Page 56 article text (OCR)
D2-Palm Beach Post-Times. Saturday, December 11, 1976 1 Steelers Needs Win for Playoff Spot 1 . v From Pot Wirt Strvictj For the past seven weeks, the Pittsburgh Steelers have chased the Cincinnati Bengals. Today, the name of the game is eliminate. Pittsburgh, which won the last two super bowls, nearly buried itself early in the season by losing four of its first five games to fall three games behind Cincinnati in the American Conference Central division. But the Steelers reverted to their championship form, won eight straight games and caught the Bengals Monday night when Cincinnati lost to Oakland. Pittsburgh now can wrap up the title on national television today with a victory in Houston over the Oilers. Most interested in the game in Houston will be the Bengals and the Cleveland Browns. If Pittsburgh wins, the only remaining playoff berth in the AFC is filled since Oakland, Baltimore and New England already have clinched spots. But should Houston, 5-8, upset Pittsburgh, that would open possibilities for both Cincinnati and Cleveland. A Cincinnati victory over the decimated New York Jets tomorrow then would give the Bengals the playoff berth. Cleveland could make the playoffs only if both the Steelers and Bengals lose and the Browns defeat Kansas City. The Steelers are two-touchdown favorites to win today's final regular-season game. "The Steelers can't go if they don't beat us," Burrough said. "This is our one chance to make up for everything that's gone wrong. We can redeem ourselves nationally, get a good jump on next season and make up for what Pittsburgh did to us last year." Pittsburgh dumped Houston out of a playoff berth last season with a 32-9 victory over the Oilers. The Steelers beat Houston, 32-16, in Pittsburgh earlier this season, but the Oilers' points included the lone touchdown to be scored against the Steelers' defense during the eight-game streak. Terry Bradshaw returns to quarterback position for the Steelers. He has missed two games with a sprained right wrist, replaced by impressive rookie quarterback Mike Kruczek. Dan Pastorini, benched for a short while for veteran John Hadl, will return as the Oiler quarterback. Steeler coach Chuck Noll said, "If we go to Houston and lose, you're going to see the biggest bums in the world. And we don't want to be the biggest bums. If we're ready, we'll do our part." In other NFL action, The Detroit Lions face their worst finish in eight years tonight if they don't beat, or tie, the powerful Los Angeles Rams in their finale. The Lions, filled with potential but prone to mistakes, need a triumph in the nationally-televised game to finish with their third consecutive 7-7 record. A loss would put Detroit at 6-8 for its worst finish since a 4-8-2 mark in 1968. The team was 6-7-1 in 1973. Los Angeles already has wrapped up the NFC West, its fourth straight title under coach Chuck Knox. He was an assistant with the Lions for six years 1967-72 before taking the Rams' head job. . The Rams, who have won their last three games, are 9-3-1 and are coming off a 59-0 defeat of Atlanta. Detroit was upset, 24-10, last Sunday by the lowly New York Giants. Chuck Noll . . long struggle - TRIM'S ARENA Otterson From Ul McAdoo Realizes His Value touchdowns. His favorite targets, after Foreman, are wide receivers Ahmad Rashad (51 receptions) and rookie Sammy White (42). The game will be the last in a Miami uniform for linebacker Nick Buoniconti, who will be 36 next week and plans to retire (for the second time). And it could be the last for quarterback Earl Morrall, at 42 the oldest player in the NFL, and defensive tackle Randy Crowder, who still has not signed his 1976 contract and may become a free agent. Prior to this year, the closest Shu-la ever came to a losing season was an 8-6 mark in 1963, his first year as head coach at Baltimore. Last week's 45-27 triumph over Buffalo moved Shula ahead of Steve Owen into fourth place among NFL coaches with 154 victories. He trails only George Halas, Curley Lambeau and Paul Brown. "I'd like to break even this year," Shula said, "not necessarily for me, but for our team. It would be a lot tougher in the offseason thinking back over 6-8 than it would be 7-7. "It'll be tough enough, anyway. But two weeks ago we were 5-7. If we could end up 7-7 and finish on an upswing, it would make you feel a little bit better." Page and ends Jim Marshall and Carl Eller have played together for the past 10 years. Offensively, Grant's club is led by quarterback Fran Tarkenton and running back Chuck Foreman. "Tarkenton's the main problem you have to contend with when you play the Vikings," Matheson said. "He'll try to confuse you with different formations you're not familiar with and he's great at mixing up his plays. He really knows how to attack a defense. "He's aware of what's going on and he has the physical attributes to get the job done." Matheson, a 10-year veteran linebacker from Duke, considers