The Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins renew their storied rivalry Sunday, which is a good excuse to pass along an anecdote from the book "Football," written by Dan Jenkins.
Jenkins, recalling a locker room exchange between Washington quarterbacks Sonny Jurgensen and Billy Kilmer before a Monday Night Football game against Dallas, wrote:
"Sonny and Billy were sitting next to each other on a bench that evening while they and the rest of the squad listened--or pretended to be listening--to Coach George Allen's emotional sermon on the subject of why this game was the most important thing in his own life or all of theirs.
"Choked up and teary eyed, Allen finally reached a point in the pregame talk when he made a theatrical gesture.
"Allen said, 'I'll tell you what this game means to me. I would cut my arm off up to here to win it! Right up to here!'
"That was when Jurgensen nudged Kilmer and said in a whisper, 'Thank God, it's his left arm. He can still sign checks.' "
How long was the Monday night football game between the Washington Redskins and the San Francisco 49ers? Writes Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post:
--"My colleague, Bill Gildea, did three full loads of laundry during the game and didn't miss a play.
--"The America's Cup trials take less time.
--"Not only could you read a Russian novel, you could write one.
--"Some of Joe Montana's marriages didn't last that long."
Add Kornheiser: He said, "The TV people like to tell you that the fault lies with so many passes and the instant replay rule and the injuries and the penalties. Hey, what about all the commercials? Enough already with Bud Light. They ought to detonate the H-bomb on the next bozo who asks for a light."
Trivia Time: Who were the three Ram quarterbacks to wear No. 11 before Jim Everett? (Answer below.)
Rodney Peete, please note: Says USC linebacker Marcus Cotton: "The best part of playing linebacker is getting a sack. I love going after a quarterback. For some reason, I don't like quarterbacks. I don't even like our own quarterback when he's on the field."
Would-you-believe-it Dept.: The top six teams in the Pacific 10--Arizona State, USC, Arizona, Stanford, UCLA and Washington--are 17-1 against nonconference foes. The only loss was Oklahoma's 38-3 rout of UCLA.
Don Mattingly of the New York Yankees, taking issue with the selection of Roger Clemens as the American League MVP, said: "I'm still of the old school. A guy like Clemens does a great job every fifth day, but the other four days you're counting on somebody else."
Fact is, the first MVP in American League history was a pitcher--Lefty Grove in 1931. Hal Newhouser of Detroit was a back-to-back MVP in 1944-45.
In the National League, three of first six MVPs were pitchers--Carl Hubbell in 1933 and '36 and Dizzy Dean in 1934.
Trivia Answer: Norm Van Brocklin, James Harris and Pat Haden. Note: Harris also wore No. 12. Terry Baker wore No. 11 one year after being shifted from quarterback to running back. Other Rams to wear No. 11 were linebacker Riley Matheson (1946-47) and placekicker Danny Villanueva (1960-64).
Jim Finks, general manager of the New Orleans Saints, asked about all the controversial calls in last Sunday's game: "We're not allowed to comment on the lousy officiating."