|Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
Anxiously Awaiting this Year's Liebo
William and Mary, you know that school in Williamsburg, Virginia where many of our early presidents went to college, gives out a Liebo every year. I knew you would ask so I’m going to tell you. The Leibo is awarded annually to William & Mary funniest male soccer player.
I like it, I love it. You don’t have to be the best player, or the best substitute, or score the most goals, just be funny. It’s named after William and Mary’s most famous athlete – Jonathan Liebowitz.
Okay, you’re saying little school, second oldest college in the country, named after King William and Queen Mary, established in 1693, where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler attended and their most famous athlete is Jonathan Leibowitz? And then you’re saying “What about Mike Tomlin, current coach of the Pittsburg Steelers who averaged 26 yards per catch when he was a wide receiver playing for the Tribe?” Really you’re not saying that, because you are like most people and didn’t even know William and Mary had a football team, much less that Lou Holtz or Marv Levy coached there or that their team was called the Tribe.
Their most famous athlete was Jon Stuart Leibowitz or as he likes to call himself now when he hosts the Oscars or anchors the fake news desk on the Daily Show: Jon Stewart. In the book “The Games Do Count” by Brian
Kilmeade, Jon Stewart is quoted as saying “I began my sports career as a way out of the suburbs.” Stewart was talking about escaping from Lawrence, New Jersey, and goes on to describe his early ineptitude by recounting “After each game other kids would say to me ‘Way to try!’ ” Stewart goes on to say he strived to become better by practicing soccer skills with a high school buddy at the park until 11:00 each night.
Jon played four years at W & M for legendary coach Al Albert. Albert, whose first name is Albert, coached 33 years and was a ten time conference Coach of the Year. W & M competed in two conferences – The Colonial and the Eastern. Jon’s finest moment was scoring the only goal over UConn in 1983 when W & M won 1-0 for the ECAC championship. Jon also played on the U.S. Maccabiah team in the 1983 U.S.-Pan-Am games in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Back to the Liebo, if you’re a Tribe soccer player, how do you get it? By being a positive influence. And, you can be one of the better players. Kris Rake, from Flower Mound, Texas, won it in 2002 and2004. Andrew Hoxie won it in 2005. Both guys are starters. Plus you don’t have to be a little guy either, like Liebowitz, because Rake is 6’3, 200. You just need some “witz” to get a Liebo.
Here’s the expectation, if you are on a men’s team at a school with the name “Mary” in it, expect to get heckled. You can’t shout back “Yea, well, George Washington went to our school” because they’ll come back with “and he wore a wig?” You have to get your teammates prepared for trash talking prevalent on the soccer field. If you’re playing James Madison, and they come up with a weak play you can say “I thought you played for James, not Dolly” or “Our alumnus, Thomas Jefferson, used to eat James Madison’s lunch.” You know, Colonial League taunting.
Jon Stewart came back in 2004, twenty years after he graduated, to W & M to give the commencement address. He was shocked they couldn’t find someone better. His quote as he was being given an honorary doctorate was “When I think back to the people who have been in this position before me from Ben Franklin to Queen Noor, I can’t help but wonder, what has happened to this place? Seriously, it saddens me. As a person, I am honored to get it; as an alumnus, I have to say I believe we can do better.” The speech, alone, is worthy of a Liebo.
|Silliman On Sports
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