Fort Lauderdale News from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 31, 1971 · 6
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Fort Lauderdale News from Fort Lauderdale, Florida · 6

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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
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Friday, December 31, 1971
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6
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NFL Boss Doesn't Want 'Studio Show' Pete Rozel Idf Love To Be Loved v By MIKE SCHWEBEL Sports Staff Writer Pete Rozelle sat down in the Gibralter Room of the Doral County Club last night, straightened his dark blue-striped suit, crossed his legs and smiled at a TV camera. The wall right behind him fell down. Rozelle didn't flinch. He just got rid of the cameras and tape recorders and kept talking for two more hours. And the NFL Commissioner didn't miss a thing. From defending TV blackouts to revealing how Bubba Smith lost a lot of incentive money by losing to New England from legalized gambling to the Carroll Rosen-bloom-Joe Robbie-Don Shula hassle Rozelle felt like taking on all questions. Not all the answers were on the record. But he didn't duck much either. The South Florida blackout of Sunday's Baltimore-Miami playoff game was the big thing, of course. An assistant to Rozelle started handing out six-page explanations of local blackouts. It was neatly sub-divided into the "legalities" and the "business aspects." Rozelle didn't even use it. "We don't want someone to go out and stand in line and buy a ticket, then have his neighbor say: 'you've been a fool.' We don't want a studio show," said Rozelle. The Orange Bowl game, acknowledged Rozelle, was suffering no loss of audience by local televising. "But if it's kept up, in a very few years, there'll be empty seats," he cautioned.. Someone asked him if he had bought Orange Bowl tickets. "I've got an order in for four but I have eight people who would like them. I'll give the tickets to them. I'll watch it on TV," answered Rozelle. - He didn't flinch again. "Indirectly, this whole blackout thing is somewhat flattering to us. South Florida hasn't always supported pro football," he said. "But I would love to be loved in Miami. I'd love to hear people say Pete Rozelle is wonderful. I could be if I just said we'd televise the game Sunday. But . . ." Rozelle then went on to list five reasons why he felt Baltimore was above suspicion of throwing their final regular season game to New England, a loss which led to Cleveland instead of Kansas City in last week's opening playoff games. "Bubba lost a lot of money and the same things were in a lot of players' and coaches' contracts," was the new reason that emerged. "But," admitted Rozelle, "the competition committee will look into the aspect of the players' picking up no more money for winning their division." He was asked if he thought anything would be done about it. "If the owners want to put up another million dollars," he smiled. "That comes out, to about $3,000 a player for winning. But I don't know what eliminates suspicion." Off-Track Betting is fighting to get into team sports, including football, and Rozelle hopes to lead the fight back. "We just don't want to be the fall guy in legalized gambling ... I don't want to see the home team booed because they didn't win by more , , . It's the price of popularity," he explained. The recent blasts by Colt owner Rosenbloom at Shula did not please Rozelle. Rosenbloom is still miffed at Robbie for getting Shula away from Baltimore and at Shula for going. "Rosenbloom has been fined," acknowledged Rozelle. "But the whole thing could have been solved if Robbie had called Carroll directly. Joe was wrong about that, but Carroll prolonged it.. "Each thinks I'm a buddy of the other guy." A' is I .'A (AP WiriPhoto) MAN WITHOUT A FRIEND IN SOUTH FLORIDA . . . Rozelle answers questions about blackout t-V.) Dill : h n r v V i m J a F. in News 'Sports Editor ' GAME aB Two years ago Bear Bryant watched Alabama's sophomores struggling through spring practice. To his cultivated eye, it was a horrible collection. He turned and spoke to John David. Crow, Alabama's backfield coach. "Look at that bunch of horse fertilizer out there," Bryant said. "Nothing worth anything except that one." And he pointed to a stubby running back with dark, curly hair and a fine, Roman nose. "That one is the king of the orchard." Bryant was pointing at Johnny Musso who, indeed, was and still is the king of Alabama's orchard, rushing for 1,088 yards this year in leading Alabama to its 11-0 season and number two national ranking. "Musso makes it work," Crowe said. "He runs