A season-long feud between Houston Oiler quarterback Dan Pastorini and Houston Post writer Dale Robertson climaxed today when Pastorini shoved Robertson at the team's practice facility.
Pastorini, angered by a Robertson story in this morning's editions of the newspaper, grabbed the writer by the collar and shoved him through the door of a temporary press headquarters. The two landed at the feet of Coach bun Phillips, who was conducting an interview. Pastorini then stormed away into the locker room.
The two earlier had been yelling at each other about the story in question, in which Robertson had used a tape by a radio broadcaster to obtain quotes from Pastorini. "Don't ever quote me unless I talk to you directly," Pastorini told Robertson at one point.
"I told him I couldn't do that if he didn't talk to me," Robertson said. "I told him I had a job to do and was trying to do it the best way I could." "
Neither participant in the scuffle was injured but Robertson's jacket was torn. No punches were exchanged.
Robertson said Pastorini had declined interviews for about the past 10 weeks because the qarterback disliked several stories that had appeared in the Houston Post.
Robertson allowed later that the incident was partially his fault, saying, "I should not have said some of the things I said and he shouldn't have, either, but I was upset and so was he. I'm not going to sue." He did say he would file a complaint with the NFL.
Pastorini, recovering from a pulled groin muscle, was declared by the Oilers today as a probable starter for Sunday's AFC title game at Pittsburg. Also listed as probable were running back Earl Campbell (pulled groin muscle) and receiver Ken Burrough (sore tailbone).