Cummings embraces change to linebacker
He figured to sit as a backup QB
ANNAPOLIS | The text requesting a meeting with offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper arrived just after Jarvis Cummings returned to Navy from winter break. There were only so many reasons to summon the quarterback.
Or, more specifically, the soon- to- be- former quarterback.
“I looked at it and said ‘I don’t know what this could be about,’ “Cummings said this week. “I had about a million things going through my head: ‘I haven’t been in trouble, my grades are good.’ I just started eliminating things and it just came down to ‘Well, I’m probably playing somewhere else this spring.’ “
Indeed he is. The No. 7 remains the same, but Cummings is roaming the Midshipmen’s practice fields this spring in a white defensive jersey as an outside linebacker.
Such is life for many would-be quarterbacks at Navy. The program has the luxury of bringing in large recruiting classes, and Cummings was one of three quarterbacks in his class alone.
One of them, Trey Miller, is entrenched as Navy’s starter after serv-
battered opponents hither, thither and yon for years without getting a title shot. The fault lay not with his skills but with his manager, a wheezy old-timer called Sam “The Mumbler” Sobel who should have been immortalized by Damon Runyon.
Sam would call me three and four times a day until I had my number changed. His most frequent understandable line was, “Heller, I gotta big story, but I can’t talk about it.”
When I began to comprehend more of what The Mumbler was saying, I figured it was time to stop covering boxing.
Foster’s contract later passed one way or another to Mushky Salow, a veteran manager who reportedly had mob connections. I don’t know if that was true, but Foster soon got his title fight and knocked champion Dick Tiger halfway back to his native Nigeria. Later, Foster served many years as sheriff of Albuquerque, N.M., and you can bet his boxing career taught him how to recognize nefarious types.
I covered one of Foster’s fights along with a veteran Star reporter who showed up at ringside in a silk shirt and white suit. “Bad idea,” I told him.
A few moments into combat, Foster got his opponent in a corner above us and clobbered him in the chops. Mouthpiece, teeth and blood rained down on us, and pretty soon my colleague’s white suit was a charming claret. I don’t think the guy covered another fight.
If Sugar had been there that night, he would have laughed his head off. There wasn’t and isn’t much that’s funny about boxing, but Bert always found the humanity. He will be missed.