Monday, December 3, 2007

The Argus Observes --- Remembering Bob Morford

By Don Lynch
From The Argus-Observer, Dec. 11, 1952

Bob Morford turned out to be just as good as we thought he’d be. The College of Idaho athlete has just been named to the backfield of the little all-coast football team. For the third consecutive year he was named to the all-star football team of the Pacific Northwest conference.

I can remember as if it were yesterday the magnificent body of that 15 year old boy when he stretched out on a dressing-room bench for us to rub the charley horses out of his legs. I remember the vigor with which he played. He glorified in rooting dirt on every tackle. He ran with complete abandon. How that kid played football!

He was a sophomore in Roswell high school when I was principal of the little 50-student school, the only year I ever taught in public schools.

We had a lousy football team with a clean record, all defeats. But it wasn’t Bob’s fault.

We knew he was terrific with promise of a great future ahead. We used to speculate on how good he was because we had no standard for comparison. All we knew was that he was the most promising 15-year-old any of us had ever seen.

We sometimes dreamed that some miracle of good fortune would permit him to go to one of the great football-playing universities and that he would become a nationally known player. Now I’m sure that the little group of students and teachers who were Morford fans in those days are abundantly pleased with what he did accomplish.

He’s a great football player. Any little all-coast back is just a shade removed from All-American caliber. At the right school, running behind the right interference, with the right coaching he might have made the Big Eleven.

Morford merited his honors. The coach of San Francisco State labeled him the best small college player he had seen this year.

Old high school friends of Bob’s know that the way hasn’t been easy.

It has been difficult for him to stay in school because he came from a farm home in modest circumstances. Even in high school days he had to work too many days that he should have been in school. Studies were hard as a result and he got discouraged. It took considerable persuasion to keep him in school.

Of course, it must have become more difficult to keep attending classes as the years moved along. After high school he married and assumed family responsibilities. That he was able to stay in college at all is a tribute to his perseverance.

For these reasons I count Bob Morford high on the list of successful men I have known. It takes real ability and character for any man to earn such athletic honors. For Bob it must have been doubly hard.

He had unique qualities of perseverance as a lad. I had him in one class. As a student he was methodical rather than bright. If limited in time he would drop below average on a test. But when given a long time, often twice as long as some other students, he consistently came up with good grades. He had a peculiar knack of being able to recall much detailed information after prolonged concentration. I’ll bet today he remembers the material in that course better than I do.

Success comes early in life to outstanding athletes. Then they often are lost in the shuffle during the difficult adjustment to normal occupations of life. Bob may get lost for a time, but I feel confident that the sturdy qualities of character which carried him to the top on the gridiron will stand him in good stead in other walks of life.

Editor’s Note: Morford was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 1953 but does not appear in any later years on football records available on the Internet. If anyone remembers what became of him, we’d like to pass that information along.

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