Monday, March 26, 2007

Number 64

No one can describe a man’s life in a few short words. From afar we view snapshots through little windows. What I know of Kirk Osborn comes mainly through this case. I will always remember Kirk Osborn as a man who stood by Reade’s side as he walked through the gauntlet of physical threats outside Durham’s Courthouse. Never flinching, he stood up in Court and defended his client against what became apparent was a Justice System out to convict an innocent man. The overwhelming power of the State didn’t frighten him. He was a tireless & intelligent attorney whose motions posted openly on the internet served the important purpose of sharing with us what he knew about this case. It was a courageous act few attorneys would do, but very important in exposing this Hoax.

In my research, I looked back to his younger life at the University of Colorado where he played football. I found the signs of this courage and dedication as a young man who stood by Reade that day and throughout this last year.

He saw considerable playing time as a fullback in his sophomore year, a position where he was selected as All-State in High School. With the hiring of a new coach, he was quickly viewed as a potential team leader. The offensive line desperately needed help and he was moved into center & guard during spring practice of 1963. In the fall, a shortage of offensive tackles caused another move to left tackle. Weighing a meager 208 lbs., he played against the National Champion USC and had these remarks:
“I really had no idea of what happened,” recalls Kirk, a freckle-faced mathematics major who is the son of a math professor at Colorado School of Mines, “And I’m still not sure what happened. I was in sort of a daze. But I didn’t get killed. Got knocked down a few times, though.”

“All our drills stress quickness” explains Kirk, “Our coaches keep preaching that a fast small man can beat a slow big man. After a while, you begin to see their point. It takes a while, though, to get confidence in yourself against a bigger man. I had been a back all through high school and my first two years in college and I never thought there’d be a greater feeling then running for good yardage. But I found out quickly that you get just as great a feeling, maybe even greater, at moving a man out to open a hole.”

(From an 1964 article by Fred Casotti University of Colorado - Sports Information Director)
He became a three year letterman, playing Division I college football while receiving his undergraduate and his master's degrees before attending law school.

So from one old college lineman to another, I salute you, Kirk Osborn. You were quite the Man!


Anonymous said...

You did a fine job here Baldo.

It's a positive tribute to a good man.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute, Baldo.
I, too, am a former college lineman, and I feel certain that Mr. Osborn would have been thrilled by your unique approach to this eulogy.

Anonymous said...

This is so touching. It has me near tears. God bless Number 64.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this moving tribute to Kirk Osborn. It is, in part, a testament to the importance of sports in educating a man.