The big toe is just plain funny when you think about it. Whoever came up with the name toe when they were describing a metatarsal? But, now-a-days there is such a thing as “turf toe” when talking about an injured toe on a college or professional athlete. Running backs and middle infielders often get turf toe. It’s actually a sprained toe, caused by a running back when he makes a quick cut, or a shortstop/second baseman when he tries to pivot on said toe when making a double pay toss.
I started out as a running back way back when, but I guess I didn’t have the proper cuts, because I quickly faded into oblivion. I was, however, a great running back in my back yard and could make all kinds of cuts. During high school football in 1963 at Heavener, Joe Babcock was our kickoff specialist. One game Joe approached the ball to kick off but stumbled and almost missed the ball, instead dribbling it harmlessly to one side. Thus, his nickname became “Joe the toe.” Earlier, during the 1961 state-playoffs, I think, Colin Kelley kicked what is believed to be the first extra point attempt (PAT) ever tried at Heavener (help me out here, Colin). Colin was a conventional-style kicker, in other words, he kicked it from straight-on. The kick was good, too. It came against Hugo Washington in a 58-22 romp. If Colin wasn’t the first, he had maybe the best percentage ever, 1-1, or 100%. So many players now days, kick soccer-style, on the side of the foot. So, toes are good for something.
Note: Heavener had scored to make it 58-22 to go in front comfortably and some of the Wolves players talked coach Collins into trying a “giffle.” That was the term Carl Lazalier used in his weekly Ledger write-ups. Collins conceded and Kelly proved to be accurate.