Glory Days: Bill Lavelle |

Glory Days: Bill Lavelle

I was an OK football player in high school, good enough to start. But, like many high school athletes, I had dreams of playing professional football.

I had two opportunities to play against pro-caliber athletes. The first was when I was a junior, I played center opposite Keith Mullard, the longtime nose guard for the Minnesota Vikings. The next year I was matched up as offensive tackle against defensive tackle Greg Kragen, the Denver Broncos nose guard for many years.

It may be an understatement, but I think it is safe to say both my opponents did just about everything they wanted to in those games.

Years later, talking with Kragen, I think I remember him saying his team watched the game films twice just for the laughs.

These encounters did not deter me from my lofty pro dreams.

I talked to a couple of junior colleges about playing ball until I got my big offer from a four-year school. One of the assistant coaches from Saint Mary’s college called me and said all I had to do was pay their full yearly tuition, but they would waive the $25 admissions application fee.

Oh yeah, and expect to red shirt for two years. It was just about that time I decided my energy would be better spent in a different career pursuit.

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