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Olympic boycott? Steeler marketability

President Carter's threatend US boycott of the Moscow Olympics, prompted by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, has been met with a multitude of reactions, both pro and con. Some of those supporting this proposal argue that world peace takes precedence over the need to keep the games apolitical. Furthermore, they would argue, the Soviets hope to use the Olympics for their own purposes anyway, and in that regard the competition already promises to be a political tool.

There are good arguments on the other side of this issue, too. One is that a major boycott of the Olympics might spell the competition's end. What country, after all, would invest millions of dollars to host future games with the knowledge that political squabbles could undermine their success?

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Another point made by antiboycotters is that the countries of the world need some arena, beyond the United Nations, in which they cna all come together peaceably. For one brief, shining moment, it is felt, peoples of the globe should have an opportunity to see that differences can be laid aside. Steelers and Madison Avenue

No one needs to tell the Pittsburgh players that winning Sunday's Super Bowl could mean more than $20,000 a man. By virtue of winning Super Sunday installments IX, X, and XIII, the Steelers have become the most marketable team in football.

"There isn't another team in the National Footbal League that has as many players doing endorsements," Steeler publicist Joe Gordon says. While most teams have only two or three players plugging products, Pittsburgh's entire roster seems to get in the act. Backup quarterback Mike Kruczek has shared the spotlight with starter Terry Bradshaw in an after-shave ad, and, in another commercial, several linemen have pounded on name- brand luggage.

Besides being champions, the Steelers have a tough-guy image that works well in selling products. No player has gotten greater mileage out this image than defensive lineman Mean Joe Greene, who by his own admission is actually quiet and easygoing off the field. Greene recently has been seen doing a soft drink ad on TV that ranks as one of the classics. In a touching scene, a small boy stops Greene as he lumbers grimly toward the locker room. Joe is offered the boy's drink, refuses, then changes his mind and gulps down the contents of a 16 -ounce bottle. When finished, the grateful giant tosses his jersey to the delighted youngster. Many advertising people think the spot is a sure award-winner, thanks in large part to Greene's Othello-like presence.


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