Foreman "the best all-around back we've faced. "O.J. (Simpson) is a better runner but Foreman's a better blocker and better pass receiver. He's bigger and stronger than Lydell Mitchell and just as quick. He means as much to their offense as Lydell does to Baltimore's." Foreman is among the league leaders in rushing (1,077 yards in 264 carries) and receiving (54 for 559 yards). Tarkenton has completed 240 of 389 passes (61.7 per cent) for 2,-777 yards (a 7.14 average) and 14 Baseball In the National League meeting, it was decided to hold the 1978 All Star Game in San Diego. Obviously, the National owners don't expect it to be in Washington. Because it knows Congress won't buy the limited Baltimore package, baseball has a backup plan. The National League offered two contingency ideas and virtually guaranteed the approval of either by suspending, for one year, that trou- ges Again He Won't Quit 'It looks so bad, so phoney, to say what you're gonna do and don't do it. When I said I was gonna retire, I really meant it. I don't like going back on my word.' Muhammad Ali From Dl blesome unanimous approval rule for franchise matters. First, the National League agreed to approve the application of any existing National League club to relocate in Washington. Failing that, it invited the application of an existing American League franchise to change leagues and move into Washington. The second suggestion would create two 13-club leagues and inter-league play. Until now, the National League has steadfastly refused any such proposal creating regular-season meetings against American League teams. The fact that the stubborn Nationals have changed that stance indicates how vital the solution to the Washington problem has become for baseball. Some executives wondered what changed the Cardinals' minds about Reitz? "We wanted to strengthen our situation at third base," Bing Devine, general manager of the Cardinals said. "Last year, we felt Hector Cruz could do the job. But he was originally an outfielder and we want to move him back there." Reitz batted .267 with five homers and 66 runs batted in for his only season with the Giants. To get him back, the Cards had to surrender McGlothen, 13-15 with a 3.91 earned run average. "We felt we could give up Reitz because we have a real good third base prospect at Phoenix last year," Spec Richardson, general manager of the Giants said. "We also have Chris Speier and Darrell Evans who can play there so we felt we were deep there. We wanted more pitching." McGlothen joins ex-Cardinal teammate John Curtis in San Francisco. The Giants acquired Curtis and outfielder Willie Crawford and infield-er-outfielder Vic Harris in an earlier deal that sent pitchers John D'Acquisto and Mike Caldwell and catcher Dave Rader to the NEW YORK (AP) - Bob McAdoo has not always wallowed in the glit-ter-and-gold lifestyle that a pro basketball player's salary and fame allows. As a youngster, McAdoo's father labored as a carpenter but his family had few pennies left to spend after the bread was bought and the bills paid. "That has served as an example for me, McAdoo said. When I am ready to retire, I want something to be there for me and my family. I don't want to play for 10 years, work hard, then have nothing to show for it. I just want security." Financial security is why McAdoo is a member of the New York Knicks. "I would like to think that I am one of the best players in the league, and I think I should be paid as such," McAdoo said. He was in the final year of a five-year contract with the Braves. It was the inability of Buffalo owner Paul Snyder to sign McAdoo to a new long-term agreement which precipitated the trade. The Knicks, who thought they had a deal to obtain the three-time National Basketball Association scoring champion from the Buffalo Braves one week ago, finally signed and sealed McAdoo Thursday evening. He was delivered to the media at Madison Square Garden yesterday afternoon. "This may not make us a title contender right away," Eddie Donovan, trying to temper the mood of optimism just slightly, said, "but it should move us up a few notches." Knicks coach Red Holzman also said it would take a while for McAdoo to blend into the Knicks' system, and added he wasn't quite sure whether he would use McAdoo at center or forward. "We now have four guys - McAdoo, McMillen, Lonnie Shelton and Spencer Haywood - who can play both center and forward, and we'll just have to wait to see how they blend together." Now that the Knicks have McAdoo, their next goal is to sign him to a long-term contract. "I don't expect that to be a problem," Burke said. "We know roughly what he'd like to have, and we think we can work it out." Snyder had reportedly offered McAdoo $500,000 a year for five years, which the 6-foot-10 all-star said was acceptable. TO A FAMILY Meanwhile, Yepremian, who makes night-club appearances as a singer, impressionist and standup comedian in the offseason, was