The first time I heard his name, it was in 1972 and they were chanting, “Chula, Chula, Chula!” Thats how our Cuban American neighbors pronounced his name and since we had just moved here, and I was a little kid ... that’s what I thought his name was! I figured it out eventually.
He went on to becoming the winningest Coach in NFL history and a sweet sweet man as he got older, but talk to any of the guys that played for him and he was a scary dude.
I’ll never forget the first time I went to training camp, apparently Coach knew all the “media boys” and there I was, tank top and all and Coach shot me a look, his iron jaw clenched and I believe I emitted a little bit of urine.
Years later, I was part of Sports Jam Live on Ch 10 and got to know him a bit through that and of course a bunch of interviews on my radio show.
Funny, I still don’t know if he ever knew who I was, but I sure knew him!
It was a fun day when he came In for a visit and Comedian Carlos Mencia, Billy Corben and Former Shula protege Kim Bokamper all joined in the fun.
Then there was the time at Shula’s Steak house where I attempted to eat a 32 ounce porterhouse for charity. I failed miserably. He was there, all I wanted was my name on the wall!
Another time, we were “over served” at a Dolphin game and while waiting for our Uber we ran into Coach, another embarrassing moment.
I knew this day would come as I also knew my Dad would one day pass away, and it doesn’t make it any easier.