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The Script is what Rozelle and his staff work out every summer—the results of all the games, intricately planned in advance to keep the divisional races close. If the betting man studies the results after the first few games, he can sometimes spot a trend. Like the Houston Oilers last year, who wound up with a 10-4 record against the spread. This was the best in the league, and more than one smart guy thought Rozelle should have given the big silver paperweight to Bum Phillips instead of to Tom Landry.
Working out the Script is one of the toughest parts of Rozelle's job. He has a lot of owners who don't want to lose a game at home or on television. It becomes a bargaining process. For example, Rozelle is forced to call Carroll Rosenbloom, and have the following conversation:
Pete: Carroll, how do you feel about dropping a close one to the 49ers on Oct. 8?
Carroll: I can't do it, Pete. Too many VIPs in the press box that day. I've already invited Warner Baxter, George M. Cohan and Cheryl Tiegs.
Pete: I'll trade you a really big win over Pittsburgh on Nov. 12 for it.
Carroll: I don't know, Pete, San Francisco is a division team.
Pete: I've done you a lot of favors, Carroll. I got you out of Baltimore and into Beverly Hills. Now I'm working on the P.R. campaign that'll keep a team out of L.A. once you move to Anaheim. I need this one.
Carroll: Can I move back to L.A. if it doesn't work out in Anaheim?
Pete: Let's worry about that when the time comes. I need this game. It will make all of October more interesting. You're going to win the division, anyhow. I suppose its O.K. to tell you that. And look at it this way—it won't be the Rams' fault. I'll send a zebra.
Carroll: Well, all right. But let's make it a heartbreaker. Do the 49ers have a placekicker who can glance one off the crossbars?