picking up a little momentum of his own. "You're going to be disappointed when you hear about my sex life," he dead-panned, "because there is none." Today's game matches the clubs with the two best records since the NFL merged with the American Football League prior to the 1970 season. Minnesota, which has clinched a playoff berth with a 10-2-1 mark, is 74-22-1 in the 1970s. Miami is 73-23-1. The Vikings' Bud Grant is seeking his 200th victory as a professional coach. His record at Minnesota is 97-38-4; he was 102-56-2 at Winnipeg in the Canadian Football League. , In the only previous regular-season meeting between the two teams, Miami beat Minnesota, 16-14, in 1972. At the end of the 1973 season, the Dolphins beat the Vikings, 24-7, in Super Bowl VIII. But the Vikings have a 32-8-1 record since that Super Bowl humiliation. Miami has won 27 and lost 14 in the same period. Three members of Minnesota's defensive front four tackle Alan Ali Rene LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - World heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad AH, here to shoot scenes for a movie on his life, said yesterday that he is not retiring, that he will fight on, and that he'll never tell anyone again that's he's quitting. "When I retire, I will just retire," Ali said in an interview. "I could tell you I was gonna retire, so I will just be quiet." Two days ago, Ali conceded, he told reporters that he was stepping down and that he'd never fight again. But since then, something happened that changed his mind. "I'm not quitting," he said. "One reason is my wife is suing me, and the settlement with my wife is for $2 million and more. "Two million dollars cash is a lot of money," he said. "I've got to pay her two million cash dollars. If I didn't have that I could forget about fighting." Since his latest retirement announcement, Ali said, he has learned of the settlement terms with his wife and "certain things I cannot disclose." Ali also announced his retirement in Turkey three days after beating Ken Norton in Yankee Stadium Sept. 28. Last Monday, he spoke by tele- Pahokee "Their noseman was excellent. We made some blocking adjustments at the half and we decided we had to double team him. All of the changes went the right way." The Blue Devils dominated the Thompson Dies at 28 ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) - Danny Thompson, an infielder for the Texas Rangers, died last night at the Mayo Clinic. He was 28. A clinic spokesman said Thompson, died from "complications of leukemia." He was admitted to the clinic Nov. 16 and had spleen surgery, the spokesman said. Griffith Re-elected A.L. Vice President LOS ANGELES (AP) - Calvin Griffith, president of the Minnesota Twins, has been reelected vice president of the American League, it was announced yesterday. The league also unanimously reelected John Fetzer, owner of the Detroit Tigers, and Ed Fitzgerald, chairman of the Milwaukee Brewers, as AL members of baseball's executive council. Lee MacPhail, president of the league, also serves on that body. Newman To MIAMI (AP) - Ron Newman is leaving the American Soccer League and the Los Angeles Skyhawks to return to the North American Soccer League as head coach of the Miami Toros, the club announced yesterday. Newman, 42, coached the NASL Dallas Tornados for seven years before he took over the Skyhawks. Ali said it will be announced in about a month who his next opponent will be and where the fight will be staged. Then he decided to give a few hints. "I'll give you a scoop," he said. "The person I'm gonna fight next is white. He's from another country." Then he said it probably would be the "South African heavyweight champion, that's what we are looking at." But he added that he doesn't know the name of the South African. He apparently was referring to Mike Schutte. "I would rather fight Duane Bo-bick," Ali said. "He is undefeated, American, and the whole country can be behind the fight, because you got a good white hope who has won all his 38 fights. If not that we just gonna fight (George) Foreman." The best known fighter Schutte has boxed was Joe "King" Roman, who was knocked out by Foreman in one round. Ali conceded that his age may be a problem in the future and that "it's getting a little dangerous." Then his mood changed again. "But from here on," he said, "everything I do will be considered as pure, natural greatness. "I'm gonna be dancing just like I am 22," he said. "I just beat Ken Norton by one round, I'm much older than him, that last round I danced and he couldn't," Ali continued. "About 23 years of it and I am still outdancing people like Foreman. I hit Foreman easy." Ali said he will train for his next fight in his hometown. "I love Louisville. The press and school children can identify with their world champ. I have never fought in Louisville. Fights are too big to come to Louisville, but at least I can train here. It would put Louisville on the map," he