AGOSTINI: Former Beyer High coach attends Navy football team's reunion

ragostini@modbee.comOctober 18, 2013 

Reading time, two minutes:

• The 1963 Navy team, arguably the Midshipmen's best-ever, reunited two weeks ago at Annapolis, Md. One of the 46 who made the trip was their quick two-way star — former Beyer High head coach John Sai.

• Sai scored 10 touchdowns that season, nine of them on handoffs from ... Roger Staubach.

• It's been reported Sai ran the 100-yard dash in 9.7 seconds. Not sure anyone on the current Navy team possesses such speed. The Middies were beaten last week by Duke.

• Navy was coached in '63 by Wayne Hardin, a Pacific grad who cut his coaching teeth in 1950-51 at Ceres.

• What do the Titans' Jake Locker and the Jaguars' Blaine Gabbert have in common? Both were drafted higher in 2011 than the 49ers' Colin Kaepernick (Turlock).

• Two things we know will motivate Kaepernick: 1. Smack-talking Tweets, and2. Inferior quarterbacks who did better on draft day.

• Not only is Fresno State unbeaten, it also will pocket $500,000 from San Diego State for its ESPN2 meeting next week.

• Friday's Fresno Bee featured a special treat — a commemorative Fresno State poster of senior receiver Isaiah Burse (Modesto Christian).

• Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a member of the committee that will select the 2014 Final Four in football. If she can handle war and peace, telling the No. 5 team "No, thank you" won't be hard.

• Wait a minute. Rice is a Stanford professor and former provost. Hire an independent prosecutor!

• There is power in making no mistakes: Alex Smith, unbeaten Chiefs.

• Al Davis once said, "The quarterback must go down, and he must go down hard." Terrelle Pryor did — 10 times.

• The Dodgers' Yasiel Puig flips his bat, poses at a ball that stays in the ballpark, misplays a single into a double and death-stares the plate umpire after striking out. And it's only the fifth inning!

• Also true: The Dodgers would be nowhere without him.

• Local fans like the Detroit Tigers, especially when pitchers Doug Fister (Merced) and Phil Coke (Sonora) appear in the same ALCS game.

• College basketball practice is under way. The far-away echoes grow closer: That Diaper Dandy is Awesome, Baby! With a Capital A!

• Memo to the New Orleans Saints: If you give Tom Brady three chances to beat you, he will beat you.

• The injured Matt Schaub was booed by his own Houston fans. Like when the Raiders' Dan Pastorini was hurt in 1980 and replaced by — wait for it — Jim Plunkett.

• Fan behavior can be appalling. Ask Steve Bartman, a virtual recluse in Chicago 10 years later.

• Cal's injured offensive lineman Matt Cochran (Buhach Colony) is out for the season — one of many for the slumping Bears.

• Modesto Junior College travels to Sequoias today in Visalia — not far from the Porterville roots of coach Sam Young.

• About the thrilling 1963 Army-Navy game won by the Midshipmen when time expired on the cadets on the goal line: TV unveiled the first-ever instant-replay that day.

• Another history lesson: The 1963 Navy team lost to national champion Texas in the Cotton Bowl less than two months after President John Kennedy was assassinated in the same city.

• Fifty years later, Navy remembered its aging heroes. Said Sai in an email, "The Academy treated us like kings."

Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at ragostini@modbee.com or (209) 578-2302. Follow Ron via Twitter, @modbeesports.

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