like a trip hammer. I told him never to fall down because when a back falls down the whole dang thing stops. When he goes down, its over.' Musso is the best Alabama has. If Nebraska can stop him, it can stop Alabama. Despite the smoke screens rising from the Crimson Tide about coming out . passing, Alabama must run successfully to win. ; One doubts that the Tide is structured for the pass. . ; Terry Davis has completed 42 of only 66 passes for 452 ; yards and eight touchdowns. It would take a mighty ef-fort for Alabama to successfully change an 11-game phi-I losophy that produced only eight passes a game. Then there is Nebraska, 12-0, the defending and reigning national champion. What can it do? The Cornhuskers can throw. Jerry Tagge, the quar-; terback, completed 143 of 239 passes for 2,019 yards and 17 touchdowns. He threw only four interceptions, the 1 same number Terry Davis suffered in his 66 attempts. The Cornhuskers can run. Jeff Kinney, the halfback, gained 1,037 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. Three , other Nebraska backs, including Tagge, gained more than 450 yards. Both teams play vicious defense. Only Oklahoma, in 1 losing 35-31, seriously dented and threatened Nebraska. Alabama was challenged in a 14-7 victory over LSU, but ; the suspicion is strong that Alabama, even though it handily dusted then undefeated Auburn, has met "no enemy of Oklahoma's ability. History favors Alabama tomorrow night. The two teams have met twice, once In the Orange and once in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama hammered Nebraska both times by an aggregate score of 73-35. But tilts time the Cornhuskers are Number One and . unbeaten in 31 consecutive games. Their offensive balance makes them too much for Alabama. When the king of the orchard goes down, the whole dang thing will stop. Make it Nebraska 20, Alabama 13. o GAME TWO Garo Yepremian practiced alone, sweat trickling from his face in the late afternoon heat. Whunkl He kicked the ball high and deep toward an imaginary goal post. Whunk! Whunk! Whunk! He kicked until he was tired or until he thought his soccer-style swing was grooved to his satisfaction. Then he moved to an adjoining field and watched the rest of the Dolphins practice. Perhaps tbey should have been watching Garo. In all probability it will be his foot that buries the Colts Sunday, kicking them quite literally out of the Super Bowl. Why not winning on Yepremian field goals? Only the most unreconstructed Dolphin Pollyanna could suppose the Dolphs would be able to shred Baltimore's defense. A touchdown is to be expected. Two touchdowns would be delightful. , Baltimore's defense, meanwhile, must be taken doubly seriously if only because the Colt offense appears to - be in great trouble. Tom Matte, the healthy running back, is reported a doubtful starter. A recurrence of a knee injury. Norm Bulaich, the injured running back, remains injured and even more doubtful than Matte. Bulaich has a pulled muscle. If neither can play, the Colts will have to go with Don McCauley and Don Nottingham, two rookies, at running back. Even during the best of times Baltimore has only a so-so offense. Without their running backs, the Colts are in trouble. The way Baltimore beat Miami in Baltimore 'was by Johnny Unitas passing short to his backs, Bulaich until he was hurt and, all day, Matte. So if the Colts have difficulty mustering an offense, it will be entirely the responsibility of the Colt defense to win the game. It is not impossible. In the 14-3 win in Baltimore, the defense allowed only a short-field goal. Not Impossible. But improbable. Miami can score in the Orange Bowl. And Yepremian kicks at his best on the artificial turf. Whunkl Whunk! Whunkl Whunk-That's four Yepre-, mian field goals. And one touchdown. Make it Miami 19, Baltimore 13. , fO ; f Dolphins Don't Plan To Change Defense By MIKE SCHWEBEL Sports Staff Writer Remember those two drives engineered by Johnny , Unitas in Baltimore three weeks ago the ones that took up nearly 20 minutes and two touch-downs? A lot of people do. "R e m e m b e r the second half? The Colts got 42 yards on us," smiles Jake Scott. "We didn't do anything different. "A lot of people don't remember that." For that reason, and because Don Shula says so, the Miami Dolphins plan no drastic changes to take away the short pass from Unitas. "If we come up, it's gonna open up the zones behind us," explains Scott. "And this stuff about Unitas not being able to throw the bomb that's just talk. Besides, I'm not gonna give him the chance to prove it." The Dolphins remember the drives a little differently than most people. They say the opening first down was gained by the official's placement of the