"It was," said Jack Kent Cooke, "a bloody awful crime against common sense. There's never been a strike so senseless. It's just a pity it wasn't resolved 57 days ago."
And so the owner of the Washington Redskins, who remained silent during the 57 days of the longest strike in sports history, reacted to the news that a tentative agreement had been reached ending the dispute. An agreement that would send the Redskins back to the practice field today and to East Rutherford, N.J., Sunday to play the New York Giants.
"No one has won," Cooke said in a telephone interview last night. "Specifically, the fans have lost; their rights have been completely ignored in all of this. And it could have been avoided by good-faith bargaining."
Cooke said he was delighted with the agreement and was anxiously looking forward to the resumption of the season.
"It's the best news I've had since the Redskins won their second straight game in what seems like a millennium ago. But it was last September, wasn't it?
"We have an opportunity to make something of this truncated season," he continued. "We'll be playing nine regular season games, and that's better than 50 percent of the season. That's a damned sight better than playing zero percent of the season."
Cooke said he felt the Redskins have an excellent opportunity to have a succcessful record, particularly since their 2-0 mark gives them a good head start in the shortened season. Washington has seven games remaining, including four games at RFK Stadium, where they have yet to play a regular season game this year.
"I think we can make a real good season out of all this," he said. "It may be an extraordinary season."