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This week's Dirk West Cartoon



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Dirk West: Carlen had problem with being shown wearing halo

By Joe Gulick
Avalanche-Journal



Texas Tech's 1973 football season was a fine one. Tech beat Tennessee 28-19 in the Gator Bowl to finish with an 11-1 record marred only by a 28-12 loss to Texas in the Red Raiders' third game.

This Dirk West cartoon was printed on Monday, Nov. 26, 1973, two days after Tech's 24-17 victory at Arkansas that ended the regular season.

The man with the halo was Tech coach Jim Carlen. Dirk began joking about the halo shortly after Carlen arrived in 1970 with a list of team rules soon dubbed "Carlen's commandments."

At first, the halo was one Carlen made that was held up by a stick. However, when Tech played well, the halo stayed up by itself. If Tech played poorly, Dirk would draw the stick-halo crooked or drooping.

A-J Editor Emeritus Burle Pettit, formerly the executive sports editor, said Carlen once hinted to him he wished Dirk would dispense with the halo because it was hurting recruiting.

"Coaches - all of them - try to convince writers (and, in this case, cartoonists) that anything negative will be used against them by other coaches," Pettit said.

Dirk drew Oklahoma here as an Indian and referred to OU's 52-13 drubbing of Texas and 27-0 shutout of Nebraska, which was the Longhorns' upcoming Cotton Bowl opponent.

On the tomahawk, Dirk wrote, "Moss will never bet on another football game." Moss didn't appear as a character until 1974, but Dirk had a running joke in 1973 of putting his name into various places.

Elsewhere, Baylor had a tough 2-9 season with an 0-7 conference record.


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