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
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 and 2004. 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
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.