Wednesday, October 3, 2007

UK and "The Thin 30"

In today's edition of the CJ, Eric Crawford wrote a column regarding Shannon Ragland's new book, "The Thin Thirty: The Untold Story of Brutality, Scandal and Redemption for Charlie Bradshaw's 1962 Kentucky Football Team".

I read part of this book a couple of weeks ago when I traveled down to Franklin, TN with Craig Clayton's Mother to watch his Franklin Rebels play. "Momma" Clayton, or as the late Coach Fred Clayton referred to her "Beard", had just purchased the book after a recent trip to Lexington.

I got interested after Beard told me of the local connections to Charlie Bradshaw. Beard went on to elaborate that she and Coach Fred had played host to Coach Bradshaw many of times in Princeton, KY when Coach Fred was Head Coach of Caldwell County. In those days most college coaches stayed at the homes of high school coaches while out recruiting. A free bed and a warm meal was a heck of a deal in those days which is a long way from present day private jets and Hilton's. I would guess that Bradshaw had been to Caldwell Co. to recruit Pete Moore who was one of the top rated runningbacks in the Nation. Caldwell Co. would win the State Championship in 1963 but Hopkinsville recruited,(I'm sorry, invited) Pete Moore to come play at Hopkinsville which he did. Hopkinsville would win back to back Championships in 1965 and 1966. As a footnote to this story, Bear Bryant and his Alabama Crimson Tide beat out UK in the recruiting war for Pete Moore.

This kept getting interesting for me even up until last night. My former head football coach at Hopkinsville, Dan Sundberg, was one of the members of that UK team that quit the program. Sundberg transferred to Western Kentucky and was a part of an all star cast of players and coaches that took Western to a Bowl.

I attended the Christian Co. Democrat Woman's meeting Monday night because Todd Hollenbach Jr. was the guest speaker. Mike Karem who was traveling with the Hollenbach's sat at my table along with Bob Fritz. Karem, who has served in some capacity in every Republican Administration since Nixon was also a former assistant football coach at Western in the 60's. Fritz, who led Todd County to the State Championship in the early 70's, began his coaching career with Fred Clayton and would later coach for Kentucky. Bob Fritz and Dan Sunberg have been best friends for years. Mike Karem and Dan Sundberg both graduated and played football at Waggoner High School in Louisville. I introduced Bob Fritz to Mike Karem as well as putting Karem on the phone with Coach Sundberg. Karem and Sundberg had not seen or talked to each other in over 30 years. As chance would have it: politics, football, and a book about Charlie Bradshaw has made for some interesting conversation the last couple of weeks. The more I travel around Kentucky the more I find what a small place it really is. I'm going to the book store today to get my own copy of the book. With so many Kentucky boys on that 1962 team, I am sure there are plenty of stories to be shared about this book across the Commonwealth.


Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

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