The Michigan Daily-Thursday, January 7, 1982-Page 9
By GREG DeGULIS
Bowling in Houston.. ..
a test of manhood
N MANY WAYS, bowl trips are designed to separate the men from the
In Jacksonville at the 1979 Gator Bowl, those that could handle the "Space
Mountain" rollercoaster deserved respect. At the 1981 Rose Bowl, the sur-
vivors of the Disneyland "Haunted Mansions" rose above the masses. And
at the 1981 Bluebonnet Bowl, those that could handle the infamous honky-
tonk bar were among the select few.
A glance at the sign upon entering Gilley's, "If you don't want a Gilley's
bumper sticker, put both sun visors down," is the first indication that the
world's largest nightclub is well-schooled in Tourist Trapism 101. How is a
first-timer at Gilley's supposed to know about the sun visor trick? At any
rate, all Gilley's rookies leave the several-acre, chuck-hole-filled parking lot
with one sticky reminder of the famous bar. By the way, don't ask for direc-
tions in the parking lot-no one speaks English. Spanish rules.)
Once inside, the warehouse club with cheap plastic chairs and wobbly
tables seems like a good site for an initiation into manhood. Punching bags
ready to be pummelled, and of course, the famed mechanical bull from Ur-
ban Cowboy awaits all tourists. A question of "How many are at Gilley's for
the first time?" from the country-western band creates quite a stir as the
newcomers try to hoot and howl Texas style.
As one quickly discovers, this is not a bar to grab a beer and relax with a
few friends. No way. This is an active bar and what a better way to indoc-
trinate yourself than to approach the punching bags. A quarter gets two
whacks at the bag and each time the hit registers on a scale. One Gilley's
regular watched a couple of non-cowboys smack the punching bags with all
"That ain't s---," he calmly mumbled.
The Gilley's regular then stepped forward, put in his quarter, went
through a familiar warmup ritual for a few seconds and then whacked the
bag, registering 20 points higher than the tourists. The cowboy then stepped
to the other side of the bag and did the same ritual but hit the bag left-
handed. "Wow! These Texans sure are tough!" the tourists laughed to
themselves. So this is how the Sun Belt attracts the best and the brightest.
One challenge remained, however. Although nobody wanted to discuss it
at first, the flying bodies and hoots and hollers under the large "Welcome
Rodeo Fans" just delayed the inevitable. THE BULL.
After careful observation, the tourists noticed that the bull could be ad-
justed for city folk. Mustering up some Midwest pride, the tourists ambled
over to the counter and purchased the $2 ticket (for about a ten-second ride)
and strolled over to the pit.
After signing a piece of paper, presumably freeing Gilley's from liability if
or when you hurt yourself (the print was microscopic and squabbling over
legal matters is not the best way to become an Urban Cowboy), the
operators of the bull educate the shaking rider. "Keepyourlefthandback,
makesureyouleanback and nodwhenyouareready."
Before you know what's happening, the grinning cowboys who control your
fate spin the bull to face them and then you realize they have almost total
control of the bronco. Every ride is different, so the moral is-be nice to the
The bull starts kicking and there you are doing everything wrong and
paying for it. Leaning forward signals "Adios cajones" and after hanging on
for dear life, you stumble back bowlegged to safety. You rode the
bull-you're now a man.,
One unfortunate soul chose to ruffle the eagle feathers of the bull operators
by appearing in preppy attire. This miffed the operators and they booed the
poor tourist as he gingerly hopped on the bull. The bull started up and it
became apparent that the rider was in trouble. Normally, the operators will
stop the bull and you can right yourself, but in this case, the bull continued to
buck and the tourist found himself looking at the world sideways and then
upside down. Thud! The bull claimed another innocent victim.
Now, it's Miller time, or Lone Star Beer time, or Gilley's Beer time, and
there's an important choice to make-which of the one thousand tables do
you sit at? No matter, because wherever you rest your battered body, the
Gilley's onslaught of souvenir items continues. Slide projectors beam just
about everything imaginable with "Gilley's" on it, including suspenders and
panties (and quite a slide to display them). And for those who wish to break
from the annual Neiman-Marcus his-her gift line for Christmas, Gilley's
seeks to top even the South's most elite department store-"El-Toro
Mechanical Bull on sale. Inquire at front desk."
