Russell Mount | 1998


Russell Mount | 1998

When you think of a sport, any sport I don't care which, and the people associated with that sport, you probably first recall the "stars" of that sport. You think of the Babe Ruths, the Joe Louises, the Jack Nicklauses, the Walter Paytons, the Richard Pettys. When you think of pulling, many faces come to mind as well. Bruce Hutcherson, the Banter brothers, Lloyd McVey, Danny Dean -- the list goes on.

But what I would bet you don't remember or can't even recall are the folks who work behind the scenes -- specifically the people who enforce the rules in sports. Name me one person from a major sport who was a referee, an umpire.

We give so much credit to the "stars" and overlook all the rules people, the referees, who make sure the game is played fairly and safely. Their contribution is as significant, if not more so, than the "stars". Think of a game played without rules. It would be utter chaos.

Co-inductees into the NTPA Hall of Fame, Andy Main and Russell Mount, were referees, those overlooked people who made sure the game -- pulling -- was played fairly and above all safely. They surely contributed as much to our sport as did those folks we call "stars." And because of that contribution, their place in the Pulling Hall of Fame is without question.

In his early years, Russell was a competitor. When one mentions ‘Russell's early years,’ they mean pulling's early years. He was pulling in the 1940s and 1950s. In fact, in 1952 he won the Indiana State title in the Medium lightweight class in jerk pulling.

But it was shortly after NTPA's birth that Russell made perhaps his most significant contribution to the sport. At the time -- 1972 -- then-NTPA executive director Ed Hart approached the Indiana native about writing rules for a new Mini division. At the time, Russell was campaigning a Mini he aptly called "Boneshaker." Russell accepted the task and got together with a group and hammered out the first rules for the Mini division.

If one comment sums up Russell's career as an NTPA flagman and tech official, it's the words that he said himself in an interview in The Puller. He said, "I'm a tech man, not a yes man." When you pulled with Russell as the official, you "toed the mark." It was by the book all the way. Mount passed away in 2007.

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