Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Willy May is on the right finishing second to Lee Calhoun by less than a tenth of a second.

Here is my take on Shaunae Miller’s diving to beat out my daughter’s hero, Allyson Felix. The only person who has any claim or right to have an opinion on that finish is Allyson Felix. And I can guarantee you Allyson Felix, while shattered at finishing second by so close, has no problem with Miller diving to win.

In the 1960 Rome Olympics, Lee Calhoun dove at the tape to just beat out Willy May for the gold medal in the 110 Hurdles. 

Willy May went on to become the track coach and athletic director of our rival high school and sports powerhouse, Evanston Township High School. 

At a time when the end of the baby boom population explosion was causing other high schools to divide like ours - New Trier turned into New Trier East and New Trier West - in what many cynics and sour grapes people say was a scam to beat New Trier, Evanston combined four high schools into one. While there were four distinct and separate high schools, North, South, West and East, they all combined to have only one massive sports program. 

So to say Evanston was a sports powerhouse in the ’70’s was quite an understatement. They won a state title in track in 1979. And the coach was Willy May. 

Now, Willy May was a damn good track coach. He was more than a bit imperious and taciturn, but a great track coach. Once I got up the courage to ask him what it was like to run in the Olympics. He just looked at me and then said something like "I'm a little busy right now, son." Maybe he was shy, but I doubt it.  It would be easy to see why he would not want to talk to a long-haired cocky jock from the high school he hated. 

But I guarantee you Willy thought about that finish every day of his life. And it motivated him to go on to become a highly decorated track coach and eventually the athletic director of the prestigious Evanston Township High School. 

As amazing and successful as Allyson Felix is, that second place will hurt. And that hurt will motivate her to go on to do even greater things. 

On Shaun White being sued for sexual harassment. Here is what I know about Shaun White. He grew up on our neighborhood. He was a tremendous double athlete. A successful pro in both skateboarding and snowboarding. And he is a damn good recreational surfer. He has tremendous courage and guts to pull off the moves he pulls off.  His athleticism and balance is mind-boggling. 

Here is what I also know about Shaun White: he is a full-blown dick with a major case of short-man's syndrome.