Lyle Alzado, defensive end of the Denver Broncos, is unique as a fellow who found relative tranquility in the National Football League.
By his word, he broke more barroom furniture than John Wayne and had more fights than Willie Pep before he came into pro football.
Alzado does tax one's credulity by saying he can run 100 yards in 9.9 seconds, at 6-foot-3 and 250. That may account for the title of his paperback book, "Mile High," although it also refers to Denver's altitude.
Alzado is cashing in through another art form as a consequence of his open-mouthed accessibility to the media. He is making a film, "The Double McGuffin," with Elke Sommer, Ernest Borgnine, George Kennedy and Ed (Too Tall) Jones of the Dallas Cowboys.
There is a measure of self-effacement in his literary collaboration with writer Paul Zimmerman, whose Super Bowl rush was as rapid as Alzado's.
Zimmerman wrote the 230 pages in a week, keeping up with the fastest tongue from Long Island.
If the athlete-coauthor is not held in high esteem by his teammates, as readily admits, he managed to be candid about Red Miller's personality without alienating the coach of the Broncos.
Miller was asked if he had read the book, what his reaction was, and he said, "I think it's pretty good. I know him a little more now."
Alzado wrote, "Rap on Red was that he was a party guy. Reckless guy, liked the night life, ex-amateur boxer, didn't mind a drink or two. My kind of guy.
"Probably kept him from getting a head-coaching job long before this. Roughhouse Red. NFL owners don't go for that. Hasn't had a drink in a year and a half. Wouldn't even take a drink of champagne after we beat Oakland. What was it he said? I quit drinking because I wanted to give myself every chance to become a head coach.
"If that was holding me back - and I'm not so sure it was - well, I didn't want to give them that excuse anymore."
Miller, who was 49 and had 17 seasons as an assistant behind him before he got the Broncos' job last season, said on the telephone about Alzado's remarks. 'Part of that is true. I like to impose self-discipline one in a while. I never had a drink until I was two years out of college.
"I said one day to Nancy (his wife), 'I'M going to stop drinking. 'It was never a problem. I've never smoked a cigarette."
Alzado tells of a former teammate taking extreme umbrage at his chatter: "We had this rookie . . . and one day when I was kidding around with him, I asked him when he was going to catch some passes. He said, 'When you get the quarterback 10 times.'
"Evidently I'd really made him mad . . . and he took a chair and broke it over my back. So I turned around and beat the hell out of him. He left the locker room and came into the (team) meeting with a gun.
"Larry Jackson and Marv Montgomery persuaded him to go into Coach (John) Ralston's officer and talk about it. They got the gun away from him, and the next day he was traded . . . It was loaded, of course, but I didn't get scared of something like that. Why should I? It's happened before."
"A lot of these guys don't particularly like me," the defensive end writes. "I don't particularly think I'm the most popular guy on this team, and I don't mind because I understand how they feel toward me . . . Maybe they also resent the publicity I get."
The book notes, "In September, the defensive team got together for an impromptu party. Alzado was not invited."
Consistently frank, the coauthors report that Alzado was the last one out of the locker room after the 27-10 loss to Dallas in the Super Bowl game, and the team bus had been kept waiting.
Zimmerman writes that place kicker Jim Turner told someone, "We'll go as soon as the presidential press conference is over," tossing a look in Alzado's direction.