It’s a story that began more than 40 years ago at a small Jesuit liberal arts college in New England. The tapestry includes the United States Supreme Court, a Pulitzer Prize and the unbeaten 1972 Miami Dolphins.
In Fraternity, Diane Brady, a journalist for BusinessWeek, writes about five African American men who arrived at the College of the Holy Cross during the racially tense time of the late 60s and early 70s, and went on to great success in life. Brady describes the bonds between these men and their peers, and their connection with the Rev. John E. Brooks, later the President of Holy Cross, who convinced them to study at the college atop Mount St. James in Worcester, Mass.
The Fraternity five adorn the cover of the book. One of them, Eddie Jenkins, was a member of that perfect Dolphin team. The others are Jenkins’ HC roommate and star litigator Ted Wells ’72; Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas ’71; Pulitzer-Prize winning author of the novel The Known World; Ed Jones ’72; and former New York City deputy mayor and investment banker Stan Grayson ’72, who also played three years for the HC basketball team.
Jenkins, a running back, attended high school at St. Francis Prep in Brooklyn. He played in just three freshman games at HC before breaking a rib. All but two games of his sophomore season were wiped out because of the hepatitis outbreak which quarantined the entire team and forced cancellation of the remainder of the 1969 schedule.
The Crusaders were 0-10-1 in 1970, a UConn tie the only saving grace. But in a game at Boston University that year, Jenkins was on the receiving end of the longest pass play in HC history, a 99-yard touchdown completion from Colin Clapton. In that same game, Joe Wilson, who later played for the Bengals and the Patriots, set a school record with a 94-yard touchdown run.
Eddie Jenkins played in just 20 games at Holy Cross, and his teams won seven. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 11th round (285th overall) of the 1972 NFL draft. Jenkins sat below names like Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris and Jim Kiick on the Dolphin depth chart, and saw action as a special teams player.
Super Bowl Champions
He was on the field in the Los Angeles Coliseum, wearing #28, Dolphin aqua and orange, when Miami won the Super Bowl against the Washington Redskins and finished 17-0.
“We didn’t know it was going to be a perfect season,” Jenkins told the Worcester Telegram years later. “It just kept building. Honest, it was game by game. No one ever thought about this perfect season.”
After sitting out the 1973 season, Jenkins played for the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and New York Giants in 1974. Following his NFL career, Jenkins studied law at Suffolk. He formerly worked in private practice, as a prosecutor, a labor lawyer,and later in several Commonwealth of Massachusetts executive positions. He is currently MassDOT’s chief diversity and civil rights officer.
Jenkins has two children. His son Julian, a former defensive end at Stanford, played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006.
SportsLifer Note: 1969-70 was my freshman year at the Cross. In December, 65 black students took a stand, threw down their student IDs and quit Holy Cross to protest a racially-tinged college ruling. Throughout the school year there were anti-Vietnam protest marches, the tragedy of Kent State and second semester closings at universities across the county, and a concert by The Who in the Holy Cross fieldhouse, just weeks after Woodstock. The HC football team was 0-2, losing to Harvard and Dartmouth before hepatitis hit.
Data is everywhere today. But it’s turning that data into useful, real-time information that makes all the difference.
To that point, IBM is working with the Miami Dolphins to enhance the overall fan experience for sports, music and media at Sun Life Stadium
By using analytics technology from IBM, the Dolphins are transforming Sun Life into a state-of-the-art entertainment destination.
The Dolphins will have a complete interconnected view of stadium activity — from weather alerts, to security to traffic flow into and around the stadium — allowing them to predict and act according to real-time events.
Those same analytics will allow the Dolphins to analyze visitor spending habits on concessions, merchandise and dining services to see through the eyes of the fan. They’ll be able to predict consumer preferences for both current and future events, helping to reduce inefficiencies and ultimately costs.
Sun Life is using IBM’s Intelligent Operations Center for Smarter Cities, supported on the IBM SmartCloud, to address the logistical and management challenges facing the stadium staff.
“Stadiums such as Sun Life have become microcosms of cities with similar requirements for services such as water, energy, transportation, communication and public safety,” said Gerry Mooney, GM, IBM Smarter Cities. “IBM is working around the world to make stadiums smarter by infusing intelligent automation that senses and acts to improve conditions including rerouting traffic, predicting overflows, ensuring public safety and preventing outages.”
The Dolphins and Sun Life will also be able to use social media like Facebook and Twitter to engage with fans both locally in South Florida and around the world.
Now if only the Dolphins could use analytics technology to find their way back to the football prowess they experienced when they won their last Super Bowl nearly 40 years ago.
October 9, 2010 — John Lennon would have been 70 years old today. Imagine
December 8, 1980 — John Lennon was murdered outside the Dakota in New York.
Lennon’s death was one of those seminal events where you remember exactly how you first heard the tragic news.
That night, I was at the old Orange Bowl in Miami to see the Miami Dolphins face the New England Patriots in Monday night football.
Late in the fourth quarter, famed broadcaster Howard Cosell informed the nationwide audience on ABC-TV that Lennon had been shot.
No public announcement was made at the Orange Bowl. There were no cell phones, no text messages, no wireless Internet to deliver the story.
The game went into overtime, and the Dolphins win 16-13 on a 23-yard field goal by Uwe von Schamann.
It was a beautiful December South Florida night.
After the game, I took a bus back to my car, drove home with the radio off. Still hadn’t heard about Lennon.
The next day, as I was driving in to work the sports desk at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, I turned on the radio. Every station was playing Beatles music and John Lennon songs.
Finally, one of the DJs reported that Lennon had been shot and killed the night before.
At work of course Lennon’s death was the only topic of conversation. I still remember the rock & roll writer at the paper writing his piece on Lennon.
And the story that referred to John as “The Thinking Man’s Beatle.”
John Lennon was just 40 years old when he was killed. Although he is gone, he is still with us in his music.
Happy Birthday, John.