Olean Times Herald

Crist Is Secure, But Wonders About WFL
‘Believe I When I See It’

If the WFL is interested in Chuck Crist’s services, it can forget it until 1977 – the one-time Salamanca super-athlete has signed a multi-year pact with the New York Giants.

“They (the Giants) made me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” Crist said, his smile coming over the phone a mile wide.

Care to divulge the financial terms?

“I’d rather not,” Chuck replied, “but it’s pretty good.”

The coming season will be the 23-year-old Crist’s third in the National Football League, but where he had one-year pacts the first two years, he now has “security,” of sorts, thanks to the threat of the World Football League.

Obviously, the NFL – faced with wholesale defections by the super stars, such as Miami’s Larry Csonka – is striking back with a silent war of its own, the war that means the young unknowns, such as Crist, must be signed to multi-year contracts.

Crist, of course, is intelligent enough to realize what is going on. What’s more, he has a few thoughts on the WFL and his thoughts could be the same as other run-of-the-mill players in the NFL.

“I’ll believe it (that the WFL is for real) when I see it,” he went to explain, “and, I don’t mean for 1975 or 1976, the years the super stars, the Csonkas go to the WFL, or are supposed to. I mean, this year – 1974, this year – when they’re to start in July. What about pre-season camp, what about the players that will be needed?

“I have reservations about this year. Remember, each team will need 40 players. Where will they come from? Also, they are making news with those multi-million dollar contracts to super stars, but what about the rank and file players? What are they going to pay them? Where are they going to get them?

“The way it looks to me, at the moment, the WFL has to be in for one heckuva financial bath this year, no matter what. It’s going to be a feast or famine.”

Question to Crist: What about the threat of a players’ strike in the NFL?

Crist: “Our reps (player representatives involved in the negotiations with the owners) are meeting regularly, but we won’t know how this thing will be until close to our camp (pre-season). If the strike doers come off, it will be only after thorough deliberation and the super stars – the ones who make the big money – are on the side of the rank and file.

“Our average pay is the lowest in pro sports and that’s why the super stars are on our side. I have nothing but admiration for the guys such as Alan Page (Minnesota) and the others who are making the big money but who are fighting for us, who are not making the big money.”

Crist expects to attend the New York Giants’ mini-camp , Apr. 26-27, at Pace College. “I’ve talked with our new coach (Bill Arnsparger, the former Miami Dolphin assistant) and he has shown a sincere concern for us. He has phoned each player and discussed the situation.”

Meanwhile, Chuck is busy with his wife, tending to his second child, a daughter born earlier this year, and he’s involved as the newest member of the Salamanca Jaycees. He’ll play softball in the Salamanca Fastpitch League; then be off for year number 3 in the NFL.

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