Bud Grant acknowledges that a football coach quickly develops a philosophy about the weather when forced to play in the conditions that predominate in Minnesota.
George Allen's old Rams were said to have a psychological aversion to playing in Minnesota and it showed in their performances. It almost certainly led to Allen saying, when he came to Washington, that no matter what the conditions were, "It's Redskins weather."
Grant said frankly: "When you deal with bad weather as we do, I think a philosophy develops. We talk to the players about the weather. We tell them that in bad weather you can lose a game to a team which isn't as good as you are. Or you can beat a team which is better than you are.
"What it boils down to is looking for the big break, the big play, and who makes it. If we make it, we win. And you have to remember that a big play in bad weather might just be a routine play on a good field.
"We had to play on a terrible field in the playoff game against the Rams. We made the big plays, before the field deteriorated, because we knew we had to make them early, (that rainy game was in Los Angeles).
"The people who should have the best punting game, the best return game, the best kicking game overall, are the people who are playing on artificial fields, particularly in indoor stadiums.
"Even if you took someone like Billy (White Shoes) Johnson (of Houston) and put him on our team. I don't think he'd ever lead the league in kick returns.
"If you took a player like Terry Metcalf (the former St. Louis Cardinal) and put him on our team. I don't think his production would be as great as if he played a lot of games on artificial turf or in good weather."
As if to imply that players are not alone in feeling the pressure of being rated on performance, George Allen said "I am graded by four (groups of) people.
"The club owner, my players, the media and the opposition."
The new Ram coach said of the spread of the 3-4 defense, "I like the four-man rush. Its record is better over the years. You can do more things with it. The only reason teams are going to the 3-4 is because it is hard to get four good rush men now with 28 teams in the league."
Allen faces an old rival, Tom Landry, when the Cowboys play at Los Angels Sept. 17, and he was asked how his Rams can beat the Super Bowl champions. "We will just have to pull together; we won't have to do anything drastic."
Larry Wilson will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the notation that he was the originator of the safety blitz, while with the St. Louis Cardinals. "Wildcat" was the code for that type of blitz and it became his nickname.