And, now, comes the second football shock of the week--a threat by the nation's college players to go on strike.
The players (officially the International Brotherhood of Student-Athletes) are demanding larger monthly stipends, shorter classroom hours, and the right of free agency (i.e., that is, agents who will work for them at no charge). College presidents, in turn, vow that they'll play out the season, if necessary, using previous flunk-outs, junior college imports and red-shirts willing to cross picket lines.
The strike threat nearly overshadowed No. 2 Pitt's Comedown of the Week award--for succumbing to a 20-point underdog, Temple.
And the threatened walkout came too late for No. 12 Colorado State, the latest victim of the powerhouse University of Texas at El Touchdown Paso (2-0).
Team (Rec.) Last Loss Next Loss 1. Texas (0-2) Idle Oregon St. 2. Pitt (2-1) 21-24, Temple W. Virginia 3. Purdue (0-1-1) Tied L'ville, 22-22 Notre Dame 4. BYU (1-2) 12-33, TCU New Mexico 5. Stanford (0-2) 17-31, Colorado San Jose St. 6. Columbia (0-1) 0-35, Harvard Lafayette 7. N. Car. St. (0-3) 3-21, Wake Forest Maryland 8. Miss (1-2) Def.Ark.St.,47-10* Tulane 9. Houston (0-1) Idle Sam Houston 10. Illinois (1-2) Def. E. Car., 20-10 Idle
11. Arizona State (Sun Devil symbols on ASU's stadium had to be covered during Pope John Paul II's visit); 12. Colorado State (0-3); ; 13.-16. Pentagon (Army, Navy, Air Force, Maine Maritime) (3-6); 17. (Tie) Akron (1-2) and USC (1-1); 19. Michigan (1-1); 20. Northwestern (0-2); 21 1/2. UCLA (offense ranked for allowing own quarterbacks to be sacked 10 times vs. Fresno State).
*Victories over Arkansas State don't impress the Bottom Ten selectors, Miss.
ROUT OF THE WEEK: Cal State Queen Mary (2-1) over Michigan (1-1) (based on Wolverine Coach Bo Schembechler's statement that "I don't know if we can stop the (49ers') run").
CRUMMY GAME OF THE WEEK: BYU (1-2) at New Mexico (0-3).
The New Jersey Giants and Los Angeles Rams, obviously trying to get a head start on their counterparts, unveiled their own "strike" teams Sunday, composed of previously cut players, peanut vendors and the like.
The "Giants," not to be confused with the Super Bowl winners, fell to Dallas, 16-14. The "Rams," not to be confused with the Super Bowl contenders, were beaten by Minnesota, 21-16. Surely no real Ram team would have lost, in the final moments, as Los Angeles did on a touchdown pass that Viking quarterback Wade Wilson admitted, "I was trying to throw away."
Meanwhile, Oiler fans were hoping for a strike of general managers after Houston's Ladd Herzeg was arrested in Buffalo for allegedly "mooning" a wedding reception twice and punching out the bride's brother. (The enraged Bills subsequently defended the bride's honor, 34-30.)
If, like the Giants and Rams, the other NFL clubs are forced to stock their rosters with substitutes, the bidding should be fierce for one out-of-work quarterback--George Blanda, 60 years young.
Team (Rec.) Last Loss Next Loss 1. N.J. Giants (0-2) 14-16, Dallas ? 2. Rams (0-2) 16-21, Minnesota ? 3. Cincinnati (1-1) 26-27, San Fran. ? 4. Detroit (0-2) 7-27, Irwindale ? 5. Herzeg ($100*) Pants ?
6. Indianapolis (0-2); 7. Denver (1-0-1); 8. Seattle (a subsidiary of 44-Boz, Inc.) (1-1); 9. Buffalo (1-1); 10. Cincinnati (1-1)**.
**Deserves to be ranked twice for last-second loss to San Francisco.
CRUMMY GAME OF THE WEEK: NFL Players Union vs. NFL owners.
ROUT OF THE WEEK: N.J. Giants over Denver Sunday (CBS plans to show a replay of the Super Bowl if the strike's still in effect).
GOOD TIMING AWARD: Atlanta receiver Charlie Brown, after ending his holdout Monday, explained: "I'm glad it (the holdout) is over. I didn't want to miss any more games."
DEBUTING NEXT WEEK: The Arena Football Bottom Four!