It looks like Joe Namath or nobody if the Los Angeles Rams want an experienced pro quarterback with a playboy reputation. The Houston Oilers gave up yesterday on attempts to deal unhappy Dan Pastorini to L.A.
"We tried to make the deal he wanted," said Oiler coach Bum Phillips, "but my first obligations is to my employer," who didn't want to settle for what the Rams were offering Phillips said, "I talked to Dan (and) I'll tell you one thing, he wanted to go somewhere else but he's a football player first and he'll be giving everything he has when that whistle blows." And when those, Armstrodome boos that hounded him through a 5-9 season in 1976 resume . . .
"The perfect person if God ever made one" was Don Shula's tribute to Earl Morrall last winter at a testimonial dinner for the Miami Dolphin quarterback who two weeks from today observers his 43d birthday. Now you can make that the perfect retired person.
Morrall announced his retirement yesterday after 21 NFL, campaigns, "for the good of the team - the younger quarterbacks can do as well or better than I can."
Morrall's high spots came in relief rules: in 1968 which he replaced the injured John Unitas and guided Shula's Baltimore Colts into the Super Bowl against Namath and the N.Y. Jets: in Super Bowl 5 (we'll get to that): in 1972 when he started eight games in place of an injured Griese to keep Miami on the way to its 17-0 perfecto capped by the Super Bowl conquest of the Reskins. His career figures: 255 games, 2,689 passes, 1,379 completions 20,809 yards, 161 touchdowns. Not counting his seven completions for 147 yards when he spelled Unitas in the 16-13 Super Bowl win over Dallas. And on Jim O'Brien's game-winning field goal who held the ball? Earl Morall . . .
O.K., fans, now who is the oldest active players in the NFL." . . .