“Call his yacht phone”

By Ed Odeven
TOKYO (Feb. 18, 2015) — Some phone calls stick with you years later, providing amusement or smiles when you think about them unexpectedly. The same can be said for certain phone messages.

While working as the assistant sports editor for Arizona State’s State Press in the September 1997, I was planning a big feature on former Sun Devils football great Danny White. The university was planning to retire the quarterback’s No. 11 jersey that month during a ceremony at Sun Devil Stadium.

So the plan was to interview several people about White’s college and pro career, including those associated with the Dallas Cowboys, his NFL team, for the article. Former teammates were reached by phone and they dished out interesting insights.

A planned interview with longtime Cowboys president and GM Tex Schramm took some time to set up. But persistence paid off.

One day while I was away from the sports desk for a few hours — at class or lunch, I think — Schramm’s secretary returned one of my phone calls, one of my requests for an interview. The proof was on my desk.

A hand-written note from one of the student media staffer’s relayed the secretary’s message: Schramm is away from his office for a few days, fishing in the Florida Keys. But that’s OK.

“Just go ahead and call his yacht phone,” the note said.

And so I did. And, as the note informed me, Schramm was out at sea and would be available to talk. The fishing would wait…

It was a quality 10- or 15-minute interview that touched upon various aspects of White’s personality as a football player, team leader and other general views Tex had about White’s coaching career in the years that followed.

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