SPORTS by Brad Weisman: Who Hits Like That at 145?
Tom had a deep voice that always seem to come out with authority. He was not mad or trying to control the situation at all. In fact, he was pretty laid back with just about everyone until he hit the field and track. I had one English class with him and noticed Tom put a healthy amount of fear in people to know he was the last guy you wanted to bother. Even if you were 250 pounds up against his 145 frame you knew Philbs was not a guy you wanted to bother. Tom was a star football player and ran track. He was great at both. In fact, Tom could have been a good anything.
Tom and I ran track together junior year. Wait let me rephrase that…I walked track and Tom ran like hell! He ran high hurdles and really did any event with a hurdle in it or any event nobody would do. He had an internal force that allowed his thin frame to be far stronger and more powerful than anyone on the track or field. Tom was roughly 5’11 and about 145 and moved and hit like he was 225 and well over 6ft. I once saw him in a football game hit a guy and eject this kid off his feet and in to the sky. I don’t think the kid ever came down from the sky. Kidding. Tom’s force on this kids body crippled everything including the players mind. I am certain this kid never wanted to play or be near Tom.
However, this tough athlete was a ladies man and seemed to always be hooked into some kind of long term relationship. I suspect without knowing Tom had a heart with depth and valued love. He was a nice guy and generally a man of few words. However, behind his deep voice and physical prowess was a nice guy. He was nice to everybody and not really one to pick on people. If anything Tom would be the first to help you out and do anything for his own family. I feel lucky that I once knew Tom and I think a little bit of Tom has rubbed off on me. Not the athletic part….but just trying to be a nice guy and be myself. Tom….you were real and I bet you still are today!