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Dr. Arnold Scheller, the recipient of the NFF Emo DiNitto/Rhode Island Chapter Distinguished American Award, delivered the following acceptance speech May 1, 2017 at the chapter’s annual scholar-athlete banquet. A former college football player at Boston University, Scheller served as a U.S. Army Ranger Medical Officer, and he received a Bronze Star for his valor in combat. When he was not serving his country, Scheller established himself as one of Boston’s most prominent orthopedic surgeons, including serving as the Boston Celtics team doctor and a team physician for the U.S. training camp in Colorado Springs, Colo. I would like to first thank the Foundation, Emo Dinitto, Tom Shola and Dr. Bill Garrahan, my mentors in high school for this distinguished award. It is a true honor! I would also like to thank my family and friends who have always been there to support me. Sonia, my wife of 42 years, has always been there for me in all my endeavors and I am forever thankful. These fine youn ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 6/9/2017 12:53 PM By Alan Cox

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The following speech was given by Captain Brent Blackmer of the U.S. Navy at the NFF State of Maine chapter dinner on May 24. He is a former chapter high school scholar-athlete from Deering High School and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. Blackmer is currently one of the Navy's leading jet pilots with 4,000+ flight hours and 900+ carrier landings. There are three rules to public speaking: be interesting, be brief, be forgotten. I can guarantee the last two… In an attempt to be interesting I’ll relate a story about flying and Patriots football – two of my greatest passions. I had the honor of conducting the flyover of the AFC Divisional playoff after the 2004 season. We launched into a snowstorm and we flew well below Navy regulations to maintain sight of Gillette Stadium. We were slightly behind timeline and, to catch up, I went a bit faster than allowed by Navy regulations. So, when our two F/A-18 Hornets arrived overhead, in full afterburner, at 550mph and 200’ over the ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 6/6/2017 9:21 AM By Alan Cox

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Tight End Cameron MacPherson, who just finished his senior season at Syracuse, recently gave a speech at the NFF Central New York Chapter's Awards Banquet. A semifinalist for the 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy, he is the grandson of College Football Hall of Fame coach Dick MacPherson. Click here for a story about Cameron on FootballMatters.org. Thank you. And on behalf of the High school scholar athletes assembled here, of which I am a proud alumnus, and the college athletes here, of which I am a humble representative, I want to thank you all for this wonderful event. Thank you to Ed Ferrante, Rick Rannucci, Barry, Howie, Rose, and everyone at the CNY National Football Foundation for making today possible. I know I speak for everyone here in saying that we are honored and very grateful to have a team so committed to the success of Central New York Football. And thank you to Tuxedo Junction for the most difficult task of all; making this gruff assortment of football players look dapper for the day. ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 2/2/2017 3:27 PM By Alan Cox

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By Loran Smith, an award-winning writer and a longtime staff member of the University of Georgia Athletic Association. He has been a prolific author, penning a regular column that still appears in the Athens Banner Herald as well as several newspapers around the state, and he has written more than a dozen books. A native of Wrightsville, Ga., Smith is a past chairman of the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and president of the NFF University of Georgia (Athens) Chapter. The friendships among college coaches has always been an inspiration although it would not require a research expert to confirm that among the ole timers who won a lot of big games, there were more than a few accomplished carousers and hard core imbibers.   Nonetheless, they seemed to enjoy one another’s company and were not attracted to the game to get rich quick which seems to be driving coaching aspirants today.           As a matter of fact, there probably are more clean ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 1/17/2017 3:11 PM By Alan Cox

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By Loran Smith, an award-winning writer and a longtime staff member of the University of Georgia Athletic Association. He has been a prolific author, penning a regular column that still appears in the Athens Banner Herald as well as several newspapers around the state, and he has written more than a dozen books. A native of Wrightsville, Ga., Smith is a past chairman of the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and president of the NFF University of Georgia (Athens) Chapter.  Following the Rose Bowl in 2006, Keith Jackson, the Georgian, who rode a mule to school as a boy, only to travel the world as a sportscaster for ABC television, retired to his home in the hills of Sherman Oaks, a neat suburb of Los Angeles, where he found unending peace and solace on his deck from where he can see in the smoggy distance the San Gabriel Mountains.           That deck has been very important in his life.  "Always will be," he intoned when I visited him earlier this ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 12/22/2016 9:35 AM By Alan Cox

