A quick observation on the Mike Thomas affair with the Redskins. Last fall Thomas had an injured ankle. Everyone agrees that he was hurt. Differences of opinion surface when determining whether or not he could have played with a hurt ankle. His teammates say he could have. But Thomas said it would have hurt his future to play. Other owners, coaches and teams knew about Thomas' feelings about his injury and how his teammates felt.

When I played football in college I went through something similiar. Just before the season was to begin I had impressed the coach. He all but said that I would be a starter, or at leat a first-line sub. But then I injured my Achilles' tendon.

He put up with me for about two or three days; but when I still couldn't put out, he ignored me. I stuck out the season, but he never even gave me the time of day. What really hurt me was that the injury was legitimate.

But, as the same time I was injured, others were too. Those guys played because they wanted to play football. I didn't. I was out there for fun and exercise. Apparently, the coach could tell that my heart wasn't in my efforts to recover; and in truth, it wasn't. I wasn't going to sacrifice the rest of my life for one college season. The coach could read that, and although I felt he acted injustly at the time, he didn't want that type of attitude infecting the rest of his team.

Looking back on it now, I agree with him.

Back to Thomas. Coaches around the league recognize his talent, just as my college coach did. but more importantly, they know that his attitude toward football is me firstand the team second. No coach in his right mind would want the type of player on his team.

It is not dissimilar to my case. Thomas has the talent to play, but his attitude is not conducive to team play. It isn't, I suspect a matter of collusion that is stopping other teams from contacting him. Rather, I feel, it is a matter of putting the total needs of the team above a single need (the single need being a good ball carrer).

when Thomas' attitude changes, doors will open for this if the maintains his present outlook, I doubt if he will be playing in the NFL