Into the office about half the regular National Football League players trooped yesterday, their attitude that of a choir improvising the John Riggins classic: We're bored, we're broke and we're back.

The strike seemed to end before the terms of surrender were announced, or even determined, so keen on grabbing their first paycheck in more than three weeks were players in full-flight mutiny.

"We left the union high and dry to come here," defensive lineman Dean Hamel admitted.

Parking lots from Redskin Park and elsewhere on the 24th day of the strike resembled the pit area at Indy-car races. Fancy machines screeched to a halt, their occupants slamming doors and hurrying toward what they hoped would be business as usual.

That's exactly what eventually transpired, except that NFL business as usual still does not include regular NFL players. If management holds its scabseason line, the sixth week of play will be the fourth with an inferior product or none at all.

There seems some doubt among labor lawyers about whether management has the right to uphold a deadline for reporting to work when no strike exists. The strike ended yesterday afternoon, union leader Gene Upshaw announced. So if the players report again this morning, can they be denied at least their regular salary for the week?

Stay tuned.

Ironically, regular Redskins were being told there would be no full pay and no play this week at the very moment checks were being distributed among coaches and other staffers. The maximum wage for striking players will be $700 this week, plus $38 per day in meal money.

The oddest time of the most confusing day in the history of the NFL union movement came in mid-morning, when many coaches had two teams available and were unable to prepare either one.

The Redskins' Joe Gibbs, for instance, was in the team's complex telling his regular players they would not play against the Cowboys Monday night; several miles away, the replacement team apparently destined to battle the Cowboys wasted precious hours in a hotel.

By being a day late, the Realskins are thousands of dollars short. Almost inspiringly unified until recently, they were the first team to completely break ranks.

Joe Jacoby arrived with his strike beard depressingly bushy; Dexter Manley drove himself into Redskin Park, but asked a friend to chauffeur him out. So hassled by reporters was union steward Neal Olkewicz after the session with Gibbs that he tried to unlock somebody else's car.

Although there was no welcome mat in sight at Redskin Park, an aide held the door open for returning regulars. On that door was a burgundy-and-gold sign the size of a bumper sticker that read: "Teamwork 87."

So much fun was the morning meeting, the Redskins held another one early last night.

"We can come here {Redskins Park} from 7 a.m. to {noon}," guard R.C. Thielemann said. "Whoever they are {the replacement players} comes in after that."

The day's earlier events showed the Redskins family is not quite perfect after all. Its members sometimes fuss and act selfish in a way that makes them more believable football kin than owner Jack Kent Cooke and Gibbs keep preaching.

Just the day before, Cooke had crowed: "I'm very proud that they acted as a unit, like any well-brought-up, well-intertwined family."

Well, there was loud and rude talk at Redskins Park within the well-intertwined family -- and not because the danish was stale. Why not? These are high-spirited fellows fairly certain a small fortune has been lost through their own bungling.

That's the early opinion. Maybe the union all along has been building a firm case that will bring victory in an antitrust suit filed yesterday. Almost all significant player gains in the NFL have come from somewhere other than the bargaining table.

Get this clear guys: the owners Do Not Bluff. You insisted they could not field replacement teams -- and they did; you said they eventally would bargain in good faith -- and they did not; you thought they would bend on that Wednesday reporting deadline for playing this week -- and they did not.

The pose that comes to mind now is a shrinking union, hands and feet bound, lying face down with a gloating monopoly giant stomping on its back.

Management's position is that the players are a day tardy for this week but six days early for next week's games.

Any regrets about not reporting 24 hours earlier?

"Sure," Thielemann said. "But it's a decision we made and we have to live with it. We wanted to challenge the deadline . . . scab ball will go on."

Being practical, players will have to win the Super Bowl to break even financially for four weeks of inactivity.

This season, being the wild-card team will not be all that bad. An extra $6,000 payday is better than a week for wounds to heal.

Players who advance from the wild-card to victory in the Super Bowl earn a total of $70,000 for that surge; the average NFL player reportedly will lose about $60,000 over a four-game strike.

Teams yesterday tried to orchestrate the departure of regular players, in their cars, with the arrival of the replacement team in a bus. On this bizarre day in Seattle, signals got mixed.

The replacement-player bus followed the caravan of about 25 Seahawks into the team's facility. When a guard turned the bus away, some subs turned down a window and yelled: "We're fired. We're fired."

They were not close to fired. All they experienced was another delay of game. The off-the-field one more involved than anything they ever experienced before.

For the moment, 28 towns will become more familiar with their scab teams. And such as Redskin defensive back Charles Jackson can get more atuned to his new environment.

It was Jackson who, after his first game as a Scabskin, said: "We are the official Washington Redskins. We represent the entire state of Washington."

He can be excused for such an error. If anyone in the NFL just now were asked to name the 50 states, he might well reply: "Confusion, frustration, greed . . ."