"Pistol Pete" Maravich thrilled basketball crowds at LSU and later with the professional teams of the Hawks, Jazz and the Celtics.
Maravich was 40 when his heart gave out . . . (He was) . . . the most incredible basketball magician of them all. He will be remembered for all the points, for all the moments when the ball went behind his back and between his legs and finally through a hoop. And he ought to be remembered for a distinctive flair, a genius, only he possessed.
But Maravich would have preferred to be remembered as a Christian.
The extraordinary basketball magician became an extraordinary lay preacher in the last years of his life, speaking at churches, at his own Bible/basketball camps, anywhere people, mostly kids, wanted to hear the story of his life.
Pistol Pete Maravich went around an told people that the man he became was more important than the alcoholic basketball player he had been from college on.
Basketball never made him happy . . . His own Christianity, the preaching did. (He died while playing half-court basketball at a Church of the Nazarene in Pasadena, California.) Maravich was probably happier playing ball yesterday in Pasadena than he had ever been in his life.
"I feel great," he said to a friend an hour before he died. Christian athletes, members of the "God Squad," are an easy target in sports. But if you make fun of Christian athletes, then you never heard Pete Maravich speak. Pistol Pete estimated that between the ages of 5 and 17, he spent 20,000 hours playing ball. It is an awfully sad story about youth and dreams. Maravich told his story in a powerful voice, with clear eyes, concluding with the story of his own religious awakening in 1982. "I said, "Lord, I got nowhere else to go. If you don't save me, I won't last another two days."1
At that time Maravich was an alcoholic.
"My life has never been the same," he said in 1985. "I don't have much time left, but the time I do have left I'm going to dedicate to the Lord." -(NY DAILY NEWS, 1-6-88, p. 49, Mike Pupica, "Pistol Lived Up in End to Man Called Peter")
"How many wars did we fight with Spain?" the professor asked the tackle on the football team.
"Seven," he answered confidently. (continued)
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"Seven hey? Can you enumerate them?" asked the professor. "Certainly," the athlete replied, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven."
As the football season approaches much is being said about how it helps the participant prepare for life.
In the cartoon SHOE the coach is standing on the "sled" ready to prepare his team for blocking practice. "AWright, you hamburgers, I want you to hit this sled and move it right down the field!! Down!! Set!! Hut! Hut! Hut! Drive, drive, drive!!! Move it, move move!!!"
One player says to the other: "What are (puff) doing, running full speed into (wheeze) this stupid immovable object....?"
"Working ourselves (pant) into a frenzy while a neanderthal moron screams (gasp) insults at us? Why do we do this day after day? Is this supposed to be fun?"
To which his fellow player replies, "No. It's supposed to prepare us for life."
The amateurs are broken down by handicaps in groups of A, B, C and D and the pairings are made accordingly, so each group that the pro contends with for over five hours is composed of a very good player, one who's pretty good, another just fair and one who's thrashing around while asking the pro questions like "Should I bend my knees more?" And the pro says, 'Yes ... and pray, brother, pray! "--Bob Hope
Harold was taking a trip to Phoenix to relax. He turned to the passenger beside him on the plane. "I can't wait to get into that sun and onto the course . . . Are you by any chance a golfer?"
"Am I a golfer?" returned the man. "Golf is my life!" "Well, well," said Harold. "I manage to play in the seventies."
"Exactly what I do! But if it gets one degree colder, I head back to the hotel."
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