Everyone wanted to know about the two diamonds piercing Terry Metcalf's left ear lobe. But when the solicited questions at the Touch down Club luncheon yesterday, no one mentioned the diamonds.
But how did Metcalf come to play in Canada?
"I wanted to get out of St. Louis," the former all-purpose back for the Cardinals explained. "The management couldn't stand that," he added, referring to his personal rebellion.
Metcalf traded a long, rich contract to the Cardinals for a lesser, shorter one that later made him a free agent. Then he signed a seven-year contract with Toronto of the Canadian Football League. He'll earn more than $2 million if he stays in one piece.
Does he regret leaving the National Football League after seeing his friends on the Cardinals upset the Redskins? Metcalf acknowledged he had some early-season regrets about leaving the Cards.
"I started to quit many times (in Toronto) because the offensive line was so bad," he said, "but I said to myself, 'That's not like me.'
"The way we played this year, the fans could have booed us out of the box. Because of the position I was in (earning enough to buy his own offensive line), they could have booed me 'when we lost 10 games in a row, but they didn't."
Metcalf said the Redskins did not bid for him when he was a free agent because they didn't have the draft choices to compensate the Cardinals.
He would have cost two No.1 picks under the formula based on a free agent's salary with his next club, which would have been about $300,000). Baltimore was a "very serious" bidder before he signed with Toronto.
Metcalf said NFL owners used him as a "pawn". He said most teams refused to bid for his services, thus discouraging other vets from playing out their options.
Still, he said, Cardinal running back Wayne Morris probably will become a free agent after the 1979 season, and wide receiver Mel Gray might.
Metcalf's disaffection for Cardinal management caused him problems Sunday. He watched St. Louis take a 24-0 lead against the Redskins, then saw it narrowed to 24-17 before the Cards won, 27-17.
"I wanted the Cardinals' management to lose," he said, "but I have a lot of friends on the team and I wanted them to win. I always liked to play in Washington, on the natural green grass, against all those elderly men. I was a little younder (he's 27 now).
"I think the Cardinals' coaches panicked a little more about the Redskins than Dallas - the head coach and the assistants. Don Coryell was very emotional: he was in it all the way. He might break into tears. (Metcalf picks the Cowboys to beat the Redskins Thursday.)
"I really respect the man for showing his emotions I could play for him all day long.
"I think Coryell was the best coach in the league. (He's now at San Diego). The second bextz Ted Marchibroda at Baltimore."
Yet, Metcalf second-guessed Coryell for not letting Card quaterback Jim Hart call his own plays. Hart said Sunday the calls about half of them under Bud Wilkinson, who replaced Coryell.
"Hart has the best arm in the league and has the intelligence to call the plays.If I were the coach, the quaterback would."
Metcalf said that from what he ahs heard from his former St. Louis team-mates. "There were pros and cons about Wilkinson, mostly cons. He wes out of the game for awhile (14 years) and needed to get the players' confidence, but I think he's done pretty good so far."
Did he think Conrad Dobler (former St. Louis guard) was a dirty player?
"Not when he was blocking for me."