Capt. McKenzie down but not out
By CHUCK JAFFE
Reggie McKenzie is out of work.
But although the 6-5, 242-pound guard
for the Buffalo Bills is now jobless, he
isn't unemployed. Instead, McKenzie is
recuperating from a leg injury that put
him on the injured reserve list for most
of the 1981 season, including Buffalo's
two-game stint in the NFL playoffs.
"IT'S BEEN KIND of tough," said
the former Michigan All-American of
his injury. "It's been the first time sin-
ce I was about 12 years old that I'm not
playing football in the fall. But my
responsibilities as captain of the team
are still intact, at least off the field."
McKenzie's duties as team captain
are seen by many to be almost as im-
portant as his All-Pro play on the offen-
sive line. While McKenzie's play on
the field has been outstanding his off-
sophomore season, he showed the con-
fidence and blocking ability that have
become his trademarks.
"YOU HAVE TO grow into your size,
and as Reggie matured, he became a
much better blocker," Seyferth said.
"He was outstanding here, but he im-
proved a lot when he left here."
"At the time that we were being
recruited, we were the most black
athletes that they (Michigan) had ever
recruited," McKenzie said. "We had a
burning desire to be the best, and I'd
like to think that - along with the rest
of the guys - we built friendships that
will be everlasting.
"Probably under Bo you learn more
about winning than anywhere else, and
that prepares you for pro ball or
business," McKenzie continued. "I had
the opportunity to come to Buffalo and
bring that winning attitude. The ex-
perience of losing here - for three
years I hadn't lost - was hard to ac-
cept, but knowing what it takes, and
what it is like being a winner made me
want to succeed even more."
IT IS CONFIDENCE in his ability as
a player that will enable McKenzie to
come back from the torn cartilage and
chipped bone in his left leg that kept
him on the sidelines this year.
"I'd like to play about fourteen or fif-
teen years," McKenzie said. "Right
now I'm at number ten, but I'd like to
think that this injury will be positive in
my career and help extend it for a year
or two, because the money is just get-
ting good. You've got to love the game to
play it though, and I think I might be
getting even more enthusiastic about it
While McKenzie could have been
ready to play in the super Bowl had
Buffalo not been eliminated, the long
layoff has made him look into the future
when he will have to leave the game.
"That's another hurdle that I have to'
jump," the 31-year-old said. "I'll try to
make it a smooth transition, and I've
done a number of things since I left the
University. I'll try to make it as smooth
as when I left college and came here."
With his attitudes about football and
his future, Reggie McKenzie may not be
out of work for a long time to come.
Dance Theatre Studio
711 N. University (near State St.), Ann Arbor " 995-4242
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the-field leadership has been inspiring.
"The greatest thing about Reggie
was his ability to lead the team both on
the field and off the field," said former
Michigan fullback and current
Recruiting Director Fritz Seyferth.
"He'd get up on a bench and give us a
talk. I remember that he gave us a pep
talk before our first freshman game."
"HE'S A SUPER individual and an
outstanding leader," Seyferth added.
"Reggie was an inspirational kind of
a guy," said former All-American
tailback Billy Taylor. "Whenever you
got down, he'd talk to you and get you
ready to go again."
"I like the responsibilities and the
leadership role," and I think that I'm a
quiet leader," McKenzie said. "I don't
do any dances on the field, I just go into
every game thinking that we'll win, and
if you think you'll play good, then you'll
BUT WHILE McKenzie's teammates
remember him for his leadership
abilities, the fans still associate him as
a member of "The Electric Company"
line that helped O.J.Simpson gain 2,003
yards in 1973.
"That 2,000 yards sticks out in my
mind as the most obvious achievement,
but the biggest thrill was probably star-
ting over 100 consecutive football
games," the Highland Park, Michigan
native said. "That proved that I had
achieved consistency and excellence at
McKenzie's consistency started at
Michigan when he was a 6-5 212-pound
freshman in 1968. Although he didn't
become a full-time starter until his
North Carolina 66, Maryland 50
Arkansas 68, So. Methodist 48
Kentucky 83, Auburn 71
Eastern Michigan 71, Western Michigan 70
Milwaukee 109, New Jersey 95 (ot)
Chicago 116, Boston 102
Philadelphia 126, Washington 112
... hobbled Bill
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