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"I knew it would happen," said Art Rooney, the 81-year-old owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. "Some of these newer people don't remember the old days when we were battling the colleges for the fan's dollar. Now we've taken a step backward.
"What gets me is why this whole thing wasn't negotiated a long time ago. It was foolish to wait this long."
?It took the bookies all of two days to release a betting line on the Canadian Football League's games. On Thursday the New York Daily News published the standings for the CFL; on Friday the paper accompanied the standings with a full column of agate type explaining the Canadian rules.
?"All the wives say, 'We have to stand by our husbands in this time of trouble,' " said Page Hannah, wife of New England All-Pro Guard John Hannah, "but you can't just put your life on hold. Life goes on. Your family goes on."
?Elsewhere in town, a Tampa Bay Buc had asked a club official on the eve of the stoppage, "If there's a strike, where do I get my check?"
And thus, with many pangs and withdrawal symptoms, the NFL trudged through Week 1 of the 1982 strike.
NFL owners and officials were divided on the idea of fielding teams of free agents and anti-union veterans, and on whether any so-called "scab" games should count in the standings. Dallas President Tex Schramm said those games would be a sham. Buffalo owner Ralph Wilson said, "People want to see football and we've got to give it to them." Few coaches relished the idea of coaching a rinky-dink team, even if everyone else were in the same boat. "I have no intention of coaching a scab football team," the Eagles' Dick Vermeil said. It was reported that the Rams got a jump on the rest of the league by trying out 14 free agents, en masse. The report was at first confirmed by Coach Ray Malavasi—and then denied. It aroused some bitter feelings.