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Pro football tidbits

* Pro football owners appeared to be reacting rashly with their threatened fines for pre-game fraternization. Supposedly they had a method to the seeming madness of cracking down on handshakes between opposing players. Their real concern, it's been reported, was not over the rather innocuous show of union solidarity, but with the escalated defiance expected to follow. The owners, who are at odds with the players' union over a new contract, felt the handshakes were only the beginning. Next, they expected, would come absences from practice , intentionally delayed games, and possibly even selected mini-strikes. None of these has occurred so far.

* Listen, if Mean Joe Greene could become a celebrity playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, why shouldn't a defensive lineman be able to strike it rich in New York? Mark Gastineau of the New York Jets did just that by becoming one of the game's best pass rushers and the most animated member of a line collectively known as the New York Sack Exchange. Since last December, Gastineau has earned more than $200,000 in commercials, appearances, and speaking fees.

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