The less tolerant NFL fans want the club executives somehow to legislate away the controversial fumble with the flick of an instant replay switch or the addition of another pair of human eyes, with a seventh game official.
The appetite of the lynch'em mentality already has been whetted by the cashiering of some game officials since the season ended, even though none of them figured in calls on dropped balls by Bert Jones and Rob Lytle which weren't ruled fumbles.
Eight of the 90 officials listed before last season will not be back. Every year some resign, either because of age, a planned retirement or the pressure of business. Those reasons accounted for half of the eight who will not be back. The other four were not invited back. The league customarily does not identify those who are let go, for obvious reasons.
On top of learning recently that the last Super Bowl game's television ratings were the highest of any program ever, including Roots, the club owners now have the report from Broadcasting magazine which shows major league baseball will receive only $400,000 more for its national and local broadcasts then in 1977, or $52.5 million.
Averaging what it will receive from television over four years, the NFL will collect about $140 million a season. It received $59.5 million last season.
There is speculation on whether free-agent Terry Metcalf's defection to the Canadian Football League will touch off a trend among those remaining from the 126 veterans who played out the option years on their contracts last season.
Metcalf predicts several of the 13 Candinals on the option-playout list will follow him. He says, "The Redskins will be glad I've gone." Clint Longley, the strong-armed quarter-back from the Dallas Cowboys will be throwing to Metcalf at Toronto.
Metcalf was a big hit on an audience-participation radio program while in Toronto. He also was elated by seeing customers lined up to buy season tickets to help defray his estimated annual salary of about $250,000.
He says, (St. Louis Cardinals president) "Bill Bidwell was not only tight but he thought of me only as a number, not a person. I wouldn't have minded him being tight if he had treated me as a person."
Al Davis, managing general partner of the Oakland Ralders, was removed from the NFL competition committee, which makes recommendations about rules changes. But, he is encouraging the media to support a training centre for game officials.
Which prompts the question: What to do if that is adopted, a long with instant replay and a seventh game official, and a television or game film still dose not produce a conclusive picture on a controversial play?
Gary Long of the Miami Herald reports that Redskin General Manager Bobby Beathard "practically doubled" his salary as former director of player personnel for the Dolphins with his new $75,000 contract.
Eddie LeBaron, general manager of the Atlanta Falcons, has been honored as the Georgia Sportsman of The Year but got something more encouraging from the club, six percent of thr stock previously held by former vice president Frank Wall.
Here is an example of what type players Bub Wilkinson will be coaching at St. Louis: When former coach Don Coryell said only two Cardinals could start for the New Yrok Giant defensive unit, several of the St. Louis players pasted Giants' insignia on their helmets at the next day's practice.
Maybe the Raiders will try left-handed quarterback Bobby Douglas as a running back. He is 6-foot4- and 228 pounds and has averaged nearly 6.5 yards a rush over nine seasons. It is a "left-handed" team with quarterback Ken Stabler a southpaw and most running plays staring behind Gene Upshaw and Art Shell on the left side of the line