Where have you gone Eddie LeBaron ??? … and

    Eddie LeBaron
    BobLee
    August12/ 2019

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    CONFESSION: It’s been “several weeks” since we last convened here.  I owe you an explanation i.e. excuse.

    Ten days of this self-imposed sabbatical I was in Madison WI  – think “Chapel Hill with lots of lakes and much worse winters” – overseeing the care and treatment of Twinkle & Scooter while their Mom and Dad were in Dallas.  I had my IPad rather than a Laptop which makes posting a hassle.  I coulda done it if All Hell had broken loose but Hell is still hanging by a slender thread, at least for now.

    The rest of this sabbatical was my ongoing determination NOT to employ THIS PAGE as a WMD in America’s Socio-Cultural War… yet.  I will probably have to by this time next year but not now.  I’m not concerned with offending anyone; but I do want to spare even those who share my socio-cultural POV of a reminder how perilous these times are… and will surely become more so.

    I am using BL EN FUEGO for doing that.  Feel free to visit there if my uncensored opinions re: America’s Socio-Cultural War is of interest to you.

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    Which brings us to Eddie LeBaron and Other Stuff

    I saw a headline last week about some player on the Washington Redskins complaining about something.  Not sure (and don’t care) if it was about a contract he signed… or his imitation of Colin Kaepernick. .. or if he beat up his girlfriend.  The usual NFL story.  I didn’t bother to read anything but the headline. Redskins Helmet

    It dawned on me that I cannot name ONE current Redskin or even who their Head Coach is... and I have zero guilt about admitting that.  They still ARE “The Redskins” aren’t they?  Frankly, I don’t care if they are “The Redskins” or “The Confederate Flags” or whatever.

    NOTE:  I realized recently that I can only name ONE ACC Football player for this season – Dabo’s long-haired QB – Trevor Lawrence.   I cannot name a single UNC or State or Duke player or ever how many teams are in The ACC these days.

    I’m not bragging at all.  Simply indicating where “that sort of stuff” is among my priorities these days.

    .

    My personal decision to resign as an NFL fan is entering its 3rd (or 4th) season.  Last year I did watch the 2nd half of The Super Bowl.  Have not decided if I will get that involved this year.

    Growing up in Eastern NC in the 50-60s… “our team” was The Redskins.  They were a woeful team but that is how the TV markets were assigned pre Falcons and certainly many decades before Panthers.

    LeBaron SmallQuarterback Eddie LeBaron is the Redskin I recall the most.  Eddie LeBaron was famous for being very small – 5’7″ – 168 lbs.   He was from The College of The Pacific which always sounded very exotic to me.

    The NFL only played nine games in those days (making Jim Brown’s records all the more remarkable).  The Redskins would win at least one and no more than three games each year.

    One year my Dad and I traveled to Washington on the train to see a game.  We drove to Wilson to catch the train.  It was quite an adventure.

    Eddie LeBaron died in 2015,  He was 85.  Other Redskins of that era were Jim Podoley, Don Bosseler and Sam “The Toe” Baker.  A UNCCH halfback named Ed Sutton was also on those teams.  The coach was Joe Kuharich.  The team’s fight song – Hail To The Redskins – was and is a cool fight song… I assume “they” still are allowed to play it.

    That was 60 years ago but I know more about them than I do the current team… which is nothing.

    ***

    Those lovable scallywags on the UNC Board of Governors are “in the news” again.  Interim President Bill Roper apparently “neglected” to include on his “stuff that I do that everyone needs to be aware of” report that he receives $5,000,000 for serving on various medical-related corporate boards-of-directors… YIKES!

    LINK…

    I’ve never received $5,000,000 for doing anything.  If I did I believe I would remember it.  Wouldn’t you?

    FWIW, Bill says “Oops, I didn’t mean to omit all of that…”

    The possible “conflict-of-interest” opportunities for Interim President Roper are – of course – ASTRONOMICAL.  But UNC System Board Chairman “Harry The Hammer” Smith assures one and all that that probably won’t happen… and if it does – “Harry The Hammer” will do his very best to not let us find out.

