Spike Dykes... a true Texas legend

Spike Dykes, whose heart gave out Monday at 79, may have been more beloved by his peers than any winning coach in the annals of Texas football.

I loved Spike Dykes. We were not close, but anybody who knew Spike loved Spike.

I used to do a comedy bit called Coach Tom Foolery, and Spike provided the material. The guy who said there's a big difference between involvement and commitment. He said "It's like ham and eggs for breakfast. The chicken is involved. The hog is committed."

Every year, he spoke at the San Antonio QB Club. He told the same story. The old coaches begged for it no matter how many times he told it. It still killed. A little politically incorrect, but it was 1945.

As the story goes, young Spike grew up in Far West Texas just after the Dust Bowl in the early 40s. The son of a poor farmer, his momma needed a new dress. His pop said they'd go shopping when the crop came in. The crop didn't, but dad still took the family to the big city. The sprawling metropolis of Clovis, New Mexico.

While momma window shopped, dad took 6-year-old Spike to the tallest building in the town: The Hotel Clovis.

Young Spike couldn't believe the red velvet sofa, the fancy paintings in the lobby and the shiny metal door with a dial on the top. Just then, a heavy set older woman walked by. Spike said that put the "U" in ugly. She had horned rim glasses, a bun in her hair and teeth so messed up she could eat corn on the cob through a chainlink fence. She walked through those shiny metal doors.

And the dial slowly went from 1,2,3,4 and so on to the highest number. It stayed for a while and then came back down 5,4,3,2,1.

When it got back to one, those shiny doors opened and out walked a cross between Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield and Rita Hayworth all rolled into one. The most gorgeous young lady Spike had ever seen.

He turned to his dad and said "Dad, what is that? A time machine?"

His dad said, "I don't know Spike, but go get yer momma. We gunna run her through that thing before we go home."

It never failed to bring down the house. Spike Dykes. A true one-of-a-kind, and the sweetest guy you'd ever meet...gone at 79.

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