Reading time, two minutes:
I learned about the death of President Kennedy after noon recess minutes after I returned to my classroom. Sort of forgot about that just-ended flag football game.
Lasting memories: Lee Harvey Oswald shot on live national TV, John-John’s salute, the mis-note on “Taps,” the black horse with the boots mounted backward and, most hauntingly, the drums.
The NFL went on with its games that weekend. When tragedy strikes today, that mistake is not repeated.
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• The 49ers and Ahmad Brooks were rejected last week by an NFL creation: The poor man’s Tuck Rule.
• The similarity between the Raiders’ Snow Job in New England and last week in New Orleans: Correct application of a horrible rule.
• If I’m the 49ers, I’ve had enough of the French Quarter.
The logical extension: A square-foot box stenciled onto the quarterback’s uniform. Make contact with it and you’re legal. Miss it, and it’s a penalty and fine.
• The NFL’s ultimate wish: No head-to-head hits and no lawsuits. Not necessarily in that order.
• Perhaps as important as Modesto Junior College’s advancing to a bowl game today: The Pirates have gone 3-2 in the Valley Conference in three of four seasons since their return to the Tier 1 level.
• Buffalo (8-3) pursues a MAC-East title next week against Bowling Green. The Bulls could be bowling with defensive lineman Beau Bachtelle (ex-MJC and Summerville).
• Wished we could have seen more of Gregori in the Sac-Joaquin Section volleyball playoffs.
• The first round of the section football playoffs gave us an overload of 75-0, 51-0, 52-0, 56-14, 50-13, 63-9 and other ugly results. They are selling competition, right?
• Cal is a record 32-point underdog in today’s 116th Big Game. The Golden Bears can seek inspiration from ... Stanford, a 42-point underdog – and a winner – against USC in 2007.
A beacon amid this season’s misery: Cal will show up on the Farm today, unlike the Stanford rugby team in 2001.
• Never thought I’d see the day USC fans storm the field after a win over Stanford.
USC Athletic Director Pat Haden has a problem he probably doesn’t mind in successful interim coach Ed Orgeron. Does he keep Orgeron or pursue a bigger name?
• He totally botched the offseason, but: There still hasn’t been a more thrilling player this season than Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M.
• One of the more amusing subplots is watching Alabama squirm while surprising Auburn keeps winning.
• Not much is on the line for 15th-ranked Fresno State, other than its first BCS bid, an unbeaten season and a $4 million check. That would buy a lot of dog food.
• Fresno State President Joseph Castro will consider the school’s reinstating the wrestling team, out since 2006. The valley is a wrestling hotbed. The sport never should have been scrapped.
• ESPN switched the kickoff of today’s FSU game against New Mexico to a shockingly normal 1 p.m., a virtual wakeup call for the Red Wave.
• A must-see player early in the college basketball season, and he’s not one of the heralded freshmen: Marcus Smart, sophomore, Oklahoma State.
• If only all the Sacramento Kings worked as hard each night as Isaiah Thomas.
• The Giants signed ex-Athletics right-hander Tim Hudson. They still think they can outpitch the Yasiel Puig-ed Dodgers.
• Three years ago, I visited President Kennedy’s eternal flame at Arlington. Gave me chills.
As a dumb-struck seventh grader glued to my desk, I jotted the date on the cover of my notebook and just stared at it: Nov. 22, 1963.