Dick Vermeil may be from Los Angeles but, as W. C. Fields wrote for his epitaph, he'd rather be in Philadelphia. And he is. The coach of the Eagles says it's all because owner Leonard Tose is so generous. Maybe too generous.
"He's overpaid me the last three years and he treats me too nice," Vermeil says with a grin. "He treats my wife and family too nice. He spoils us rotten. I'm a guy who never had a damn thing, and all of a sudden I'm financially secure for the rest of my life. I have a contract that, hey, it's unbelievable. I don't even want to talk about it."
Vermeil's original five-year contract has just been extended for another five years—it now won't expire until 1985. Though Eagle General Manager Jim Murray will describe the contract only as being "bigger than a bread box, smaller than the stadium," Vermeil's annual salary is reportedly more than $250,000. His deal also calls for the Eagles to provide him with a house in the fashionable Philadelphia suburb of Bryn Mawr, two cars, $500,000 in life insurance, membership in the Philadelphia Country Club and a bonus if the team finishes at better than .500.
Ed Hookstratten is the sharp lawyer who drew up Vermeil's dream contract, and it should come as no surprise that the $50,000 fee for Hookstratten's services was paid by the Eagles.
DADS FOR A DAY, ANYWAY
In honor of Father's Day, June 17, New York's Belmont Park will salute three great horses. Secretariat will be honored, and fittingly, because he has been at stud since his retirement at the end of his 1973 Triple Crown campaign and, at latest count, has 130 registered offspring. The other two honorees? Kelso and Forego, who are at least equally renowned as runners but will never be celebrated as sires. They are both geldings.
FINAL RESTING PLACE
Remember the sad story of Virginia Annable (SCORECARD, March 19)? She's the teacher from Brookhaven, N.Y. whose Volkswagen was stolen and abandoned to sink in then frozen Great South Bay. Her problems multiplied when the Army Corps of Engineers informed her that she was responsible for removing the sunken vehicle.
After aides of New York Senator Jacob Javits intervened on Annable's behalf, the Corps and the Coast Guard reluctantly agreed to dispose of the car themselves. Well, they said they looked but couldn't find it. So the local municipal authorities took over. After using a helicopter to locate the car, the Town of Brookhaven sent an amphibious vehicle with grappling hooks to haul it out of eight feet of water.
Because Annable had abandoned the car, it was taken to the town's landfill site. It cost about $1,000 for the whole operation, and if someone wants the remains for scrap, Brookhaven would be happy to sell it for $10. From monster of the deep to monster of the dump.
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN