The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 10, 1976 · Page 74
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December 10, 1976

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 74

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Friday, December 10, 1976
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E2 Palm Beach Post, Friday, December 10, i976 Den Herder Hopes for Decent Finale Jets' victories were over the Bills and the other came at the expense of Tampa Bay, while Buffalo's triumphs were against - who else? -Tampa Bay (by the unspectacular margin of 14-9) and Kansas City, which boasts an unexciting 4-9 mark. And don't forget that Kansas City - which lost to Buffalo, 50-17 -handed Miami one of its seven defeats. "Beating Minnesota could be the highlight of our season," Den Herder said. "New England was the only team with a real fine record (10-3) that we did beat. By CHUCK OTTERSON Post Sports Writer MIAMI In just two days the Miami Dolphins' most frustrating season in years will have ended. All that will remain will be the memories of 1976 and the hopes for 1977. Most of the memories won't be pleasant ones. A victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Saturday's final game could make winter reminiscing, a little less agonizing. "We'd like to beat a good team and end the season on a positive note," defensive end Vern Den Herder said yesterday. "It has been a frustrating year. A victory over Minnesota just might help us for next year. That's the only thing we have left - next year." Coach Don Shula's Dolphins take a 6-7 record into Saturday's game, scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Orange Bowl. Of their six victories, five were against clubs with a combined record of 5-34. Minnesota is 10-2-1. The Dolphins beat the Buffalo Bills (2-11) twice, the New. York Jets (3-10) twice and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-13) once. This accomplishment is even less impressive when you consider that two of the Vern Den Herder . . . frustrated Grant Wonders About Home Field CAMP NOTES - Shula plans to start Bob Griese at quarterback against the Vikings, who already have clinched the NFC Central title and a berth in the playoffs but need to beat the Dolphins to improve their chances for the home-field advantage . . . Other probable starters include Jim Mandich at wide receiver, Tom Drougas at right tackle, Don Nottingham at fullback and, possibly, Gary Davis at running back, because of injuries to Duriel Harris (ankle), Darryl Carlton (ankle), Norm Bulaich (leg) and Benny Malone (leg). Ken Ellis, who intercepted a pass against Buffalo last week, will start at free safety . Weather Cuts Short Fishing Tournament STUART - The threat of stronger winds and higher seas cut short the first day's fishing in the Stuart Sail-fish Club's Light Tackle Sailfish Tournament yesterday. Fishing originally was scheduled until 3 p.m., but officials stopped the action at noon. Seas had increased to 8-10 feet at the time. Twenty sails were caught and released, however, when the early deadline arrived. Eleven were from the pro division, seven from the team and two from the amateur ranks. The Joanna II and the Teaser, both team entries, were the only boats with two sails. Should foul weather persist, a decision will be made each morning by 7:30 a.m. Time lost will not be made up. The tournament, restricted to 20-lb. test line, ends Sunday. "We got close to a lot of others, but . . ." Narrow losses to Baltimore (17-16), Los Angeles (31-28), Kansas City (20-17, in overtime) and Cleveland (17-13) have helped make this the worst season in Shula's 14 years as a head coach in the National Football League. Den Herder, the Dolphins' defensive captain, said the defensive unit - which ranks 13th among the 14 teams in the American Conference in total defense - has set no special goals for Saturday's game. "We'd just like to win," the 6-foot-6, 252-pounder said. "That's the main thing. "We want to work together as a unit. Our defense is based on everybody doing his job. If we do that, we can play with anybody. The important thing is to come out with a win." Shula said recently that one of Miami's top priorities in the college draft will be a defensive lineman who can help the pass rush. The Dolphins have sacked the opposing quarterback 18 times this year; only two of the other 27 teams in the NFL - the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets - have done a poorer job. Baltimore and San Francisco have more than 50 sacks apiece. "You've gotta look at the past," the 28-year-old Den Herder said. "In the past, we've done the job. We had the stats. Certainly we can do it. It's just been a frustrating year. "It isn't that we haven't been beating anybody one-on-one at times. I just can't put my finger on it. "I've always had the belief that if you work yard, you'll get the job done. But this year, for some reason, it hasn't worked that way. We've worked as hard as ever, probably harder. It's puzzling." which was rolled up in the Rams' 59-0 thumping of Atlanta last weekend. The Dolphins will be fighting to even their record at 7-7 and avoid their first losing season since coach Don Shula's arrival in 1970. And Shula says he can add at least two more reasons for wanting the win. "When you analyze it, we've beaten only one good football team all year - New England," he said. "We'd like to end it up by beating a good football team." Shula also says he feels he has "an obligation to the rest of the teams in the league" to field his best lineup because the home-field status is still in doubt. Thus, it will be Bob Griese at quarterback for Miami instead of third-string Don Strock, whose big-play approach led the Dolphins to a 45-27 win over Buffalo last Sunday. The Vikings will go with quarterback Fran Tarken-ton, who may find some easy pickings in the Dolphin backfield which has been vulnerable to the pass on several occasions this year. Leading rusher Chuck Foreman, who has recorded his second straight thousand-yard year, also will start. MIAMI (UPI) - The home field "advantage" in the NFC playoffs will be at stake Saturday when Minnesota takes on the Miami Dolphins, but Viking coach Bud Grant isn't sure that helps much in Bloomington in December. "When people mention home field, they always put the word 'advantage' on the end of the sentences," Grant says. "Well; being home is a fan advantage and a convenience advantage, but how can you say it's a home field advantage? "The field could end up a mess, and then it's to nobody's advantage." A win in the nationally televised game Saturday would assure the Vikings the home field for the first game of the playoffs Saturday, Dec. 18, against the NFC wild card entry, either Washington or St. Louis. That would also hold true if both the Vikings and Los Angeles lose Saturday. But if Minnesota loses and the Rams beat Detroit Saturday night, the Vikings would open the playoffs in Dallas against the Cowboys. The Rams and Vikings would have identical records, but Los Angeles would have the edge because of a bigger point spread over NFC opponents, much of mm Jiii Bud Grant . . . small edge Rams9 Haden, Esq., Ditches Tweeds To Don Cleats " yy N Jim Murray L (c) Los Angtltt Tlmtt LOS ANGELES - Pro football is famous for delving into far-out corners of higher and lower education for its players. Scouts got Harlan Hill out of Alabama's Florence State Teachers College. They regularly comb the student rolls of Prairie View, Tex., New Mexico Highlands and Texas School of Mines for 4-second halfbacks or split ends. But no one ever thought of getting a quarterback where the Rams got Patrick C. Haden, Esq., this year. You get quarterbacks out of Notre Dame or Louisiana Tech or the Big 8, not 50 miles northwest of London. What you're supposed to get out of Oxford University are chancellors of the exchequer, first lords of the admiralty, or, in a pinch, first-rate butlers. What an Oxford don is doing on the 10-yard line without a pith helmet and a native bearer is something for him to explain. Oxonians are supposed to wear tweed jackets with elbow patches and Bond Street bro-gans, not cleats and funny-looking helmets with horns on them. How can you play football in a monocle? When the seasoned veterans of the Rams all from places with fight songs, card tricks, pompon girls, and a dormitory for football players only had their rookie quarterback stand on a chair and sing his school's fight song in fall practice this year, Pat Haden had to tell him Oxford has none of these. And the Sorbonne doesn't have card tricks. And Old Heidelberg's scars come from sabers, not linebackers. When they study a "blitz," they mean German armor, not free safeties. Eton doesn't have bonfire rallies. Oxford probably thinks a "Los Angeles Ram" is a freeway pileup. They were bemused to find that Pat Haden made enough money playing a game on Sunday so he didn't have to work the rest of the week. Explaining the Rose Bowl to people who think it's probably a poem by Swinburne is not even a finite undertaking. came direct from Oxford. Just as Terry Bradshaw looks as if he came from Louisiana Tech. It's not that he's frail. He doesn't get arm injuries or even ankle injuries. Better he should. Pat gets injured up there where he keeps Disraeli's stand on Suez and the Boer War dates. Pat is just small. Most NFL quarterbacks have 3 to 4 inches on him but, more importantly, they have 30 pounds on him. Pat gives a big pull in the weights to the lineman in every -collision. Even the coaches get a headache when Pat gets hit because he is probably as good a natural quarterback as there is in the game. Pat feels the condition is eminently correctable. He is a victim of his own scholastic aptitude. His excuse is interesting, that throughout-the-ages whipping