Rozelle reacted angrily when asked about Davis' charges. "The only evidence Al Davis ever offers to support his claims," he said, "are comments he allegedly heard from an unidentified team owner and accusations allegedly made by a man who now is dead, Carroll Rosenbloom." ( Rosenbloom drowned in the Atlantic off Golden Beach, Fla., in April of 1979.)
While the Davis testimony was being leaked to the media, so, too, was a deposition by the aforementioned Harold Guiver, who held a front-office administrative position with the Rams from April of 1978 until the fall of 1979, when Georgia Frontiere, Rosenbloom's widow and now sole owner of the team—Madame Ram, as they call her—terminated him. Guiver now is the assistant general manager of the Saints, reporting to Steve Rosenbloom, son of Carroll and stepson of Georgia. According to the transcript, Guiver said Carroll Rosenbloom had promised to sell him 1,000 tickets for the 1980 Super Bowl in the Rose Bowl at their face value, a promise corroborated by Steve Rosenbloom.
Guiver claimed that Georgia then tried in late 1979 to sell him 1,000 Super Bowl tickets—each had a face value of $30, so the total package was worth $30,000—for $100 apiece, or a total of $100,000. Guiver said Mrs. Frontiere sought to camouflage the $70,000 premium through car and loan payments.
Enter Rozelle. " Georgia called me to ask my advice as to how she should handle the Guiver situation," Rozelle said. "I said, ' Georgia, as commissioner, I don't like it. If you're asking me, if I were in your shoes, what would I do? I probably, right or wrong, would feel I had a moral and ethical obligation to fulfill my late husband's commitment.' Georgia then said to me, 'Well, if I do, I assure you they're gonna be my worst tickets.' "
Guiver got his 1,000 tickets—he says he gave Georgia a check for only $30,000, the total face value; most of his tickets reportedly were then distributed to an L.A. ticket agency. Rozelle today insists that Georgia never discussed the financial details of the transaction with him. What, though, in light of all the ticket-scalping charges in the depositions, would Rozelle do if Georgia called him tomorrow with a situation similar to the Guiver case?
"I'd probably tell her, 'Stiff him,' " Rozelle said.
One thing Georgia never asked Pete, though, was his advice on who should quarterback the Rams, which, her deposition indicates, was a nagging concern, as the following exchange among Georgia and attorneys Joseph L. Alioto and Joseph Cotchett reveals:
Frontiere: There are still some areas [of the L.A. team] I am not satisfied with. For instance...when he [Don Klosterman, general manager] hasn't told me who is going to be quarterback and somebody says who is going to be quarterback and I have to take a guess, you know. That kind of silly little thing that I don't consider too silly, no.
Alioto: Who is [playing quarterback]?
Frontiere: He [Klosterman] told me [Pat] Haden, but I am not so sure.