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Scott Ostler

Inquiring Minds Want to Know, So Here's Answer Man

October 01, 1987|Scott Ostler

Dear Answer Man . . . Training camp reports from the various NFL teams have been scarce. Have starting lineups been announced? Have the Raiders decided on a starting quarterback?

Don't be cruel. Of course, Marc Wilson will be the starting quarterback. He gets the nod based on his leadership ability and familiarity with the Raider system. In other words, he's the only player who knows how to get from the Coliseum dressing room to the field.

If Wilson proves ineffective, who will the Raiders bring in?

You know that colorful Coliseum peanut vendor with the great arm? Rodger? The Raiders are trying to sign him as Wilson's backup, but so far Rodger is unwilling to take a pay cut. Personally, I think the kid's behind-the-back passes would add an exciting new dimension to the Raider attack.

Do you think the major league baseball owners have ended their collusion?

Absolutely. You know collusion is over when the Dodgers go out and sign a big-money free agent like Don Drysdale. The Dodgers were rumored to be among the most blatant colluders. All the major league teams were found guilty of doing nothing, but the Dodgers did more nothing than any other team.

The Rams have signed 10 former USC football players for their strikebreaker squad. With Robinson coaching, this will be just like USC football, won't it?

Yes, except the players are having a harder time selling their complimentary tickets.

The lawsuit that forces Irwindale to make a lengthy environmental study before proceeding with Raider Stadium plans--is this another case of political harassment?

No way, Mr. Paranoid. Any clear-thinking citizen should realize the importance of assessing the possible damage that could be done to the natural and unspoiled beauty of Irwindale by building a football stadium at the bottom of an abandoned gravel pit.

Rock formations carved out hundreds of months ago by ancient bulldozers could be disturbed or even completely destroyed.

The Raiders must be stopped before they tear up the landscape willy-nilly. My sources tell me the next strategy for the politicians will be to have the gravel pits declared a national park, and have the pit-bottom slime sucker declared the official national fish and therefore a protected species.

Cullen Bryant?

Yep.

Do you think it's bad strategy, public relations-wise, for the NFL strikers to be pelting the strikebreakers with eggs?

Not unless the strikers start throwing caviar. Egg-pelting is a time-honored tradition in labor disputes. In fact, toward improving the tenor of the negotiations, I'd suggest that Jack Donlan and Gene Upshaw give it a try.

Since they'll be playing with ragtag groups of strikebreakers, will the NFL teams alter their nicknames?

Nice try. You thought you could trick me into inventing some cute new names--like L.A. Shams, Cleveland Frowns, Houston Spoilers, L.A. Raiderettes, Buffalo Counterfeit Bills, Cincinnati Bimbos, Dallas Cowflops--but this strike is serious business, pal, and I won't stoop to that level of silly humor. Besides, lots of them have already been invented.

The 1988 Olympic Games seem to be on the rocks, what with the stalemate between North Korea and the IOC over what events will be held in the North. Why can't we intervene by sending some proven negotiators? What would happen if we sent Jack Donlan and Gene Upshaw?

Better we sent Siskell and Ebert. If we sent Donlan and Upshaw, countries would start signing up to boycott the 1992 Games.

That was an interesting situation in St. Louis. Several women who work in the football Cardinals' ticket office honored the picket line , out of sympathy for the players, and received encouragement and support from Cardinal lineman Luis Sharpe, a former UCLA Bruin. But the women went back to work when they found out that Sharpe and several other Cardinals crossed a picket line of striking ticket workers to go into a concert. Do you think the players had strong philosophical and ideological justification for blatantly snubbing the people supporting them?

Of course, they did. The players realize their solemn obligation to lend mutual support to other strikers. The Cardinals' strike motto is: "All for One and One for All, Unless You Might Have to Miss a Really Groovy Concert."

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