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Stoned again

Bleacher Views

The Biblical precursor to our game of football was a game called Stones. Somehow the editors of the King James version missed the reference to the game, but we football coaches picked it up some time in the distant past; and it explains a good deal of the strange goings on in our game.

Stones was evidently played with stones, just as football is played with, surprise, footballs.  The object of the game was for the quarterback to hurl the stone, not to a receiver, but at the defensive back, hoping to hit him square in the forehead, and allowing the receiver to pick up the stone and run with it until he was felled with a large stick. A game was often mistaken for a war because the number of required players seemed like two, good sized armies, there being often at least two players carted off the field for every play.

The King James fellas also got the David and Goliath story wrong, again mistaking a Stones game for a war. David was the QB for the Israelites and Goliath was a defender for the Philistines. David’s pass was perfect, but the Philistines howled for a foul because he used a sling. In Stones, a foul cost you your head; so I suspect David quit the game in a hurry.

A guy named Joe Job was the Israelites’ coach, and he had a record of losing the close ones.  He was left, sitting on a pile of stones, bewailing his fate, asking God what had gone wrong.

Joe Judge, coach of the NFL Giants, is looking for a similar pile of stones. Both Joes were and are good coaches. They both understood the rule of good coaching or teaching: “Not what but how. A good coach never asks a player to just try harder or actually demand a result at all; a good coach/teacher shows the player and how to get the desired result, getting as technical as the level the player is capable of understanding and using.

Both Joes qualify as masters of teaching the details of technique, but the results seem nowhere in sight. I don’t know if the current Joe can be saved from the Biblical Job’s torment, but we might all join hands and offer a prayer to the ultimate Judge because it seems like only heaven can save the Giant’s situation, and it could be a miracle is required.


Millerton resident Theodore Kneeland if a former teacher and coach — and athlete.

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