NFL fans grudgingly welcomed back their regular teams Sunday, but the Redskins were not the only team that was taunted and booed at times by its fans. The most booing was aimed primarily at the leaders of the 24-day players strike.
Although more fans showed up to see the regulars than watched the replacement games, attendance was down about 8,000 per game from the average of 59,824 for the last prestrike weekend. The per-game average for three weeks of games played by replacement teams was 23,626.
At Pittsburgh, quarterback Mark Malone overcame a shaky first half in which some fans chanted "Malone Go Home." He had played poorly in the Steelers' two prestrike games, and several fans displayed a huge banner: "Malone, Stay on Strike."
At Houston, 29,062 showed up to see the Oilers play Atlanta. The replacement Oilers drew 26,294 last week. Fans booed quarterback Warren Moon, the Oilers' player representative, when he was introduced.
A crowd of 27,278 watched the Detroit Lions take on the Green Bay Packers in the 80,638-seat Silverdome. There were 12,334 no-shows. The crowd was much lower than a normal Lions' game, but much higher than during the strike, when 8,310 was the best crowd there. The Lions played, and lost, their two prestrike games on the road.
One prominent sign told the Lions to get back to work quickly. It said: "Vacation's Over Boys -- Detroit Scabs 1, Detroit Lions 0."
At New Orleans, the Saints lost to San Francisco, 24-22, in a game marred by penalties and fumbles. Some fans, who have never seen the Saints post a winning record, made their feelings known with a banner reading: "At Least We Saw Three Pro Games," referring to the replacement team's 2-1 record.
The first of those three replacement games was played in the Superdome and drew 29,745.
At the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, the Colts and New England Patriots played before 48,850. There were 3,000 no-shows. Fans booed when the Colts were introduced, the loudest yells aimed at player representative Nesby Glasgow.
The replacement Colts drew 34,927 last weekend inside the dome.
At Miami, fans booed Miami quarterback Dan Marino when he was introduced. Three first-half touchdown passes brought only cheers, but he and the Dolphins left the field to more boos during a sluggish second half. There was an announced total of 61,295 fans at the 75,000-seat Joe Robbie Stadium, with 9,297 no-shows. Miami drew 25,867 for its only home game during the replacement season.