Terry Brashaw had to settle for a tonsorial victory in a Denver newspaper yesterday.
The tabloid Rocky Mountain News devoted all of Page 1 to the Broncos' 21-7 whipping of the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
An advertisement in the sports section was headed, "Bradshaw 12 . . . Baldness O." There were "before" and "after" pictures to illustrate Qaylar by New Man, "the hair replacement of the future."
The signed testimonial by the 29-year-old quarterback said, "Qaylar by New Man is the finest and you're looking at the proof! I know because I tried others. They all looked like fake hairpieces, not my own growing hair."
In the dressing room, Bradshaw was rugless from ear to ear, as if to indicate once more than grass doesn't grow on a busy street. He was finding it hairy to explain why a 21-0 deficit was not a passing situation.
Finally, he said, "You will have to ask Chuck (Noll), he calls the plays."
When Bradshaw came into the league, nine seasons ago, he was regarded as the best passer to come out of college ranks in many years. But on Sunday a reporter in Denver wrote, "The Steelers were still trying to establish a running game as they boarded the plane home."
Coach Red Miller of the Broncos said in reply to a question, "I guess it was a tribute to our pass rush (which sacked Bradshaw six times) and pass defense (once Bradshaw was so frustrated by his receivers being covered that he not only threw away the ball, but hit the wall of the stands).
"Maybe they didn't want to get in a bigger hole by passing (and getting intercepted; he was intercepted five times the previous week by Baltimore)."
What is wrong with the Steelers, who once were back-to-back Super Bowl champions and now are 4-4?
"I wasih I could tell you," Bradshaw said. "Chuck says we've got to live with ourselves and if we want to win we've got to get together and play with emotion. I've got to go home and look at the wall and figure something. We've been down before but this year we haven't been able to come back."
Noll, who has had several members of the defensive unit walk out in salary disputes this season, had a more practical reaction.Taking note of Rick Upchurch returning a punt 87 yards for a touchdown and totaling 167 yards for five runbacks, he said, "We've going to have to get some of our starters on our coverage team apparently our mind is not in the game."
Safety Glen Edwards ended a five-day walkout yesterday.
Upchurch said of the Broncos' 7-1 record. "Nothing can stop us now, burgh, it would be relatively simple the rest of the way. There's only one Coach Miller said if we got by Pittsway to go. That's to the playoffs."
The coach may have something to say to Upchurch for that remark, inasmuch as the Broncos still have to play Baltimore and Dallas.
On top of being upset, 24-14, by the Buffalo Bills, the New England Patriots fear that tight end Russ Francis may be lost for the season with three broken ribs, suffered when he collided with Bill linebacker Bob Nelson on the Patriot's fourth offenseive play. The Patriots did not get inside the Bills' 40-yard line until the fourth quarter.
The New York Jets also got bad news after losing, 14-10, to Miami. The Jets announced yesterday that quarterback Richard Todd, who suffered a sprained knee, will not play Sunday against Seattle.
Another quarterback, Roger Staubach of Dallas, is a questionable starter against St. Louis Monday because of a sprained thumb on his throwing hand, suffered Sunday in the 24-10 victory over the New York Giants.
Incidentally, coach Tom Landry commented, "Randy White has been super. He definitely has added something to the pass rush. He has just one speed - full out. He's been the catalyst."
O. J. Simpson, who will face knee surgery this week, said of the 1978 season, "I definitely won't ask to be traded, but if I was traded to the Rams I wouldn't be unhappy. I would like to end my career on a championship team. I would play for any championship team, anywhere, and I would play for a lot less money."