Sixty-one to seven. Roll it over your tongue. Think about it by day. Sleep on it by night. Jerry Glanville has done just that for almost a year. Glanville now coaches the Atlanta Falcons. Last season he coached the Houston Oilers. And Cincinnati Coach Sam Wyche had his way with Glanville. Sam called for a pooch kick in the final minutes so the Bengals could run it up. He called for a timeout so they could kick a total-humiliation field goal. Sixty-one to seven.
Phony. That's the word that Wyche hung on Glanville after that game. Glanville has had time to dwell on that one too. And the fact is that whatever he is, he is hardly a phony.
He tells you before the game that he is going to coach rough, no-holds-barred football. Call it dirty football if you want. Call it Raider football, if that isn't a redundancy. But it's all out front, in any case. You may beat a Glanville team. People often do. But the message is always clear. Win or lose, it will hurt.
I asked Glanville this week whether, if he had 55 points, he would call a timeout to rub 62 into Wyche's face. "Only if they had 60," he said.
Okay, I'll admit it. There are times when Glanville gives an answer that sounds phony.
The truth is that these guys do not dislike one another. They hate. Two of the most fascinating people in pro football, Wyche and Glanville present the best rivalry since Achilles was favored by 6 over Hector and went on injured reserve in his tent.
Wyche is cerebral and introspective to the point of imploding. He is a noble humanitarian who visits the homeless on mornings before games and contributes all of his speaking fees to the cause. Yet he can also be a Cro-Magnon thinker on sex issues, manning curtains and barricades against female reporters who are just trying to perform their jobs.
Glanville is, to say the least, not as enigmatic. What you see is what you get. He is the man in black, and he has cloaked his team in black to make it look more menacing. He is a drag racer, a country music fan and a born comedian. He drives a black 1950 James Dean Mercury at high speeds and figures his next call home will come from Moscow. That's Moscow, Idaho.
Wyche thinks that feminism is a dead issue in locker rooms. Glanville figures that Elvis Presley is alive. Guess whose view I favor. And don't be cruel.
Glanville's revenge will not be easy. It is hard to determine whether his Falcons players care about revenge for a Houston debacle. It is also hard to determine whether some Falcons care about anything. Including blocking and tackling.
Nose tackle Tony Casillas, a premier draft choice, is one example. He played as if waiting for the paddleball game to start. Then he missed a team plane. Now he's suspended. But that might just get the other Falcons' attention. If they don't try, Elvis may be playing nose tackle. Or James Dean, who would be a Giant at the position.
The Falcons should get the message. Glanville teams usually do. Some of them lack a modicum of ability. But sooner or later, all of them try hard. "I want borderline trained assassins," he often says. And when he doesn't have them, sometimes he creates them. If you hate the Raiders and all they stand for, you'll despise Glanville. If you like the Raiders' style, you'll love this guy. Sam Wyche and Boomer Esiason won't.
I have cheerfully provided Glanville with an inspirational message for his revenge-bound troops this week. It is stolen from the great country lyricist Guy Clark: "You've got to sing like you don't need the money. You've got to love like you'll never get hurt. . . . It's got to come from the heart if you want it to work."
I figure that if everybody who wanted revenge had that clue, the Normandy invasion would have taken about 15 minutes.
This week's selections definitely come from the heart, if only because the schedule beckons great quantities of logic.
The Bengals-Falcons line has been fluctuating wildly, but it is basically pick 'em. The Bengals are playing their fifth straight road game, and are coming off a Monday night game. They have lost five straight after routing someone. The negatives are strong. The positive is even better. Call it revenge. Call it 61-7. Take the Falcons.
The Chargers are 3 1/2 over Tampa Bay. Why are the Chargers 3 1/2 over anybody? And they're coming up to a divisional series that should preoccupy them. The Bucs, on the other hand, are 4-0 on road grass, and 8-2-1 after a loss. Then there's that old-fashioned bromide: The Bucs are a better team. Bucs plus 3 1/2.
Free at last. The New England Patriots are expected to be liberated this week from Marc Wilson. The Bills are 6 over the Patriots in Foxboro. But the Bills are also 3-10 after winning and scoring over 30. If Steve Grogan plays, the Patriots are an outstanding play. If Wilson somehow endures, hey, we'll all take the defeat like warriors. Patriots plus 6.
The Steelers are 1 over the Rams at Three Rivers. This is the first Rams game on a carpet in 1990. They won't like it. The Steelers are good home favorites and bright at night. Monday night special, Steelers minus 1.
The Dolphins are 2 1/2 over the Colts in Indianapolis. The favorite has won all three Miami road games this season. And who do you want to lead that Normandy invasion, Dan Marino or Eric Dickerson? Dolphins minus 2 1/2.
Last week: End of blazing streak. The Eagles, getting 4 from the Redskins, showed up without an offense and bowed, 13-7. The Saints, getting 6 1/2 from Houston, got run over and shot up, 23-10. The Chiefs, who had impressed me as a decent club and were getting 2 in Seattle, succumbed, 19-7. Well, you can't lose them all. The Jets, getting 9 in Buffalo, covered as they lost, 30-27. And following the better team theory, the Broncos buried the Colts, 27-17.
Total for week: 2-3.
Total for season: 21-14. I can live with the 60 percent solution.