Wisconsin State Journal from Madison, Wisconsin on September 2, 1984 · 23
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Wisconsin State Journal from Madison, Wisconsin · 23

Madison, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 2, 1984
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College football results Page 3 U.S. Open tennis page 4 Wisconsin State Journal Sunday, September 2, 1 984, Section 2 Sports Extra: NFL '84 Page 7 3B9 biU US) P(skir Sou pl(9yn?? W&M (37 y (B(9W The Green Bay Packers, who can't seem to escape the shadow of their glorious past, begin another attempt to reach those heights today. The second Forrest Gregg era starts with the Packers' National Football League season opener against the St. Louis Cardinals at Lambeau Field. The first, you may remember, began in the dismal 1950s when Gregg joined the team as a rookie offensive tackle from Southern Methodist University. Then Vince Lombardi unpacked his bags in 1959 and the Packers, with future Hall of Famer Gregg one of the key contributors, smacked the football world upside the head for the better part of the next decade, winning five NFL championships. Gregg's second stint in Green Bay officially began last December when he replaced former Packer teammate Bart Starr as coach. The situation wasn't as dire as it was in 1958, when Green Bay won just one game, but the mediocrity that has clung to the Packers like a sweaty jersey for 16 years has been no less easy to take for Packer fans, who hunger so badly for the good old days that many still refer to their small city as "Titletown, U.S.A." It's been 16- seasons since the Packers ates vVjs Sports columnist won an NFL title and, like others before him, Gregg has promised to end the mediocrity. The only difference is Gregg has the experience and wherewithal to do it. After previous coaching jobs at Cleveland and Cincinnati, where he led the Bengals to the Super Bowl after the 1981 season, Gregg appears to be the right man to finally make Green Bay a consistent winner. Phil Bengston, a Lombardi assistant, couidn't do it. Dan Devine, an outsider from the college ranks, couldn't do it. Starr, a Lombardi player, couldn't do it. Gregg, a proven winner as a professional head coach, will do it. The question is when. Despite the Packers' point-a-minute offense and the optimism that is running rampant in Green Bay, it likely won't be right away. Gregg, a tough, no-nonsense individual, inherited a defense that has none of those characteristics. The Packers allowed 6,403 yards last year, the second-highest total in NFL history. Opposing teams weren't at all particular about the method they used to abuse the Packers, who ranked 26th in the NFL against the rush, 24th against the pass and 28th overall. Gregg, who last season coached the NFL's No. 1 defense at Cincinnati, must have cringed when he started looking at old Packer game films. Then he showed what he thought of it all by drafting five defensive players on his first six picks. All five made the team and three defensive ends Al-phonso Carreker and Donnie Humphrey and free safety Tom Flynn will start today. Rookies rarely take the NFL by storm, however, and Gregg says he is prepared to live with rookie mistakes. There will be enough of those, although how well those rookies do, especially the defensive ends, will determine whether the Packers improve in 1984. The offense needs little improvement, something Gregg apparently realized when he kept Starr's offensive coordinator, Bob Schnelker, on the payroll. Under Schnelker, the Packers have become the NFL's leading quick-strike team. Last year, Lynn Dickey passed for 4,458 yards, the third-highest total in NFL history. His receivers James Lofton, John Jefferson and Paul Coff man are all-pros. The offensive line has become a fairly solid pass-blocking unit. Even the running game may be improved now that Gerry Ellis has found a home at halfback and fullback Jessie Clark is healthy. The major difference in this year's Packer offense is the loss of 40-year-old kicker Jan Stenerud, maybe the greatest clutch kicker the game has known. Stenerud kicked five game-winning field goals for the Packers last year, but Gregg traded him to the Minnesota Vikings. Stenerud's replacement, Eddie Garcia, has little experience and lots of pressure, some of it self-imposed. Because the Packers are once again likely to engage in a series of high-scoring free-for-alls this season, Garcia's role will be important. Despite Gregg's belief that a good team starts with a good defense, the Packers of 1984 are likely to look a lot like the Packers of 1983. The defense, at least until the rookies gain experience, is not likely to be a whole lot better than last year. Neither will the offense, simply because there's not much room for improvement. Under the intimidating Gregg, the Packers will play harder than they did under nice-guy Starr, but that may not mean much because the schedule is tougher. Thirteen of the Packers' 16 opponents this season had records of .500 or above last year. Five of their first nine opponents made the playoffs, including the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Raiders, and two others just missed. San Diego, another early foe, made the playoffs four consecutive times before last year. Later on in the season the Packers get back to playing their own kind, with six of their last eight games against NFC Central teams. Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota appear evenly matched, but by then it may be too late for the Packers. If the tough early season schedule takes its toll they probably will have fallen too far behind their NFC opponents. An 8-8 record is a possibility, but a 7-9 mark is more likely. Gregg needs another year, and another draft, to put the Packers in the playoffs. if,. :-;;A f U ': A-r. V' K 'Z l V i A ' f(A2f A-.--,ai THE STANDINGS AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST DIVISION WEST DIVISION W L Pet. GB L10 Str W L ilPct. GB L10 Str Detroit 87 49 .440 5-5 4L Minnesota 69 66 .511 2-8 4L Toronto 78 57 .578 8V2 8-2 3W Kansas City 67 68 .496 2 6-4 1L Baltimore 72 62 .537 14 6-4 1L California 67 67 .500 l'2 6-4 4W Boston 72 63 .533 14'2 8-2 4W Chicago 63 71 .470 5'2 3-7 1W New York 71 63 .530 15 4-6 2L Oakland 63 73 .463 6V2 3-7 2W Cleveland 60 77 .438 27W 3-7 3L Texas 61 74 .452 8 7-3 3W Milwaukee 56 80 .412 31 4-6 2L Seattle 60 76 .441 9'2 4-6 IW L10 Team's record in last 10 games Str -Team's winslosses in a row Saturday's results Winner Loser Texas 8, Milwaukee 4 Stewart (5-12) Caldwell (6-13) Toronto 12, Minnesota 4 Lamp (7-7) Smithson (13-11) Boston 4, Cleveland 1 Oieda (10-10) Blyleven (15-6) Oakand 7, Detroit 5 C. Young (7-3) Berenguer (7-9) Chicago 6, Kansas City 1 Hovt (11-13) Saberhagen (7-10) California 11, New York 6 Corbett(5-l) Righetti (4-5) Seattle 10, Baltimore 9 Today's games, pitchers Milwaukee (McClure, 4-6) at Texas (Darwin, 8-9), 5 p.m. Minnesota (Viola, 14-11) at Toronto (Alexander, 12-5), 1:30 p.m. Kansas City (Jones, 1-2) at Chicago (Nelson, 2-5), 1:30 p.m. -T '4 ' r i :J . Boston (Hurst, 11-8) at Cleveland (Heaton, 9-13), 1:35 p.m. New York (Fontenot, 6-8) at California (Romanick, 10-11), 2:30 p.m. Detroit (Petry, 15-8) at Oakland (Conroy, 1-3), 3:05p.m. Baltimore (Swaggerty, 2-1) at Seattle (Moore, 5-13), 3:35 p.m. Monday's games Boston at Milwaukee, 1 :30 p.m. Rk NlL . t Jj&jJj Xt&uiS lib 1 Oakland at Chicago, 1 :30 p.m. Toronto ot New York, 3 p.m. California at Cleveland, 6:05 p.m. Baltimore at Detroit, 6:35 p.m. Seattleat Texas, 7:35 p.m. Minnesota at Kansas City, 7:35 p.m. .1. LEAGUE EAST DIVISION WEST DIVISION MnHison Frist's Rob Burmnh. center, evades Two Rivers Pau Christoffe . riant, on touchdown run. Storv on Paae 4. x Lategame State Journal photo byJ.D. Patrick W L Pet. GB L10 Str W L Pet. GB L10 Str Chicago 81 54 . 600 .... 7-3 1W Son Diego 78 58 .574 .... 5-5 3L New York 76 59 .563 5 7-3 3W Houston 69 67 .507 9 5-5 2L Philadelphia 72 62 .537 8'2 5-5 2L Atlanto 66 69 .489 11 Vi 2-8 1L St. Louis 67 66 .504 13 6-4 1L LosAngeles 44 72 .471 14 2-8 1W Montreal 66 68 .493 14'2 3-7 1L San Fran. 57 78 . 422 20'2 8-2 2W Pittsburgh 58 77 .429 22 6-4 1L Cincinnati 54 80 .412 22 3-7 1W Saturday's results Winner Loser Los Angeles 4, Montreal 3 Valenzuela (11-15) Lea (15-9) Chicago 4, Atlanta 1 Bordi (5-1) McMurtry (8-14) New York 7, San Diego 4 (first) Gooden (14-8) Hawkins (7-8) New York 10, San Diego 4 (second) Gorman (4-0) Show (14-8) San Francisco 7, Philadelphia 2 Hammaker (2-0) Hudson (8-10) Cincinnati 7, Pittsburgh 5 Power (8-5) D. Robinson (3-4) Houston 8, St. Louis 4 Ross (l-O) Kepshire (4-4) Today's games, pitchers By John Hughes State Journal sports reporter Sportsvue, the cable television service that promises to bring the best in Wisconsin sports into our living rooms, got off to a bit of a slow start this summer through no fault of its own. The Sportsvue people promoted their product well, with a big print ad campaign and TV spots featuring heavyweights Bob Lanier and Don Nelson of the Bucks and the always-lovable Pete Vuckovich of the Brewers. But promotion goes only so far. That only eight percent of its potential customers subscribe to the service is attributable to the fact that the summer centerpiece, the Brewers, did a dive into the basement of the American League East Division. "More important than losing," Sportsvue marketing director Larry Barbera said, "they did not play exciting baseball." That hurt Sportsvue almost as much as it did Rene Lachemann. Hence, the phone has remained relatively silent in the Sportsvue offices as potential subscribers continue to hold out., "Overall in the state of Wisconsin we have access to about 225,000 cabled households," Barbera said. "At the present time we have a total of about 18,000 subscribers." (Madison's cable company, Complete Channel TV, offers Sportsvue, as does Fitchburg Cable in Fitchburg. Complete Channel has 636 subscribers and Fitchburg has 35. "If the Brewers had had any kind of season at all, it would have been much higher," said Scott Petersen, the assistant sales manager at Complete