July 27, 1974
By Marty Twersky
Ron Waller showed 30-minutes of film clips yesterday and the viewers at the Bell press luncheon came away wondering if maybe Philadelphia had beaten New York in Thursday night's World Football League game.
The clips were chosen to delight. Footage of Jim Corcoran's nifty passing and Claude Watts' breakaway dashes - followed by Bell interceptions and fumble recoveries.
Waller spiced this all with glowing commentary and the audience clapped politely after each sparkling play. Those who had watched the 17-15 loss to the Stars in person could only marvel and wonder.
"I didn't pick out these clips to show," Waller said after the luncheon at the Warwick Hotel. "Someone handed me the film and I went ahead and ran it."
"It's a damn shame we lost," he said. "They have a good team but I think we outplayed them. We made some mistakes, and they cost the ball game. Aside from that, they controlled the football and we didn't get enough chances to move our own."
The mistakes took a heavy toll in the second quarter when the Stars scored twice, capitalizing on an interception and a fumble recovery. Philadelphia managed only eight offensive plays in the quarter, while the Stars were mounting a 38-19 play advantage for the half and 73-46 for the game.
Corcoran looked sharp when he had his hands on the ball, completing 14 of 24 passes for 214 yards, and scoring a point-after on a keeper.
But he came out of the skirmish with a bloody nose, taking three stitches, two banged-up back teeth, and blurry-vision in his right eye. And those new WFL rules are geared to protect the quarterback.
"Some rules," Corcoran said with a wounded look. "I saw stars playing the Stars. But I thought we should have won."
The Bell didn't because of two fourth-quarter missed field goals; the first from 46 yards by Jack Simcsak with 2:18 to play, the last with a second left by George Chatlos from the 26.
Waller, who berated Simcsak after the game, continued the crusade yesterday. He announced that two new kickers were headed to Philadelphia.
Chatlos, who wouldn't talk Thursday night, opened up yesterday, bringing philosophy and invoking the deity to explain his missed kick.
"I was prepared and not nervous," he said. "But there was some messup with the holder. But maybe it's for the best we lost that way. Adversity always sows a seed of equivalent benefit. The good Lord has his own reasons."
Waller wouldn't mind knowing them.