Captain Midnight busted at 4 a.m. and don't that beat all, football fan?
Alex Hawkins, the NFL-on-CBS color commentator whose commentary got a little too colorful for a lot of sensitive viewers Sunday when he worked the NFC championship, brought out the police version of the yellow flag in yesterday's wee hours.
Hawkins, who made his nickname for his irressible play as captain of the 1960s Baltimore Colt special teams and his sometimes postcurfew celebrations of life in those days, was arrested on the 1-75 freeway in Atlanta. "Swaying from lane to lane and straddling two lanes," said police officer R. Conyers' report, which led to charges of driving under the influence. Plus:
Profane and abusive language. Improper lane change. And, oh-oh, marijuana possession. Police said they found one bag of a green leafy substance in the glove compartment and another in the trunk (less than an ounce all told).
Hawkins, 40, and a passenger, Thomas Paul Allen Sr., 52, who was charged with being drunk in an automobile, were released on respective bonds of $600 and $100.
Hawkins, who finished his playing career as a Falcon in 1967, afterward denied knowledge of the marijuana. It must have been planted in the car, he insisted.
"I was full-blown drunk, no doubt about that. But marijuana? No. Not guilty."
In his most recent, and probably biggest, telecasting job and flood at phone calls to network outlets pronounced the unquenchable Hawk guilty of bias for telling fellow announcer Vin Scully and the world that he hoped Dallas would win because "I've always been a Cowboy fan." And angry calls flooded the switchboard at CBS' Dallas affiliate after the remarked that Cowboy QB Roger Staubach "kinda runs like a sissy" . . .
Names will never hurt Jolly Roger nor his opposite Super Bowl number, Denver's Craig Morton (who heard 'em all as a Cowboy and Giant), but the Internal Revenue Service is out to hit Morton where it hurts.
Charging that Morton failed to pay federal income taxes for 1974, 1975 and 1976, the IRS filed a $34,636 lien in Dallas, which would just about wipe out his total playoff earnings if the Broncos win the Superbowl (if they lose, he's $9.000 short).
Red Miller, the Bronco coach lately identified on an NFL telecast by another player-turned-commentator, Len Dawson, as "Red Phillips," now is a name to remember: Associated Press' NFL coach of the year. Miller received 54 votes, Don Shula of Miami 25, Leeman Bennett of Atlanta 1. Thanks, said Miller, and by the way, in a first major Super Bowl practice concentrating on offense, quarterback Morton was held out to rest the bruised hip that has pestered him for weeks.