First yesterday came a call from fan Willard Brown noting the Tuesday item here about the NFL fining Cincinnati players for sloppy attire -- saggy socks -- and saying, what with the concurrent Joe Theismann sacking story, we ought to suggest that Pete Rozelle reorder his priorities.
Next thing came word that the NFL Players Association plans to file a grievance against the league this week over that $1,000 in fines.
"Most clubs pay these fines for the players, but the Bengals are so cheap they passed the fines on to the players, so we'll file," said Ed Garvey, union exec.
True, it's not a new issue. Jan Van Duser, NFL director of personnel, allowed that the enforcement of uniform standards may appear petty but said it was stepped up because the league was concerned about the image it conveys on television. "The thing was getting out of hand a few years ago; some teams really had a ragtag look," Van Duser said.
"Doctors tell us that kids emulate everything they see on television. If a player doesn't wear a hip pad, they won't wear a hip pad. But sure, cosmetics is a part of it too."
Bengal linebacker Glenn Cameron, fined $100, wrote Commissioner Rozelle in protest, saying among other things that "to be expected to check and see if our socks may have slipped or our shirt-tails are out is ridiculous." And sounding like Theismann himself, Bengal tight end Dan Ross was echoing, "You've got guys trying to take other guys' heads off with illegal shots and they don't fine them. But they fine you if your socks are too high or too low" . . .