Sid Hartman Instant replay
Editor's note: On every remaining Sunday in 2020, the Star Tribune will republish a memorable Sid Hartman column from the archives. This is Sid's column from the Dec. 15, 1974, edition of the Tribune with a scoop about NotreDame football coach Ara Parseghian.
It's a good bet that the Orange Bowl against Alabama will be the last game Ara Parseghian coaches at Notre Dame.
One of the most successful football coaches in the country, Parseghian is being sought by Robert Irsay, millionaire owner of the Baltimore Colts. Parseghian should also be considered a top candidate for the Chicago Bears job. Parseghian is popular in Chicago. It is also possible that Parseghian may quit coaching.
Abe Gibron won't be back as coach of the Bears. A number of names have been mentioned as replacements. Bill Johnson, now Paul Brown's top assistant at Cincinnati, would have been the Vikings coach had Bud Grant not taken the post in 1968. Jack Gotta has a Grant background. He was a very successful coach in Canada until he moved to the United States and coached Birmingham to the World Football League title.
Jack Pardee, the former Washington linebacker, had a winning record with the Florida Blazers of the WFL even though the team didn't get paid for three months. His name is being mentioned in connection with every pro opening.
Atlanta is expected to fire the entire coaching staff next week. Pardee is a top name there. Bart Starr, the former Green Bay quarterback, has talked to Atlanta. Starr would like equity in a club he coaches. The report is that Rankin Smith, owner of the Falcons, won't give up any stock.
The Green Bay situation will be settled Monday when the executive committee meets. Dan Devine has one more year to go on a five-year contract. If the Packers beat Atlanta today they will wind up with a 7-7 record. They lost three games by one point. With a little luck the Packers might have been in position to tie the Vikings for the Central Division title.
Starr's name is being mentioned in Green Bay, too. But Starr would never take the job unless he were given the same powers that the late Vince Lombardi had when he was turning out championship teams in Green Bay.
The Packer players had a meeting Thursday to talk about Devine. There wasn't any vote taken. "We ran out of time," said one player who was in the meeting. "Any player who says Devine is going to be fired is just guessing," said the player, who asked not to be named. "All we know is what we read in the papers."
There will be other changes in the NFL by early next week. Bob Hollway, the former Vikings assistant coach, is going to leave the Detroit Lions staff. So is Ed Khayat.
If Sid Gillman doesn't resign as general manager and coach of the Houston Oilers, a lot of his good friends will be surprised. Nick Skorich may be through at Cleveland. If he goes, the top candidate is former Cleveland offensive lineman Monte Clark, now with the Miami Dolphins coaching staff.
One thing is certain. There won't be any changes on the Vikings coaching staff unless one of the assistants becomes a head coach. Chicago newspapers have mentioned offensive coach Jerry Burns as a candidate for the Bears job.
Bobby Bell was impressed
"The Minnesota Vikings are well-balanced with a strong offensive and defensive team," said former Gopher All-America Bobby Bell after the Vikings had defeated the Chiefs 35-15 Saturday in the final regular-season game.
"Francis Tarkenton is tough to defense. Any time he gets out of the pocket and runs a sprint pass pattern he is almost impossible to stop. He puts tremendous pressure on the linebackers and makes it hard to cover the receivers."
Bell also liked Viking rookie Sam McCullum, who caught six passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned a punt for 12 yards and two kickoffs for 63 yards.
"He looks like a fine athlete," said Bell. "But we gave Tarkenton too much time and he was able to find McCullum open."
The Chiefs beat St. Louis 17-13 a few weeks back. Bell was more impressed with the Vikings. "St. Louis is not in a class with the Vikings," he said. "They've been a very lucky team and have won some games by single points. We handled St. Louis. We couldn't handle the Vikings. The Vikings will beat St. Louis in the playoffs."
The 12-year NFL veteran rated this a much stronger Vikings team than the one that Kansas City beat in the 1970 Super Bowl. "If they play like they did today and like they did in the films we saw, the Vikings are going to win the Super Bowl," said Bell.
Recession for Killebrew
Nine years ago, Tony Oliva and Harmon Killebrew were probably worth $1 million each on the baseball market. The Twins had just won the American League pennant and lost the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.
Friday, they stood side by side in the offices of the Twins kidding each other. "I guess they want to get rid of both us," Oliva said to Killebrew. Killebrew just smiled.
Jack Gordon likely will recall a player from the New Haven farm club today to replace injured Lou Nanne. … Atlanta has asked waivers on Dave May, the outfielder the Twins want from Baltimore in a possible Oliva trade. … Matt Herkenhoff, the former Gophers tackle who played in the WFL this year, is expected to sign with Kansas City for 1975.