The new season begins in a few weeks. Before it is over, there are going to be outraged shouts from paying patrons who have sat through entire halves waiting for a team to indulge itself in the excruciating pleasure of taking exactly one shot at the basket. Hopefully, the Big Eight experience will wake up college rules makers before the country goes to sleep.
JFK Stadium was a quagmire. Rain drove mercilessly into the 750 shivering Philadelphia Bell fans, yet there ran Rick Eber of the Shreveport Steamer, gathering in passes as though he were the original glue-fingered end. Turned out he wasn't. Tack-fingered is a better description. Eber had small thumb tacks taped to his fingertips. The penalty for sharpening up one's pass catching is 15 yards—unsportsmanlike conduct—but Eber wasn't worrying. He was not found out until after he had hauled in the winning touchdown. "We needed the win," he said.
THE INFLUENCE-ZA BLOC
Football coaches, on their best days seething bundles of fear and suspicion, might as well concede the 1974 Alarums and Farfetched Excursions award right now to Chuck Noll. Still coughing back his despair over Pittsburgh's 1972 playoff loss to Miami—the Steeler coach blamed it on a flu epidemic begun by "out-of-town writers"—Noll nodded toward the group clustered around Quarterback Joe Gilliam after the team's 30-0 win over Baltimore. "See," he said, "that's what I was talking about. All those reporters from all over the country. They bring in new germs. They get close to our players, and the players get sick."