By Jeff Broddle
Cadillac High School Football Coach Dave Brines new they had to do something. The year before, the Vikings had gone 9-0 and finished third in the state, part of a 16-game winning streak. Although they had lost a few players since that undefeated 1973 season, Brines and his assistant coach, Jim Neff, knew their 1974 team was solid. Still, they had lost their first two games, although by close margins.
"They weren't used to losing. They were pretty down mentally," Brines said.
His conclusion was, "The kids weren't having any fun."
A coaching meeting to address the problem launched a series of events that, with Neff's help, would bring outrageously costumed, fire-breathing rock band KISS to Cadillac, Michigan for a visit that would be talked about and revisited for decades.
During the coaching meeting, Neff suggested playing rock and roll music in the locker room as a way to loosen up the team and get them ready to play.
The suggestion was a 180 degree turn from Brines' approach.
"I wanted the locker room quiet. I wanted them to be serious and think about the game," Brines said.
But Brines trusted Neff, and knew he had a good football mind, and he went along with the suggestion.