I’m sure that most people do something in life that they regret or that they wish they could have a replay. Mine occurred at Springfield College in Springfield, MA during my sophomore year.
Springfield was a fairly conservative school that focused mainly on sports and recreation majors. As the only South Dakota boy there, I had to make new friends. I met a kid named Mike and we got along famously. He was from Troy, NY and became a really good friend. One weekend we were the only kids in our dorm since everyone else had gone home. We were just hanging out in his dorm room on a Saturday night and decided to get a six pack of beer. At the time, I didn’t think of this as being a big deal at all. We weren’t planning to get drunk…just sipping a few beers. But the college had a rule that no alcohol was allowed on campus. I honestly didn’t know this – nor did Mike. But I remember that I never saw anyone drinking in the dorms. Well after a beer or two, there was a knock on the door and we opened it to see our RA there. He saw our beer and said we weren’t supposed to have alcohol in the dorm. And that he was going to have to turn us in to the Dean. WOW! Wouldn’t you think since we were quiet and not causing any harm at all, he could have just warned us and taken the beer? That would be it! Problem solved; lesson learned. But NO! He had to turn us in. There was no consideration of the context of the scene. Rules were rules to him and he had to do his duty to uphold the rules and regulations of the school. After he pointed out the ‘no-alcohol’ policy we knew that we were in the wrong. But I had a hard time believing that we were causing any harm as no one was around and we were quietly have only a beer or two.
But he turned us into the Dean who was also a complete ‘by the rules’ guy and who had to uphold the policy of the school to retain control of the rebellious students. (A little sarcasm there) We were put on probation, had to observe a curfew of 10:30 PM every night and had to write a letter to our parents. Oh boy! That was going to go over big with my parents back in Huron!
At that point, I hated the Dean. He said he had no options which was total BS. I believe that I became a little ‘anti-establishment’ after that experience. I did apologize to my parents and said I learned my lesson. The lesson was this: no matter how unreasonable and stupid some rules are, you had better obey them or face the consequences. ‘Nuff said’!
What a great name for an intramural football team! Believe it or not, I came up with the name after Bob Berg and I talked about forming a team. Man, we were excited because between my contacts and his in Watertown (a high school powerhouse), we could put together a winning team. We began recruiting and I got a bunch of Huron players including Mike Mahoney, Bruce Kohler, Gary Busch, Bill Baer, Tim Stahley, Jim Walker and Bob Martin. Birdie recruited several studs that included Steve Crandall, Scott Cusker, Bob Lee and numerous others. We added Boog Stillwell and Keith Frick, friends of mine. We started rolling over everyone playing platoon football and soon we became the top dogs. There were 90 intramural teams in SDSU and we won the championship 4 years in a row – really impressing the varsity football coach with our talent! We hung out together, partied together and kicked butt on the football field. We added skilled players each year. We even played the champions from North Dakota State and won that game. As for me, I played linebacker on defense and loved it. The Underdogs became a legend at South Dakota State University!