- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Hight has plans to get more ink when the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Oilers play their annual exhibition game this summer. "They say it's for the Texas pro championship," he said. "I'm going to show up on the field with my club suited up and say, 'How about us?' I'll buy tickets for the players if I have to. They can't throw us out."
Many Toros have had NFL tryouts but only Tackle George Gaiser of Denver has made it. Quarterback Sal Olivas, who led the NCAA in total offense with New Mexico State in 1967, had trials with the Cowboys and the Bears but was turned down for medical reasons.
"I have an undeveloped vertebra in my back," he says. "I've talked to three orthopedic surgeons and they say it's all right to play, my back is strong. Maybe I'll sign a waiver on a back injury and see if they'll give me another shot."
One Toro tackle would just as soon stay where he is. "Every time I make a lot of money, my wife joins me," he says. "That's no problem here."
Alfredo Avila, a very good defensive back, also wants to remain in San Antonio, but his hangup is big cities. "I was raised in Donna, Texas," he says. "That's 7,000 people. I went up to the Redskins for a trial and the big city made me nervous. So I came home."
"We play for fun," says Jerry Bettis, a 5'8", 190-pound running back. He is an Air Force captain stationed at Lackland AFB outside San Antonio, and he has been in the minors for eight years. "The money doesn't matter," he says. "This is a ball."
The Toros and the Braves played like they were having one, which is a good thing, because they were making only about $100 a man. The football was crisp, quick and exciting and the fans showed their appreciation by shouting—a bit ambiguously—"Ol�!"
Until he tired late in the game, Olivas threw very well. He had two interceptions in the second half and made the tackles on the interceptors, which can develop your vertebra.
The Toro defensive line averages 257 pounds a man, and it put great pressure on the Brave passers, wiping out one of them. Tackle Marc Allen, a wine salesman, has a fine initial charge plus moves; Lewallen is quick; Defensive End Bill Grindle would probably be playing for Denver if he hadn't refused to have his congenitally deformed elbow operated on; and Defensive End Clarence (Big Dog) Miles had a tryout with Green Bay a few years ago, but that was in the heyday of Willie Davis and Lionel Aldridge.
George Pasterchick, the Toros' coach, doubles as business manager. Lately he has had more to do as coach. In the spring the players are paid on shares of the gate, as are the officials. "A player like Sal Olivas will get, say, 2� shares," Pasterchick says. "A lineman may get one or a little more. The gate is split 75% for the players, the rest for the clubs."