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Original Issue


The other Big Daddy

For bustling Manuel Simas, a 264-pound Humboldt (Calif.) State College tackle, the nickname usually applied to the Baltimore Colts' famous Gene Lipscomb comes naturally. Big Daddy Simas and his wife are raising their own seven-player forward wall (five boys and two girls, ages 3 to 11), and the whole brood turns out at the games to count Big Daddy's tackles. "He gets 16 to 17 a game," says No. 1 son, David, proudly.

"I've got the best defensive lineman in northern California," moans undefeated Humboldt's Coach Phil Sarboe, "but I can't play him on offense because he doesn't have time to come to practice and learn the plays." One reason is that Simas is carrying a heavy academic load. Another is that he is earning his way through college (Humboldt offers no athletic scholarships) and supporting his family by selling pizzas at night.

Although his long-term ambition is to become a teacher, 29-year-old Big Daddy admits he'd like a crack at professional football first. In the interim, he has reason to hope he'll be selected for this year's East-West Shrine game. "I just try to play," says Big Daddy of his fine record, "so the man next to me knows I'm doing my best."