    Sleep well tonight North Carolinians.  “Harry The Hammer” and Bill Roper are in charge.  Yeeee Ha!

    A bit of “good news” re: The UNC System … a blue-ribbon search committee has been formed to find a permanent President of The UNC System.  Appointed chairperson of this committee is Kim Strach. Kim Strach

    Kim Strach is one of the very few “Smart & Honest” people who has served in North Carolina State Government.  She was Executive Director of The NC Board of Elections for the past six years and was an investigator for the NCBOE prior to that.  Her integrity and intellect was  an anomaly among the Bi-Partisan Den of Thieves that is “Jones Street”.

    Kim did such an outstanding job in her position with The NCBOE that current NC Governor “Restroom Roy” Cooper moved really quickly to have her removed.

    Roy replaced her with “one of his political hacks” he could count on to overlook everything “Restroom Roy” wants overlooked.  Which will be A LOT come next November.

    Kim Strach is sooo darn smart and honest she would make an outstanding UNC System President herself… but that’ll never happen.

    ***

    USAToday had an interesting article on Monday about the rapidly rising salaries of Non-Revenue College Sport Coaches.  Former NCSU AD – and dear friend of our own The Bob Kennel – Debbie “Frau” Yow is quoted extensively in the article

    LINK TO THE ARTICLE.

    The vast improvement of NCSU non-revenue sports during The Yow Era is often – and rightly – cited as one of Debbie’s major achievements.  The hiring of Mark Gottfried is never cited as one of ….

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    The NCAA, this past week, announced that it cannot – and will not – stop any Power5 athletic/academic institution from “doing what UNCCH did for 18+ years”.   Despite strong recommendations to enact rules to prevent them from doing it.

    LINK

    The universally disrespected NCAA sided with institutional administrators by ruling that any school that wants to operate a blatant Eligibility Scam is free to do so unencumbered by NCAA meddling.

    ***

    Long time Triangle-area Sports Guy Jeff Gravley is leaving WRAL-TV5 after 35 years.  I’ve never met Jeff but he has always seemed affable and far too good and decent a person to work for Jim Goodmon.  Jeff says his future plans are “undecided” at this time.  Uh Oh!Jeff Gravley

    When I first read the story I assumed Jeff was going to Swoffy’s  ACC Network which would seem logical.   BUT… I checked with my WRAL “insider” and learned Jeff’s departure is yet another “cost-reducing” move necessitated by Jimmy Goodmon Jr.’s on-going gross mis-managment of  daddy’s TV station.

    BREAKING NEWS:  Jeff was “offered” a 50% pay cut (after 35 years of loyal service to “The Goodmons”) – Take It or Leave It – so Jeff is opting to Leave It.

    It could be worse.  It coulda been another Greg Fishel Mess.  WHOA!  I have been assured THAT IS NOT THE CASE!

    Whatever… Jeff seems like a “good guy” so we wish him well doing “whatever”.

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    A Lot More BobLeeSays Columns … LINK

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    BobLee
    • Sunshot Deac Reply
      2 months ago

      Just wanted to concur with DRJAY about the size of the linemen back during Eddie’s day. I got to go to a couple of exhibition games at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem in the mid 60’s. Washington vs Greenbay one year and Washington vs an AFL team another year. As a young teenager, I stood on the sidelines during warm ups. The linemen were “ordinary” big, but what I remember most was how rugged they looked…missing teeth, weather beaten skin, an looking like their age was closer to 50 than 30. If one of those teams were matched “pound for pound” with a current NFL team, I’m pretty confident of who would win.

      • BobLee Reply
        2 months ago

        I think you just described Ray Nitzschke (sp?) and Chuck Bednarik? … maybe Art Donovan too.

