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Dak biggest football name since Doak?

Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury

   Only fans longest of tooth, grayest of hair or baldness of pate could possibly remember a time when there was anyone to compare with the “Dak-to-Dak-to-Dak” wins posted by the Dallas Cowboys. A Texan named Doak Walker stirred similar acclaim in Dallas, beginning with high school exploits at Highland Park High School in the early 1940s, then at Southern Methodist University prior to his half-dozen years of pro stardom with the Detroit Lions. Back then, of course, it was “Doak/Doak/Doak.”

Rarely does one hear terms like “legendary, heroic and super-human” describing a National Football League rookie, but these words–and more–are currently slathered on Dallas Cowboy quarterback Dak Prescott.

Yep, post-World War II fans heard the name “Doak” (christened Ewell Doak Jr.) associated with greatness until his retirement in 1956. Currently, we hear ongoing chants for “Dak” (short for Dakota). They may have been cut from the same cloth.

Appears to me that Dak can’t be named an “honorary Texan” soon enough. Some fans already are claiming his lineage to Sam Houston, Davy Crockett and maybe even John the Baptist.

Record books bulge with marks set by both Dak and Doak. Walker, however, won the Heisman Trophy, was cited three times as an SMU All-American and four seasons was named All-Pro. An “untouchable” record, though, involves cover pictures on national magazines. Walker was chosen 47 times.

We simply don’t have nearly that many national mags anymore.

Sports Illustrated included many mighty nice pieces about Walker. One stated: …“He was as golden as golden gets. He had perfectly even white teeth, a jaw as square as a deck of cards and a mop of brown hair that made girls bite their necklaces. He was so shifty you couldn’t tackle him in a phone booth, yet so humble that he wrote the Associated Press a ‘thank you’ note for naming him an All-American.”

Kyle Rote, another SMU and NFL “golden boy,” is said to have warned a fan NOT to buy a certain magazine at a newsstand. “Don’t buy that one; it doesn’t have Doak Walker on the cover.”

Walker is remembered as being the “humblest of the humble.” Prescott seems to have chosen the same trail; let’s hope he stays on it. If he does–and if he stays well–we’ll continue to hear “Dak/Dak/Dak” as regularly as they heard “Doak/Doak/Doak” 60 years ago. (Walker died at age 71 in 1998. Blamed was a serious ski accident suffered several years earlier.)

For 60 years or so, the name of Randall Garrett was to the used car business what names like Prescott and Walker mean to football.

We met the Amarillo retiree recently on Carnival Cruise Line’s Freedom out of Galveston.

Asked about the most unusual auto sale, he had a quick answer, despite a long history–one including countless thousands of back-and-forth offers, counteroffers and tire-kicking.

“One stands out,” he said, “The buyer thought he got a good deal, and I knew I did.”

Garrett said his late wife dragged him to an estate sale. He went with reluctance, but became amenable upon spotting the largest of Cadillacs. It was an old vehicle, but it had extremely low mileage. Another plus: It was immaculate, and it had every feature Cadillac offered, including backseat foot rests. “I made some ridiculous offer–one I figured the auctioneer could easily refuse–and was greatly surprised to be the high bidder.”

A few days later, a bicyclist in overalls pedaled to his lot, heading straight for the Cadillac. He asked, “What’ll it take to buy this car? Garrett started high, saying $1,700. The cyclist immediately peeled 17 hundred dollar bills from his wallet, put his bicycle in the trunk and drove away. “A minister of the gospel will look mighty good in a car like this,” he said as they shook hands on the deal.

Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Inquiries/comments to: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: www.speakerdoc.com.