The coach takes a walkHere's the sparring match between...

Fumbles and follies

December 01, 1991|By Vito Stellino

The coach takes a walk

Here's the sparring match between Giants coach Ray Handley and New York sportscaster Russ Salzberg Monday that led to Handley's walkout:

Salzberg: "If Hoss heals . . . "

Handley: "Don't ask me that question. That's a ridiculous question."

Salzberg: "Why is it a ridiculous question?"

Handley: "Because I said it was a ridiculous question. There's no sense even trying to create something like that."

Salzberg: "No one's creating anything, it's just that . . . "

Handley: "If you persist, this interview today is over. I guarantee you. OK? Because I don't want questions about the quarterback situation here with the Giants. Because it's not fair to [Jeff] Hostetler, or [Phil] Simms, or me." (There's a 4-second pause during which Salzberg utters a detectable "hmmmmft" and Handley puts his hand to his chin and makes the same sound of exasperation, only exaggerated).

Salzberg: "Why is it not fair?"

(Handley stands up, begins to walk out.)

Handley: "I warned you. Get him straightened out and I'll talk to you at a later date." When Handley had his usual Wednesday news conference, Ed Olivari, the Giants administrative assistant, held a plastic toy popgun as Handley began to walk into the room.

Handley sat down and said jokingly: "I'm a little pressed for time today, so I'd like to get started. Russ, why don't you handle the first question. Then I can get out of here in a real hurry."

Handley then spent 30 minutes in the interview and said of his walkout: "My wife was quite pleased with my performance on Monday. She said you've finally seen the real me."

Meanwhile, on Long Island, Bruce Coslet, the New York Jets coach who's had his own problems with the media in the past, said jokingly to a New York Times reporter: "I'm not answering your question because I'm ticked off about my rating in your paper. I got an 'F' last year in media relations, OK? And I was willing to accept that. But I thought I was doing a lot better this year and I just barely moved up to a 'C.' "

Coslet added: "That was one of our main goals, to get better grades for media relations. That was real high on my list."

Where's the effort?

Sam Wyche, the Cincinnati Bengals coach, who said earlier this year that his team was playing hard even though it was losing, wasn't pleased with his team's effort in a 38-14 loss to the Los Angeles Raiders.

"I apologize to our fans. I apologize to our loyal supporters because they deserve more for their support and for their ticket prices. This was not fair to our fans. Shoot, it wasn't even fair to the Raiders. They didn't get a chance to have a contest."

On Monday, Wyche conducted a marathon film session and then had the players run wind sprints.

The Redskins annex Baltimore

If you didn't watch the halftime of the Steelers-Cowboys game, you're thinking I made this up, but they had the finals of the Huggies NFL Happy Baby Derby, a crawling contest.

One of the four finalists was Xavier Davis of Baltimore, who was listed as representing the Redskins. Xavier was beaten by Samantha Trout of Pennsylvania, who was representing the Steelers. Do girl babies crawl faster than boy babies?

And is little Xavier going to grow up to be a -- gasp -- Redskins fan?

The baby's injury report

When Debbie Belichick, the wife of Cleveland coach Bill Belichick, had her third baby, Brian, Monday, Belichick went straight from the hospital to his usual news conference.

When Belichick was asked how the baby was doing, he said, "He's day-to-day."

Hi, Mom, we're conservative

LB Ricky Jackson of the New Orleans Saints said his mother wasn't pleased with coach Jim Mora's conservative strategy in an overtime loss to Atlanta last week.

"She wanted to know why we just laid on the ball with 2 minutes left," Jackson said.

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