- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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When the Rams discovered that Vince Ferragamo, who broke the fifth metacarpal bone in his right hand two weeks ago, would be out at least until late October, they called around the league to find another quarterback. They ended up trading a middle-round 1985 draft choice to Minnesota for Steve Dils.
Coach John Robinson's first choice was another Viking, Archie Manning, the 14-year pro who backs up Tommy Kramer. According to the Rams, the Vikings effectively killed a deal for Manning by insisting on complete exemption from Archie's contract, which is complicated, plus a second-round draft choice.
At present, Manning's $600,000 annual salary is shared by three teams—New Orleans, Houston and the Vikings. If Minnesota had had its way, the Rams would have had to pay Manning about $950,000 in salary and give the Vikes a second-round pick! Dils pulls down a mere $77,000 a year. All of which might be academic considering the showing of Jeff Kemp, the Ram's backup quarterback. Last week in a 24-14 win over Cincinnati Kemp hit on 13 of 23 for 205 yards, one TD and no interceptions.
Howie Long, the 6'5", 270-pound, All-Pro defensive end for the L.A. Raiders, on how society views football players: "I want to stress to the world that we're people. I don't treat little people like poodles just because they're little. Why should people treat me like an ape in a cage because I'm big?"
Howard Schnellenberger, who bowed out as head coach and general manager of the Washington/ Miami/Orlando Federals, says he doesn't believe the USFL will move to a fall schedule in '86. Or any other year, for that matter.
Schnellenberger also says the money behind the proposed Orlando franchise would have been unparalleled in pro sports. The resources of 30 businessmen—headed by entrepreneur Don Dizney—who wanted to be part owners were available. At least five were willing to put in $1 million apiece. "It was in the league's best interest to get that franchise," Schnellenberger says.
But, according to Schnellenberger, Tampa Bay Bandits owner John Bassett, who has the territorial rights to the state of Florida, was making it kinda tough for Dizney's group to buy the Federals franchise and move it from Washington to Orlando. Among Bassett's original demands: a $1.2-million territorial-rights fee; 2�% of the team's gross revenue for several years; the right to purchase 50% of the team in the event of a merger with the NFL; required participation in a Florida cable network controlled by Bassett; and the payment of all expenses in an annual preseason Orlando-Tampa Bay game, with revenues split between the teams. The deal still may be alive, but Schnellenberger says, "I'm disappointed. I wouldn't coach in the USFL. The direction and leadership aren't there."
Who is Bob Irsay? One place not to find out apparently is the Colts' media guide. Last March Irsay was flagged by the Baltimore Sun for putting misinformation in his '83 Baltimore Colts media guide bio. Some of that same material is in the '84 Indianapolis Colts guide:
?"He worked his way through the University of Illinois, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering."
The school's records show Irsay was a student there from the fall of 1940 through the fall of '41 and again in the summer of '42; no degree granted.