IRSAY VS. ELWAY, ROUND 2
There was less than meets the eye in Baltimore Colts owner Robert Irsay's intemperate remarks last week about John Elway, who, you'll recall, was selected by the Colts as the top overall pick in the NFL draft and, after intimating he'd never play for Baltimore, was traded by Irsay to the Denver Broncos. At a press conference to announce the signing of Northwestern Tackle Chris Hinton, whom Baltimore acquired in the Elway deal, Irsay predicted that Elway would "never be any good" in the NFL and said that when the Broncos and Colts meet, "We're going to get Elway." As for who the "we" might be, Irsay said that the Colts had "also signed up a couple of boys this week who are looking for Elway."
The reaction to Irsay's comments was swift. NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle reprimanded him for the threat against Elway, and Irsay issued an apology of sorts, saying that he hadn't intended to imply that his players would try to harm Elway. He merely meant, he said, that they'd "go after him, just like any other quarterback."
We don't know what Irsay was trying to imply, but we're convinced that he was in a pretty confused state of mind at the press conference. After saying that the Colts had signed two boys who were going to "get" Elway, he told the Chicago Tribune's Don Pierson that Baltimore had already signed nine draftees. In fact, the only new player the Colts had under contract at that point was Hinton, an offensive player who wouldn't be on the field at the same time as Elway. Unless the Colts hurry up and sign some of their draft selections, the woefully out-of-touch Irsay may have to try to get Elway all by himself. And that's something he has already proved he couldn't do.
THE FIFTH TIME'S A CHARM, SORT OF
On the occasion of his recent induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., University of Alabama Coach Don Gambril recounted how he'd been a member of the U.S. Olympic coaching staff in 1968, '72, '76 and '80 but had never been the head man. In 1984 Gambril will at last be the head Olympic coach, despite having undergone major heart surgery last January. Concluded a now recovered Gambril: "While I was on the operating table, I learned that there was no escaping a five-way bypass."