Player union and management initialed the National Football League's five-year peace pact yesterday in New York,and where does that leave commisioner Pete Rozelle?
He allowed as how he is eally happy with elimination of the Rozelle Rule - "That really takes me off the spot, now thecompensation is predetermined, right there . . . in black and white." But now that he also is losing his customary power as arbitrator in favor of a management-union committee and in last resort an outside arbiter? Retire him to a rocking chair?
Said Sargent Karch of the NFL Management Council, "There is a section in the contract reaffirming the commissioner's disciplinary powers in the areas of on-field behavior and integrity and public confidence in the game." Countered Ed Garvey of the players association, "What we now have is impartial arbitration on anything affection the relationship between the nion and management."
Now to quote the curious, and neutral, Associated Press:
Where would a problem like the Joe Namath-Bachelors 111 matter of a few years ago fit in?"
"Our position," said Karch," is that kind of thing would come under he commissioner's jurisdiction."
"And our position," said Garvey, "is that it would not."
Isn't this where we came in?
Anyway, now that it's settled, player association veep Len Hauss of the Redskins said, "I think the members (about 60 per cent of the 1,300 players) will accept it wholeheartedly (by mail ballot next week). The Redskin players I've talked to like it and so do the player representatives."
No end to off-field disputes: the Toops Chewing Gum man in charge of the bubble-gum card business was locked out of the New York mets' Florida camp yesterday. Sy Berger annually tours the major league camps signing players for permission to print their pictures on the trading cards: the Major League Promotion Corp. issued a directive ordering he be barred until its efforts to get a bigger royalty from the operation are settled. Don't worry, fans, 1977 cards already have been printed - the devil with late real-life trades; it's the 1978 series that's at issue . . . Anyway, the players will be looking sharp. Not only Vern Rapp at St. Louis but several other new managers have laid down the law, and such princely figures as John Montefusco of the Giants and Willie Stargell of the Pirates, who came to training with beards, had to shave clean before taking the field . . .
It appears Dick Allen has kissed goodbye to his last, best hope of playing baseball in 1977 - if indeed he was of a mind to leave his Pennsy horse farm. Said Charlie O. Finley after waiting almost a week to hear from the free-agent slugger who he felt last week was going to accept Oakland A's terms, "There's an old song, you know, sittin' all alone by the telephone waitin' for it to ring. Well, I sure as hell am not waiting any longer. I couldn't care less where he is . . . I no longer have any interest in Dick Allen. I don't play his game very long" . . . .
Jimmy the Greek begs to differ with Gerry Strine's Las Vegas line maker, again. The Greek makes it N.C. State by 2 over Maryland, rather than the other way around; says Wake Forest over Virginia by 4 not 8 1/2, and Clemson 7 over Duke . . . If you watched Monday night's Cleveland. St. Louis hockey game on Channel 20 you saw NHL referee Dave Newell sent sprawling against the boards, shake it off and finish the first period. Then he was taken to a hospital, where he'll stay a bit: his injuries have been diagnosed as contusions to the ribs and possibly the liver . . .
It was nice while it lasted for Northern Virginians Bob Ford and Tim Cleary as they led the ABC tournament doubles in Reno with their 1,265, but at last look a California duo eclipsed 'em with 1,277.But look what happened at Glenmont Lanes in Wheaton Monday night: Vincent (Shorty) Divver, a Silver Spring glazier, rolled a world-record duckpin set for College Park Paving: 178-209-205 for a 592.