KEEPING TABS ON GOODE (CONT.)
Failing to see how a man (and his computer) could even attempt to predict the winners and spreads over a full NFL season before that season had begun, I didn't take Bud Goode's picks seriously enough to check the results. However, after reading the 19TH HOLE (Oct. 16) and seeing the cheap shots taken at Goode, I checked his results for the seventh week. His accuracy amazed me. He picked 12 of 14 games correctly (86%), and 10 of the winners won by more than he predicted (the Giants defeated Tampa Bay by the exact three points determined by Goode)—a superb achievement even for someone forecasting as late as the day of the games.
EM (GATOR) LEWIS
Hudson Falls, NY.
Thank you for your gracious coverage of the Gnational Football League (SCORECARD, Oct. 16). However, I feel I must clarify some misconceptions in order to protect my good name (which, by the way, was misspelled).
First, despite what the Gnus may say, I am not a "disciple of Woody Hayes," even though I am an Ohio State alumnus. Second, I am not the general manager of the Sonoma Geysers, as you say; I am the general manager of the Big Plum Pits. Third, it was the Pits who beat the Geysers, thanks to the "lateral perception" call (similar to the Immaculate Reception/Deception); hence, I had no reason to kick in anybody's mailbox. The mailbox caper was the product of the fertile imagination of GFL Commissioner and Gnus-Editor Mike Carey. Fourth, there is no way I could be justifiably labeled the "criminal element" of the GFL, considering the other elements of the league.
Thanks for letting me correct the record.
OAKLAND'S TRIPLE PLAY
Thank you for your acknowledgment of the integrity of our players in your Oct. 9 article It's Open Season on the Zebras by Bill Johnson. We would, however, like to clarify once and for all exactly what Ken Stabler, Pete Banaszak and Dave Casper "confessed" to.
Stabler readily admits that he had every intention of throwing the ball away to save time on the clock and give us another chance for the score. A very fine play by the San Diego linebacker, Woodrow Lowe, prevented him from doing so, however, causing a fumble. Throwing the ball away to conserve time is considered a virtue and is completely legal in the National Football League. Although there is no way an official can read intent on such a play, Stabler's intent was legal.
As the ball rolled down the field, Banaszak did indeed try to scoop it up, but in so doing he accelerated the ball toward the goal line. This would be nearly impossible for an official to see, although Banaszak's actions were in violation of the rules.
Casper merely did what any player would try to do, i.e., pick up the ball and run with it for the touchdown. Failing on his initial try to pick it up, he made the only play he could make—he fell on it. It was perfectly legal, and the officials made the only call they could make—a touchdown.
We appreciate your response to our players' honest and open remarks, and in the same spirit we hope you'll give our players equal time when they are honest about calls that are not favorable to us! Raymond Chester, for one example, was called for clipping on a play against New England which we scored on and which would have given us a commanding 21-0 lead. The touchdown was called back. Chester went on record as saying it was a "horrible" call (Mike Haynes of the Patriots agreed with Raymond), and in our judgment the films proved him completely correct. We eventually lost the game 21-14.
For a second example, Morris Bradshaw caught what everyone thought was the game winner versus Chicago on Oct. 1 with 20 seconds left on the clock, but an official ruled that Bradshaw was illegally in motion, nullifying the play. Bradshaw disagreed with that interpretation, and as far as we're concerned the films proved him right and the penalty wrong.
The Oakland Raiders