When the Miami Dolphins played last week on Monday night, Greg Cote of the Miami Herald described what was missing.
"About a dozen of us are in the room. It's our regular meeting. We've all been on the wagon for, what, 8 years now? But each of us knows you never really get over it. Week, by week, you get by. One by one, we stand.
" 'Hello. My name is Greg, and I miss Howard Cosell.'
"Comes a warm chorus: 'Hello, Greg.' "
G; Without realizing it, we all became addicted to Howard.
George Young, the general manager of the New York Giants, was a high school teacher when Leonard "Boogie" Weinglass, who now heads 1 of the 3 groups trying to get a pro football franchise in Baltimore, was a high school basketball player.
"He was a very good basketball player and a good businessman in high school. I will not comment on what business he was in," Young said.
Grading the officials
Fred Smerlas of the New England Patriots wasn't impressed with the officiating last week.
"Whey they need is professional referees. Maybe they don't pay these guys enough. They look like a bunch of guys trying out to be referees. I know I'll probably be spanked for this, but if I played as bad as they officiate, I'd never have lasted 13 years in this league. Do they run drug tests for referees? They ought to give these guys third-grade readers and say, 'If you can't read this, you can't be a referee.' That would probably eliminate a lot of them," Smerlas said. After Billy Ray Smith Jr. of the San Diego Chargers, who keeps a picture of his father, former Baltimore Colt Billy Ray Smith, in his locker, had a fumble recovery and an interception last week, teammate Junior Seau said he was doing well for a player drafted in 1959.
When Smith was then named AFC Defensive Player of the Week, he said: "I think they probably bought it because Junior's such an honest guy. They figure, geez, this guy's been playing since 1959 and he's been kind of dormant since the Baltimore Colts won the Super Bowl in 1971, but now he pops up with the Chargers and has a great game. I might move like I was drafted in '59, but I get there eventually." After Jerry Rice of the San Francisco 49ers caught 3 passes in a 14-10 victory over the Phoenix Cardinals, he said: "I'm not being involved I think I have been very productive so not to involve me, I think is an insult to me."
When Rice was then criticized for being selfish, he said: "From what I've read, I'm a selfish receiver now. But if, I hadn't said nothing, then everyone would be saying: 'Hey, what's going on? What's happened to Jerry Rice? He's quiet. He's not being productive.' At that particular time [after the game], I felt I was doing the right thing and I'm not taking anything back." Joe Gibbs, the Washington Redskins coach, may have started a trend earlier in the season when he called the Cincinnati Bengals the best 0-3 team.
When the Eagles played the Bengals last week, Philadelphia coach Rich Kotite said, "They may be the best 1-9 team in football history."
) The Bengals are now 1-10.
They're so bad they're lousy
Sam Wyche, the coach of the Bengals, said his team isn't having a bad year despite the 1-10 record. "You're having a bad year when your team is not performing, when your team is not giving it a good shot, when you're pulling teeth to get your players up for a game. This hasn't been a bad year in that respect. This has been a lousy record year," Wyche said.
Dan Henning, the coach of the Chargers who hopes to save his job despite a 3-8 record, said: "I expect to stay and I expect to be successful. That's my nature. I believe I'm the best guy for the job. Since I became a head coach in 1983, I've had wins against [Don] Shula in Miami, [Tom] Landry in Dallas, the Raiders in the Coliseum and Seattle in the Kingdome. I haven't had the greatest teams to do that with. I know I can coach."
E9 His record with the Falcons and Chargers is 37-69-1.