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Headband Isn't a Laughing Matter; $5,000 Fine Stands

January 14, 1986|Associated Press

CHICAGO — NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle enjoyed Chicago Bear quarterback Jim McMahon's heady little joke Sunday, but by Monday the NFL office said the matter of logos and $5,000 fines was closed.

McMahon says the National Football League was nit-picking when it fined him last week for wearing an Adidas headband.

"We gotta worry about nit-picking stuff like labels?" McMahon complained after the Bears beat the Rams Sunday in the National Football Conference championship game.

During the game, McMahon wore a white headband with the word ROZELLE written on the front. The move was a swipe at Rozelle, who fined the Bears $5,000 last week because McMahon wore an Adidas headband in a game.

NFL rules require players to cover up company logos on their clothing.

Rozelle, who was in the Soldier Field press box Sunday, called McMahon's stunt "a great gag."

"It broke me up," Rozelle said. "I'm just upset that I wasn't able to get a shoe model out in time."

The commissioner's office said he had nothing further to say on the subject Monday.

"He's amazing," Bear Coach Mike Ditka said Monday. "I didn't know what it (headband) said, then I read it."

"Why do they worry about this chicken stuff?" McMahon said after the game. "They're trying to take all the fun out of the game.

"I've been with Adidas for years. And I'd worn their headband all season. I'd been warned about it, but what the heck.

"I guess the networks don't like us giving publicity to these companies. So, the league hits me for five grand, and I figure, I'll give Pete some pub. Maybe he needs it."

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