I don't have to tell anyone here what John McKay meant to USC.
This past weekend McKay was inducted into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ring of honor...
As the story goes, John McKay, already an icon as football coach at the University of Southern California, was dining with his buddy, Alabama's Paul "Bear" Bryant. They were at Chasen's, then the ultimate see-and-be-seen spot in Beverly Hills.
The waiter approached.
"Coach McKay," he said, "Mr. Sinatra has a table in back and wants you to stop by."
McKay, unflinching: "You tell him to come up and see us."
A few minutes later, there was Frank Sinatra, paying homage.
Yes, John McKay absolutely did it his way. At USC, where his steady stream of one-liners played well with the Hollywood set, he won four national championships. McKay was the king.
This is not a new story...
It has been told many times.
And every time it makes me smile!
McKay and Bryant were very close friends...
It is the one reason that I have always respected Alabama as a program. To me McKay and Bryant made the college game what it is today. USC and Alabama have played against each other in some of the sports most memorable games. I know some will disagree but that is fine...to each his own.
Bryant Will always hold a very special place in the college sport, but McKay staked his own claim in both college and the pros.
It was one of my saddest days as a kid growing up when he left for Tampa Bay. I remember crying when USC lost to UCLA in 1975...McKay's last regular season game at USC.
He is as much a part of my youth when it comes to USC as any player on the roster.
I am surprised that this recognition took this long to happen.
He left us far too early.
I wonder what he would have said if he could have witnessed USC's great run this past decade?
Now those would have been some memorable quotes!!