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LETTER: We lost a true sports icon

Posted 11/2/22

My name is Tim Giffune, and I played football at New Hartford high school in the 1970s. In 1972 we played RFA at our field, and I know we were undefeated at the time and ranked high in the state as …

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LETTER: We lost a true sports icon

Posted

My name is Tim Giffune, and I played football at New Hartford high school in the 1970s. In 1972 we played RFA at our field, and I know we were undefeated at the time and ranked high in the state as was RFA.

At the start of the game I heard teammates commenting how Mr. Myslinski was on the Rome sidelines and that he was drafted by the New York Jets, and he was an “animal”. A term used for a very tough person in the football world.

My teammates and I were awestruck at the sight of this big square jawed man. We won the game 21-0 and as I approached the Rome sideline for hand shakes after the game I noticed Mr. Myslinski was looking right at me as I approached. Almost seemingly picking me out as there were players all around me. He came right to me and stuck his hand out to shake my now trembling hand and said “nice game son”.

Thanks coach was all I could mutter.I remember it today as vivid as if it were yesterday. To a 16-year-old junior he was the template for an ideal football player. Staying mostly in the area for my working career I saw his name and his son’s name in the Rome Sentinel many times over the years and immediately would flash back to that night in 1972. When I read of his recent passing I honestly and immediately thought of that night I met the man after our game. I cannot tell you how much respect our team had for him. I am sorry for the Myslinski family and the city of Rome for the area lost a true sports icon.

—Tim Giffune, Verona

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