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Football players are on a new kick.

They have gone on strike. While this is not expected to raise unemployment over 10 percent, it does raise a few eyebrows. NFL football players not only want to call the signals down on the field, they would also like to call the signals up in the office.

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In this regard, it is unfortunate that pictures of American football players present a huge, gargantuan body with a very small head. This is simply not the management image.

Maybe the football players just need to change their uniform from dirty jersey to silk tie, pin-stripe suit, and cleated oxfords.

In a recent poll regarding the strike and thus the absence of Sunday football on television, one-third of the people questioned said, ''Who cares?'' Obviously this poll didn't include women. Otherwise the ''Who cares?'' attitude would have been well over 50 percent. Studies of United States marital habits tend to prove that more wives leave home during football season than any other time - and that the husbands didn't even know it until after the playoffs.

Many social reformers aver that the end of football would bring new vitality to marriage, a resurgence of lawn care covering 12 million acres, and the repair of leaks in 256,000 kitchen faucets conserving an estimated 100 million gallons of water.

One fact seems clear. The players didn't think up the strike. Lawyers thought up the strike. Just the heady aroma of $1.6 billion being passed around out on the football field is enough to bring lawyers in their Mercedeses from every state in the Union. Countless alleged whiplash victims are left helpless in anterooms, waiting in vain for the usual million-dollar settlement.

Big rewards for athletes are not new. In early Roman days the gladiators (forerunners of NFL veterans) got big rewards. Of course, the biggest reward of all was not to be eaten by a lion. Coliseum owners of today don't have this convincing advantage. Today lions are in short supply. Anyway, a game between the Los Angeles Raiders and 11 lions would probably end in a tie.

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