Hank Stram, the spiffy little dude who coaches the New Orleans Saints, has consented to reveal what he will wear on the sideline for the opening game of the regular season, against Green Bay, in the Superdome.
Stram's wardrobe has become a subject of more than usual significance since it has been reported in the media that he has a challenger to the Beau Brummel of pro football coaches, Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys.
Against the background of Texas Stadium's facade, royal blue with large white stars. Landry broke out a new straw hat with royal blue silk band for the Cowboys' exhibition game against the Baltimore Colts.
He made a 10-best-dressed two years ago with adherence to conservative cut clothes, not unlike his personality, he always is color-coordinated.
There was a moment of disbelief when Stram that he will wear a black suit in sub-tropical New Orleans. "Wait a minute," he pleaded, "but I will wear a gold vest and a white shirt, because those are the Saints' colors."
There would be no particular style of footwear evident, because he would, of course, be wearing those rippled-sole coaches' shoes?
"Never, he said on the telephone, as if horrified. "That would be like wearing white sweat socks with a tux. I will be wearing black patent leather shoes."
He divulged that he learned a sartorial trick from his father, a onetime professional wrestler who also was a tailor who sold his handiwork.
"Dad wore a different suit every day," Sam recalled. "He would buy two ties of the same design to go with each suit. He would cut the wide part off one and use it for a pocket kerchief to match the tie."
Coach Stram has made several "best-dressed" lists.
Stram says he never has felt comfortable wearing a hat, even in the cold of Gary. Ind., where he was raised.
On the other hand, it would not scuff Landry's dignity to call him "The Hat" in the fashion competition. He does not wear a hat from home to the office, only during games, and he does not think in terms of a "lucky hat."
Curiously, he does not wear a 10-gallon cowboy topper, maybe because he was a city boy, the son of a fireman in Mission, Tex. There is a base canard that says his wife calls the signals as to what outfits he buys.
The rival coaches both have trouble now growing natural turf between their ears, proving again grass doesn't grow a busy street.