Some people have trouble figuring out what their purpose is in life. Danny Brown has no such problem. “This may sound corny, but I think God put me on this earth to coach high school football,” Brown said. If that’s the case, then Brown will soon be back fulfilling his destiny, later on this summer to be exact. Brown, 64, was recently hired by the North Platte School District to join the Panthers high school football coaching staff. He will serve as the offensive coordinator for head coach Jim Brockhoff’s squad. The two men have known each for a long time and attend the same Dearborn-area church. Brockhoff said he couldn’t be happier to bring Brown onboard. “It’s a great hire for North Platte; Danny has great knowledge of the passing game and quarterback play,” he said. “He can’t sit by me at church anymore because we draw too many football plays and my wife has put an end to that. I’m looking forward to working with him.” As anyone who has followed high school football in Northwest Missouri the past four decades can attest to, Brown's coaching skills are indisputable. He had success at East Buchanan in the 1970s. He took a Lathrop squad that didn’t win a game the year before to the second round of the playoffs in 1987. And he won 191 games and two state titles during his nearly 20 years at West Platte. Succeeding on the field has never been issue with Brown. It’s what happens off the field that has plagued him in recent years. His long struggle with alcohol abuse was well-known throughout the community and led to his departure from West Platte. Then the last few years, he has had open heart surgery and survived a car crash that nearly killed him. “I broke my neck in three places, but I survived,” he said. “I’m lucky to be here.” Brown said he has since changed his life. “I’ve been sober for 17 months,” he said. “I’m not like I used to be and people that know me know that.” For the last few years, he has taught in the Leavenworth, Kan. School District, working with autistic and special education kids. “I love it, I really do,” he said. “Kids are kids, they just need somebody to help them and listen to them, that’s all.” Brown said he can’t wait to get back on a high school football field and appreciates the support Brockhoff and the North Platte School District has shown him. “I’ve known Jim for a long time and I really respect him as a man and a coach,” he said. “We’ve kept in contact a lot and when this job opened up and he called, I jumped at it, even though I had a few other offers. This job will let me keep my teaching job in Leavenworth, so that’s good, too.” Brown knows he is lucky to get another opportunity. “I’m just thankful I have this chance to get back to doing what I love to do,” he said. “Plus, I’m getting tired of drawing up plays and not being able to use them.” Good luck coach, both on and off the field. WHO WANTS TO BE LIKE KANSAS? Apparently, the Republican-controlled Missouri legislature does and it was bound and determined to make it happen. Hence SB 509, which our conservative friends — with the help of a turncoat Democrat — managed to pass via an override of Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto. Proponents of SB 509 say it will do a lot of things, but it can be summed up basically like this: it’s a tax cut. But the tax cut you and I will see (about $30 or $40, whoopee) will differ greatly from that which Missouri’s wealthiest citizens and big business get (not sure how much but I’m guessing about a gazillion times more than the afore-mentioned $30 or $40). And even if that’s OK with you, this shouldn’t be. This legislation is projected by many non-partisan groups to cost the state more than $600 million in revenues each year. Now, I’m no expert, but I do know that the state has never, as in ever, fully funded its mandated funding formula for public education. And its roads are a mess. And tuition at its state secondary education system keeps going up every year. And basic services to folks who really need them are being cut as we speak. Yep, cutting taxes and decreasing revenue sounds like a stellar idea. Right up there with that wacky let’s-impeach-Nixon circus you staged in Jeff City last week. Congrats, Missouri Repubs, we can now be like Kansas. You know that state a few miles to the west that has seen revenues drop so far that their financial/lending rating has been dropped. Yay. THERE’S NOBODY LIKE MOM Before I sign off this week, I’m going to give a shout-out to the one woman I have loved longer than any other — nearly 52 years to be exact. I’m talking about you, Mom. The upcoming Mother’s Day on Sunday will no doubt have special meaning for you. It’s been a rough stretch our family has gone through lately, Mom. And I have been amazed at the strength you have shown. In case you didn’t know it, that has made all of us who have been around you stronger. Please know that while it may seem I sometimes take you for granted, that I love you very much and I’m fortunate to have you for a mother. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms out there and thanks for reading.
Lee Stubbs is owner/publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 858-5154. Follow him on Twitter @leejstubbs.