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Scott Ostler

Comebacks to Be Big in '87--Except for Quarterbacks

January 15, 1987|SCOTT OSTLER

Just wondering . . .

Why can't the NFL do something to put more excitement and danger in the quarterback position?

Only about half the NFL starters were chopped down with near-fatal injuries this season. A lot of them escaped with minor injuries, hardly even requiring surgery.

Joe Montana will probably be lucid by March. Doctors say Joe Theismann will someday walk again. Isn't it time we stopped pampering these sissies?

What's more exciting than seeing the quarterback carried off the field on a stretcher? The answer to that, of course, is two stretchers.

Can we make the quarterbacks wear horse blinkers, to maximize the gotta-love-it blind-side hit? Or after the whistle, can we give the defensive blitzers a five-second grace period where anything goes? Call it the momentum rule?

Isn't 1987 shaping up as the year of the comeback?

The most likely comebacks? Glad you asked. My picks are: George Foreman (boxing), the Beatles (singing), Mike Norris and Steve Howe (an entry, baseball), the Edsel (Indy car racing), New York Mets (back to reality).

Is George Foreman really returning to the ring after a 10-year retirement? Is it true the kindest thing you can say about George is that he will be well rested? Will Judge Crater be the referee? Since the fight will be in Cannes, France, will it be billed as the Cannes Flimflam Festival?

Do kickers have short memories?

Didn't Denver kicker Rich Karlis knock the Cleveland football fans for throwing objects onto the field last Sunday, saying, "They should do something about those Dawgs (fans)."?

Wait a minute. Isn't Denver, home of the Broncos, the place where a game was decided last season when a local fan threw a snowball at the visiting team's holder during a crucial kick?

What other jobs has Pat Quinn signed up for that we don't yet know about?

Head of the RTD? UCLA football coach? Manager of the New York Yankees? National security adviser? When will we get a complete list? How many of the jobs will he be allowed to keep?

Does pro basketball have the toughest anti-drug policies? Or does horse racing?

The NBA punishes players caught tooting, toting or toking coke, right?

What's so tough about that? A horse was stripped of a big purse recently when a urine test turned up traces of a substance in a candy bar fed the horse the day before the race.

The news report said that the horse, DeRigueur, is a gelding. Was that part of the punishment for eating the candy bar?

Fun's fun, but what ever happened to the days when touchdowns and sacks were celebrated with some kind of dignity and style?

When you sack a guy, is it mandatory that you leap around as if you're auditioning for a spot on Dance Fever, or accidentally got some heat balm in your jock?

Whatever happened to . . . Chicago Bears . . . Houston Rockets . . . Kansas City Royals . . . ?

Now that we have one-hour film developing, and one-day dry-cleaning, isn't it fitting and proper that we have one-year sports dynasties?

Aren't we, as a society, getting sportier and sportier? We have athletes-only college dorms, we have sports bars, we wear sports fashions, right? So isn't it about time we had sports prisons?

Why should jock cons have to be locked up with regular nonathletic felons? With guys like LaMarr Hoyt, John Drew and Dom Frontiere and so many others taking paddles up the river, can't we put them all in one place?

What if we recommission Alcatraz, spiff it up with ballpark organ music, electronic scoreboards ("Penalty time remaining . . . ") and guards dressed in referee uniforms, and call it Jock Rock?

Where was Miami coach Jimmy Johnson the week before the Fiesta Bowl game?

Wasn't that Jimmy and his perfect hair we saw all week long, defending his players for dressing like slobs, disrupting banquets, talking like fools, getting into sideline shouting matches with opposing fans?

Was Jimmy too busy all week, mapping out strategy for first-down-on-the-other-team's-six-yard-line situations to exercise a tiny bit of discipline and order among his troops?

Who won that game, anyway? Penn State, eh? Had Miami won that game, would the Miami school president and coach now be apologizing like crazy for the actions of their zany student athletes?

Who says police officers have no sense of humor?

Didn't the Denver PD bust 65 at-large felons by luring them to a police trap the felons were told was a Super Bowl ticket give-away? Didn't the PD even put together an all-cop band to play at the masquerade party, just to make it realistic?

And what was it a Cleveland cop said when reporters asked him about two bomb threats made against the Denver Broncos airplane when the Broncs were in Cleveland? Didn't the policeman say, "Whatever happened here got blown out of proportion."?

Isn't that a quote we'd all like to use now and then?

Just wondering.

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