    • Kenneth Reply
      2 months ago

      I’ve watched WRAL since coming to NCSU in 1980 and renting one half of one of Mrs. Helms’ ratty duplexes for $250/mo. I quit the station a few years ago when they started doing penance for Jesse’s past crimes. Anyway, if they deprive me of seeing Elizabeth Gardner’s badonkerdonk first thing, I’m out for good. BTW, what ever happened to Pati Darak? Anyone?

      • BobLee Reply
        2 months ago

        No clue re: Ms Darak. WRAL is no longer the Broadcast Behemoth it once was. As noted, Jimmy Jr is rapidly dismantling whatever it was that Daddy handed over to him 4-5 years ago. NOT the first 3rd generation to do so…

    • Banks Randolph Reply
      2 months ago

      Welcome back from sabbatical. Even interweb legends need a little down time. I too took a short 10 day sabbatical that basically overlapped with yours. 10 days well spent with my wife and adult kiddos and away from most things digital.

      Was also a Redskin fan, more so in the Sonny Jurgensen/Chris Hanburger era. Like yourself I have moved on or lost interest in virtually all pro and collegiate sports.

      I do want say thank you and pass along kudos for your reading list recommendations. During my down time I read the first four Jack Reacher novels and look forward to diving into more. Thanks again!

      • BobLee Reply
        2 months ago

        Can’t go wrong with Reacher. Definitely check out CJ Box’s Joe Pickett series… start w/ #1. The characters develop as the series goes on. … and John D MacDonald’s Travis McGee is a CLASSIC series with many copycats.
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        I am forever discovering new authors and characters.

    • Former96heel Reply
      2 months ago

      Local tv news falls for whatever the consultants push this ratings period. Very common for the old blood to get shoved out for the new model. Replacements are a dime a dozen. Triangle is a huge market for someone who has been pulling weekends in Myrtle Beach/Florence
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      I’m surprised they even have local sports guys now. Their segments are down to maybe 120 seconds. More time for promos ‘coming up at 7…’

      • BobLee Reply
        2 months ago

        Yep. I’m sure thats what Jimmy Jr is doing with all his on-air “talent”. There will be some viewer grumbling from Jeff-fans but they will “get over it” and Jimmy has saved $100K or whatever.

    • Doug Reply
      2 months ago

      Just curious does JD ever reply to the Tweets from his token, not left-leaning, amigo.

      • BobLee Reply
        2 months ago

        Not since he took the WaPo Dumpster Diver gig. We “talked” 2-3 X year when he was employed “at that other place”. His tweets now may be posted by an intern. All they are are promo link to WaPo stories.

    • Bubba Reply
      2 months ago

      Thoreau said, “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.” Regarding Gravley or any good person at WRAL, the true place for a good person is any place other than WRAL. (They waste a lot of money on transmitters and radars, so I doubt money is the reason Gravley is leaving. After all, they’re letting Craptree stay.)

      • BobLee Reply
        2 months ago

        Actually $$$ IS the issue in Gravley case. Ever how much $$$ Jimmy Jr squanders on equipment and other tangible assets and I’m sure that is substantial. He is proving to be the worst stereotype of “Daddy made me boss so do what I say or else…”.

        No clue what Gravley is making. Lets assume $200K and thats probably low but after 35 years of raises it is likely consistent with WRAL’s rank in TV markets. Gravley is in his early 50s but looks early 40s… very pleasant on-air appearance et al. As I said… “a good guy”.

        There are “sports guys” in smaller markets (Greenville, New Bern, Wilmington, etc etc) making $50-75 who can pronounce Krzyzewski if not spell it. Jimmy can get them to crawl to Raleigh for $100K and work 70 hour/week. Such a deal. What they will lack in Gravley’s professionalism and experience means nothing to Jimmy. He just saved $100K/year. No matter what the $$ numbers are, Jimmy wins (in his mind).

        The Crabtree situation is different. That pathetic Ron Burgundy Wannabee was gonna “retire” and become an Episcopal minister UNTIL he was caught “with his pants down” with a she-congregant. Sayonara to THAT career move. He came crawling back to Western Blvd. No proof but I betcha NOT at his previous Anchorman salary. Another $$$ win for Jimmy Jr.

