Page 12 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 15
Giant: Elliot hopes to bolster
New York offensive line
By DAVID HYMAN
They come in all sizes. Large,
larger, and jumbo. Recently they
have been big, around 300 lbs. big.
They are known as the men of the
trenches, the offensive linemen of
John Elliot, a right tackle for the
New York Giants fits the third
category. A 1987 graduate of
Michigan, Elliot was nicknamed
unbo. At 6 ft. 7 in., 310 lbs.,
iot earned All-American honors
hile proving to be too mammoth
for defensive players who tried to
make their way into the Wolverine
To the Giants surprise, Elliot
hadn't been selected in the first round
ofthe 1987 draft so they nabbed him
with their second pick. The Giants
knew it was a steal since Elliot was
ranked as one of the top offensive
linemen in the draft.
THEY COULD not be happier
with a farm-fresh, Grade A, jumbo
linleman in the second round after
already selecting Indiana's offensive
tackle, Eric Moore, in the first
New York needed to patch up its
offensive line after injuries plagued
the Giants' during the 1987
campaign. The year before in Super
Bowl XXI, the Giants were propelled
by their offensive line. It sprang Joe
Morris to 1,500 yards rushing and
allowed Phil Simms to finally
emerge as one of the league's top
was held in the hot, humid weather
of a New York heat wave. Like
some of his teammates, Elliot
suffered heat exhaustion, losing nine
liters of water.
He had to be taken to the hospital
where he stayed overnight, unhappy
not to be on the field preparing to
Elliot returned to the two-a-day
practices, taking it easy at first,
Jamie Morris. But as he
demonstrated against the San
Francisco 49ers, Elliot still needs
time to learn the pass block.
Elliot received his first
assignment in the pros when Nelson
went down with a sprained left ankle.
Elliot got the call at right tackle in
the battle against the 49ers. He
played well. He contained his
opponent on running plays, but
'This is a business here compared to that of
college. As long as you don't screw up too much in
your personal life. It's your own thing. It's up to you.'
-Former Wolverine John Elliot
running each morning to lose weight
and to build up his endurance. "I've
come along pretty good since then,"
AFTER GETTING out of the
hospital, the hardest thing Elliot was
going to have to adjust to was the
length. of training camp. "At
Michigan,. we had two weeks to
prepare whereas here we have already
been here for six weeks and still have
another two to go," said Elliot.
"You've got to have the right mental
attitude to stay with it because camp
is so long. You have to keep going."
And Elliot has done just that.
In the second preseason game,
Elliot went up against former All-
Pro Mark Gastineau, limiting the
sack-dance crazed lineman to zero
sacks and zero tackles. Together
Elliot and Nelson cancelled
Gastineau's dance lessons.
Elliot has shown lots of progress
but still has had some problems with
his pass blocking. "(In the N.F.L.)
you do a lot more passing and see
many more defensive sets than in
college. The plays here are a bit
more complicated and you need to
learn the different blocking
He was called for a couple of
penalties but it came as no surprise.
Rookie linemen always take time to
adjust to the changes from the
college ranks to the pros. But he has
received help from other teammates
and coaches just as he did when he
arrived in Ann Arbor.
"Everybody on the line has been
good in pointing out things to me to
try and help me like Bo helped while
at Michigan," said Elliot. "(Bo)
really took care of you as far as
school and athletics and if you had a
personal problem, he would try and
help you as much as he could."
BUT THE pros are different and
Elliot knows that "This is a
business here compared to that of
college. As long as you don't screw
up too much in your personal life.
It's your own thing. It's up to you."
Said Elliot, "The whole team is
working really hard this year. They
have the right attitude to win."
Elliot also has the right attitude.
He knows that hard work and staying
on the right track will help him to
perform in the N.F.L. "The coaches
are doing what they have to and I
just have to be ready when they call
DAVID HYMAN /Daily
Michigan grads John 'Jumbo" Elliot (left) and Chris Godfrey take a breather at the Giants
training camp this summer. Elliot made the team but Godfrey was cut.
1919 Black Sox scandal
Elliot entered training camp as the
backup to Karl Nelson, a member of
the 1986 offensive line, who has
recovered from both Hodgkin's
disease and right shoulder surgery.
Watching Nelson return after his
setbacks, Elliot has seen what hard
work can do. "It's amazing how he
has come back the way that he has,"
ELLIOT knows he too must
work hard to stay in the game but
even before Jumbo could worry
about adjusting to the N.F.L., he had
to get out of the hospital.
Giants' coach Bill Parcels wanted
Elliot to report to camp at 297 lbs.,
so Elliot still had to lose some
weight. The first morning practice
I went to Eight Men
Out hoping to see a good
baseball movie, as one is
usually hard to come by.
What I got for my $7 was
much more. Eight Men
Out is not just about
baseball, but about life.
It tells the story of the Black Sox
- the team which intentionally lost
the 1919 World Series. Each team
member involved in the scandal was
carefully portrayed in the movie,
enabling viewers to understand the
motivation behind each player's
For example, pitcher Ed Cicotte,
agreed to the fix because he was
angry with team owner Charles
Comiskey, who had promised him a
$10,000 bonus if he won 30 games.
Cicotte won 29, but was held out of
five starts by Comiskey to
supposedly rest his arm. Cicotte
needed the money because he was at
the end of his career, and was hoping
to one day send his daughters to
Doug in Deep
,, BY DOUG VOLAN
Finally, the movie
illustrated the frustration of
Hall-of-Fame catcher Ray
Schalk. Schalk, who had
no idea that his teammates
were throwing the games,
WHILE AT Michigan, Elliot
had become an expert at run It looks as though the Giants did
blocking, opening up holes for pick a Grade A, Jumbo lineman.
CICOTTE WAS not the only
player angry with the penny-pinching
Comiskey. Several others joined in.
They figured the scandalous plan to
lose the Series would be the best
revenge to get back at their owner.
After all, Comiskey had promised
them a bonus for winning the
pennant and all they got were some
bottles of flat champagne.
Then there was "Shoeless" Joe
Jackson, undoubtedly a Hall of
Famer if not for his involvement in
the scam. Jackson gave into the
appeals of his crooked teammates
because of his intense desire to win
The movie further delved into each
player's psyche by vividly portraying
the turmoil each of them was going
though during the World Series.
Cicotte, for example, backed out of
the scam after blowing his first two
starts, and pitched superbly in his
third appearance against the Reds.
The case of third baseman Buck
Weaver was even more gut-
wrenching. Weaver was caught in the
middle, trying his best during the
games despite knowing that some of
his teammates weren't playing on the
WEAVER was being torn apart
throughout the movie as he watched
his teammates give away games they
were favored to win. Often times, he
didn't know who was trying and who
played his heart out, only
find others acting nonchalantly. The
poor guy couldn't understand why his
pitchers kept throwing fastballs when
he was calling for curves.
As a historical event, I could
never understand why the players
involved would ruin the entire season
by fixing World Series games. But
through the realistic and accurate
portrayal of each of these individuals,
I gained a better insight into the
character of each player and his
personal agony. Although the movie
doesn't condone their actions, it
certainly explains their motivations.
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