The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

November 11, 2009

HERTZEL COLUMN: Many veterans were athletes

MORGANTOWN — It was, they all thought, a day like any other, a day to be thankful because, while they were in the military, they were stationed back home in Fort Hood and not fighting the sand and al-Qaida in Iraq or trudging through the barren mountains of Afghanistan chasing down Taliban.

Terrorism was lost in the back of their minds. They were mostly young and mostly innocent, kids serving their country as they checked into adulthood, their futures not yet mapped out for them, meaning they were clutching to the dreams of youth.

That was when a madman came into their lives, guns blazing, bullets ricocheting off walls, tearing through flesh and bone, stealing their futures and ending their dreams in a meaningless act of insanity.

They died or were wounded not on the battlefield, but in the shadow of freedom.

Oh, how our world has changed since the last great war in which we participated. True, it always was our youth who we marched off to war, kids just out of high school, college kids with girlfriends, not wives, kids who were supposed to be learning history, not making it.

Athletes were always among the heroes, both present college athletes and those who had played out their college days and began down life’s path.

Dr. John Doyle was among the latter group.

He’d had an athletic career at West Virginia University that was almost unmatched, starring in football, baseball, basketball and track from 1929 to 1932. It was enough to enshrine him in the WVU Athletic Hall of Fame.

He left the school to attend the Medical College of Virginia and earned his M.D. at the Chicago Medical School in 1940.

Dec. 7, 1941, of course, was the day that has lived in infamy, drawing America into World War II and Dr. John Doyle with it.

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Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: NCAA football is thriving in the digital age

    The other day Baylor football coach Art Briles walked into his graduate assistants’ office and had to laugh at what he saw.
    “There’s five guys sitting in there — a couple of GA’s and some office personnel — and they all are within a foot and a half of each other and not a one of them is talking to each other,” Briles said, describing the scene “Every one of them is on the phone.”

    April 24, 2014

  • O’Brien leads WVU baseball past Marshall

    Catcher Cam O’Brien made a bid at becoming only the second West Virginia University player to hit for the cycle as the Mountaineers jumped on Marshall early and routed their in-state rival, 10-3, behind strong pitching from Corey Walter and a pair of relievers.

    April 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- WVU faithful again have a reason to root against Vick

    It would be one final indignation, that’s what it would be if Michael Vick were to beat out Geno Smith and win the starting quarterback job with the New York Jets.

    April 23, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Luck open to WVU fans’ suggestions

    West Virginia’s fans have spoken, perhaps not verbally but nonetheless have had their voices heard, over the past few years as attendance has fallen at the Mountaineers’ football and basketball games.

    April 22, 2014

  • Mountaineers ready for slate of rivalry games

    Looking to put together a late-season run to get into the NCAA championships, West Virginia faces a pair of midweek rivalry games in a crucial five-game week coming off winning two of three games at Oklahoma.

    April 22, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Summer, Alabama will be used to get WVU’s mind right

    The ink had barely dried on the final reports out of West Virginia’s spring practice when thoughts turned forward toward the lazy, hazy days of late summer, days that will bring us into football season with a game that can either change the entire image of WVU football or sour it even further.

    April 21, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Watson tees off a new century at The Greenbrier

    You knew this was going to be one of those unpredictable, memorable days when you drove into the Greenbrier Resort and headed to the Old White Golf Course and found the best parking place in the joint.
    As Bob Uecker would say, right there in the front rooooow.

    April 20, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

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