ball, not Unitas. A pass completed to Eddie Hinton should have been intercepted by Mike Kolen, they add. But they are still frustrated at Unitas, as much as they don't believe he can do it again. "You have to be looking and see it develop," says linebacker Doug Swift of the short game. "You just have to get up. When you do, they're man for man on the wide people." If the Dolphins do not plan a change, they likewise do not look for the Colts to change either. "Why should they? They were probably satisfied the last time," said Tim Foley. "The big plays won't look like big plays until after the game is over. What I mean is I don't expect Unitas to hit a bomb like Lenny Dawson did against us last week in Kansas City." The Dolphins worked on defense yesterday, with tight security at their Biscayne College training grounds. Only members of the press and a few politicians to proclaim S u n d a y as Garo Yepremian Day in Dade County were allowed near the practice field. Scott, his broken left hand in a cast, still fielded punts and even came up with a one- handed interception. "I didn't drop a punt out there, but I'm going to have to take the cast off Sunlay to catch them," he said. Linebacker Bob Matheson, who suffered a sprained ankle in the Chiefs game, worked (Continued on Page 7A, Col. 2) Fort IauderdaieNews Pompano Tourney Takes A Balk For the first time in its his- but added that they had no 6 A Friday, Dec. 31, 1971 tory, the Pompano Beach Civi- tan Holiday Basketball tournament ended up in the red last night at the gate. Officials blamed the poor turnout on reports of violence problems at the tournament. To make things worse, the Tornadoes lost the consolation game. See story on Page 9A. r 3 5V f I 5 i V '4' f: v" . Colts Work Carefully ecretly unday And S For S (Stalf photo by Donn Gould) TOUGH GUYS IN BALTIMORE'S DEFENSE TAKE A BREATHER . . . Ted Hendricks and Mike Curtis confer on sidelines Cornhuskers Picked By Seven; Miami, Colts Still Even LAS VEGAS-In the UPI and AP polls, Nebraska is the No. 1 team, Alabama is second and Michigan third. I agree with the top choice, but my No. 2 team is Oklahoma and my No. 3 is Colorado. 1 expect all three will prove me correct this week.. TONIGHT Colorado 6 Over Houston (At Houston) Colorado was decimated with injuries when they played Oklahoma and Nebraska. At full strength they beat LSU at Baton Rouge and Ohio State at Columbus. For this one they are full strength again and will beat Houston in the Dome. TOMORROW Oklahoma 13 over Auburn (At New Orleans) Oklahoma's running game controls the time and scoreboard. The Sooners will go all out to prove they're the nation's next-best. Texas 6 over Penn State (At Dallas) Could be that Penn State was looking forward to the Cotton Bowl when they were beaten by Tennessee. But the Nittany Lion defense will have to prove its quality to stop quarterback Eddie Phillips and the Texas wishbone. Phillips back in the lineup makes the Longhorns 10 points better. Michigan 13 Over Stanford (At Pasadena) Stanford likes to give the impression they can win whenever they please. I don't believe it. The Michigan offensive line, with guard Reggie McKenzie leading the way figures to move out the Thunder Chickens. But watch Stanford's quarterback Don Bunce. He's good. Nebraska 7 over Alabama (At Miami) After reading seven scouting reports and talking to scouts and having seen both teams play on two occasions, the edge goes to Nebraska on the basis of defense, superior quar-terbacking and the running game. The 3 points for defense are Rich Glover, Larry Jacobson and Willie Harper. Don't be surprised if the Nebraska defense scores twice. They will cause at least three turnovers. In the running and special team department, it may seem wrong to give Nebraska points for running in a game against Alabama's great Johnny Musso, but the Huskers have two great runners themselves in Jeff Kinney and Johnny Rodgers. And let's not forget what With Jimmy (The Greek) Snyder Rodgers can do on punt returns. The 2 for quarterback is because of Jerry Tagge, who seems to get better each game. He can run, he can throw and he can read. He will probably be voted the outstanding player of the game. THE PRO CHAMPIONSHIPS Cowboys 6 Over San Francisco 49ers At Dallas I took a point off my opening spread of 7. 49ers' Mpl Phillips is okay, and Bruce Taylor will probably be in there too, although he is still ailing. I can't help wondering if Roger Staubach will stand the pressure as well as John Brodie. 