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 NFL Network - Chuck Noll - A Football Life

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Atlanta Dan



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PostSubject: NFL Network - Chuck Noll - A Football Life   Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:06 am

A new biography of Chuck Noll is being published - this linked SI.com excerpt focuses on his retirement years and decline that is sadly familiar to any of us who have experienced similar issues with aging parents.

The following is excerpted from CHUCK NOLL: HIS LIFE’S WORK by Michael MacCambridge.

A few weeks after the retirement, Chuck and Marianne were sitting on the Steelers’ private charter jet out of Pittsburgh headed down to Hilton Head. There was one other passenger—Bill Cowher, who’d recently been named to succeed Chuck as head coach. Cowher’s face was an open book: nose broken by too many tackles, thick mustache giving the appearance of a new cop on the beat, an energized conversationalist who occasionally emitted clouds of spittle when he was particularly excited. In personality and demeanor, he was the polar opposite of Chuck.

But Cowher also had a deep respect for football history and the tradition he was inheriting in Pittsburgh. Leaning over before takeoff, he said to Chuck, “I would appreciate your input. Is there anything you think I should know?”

“You’ll be fine,” Chuck said. “Be yourself, do your best, and I am sure you’re going to be fine.”

That was all he offered. Chuck made allowances for neither sentimentality nor mentoring—Dan Rooney had arranged for Chuck to have an office in Three Rivers, but Chuck never went there. He didn’t want to get in the way or have his presence be a distraction. ...

It was January 1999, less than a week after Chuck’s sixty-seventh birthday, when he traveled to Orlando with many of his old coaches—George Perles came, as did Woody Widenhofer, Rollie Dotsch, and Joe Walton.

Chuck had been invited to coach one of the teams in something called the First All-Star Gridiron Classic, which matched a team of college seniors who’d played high school or college ball in Florida against Team USA, of players from around the country.

On Thursday, January 14, two days before the game, he was instructing one of his players in a backpedal technique when he collapsed to the ground. His Achilles tendon—the same one that had troubled him on and off since at least his days at Dayton—finally snapped...

Looking back, all those closest to Chuck agreed that his larger health troubles began with the injury and lengthy recovery. “It was the anesthesia that started to accelerate stuff,” said [his son] Chris. ...

The recovery time for each malady was slower than usual. On the streets of Sewickley, late in the summer of 2005, when Marianne saw the Steelers’ Dr. Joe Maroon, he asked about Chuck’s back.

“We have the X-rays at home,” Marianne said.

“Well, let me stop by and take a look at them,” said Maroon.

“Sure,” Marianne said, then paused, before continuing. “But we’re dealing with something else now. It’s worse than the damn back . . .”

At Maroon’s behest, Marianne took Chuck for a battery of tests, during which he maintained an imperturbable good cheer. “Here, hold my watch and ring,” he said to her before the MRI.

After the tests were completed, they went to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to see Dr. Steven DeKosky, the head of neurology. The CT scan results were clear enough—there was damage. DeKosky showed them both the pictures, then asked Chuck to step outside for a moment.

After Chuck stepped into the hallway, DeKosky leveled with Marianne, uttering the inevitable, dreaded word.

“He has it,” DeKosky said. “He has Alzheimer’s.” ...

She took his hands in hers and delivered the news: “The doctor says you have Alzheimer’s disease.”

Chuck looked back at her. There was a long moment of silence. And she could see him weighing the reality, and the implications, and a life-time of things that had been left unsaid.

Then he squeezed her hands tightly and looked back into Marianne’s eyes, with the steady, determined gaze she’s seen so many times before. He had just one thing he had to tell her.

“I will . . . never . . . forget who you are,” he said. Then they embraced and dissolved into tears.


Link to full excerpt

http://www.si.com/nfl/2016/10/26/chuck-noll-his-lifes-work-book-michael-maccambridge-bradshaw-alzheimers

I have ordered my copy through Amazon, which is to be delivered next week.  Looking forward to this book - Michael MacCambridge is a reputable writer and in addition to interview numerous individuals associated with the Steelers had the cooperation of Coach Noll's family.


