In the National Football League season of 1956, the New York Giants used to open at quarterback with Don Heinrich, a scholarly type who would probe the enemy's defense and then give way to Charlie Conerly.
The Giants won the NFL title, and Coach Jim Lee Howell was hailed as something of a genius.
At the 30th reunion of the team this week in New York, a New York Times reporter asked Conerly about the strategy.
Conerly said: "Jim Lee's idea was for me to watch what the opposing defense did, then go in there and exploit it. But standing there on the sideline, I couldn't see nothin'."
When the Dallas Cowboys were flying to London for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears, Mickey Spagnola of the Dallas Times Herald reports that tackle Phil Pozderac jokingly asked a man near him on the plane if the man were a Libyan terrorist. The man just smiled.
So Pozderac asked where he was from.
"Libya," the man said.
Add London: Jim Dent of the Dallas Times Herald quoted a customs agent at Heathrow Airport as saying of the Bears: "They looked much bigger and meaner than the Cowboys."
Trivia Time: Name a coach who coached teams that scored shutouts in both Rose Bowl and NFL championship games? (Answer below.)
From Todd Phipers of the Denver Post: "Dennis (Oil Can) Boyd, Boston's troubled and currently suspended pitcher, isn't the first player in his family to have troubles in organized baseball. One of his older brothers, Don, signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, but left the minor leagues in 1973 because whenever he went to bat, he claimed to see the cross of Jesus instead of the ball. He now is an evangelical minister in Mississippi."
Cleveland outfielder Mel Hall has committed six errors this season, three of them leading directly to runs.
"I know fielding's my weak point, and I'm working on it," Hall said. "Lucille and I can be better."
Lucille? That's what he calls his glove. He says he calls it that because he has a close relationship with it.
When Bo Jackson was doing little more than striking out the first two weeks with the Memphis Chicks, Kansas City scouting director Art Stewart refused to panic.
Stewart told Frank Dolson of the Philadelphia Inquirer that former Michigan State receiver Kirk Gibson had an even more inglorious start with Lakeland of the Class-A Florida State League in 1978.
"Gibson walked in and struck out something like 18 out of 21 times," Stewart said.
Gibson batted .240 for Lakeland. The next year, he batted .245 for Evansville of the Triple-A American Assn. before being called up to Detroit, where he has remained.
Jackson is batting .255 in the Double-A Southern League. In 27 games, he has hit 4 home runs and has struck out 41 times.
Trivia Answer: Earle (Greasy) Neale. He coached Washington & Jefferson to a 0-0 tie with California in the 1922 Rose Bowl. In the NFL championship game, he coached the Philadelphia Eagles to a 7-0 win over the Chicago Cardinals in 1948 and to a 14-0 victory over the Rams in 1949.
The tie with Cal ended an 18-game winning streak by the Bears, who had been overwhelming favorites. One writer said before the game, "All I know about Washington and Jefferson is that they are both dead."
Gary Williams, Ohio State basketball coach, on why playgrounds are the best place to learn the game: "Because if you lose, you sit down."