Nothing is as ‘Murican as Hotdogs, Apple Pie and Coaching Little League Football in Singapore

SAFL football 1

Honor Guard to start SAFL Season

The hand that rocks the cradle may rule the world, but football coaches are kings, in Oklahoma or Singapore.

I was still jet-lagged in 1982, when my buddy dragged me straight from Changi Airport to the Singapore American School’s football field.

Even though an oilfield company had spent $250,000 sodding the field, the annual monsoon rains had turned it into glop.

Still, over the next three wet seasons, when temperatures and humidity were always in triple digits, that’s where we spent our Saturdays, amidst the hotdogs, spring rolls and cheerleaders.

Our SAFL (Singapore American Football League) teams won a championship in 1984, finished in the middle once, and dwelt in the cellar once.

The season we “won the ring”, we had a pro offense that ran like a Swiss timepiece, a cat-quick, stunting defense, and the finest coaching staff in all of Asia.

All of which is a big, fat lie.

We had one giant kid, who ended up going to Notre Dame, and we handed him the ball about 50 times a game.

He would stomp down field, crushing, maiming or  carrying the opposition’s entire defensive team.  It was great.

During one particular practice toward the end of our champeenship season, when my Head Coach buddy was offshore on an oil rig somewhere, I  became the default head coach.

Unlike my buddy, who believed in discipline above all else, I preferred to have a bit of fun with the 9- to 12-year-olds.

So I had the giant kid lie on the ground on one side of the football, and the rest of the team lie on the other side.

I’d blow the whistle, and then watch pandemonium break out, as the entire team tried to tackle the giant kid.

And they could not do it. They could swarm on him, like ants, but the best they could do was slow him down.

We ended practice with sprints — they could stop when they beat me, as I ran backwards.  They’d still be running if I hadn’t cut them some slack.

I thought that was a great practice.  No one got hurt, and the kids had a ball.


Click HERE if you want to see how awesome the Singapore American Football League still is.


2 Responses to “Nothing is as ‘Murican as Hotdogs, Apple Pie and Coaching Little League Football in Singapore”

  1. RageMichelle says:

    You know…I’m not the sports person at all..but I really enjoyed reading this. How fulfilling that must have been.

    • hams says:

      Coaching had its moments, that’s for sure. But this blog post is a single happy snapshot. It does not include a buttload of “stuff” that goes along with being in Singapore at that time, in that environment, as a journalist/PR person. If we ever write THAT book, it will be a wee bit different…

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