boy, the British diet. It was all those boiled potatoes and greasy mutton and pickles. And those 16th century halls. If he weren't a Rhodes Scholar, he'd be first string. "The English food is not the best. I lost some weight. And the opportunities for keeping in condition were not the same. Oxford has plenty of libraries but no weightlifting rooms. I had central heating and modern quarters but in lots of places the guys woke up and could see their breaths and wore scarves to bed. Don't get me wrong, the English are a tough people." But, of course, they don't have the dietary advantages of even an NFL rookie, with probably seven years of training-table steaks and eggs behind him. They don't grow up to be Carl Eller or Joe Greene or Larry Cson-ka. Haden believes he's only a few New York cuts and bench presses from becoming the first guy to go from Oxford to the Super Bowl. Then it's back to the boiled haddock and cucumbers. He plans to return to Oxford in midterm. He misses the art of conversation practiced there. "Over here, we're in too much of a rush to talk to each other." In other words, he wants to get some place where he can have more of a dialogue with his fellow man than "How you like that, Chump!?" "Punting" is something you do on the Thames with a pole, not on fourth down. They'll wonder how a tight end can see the ball. On the same score, how can an Oxonian explain the moral philosophers to a crashing linebacker? Can Descartes teach you what to do on third-and-goal? Does Kant's Pure Reason work against George Allen? Not even Disraeli could make the right decision if he only had 3.5 seconds. Only one other Rhodes Scholar ever achieved stardom in the National Football League. Cecil Rhodes' idea of a scholar-athlete was probably a polo player. "Whiz-zer" White went on the U.S. Supreme Court, a body of men not ordinarily associated with the word "Whizzer." Pat Haden aspires to the law, too, and is studying the utiliarian philosophers, British political history since 1865 and economics. Not surprisingly with a quarterback from Oxford, a major occupations! hazard is concussion. Many NFL players are not that vulnerable in that area. There's not that much to concuss. They wear their helmets mainly for looks. It's their knees and legs they worry about. You never see their heads in a splint or their brains taped. No one has figured out a brace for the cerebellum. When ligaments are torn there, no prothesis works. The thing about Pat Haden is, he LOOKS as if he Holt From El- z David Knight, a wide receiver who had played under Holtz at William & Mary, called him "an over-achiever type and he couldn't do what he wanted to do here. This is about the zenith for any coach coaching in New York. I knew he was going to do it (come to New York) eventually, but I was surprised that he did it so early. He was sure he could work his magic here, but obviously he couldn't." And safety Phil Wise observed: "He just didn't like it here in New York. I could tell the last few weeks that something was bothering the man. You've got to be a little bit cold in this business and he's not like that." With Holtz gone, Al Ward, the Jets' general manager said, "the coaching hunt is on-again." One man often mentioned as Holtz' possible successor is Walt Michaels, the Jets' defensive coordinator for 11 seasons. But he has been passed over twice since Weeb Ewbank's retirement after the 1973 season. "We have not sacrificed a year," Ward said of the team's so-called rebuilding program, "because when you bring in 14 new men and have them play, you are accomplishing something. We have built the foundation." Holtz said he had decided Tuesday that he wanted to leave and had statements ready for the Jets officials and players telling them so. But on Wednesday morning he met with Phil Iselin, the Jets' president, and Townsend Martin, the board chairman, and he changed his mind, deciding he should fulfill his contract and the commitment that went with it. "I have been happy wherever I have coached, and that includes New York," he said later Wednesday at the Jets' training camp here at Hof-stra University. "I'm here because I want to be here and I will be here next year because I will want to be here." Then, he went home and that's where he changed his mind again, he said yesterday. He couldn't talk it over with his wife, Beth, because she was in Liverpool, Ohio, with her father, who had suffered a recent heart attack. So he thought about it alone - and the thing which ultimately helped make up his mind was a letter from Tom Chesor, a former lineman at the University of Connecticut where Holtz was an assistant during 1964-65. "The guy wrote that I probably wouldn't remember him, but he just wanted to say he was a college coach now," Holtz related. "That was the thing that triggered it." Golden Bears Down Sporting of Miami MIAMI - Paced by 15-year-old Efren Herreria II, the North