THE COACH YOU WOULD MOST LIKE TO BEAT 66-0, OR WOULD ENJOY SEEING PUT OUT TO SEA ON A CEMENT-BOTTOMED SLAVE BOAT
1. George Allen
2. Hank Stram
3. Tom Landry
4. "Wherever Joe Thomas is"
5. " John Madden, but mainly because of Al Davis"
Maybe it's Hank Stram's vest and tie and his Offense of the '70s. Maybe it's Landry's hat. Maybe it is all the credit they've been given for inventing all the things they didn't invent—still, neither Stram nor Landry seriously challenged George Allen for first. It is a strange thing in football that dislike and respect sometimes go hand in hand. No one would ever say Allen wasn't a good coach. But, obviously, too many players have heard too many stories about Allen from Allen players—like how he might hold up a hand in the locker room before a game and say, with a pretense of emotion, "I'd cut this off right here to win this one today." It would always be the left hand, not the one he eats ice cream with.
THE MOST UNDERRATED, UNSUNG AND, IN ALL PROBABILITY, UNDERPAID PLAYER IN THE NFL
1. Charlie Waters, Cowboy free safety
2. Larry Brooks, Ram defensive tackle
3. Joe Ehrmann, Colt defensive tackle
4. Jethro Pugh, Cowboy defensive tackle
5. Ken Mendenhall, Colt center
Dozens were mentioned but Waters, Brooks and Ehrmann stood above the rest. As good as he is, Waters never seems to be as visible as his All-Pro teammate, Cliff Harris. The same goes for Ehrmann, with John Dutton stomping around. Brooks now has it better because Merlin Olsen has retired.
THE NO. 1 CHEAP-SHOT ARTIST IN THE GAME, WHICH DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN HE WOULDN'T GIVE A LADY FLOWERS ON MOTHER'S DAY
1. George Atkinson, Oakland
2. Conrad Dobler, St. Louis
3. Zeke Moore, Houston
4. Bill Bradley, Minnesota (traded from Eagles)
5. Doug Plank, Chicago
A landslide for Atkinson, whose licks on Lynn Swann and Russ Francis happened to be shown vividly on TV. One of Atkinson's teammates had a nice vote in rebuttal: "Try the whole Pittsburgh team." Other players specifically mentioned were Dwight White of the Steelers, Jack Tatum of the Raiders, Greg Brezina of Atlanta, Ken Houston of the Redskins, Wally Hilgenberg of the Vikings and Eddie McMillan of Seattle. It should be pointed out in defense of all gentlemen who pursue ballcarriers and pass receivers that what is sometimes a cheap shot to one man is second effort to another.
THE BEST AND MOST EFFECTIVE HOLDER IN ANYBODY'S OFFENSIVE LINE, AND NOT JUST BECAUSE HE COULD PULL AN ELEPHANT ACROSS TIBET