A Ghostly Affair for Redskins


Shirley Povich of the Washington Post, in a follow-up on the David Cone controversy, recalled when he did some ghostwriting for Redskin quarterback Sammy Baugh.

Povich: “Baugh couldn’t be bothered with any discussion and gave me a blank check to write anything I liked, and I did. Every Sunday with Baugh’s help I would diagram a Redskin play, labeling it one that had beaten some other team. But once, when Baugh was unavailable, the team’s trainer came forward with a play we could publish.

“ ‘When did it ever work?’ I asked. ‘We never really used it,’ he said, ‘but I always thought it would work.’


“So the play was diagrammed and published, and that day the Redskins took an awful beating from the Bears.

“Two days later the sports editor got an angry letter from a lady who complained, ‘How can the Redskins expect to win when Sammy Baugh gives away their best plays every Sunday?’ ”

Add Povich: “We had a baseball writer at the Post in 1925 who ghosted articles during the Senators-Pirates World Series under the name of Sam Rice. When an angry Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis called Rice on the carpet for ‘second-guessing our umpires in the newspaper,’ poor Sam was at a loss. He hadn’t read his own stuff.”

Trivia Time: Who is Bob Klapisch? (Answer below.)

For What It’s Worth: Greg Bell of the Rams, with 155 yards Sunday, replaced Herschel Walker as the National Football Conference’s leading rusher. Bell has 622 yards, Walker 577. Eric Dickerson is the National Football League leader with 630.

Ex-Raider Sean Jones of the Houston Oilers told the Sporting News he was going to rent his Santa Monica townhouse to Bo Jackson.

“I’m a slum lord,” Jones said. “I’m going to up his rent because Bo can afford it. Actually, I trust Bo so much I didn’t even cancel the cable television.”

UCLA didn’t make much of an impression on Oregon State defensive end Pellom McDaniels Saturday.

“We expected to win,” McDaniels said. “They’re in for trouble with the rest of the league. We should have won the game. Mistakes cost us the game. The Bruins are just another football team.”

UCLA won, 38-21, after taking a 21-0 lead.

Wait a Minute: Said Columbia University President Michael I. Sovern after the Lions ended a 44-game losing streak with a 16-13 victory over Princeton: “I may not have been here when Columbia won the Rose Bowl, but I don’t think Columbia has ever had a better victory.”

In 1934, Columbia scored the biggest upset in Rose Bowl history with the most famous play in the game’s history. The play was KF-79, a sleight-of-hand reverse off Coach Lou Little’s spinner series that had three potential ball-carriers. It sprang Al Barabas for a 17-yard touchdown and Columbia beat Stanford, 7-0.

These were the Stanford Vow Boys, a team that had vowed never to lose to USC. Making good on the vow, the team went to three straight Rose Bowls.

Add Columbia: Its next greatest victory was a 21-20 upset of Army in 1947, ending a 34-game unbeaten streak by the Cadets. The game featured the diving, finger-tip catches of Columbia receiver Bill Swiacki, who caught 9 passes for 148 yards.

Trivia Answer: He did the ghostwriting for David Cone in the New York Daily News.


Kansas City Royals General Manager John Schuerholz, on ex-Royal pitchers Danny Jackson (23-8) of Cincinnati and David Cone (20-3) of the New York Mets: “I’ll tell you one thing, it’ll take a keg of dynamite under my behind to trade a pitcher next time.”