Joe Gibbs said he isn't worried about spies in the trees at chilly Redskin Park this week.
After hearing that coach George Seifert of the San Francisco 49ers closed practice to the media and said somebody was watching practice in a eucalyptus tree before being chased away, the Washington Redskins coach said jokingly: "I take an oath on that one. I had nothing to do with the eucalyptus tree."
After Seifert described himself as a "paranoid coach," Gibbs said: "I think we're all paranoid. Hey, if I had a eucalyptus tree and found somebody up it, I'd probably be paranoid. Our trees are devoid right now. There are no leaves on them. They're
frozen stiff as a board, just like I am. I doubt if anybody could climb up one right now, as a matter of fact."
Unlike Seifert, Gibbs let local reporters watch practice in the chilly weather. The Redskins had a snowplow clear their artificial turf field so they could practice.
"I would go ahead with it," said Leonard Levy, co-chairman of the Tampa Bay Super Bowl task force. "All of us would need something to divert our attention from the Gulf crisis -- even if only for a few hours."
The NFL never has canceled a game because of a war, said a spokesman at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
During World War II, the games went on even though some
teams were depleted by the military draft. NFL officials often said football was an important diversion that boosted the nation's morale.
* OILERS: Quarterback Warren Moon, who completed 362 of 584 passes for 4,689 yards and 33 touchdowns, was named Offensive Player of the Year by The Associated Press. Moon beat Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham, 43-14, in voting by 80 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NFL.
* EAGLES: In his first words on the subject, quarterback Randall Cunningham said he deserved neither blame for the firing of coach Buddy Ryan nor credit for the hiring of Rich Kotite as the replacement.
"I don't want to be the heavy guy or anything like that," Cunningham said. "I'm no different than any of the other players."
Later, he said: "I love Buddy. Buddy gave me a chance. There is no lost blood between me and Buddy just because he pulled me out of the game [for a series in Sunday's first-round playoff loss to the Redskins]."