Madden Had Some Socko Experience; USFL Got Socked

Dear Answer Man . . . I love John Madden’s work as a color analyst on NFL football telecasts. Tell me, what did Madden do before stepping into the broadcast booth?

Inhale. Just kidding. Actually, most fans know that Madden was a successful pro football coach before becoming a broadcaster. Not many people are aware, however, that what brought Madden to the attention of the network scouts was his previous occupation--writing sound-effect words for cartoon strips.

He was considered a giant in the industry. Madden penned such cartoon classics as “Ka-BOOM!,” “OOOF!,” “WOW!” and “WHAM!” There is some scholarly debate over whether it was Madden or Ralph Kramden who wrote the immortal “POW!”

What’s the deal? Is the USFL planning to appeal the judgment that awarded the league damages of $3 from the NFL?


The USFL announced that it will appeal. My sources tell me, however, that USFL officials are reconsidering, fearing that an unfriendly jury might decide to reduce the $3 award.

I’m a young sports fan trying to increase my historical knowledge. Can you tell me who invented the I-formation?

Howard Cosell.

William (Refrigerator) Perry was fined $2,000 for violently spiking quarterback Neil Lomax in an exhibition game. Perry could have killed the poor guy! Do you think Pete Rozelle let Perry off light?

I would never use that particular word in connection with the Fridge. But I do believe that Perry’s punishment was astonishingly unpunitive. This is a young man who probably makes a half million a year in salary, and who earned $3 million in off-season endorsements. A fine means nothing.

If Rozelle had any guts at all, he would have suspended Perry for at least one game, a real game. My sources tell me that Perry, when informed of the fine, took out a roll, peeled off a $5,000 bill, handed it to Rozelle and told him to keep the change.

Judging from exhibition season information and performances, how would you rate the L.A. quarterbacks?

An excellent group. In college, Jamelle Holieway of Oklahoma, via Banning High, and Jim Karsatos of Ohio State, via Sunny Hills High, are among the country’s best. In the NFL, Jeff Kemp of the San Francisco 49ers, via the Rams’ bench, and Sean Salisbury of the Seattle Seahawks, via the USC bench, have sparkled. L.A. can be proud of its quarterbacks.


The Chicago Bears’ “Super Bowl Shuffle” rap video seems to have spawned a number of copycats, including one by the Raiders. What are some of the hot new rap videos we can expect to see on the market soon?

The New England Patriots are about to release a video rap wrap-up of their playoff march. It will be titled “Super Bowl Sniffle.” Dick Clark and Ed McMahon will further enrich our culture with their rap-along “Blooper Bowl Shuffle.” And the New York Mets, led by Ron Darling and Tim Tuefel, will be soon releasing their “Super Bar Scuffle.”

I’m really disappointed in the Dallas Cowboys. They went 0-5 in the exhibition season, after bragging about how they updated their entire training camp facilities with state-of-the-art computers and equipment. Most notably, they installed a super-high-power, 28-man whirlpool bath. What’s wrong with the Cowboys?

They’re dizzy.


I see that 65 of 78 NCAA Division I schools will employ some form of testing for drugs among athletes this year, but only 27 of the schools will test for steroids, which college athletes pop like candy. What will be the overall effect of the testing?

Fewer athletes will be getting high; more athletes will be getting wide.

What’s your opinion regarding LSU basketball Coach Dale Brown’s active recruiting of the great Soviet center, Arvidas Sabonis?

I think it’s encouraging and heartwarming to see a big-time college coach who can look beyond the immediate goal of winning games, in an effort to achieve greater mutual understanding between our two countries. Brown could be out recruiting a sure-fire high school or junior college hotshot, but instead he takes a risk, goes for a 7-foot 2-inch 21-year-old with only four years of international competition under his belt.


If the Raiders’ new running back from the Naval Academy uses his bonus money to buy a large apartment house, what will he name it?

The Napoleon Complex.

Is there one college or university in the entire state of Texas that hasn’t been recently hit with athletic probation or by accusations of gross misconduct and violation of NCAA rules?

One. Texas A&P;, a small college that specializes in supermarket studies, has been completely free of NCAA punishment for at least three years. The state of Texas is justifiably proud of the Boxboys, as the A&P; football team is called, and of the famed A&P; shopping-cart marching band.