1 Dolphins Even With Baltimore Colts at Miami I repeat, this one will be decided either by the tailor Yepremian or the hippie O'Brien. Hotel Offers Free TV The Governors' Club Hotel in Fort Lauderdale is offering a televised showing of Sunday's Miami-Baltimore AFC Championship game free of charge. , A hotel official said there will be no cover charge or minimum and all drinks and food will be available at regular prices. The remaining 1,000 tickets to Sunday's Colt-Dolphin footbll game were quickly snapped up this morning by fans, some of whom had been waiting at Gate 14 at the Orange Bowl since 9 p.m. yesterday. Spstial to Th News TAMPA "It's very rare that somebody, gets hurt in practice," a Baltimore Colts' assistant coach was saying. "We just don't do that much hitting once the season starts." Yesterday was "defensive day" in the Colts' countdown to Sunday's American Football Conference championship game with the Miami Dolphins. That meant the Colts reviewed their defensive plans with offensive guards and tackles playing the roles of Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris, Paul Warfield and Bob Griese. It's strictly no-contact, walk through stuff. Wednesday was "offensive day," with Johnny Unitas and friends doing all the work while Mike Curtis, Ted Hendricks and Bubba Smith stood around and played dummies. Today will be "combination day," with both units going through the final rehearsals for Sunday's game,' and tomorrow morning's half-hour session will be a light review of kicking practice and special-team situations. "It's all very neat and organized and regimented," the assistant said. "That's Don's (McCafferty) way. Strict regimentation. And nobody gets hurt during practice unless Curtis decides to deck some body." All of the Colts' preparations have been conducted in tightly guarded secrecy at Tampa stadium. A Tampa television cameraman tried to defy the ban yesterday and was unceremoniously and firmly blocked by the security force. He went away muttering nasty things about the Colts. The TV man was in the distinct minority as the west coast of Florida continued its unabashed flirtation with the Super Bowl champions. The reception has been so warm and so flattering that the, Colts decided yesterday to open tomorrow's final tuneup to the public, although they stressed no autographs will be allowed to deter the Colts from their afternoon flight to Miami. Baltimore officials had a terrible time finding hotel space in Orange Bowl-uowd-ed Miami, but eventual! landed rooms at the Diplomat in Hollywood. The Colt players and coaches will spend a quiet New Year's Eve, in line with McCafferty's ideas on regimentation. Today will be a regular practice day, but the Colts will be allowed to see in the New Year with a sedate non-alcoholic party . . . strictly stag, of course. Wives of players and coaches and even the wife of 27-year-old club president Steve Rosenbloom are quartered at the Clearwater Hilton, a good 25 miles from the Baltimore camp at the University of South Florida. The twain will not meet at least not on New Year's Eve. While the Colts prepared in an atmosphere of unhurried (Continued on Page 7A, Col. 5) Nebraska Machine9 Feels No Pressure By RAY RECCHI Sports Staff Writer MIAMI BEACH - -Nebraska Coach Bob Dcvancy, according to an aide, will spend New Year's Eve with his team until curfew, then attend an Orange Bowl Committee party until after miditight. Alabama's Bear Bryant will be In one of his rooms, working on his game plan. On the eve of this season's second "Game of the Decade" all the pressure seems to be on the Crimson Tide and they've been showing it in small ways all week while Nebraska has more or less en-, joyed itself on Miami Beach. ' The Cornhuskers, for in-" stance, have held practices open to the press and Devan-ey has been readily accessible all week. Bryant disappeared from the Americana Hotel yesterday, missing three appointments, He was nowhere to be found, according to an assistant. Actually, he had checked into another hotel to get away from everyone and "work on his game plan." At the Americana, there is tension in the air and a lot of talk about the game. At the Ivanhoe, where Nebraska is staying, the mood is loose. Players were relaxing In the lobby, lying around by the pool aii( generally enjoying themselves. "Don't say I said it," said a Nebraska assistant, "but the pressure is all on them. We've been here before. We played for the National Championship in this game last year. "We've got a proud, poised ballclub. We don't work on emotion. You can't win consistently on cmofcon. This is a professionally prepared team. It's a machine, not an emotionless machine, but still a machine. "When we score, for instance, we're not surprised. You don't see our players jumping up and down and hugging the cheerleaders. They just lay the ball down, (Continued oi Page 9A, Col. 3 '

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