Palm Beach Golden Bears defeated Sporting of Miami, 2-0, in a soccer game yesterday. Herreria scored the first Golden Bears goal and Jim Mcll-vaine added the clincher. When Shopping Use P-T Classifieds Trades From El- In other developments, first baseman George Scott came to terms with the Boston Red Sox and will play for the American League club for the 1977 baseball season. Scott, acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers in a trade Monday, agreed to terms late Wednesday night in a telephone call with Red Sox assistant general manager John Claiborne. Claiborne, with other Red Sox officials in Los Angeles for the winter meetings, decided to call Scott in Milwaukee after the slugging first baseman's agent, Gary Walker, rejected Boston's offer. "Hey, let's rap," Scott said. About one-half hour later, Scott had agreed to terms. To make sure, Claiborne got American League president Lee MacPhail on the phone to confirm Scott's agreement. Scott, traded by the Red Sox to Milwaukee five years ago, often has expressed a desire to return to Boston. He was happy when he heard he had been traded along with Bernie the Red Sox, the contract was extended through the 1978 season. Terms were not disclosed, but Scott reportedly received a $5,000 raise to $144,000 a year. The New York Mets sent outfielder Leon Brown and first baseman Brock Pemberton to the St. Louis Cardinals yesterday in exchange for outfielder-first baseman Ed Kurpiel. All three players were assigned to the Mets' and Cardinals' Triple A farm clubs at Tidewater of the International League and New Orleans of the American Association. Brown and Pemberton both were dropped from the Mets' roster following the 1976 season and were available but not selected in Monday's draft of minor leaguers. Brown batted .214 in 63 games for the Mets this season. Pemberton hit .290 at Tidewater. Kurpiel split the 1976 season at Tulsa, where he batted .280 in 29 games, and Salt Lake City, where he hit .262 in 83 games. Carbo for Cecil Cooper Monday, but later balked. Ten-year major leaguers, the last five with the same club, have the right to veto a trade. Scott reportedly demanded a five-year contract with the Red Sox. However, general manager Dick O'Connell and Claiborne took a hard stand. "We have offered Scott an extra year on his contract and only a bit more money," O'Connell said in Los Angeles Wednesday night after Claiborne had made a quick visit to Walker in Phoenix. "This is our final offer," O'Connell said. "If he doesn't accept then the deal will be negated and we'll be right back where we started. As far as I'm concerned, agents are starting to get me. They're nothing but a bunch of piranha fish eating the flesh of baseball players." A few hours later Claiborne made his phone call and Scott agreed to terms. Scott had one year remaining on his contract with Milwaukee. With Once again, Old Forester comes in an elegant holiday package that's perfect for gift-giving. But don't just give it because of what outside. Give it because of what's inside. Premium Old Forester with the rich, full taste. After all, when it comes to gift giving, it's the spirit that counts. Who Is That Guy Out There? nior college coach at Florida State in the late 1960s, would be playing. "He was just kind of playing around," Danford said. "He was just enjoying himself, and we were enjoying having him out there. He didn't play real hard." Cowens, who scored six points, concentrated on helping the junior college players improve their games, Danford said. "They told me after the game that Dave would tell them to get the ball, fake left and go right and he would let them dump it," he said. Royals, Ron King, Larry Wisfi and Randy Cable - all former Florida State starters. They won, 82-62, but Danford said his players didn't mind. "I had one kid that wanted Dave to hit him in the eye so he could go home and tell all his friends that Cowens gave him a black eye," he said. Danford said FSU coach Hugh Durham agreed to forfeit the scheduled game because his jayvee players had tests the next day and asked if he could use a pickup team in a practice game. What Danford didn't know was that Cowens, a teammate'of the ju MADISON (AP) - Florida State's junior varsity basketball team had exams the next day, so a junior college opponent allowed the Seminoles to use some ringers in a practice game. But Dick Danford, North Florida Junior College coach, got more than he bargained for. Lining up at center for the FSU jayvees was Dave Cowens, the pro basketball allstar who shocked the sports world last month by taking an unpaid leave of absence from the Boston Celtics. "Yeah, they slipped one in on us," Danford said. Cowens' teammates wre Reggie , ffili flinfiiilirtiilr- Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky 86 or. 100 Prxl Brown forman Distillers Corp iouiiille Kv (196

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