The Michigan Daily-Thursday, October 19, 1978-Page 13
THE SPORTING VIEWS
On Monte Clark
By PETER BORMUTH
You feel a faint edge of animosity creep over his
voice accenting the syllables as they drop slowly
from his tongue. You wonder how much defeat has
wearied the moving forces of this man's mind.
Perhaps he is merely rankled at having to waste
precious time normally spent in preparation
speaking to this insignificant reporter; the defeats
already banished into the abyss of the irrevocable
past. But still you wonder.
Monte Clark has always been a winner. As a man
he earned his right to respect years ago, battling in
the trenched as an all-pro offensive tackle for the
Cleveland Browns. He has served under such profilic
football minds as Paul Brown and Don Shula.
He came to Detroit with a sound philosophy, en-
thsiasm, an endless capacity for hard work and
detail, and a five year contract.
His record as head coach of the Lions is 1-6.
Looking back at the events which brought Clark to
the Lions you begin to see what a competent,
calculating man this is. After designing the offensive
line which took Miami to three straight Super Bowls,
Clark went to San Francisco and resurrected the
49ers in a brief one-year tenure as head coach.
He was forced to resign from his post after the
arrival of Joe Thomas as the new general manager.
Neither man was willing to relinquish control over
player-personnel changes so Clark merged into the
relative obscurity of the unemployed.
Clark spent the onsuing NFL season in the Pacific
swell and California sun waiting for the annual
season-ending turnover among the professional
coaching ranks. San Francisco paid him for this
period of inactivity (contract obligations) and when
1978 rolled in Clark was signed by the Detroit Lions.
hard work and
respect from his players and quick-
ly dispatched the renegades, the
unhappy, the unwilling, the un-
talented, and the aged.
Bill Ford brought Monte Clark (and not Chuck Knox)
Clark's regime opened normally enough with the
usual press conferences, hiring of assistant coaches,
and- long hours spent reviewing game films and
assessing personnel. He was committed to
developing a winner and his methods mirrored the
men he had labored under.
He sought to establish a benign dictatorship on his
club. He demanded hard work and respect from his
players and quickly dispatched the renegades, the
unhappy, the unwilling, the untalented, and the aged.
His purpose in demanding a long term contract
became evident as his program progressed with a
total commitment to youth.
He turned the mediocre Detroit Lions into a
promising young club certain to develop. It is only
now seven weeks into the regular season that it
becomes evident that he miscalculated.
The Lions are perhaps the worst team in
professional football. Their roster resembles an ex-
pansion team. Injuries, inexperience, and defections
damaged his club. Lack of depth and talent may
The true test of a man's character comes not in vic-
tory but in how he handles defeat. It remains now to
see how Monte Clark will react to adversity. In this
day and age winners are help up for public acclaim,
losers for public ridicule. Monte Clark has never been
among the losers before.
,But even among the losers he remains a hard man
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The reasons why Clark signed with the Lions are
open to conjecture. The five year contract, total per-
sonnel control, and the new playing facility are the
usual public statements. The more discreet suggest
that the Lions' location in the NFC's central division,
with the aging Vikings, the one-man attack of the
Bears, the apparently inept Packers, and the expan-
sion Buccaneers, was the deciding factor.
One sportswriter suggested that the Carrol Rosen-
bloom fiasco of the previous year was the only reason
You need New Address labels! !
University of X
112 New Hall
Yourtown, State 00000
Now that the post election confusion is over and things have pretty much
settled down around Vatican City, the new pope, John Paul II, was overheard
saying: "Now I can get down to the real business at hand, picking my Gridde Picks
and getting them into 420 Maynard by midnight Friday so's I can win me one of
them fine tasting two item pizzas from Pizza Bob's."
REP. PERRY BULLARD
for questions, answers,
finding out about Michigan politics
and starting a campaign, etc.
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List exactly as you want to appear (Please Print)
1. MICHIGAN at Wisconsin
2. Purdue at Illinois
3. Indiana at Michigan State
4. Iowa ~st Ohio State
5. Minnesota at Northwestern
6, Arkansas at Texas
7. UCLA at California
8. Nebraska at Colorado
9. N.C.State at N. Carolina
10. Stanford at Washington State
11. Georgia Tech at Auburn
12. Florida State at Pittsburgh
13. Jackson State at Grambling
14. Houston at Southern Methodist
15. Oklahoma at Iowa State
16. Louisiana State at Kentucky
17..Eastern Michigan at Western
18. Baylor at Texas A&M
19. Virginia Tech at Virginia
20. DAILY LIBELS vs. E. Shifman's
B. U. Bench
CITY, STATE, ZIP
Detroit 3, NY Rangers 3
NY Islanders 5, Pittsburgh 3
chicago 4, Washington 2
Boston 116, Atlanta l9
Washington 121, Philadelphia 111
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words in the
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