Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Gale Sayers - Discipline, Dress, Self Esteem, Health and Happiness at Leo High School: A Studied Carelessness Requires Great Care

Gale Sayers # 40 1965
Gale Sayers Citizen in 2011 with Mrs. Townsend Miss Adams and Miss Hamp of Leo High School

A cravat was the forerunner of the modern necktie. It consisted of a strip of immaculately white starched linen about 12" by 60" that was wound around the throat several times and tied. To achieve the "studied carelessness" of the creases in his cravat, Brummell reclined in his chair as if he were being shaved and wound a cravat around his neck. Then lowered his chin, ever so slowly, until the starched linen wrinkled to perfection. If one wrinkle was too deep or too shallow, the cloth was thrown aside. Once, when a visitor saw Brummell's valet carrying an armload of lengths of tumbled white clothes as he descended from his master's dressing room, he asked what the man was taking away and was informed, "These are our failures, sir." Cravat knots could be simple and casual like the Mailcoach or complicated. Brummell was famous for his cravat worn in a waterfall.
Georgian Men's Fashion

NFL legend Gale Sayers* of the Chicago Bears never did a touchdown dance. In one game, he scored six touchdowns and after each courteously handed the ball to the Referee. " I wanted them to know that I had been here before. . .and that I was coming back."

Today our dred locked and Viking maned mesomorphs are indistinguishably the same with antic finger points upon a tackle, or frantic dancing in the endzone. They play to the camera alone.

Gale Sayers never made near the salary of a taxi squad NFL player today. However, he is and remains a legend.

Mr. Sayers has no drug, gun or assault charges against him, nor doe she have creditors pounding his doors. He and his bride of many decades Ardi conduct charitable work in the inner-city as a well as employ people in business. Mr. Sayers dresses with the simple dignity and singular virtue that marked his career on the football field. Through the Gale Sayers Foundation, Gale Sayers mentors the young men at Leo High School, as well as the many younger boys and girls on the West and South Side of Chicago.

Gale Sayers continues to look remarkably like he did when he signed with George Halas. We want our young men to model themselves on a man like Gale Sayers, who happens to reflect the very same image cast by Leo Legends -Bob Foster, Jimmy Arneberg, Jack Fitzgerald, Tony Parker, Dr. Stafford Hood, and Mike Holmes.

We have a dress code and code of discipline. They are ideal and tight. Daily life is anything but that - life is prosaic, messy and quotidian. Too many of our students come from tough family and economic circumstances. In fact, many of our young men arrive here at Leo High School shortly after I get my broad manly rump into the chair. More so, we have a tough time getting some of them to get home for the day's end. Believe it or not, and this is something we try to impress upon our hard-working teachers, for most students the happiest hours of their day are spent within the walls of this old Catholic high school.

Our discipline problems are very few and they become the Molehill Mountain for us -"Tuck in that Shirt! Where's Your Belt? Take off that Hoodie! Those Aren't Uniform Shoes! Your Hair is Extreme."

Now, this being Leo, with its rich history of manly manly miscreance ( think Bill Nelligan, or the late Tom Foy)there are the odd crap games and the occasional Marlboro Light incidents, some tardiness and a bit of back-sass. Nothing in the way of a public school, or Leo circa 1968.

Dress Code and general comportment are standards that this school holds up with its rock-solid Catholic orthodoxy as ideals and expectations the student is obliged to meet - to the very best of his ability.

Many times, home life impacts with this. Last November, President Dan McGrath (Leo 1968) explained to our Alumni at a meeting that one of our young men was receiving amny detentions for being out of uniform. Dan also remarked that this young guy wore the same shirt and pants for the last three weeks. Upon some delicate investigation, President McGrath learned that the family was in dire financial trouble, the Dad out of full time work taking handyman jobs and the Mom working at two minimum wage stores and only getting the hours available. Their lights were turned off, hence the unlaundered attire.

Our guys immediately raised about $400 in cash to help get the young man some new clothes and to help the family get the lights back on - several volunteered to find the Dad some meaningful employment.

That is one kid out of scores more.

Leo High School is working on a plan to combine neat, simple and manly dress with a code of virtuous conduct that reflects the individual packaged within.

Do clothes make the man; no, but that speak loudly of he is all about.

I'll try and report more articulately on this topic in the weeks to come. It is an easy thing to set-out a dress, or disciplinary code; it is another thing altogether to make it attractive given our goofy culture. Gale Sayers worked himself without mercy in order to present a 'studied carelessness' on and off the field - he made it look so easy.

Taking a hard look at the life of Gale Sayers and how he presents himself is a damn good start.

Halfback >>> 6-0, 198
1965-1971 Chicago Bears
Gale Eugene Sayers. . .Kansas All-America. . .Exceptional break-away runner. . .Scored rookie record 22 TDs, 132 points, 1965. . .Led NFL rushers, 1966, 1969. . .Named all-time NFL halfback, 1969. . . All-NFL five straight years. . .Player of Game in three Pro Bowls. . .Career totals: 9,435 combined net yards, 4,956 yards rushing, 336 points. . . NFL lifetime kickoff return leader. . .Born May 30, 1943, in Wichita, Kansas


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