Last edited by Atlanta Dan on Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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FrancoLambert



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PostSubject: Re: NFL Network - Chuck Noll - A Football Life   Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:36 am

It's great that we are finally learning more about this remarkable man and realizing that his public persona only gave us a slanted one-dimensional picture of who and what he really was.

The best testament about Noll was the many friends, players, and associates who said "if anything ever happened to me and my wife, I'd want Chuck to raise my kids."

That says it all.
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Atlanta Dan



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PostSubject: Re: NFL Network - Chuck Noll - A Football Life   Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:12 pm

As a followup to my initial post on the new biography on Chuck Noll, I changed the title of the thread since the NFL Network, in conjunction with the publication of the book, has broadcast an episode of A Football Life on Coach Noll

The Steelers have provided a link to the broadcast on their website

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/A-Football-Life-Chuck-Noll/66cdbc15-e8ff-4012-bc60-7cfc213a7be4

The show is outstanding.  Among other highlights, I give Terry Bradshaw credit for agreeing to be interviewed and giving credit to Coach Noll's accomplishments while, for reasons I still regard to be unjustified, explaining why he never got over his resentment of how Coach Noll handled him.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/a-football-life/0ap3000000746080/A-Football-Life-Bradshaw-and-Noll-s-business-like-relationship

For anyone who has experienced the aging of parents or other loved ones one part of the last segment is heartbreaking.
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FrancoLambert



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PostSubject: Re: NFL Network - Chuck Noll - A Football Life   Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:16 pm

@Atlanta Dan wrote:
As a followup to my initial post on the new biography on Chuck Noll, I changed the title of the thread since the NFL Network, in conjunction with the publication of the book, has broadcast an episode of A Football Life on Coach Noll

The Steelers have provided a link to the broadcast on their website

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/A-Football-Life-Chuck-Noll/66cdbc15-e8ff-4012-bc60-7cfc213a7be4

The show is outstanding.  Among other highlights, I give Terry Bradshaw credit for agreeing to be interviewed and giving credit to Coach Noll's accomplishments while, for reasons I still regard to be unjustified, explaining why he never got over his resentment of how Coach Noll handled him.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/a-football-life/0ap3000000746080/A-Football-Life-Bradshaw-and-Noll-s-business-like-relationship

For anyone who has experienced the aging of parents or other loved ones one part of the last segment is heartbreaking.

Wonderful book and wonderful show.
Terry wanted what Chuck did not give and apparently was unable to give...warm sentiments.
I liked Chris Noll's answer when Terry complained that he would have liked a hug or warm embrace from his coach......his son replied, "so would I."
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effyou515



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PostSubject: Re: NFL Network - Chuck Noll - A Football Life   Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:09 am

a great inside look into my favorite football coach.

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El-Gonzo Jackson

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PostSubject: Re: NFL Network - Chuck Noll - A Football Life   Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:22 am

@FrancoLambert wrote:
@Atlanta Dan wrote:
As a followup to my initial post on the new biography on Chuck Noll, I changed the title of the thread since the NFL Network, in conjunction with the publication of the book, has broadcast an episode of A Football Life on Coach Noll

The Steelers have provided a link to the broadcast on their website

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/A-Football-Life-Chuck-Noll/66cdbc15-e8ff-4012-bc60-7cfc213a7be4

The show is outstanding.  Among other highlights, I give Terry Bradshaw credit for agreeing to be interviewed and giving credit to Coach Noll's accomplishments while, for reasons I still regard to be unjustified, explaining why he never got over his resentment of how Coach Noll handled him.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/a-football-life/0ap3000000746080/A-Football-Life-Bradshaw-and-Noll-s-business-like-relationship

For anyone who has experienced the aging of parents or other loved ones one part of the last segment is heartbreaking.

Wonderful book and wonderful show.
Terry wanted what Chuck did not give and apparently was unable to give...warm sentiments.
I liked Chris Noll's answer when Terry complained that he would have liked a hug or warm embrace from his coach......his son replied, "so would I."

Yeah, kind of makes me understand how Bradshaw was kind of needy in the way of feedback and praise, while Andy Russell, Lynn Swann and others were OK with what Chuck did.

