Madness! Madness!

That’s how The Bridge on the River Kwai ended.

It’s how the Kevin Kelley Era at Presbyterian College began.


Kevin Kelley

He tried to tell you. He said it would work. What’s it going to take? An 84-43 victory or something?

First game. No punts. Kickoffs that bounce along the ground. Thrills! Chills! You’ll snuggle with your loved one!

In his years on the high school yards of Arkansas, Kelley has been thought mad and ostracized before.

“I felt like a castoff,” he said. “Other coaches told me, ‘what you’re doing is bad for the game of football’.”

Nine state championships changed things.

Once again the Battlin’ Blue Hose are at home, facing a team representing the University of Fort Lauderdale that only bonded last year, on the heels of the aforementioned 41-point destruction of a band of fellow Scots.

Naturally, the Eagles of UFTL have not yet flown. Naturally, PC and UFTL have never met. Naturally, on Thursday night, the UFTL athletics website had crashed.

Everything at Presbyterian College, at least on its football fields, is as it has never been before.

In his 1st game as head coach, Kelley’s team put the most points on the board of any game in Blue Hose history. It should be mildly noted that the vanquished Scots of Saint Andrews scored 43 points themselves.


Ren Hefley

In his 1st game at quarterback, Ren Hefley set an FBS record of 10 touchdown passes. As darkness fell, people with laptops and data bases were trying to figure out if there were any old records left.

The football revolutionary, intent on spreading his analytical gospel across the land, is in other ways as traditional as Vince Dooley.

“Always,” Kelley said, “the job is to keep teaching kids what they need to win.”

A few players pine for the mysteriously deposed Tommy Spangler, Kelley’s predecessor, but the new coach got the team to stick with him.

“What I am most proud of at PC,” Kelley said, “in May, when I met the team, half of them didn’t show up.”


They’re on a rocket right now. A week ahead, Presbyterian is playing a team, Campbell, with (gasp!) scholarships. The birth of an even newer brand of college football may be taking place in quiet Presbyterian College, or Kelley’s “gimme-the-ball, gimme-the-ball” offense may go the way of Paul Westhead’s basketball equivalent at Loyola Marymount, which once won a game 181-150.

Imagine a longtime Blue Hose supporter, sitting in the seats he and his wife have occupied ever since Bailey Memorial Stadium changed places.

They get up after PC wins 84-43.

“Frank, what'd you think?”

“Well, Mabel, I’d have to say it was quite interesting.”