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EXTRA POINTS
Jill Lieber
December 17, 1984
Talk going around Indianapolis is that coach Frank Kush was fired during a locker room tiff with owner Bob Irsay on Nov. 25, and that he'll wind up in Arizona as coach of the USFL's Outlaws.
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December 17, 1984

Extra Points

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QUICK COUNT
The NFL ranks quarterbacks according to a formula that takes four categories into account. But those stats don't distinguish the bombers from the popgun artists. Here are the guys who go long:

Player/Team

Comp.

Yds.

Avg.

Malone (Steelers)

134

1,946

14.52

Simms (Giants)

274

3,917

14.30

Marino ( Dolphins)

339

4,744

13.99

Wilson ( Raiders)

137

1,912

13.96

Kemp ( Rams)

132

1,841

13.95

Dickey ( Packers)

221

2,997

13.56

Here are the guys who dump off:

Fouts ( Chargers)

317

3,740

11.80

Jaworski (Eagles)

234

2,754

11.77

Theismann ( Redskins)

263

3,093

11.76

DeBerg ( Buccaneers)

282

3,274

11.61

Blackledge ( Chiefs)

146

1,673

11.46

Ferguson (Bills)

185

1,939

10.48

Talk going around Indianapolis is that coach Frank Kush was fired during a locker room tiff with owner Bob Irsay on Nov. 25, and that he'll wind up in Arizona as coach of the USFL's Outlaws.

The story goes like this: Irsay's wife, Harriet, phoned her husband in his box—just before the half, with the Colts trailing the Raiders 14-0, and said that even she knew what was going wrong offensively with the Colts. So Irsay sent son Jimmy, the Colts' general manager, down to the locker room. According to several Colts players, Jimmy told Kush, "Those guys are reading our offense. And Dad said to tell you that the offense is a stinking mess. He wants you to do something about it."

The players say Kush replied, "I run this team, and if he doesn't like it, he can damn well get somebody else."

Jimmy went back upstairs and reported to Dad. Minutes later, the players say, Irsay burst into the locker room, collared Kush and pulled him off into another room, where, the players believe, Kush was canned.

Last week Jimmy Irsay denied that Kush, who has two years left on his contract, was out. But the Colts have given Kush permission to talk to the Outlaws.

The Draft Doug Flutie Association has a thriving chapter in Buffalo, whose Bills have a 2-13 record and could win the right to pick No. 1 in the NFL draft. "This guy's like Americana—Norman Rockwell," Bob Orrange, 28, the DDFA's president, says of Flutie.

Here's an excerpt from the inaugural DDFA newsletter, which was distributed at the Dec. 2 Bills-Colts game: "Let's look at some history: The Bills have had the No. 1 overall pick three times. First O.J. Simpson in 1969. Even the Bills couldn't screw that up.... In 1972, they took Walt Patulski, the first NFL player to win the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. In 1979, they took Tom Cousineau, the first top draftee to sign with another country.... Some say [Heisman-winner Flutie] is a gamble because of his height, but letting the Bills draft at all is a gamble."

Les Steckel "has turned the Vikings into the Boys Club of the NFL," says a former player for the team. Here's the type of thing he is talking about: At halftime in the Vikings' Nov. 29 game with Washington, Mike Lynn, Minnesota's general manager, spied receiver Sammy White and running back Ted Brown, both injured, leaving the press box. The Skins were leading 31-0. The two vets headed to the Rusty Scupper restaurant.

At a team meeting the next day, insiders say, Steckel stormed around, asking any player who quit in the game to stand up and raise his hand. When no one did, Steckel charged over to Brown and met him nose to nose. "You quit, didn't you?" Steckel said. The coach turned to White and said, "You quit, didn't you?" Steckel told them they'd be fined and put on injured reserve. Steckel also told them he never wanted to see their faces again.

White, the team's alltime leader in receiving yardage and touchdown receptions, was "humiliated" that his coach yelled at him in front of his teammates. White says, "If they keep me around, I'll retire." He says he didn't know that leaving the game was taboo and that ex-coach Bud Grant never required his injured players to show up at games.

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