That is coaching though........some players feed off reassurance and glowing praise (like Bradshaw). Some just need a pat on the back(Andy Russell). While others don't really care, because their own opinion of self is more important than others opinion of them (Lambert, Lloyd, Deebo). The modern coach is more likely to adapt to each one.
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kirklandrules

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PostSubject: Re: NFL Network - Chuck Noll - A Football Life   Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:09 pm

@El-Gonzo Jackson wrote:
@FrancoLambert wrote:
@Atlanta Dan wrote:
As a followup to my initial post on the new biography on Chuck Noll, I changed the title of the thread since the NFL Network, in conjunction with the publication of the book, has broadcast an episode of A Football Life on Coach Noll

The Steelers have provided a link to the broadcast on their website

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/A-Football-Life-Chuck-Noll/66cdbc15-e8ff-4012-bc60-7cfc213a7be4

The show is outstanding.  Among other highlights, I give Terry Bradshaw credit for agreeing to be interviewed and giving credit to Coach Noll's accomplishments while, for reasons I still regard to be unjustified, explaining why he never got over his resentment of how Coach Noll handled him.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/a-football-life/0ap3000000746080/A-Football-Life-Bradshaw-and-Noll-s-business-like-relationship

For anyone who has experienced the aging of parents or other loved ones one part of the last segment is heartbreaking.

Wonderful book and wonderful show.
Terry wanted what Chuck did not give and apparently was unable to give...warm sentiments.
I liked Chris Noll's answer when Terry complained that he would have liked a hug or warm embrace from his coach......his son replied, "so would I."

Yeah, kind of makes me understand how Bradshaw was kind of needy in the way of feedback and praise, while Andy Russell, Lynn Swann and others were OK with what Chuck did.  

That is coaching though........some players feed off reassurance and glowing praise (like Bradshaw).  Some just need a pat on the back(Andy Russell).  While others don't really care, because their own opinion of self is more important than others opinion of them (Lambert, Lloyd, Deebo).   The modern coach is more likely to adapt to each one.

The relationship of the QB and the head coach is much tighter than the relationship of other players and the head coach. Russell, Swann and the other players had position coaches that would take these guys under their wings and either stroke their egos or breath a little fire into them. Bradshaw didn't have a QB coach. He had the OC and more importantly, Noll (much higher % of Noll's time was spent on Bradshaw than the others ... probably combined). So I wouldn't really compare the Bradshaw/Noll relationship to the "other players"/Noll relationship.

Totally agree that the modern head coach tends to put more effort into adjusting coaching styles based on the player he has vs. cramming his style down the player's throat. It shows the evolution of the sport in the decades since Noll was the coach.
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IowaSteeler927

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PostSubject: Re: NFL Network - Chuck Noll - A Football Life   Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:44 pm

Such an interesting person. He didn't let society mold him, he was Chuck Noll and he wasn't going to apologize to anyone for that. It was incredibly interesting to watch that episode of a football life and see a little bit about his private life and just the kind of man that he was. It was just amazing to me that despite all of those achievements and everything that he did he kept football out of his home life, he didn't talk much about his life's work, he put his family first. In a way I feel like I can relate to him, he was a very curious person, he seemed like he had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, an innate curiosity about things. I'm much the same way, definitely not as private, but an introvert nonetheless.

I am definitely proud to be a Steelers fan, and proud that this man was our coach and brought such a heritage to our team.

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El-Gonzo Jackson

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PostSubject: Re: NFL Network - Chuck Noll - A Football Life   Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:31 am

@kirklandrules wrote:
He had the OC and more importantly, Noll (much higher % of Noll's time was spent on Bradshaw than the others ... probably combined). So I wouldn't really compare the Bradshaw/Noll relationship to the "other players"/Noll relationship.

.
I somewhat agree with you there, but I don't think that too many other of his peers from the era ever stated that they could have used a hug from their coach. Staubach, Tarkenton, Anderson, Pastorini, Stabler, Namath, Griese, etc.

I'll bet that Tom Landry and Bud Grant were not showering their QB's with affection, but I never heard other guys sour on the topic like Bradshaw.

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Atlanta Dan



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PostSubject: Re: NFL Network - Chuck Noll - A Football Life   Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:55 am

@El-Gonzo Jackson wrote:
@kirklandrules wrote:
He had the OC and more importantly, Noll (much higher % of Noll's time was spent on Bradshaw than the others ... probably combined). So I wouldn't really compare the Bradshaw/Noll relationship to the "other players"/Noll relationship.

