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OK, It’s a Crazy Idea, but NFL Needs to Lighten Up a Little

Andy Rooney, resident curmudgeon on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” was invited to do a bit on fans at a recent taping for an NFL TV special--but his subsequent remarks were considered inappropriate by a league official. So what did he say?

He proposed organizing the Forgotten Fans of Football (FFF)--a union that would demand, among other things, a new way to use instant replay as an officiating aide.

“Run the replay on big screens that all the fans can see and we’ll decide,” Rooney said. “You remember how the Romans did it with gladiators? It was thumbs up or thumbs down, that simple.”

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Add Rooney: He repeated his humorous remarks Sunday night at the conclusion of “60 Minutes.” Thumbs down to the humorless NFL.

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Trivia time: Steve Young of the San Francisco 49ers is the third left-handed quarterback to start in the Super Bowl. Who are the others?

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Why play the game? Bill Walsh, former 49er coach, told Art Spander of the San Francisco Examiner that Super Bowl XXIX is “one of the biggest mismatches ever.”

Then, he added, “As far as I’m concerned, the 49ers could be the best team ever, at least one of the two or three best teams. It’s hard to tell. Outside of Dallas, they didn’t have any competition at all.”

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Familiar lament: Sid Gillman, longtime NFL coach and adviser, lives near the La Costa golf course. And he plays--except during the football season.

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“Golf is a strange game,” he said. “I’ll never be any good at it.”

He has a lot of company.

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Vicious: Todd Phipers in the Denver Post: “How come with all these college and pro football coaching vacancies there has been no mention of Gerry Faust?

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“After all, he turned around the programs at Notre Dame and Akron.”

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Baaa: Before the Rams announced they were moving to St. Louis, a restaurant across from Anaheim Stadium put a message on its marquee that read: “Today’s Special: Lack of Ram.”

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Just mediocre: Even though Chicago beat Houston, the defending NBA champion, 100-81, on Sunday, the Bulls are barely above .500 this season at 20-19.

“The fact is that we’re an average NBA team,” Coach Phil Jackson told Melissa Isaacson of the Chicago Tribune. “The thing is, we’ve overachieved to be where we’re at, and people don’t understand that.

“The players don’t, and I’m glad they don’t.”

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Looking back: On this day in 1982, Ray Wersching kicked a Super Bowl record-tying four field goals to help the San Francisco 49ers win their first NFL championship with a 26-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

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Trivia answer: Ken Stabler of the Oakland Raiders in 1977 and Boomer Esiason of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1989.

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Quotebook: Barry Switzer, on his obligation to coach the NFC in the Pro Bowl as the losing coach in the NFC championship game: “Damn, I did not want to go to Honolulu. I’ve already been to Hawaii 16 times.”


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