The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don't have to puzzle over intradivision and intraconference records. point differentials or anything - they're No. 1. They've clinched first position in the college football draft for the third straight year.
"It's set," said Buc owner Hugh Culverhouse. "The commissioner's office figured it out according to the formula, at my request." So even if the 0-26 lifetime Bucs shock New Orleans and St. Louis, and Buffalo and Kansas City lose their remaining games for a three-way 2-12 finish. Tampa Bay picks first.
Will they go for Notre Dame tight end Ken MacAfee as coach John Mckay hinted earlier? "We're open. We can afford to wait." said Buc veep Ron Wolf. If someone wants to talk about trades and quarterbacks, "we'll listen."
Going into last night's Heisman show we hadn't seen much NFL talk about Longhorn Earl Campbell as a quick pick.
The Los Angeles Rams Football Co. will be paying off a former quarterback some $250,000 over the next 10 years. No, not Joe Namath. Baltimore County Circuit Court ruled in Towson, Md., yesterday that Ram owner Carroll Rosenbloom owes John Unitas, now a Colt P.R. person, that amount in retirement benefits. The obligation stayed with Rosenbloom when he swapped his Colts to Robert Irsay, then the Rams' owner, in 1972 for the Los Angeles franchise plus $1.9 million.
Rosenbloom's response to the decision: a suit against Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co., a New York accounting firm, for breach of contract and malpractice.
P.S. Court records reveal audits showing the Colts had pretax profit of $890,000 in 1969, $1.3 million in 1970, $1.35 million in 1971; the Rams earned $2.19 million in 1970, $2.67 million in 1971. And Irsay paid Rosenbloom $1.9 million". . .
Does the Boston Celtics' cut of Steve Kuberski yesterday cut him out of that shaving commercial with John Havlicek? Dunno, but the Celts are seeking fresh faces in the trade mart. "This is not a stand-pat situation like the Celtics teams of old," said coach Tom Heinsohn.
You won't believe this, but Boston is back in the North American Soccer League and the owner is - the Lipton Tea Co.
There will be no discussion of the Oakland-San Francisco Bay area situation at the winter baseball meetings in Honolulu. Bowie Kuhn said the Giants had withdrawn a request to have the matter on the agenda, saying they felt there was no possibility of action being taken, particularly with Oakland's Charlie Finley away recovering from heart surgery. The commissioner commented. "The Bay Area matter will be resolved, but I don't know how soon" . . . The baseball bigwigs adjusted the rule on bean balls to allow the chief umpire to warn pitchers and managers that the next one means ejection - in some circumstances the warning can be issued even before the game starts . . .
Oh, one we missed: 3,000 hearty souls go Sunday from an Aloha Tower starting line in the fifth annual Honolulu Marathon . . . And on Pearl Harbor Day, Chicago baseball writer Dave Nightengale visited the U.S.S. Arizona's watery grave, there to muse that the Mets have just paid for .221-hitting Giant shortstop Tim Foli some $250,000 - probably more than the entire 1941 monthly payroll of the 1,177 men entombed in the battleship.