The notebook was neat and well-organized, no stains, which reminded me of an old book belonging to Harvey Penick. By contrast, it had a perfect coffee cup-sized ring worn into the cover. Page upon page of the notebook is devoted to various curls and flats, bunches, drives, verticals, nakeds, gaps and springs, smashes, out and corners, double squares, play action, intermediates, empty, quicks, deceptives and, finally, the smallest entry – about six plays, as I recall – designed to successfully complete a two point conversation.
Would Walter Camp have any clearer idea of modern football shorthand than the average fan today? I don’t think I’m relinquishing any great secret by adding that the above refer to pass plays in high stakes collegiate football. I spent a few minutes with the 2005 Longhorn playbook the other day, a bound notebook of some sophistication, clearly worthy of a wider readership – among fans and critics alike. Maybe next time I’ll take a picture, assuming there’s no Freedom of Information Act difficulties.