Kristie Armstrong Sisson (' 91 BSBA) and Kevin Michael Sisson (' 90 AB) of Upper Brookville, N.Y.; a son, Brandon Alexander Sisson, on May 27,2004. • Tracy Loggins Yehle (' 91 BSST, '95 BSPHR) and D avid Bruce Yehle (' 92 BSB10, ' 96 BSPHR) of
Raleigh; a son, Scott Kenan Yehle, on May 30,
2004. E-mail: email@example.com. , 92 R ev. Janet Gessner Alford (' 92
Princeton Theological Seminary. Alford will
serve as associate pastor for Christian Education
at Heritage Presbyterian Church. • Matthew
James D unlap (' 92 BSPH) of Honolulu is
the new club leader for the Hawaii Carolina
Club. E-mail: dunlapm@hotmaiLcom. • Mon-
Big Man on Pit Road
Anumber of things would explain why you're not nm Goad ' 91, but let's start with the
most obvious: In 13. 29 seconds, Goad can jack
a 3,400-pound stock car with one pump on
each side, drop it and discard a couple of spent
Goodyears. That's the time it takes you to lick
the nacho cheese off five fingers in front of the
TV on Sunday afternoon.
Goad is 6-foot- 4, 275 pounds - odds are
high that you are not - and he's quite good at
being that size. In fact, for 10 bruising NFL
years - seven with the New England Patriots,
one with the Cleveland Browns and two with the
Baltimore Ravens - Goad chased all sundry of
sizes at nose tackle, which is a remarkable
feat. Most NFL athletes play only 3. 8 years.
You don't have a steel rod in your right leg
and an elbow tied together with a tendon borrowed from your generous hamstring, either.
But if you did, it is unlikely that, in your pro football retirement, you would decide to become
the jack man for a NASCAR racing team
instead of, say, opening an auto dealership - or
stay on the BASS Pro Tour for more than just
one year, as Goad did in 1998.
But the fish, they can't see you coming. And
Goad's size and the number of bright-eyed QBs
he mowed down once upon a time reverberate
in all of his motions, from the way his chest
enters a room first to the way he clasps his
hands behind his head and lets his Popeye-times-five biceps handle the nonverbal communication. He needed an appropriate place to
hang all of that power.
Now, he has it, as the jack man for Kyle
Petty's Dodge and the pit crew and strength-and-conditioning coach for Petty Enterprises. He
fell into racing after quitting football in 1997. An
old friend from the Wood Brothers Racing team,
10 miles from Goad's hometown of Claudville,
Va., asked him to step in for an injured jack
man at Richmond. It was Goad's size, strength
and agility that made him an instant success.
He could drop a car on the right side and be
poised for duty on the left side in 2. 75 seconds.
After three years at Wood, he moved to Ken
Schrader's team and then to Petty in 2003.
But in the early years, Goad, 38, had some
trouble adjusting to NASCAR life. He had the
natural athleticism it took to go over the wall
and bolt in front of a car coming in at 55 mph,
After 10 years in the NFL and one year on the BASS Pro
Tour, nm Goad ' 91 found another match for his strength and
agility: stock cars.
In some ways, Goad
has found in racing the
perfect balance between
his Southern background
and his, well, Northern aggression. Before a pit
practice session, which Goad holds twice a
week at Petty Enterprises in Randleman, he
and the other six men stand around, lobbing
lazy barbs at one another, talking about HEMI
commercials and last night's softball game. But
once Goad motions with a gloved hand that the
crew is ready, and the practice car roars into
the box for one of six test pits, it's a flash of
muscle and fury. When the car is dropped the
driver downshifts and the crew steps back while
Goad checks the lug nuts.
"Been hit a couple times in races," Goad
says, shrugging this off with the level of alarm
you might use in recapping a game of schoolyard dodge ball. "Sometimes a car gets pinched
off. Sometimes a car will come in and break
sideways. The jack man is the first over the
wall, last one to drop the car and leave. He's
like the quarterback."
About that 6-4, 275: People used to say
Goad was "undersized" for a defensive tackle.
Used to tell him, too, in his rural hometown,
that he wasn't going anywhere, that no one
would ever come to see him play. That just
made him more determined. If you have any-
thing in common with Goad, then, it might be
that. Maybe once you had to prove yourself to
the world - albeit a world inhabited by smaller
people than Goad - and maybe you find ways
to keep on proving it after the deed is done.
Of course, it's also possible that, like Goad,
in your office, next to your autographed photo of
Dean Smith, you have a snapshot of yourself
lifting the back end of a SOO-pound simulator
car several feet off the ground with your bare
hands. But something in my !Hoot, 11S-pound
gut says that you don't.
-Beth McNichol '95