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Albuquerque Journal, Sport Speak Up

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 17-03-2016


I have written to Sports Speak to voice an opinion, once in a while and I may have been published a time or two. Critics of  Lobo sports, and a few fans write about what sorry coaches we have and on occasions named players by name as to their downfall and poor play. Some do praise the coaches and programs as well. This year in particular, Coach Neal has been a target as has his son, Cullen. I think that allowing writers to name names should not be acceptable by the Journal. Especially when its the coaches son. Neither of them deserved the treatment they have received especially by that section of the paper. I am very disappointed in the sports editor for allowing it to happen…..A few years ago I allowed a person to sound off on my web site, saying things I would have never said and my son came down on me about it. I mentioned that I allowed people to state their opinion as they had that right. He mentioned that it is certainly alright for a person to have their own opinion but I did not have to let them say it on my front porch. These mean-spirited critics of Lobos sports hurt our teams, basketball, football or any other sport, by running down the program, coach, or director of our school. Am I saying negative opinions should not be allowed? No, I’m saying that the Sports Editor of the Journal should do a better job of culling out the evil sounding comments of some letter writers. I think that, in part, has cost us a fine basketball player next year.

Comments (5)

I see nothing has changed in Lobo sports since the time when I used to follow them as a young chemist and AF troop on KAFB. I use to read the now defunct morning paper (I can’t remember the name now), not the Journal because it came out in the morning, as I am a morning person, rising early. The sports writers of this paper often mistreated the Lobos too. At the time, I thought this very strange since I had just come as a new graduate from the University of Alabama where everyone practically worshiped the ground on which its coaches and players walked, especially the great Coach Paul (Bear) Bryant and his quarterback Joe Willy Namath. I can still see Joe’s bright red Thunderbird driving around Tuscaloosa. As a poor, talentless, driverless student, I didn’t know Joe from a “hill of beans”, but I knew that bright, red Thunderbird Ford car that was given to him by a wealthy Alabama Alumnus who directed him towards Tuscaloosa to play football. It was this contrast that brought home to me the fact that UNM was different, that Albuquerque was different, and that I was now in a completely different area, so that I had better adjust to the area and learn to appreciate what it had to offer. I moved into the UNM student population at Hermosa Drive Baptist Church and found that these students were indeed different, yet the same. They just did not have a number one football team to worship. They did often have a very good basketball team and, even, soccer (What’s that?) team. What a strange, but great place, this was. I wondered why I couldn’t have been associated with this place sooner because it was a place so intimately connected with the great minds of the Manhattan Project that produced the first atomic bomb, a few of whom I was able to work with during the late stage of their careers at the Goat Farm (Air Force Weapons Laboratory). I hope to meet Dr. Yelle de Boer, a fairly recent emigrant from Holland, again one day in Heaven. Perhaps we can have more intelligent discussions about the work that he was doing with the sheep; whereas, then we could only talk about what I planned to do when I got out of the AF because I really did not have the capability or the background to revolve in his circle at that time. I can only hope now that I gave him some good numbers that did well for his projects. I never met or worked with Dr. Baum, who later built the famous Trestle in the Seventies, but he was at the Laboratory when I was there. He just worked in a different department. My path crossed the paths of several other eminent people who was closely connected to the Manhattan Project during the war years that I hope to re-meet one day in Heaven, as I am sure that most of them are there by now. I hope to be able to discuss their work with them more intelligently than I could during our brief time together at KAFB, as I was just a simple AF troop with a fancy chemistry degree who was trying at the time to give them good numbers to use in their various projects.

The Tribune is the paper you were thinking of. I doubt that any of your friends at the Goat Farm had any ideas about what was going on at the Pit or the football field. Glad you got to meet them and work with them.

I don’t know! We even had a couple of followers of the Crimson Tide, at least as fans. All of them were fans of the Lobos, at least when they were winning. It was the Albuquerque Tribune. I only bought it on Sunday morning, especially during football season hoping to get news of Alabama football but disappointed most of the time. I remember that I often had to depend on Mother’s letters to get an Alabama score. Sports TV coverage in the Sixties wasn’t what it is today. In the Sixties, who would have thought that one would some day shortly be able to watch one’s football game of his choice, even on one’s cell phone? And I thought that I was working in a U. S. Government laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment, and it was in the Sixties, when I often had to depend of my Mom’s snail mail letters for Alabama football scores. Wow! How times have changed! Times have changed; but, when I Google KAFB, I notice quickly that the Goat Farm, the Monsanto Base area, and, particularly, west KAFB of which I am most familiar, has changed as well. In western KAFB, about the only thing that I recognize, besides the runways and base operations, are the layout of the streets and the tennis courts. Even the Crumley Laboratory building (AFWL) does not look the same. There is another great big hole in the ground in the former Sandia Base (East KARB) called the Underground Weapons Facility that is obvious. I bet it uprooted the home of many a jack rabbit and road runner. Even the old AFSWC building (the special weapons center headquarters building) that use to be next to the Crumley lab building appears to have disappeared; yet there appears to be several new large laboratory buildings where once there was only WWII style barracks buildings and where the Capehart military housing along Gibson Blvd once stood. It would be an interesting experience to return to KAFB in June during the air show involving the Thurderbirds and base open house just to see all of these changes in real time at ground level. The problem is that Marina is not interested, and it wouldn’t mean the same to her. I can easily spot the Hermosa Drive Baptist Church building on Hermosa Drive a few blocks north of Gibson Blivd, but it is no longer a church. I often wonder what it is now, if anything. Hermosa Drive Baptist Church was my Coal Fire Baptist Church away from home. Sometimes it pays to live in a static community like Coal Fire instead of a modern, bustling community like Albuquerque where change comes so quickly and extensively.

Yes, Albuquerque changes daily. If I don’t drive by an area in town for a few weeks and go by, many new building have gone up….of course, some come down or are changed. On the west side of town growth is constant. I guess we are growing although I am not sure what is promoting the growth.

I’m sure that Albuquerque growth is still promoted by the desire of easterners to move west. They are stopping in Albuquerque because they realize that people have begun to move out of California, usually going east, and southern Arizona is becoming crowded. An engineer with whom I used to work has just retired and moved from Arkansas to Albuquerque. I wished him good luck and to enjoy the “enchantment”. At one time, we were looking at buying a place in Mesa del Sol in southern Albuquerque up on the mesa, but Marina loves lots of plants. She doesn’t much like the thought of the dryness and plant desolation. I keep telling her that we would be only one short flight from her family in northern California. That may eventually change her mind. She liked Coal Fire when Mother lived there but thinks it is just a little too desolate now and to far away from the nearest hospitall, which is important for a diabetic with heart problems.

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