Lyn Gets A Visit From The Scouts Chuck and Mary at McDonalds in 2009 Chuck at the Matthews Museum Cub Scouts Visit the Station Chuck, Matt, B.J. Warwick, and Miss Mary at a Dinner at the Starke Golf and Country Club Chuck, Lyn, Miss Mary, and Maryann at the Fair in 2010 Chuck and Miss Mary's Wedding Day, Dec. 17, 1984 Chuck and His Children, Matt, Michelle, Danielle, and Lyn Chuck's First Station

Has Andy Found His Barney?

May 20, 2015
Terry Vaughan

The most successful marriages are the ones in which the two partners compliment and complete the other. The husband and wife have such a comfort level with the pairing that they embrace the fact that they can read  each other's minds. Often the marriage appears awkward and ill-advised but when strengths and weaknesses are blended in just the right recipe-well, it just works. 

Examples of ultra-successful complimentary duos can be found throughout history. Holmes and Watson. Martin and Lewis. Stockton and Malone. Franklin and Eleanor.

For me, the best hand and glove match in television history occurred in a fictitious little town in North Carolina. The Andy Griffith Show was actually a spin-off from an episode of the Danny Thomas Show in which Danny was caught speeding in Mayberry by an "aw-shucks", backward Sheriff named Andy Taylor. Thomas launched the Griffith Show in October of 1960 with Andy featuring the same down-home persona. The savvy Griffith soon realized that when Deputy Barney Fife was introduced into the script, his role needed to change. About 4 weeks into the series, Griffith relinquished his spot as comedic lead and became the straight man for Don Knotts. (Andy and Don had a history, having teamed up a couple of years earlier in the hilarious flick "No Time For Sergeants.")  In my humble opinion, this selfless decision provided the mojo that made the Andy Griffith show the greatest sitcom of all time. It is why a portrait of Barney hangs in my office to this day.  When the series ended in 1968, TAGS remained number one in the Nielsen ratings, becoming the first TV series in history to go off the air atop the mountain. 

A year after taking the reins, Bradford Head Coach Corey Green perhaps realized that he needed a complimentary piece to the puzzle. He reached out to longtime family friend Bobby Johns to see if he had interest in joining the Tornado staff. As fate would have it  the timing worked for Bobby, who had a track record of winning big as a head football and weightlifting coach. It just felt right, and the fiery Johns relinquished his role as a General to become the First Lieutenant for the Bradford football program. 

It was a gutsy call by both. But the early reviews of this pairing are promising.  Corey is Sheriff Andy Taylor, a strong and quiet leader who is perfectly happy letting Bobby be Bobby. Johns is a cerebral version of Barney Fife- full of fun, energy,  and passion without the pratfalls and mental blunders. Together they make for must-see-TV.

Bradford wrapped up spring practice Tuesday night with a convincing shutout of Baldwin. There appears to be a new sense of optimism and enthusiasm in the air. The Fall season kicks off in 3 months.

Just like a decision made in the Fall of 1960 changed TV history, maybe...just maybe.. an unlikely pairing made 55 years later will alter the landscape of Tornado football this Fall, and beyond. Mayberry can't wait to find out.