Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Survival of the Wolf

Maybe it is not the latest sign of the fiscal apocalypse here in the State of Concrete Gardens. I hope that our State's economy, which has not exactly been the dictionary definition of robust lately (which is in part why Mr. Corzine is now our former Governor), is not in such disrepair that every retired octogenarian shall feel it necessary to return to the work force.

Based upon his recent body of work, I suspect that the un-retirement of 82 year-old Warren Wolf has more to do with him being an 800-pound gorilla than it does him being the tip of an AARP card-carrying spear. Mr. Wolf is the gentleman who spent a half-century as the head football coach at Brick Township High School. At the time of his retirement at the end of the 2008 season, he was the State's all-time winningest coach.

He initially channeled his inner Dylan Thomas - right up until the school committed the sin of replacing him with someone whose name had not appeared on the old ball coach's secret list of approved successors. Once the Board of Education hired someone who did not pass Coach Wolf's smell test, he raised one hell of a stink. Wolf voiced his displeasure at the Brick school district's decision to name Pat Dowling as his successor at several Board of Education meetings and at a Brick Township Council meeting last spring. He stopped short of supplying the fuel for the townspeoples' torches for the march upon the new coach's home but just ever so slightly.

Apparently, moved by the discomfiting image of watching Lakewood High School lose its Thanksgiving Day game last season, Wolf decided to put his hat in the ring for the position of head football coach at Lakewood High.....just in the event that it became available. When the position opened up after the '09 season, Wolf expressed an interest in it. Given that it is not every day that a high school football program that has experienced the abject absence of success that Lakewood has experienced recently has the chance to hire a coach who has 361 career victories, Lakewood met Coach Wolf's interest with a job offer.

In 2010, Lakewood will be led onto the field by its brand spanking new 83 year-old coach. While it would be nice to accept at face value Wolf's claim that his interest in returning to the sidelines is driven by his desire to restore "spirit" to the Lakewood community - candidly - nothing he has done in the past twelve months has appeared to be motivated by furthering anyone's interest but his own.

Standing in the pouring rain
All alone in a world that's changed
Running scared, now forced to hide
In a land where he once stood with pride
But he'll find his way by the morning light


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