In Oakland, fans can't wait for the regular season to savor the success of the Raiders in the Super Bowl. In Washington, they want to see if the performance by the Redskins against the Patroits in New England suffered in the transmission by television.
No matter what the reason, the attendance at preseason games has been slightly sensational, an average of 43,517 for the first five weeks around the National League. That is up 4,000 a game from 1976.
The Redskin's estimate at least 27,500 will be on hand Friday night at RFK Stadium for the game against the New York Jets. That is an encouraging come back from the 1974 season, when a strike during the exhibition games sent attendance down to as low as 15,000.
A salute to Sony Jurgensen at halftime will help boost the crowd here Friday.
The Redskins are one of nine clubs that do not require regular season ticket purchasers to buy games for the exhibitions. The others are Denver (the box office champion this year with 73,300 season tickets already sold), the New York Giant's and Jets, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Green Bay, Atlanta and Cleveland.
For the first weekend of exhibitions, the least attractive from the standpoint of how many big-name veterans figured to play any length of time, the NFL had an attendence of 641,671 for 14 games, against 633,017 for regular season baseball games.
As a spot comparison, on Aug. 28, although the Boston Red Sox have been in the thick of a pennent race, they drew 31,619 in 33,513-seat. Fenway Park, in town, while the Patroits drew 43, 779 against Pittsburgh, with most of their fans having to travel at least 20 miles to Foxboro, Mass.