        To be fair (!!) WRAL / CBC USED TO BE a very desirable place to work 15-20 years ago. That all began to change when Jim Sr went Radical Left about the time he began the “obvious aging” process. Uh Oh! Now… every mid-upper level staffer at CBC/WRAL has their resume “out”.

    • Former96Heel Reply
      2 months ago

      Is ACC hoops leaving WRAL with the new ACC Network, or is this known yet? That may be the best upshot of the league network if it happens.

      • BobLee Reply
        2 months ago

        Not sure how that is going to work … and apparently no one else knows either. I read just last week that the “deal” with primary and secondary media partners is still “in negotiation” . Whatever that means.

    • DrJay Reply
      2 months ago

      In the early/mid 50’s, the Redskins weren’t “woeful.” Not world beaters, but competitive. In fact, in 1955 they went 8-4 (they played twelve regular-season games then). In addition to the names already mentioned, they had Harry Gilmer, Billy Wells, Volney Peters, J. D. Kimmel, Joe Rutgens, Torgey Torgeson, Chuck Drazenovich, et. al. Joe Kuharich (who later coached the Notre Dame team that Carolina beat in 1960) was head coach. George Preston Marshall, known for his Christmas halftime shows, was owner. To show how things have changed, their defensive line averaged weighing around 240, a far cry from today!

      • BobLee Reply
        2 months ago

        Maybe the “woeful era” was the late 50-early 60s. Johnny Unitas’ Colts used to “light’em up” during that time.
        .
        Hail To The Redskins still gets me revved up …. “…. Fight on for Old DC!”

    • NCSU68Grad Reply
      2 months ago

      Damned shame about Jeff Gravely. Over the years, after deciding to frolic whilst still young, in retirement, I pulled the pin and started Grand Daddy Day Care.
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      When the wee ones were snoozing, I renewed and made new acquaintances with some of the older WRAL folks as I knew a lot of them from my formative years there’s circa 64 – 67 whilst at State….via email
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      Jeff was one of the best. Down to earth and heckuva guy. He tutored under Suiter. Probably helped mold his personality that he is a State Grad now.
      .
      Lest your readers forget…Jimmy Goodmon was brought into the family business during some tumultuous times when AJ was passing the baton to Fred and if there had been a #MeToo chapter, it would have had a large membership list. Ask the grunts that sort of watched “things”.
      .
      Jim’s assignment was to setup a computerized audio/video switching system to eliminate 6 HIGHLY PAID positions. There was a Producer in Master Control assisted by an engineer and they “ran” or switched every commercial, PSA, whatever from sign on to sign off.
      .
      Jim actually shut down the station when the electrons in one computer were right wing and the electrons in the other computer were left wing. One fateful afternoon, they each protested the other’s “views” and an all out electronic war broke out,
      .
      The final broadcast video was epic….”the preceding was brought to you by the Baptist State Convention”. Every video source and two 100 slide projectors put up, briefly, their message. Sort of like having a “radical rally” on the DC Mall and then every participant is required to strip naked. Each one get 5 seconds of camera time…..one piece of clothing at a time and then the next person pops a top…. Every 1.5 to 5 amp glass Buss fuse blew and every electronics store in Raleigh was cleaned out and it took 2 weeks of MANUAL switching and a covey of Engineers working after sign off to rewire or restore the system. They moved Jimmy out of Engineering and across the breezeway to the “complex”….
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      Yes indeed….Jimmy G is living up to his first assignment. Of course, he is a philanthropic “Private Citizen” who spoke for many hour to get Raleigh to convert Dix Hill into Central Park. Look at the ownerships of all the “slums” turned into condos and new construction around it. Jimmy G’ kin and buddies are all in the LLP’s on file at the SoS office. So maybe the lack of broadcast viewership and the fact that he cannot charge exorbitant adverting rates as folks ain’t watching is beginning to put the WRAL CASH COW on a diet….

