Wondering where the great ones are today …

Click image for larger view

Joe Cowan – Johns Hopkins University, 1967-1969

Joe Cowan

Joe Cowan of Johns Hopkins University in lax hall of fame

Joe a few years later

Joe Cowan, A&S ’69, a leader of both the lacrosse and football teams between 1966 and 1969, is drafted by the Baltimore Colts. He instead opts for a career in the trucking industry.

But what was Joe’s number?  I’m thinking it might have been 10.  But that was a while ago I was making pilgrimages to Homewood Field at Hopkins to watch Joe, Charlie Coker, and Charlie Goodell work their magic.

Didn’t find a photo with jersey number, but found this … – Great!  About a mile from Lansdowne where I lived and went to school in grades 1-3.

In 1994 the company expanded its focus to include the services of a specialized truckload carrier. By 2008 the company’s fleet had grown to 1400 power units and 2600 trailers.  “depends on the opptions you order but you can expect to spend at least $100,000 for a tractor with good specs and anywhere from about $35,000 on up for a trailer.”  1400 x 100k = 140,000,000 and 2600 x 30,000 = 78,000,000.  couple hundred mil in rolling assets?  let’s say 1/3 that for buying quantity discount, that’s still $75 mill or so in assets before the buildings and other great.  whew.  big operation.  hm … making a wrong assumption here, that the company owns all the trucks and trailers … their website says they provide replacements to private fleets … lets a client company have a private fleet, sort of … client company doesn’t have to order truck by truck, day by day … and doesn’t have to manage the trucking ops themselves … cowan systems lets client company have best of both worlds … dedicated fleet with somebody else running the day to day ops … so cowan doesn’t have to own all the trucks and trailers … they can work out a deal with the client for level payments and lease all the rolling stock … very cool … it lets a company who manufactures widgets, or product G or H, focus on their widget or product G or H, and let somebody smart about trucks deal with the trucks.

what to put into that lease calculator to begin to estimate size of company in annual revenues … has to be at least as big as the lease payments for the fleet … that’s … i don’t know, say, $200,000,000 capital cost of trucks and trailers to be leased … say 10 years … that’s 120 months … guessing 30% residual value after 10 years … that’s $60 mil residual value … payments maybe $3 mil per month … gives about 15% interest rate in the lease … prime rates a bit over 3%, so that might be too high … payments $2 mil/month is around 7% … we’ll use $2 million per month, $24 million per year … so revenues have to be at least that … then the company also has employees and needs to make a profit … so wild guess, actual revenues maybe $30 million per year, maybe more …  way2go, joe … 1600 employees says “linked in” – that’s probably the 1400 drivers of the 1400 trucks plus another 200 scheduling, dispatch, warehouse, etc. … 1600 x average $50,000 with salary and benefits, $80,000,000 … maybe $80-100 million in revenues per year …

Didn’t find a photo from the 1969 era.  Still thinking that jersey number might have been 10.  Ok, here we go.  Not 10.  Number 25!  Knew it was divisible by 5 … sure …

Joe Cowan #25. Click image for larger view

Notice that, in 1967-1969, lacrosse sticks were still made of wood.  Plastic was just coming in 1970.  Notice also Joe’s playing left-handed.  Relatively few lacrosse players played both hands in those days.  Joe played both.  So did I.  In life, I was right-handed and I think Joe probably was too.  Finally, notice Joe’s holding the lacrosse stick one-handed with his left hand up near the top of the handle, near the net part of the stick.  That way of moving with the ball — when working in closer to the goal, or when “dodging” to take a shot, or looking for a “feed” (a pass to another player who’s “cutting to the goal” and who immediately shoots from the feeder’s pass) — became standard for almost all top high school and college players.  Except, at the time, for Tommy Duquette who had his own way of combining the old and new ways.  And Jack Thomas later combined the two ways effectively.  Mostly though, at that time, there was still a lot of two-hands-on-the-stick play with upper hand not so high on the handle and only right-hand play for most players and only left-hand play for a few lefties.  And wooden sticks.  It’s real different today in both the guys and gals games.  All plastic sticks, everybody both right and left handed, everybody with backhands both sides, most everybody moving well with upper hand high on the handle like Joe has it in the photo for pushing the defender in, and also keeping the defender honest with some pushing in and blowing by him a few times and then quick stepping back and having two hands lower on the stick for Tommy Duquette-like and Jack Thomas-like two-hand cradle-faking feeds and shots.

In winter 1967-68, I first taught myself to play left-handed because my right arm was in a cast from a wrestling injury.  I taught myself the old way, with both hands pretty low on the stick, because I didn’t know any better way.  My only experience with lacrosse prior to asking for and getting a lacrosse stick for birthday or christmas in December was in junior high gym class where we played, but didn’t learn much technique.  When the cast came off my right arm in spring 1968, I was pretty good at left-handed play, but in the old style.  I soon saw Joe Cowan playing the attack position for Johns Hopkins that spring of 1968.  I saw him working his defender from behind the goal for shots and feeds with that one-hand-high-on-the-stick style.  So I developed my initial right-hand natural habits that better way.  So I was among the few at the time that went both left- and right-handed, but my natural way of playing was a little different left- and right-handed.   My wickedest “you can’t stop what you can’t see” rocket shots — overhand, side-arm, or trying-to-be-CharlieGoodell-style underhand — and my best unbelievably accurate wide sweeping side-arm and underhand backhands, and my most flexible cradle moves were always with my left handed play.  My better dodging combinations, better pinpoint accuracy, and more concise quick-feed behind-my-head backhands were always with my right-handed play.  I had all the catches and throws on both sides — I made sure of that by working at all of them until I had them all — but the best and most natural of each were on one side or the other.  I was never quite able — though I always enjoyed working at it — to get the full versatility I’d found on one side or the other for a particular catch, throw, or move to be on both sides.

Jack Thomas

Towson High and Johns Hopkins, attack

Dave Bayley

High school on Long Island, New York and the U. S. Naval Academy, attack

Jeff Long

Navy, attack

Jake Lawlor

Navy, defense

Carl Tamulevich Navy,, defense

Charlie Coker, Johns Hopkins midfielder

Charlie Goodell, Johns Hopkins midfielder

Tommy Duquette, Gilman high school in Baltimore and University of Virginia, attack

Skip Lichtfuss, Towson High and Washington and Lee University, attack

Jimmy Lewis, Navy

Oh, and Sammy DeCrispino, Towson State University, Parkville High honorary, and Wolfpack (or was Sam with Maryland Club?  Mt. Washington?  one of the two leading club teams in Baltimore in the 60s and 70s)

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