The San Diego Chargers' 9-7 record, their first winning season since 8-6 in 1969, was followed by the introduction of a top-priced ticket of $17, up from $15.
Other increases were from $10 to $12, $8.50 to $10, $5 to $6 and $2 to $3 for students 18 years and under. "This will be our first raise in three seasons," President Glen Klein is quoted as saying by the Chargers.
"Our stadium is the smallest in our division (capacity 52,552) and our gross income per home game is one of the smallest in the league. We have raised our prices to the level of our competition."
Simultaneously, there was a release from the league noting a record 12,771,800 attendance for the new 16-game season with an increase in average crowds from 56,218 in 1977 to 57,017, highest in five years. This also was the first year on a four-year contract with the three television networks, which brought each team $5.8 million.
Buffalo, with a 5-11 record in an 80,020-seat stadium, talked about increasing prices before it stirred up criticism in the media.
Maybe Joe Thomas never met a man he didn't like. Or vice versa. The St. Petersburg Times quoted Tampa Bay Coach John McKay as saying after Thomas fired Pete McCulley and hired Fred O'Connor as the third San Francisco coach in two years, "That's how Hitler did it.
"When something didn't go right, he always did away with the general in charge." Asked to comment, Thomas was reported as saying, "I'm not going to get into that. Anyway, I never met Hitler."
The Dallas Cowboys have appeared in a record 23 playoff games, counting Saturday against Atlanta. The Raiders have been in 20.
Rocky Bleier, running back of the Steelers, was among "America's 10 Outstanding Young Men" named yesterday by the United States Jaycees. Also honored was lienry John Deutschendorf Jr., better known as entertainer John Denver. Among those honored in the past were John F. Kennedy, Gerald R. Ford, William Saroyan, Gale Sayers, and Howard Hughes.
Tight end Mike Barber and wide receiver Ken Burrough took some of the burden off workhorse running back Earl Campbell against Miami by, respectively, catching four passes for 112 yards and six for 103.
It was the first time two receivers each went over 100 yards in the same game since the longest game ever, between Miami and Kansas City on Christmas 1971, when running back Ed Podolak caught eight passes for 110 yeards and wide receiver Elmo Wright caught three for 104, for the Chiefs.
Los Angeles will be hard pressed for an alibi if it fails again to make it to the Super Bowl. The Rams have the home-field advantage today against Minnesota and by winning will have it for the National Conference championship game.