      • BobLee Reply
        2 months ago

        Many may not know that Jim Goodmon Sr (AKA “The George Soros of The Triangle”) has “officially” retired as King of Capital Broadcasting / WRAL. “Jimmy Jr” is the day-to-day CEO these days. Jim’s other son – Micheal – is involved in Daddy’s American Tobacco Venture over in Derm.
        .
        Indeed, “Jimmy Jr” is proving to be quite “NOT adept” at running a major media mini-empire. Giving Jeff Gravley a “take it or leave it” option of a 50% pay cut after 35 years of loyal service is a bigger deal than just throwing one loyal employee under the bus. It sends a strong signal to every CBC/WRAL employee regardless of tenure. The Good Ship WRAL is floundering… lower the lifeboats and cue the orchestra to play Nearer My God To Thee …
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        I tweeted with former N&O Editor John Drescher this AM about the Gravley/WRAL Situation. Drescher now runs a Dumpster Diver team at WaPo “out to Get Trump”. JD got into a similar situation with N&O “downsizing” a year ago.

    • Queen City Reply
      2 months ago

      I think we have all but given up on the NCAA providing any common sense guidance for college sports. The University Presidents want to keep it that way since they can’t manage school budgets and the need the athletic revenue. I am eagerly waiting to see how the NCAA handles transgenders competing in women’s college sports when that blows up..

      • BobLee Reply
        2 months ago

        That (Transgenders in Women’s College Sports) could happen any time. If I was coaching WBB I would be out looking for a 7-footer with “gender issues”. A coupla months of “hormones” and a few sessions with “a shrink” and VOILA!

    • Larry Reply
      2 months ago

      I left Raleigh for the wonderful, laidback lifestyle of North Topsail (just in time for Hurricane Florence) and I missed all the Greg Fishel excitement. Was it a cost savings thing at WRAL or did he ‘screw the pooch’ as they say? Maybe someone could clue me in.

      • BobLee Reply
        2 months ago

        No, “Fish” did not “screw the pooch” literally but sorta. As a charter member of Internet Legends International I, of course, “know the whole story” but theres nothing to be gained by revealing it. If I thought it would “bring down The House of Goodmon” I would but it wouldn’t.
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        As part of his “just go away” agreement, Greg agreed to “get outta town ASAP” and he did. He had a not-uncommon addiction that “rehab” wasn’t resolving. A quite YUCKY mess indeed…

    • Doug Reply
      2 months ago

      You’ve revived a memory. The first one of a Redskins player, any NFL player, was Johnny Olszewski RB-FB with number 0 on his jersey. Vividly remember it was December 1959. Watched it with my maternal grandfather at home because he didn’t have a TV. I can’t recall if he was a football fan or not and will never know because he died suddenly a month later.

      • BobLee Reply
        2 months ago

        Vaguely familiar… enough to say YES!

    • BH.WS Reply
      2 months ago

      Other names from those Lebaron years……………..Scooter Scudero, Hugh “Bones” Taylor, Gene Brito, and Charlie Justice. ‘Bout all I can remember!

      • BobLee Reply
        2 months ago

        Definitely recall “Scooter” and Gene Brito. I think Choo Choo had retired when I started watching in late 50s.

    • TM.Oxford Reply
      2 months ago

      Jeff (Gravley) was a 4 sport letterman, captain of all and is in the Sports Hall of Fame at JF Webb High School(Oxford). Sad to see him leave WRAL, he was the only thing useful at the station other than the rest rooms.
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      Was in the checkout line at the Clemson Aldi’s last week with their quarterback. He looks about 3 feet taller than Danny Talbott.

      • BobLee Reply
        2 months ago

        He has always come across as a “really good guy” as was former WRAL sports guy Bob Holliday. I wish Jeff well in his next endeavor.
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        Trevor Lawrence is probably bigger than ANY of Danny’s mid 60s UNC teammates !!!

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