Channel.) How good, or bad, is that subscriber rate? It's certainly not good enough to allow Sportsvue to turn a profit. A break-even point, Barbera said, would be "in the neighborhood of 40-45,000 subscribers." Sportsvue would be closer to that neighborhood if it could include the city of Mdwaukee in its i figures. After several years of negotiations with cable companies, Milwaukee has finally awarded the franchise (jointly to Warner Amex and Viacom), and hookup could begin early next year. "If the basic cable penetration in Milwaukee averages 50 percent, as it does in other cities," said Barbera, "then we're talking about a potential customer base of about 125,000. Even if we just penetrated Sportsvue as we're doing on an average around the state, eight percent, we'd have some 10,000-plus more customers." Sportsvue was created by Jim Fitzgerald, the president of the Bucks, and Bud Selig, the president of the Brewers, as a way of providing revenue to meet the ever-rising cost of running their respective franchises. 4 . I ; CMUIT mm Last February, Fitzgerald said, "We expect 30 or 40 percent of all cable subscribers will sign up with us." Six months later the figure is eight percent. That doesn't necessarily alarm the Sportsvue people. Unlike the Brewers, Sportsvue doesn't have to wait until next year. This is what Sportsvue is ready to offer this month: Milwaukee Bucks basketball - 33 regular-season games, including 12 home games. Also one pre-season game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Minneapolis Oct. 19. University of Wisconsin hockey 16 games, all at home, will be televised. UW basketball The number of games is still being negotiated. Bob Leu, UW athletic department director of radio and TV, said it will be "probably no more than five" games. Miriam Johns, Sportsvue's production manager, said "maybe eight." Other UW events These have yet to be determined. Possibly women's basketball wrestling or gymnastics will be offered. Leu said it might be nine or 10 dates m all. Pacific-10 Conference football Five games will be aired, beginning is September. Sportsvue will pick up the feed from Sports Time, another cable service. National Hockey League Nothing is settled on this yet, because the NHL is still negotiating its TV deals for the upcoming season. "They're still working on how they are going to make these games available, whether we'll take someone else's feed or whether we'll be in a situation where we'll have to send our own announcers," said Johns. Ladies' professional bowling Eight weeks of bowling will be offered beginning Oct. 3. Broadcasts will be on Wednesday and Thursday each week (a preliminary round on Wednesday and the final on Thursday) leading to a $100,000 tournament of champions from Las Vegas in November. Professional tennis The finals of the Pacific Southwest Tennis Open will be aired. Marquette University basketball Negotiations continue here, too, but Sportsvue hopes to televise at least five games. In Madison, Sportsvue costs $8.95 a month. In Fitchburg, it's $8. It must be noted, too, that for the monthly fee eight or nine bucks in the Madison area subscribers aren't getting a full day of programming. Sportsvue offers no fillers. Sportsvue is important maybe vital to the future of the Bucks and Brewers. Will the public buy it? That critical question might be answered when the fall lineup hits the air. Monday's games Pittsburgh at Montreal, 12:05 p.m. Chicago at Philadelphia, 12:35 p.m. Cincinnati at San Francisco, 2:05 p.m. New York ot St. Louis, 5:35 p.m. Houston at Atlanta, 6:40 p.m. San Diego at Los Angeles, 7:35 p.m. AAuskies defeat Kenosha to clinch wild-card berth It was "Brad Fischer Day" at Warner Park Saturday and things couldn't have gone better for the Madison Muskie manager. Fischer was honored prior to Madison's Midwest League game against Kenosha and 2 hours later his team clinched a playoff spot by defeating the Twins, 6-4. "It was a great day," said Fischer after his team secured the wildcard playoff spot with the help of Jim Jones' three-run home run in the seventh inning. "I couldn't have asked for things to turn out any better. It was a great day. "The players deserve the credit because they are the ones that turned it around," Fischer said. "The team had been struggling but the guys got themselves together at the right time and they played two good games. (Tonight) we can come out and have fun at the park again." The Muskies end the regular season tonight at 6 against Kenosha and begin the playoffs Monday at 7:30 p.m. against Appleton at Warner Park. Related stories on Pages 2 and 6 LosAngeles (Honeycutt, 10-8) ot Montreal (Smith, 9-11), 12:05 p.m. Pittsburgh (Tudor, 8-9) at Cincinnati (McGoffigan, 3-4), 12:15 p.m. San Francisco (Robinson, 7-13) at Philadelphia (Rowley, 7-3), 12:35 p.m. San Diego ( Lollar, 10-11 ) at New York (Terrell, 10-10), 12:35 p.m. Chicago (Ruthven, 4-9) at Atlanta (Mahler, 9-8), 1 :10 p.m. Houston (Niekro, 13-9) at St. Louis (Anduiar, 17-11), 1:15p.m.

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