Harmony wasn't the prevailing sentiment after the National Football League club executives met in Atlanta and the players also figure to be split in training camps with a projected new union bidding for their affections.
Wellington Mara, president of the New York Giants, reportedly was "miffed" at the NFL Management Council in Atlanta, despite a recent favorable ruling by an arbitrator upholding the compensation procedure on signing of option playouts.
"I was critical of the council," Mara says. "You can be critical without being 'miffed,' if it's constructive. I have a right . . . a duty to be critical. I didn't like some things the council was doing.
"When I was chairman of the executive committee of the council I didn't resent criticism. I respected Leonard Tose of the (Philadelphia) Eagles; he told us what he thought. I used to hear from others -- and I'm not going to name names -- by way of maybe California. I am not going to repeat what I said at Atlanta; it was an internal matter. I did think the arbitrator's ruling was great."
Some players' agent met in California last week to try to form a new union. It plans to try to lure members away from the NFL Players Association in visits to training camps. Some club executives are concerned about possible distractions, and ending up in the middle.
Mara of the Giants expressed pleasure that his former end, Joe Walton, is doing well as offensive coordinator of the Redskins. "I'm glad he's getting credit," Mara said. He was asked if he had considered Walton as a head coach before Ray Perkins was hired and said, "Very much so." Mara chuckled about Walton wearing his coaching cap backward during games, observing, "That's all right as long as his head is on straight."
Twenty-three thousand season-ticket purchasers opted also to buy seats for the only Redskin home exhibition game, on Saturday night, Aug. 23, against Oakland. Another thousand persons have bought tickets.
There will be a notice in every NFL athlete's playbook, reminding him of his obligation under his contract to cooperate with the media and of the collective bargaining agreement with his union.
The New England Patriots reportedly would like to have free agent Edward Lee (Too Tall) Jones, but not his nearly $200,000 salary demand, which would require giving up a No. 1 and a No. 2 draft choice to the Dallas Cowboys. He will be 30 in February. There was concern whether he could shift from the Cowboys' four-man line in a "flex" defense to the Patriots nickel defense, with its three-man line.