Tilley Move Starts Rush to Rule Book

The official ruled it a touchdown, but the Dallas Cowboys claim it should have been a touchback when St. Louis Cardinals receiver Pat Tilley prematurely spiked the ball while carrying a pass from Neil Lomax into the end zone Monday night.

Field judge Jack Vaughan, defending the call, told the New York Times that Tilley still had possession of the ball when it broke the plane of the goal line even though his feet still were in the field of play. Thus, it had to be ruled a touchdown.

In any case, according to NFL supervisor of officials Art McNally, it wouldn’t have been ruled a touchback, since it wasn’t a fumble.

“Tilley would have been called for an illegal forward pass,” McNally said.


The penalty for such an infraction is five yards from the spot of the foul. Thus, the ball would have been placed on the Dallas six, with St. Louis still in possession.

Trivia Time: What do Red Ruffing, Sonny Liston and Bubba Smith have in common? (Answer below.)

Howie Long of the Raiders, on William (The Refrigerator) Perry of the Chicago Bears: “The guy’s becoming a folk hero. I think it’s a riot. The guy doesn’t look a pound under 350.”

Long believes Bears Coach Mike Ditka was rubbing it in when he first used Perry as a running back against the San Francisco 49ers. “I don’t blame him for that,” Long said. “I can’t stand the 49ers.”


Add Long: Of teammate Lyle Alzado, he says: “He’s got all the money in the world. He’s 36 years old and he’s still playing defensive end in the National Football League. He’s either stupid or insane.”

Said Wagner College defensive tackle Paul Thompson after the 27-24 win over Glassboro State: “It’s just a game of real estate. You try to gain a yard and then they try to gain one back.”

Which recalls Lou Holtz, after being named head coach of the New York Jets, promising that the team would move the ball.

“Hopefully,” he added, “it will be forward.”


Said Father Paul L. O’Connor, former president of Xavier (Ohio) University: “If you finish above .500, the NCAA will investigate you. If you finish below .500, the alumni will investigate you.”

In Tulsa’s 42-26 victory over Wichita State last Saturday, Gordon Brown gained 214 yards and Steve Gage added 206 yards for the Golden Hurricane.

Thus, they became the first pair of backs from a school to net more than 200 yards apiece in one game. Who came the closest until Saturday?

In the 1965 Syracuse-West Virginia game, Larry Csonka gained 216 yards and Floyd Little added 196 as the Orangemen beat the Mountaineers, 41-19.


The unsung hero of the World Series? Kansas City catcher Jim Sundberg nominates Jerry Terrell, the man who scouted St. Louis for a month before the Series.

“It was the most organized and thorough scouting report I’ve ever seen,” Sundberg said. “He had the hitters pegged. We made only one slight adjustment. Once we got into the Series, we found we could pitch them inside more.”

Trivia Answer: The same first name, Charles.



Harley Duncan, an official at the State of Kansas licensing bureau, on why he waived the eye test when George Brett of the Kansas City Royals applied for a driving license renewal: “If he can hit .350, we figured he could see.”