Agent Howard Slusher instructed all 1,260 NFL players to walk out on veal piccata and eggs Benedict—and play in Mozambique.
So much for the hard news. What of something perhaps more vital to the fan, to the man who has to live from Sunday to Sunday with little to chew on except injury reports and point spreads? What of the minds of the men who play the game that holds millions spellbound over their Hamburger Helper? What of the condition of the game itself?
With the interest of the fan in mind, we have conducted what can only be called The First and Last NFL Preseason Players' Straw Poll on Things Everybody Always Wanted to Know That Vince Lombardi Wouldn't Tell You—Plus a Lot of Other Outrageously Inside Stuff.
Here, then, are our carefully selected categories, results of the balloting, and the occasional comments of the head of the election bureau:
THE ABSOLUTE BEST FOOTBALL PLAYER AROUND TODAY, NOT ONLY TO BUILD A FRANCHISE AROUND BUT ALSO TO TAKE TO MOST ANY HOLLYWOOD PARTY
1. O.J. Simpson
2. Bert Jones
3. Chuck Foreman
4. Kenny Stabler
5. Roger Staubach
Not even close between O.J. and second place. As you might suspect, all of Staubach's votes came from Dallas. No other player was even mentioned, which may or may not come as a shock to Jerry Golsteyn.
THE ABSOLUTE BEST COACH AROUND TODAY, NOT ONLY TO MAKE YOU A WINNER BUT ALSO TO MAKE YOU FORGET HE MIGHT BE WEARING DOUBLE KNITS
1. Don Shula
2. Tom Landry
3. George Allen
4. John Madden
5. Chuck Knox
Shula was comfortably ahead. His support came strongly from within his division, the AFC East. Interestingly, Landry's came from well outside his own NFC East. Allen's support was fairly spaced. Some of the sentiment for Allen was based on his reputation for stroking the older players. Though one might be tempted to say they were being sarcastic, it must be reported that some Minnesota Vikings went for L.A.'s Chuck Knox.