22 October 2004
Age: 52
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 232lbs
Occupation: Professor
Shank Type: Adjusted
Favorite Shot: Unknown
Claim to Fame: Missile Command savvy
Player Rating
Martini: I wanna thank you for taking the time to be with us. I know you're busy.
Prof. Shula: Glad to be here.
Martini: You know you've been entrusted with a great responsibility.
Prof. Shula: What's that?
Martini: You are the Court's protector. It is an honor.
Prof. Shula: Oh yeah, yyeeaalt. It's an honor, alright. I play a little more golf than basketball, though.
Martini: How do you like the Neighborhood?
Prof. Shula: Oh I like it.
Martini: You do.
Prof. Shula: Well, I moved here, Mart. Oh yeah, it's great.
Martini: It's been said that you have a trick driveway. Is that true?
Prof. Shula: I'm not sure I know what that is. But if you're referring to my drive being a little difficult to get in and out of, I'd say yeah, yeah, it's a bitch.
Martini: You ever find yourself stuck in like BigBill's living room?
Prof. Shula: NNNNOT QUITE, Mart.
Martini: Everything copasetic with the neighbors? No problems?
Prof. Shula: Oh sure. No, no problems, why?
Martini: Just curious. I don't wanna see anybody gettin pissed about your dog runnin around or somethin.
Prof. Shula: I ain't got a dog, Mart.
Martini: Right. I just wanna make sure you don't have any problems over there, now, that's a sensitive area.
Prof. Shula: Well Mart if I did I suppose I'd just call SKIP, eh?
Martini (bursts out laughing): Hehheee, ahh, yeah, you definitely could do that.
Prof. Shula (laughing): Yeah sure.
Martini: Last year you won Best Dressed in the Parmigian Awards. How did that make you feel?
Prof. Shula: I did like that, yep. I guess it means I look pretty snazzy. (rolling his eyes) Sheesh.
Martini: Now is it safe to say you're pretty much a bigwig with the County?
Prof. Shula: Ahhhhhhh -- NO.
Martini: Come on now, you carry a lotta weight down there.
Prof. Shula: Well I carry a lotta weight alright, but it isn't because I'm a bigwig with the County.
Martini: What kind of a student was Mikey?
Prof. Shula: Michael was a good student . . . mmm hmmm. Came to class, paid attention. Didn't say too much, but he did well.
Martini: There is a trophy in a case at the Ashtabula campus of Kent State University that bears your name. Do you know what trophy I'm talking about?
Prof. Shula (laughing): Yyyyyesss I do. Heh, hah! Yes, back in the good old days, when I was in college, there used to be a Regional Campus Spring Sports Event. They may still have it I don't know. Anyway, in the spring of 1971 our men's and women's teams swept the tennis -- state champs in singles and doubles. I was part of the doubles team. Bill Keener of Geneva, Ohio was my partner. We were seeded, drew a first round bye, and kicked ass the rest of the way through.
Martini: Classic. (pause) What about Missile Command?
Prof. Shula: Heh . . . it's a helluva game, what can I say. Helluva game.
Martini: I understand you were a pretty avid player.
Prof. Shula (nodding): I was, I was.
Martini: Where did you used to play?
Prof. Shula: Ah, down at Bowling Green . . . yeah, yeah.
Martini: Tell me about it.
Prof. Shula: Well I was down there at the branch from 1978 through 1982. The high tide of Missile Command was probably 1980 until I left in '82. The game got so much use, I used to have to go into work on Saturday and Sunday just to get time on the thing. We pretty much wore the bloody hell outta that game, too.
Martini: Wore it out?
Prof. Shula (laughing): Oh, hell yeah! We had to put a pillow on the one side because our arms would hurt.
Martini (intrigued): That is awesome.
Prof. Shula: Yeah, yeah, we didn't screw around. These guys were so good that after a certain point, maybe 250,000 points -- I really don't remember the exact number -- the machine would PLAY ITSELF, you could walk away and it would never run out of cities!! It had to be unplugged to let another game begin.
Martini (dumbfounded, staring): I would love to see that.
Prof. Shula: Yeah, it played itself because you got credits for the number of cities you had left after each round, in addition to the points for the missiles and planes and planets you destroyed. The number of cities would be so high that even if they were all destroyed you automatically got six more so you never ran out!
Martini: You ever set any records?
Prof. Shula: My buddy did. 951,850.
Martini: Come on.
Prof. Shula: And I watched him gulp Coke and down cold pizza while he did it.
Martini: Come on.
Prof. Shula: Well I ain't LYIN to ya, Mart.
Martini: God damn, I know. I love it. I'm just imagining you guys wearin that game out, whippin that trackball around all night.
Prof. Shula: Oh yeah, that was the best part. The trackball was like your sixth sense. You NEVER put your elbow or arm on the machine. You just needed to take the weight off of your right side to free up the trackball arm!
Martini: Professor, you are a new and impressive chapter in the Court history book -- AND a bigwig with the County. I can't thank you enough for sharing your thoughts today.
Prof. Shula: My pleasure.
Martini: And go easy grading those essays, will ya?
Prof. Shula: No problem.
Tony Orlando