Taking Pride

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company. 

I am sure it is only natural for a parent to feel proud of their children and their accomplishments.  I know I do.  In all honesty, I am not sure how much credit I can take for their success (it was probably Mom), but most parents do it anyway.  We tend to disregard any of their shortcomings and, if we accept them, we certainly do not take the blame.

Well, a teacher has a very similar response to their former students.  If they do well, then the teacher feels as if he or she had a very positive influence on their growth and career achievements.  Should a student struggle in their life pursuits, then certainly their teachers are not to blame.

As a teacher, I have had students who ended up in jail, embezzled money, and committed murder.  Don’t look at me to take any of the blame.  They went wrong somewhere, just not under my tutelage.

On the other hand, I have taught scientists, writers, news people, actors, authors, etc.  I’m “sure” I played a part in their intellectual growth.

For example, in this week between the Conference championships and the Super Bowl, I want to brag a bit about one of my former students, Jeff Fisher.  You may remember him locally as a sports director and announcer for WFMZ. He created The Big Ticket, which is still the place to go for a recap of Lehigh Valley Friday night high school football action.  He worked for FOX Sports Net in Chicago and he has reported on the Olympics, the World Series, and the Super Bowl.  He is a co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football in America (highschoolfootballamerica.com).

Jeff has written a book you might enjoy if you are a football fan – High School Football in Texas.  In 23 chapters, Jeff traces the lives of the very best national football figures who began their athletic lives playing football in Texas.  The list includes Drew Brees, Earl Campbell, Eric Dickerson, Andy Dalton, “Mean Joe” Greene, Andrew Luck, Baker Mayfield, Johnny Manziel, and so on and so on.  There are over 45 famous football players and coaches highlighted.  Each has a unique story to tell.

For instance, Drew Brees did not play tackle football until the ninth grade.  He was the only player on the team who did not play in his first scrimmage.  He wasn’t even the starting QB on his JV team.  When the starter was injured, Drew moved in to the starting role.  That team went 10-0 and Drew’s career towards becoming an NFL Hall-of-Fame began.

Football fans certainly remember the Pittsburgh Steelers’ “Steel Curtain” and their leader, “Mean Joe” Greene.  Well, it turns out, in his early high school days in Texas, he was not so mean.  In fact, he was bullied.  Despite weighing 150 pounds in seventh grade and being tall, he was afraid to walk home.  It wasn’t until a friend of his took $5 given to him by his mother that he learned to stand up for himself.  He was bullied no longer and went on to win four Super Bowls with the Steelers.

That’s only two of the stories found in the book.  Each is interesting in its own way.  The road to success in any field, obviously, takes many paths.  You will enjoy the stories of these famous Texas football people.

Rumor has it he wants to do a similar book on Pennsylvania football players.

Jeff Fisher was one of my students.  I am proud of that.  I hope he remembers me as playing a small role in his success.  If not, I’ll take some credit anyway, much like a parent.

You can order the book on his website.


  1. As you can see at the bottom, I went 2-0 for the AFC and NFC championship games, but I do not feel good about it. The Saints should have won the game, if not for the HORRIBLE missed pass interference or helmet-to-helmet call at the end which allowed the Rams to tie the game.  I picked the Rams.  I should have lost.
  1. I hate the NFL overtime rule. In college and high school, the teams get an equal number of possessions in overtime.  If one team scores on their possession, the other team gets a chance to match that score until a winner is determined.  Allowing just one team to possess the ball and then win if they score a touchdown is ludicrous and unfair.  Winning a coin toss should not determine the outcome.  I picked New England, but I do not feel good about it.
  1. So the best young coach (Sean McVay) takes on the greatest coach ever (Bill Belichick). McVay took over a 4-12 mess when he took the Rams job.  In two years, he has 26 wins and is taking his team to the Super Bowl.  Belichick is headed towards his ninth in 18 years and third in a row.  I will root for the youngster, but will pick the GOAT.
  1. Drew Brees said he will be back for a 19th season, despite turning 41 next season. This year he broke Peyton Manning’s NFL record for career passing yards.
  1. So many high school basketball teams find themselves “on the bubble” trying to fight their way into the District playoffs. You need to win half your games (11) or half your league games (8).  We will feature four teams trying to earn a spot this coming week.  RCN-TV also has the EPC wrestling championships on Saturday night.  We are closing in on “crunch time”.  Join us. 

Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks (Last week: 2-0)  (Overall: 167-82-2  67% ) 




Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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