- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 20, 2002

Let me get this straight. The Team Formerly Known As Air Coryell is interviewing Marty Schottenheimer for its coaching job? That's like the Harlem Globetrotters interviewing Jeff Van Gundy.

By the way, since Marty lasted only a year here, shouldn't the Chiefs have to refund one of the third-round draft picks the Redskins gave them?

That's the unwritten story of the Schottenheimer firing. He not only cost the team $10 million for one season, he also cost it two compensatory third-round picks.

Speaking of Marty, do you think he had anything to do with the Caps' three-defenseman alignment?

Stat of the Week: If Terry Allen came out of retirement every year and rushed for 658 yards, as he did this season with the Ravens, he'd break Walter Payton's career record in October 2014. (T.A. currently has 8,614 rushing yards to Payton's 16,729.)

What's this I hear about Dan Snyder offering Bobby Beathard $500,000 a year to be the Redskins' GM? You'd think he wanted Bobby to manage a Dairy Queen or something.

Six fun facts about Steve Spurrier:
1. The Niners traded three players for Atlanta's No. 1 pick in '67 so they could draft Spurrier, wide receiver Bernie Casey, guard Jim Wilson and defensive tackle Jim Norton. Casey went on to an acting career and has appeared in such gems as "Cleopatra Jones," "Revenge of the Nerds" and "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka."
2. Spurrier and Bob Griese have an odd connection. In 1966, the year Spurrier won the Heisman Trophy, Griese came in second. The previous year in the Heisman voting, they finished eighth (Griese) and ninth (Spurrier). In the '66 NFL Draft, Spurrier went third and Griese fourth. Also, in the pros, Spurrier wore No. 11 and Griese No. 12.
3. Spurrier's best year in the NFL was '72, when he led the Niners to a 5-2-1 record while John Brodie was sidelined with a leg injury. During that stretch, he tied a team record with five touchdown passes against the Bears and threw for 315 yards against the Packers.
4. The only time Spurrier ever started a game against the Cowboys, he beat them 31-10 on Thanksgiving '72. (He completed 16 of 24 for 177 yards and a TD.) That was the day 49ers linebacker Skip Vanderbundt went wild, returning a fumble and an interception for scores.
5. No, Spurrier never threw a pass against the Redskins (although his teams played Washington five times in his 10-year career). He did, however, do some punting against the Redskins during his days with the 49ers.
6. When Spurrier was coaching the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits in the early '80s, one of his assistants was Jack Burns. Burns later served on the Redskins staff under Joe Gibbs (1989-91).

Skip Vanderbundt. I've always loved that name. It has a poetic quality to it.
Vanderbundt
Blocked a punt.
See what I mean?

One thing I distinctly remember about Spurrier's San Francisco teams: I could never tell Bob Windsor and Dick Witcher two of his receivers apart.

On the subject of Windsor, he attended Spurrier's swearing in at Redskin Park last week and Steve mentioned him in his remarks. Bob's a local boy who went to Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring and Montgomery Junior College before heading on to fame and fortune at Kentucky and in the NFL.

Those years with the Niners must have been tough on Spurrier. I mean, not only was Brodie a better quarterback, he was a better golfer, too.

As I read the story in Sports Illustrated about the SI jinx, I immediately thought of the blown-up SI covers that adorn the walls at Redskin Park (one of Dan Snyder's many contributions to the decor). Maybe that's why the team hasn't made the playoffs the last two seasons.

How come nobody ever talks about the ESPN jinx? The day after the network airs a half-hour special on Maryland's Juan Dixon, he goes out and has his worst game in two years against Duke. (The special, incidentally, is superb. It's being rebroadcast Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m., for those of you who might be interested.)

The 8 p.m. kickoff in Foxboro, Mass., last night on Jan. 19 reminded me of a late-season game in Milwaukee between the Packers and Steelers back in the '40s. It was so frigid that day that Green Bay coach Curly Lambeau kept all his substitutes in the locker room, where they listened to the game on the radio and kept warm. When Curly needed replacements, he phoned assistant Eddie Kotal, who was "running things in the heated room," the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported.
"The [ploy] occasioned a lot of surprise on the part of the fans, who couldn't figure out, at the start of the game, where the substitutes were," the newspaper said. … Players summoned to the game by [Lambeau] trotted onto the field warmed up and ready to go, while the Pittsburgh reserves were exposed to the cold, which numbed fingers and undoubtedly cost a lot in fighting spirit."
Naturally, the Packers prevailed 24-21.

Donnie Shell, the old Steelers strong safety, is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Gee, I don't know. Shell had 51 interceptions, sure, but he also had Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood, Jack Lambert and Jack Ham playing in front of him and Mel Blount holding down one of the corners.

If Shell gets voted in this year, he'll be the fifth member of the Steel Curtain defense to make the Hall. The only other defense that can say that in the two-platoon era, at least is the '60s Packers (Willie Davis, Henry Jordan, Ray Nitschke, Herb Adderley and Willie Wood).

And if Bob Kuechenberg is elected as the Seniors Candidate, it'll give the '70s Dolphins a record-tying six offensive players in Canton Griese, Paul Warfield, Larry Csonka, Larry Little and Jim Langer being the others. Trivia question: What other famous ballclub has six offensive players in the Hall? (Answer below.)

I'd tell Shaquille O'Neal to pick on somebody his own size and not Bulls beanstalk Brad Miller except there isn't anybody his own size.

And to think Wilt Chamberlain once fooled around with the idea of fighting Muhammad Ali. They even appeared together on "Wide World of Sports." Ali told Wilt he'd have to shave his beard because he wasn't going to climb in the ring with "no billygoat."

The other storied NFL team with six offensive players in the Hall of Fame is the '50s Browns (Otto Graham, Marion Motley, Lou Groza, Dante Lavelli, Mike McCormack and Frank Gatski).

In case you wondering, that was Steve Francis, the ex-Terp, who held Allen Iverson to 58 points the other night. Steve pumped in 13 himself, so he was only outscored by 45.

Hey, at least he did better than Shane Battier. Shane was outscored by 50 56-6 by Kobe Bryant the night before.

Neither of them has anything to worry about, though. Darrell Imhoff was once outscored 100-7 by Wilt. Talk about records that will never be broken.

And finally, one of my New Year's resolutions is to clean up my language. So from now on, I'm going to refer to golfer Robert Damron as Robert Darnron.


LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide