In L.A., Al Davis held veteran Marc Wilson, an early picket-line crosser, out of action and used 32-year-old Vince Evans, late of the USFL. Davis figured that in the maelstrom of scab ball a scrambler like Evans would be more effective than the stationary Wilson. For two games the reasoning proved to be sound, and there was some heavy speculation that Evans would make the regular roster when the strike ended. Then on Sunday, Evans returned to earth with an 11-for-31 passing day in a 23-17 loss to San Diego. In short, he was the same old Vince Evans—nimble of foot but erratic with the arm.
Then there's the case of the Jets' Mark Gastineau, once a premier sacker. Spat upon by his teammates for his early picket-line crossing and as ineffective in scab ball as he had been in the first two regular-season games, Gastineau looks like an early trade or waiver candidate. His spot on the roster could be taken by Scott Mersereau, a 275-pound rookie noseguard out of Southern Connecticut State who was cut by the Rams in training camp. His play drew praise even from some picketing Jet veterans.
The success of some teams during the scab season could haunt them in the weeks ahead. Take the Indianapolis Colts. Before the strike no one thought much about them, except perhaps to feel sorry for them. Then they fielded a carefully assembled scab lineup, led by their regular quarterback, Gary Hogeboom, and won their first two strike games before losing 21-7 to Pittsburgh. Now Hogeboom is injured (punctured lung), and Indy must face a slate of opponents with a score to settle. The bitterness generated during this depressing chapter in the NFL's history will not soon disappear.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]