Received a call from Jack Cochran today. He wanted to know how I thought the postseason polls would work out -- Xavier or Masuk. Boy, that's a tough one.
Both teams were 13-0 after winning their respective classes (Xavier -- LL; Masuk -- L). Xavier had a close call against Hillhouse, which was good enough to win Class M, and didn't blow teams out like Masuk did.
But Xavier plays in the SCC, which was more than likely the toughest league in the state (FCIAC is pretty darned good, too). Masuk plays in the South-West Conference, which may well be third best, with apologies to all my friends in the CCC.
I was impressed that Jack cares enough about what we sports writers think. It's up to us because Xavier and Masuk will not be able to settle the score on the field. Jack's son Casey, whom I got to know years ago when his dad was coaching at New Britain, is Masuk's record-breaking quarterback. He will wind up as one of the very best in state history.
Now everybody in Connecticut knows about the controversy that has trailed Jack through his stormy but ultra-successful coaching tenure at Bloomfield, New Britain and New London. And I know that most people deem me as a "Cochran lover." Truth is, everybody has a good and evil sides but most folks tend to overlook Jack's good side beyond his ridiculously unbelievable record.
Turns out Jack is as good a dad as he was a football coach, maybe better. I haven't seen Casey in years but the recent piece in the Hartford Courant indicated that they have a very special relationship.
At this point, I don't know how the polls will turn out. I do hope for the Cochrans' sake that it turns out in their favor, and I hope even more that Jack gets another chance to coach somewhere. Covering nearly every one of Jack's games at New Britain was about as much fun as anything I've ever covered, and challenging, too. I'm really glad he called Sunday because as far as I'm concerned, he's a special guy. I wish him and Casey all the best.