Joe Krivak is amazingly upbeat this week despite the criticism heaped on him daily -- plus widespread speculation that he will step aside as Maryland's football coach.
As Krivak's 2-7 team prepares for the seemingly impossible task of beating 25 1/2 -point favorite Clemson at Death Valley Saturday, Joe hangs tough.
"We lost three starting offensive linemen," he says, "and then we lost our best running back [Mark Mason]. Then last week we lost three more starters because of academics. But the people around here who know what's going on understand that."
Put a simpler way, Krivak explains Maryland's plight thusly: "We don't have the same football team we had Sept. 7."
So the Terps coach, who has another three years on his contract, talks of what "an exciting place" Clemson is to play and how he has to "keep talking and working" with his players.
The business about his quitting, Krivak said at his weekly media luncheon, "is stuff you guys keep popping in there."
As he headed for the exit, he stopped and turned around for a parting shot.
"And I'm not distraught," he said.
* Look for Boogie Weinglass to get the biggest hand when he is honored at the Sports Boosters banquet tonight at Martin's West. Half the club's members grew up with Boogie.
Ever since fashion multi-millionaire Weinglass announced he'd like to buy the Orioles or a pro football team in his old hometown, dozens of people have told me what a great guy he is, though sometimes in surprising language.
When Boogie was a student at Pimlico Junior High, the vice principal was Leon Horowitz, now a retired teacher and coach.
Recalls Horowitz: "Boogie was in my office almost every day for one thing or another, and yet you had to like that kid. There was something about him that was tremendously appealing."
Annalee Baumohl sat in back of Boogie in those days and says: "He was probably in the office every day. Boogie was always in trouble. Still, everybody liked him. He was never mean or sneaky."
* A caller to Allan Prell's talk show yesterday said this about sports stars: "I don't understand how, with a politician, we look into his background to see if he's had sex or anything, but if a star athlete does the same things he's a hero."
* The annual Johns Hopkins-Western Maryland football game to be played in Westminster Saturday (1:30 p.m.) has been awaited for a year by some because last year's matchup of these arch-rivals was so entertaining.
Hopkins won, 31-21, and the duel between the two star running backs, Hopkins' Paul Ferrari and the Green Terrors' Eric Frees, was a classic. Frees ran for 277 yards and two touchdowns, Ferrari for 252 yards and four TDs. Both will play tomorrow.
"Western Maryland will really be up for us," says Hopkins coach Jim Margraff, who was the Blue Jays' quarterback a decade ago. "This'll be Eric Frees' last game. Western Maryland [4-5] has lost four straight but they've only lost them by a total of 12 points.
"For us this game is always special. We're 5-3-1 and we need this to finish with a better record than last year [5-4-1]."
* There's no doubt who John Bridgers will be rooting for in the game of the year Saturday between No. 1-ranked Florida State and No. 2 Miami. Bridgers, who coached at Hopkins, Baylor and Colts linemen under Weeb Ewbank, is in FSU's Hall of Fame. He admits he probably got there because he was the athletic director who hired coach Bobby Bowden.
Bridgers was in Baltimore last weekend for a reunion with his Hopkins football players of '54-'57, one of whom, Ben Civiletti, became U.S. Attorney General under Jimmy Carter.
* After Loyola College basketball coach Tom Schneider introduced his players at the school's Hound Hoop History banquet Tuesday night at the Towson Sheraton, Paul Dodd, a high scorer in the '50s, said to me: "I think we have a shot at winning 20 games this year." They won 12 last year.
Said Jim Lacy, still Loyola's all-time scoring leader (though his record figures to broken this year by Kevin Green): "Baltimore has been sitting back, waiting for somebody like Loyola College to take this town over. People here don't have anything to do in the wintertime."