said. "When I train in Louisville the world will come to Louisville for interviews. Hong Kong, Asia, England, all will be flying to Louisville. Then my people, the children and the youth ... are going to see their world heavyweight champ. The day I retire I want to say I contributed something to Louisville." to fight. If I fight I pay her back in one night." But money alone is not keeping him in the fight game, Ali acknowledged. He said he could handle the divorce settlement "with investments, but it would be tight." He declined to say if there were other reasons blocking his retirement. Ali's mood changed suddenly. "I'm the boss. I can fight who I want to fight," he said. "They have a certain fighter they want to give me two million to fight. Another fighter $3.5 million to fight, I can't say who he is. George Foreman is about $7 million. That's who I want. He's the best." The champ, 34, said despite his announcements, "I always come back for some reason. But I don't love fighting enough to go out a loser." "I know I'm the greatest fighter of all time. I could hold my title, my friend, easy, for five more years. I might fight 10 more years," he said, laughing. He said one day he will retire but even then, it's possible he'll come back. "The fight world can't exist without me," he said. "I know how popular I am in the world. I can go to another country and take up citizenship and fight there and the world will come to fight me. I am the only man who can speak live to the whole world and the whole world will hear. Even the President don't have that setup." He said spreading the word for his religion also makes him want to continue fighting. "Seven-hundred-fifty-thou- sand Muslims are rejoicing. My name helps the Islam religion. I am using this as a vehicle to get to the world." He noted that after all fights he spreads the word. "That's a big vehicle to give up, that live SATURDAY FOOTBALL MIAMI vs VIKINGS SEE IT BIG ON OUR LARGE 7 FT. SCREEN 902 NO. DIXIE, LANTANA phone to a news conference at Madison Square Garden and said: "I'm through with boxing. I've done everything I can," he said then. "I'm just too great to hang around and end up on my back. One hundred million dollars can't get me back into the ring." New York State Athletic Commission Chairman James A. Farley was at the news conference, and Ali said, "I want to announce to the commissioner that he can take my name off the list." But yesterday, Ali almost apologized for those statements. "It looks so bad, so phoney, to say what you're gonna do and don't do it," Ali said. "When I said I was gonna retire, I really meant it. I don't like going back on my word." But then he brought up the divorce again from his wife, Kalilah Ali. "We just settled with my wife. The divorce isn't final yet. It will be on the basis of the agreement, $114,-000 house, a $60,000 Rolls Royce, a $400,000 building and $2 million cash," he said. "That's why I have From 1)1 statistics. The Miners picked up just four first downs and 53 total yards. Pahokee had 14 first downs and 250 yards rushing mostly outside. Leroy Jackson was the top ground gainer for the Blue Devils with 91 yards, most of those in the second half. "I didn't do a very good job of reading my blocks in the first half," Jackson said. "They were hitting pretty good out there. They really surprised me." The Miners managed to put a scare in the Blue Devils with just under three minutes to go in the game following a Pahokee fumble which gave Fort Meade a first down at the Blue Devils' 23. But a Rickey Jackson interception with 1:04 remaining snuffed out the Miners' bid. "I think this was a big win for us," Russell said. "I think we finally ended the semifinal jinx. Now we just have one more to go. Winning this one was nice. "We didn't show everything we had tonight on offense. Next week, we won't be saying anything. It's the end of the road and we're gonna to win it." Pahokee, 11-0, will face Blounts-town in the final Friday night in Blountstown. Fort Moado Pahokot 4 14 23 250 30 IB 3163 J10-0 7 34 8 5 36 2 0 3 30 96 0 7 0 0-7 0 0 10-1 First Downs Rushing Yardage Passing Yardage Passes Punts Fumbles Lost Yards Penalized Fort Meadt Pahokt FM Mack 3 fumble recovery (Cary kick) P L. Jackson 3 run (R Osborne run) Coach Toros He's the only man in professional soccer to win championships in both leagues. The Portsmouth, England, native succeeds Ken Furphy, the former New York Cosmos coach who quit before he ever coached a game. The Toros finished last in their division last season under Greg Myers, who resigned as the Toros ended with a 6-18 record. Cfjrtfiftma $artp SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1976 From 1 :00 P. M. to 5:00 P. M. Bring the whole Family Join in the fun of the Paul Bunyan Games for all. Santa will be on hand to amuse the small fry. COFFEE. PUNCH and COOKIES for ALL. pqlmbQchf EAST0FI-95 0N45THST. WPB 84 LUMBER COMPANY iff 3450 W. 8th Street Riviera Beach, Fla.