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TUESDAY, AUG. 31: Double coverage
I did an interview with [Viking Running Back] Tony Gal-breath for my weekly TV show on WCCO. It went fine, but it seemed to me that I was more excited about doing the show than I've ever been in the past. That says something, I think. Television used to be an interesting extra thing in my life. Now it's my future.
Thought for today: I caught 80 passes three years ago and only 58 last year, but that doesn't mean that I've declined. I had more double coverage used against me last year. Often a receiver is more valuable to his team with many fewer catches. The trick is to stay alert all the time. You're only going to get a handful of chances in every game, and the whole point is to be ready when one comes along. Maybe the thing that I'm proudest of in my 11 seasons in the NFL happened one year when the Vikings made up one of those composite films. This one consisted only of examples of Minnesota players making mental errors—a summary of all the stupid things that we'd done all year long. I was in almost every offensive play the whole season, and I didn't appear in that film a single time.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 1: The Great White Hope
Fight No. 2 for Mountain Man Irwin. Another bout during practice, against Doug Martin. The Great White Hope was a decisive winner this time. He got some good licks in, between Doug's face-mask bars; Doug only got one to the stomach and a nice kick. On the 10-point-must system, I give this round to Irwin 10 to 3½ (kicks count half).
And you know what, Frank? Guess. After practice Doug and Tim went fishing together.
Thought for today: No, I'd never make a lineman. I'll never understand those guys.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 2: The wife factor
If I were Ed Garvey, my greatest concern would be the wife factor. If the strike goes past a paycheck or two, that's where the real pressure is going to come from.
In many ways it's harder being a football wife than it is being a football player. Especially in difficult times. The player always has some teammates to turn to. I'm glad I'm not married now, that I won't have a wife who'll have to endure the transition I have to make—going from being very visible, a football hero, to being just somebody else in the real world. The problem with being a player's wife is that it's difficult, really difficult, for her to understand what's happening to him psychologically. He looks the same to her. A wife doesn't lose a step the way a player does. Actually, it's only women who get better with age, football players don't.