Warriors coach Jones has a sickness only a touchdown can cure
ROBERT Kekaula is leaning forward now, saying, "Where'd you get that sickness from?"
And June Jones doesn't even deny it, that's the best part. He doesn't even bat an eye. He knows he has a sickness. Which is good, because they say that's the first step toward recovery.
What we're talking about is saying stuff like this: "I'd rather play the other way. Go blitz. Just go blitz, I don't care. If you sack 'em that's great, if you get a pick, that's great, if they score, that's OK, too."
If they score, that's OK, too? "I say just get off the field and be aggressive and take the ball away," Jones says. "I don't care if they score. Just go get the ball."
Robert is right, that could be classified as some sort of disorder. So where did the Hawaii coach get that sickness from?
"I'll tell you where I got it," Jones says, again, not even denying it, taking the question in stride. "Because I was never that way. I was brought up (defense wins ball games), yeah. I was on the sideline, this is an unbelievable story, and I watched it happen."
Let us guess. Does this story -- as do many of Jones' tales of discovering a less-than-conventional approach to football -- involve Mr. Kolohe himself, Mouse Davis?
Jones says: "We're playing Montana and I'm quarterback, this is 1977. They're like one of the top offenses in the country, but they're running the veer, and they're optioning, but their quarterback is throwing for like 300 yards that day, they had like 600 yards, we had like 600-something yards. The game is whoever has the ball just scores, and it's going like this all game. So we scored a touchdown to go ahead 44-42 with 2 1/2 minutes to go. OK, so we kick off and they get the ball on their own 20."
But the clock is ticking, because the Grizzlies are running the ball. And Portland State can't stop them.
Jones makes a riding-the-fullback motion. "Boom, 10 yards." Another veer gesture. "Boom, 10 yards." The Vikings can't stop them, and time is draining away. Montana is going to run out the clock. Montana is going to score. Montana is going to win.
The young Jones is standing on the sideline, watching, horrified, standing next to Mouse as hope fades away. He looks over, only to see that Mouse is walking toward the defensive coach.
"Let 'em score," Mouse says.
Mouse is serious. "Let 'em score."
In the retelling Jones uses italics in the tone of his voice: "They got into a physical altercation."
Mouse Davis is an incredibly nice man, but if you can't imagine him getting into a physical altercation, you probably don't know him that well.
So he and the defensive coach start going at it. "And as they're doing that," Jones says, "the quarterback throws a 60-yard touchdown pass to go ahead. The d-coordinator goes, 'There, you got your #%^&*@$ way now!' "
That he did.
So what happened?
Jones says: "We got the ball back with a minute, 20 to go, I throw a touchdown pass on the last play of the game to beat 'em 50-48. That's the God's honest truth."
As he gets to this part of the story Jones wears a peaceful, dreamy expression, kind of like a guy with a sickness remembering his first high. He shakes his head.
"Let 'em score," he says. "I never heard that."
He'd never heard it before that. He hasn't stopped thinking about it since.