This reminded me of a time during winter workouts when I stood at the start line of the 40 yard dash, while two assistants stood at the finish line with watches. The whole team had to be timed. It was my job to yell their names down to the assistants, as they might not be able to recognize who it was from 40 yards away. I figured I'd be okay because I knew everybody's name.
About half way through I started thinking to myself, "What if I don't know a guys name and have to ask them. It's going to be really embarrassing for them." I was sort of thinking it might be a new walk on.
Sure enough a guy stepped up and expected me to just yell out his name. Total brain fart as it was a scholarship guy and I knew his name but in that one moment.... I had to ask him his name and all the other guys around busted out laughing and ribbed him mercilessly. I felt awful about it and apologized profusely to him afterwards. He was one of the good guys too. I got everyone else, except a few regular students who took part in the winter workouts to make them legit. (It had to be open to all students and Lou could not be there.) I still cringe whenever I hear someone talk about the 40 yard dash and think of him.
I also cringe because one of our starting DBs and I used to talk a little trash to each other. One day I kiddingly challenged him to race me in the 40 and he took me up on it as a goof. I only did so because he was still not 100% after knee surgery. Otherwise he could have beaten me by speed walking. Sure enough, he pulls up lame shortly into our race and I thought, Jesus, they are going to kill me. Thankfully, it was nothing serious.
I know oldbender isn't talking about Lou in terms of not knowing his starter's names. One of our jobs on road trips was to take turns walking him around the hotel so he could say goodnight to each member of the travel squad and give them some last minute advice as part of bed check. It took quite a while, as we had to knock on about 30 or more doors and he took his time with each of them. That was worth the price of admission to behold. As we walked out of the room, Lou would go first and some of the players would quietly tell me to enjoy the night on the town for them, as they knew we, the trainers and cheerleaders were not subject to the curfew. We would hit the town as soon as the bed check was done. I recall one of the guys leading Lou had a Spinal Tap moment at the hotel outside Miami, as they tried to take him underneath the lobby full of fans to get to the other wing of the hotel where the players were. Hello Bal Harbor! Hello Bal Harbor!
Lou was nothing like Brian Kelly. Which reminds me of one more story. One of our other jobs was to help run Lou's coaching clinics. At one point, Lou went to introduce one of my fellow senior managers. Lou knew his name very well, and had used it countless times, but had his own senior moment and went blank on his name in front of the crowd. Without missing a beat, and knowing the large crowd of coaches wouldn't know the difference, he immediately pulled the name "Joe Wells" out the air so as not to embarrass him by making it look like he didn't know his name. Needless to say, we all later got a big laugh out of it and the nickname stuck.