Hammerin' Herman Hermanski, head coach of the Panhandle A&M
Pit Bulls, was nobody's fool. He paid attention back in '94 when Colorado
beat Michigan 27-26 with a 64-yard pass on the last play of the game. And
he sat up and took notice when Colorado's coach, Bill McCartney,
explained it by saying "That was the Lord."
"Christianity's the way to go," Hammerin' Herman told his coaching
staff. "Christianity will get us into a bowl game next year."
Even after Colorado lost a game 7-24, Hammerin' Herman didn't lose
his faith in Christianity as a winning weapon.
He knew skeptics in the English Department would say that while it's
technically possible for a God who keeps an eye on half-ounce falling
sparrows to also keep an eye on 230-pound falling fullbacks, She probably
doesn't give much of a damn who wins the game.
But Hammerin' Herman was no skeptic. He saw Colorado's defeat
only as evidence that the Buffaloes were insufficiently Christian.
They'd had a good thing going; they just didn't have it going far enough.
So he decided the '95 Pit Bulls would be a Really Truly Christian
Rather than recruiting high school stars, Hammerin' Herman
advertised in church bulletins: "Wanted: big, strong, fast Really Truly
Christian football players. Must be committed to victory through Jesus."
He got 83 recruits, some of them weighing 300 pounds. They looked
like nice fellas. Hammerin' Herman imagined them all flying off to a bowl
game singing the sweet strains of "Drop Kick Me, Jesus, Through the Goal
Posts of Life."
The trouble started during the two-a-days in August of '95 when
Hammerin' Herman urged his interior linemen to be more aggressive with
the blocking sled and they began speaking in King James English.
"Blessed are the meek," the pulling guard said, looking like a 275-
pound lamb wearing a football helmet, "for they shall inherit the earth."
The linebackers politely asked to be excused from the Maiming and
Mayhem drills because, they said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall
"Smack those wide receivers," the coaches told the cornerbacks. "Cut
'em down. Lay 'em out. You're at war with them."
"Blessed are the peacemakers," said the cornerbacks, "for they shall be
called the children of God."
The team consensus was that they should love their enemy.
"But your enemy is evil!" Hammerin' Herman hollered. "They say
you wear silk undies."
"Resist not evil," the tight ends said, smiling beatifically, "but
whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."
"Bless them that curse you," the fullbacks murmured. "Do good to
them that hate you."
So going into the opening game, Hammerin' Herman wasn't sure
having a team of Really Truly Christian players was such a good idea. But
he remembered Colorado's miracle pass against Michigan and he had
The Truth, Mainly
"You guys just gotta get mean," he told the players right before the
opening kickoff. "Don't you wanna play in the NFL? Don't you wanna get
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle," the
quarterback explained, "than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of
"OK, this is it," Hammerin' Herman said. "Divine Intervention time.
Let's ask God to help us kick some butt. Gather round the team chaplain
for group prayer on the 50-yard line."
"When thou prayest," the monster back said, "thou shalt not be as the
hypocrites are: for they love to pray on street corners that they may be
seen of men. When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and shut the door."
"But how will the fans know you're a Really Truly Christian football
team if you don't pray in front of them?" Hammerin' Herman asked. "Bill
McCartney prays to a full stadium. He's a Really Truly Christian football
coach, isn't he?"
"Beware of false prophets," the nose guard said, raising his eyebrows.
"Not everyone that saith Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of
Hammerin' Herman gave up then. He let his Really Truly Christian
team play like Really Truly Christians. They lost 3-87, and went on to an 0-
Because Hammerin' Herman was nobody's fool, he called a press
conference to announce that in '96 the Pit Bulls would play according to the
gospel of Vince Lombardi, Patron Saint of Smash Mouth. Then he gulped
and said "I know this is gonna sound funny, but sometimes I wonder if
there's any connection between playing football and being Really Truly
And because even sportswriters sometimes get a bellyful of pigskin
piety, they gave Coach Hammerin' Herman Hermanski a standing ovation.
Satterfield is a college professor and writes as a means of discovery.