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How our green got mean by Rufus Coleman
Fall 2004      

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How Our Green Got Mean

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Cedrick Hardman, football, 1966-69:

The training table

Cedrick Hardman: One of the other things that motivated me to becoming a football player was, when I was a freshman, the cafeteria for the Quadrangle — the four Quads, 1, 2, 3 and 4 — it sat right in the middle there. And all the students, you went through one line and you came out, but the athletes had a room over to the side. And when they would go into their side, you would come out at the same place to get checked. And I remember coming out the first time, and I'm looking at my plate and I'm looking at this guy's plate over here. And I'm going, "Something's wrong. Something is god-awful wrong. Why is there such a discrepancy in how you're distributing this food?" "Well, these are athletes." I said, "Well, what the heck does that mean?" "They're on the training table." That was my first motivation to play something (laughing). So I actually went out for track (laughing), and I remember broad jumping about 19 feet, and the first thing I did was I went and told the track coach, Pop Noah, I said, "Look I really need to be on that training table 'cause I'm kind of hungry," and he said, "Well, heck, you only jumped 19 feet. If I feed you, you may jump a lot less than that. You could get heavier." But that was, those were great times. Those were great, great times.

1,000 jungle beasts

Cedrick Hardman: Once I got into the pros as a ball player, that was all I wanted to do. It became a way of life. Everything I did, I did because it would make me a better football player — the people I hung out with, the discipline I had, my religion, everything, my whole life around football. And I work with a lot of kids now, and I tell them, I say, you know, people that just play football, gear football around their life. A football player gears his life around football. Now you can take "football player" out of there and put in "lawyer," "accountant," "doctor" or whatever. Whatever you're going to do, do it. And I mean jump in it with the fury of a thousand jungle beasts, all four feet. Just go at it. You owe it to yourself, you owe it to God, you owe it to be the best you can be, you know, and give everything you've got. I mean absorb every resource you have available to go as far as you can at that. And if you're doing that, then you will eliminate limitations, you'll eliminate excuses. We all seemed to innately know that. I mean we put it all on each other. I mean you could get this same conversation from any of the guys. We would all speak the same way. Which is why we've all, most of us have been very successful at what we've done.



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