The Newark Star-Ledger asked readers to write in over the holiday weekend and advise the New York Giants on who the East Rutherford, N.J. based NFL club's next coach should be, and no contest:
Let George do it, they said.
The first 300 or so responses brought 106 votes for George Allen to 38 for runner-up Joe Paterno. It was Don Shula 26, Hank Stram 19, Danny Reeves 15, Bill Walsh 10, Ara Parseghian 9. A landslide for Mr. Redskin 1971-77. . .
Unless you look at it this way: 106 picked Allen but 200 didn't, opting for-among others receiving votes-everybody from John McVay to Billy Martin to Larry Csonka to Woody Hayes to Al DeRogatis to Howard Cosell to Mickey Mouse.
But Jack Patera is the NFL coach of the year, in the eyes of his peers polled by the Sporting News. For guiding the Seattle Seahawks to a 9-7 log that beat the 8-8 of the Allenless Redskins, Patera edged Chuck Noll of the 14-2 Steelers in balloting by the league's 28 head coaches (presumably including Giant ex-coach McVay).
The Sporting News meanwhile declares baseball's Ron Guidry, the Yankee lefty who won 28 of 31, the 1978 Man of the Year, and United Press International presents Al Baker of Detroit as NFC rookie of the year.
The 6-6, 260-pound Lions defensive end Baker, affectionately called Bubba, drew 28 votes in balloting by 56 pro football writers. Second with 16 nods came Green Bay receiver James Lofton, the swifty from Stanford not to be confused with James Lofton, the D.C. sprinter who helped Cornell's 400-meter relay team zoom to an IC4A record last spring.
Baker, out of Colorado State, totaled 23 QB sacks, and Joe Theismann has his share of lumps to prove it.