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By Loran Smith, an award-winning writer and a longtime staff member of the University of Georgia Athletic Association. He has been a prolific author, penning a regular column that still appears in the Athens Banner Herald as well as several newspapers around the state, and he has written more than a dozen books. A native of Wrightsville, Ga., Smith is a past chairman of the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and president of the NFF University of Georgia (Athens) Chapter. Living in a classic city, a university town means there is plenty of gown to enrich and reward your experience if you identify with the arts and the cultural opportunities which abound.           Seeing the Georgia Bulldogs flourish between the hedges is something I find uplifting and rewarding, but there is also a motivation to enjoy other options like the presentation Sunday after the Auburn game by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.    Guess who had a couple of extra tickets?& ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 12/22/2016 9:33 AM By Alan Cox

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By Loran Smith, an award-winning writer and a longtime staff member of the University of Georgia Athletic Association. He has been a prolific author, penning a regular column that still appears in the Athens Banner Herald as well as several newspapers around the state, and he has written more than a dozen books. A native of Wrightsville, Ga., Smith is a past chairman of the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and president of the NFF University of Georgia (Athens) Chapter. Last spring in America’s most exciting city, official validation of Verne Lundquist’s career came when he won an Emmy for lifetime achievement amid toasts and slaps on the back that had him in a post-game party setting throughout the evening. The Lincoln Center, which hosted The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences annual Sports Emmy Awards, for the 37th time, was abuzz, starting at 5:00 p.m. when New Yorkers were fighting never ending traffic as they headed home at the end of the workday.  The Lincoln ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 12/22/2016 9:31 AM By Alan Cox

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By Loran Smith, an award-winning writer and a longtime staff member of the University of Georgia Athletic Association. He has been a prolific author, penning a regular column that still appears in the Athens Banner Herald as well as several newspapers around the state, and he has written more than a dozen books. A native of Wrightsville, Ga., Smith is a past chairman of the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and president of the NFF University of Georgia (Athens) Chapter. ALBANY – Bill Stanfill’s teammates were a heterogeneous group when they arrived on campus a half century ago, but the sameness that made them champions was reflected in their collective presence at the First Methodist Church of Albany on Monday where they convened to say farewell to one of the truly great football players of our time. Teammates, especially those who bring about championships, are unalterably connected with bonding that leads to unforgettable moments from which they will never emotionally retreat. All who ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 11/21/2016 11:19 AM By Alan Cox

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By Loran Smith, an award-winning writer and a longtime staff member of the University of Georgia Athletic Association. He has been a prolific author, penning a regular column that still appears in the Athens Banner Herald as well as several newspapers around the state, and he has written more than a dozen books. A native of Wrightsville, Ga., Smith is a past chairman of the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and president of the NFF University of Georgia (Athens) Chapter. Cynics exist in every corner, and there were more than a few among the railbirds who observed 31-year-old Vincent Joseph Dooley hiring his coaching staff over the winter of 1963-64. Nobody knew a thing about the young head coach except that he came to Athens as the freshman coach at Auburn (Even President O. C. Aderhold couldn’t remember Vince’s name at the press conference and kept referring to him as “this bright, young coach from Auburn.”)   They sure didn’t have a clue about Erk Russell and ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 8/26/2016 1:17 PM By Alan Cox

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By Loran Smith, an award-winning writer and a longtime staff member of the University of Georgia Athletic Association. He has been a prolific author, penning a regular column that still appears in the Athens Banner Herald as well as several newspapers around the state, and he has written more than a dozen books. A native of Wrightsville, Ga., Smith is a past chairman of the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and president of the NFF University of Georgia (Athens) Chapter. College football has spawned some notable players who loved competition, but also appreciated the game for its inherent values, its heritage and the fact that winning with honor was the way football should be played. Nobody was more of a doting advocate of college football played the old fashioned way—prospering from that envious trade off of playing a game and becoming the beneficiary of a free education—than Art Demmas, Vanderbilt Letterman ('51-'56), who spent his sundown years as the Southern Regional Coordinator for ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 8/26/2016 1:13 PM By Alan Cox

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