Joe Gibbs, the Washington Redskins' coach, last week cut one of his alltime favorite players, linebacker and former special teams captain Pete Cronan. A Boston College grad in his eighth season, Cronan was actually relieved.
"Four years ago I was cut by Seattle," he says. "What a shock! We had $20,000 in the bank, a mortgage, and I had no job. No way was it the American dream. My wife, Debbie, and I decided we'd never let ourselves get in that predicament again. So I started a small construction business and now I'm ready [for] the next part of my life.
"Playing football was a real injustice to my family. My wife was out carting our 2�-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son around the country. We were like gypsies. My daughter, Allyson, was the real victim. When Debbie told her the other day that we were going home, Allyson said, 'To the house with the pool?'—my mother-in-law's house in Watertown, Massachusetts—'or to 'Ginia?' She didn't know where home was. That was very disturbing tome."
Packer coach Forrest Gregg didn't hide his disappointment in Lynn Dickey when the 15-year veteran quarterback benched himself as a starter Sept. 29. Dickey was baffled last week about Gregg's reaction.
"He constantly sits around and tells the team, 'If you're not playing well, come tell me....' That's pretty much what I did," says Dickey, who admits he benched himself because he had been flinching in the pocket in anticipation of onrushing defensive linemen.
"Some people say it's the coaching. Others say it's the talent," Dickey added. "But you never see Don Shula, Tom Landry or Chuck Knox...ever get in real bad situations."
Maybe things will get better this week in Green Bay. The Packers, with Dickey starting and completing 11 of 17 passes for 126 yards and two TDs, beat Detroit 43-10 Sunday.
Joe Senser, the Viking tight end who was forced to retire in July because of a knee injury, has an interesting answer when asked what bothers him most in the real world: "Sitting in traffic for an hour a day," says Senser, who now commutes to work as a broker in an investment banking firm in Minneapolis. "Playing football, I sort of blocked traffic out of my mind. I don't know how people can stand it five times a week."
Tom Bass, San Diego's popular defensive coordinator, was fired last week. The Chargers were last in defense in the NFL, and Bass, who had been in the NFL 22 years, was realistic about the firing. "It's time to crank up the old word processor," said Bass, who has had two books of poetry published. "I'm rewriting one novel, working on a book about football for women and planning to collaborate with a friend on a play about football.
"I'm still numb. I feel like I've wasted the last 3� years of my life here. Just the abruptness of it all. The defense was coming around. It will be good—not great—by midyear.