FOR ANYONE WHO wants some fuel for the argument that BYU should get back to having a fulltime quarterback coach - and certainly that debate should rate plenty of air time after another season of QB controversy in Provo - there's this revelation from the NFL playoffs: The past three Cougar quarterback coaches were all involved in postseason play.
Doug Scovil, who was the Cougars' quarterback coach during two stints from 1975 through 1980, is the Phialdelphia Eagles' quarterback coach, credited with Randall Cunningham's development. Ted Tollner, who succeeded Scovil at BYU for one season in 1981, is the receivers coach with the Buffalo Bills; and Mike Holmgren, who quarterback coached at BYU from 1982-85, is the San Francisco 49ers quarterback coach, where he works with Joe Montana and Steve Young.Since Holmgren's departure in '85, BYU has not had a fulltime quarterback coach.
***** SUPER EASY: Merrill Douglas, the onetime University of Utah running back who now officiates NFL games, isn't working the Super Bowl this season. But he says the bigger the game, the easier it is to work.
"When you get to this level," says Douglas, who was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame this past year, "you don't have the cheap shot stuff and the bickering back and forth and all that you have during the regular season. They're the top teams, and they're better-coached. As far as crazy stuff going on, there's probably less in the Super Bowl than any game all year long. But there is more pressure."
***** BEST BEHAVIOR: Now that Karl Malone is the second leading scorer in the NBA, and one of the league's premier rebounders, and as aggressive as they come, the How'd He Get Away? stories are cropping up.
The latest was recalled by New York Knicks general manager Al Bianchi, who was an assistant coach and scout for Phoenix in 1985, when Malone slept until the Jazz took him 13th in the draft, three spots after Phoenix had already selected.
"I spent three days with Karl (before the draft) and not once did he give me any inclination that he could be mean. Not once," Bianchi said.
Responded Malone: "Why didn't he say something then? I could have showed him a mean streak. I thought it was a nice little social visit so I was behaving my best. I could have broken up a table at the restaurant or something."
***** LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Normally, if a father suffers a crash wherein he breaks 35 bones and has two steel plates permanently inserted in his body, he doesn't advise his son to try the same stunt. But, then, Evel Knievel is not a normal father. And just as the original Evel Knievel, who, at 50, still gets around these days, just not around airport metal detectors, was intrigued by the 150-foot wide fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, so is Robert Knievel, also known as Evel Knievel II, who will try to follow in his father's footsteps in April at Caesars. And then some. It's Knievel, the second generation. Robbie Knievel, who is 26, will try to jump the Caesars' fountains - they're now 160 feet wide - on his motorcycle, without using hands. He will try to avenge his father's unsuccessful leap 21 years ago, when he cleared the water but crashed on the landing ramp, earning 31 days of R & R in the hospital. ***** UH, EXCUSE ME: In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, John Madden was talking about an old Miller Lite commercial he did, where he crashed through a paper poster.
"The thing that concerned me was I wanted to be sure and break the paper," said Madden. "You can imagine what the other guys would have said if I couldn't break the paper.
"So on the first take, I go flying through with both hands flailing away. Sitting at a table right in front are Billy Martin on the left and Dick Butkus on the right.
"I hit Martin with one hand right in the face, and catch Butkus with the other.
"Of all the guys you don't want to hit in the face, those two have got to be at the top of the list."
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Mike Gundy, quarterback of the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who were placed on probation by the NCAA: "It's too bad we can't be on TV now, but it's not a big deal. I mean, we're never on TV anyway."