ll forgive me if I tell just one story:

When Czonka showed up to play that first season, he was already considered one of the most talented players of his generation and was a first-round draft pick for the Dolphins. My dad has been a first-round draft pick himself years earlier, and has already been on the team when Zonk showed up, which made Zonk a rookie by my dad’s standards.

The rule was that rookies had to stand on a chair and sing in the locker room, but Zonk had missed out on the training camp initiation because he’d been playing in the All-Stars game, so he assumed he wouldn’t have to.

When he did arrive, though, the other players were for upholding tradition, despite the new star in their midst. Zonk basically challenged anyone on the team to make him sing. At which point, Zonk said my dad stood up, about 300 pounds of solid muscle and cotton-field-bred meanness, and Zonk immediately said “OK, I know the ‘Battle of New Orleans’ and ‘Star Spangled Banner,’ which one do you want?”

         —————

Janet Jacobs is City Editor of the Corsicana Daily Sun. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” to this column? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Dick Platt 2014.jpg Highly questionable

    As you have probably surmised, I am just about addicted to my TV, and especially to jock shows throughout the day. I usually start my day with a couple hours of “Imus in the Morning,” just to broaden my horizons in the areas of politics, investments, current events, show business, and a plethora of other topics

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Janet Jacobs Technology versus common sense

    The gadgets of the future will include an internet-assisted backyard grill, according to news accounts this past week.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Belcher, Bob.jpg Salute to 'Mr. Derrick Days'

    I can’t help but think back to the “near-death experience” that Derrick Days had 14 years ago, and how one man’s determination brought it back.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Tinsley Resurrection

    I was 29-years-old when my father died of multiple myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow.  He was 53 years of age. Only hours before his death, I spoke with him. Our eyes met during that final visit, the same eye contact we had shared from my birth.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dr Don Newbury 2014.jpg It’s about time

    Some aspect of time steals quietly into our psyche in all conscious moments, and our use or abuse of it is central to much poetry, lyrics, scripts, conversations — you name it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick Platt 2014.jpg The Wonderlic Test

    Did you hear the one about Texas A&M’s “Johnny Football” Manziel testing better than all the other quarterbacks in this year’s NFL Scouting Combine? No, this is not the start of an Aggie joke.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • deannakirk.jpg Work Out? Bite your tongue!

    I've shared this before, but it bears repeating. I'm a lot like my late, dear Daddy … whose idea of “working out” was a good, brisk sit.
    Amen, Daddy. Me too.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letters to the Editor for Saturday, April 12, 2014

    Thanks for service
    To the Editor: The Blooming Grove Elementary School would like to express appreciation to several individuals and businesses that for three years have provided a “free” vision exam and eyeglasses for many of our students.

    April 11, 2014

  • Dr Don Newbury 2014.jpg Uncle Mort: For the Birds

    Personal experiences racked up across three-quarters of a century — including yips and yaps at lecterns spanning five decades — offer positive proof that many times, utter silence is preferable to spoken words.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick Platt 2014.jpg One-liners

    For many years, in a previous life, I had somewhat of a reputation as a master-of-ceremonies and I stayed relatively busy at that avocation. I never met a microphone I didn’t like

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Featured Ads
Twitter Updates