Horst Muhlmann has kicked (or missed) his last field goal for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The man who barely missed a 31-yarder with 22 seconds left that would have pulled the Eagles into a 17-17 tie with the Redskins Sunday was fired yesterday.
"I'm glad it's all over. I am happy. How many people can say that when they're cut?" Muhlmann said in a telephone interview.
It was learned that Eagle coach Dick Vermeil talked to Redskin coach George Allen, his former boss, yesterday morning regarding his decision to fire Muhlmann.
Allen confrimed his conversation with Vermeil and said he agreed with Vermeil's decision.
When told that Vermail had consulted Allen, Muhlmann, a nine-year National Football League veteran, said, "I though so,"
He said Vermeil was using him as a scapegoat.
"All I can say is that it's still hard to believe," Muhlmann said. "When I met with him this morning, I said, "Coach, if it was only a foot to the left or a foot to the right, if that means why I'm cut, then forget it.
"The way I played yesterday had nothing to do with the decision," Muhlmann said. "The coach promised to turn the program around quickly. He didn't do it. They had to find somebody to blame - and it's me.
"He can't give them what he promised. So he plays politics on the back of the players."
The three misses against the Redskins made Muhlmann three for eight this season, including one of five from 30 to 39 yards.
Muhlmann, whose career field-goal percentage is 65.9 per cent, spoke in glowing terms of Paul Brown, his coach at Cleveland, and of Mike McCormack, who brought him to the Eagles in 1975 and was fired at the end of the season.
"This clown (Vermeil) from UCLA talks about George Allen all the time," Muhlmann said. "Whenever you mention Paul Brown, it's like sticking a knife in your own back.
"I want to be around people who are honest I've never had any success with people who are liars. Maybe Mike McMormack was too honest here. Paul Brown hired him, and he never picks bad people. Everything here is based on lies."
Muhlmann said his problems started to mount following the first Washington game when Vermeil started a postgame locker room speed:
"Well, we got a 16-yard punt and we got kickoffs to the five-yard line . . ."
"That was when I gave up," said Muhlmann. "It was a big lie . . . I know there is no future here. I know it will not turn around here next year. It's tough to play for a loser. You try to do your best. You think it's fun to play football when you're 4-10, 4-10 and 3-6?"
At his press conference yesterday, Vermeil cited Muhlmann's short, low kickoffs as the primary reason that the 37-year old German was placed on waivers.
As a replacement, the Eagles signed Ove Johansson, whose 69-yard field goal last season for Abilene Christian is a collegiate record.
"I should have done it several weeks ago," Vermeil said of the change. "Sunday finalized it. Horst just wasn't hitting the ball very well in practice. One of the reasons I kept him was because I was confident he could make the short field goal.
"The second was his family, it being so late in the season and everything. I wanted to make sure I was being fair to the man. We contacted Ove and Friday and said be ready to go to work on Monday."
Meanwhile, Allen said: "I've never done that. One of my shortcomings is that sometimes I stick with players longer than you should, maybe.
"It's a traumatic thing for - what's his name? - but the Eagles were playing good football and they're losing. Dick had to do something. I watched that play on film four or five times, not to watch the missed kick, but to look at thei players.
"All of them were just dropping to the ground, with their heads down."
Today, Muhlmann carried the pink slips as a badge of honor.
"It is, "he said," a dirty business."