.
I somewhat agree with you there, but I don't think that too many other of his peers from the era ever stated that they could have used a hug from their coach.  Staubach, Tarkenton, Anderson, Pastorini, Stabler, Namath, Griese, etc.

I'll bet that Tom Landry and Bud Grant were not showering their QB's with affection, but I never heard other guys sour on the topic like Bradshaw.


And FWIW Jack Ham said in the NFL Network show that the one player on the team who did receive special treatment by Coach Noll was Bradshaw (in addition to Coach Noll asking Bradshaw if he wanted to move in to the Noll house in Upper St. Clair temporarily after one of Bradshaw's marriages broke up - what a mean guy).

Bradshaw is lucky Joe Gilliam developed a drug problem and could not develop as a QB after getting the starting job in 1974  - otherwise Terry would probably have ended up back in Louisiana having to work in a non-football related job, with no Super Bowl rings, rather than making millions on CBS and Fox.
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PostSubject: Re: NFL Network - Chuck Noll - A Football Life   Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:33 am

@Atlanta Dan wrote:
@El-Gonzo Jackson wrote:
@kirklandrules wrote:
He had the OC and more importantly, Noll (much higher % of Noll's time was spent on Bradshaw than the others ... probably combined). So I wouldn't really compare the Bradshaw/Noll relationship to the "other players"/Noll relationship.

.
I somewhat agree with you there, but I don't think that too many other of his peers from the era ever stated that they could have used a hug from their coach.  Staubach, Tarkenton, Anderson, Pastorini, Stabler, Namath, Griese, etc.

I'll bet that Tom Landry and Bud Grant were not showering their QB's with affection, but I never heard other guys sour on the topic like Bradshaw.


And FWIW Jack Ham said in the NFL Network show that the one player on the team who did receive special treatment by Coach Noll was Bradshaw (in addition to Coach Noll asking Bradshaw if he wanted to move in to the Noll house in Upper St. Clair temporarily after one of Bradshaw's marriages broke up - what a mean guy).

Bradshaw is lucky Joe Gilliam developed a drug problem and could not develop as a QB after getting the starting job in 1974  - otherwise Terry would probably have ended up back in Louisiana having to work in a non-football related job, with no Super Bowl rings, rather than making millions on CBS and Fox.

It was also interesting to find out that most of the players viewed Gilliam as the better student of the game, a player more used to spending time on film study since his dad was a coach.
Terry's off-field study consisted of game tapes that sat in the trunk of his truck.
As much as I admire Bradshaw's contributions and accomplishments, his refusal to 'bury the hatchet" after so many years really shows the kind of guy he is.  
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Atlanta Dan



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PostSubject: Re: NFL Network - Chuck Noll - A Football Life   Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:07 pm

@FrancoLambert wrote:
As much as I admire Bradshaw's contributions and accomplishments, his refusal to 'bury the hatchet" after so many years really shows the kind of guy he is.  

Sportswriters and disgruntled fans like me having issues with Bradshaw is one thing - this quote from Joe Gordon, Steelers public relations director under Coach Noll, is telling

“He’s the most insincere person I’ve ever known”

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/06/18/many-upset-over-terry-bradshaw-not-paying-respects-to-chuck-noll/
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PostSubject: Re: NFL Network - Chuck Noll - A Football Life   Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:40 pm

I finally had chance to see this in its entirety after the game Sunday. Noll was coach when I started watching Steelers in elementary school but I never knew much about him. It was awesome to hear the story about the Oilers playbook they found, and that Noll threw away. Also found It interesting when he retired he viewed that team as a Super Bowl team. The Steelers really have done an incredible job choosing head coaches the last 50 years.
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PostSubject: Re: NFL Network - Chuck Noll - A Football Life   Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:41 pm

I got the new book for Christmas. Haven't started it yet. Noll from what I've read on him just seems like he would be an interesting guy to talk to about anything with. He was so much more than just a football coach. It sucks that Terry still holds a grudge against him because from what I've read, Noll was fair to him.
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