“Get up in the hole Pope!!!!!”
By Joe Joe Wright
As football season comes closer and closer to kicking off the season. My clipboard starts jumping all over the house! It gets excited and I of course have a complete deluge of memories running through my head. One of if not the most memorable of those memories is “get up in the hole Pope”. As I sat with Donnie Pope at Cindy’s Diner the other day those memories came flooding back and Donnie recalled the clipboard upside the helmet and the tirade of some 50 to 70 times the phrase “get up in the hole Pope” being yelled at him by Coach Henry. To this day all of us still laugh about that, it was that profound. You see Donnie had a very simple assignment on this one play pull from his guard position and move down the line to the other guard / tackle slot and turn in and block the first to show. He got the pulling part down but just couldn’t remember to turn in the hole. He said, at first he didn’t understand. Then suddenly after maybe the 4th or 5th time of Coach Henry saying get up in the hole Pope. The verbiage became intense. Imagine if you can the phrase “get up in the hole Pope” being yelled over and over and over again thirty times. Then a pause to allow Coach Henry to catch his breathe and start over again. It worked, but took awhile.
All I can say is that clipboards upside the helmet, foots in the butt, grabbing and twisting facemasks, accidently spitting chewing tobacco in your players face while you yell at him, mentally and physically manhandling players and not letting them drink water were in my time rights of passage on a football field. When we got finished with a season we were “bloods and guts tested”. We all survived none of us is mentally unstable and we all love Jesus and America. So parents if your sons comes home and says coach so and so smacked Joe Blow upside the head today, take a chill pill he ain’t hurt. Boys are hard headed and need discipline and a lot of yelling it makes them remember things better. I will say it again teenage boys are hard headed, dumb if you want to use that word. They must have constant supervision and they really really need verbal abuse to get through to them. It is a part of their genetic makeup. If a coach or parent or someone down in Adel had yelled and fussed and took the time to hammer into the head of a certain Cook County star a few do’s and don’ts he might not be facing charges of armed robbery. I am going to repeat one more time. Boys need yelling, boys need supervision, boys need foots in butts, boys need constant correction and if you do it in love they will look back 30 or 40 years later and say that was the best time of my life.