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PRO FOOTBALL
Jill Lieber
September 15, 1986
A BEAR MARKET FOR MIKE
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September 15, 1986

Pro Football

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PEP TALKS THAT LOMBARDI NEVER GAVE
A flight attendant had these words of motivation for the Houston Oilers when the team's Braniff charter landed in Dallas for an exhibition game: "Knock 'em naked and hide their clothes."

OPEN MOUTH, INSERT FOOT
Owner Art Modell was noticeably quiet last week when his Cleveland Browns cut inside linebacker Tom Cousineau. That was quite a contrast to the flashy press conference in April '82, when Modell not only boasted about signing Cousineau to a five-year, $3.5 million contract but added that if Cousineau wasn't a great player, he—Modell—didn't know anything about football.

FASTEST MOUTH IN PHILADELPHIA
Is there anyone Buddy Ryan hasn't ripped? On Ryan's radio call-in show last month, a fan told the Eagles coach that he disagreed with something Ryan had done in an exhibition game. Buddy's response: "It really worries me what you think." Though he claims he was joking, Ryan said this about Eagles president Harry Gamble last week: "I guess he's the illegitimate son of our owner [ Norman] Braman."

I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND
After five holding penalties in an exhibition game against the Raiders, Cleveland's Rickey Bolden got a call. "My fianc�e said, 'You don't hold me that much in an evening,' " Bolden said.

EYES IN THE SKY DON'T LIE
Presenting SI's instant-replay watch. The season started with an oddity—no signal from the field officials on the third play of the Bears-Browns game when an errant snap eluded Chicago's Jim McMahon. Al Gross of Cleveland dived on the ball in the end zone. The officials consulted with Nick Skorich, the replay man, who ruled Gross had control of the ball and the Browns had a touchdown. In Sunday's games, no calls were overturned by press-box officials. In the 31 exhibition games using the eyes in the sky, only two calls were overturned.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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