Monday, April 26, 2010

Meet Mr. Sensible and the Playa That Wasn't

Two football stories coming out of my home district over the last few weeks couldn't be more different than night & day.

In the days leading up to the NFL Draft, Scott Sicko, soon to graduate from the University of New Hampshire, was being touted by the local papers here as a possible draftee. Sicko, born & raised in Stillwater, NY, didn't hear his name called at all during the 3-day Draft, so he decided Sunday that he would forego a pro career and continue his education. More power to him. Sicko is proof positive that it isn't always about the money when it comes to the pros, but rather the best possible path to travel in life.

Sicko had drawn interest from a few teams, including the Dallas Cowboys, but the courtship ended when the Draft did. Had he been drafted, Sicko would've joined a very exclusive group of players with roots in the upstate half of New York, including Brian Holloway, a star lineman for the New England Patriots during the 70's, and Andre Davis, a wide receiver from Niskayuna who has played for Cleveland and Houston, among others, since being drafted in 2002.

Meanwhile, Albany High School, which hasn't had much luck on the gridiron the last few years, thought they had a new coach in Robbin Williams, who claimed to have been with a few NFL teams, including the NY Giants and Washington Redskins, and had in fact worked out for the Albany Firebirds of the Arena Football League in the 90's. However, a reporter for the Albany Times-Union, James Allen, recalled in his Monday column that, as a beat reporter covering the Firebirds back then, he remembered Williams being brought in for a try-out, but Williams never played a game. Williams claimed to have been a replacement player during the strike-shortened 1987 season (though Williams thought it was 1988), but there's no record of him ever appearing in an NFL game, either.

Bottom line is, Williams padded his resume in a bid to earn a job. Unfortunately, he apparently never read the story of George O'Leary, who could've had the head coach's job at Notre Dame, if I remember right, had it not been for the discovery that he, too, had fudged his resume in order to better sell himself to the administrators there. The parallels are there. Albany's still looking for a new coach, after ex-Firebird Pete Porcelli, who'd been successful across the river at Lansingburgh, left after 1 season.

Reading of the misfortune of Albany's football team reminded me of my own alma mater, Troy High, which was in the same boat 30 years ago, unable to win a game. At least they didn't have as much trouble finding a coach, though.

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