Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ode to Powder Tracks Man and QB Brian Sipe

The enormously entertaining and erudite Commissioner of the Blogosphere, Hugh Hewitt, is one very lucky DOG as he gets to interview Cleveland Browns All Pro, Pro Bowl, Football Hall of Fame 4,000 Yard QB and 1980 NFL MVP Brian Sipe.

The Name of my blog "Powder Tracks" is a reflection of my passion for skiing. Well Brian Sipe is a bigger ski fanatic than moi. It was Brian Sipe who turned me into a big Browns Fan when he was the leader of the Kardiac Kids during my Mansfield Ohio Days. I have a nice Sipe story that took place 10 yrs ago while returning to Orange County from a Utah Ski trip with my beautiful wife, Angie. I recognized the QB in the airport cuz his Orange Browns' duffel bag caught my eye while he was checking in at the airport in SLC/Salt Lake city(I wonder if he still has it?). Well to my surprise & delight he sat in the aisle seat of our row next to Angie and moi. He was very friendly and we talked a little about his Kardiac Kids' days but mostly spoke about skiing. Apparently he loves Utah and has been coming here for years. We talked about our favorite ski resorts and he mentioned Big Sky Montana. He and his family turned out to be fans of local singers/songwriters Walkin' Jim(author) and Montana Biff at Lone Mountain Ranch. Biff, a childhood friend and the son of one my family's best friends, the Schlossmans (David is Biff's brother and talented musician), was also a classmate of mine at Kenyon College.

Mr. Sipe is a very serious skier (helicopter skiing and member of the 1 million feet vertical milestone club. That's quite an odometer, approx 189 vertical drop miles of skiing or the equivlent of 333 Torino Winter Olympic Men's Downhill Runs!)

Canadian Mountain Holidays Heli-Skiing NEWS

  • (page 3 of 12 in pdf format)
    Number 48 May 2005
    Million Foot Awards
    A total of 291 skiers passed million foot
    milestones this season. Congratulations to
    each of you! Thanks to all of you for your
    loyalty and support of CMH Heli-Skiing
    over the last 40 years.
    1 Million Vertical Feet

    Sipe, Brian

This QB is the Herminator of Powder Tracks Sking! Here's a Sipe Torino Olympic Analogy which may help put his passion into perspective:

Kandahar Banchetta Olympic Downhill Course (G. Nasi) in Torino, Italy

  1. The men's downhill, downhill combined and super G are contested on the “Kandahar Banchetta (G. Nasi)” slope.
  2. The first part of each course alternates brief flat stretches with very technical bends. The course then enters into a wooded area, where it becomes steeper and faster with a mixture of alternating turns and “schuss” that continues until the finish area.
  3. Field of play= Men's Downhill Course
  4. start /finish /vertical drop /course length
  5. 2,800 m/ 1,886 m/ 914 m (1 meter=3.28 ft. x 914=2998ft /3,299 meters =horizontal distance
  6. Vertical Drop refers to Altitude Drop, as in the distance cover by free falling so 1 Million Vertical feet has to be multipled by a factor of ~3.5 to get the horizontal distance.
  7. Thus 1 Million feet with the conversion factor ~ 3.5 million feet or ~ 662 miles!
  8. This only accounts for the Heli-Skiing and does not include Snow-Cat or Chair-Lift skiing...1,000,000 vertical ft of heli-skiing is the equivanlent of skiing the Olympic Men's downhill approx

I told this great QB that I didn't know that he skied and he said that this was by design because Coach Sam Rutigliano and Brown's owner Art Modell would have kept him from skiing if the press reports had made them aware of it.

This great Quarterback, athlete and skier is a great man as well as evidenced by his involvement in good causes!:
An event, which raised about $30,000 for the Big Sky branch of Big Brothers-Big Sisters, drew such participants as former Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Sipe, actor Cooper Taylor, who has appeared in "The Patriot," "The Postman" and "The Last Castle," and Doug Sutherland, who played for the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings.

Here's a funny another story I found from Brown's running back
Greg Pruitt when Sipe was QB and occurred during a Pittsburgh Steelers Game:
"FUNNY? WELL, IT'S (S)NOT: On the eve of yesterday's renewal of one of sport's nastiest rivalries between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, former Browns' running back Greg Pruitt reminisced in the Cleveland Plain Dealer about the day in 1978 when he became the only opposing player of the season to run for 100 yards against the original Steel Curtain defense.

"I was fighting a cold the entire game," Pruitt said Quarterbackback Brian Sipe walked up to the line for the first play, called the play then Pittsburgh shifted th defense. So Brian audibled again. By this time I had snot running from my nose almost all the way to the ground but I couldn't do anything about it because I wasn't allowed to move."
When Sipe audibled a third time, he called a running play for Pruitt.
"I went right up the heart of their defense and snot was flying everywhere," Pruitt said. "Those guys were so mad they were calling me every four-letter word in the book, saying 'Man, why don't you try blowing your nose?'
"Every time after that, they would only arm tackle me because they wanted no part of me. I think that was why I was able to get 100 yards that day."

Here's another interesting story about this 1980
NFL MVP and his legendary college Coach Don Coryell, and the and the impact he had on Sipe's NFL career.
(go to page 10 of 17 on the pdf format for story)

"Sipe, who played for the Cleveland Browns from 1974 through 1983 and earned the NFL’smost valuable player award, believes his SDSU career had “everything to do” with hisNFL’s success as a pro. A very low draft pick in the 13th round, Sipe says his SDSU experience in the Coryell offense put him miles ahead of the competition.“I ran a more sophisticated offense at San Diego State than what the ClevelandBrowns had,” said Sipe, now a high school football coach who took Santa FeChristian to a San Diego County title last fall. “Other quarterbacks were strongerthan me. [But] they were not as comfortable as I was in a passing offense.“What we did at San Diego State is common now,” Sipe went on. “Back then, itwas revolutionary. The fans really appreciated it. We even outdrew the Chargers[in attendance] some years.”

Can't wait to hear the interview from one my all time favorite football players and SKIERS!
Cheers and here's my toast to Mr. Brian Sipe


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