PRO FOOTBALL—NFL: The Green Bay Packers presented Bart Starr with his first coaching victory by edging previously undefeated Dallas 19-17, Packer Quarterback John Hadl throwing a 26-yard touchdown pass to Rich McGeorge with 1:52 remaining. New England also scored its first win, 21-10 over the Baltimore Colts, on the efforts of unheralded Andy Johnson. The Patriot running back had minus two yards to his credit when he entered the game, but he scored twice and gained 124 yards on 18 carries. Houston, angered over the third-quarter ejection of Linebacker Robert Brazile for roughing Redskin Quarterback Billy Kilmer, held firm to beat Washington 13-10. With Jim Otis running for two touchdowns and 116 yards St. Louis overcame two Philadelphia leads to beat the Eagles 31-20. Pittsburgh was outrushed by the Chicago Bears 140 yards to 37 in the first half, but Terry Bradshaw turned a 10-3 halftime lead into a 34-3 rout with three methodical second-half scoring drives. Miami blanked the Jets 43-0 as Curtis Johnson intercepted Joe Namath three times. San Diego edged nearer to victory but still suffered its fifth loss, this time to Kansas City, 12-10. Los Angeles stayed atop the Western Division by capitalizing on Atlanta's errors in a 22-7 win. Minnesota and Cincinnati remain undefeated, the Vikings beating Detroit 25-19, and the Bengals, aided by a 52-yard runback of an interception by Defensive Back Marvin Cobb, defeating Oakland 14-10. Denver, which nipped the winless Cleveland Browns 16-15 on Jim Turner's 53-yard field goal as time ran out, is now tied with Oakland for the AFC Western lead. San Francisco beat New Orleans 35-21.
WFL: Action opened in New York City with officials meeting for two days to discuss the future of the league. They emerged praising the young players as "now stars rather than the stars of the future," and decided to continue to field all 10 teams for the remainder of the season. One of the "now stars," Anthony Davis, who leads the league in scoring and rushing, continued to shine, tallying 15 points and racking up 155 total yards in the Sun's 26-7 win over the Hawaiians. Contract disputes left the Hawaiians minus their two top quarterbacks, Sonny Sixkiller and Rick Cassata, forcing them to rehire once-released rookie Milt Holt. Memphis lost to division rival Birmingham for the second straight week, this time shut out 21-0. Charlotte played the Philadelphia Bell in a driving rain, each team being intercepted twice and fumbling three times. Claude Watts ran a club-record 136 yards in 25 carries to lift the Bell to an 18-10 win. In a game that pitted former NFL quarterback Jerry Tagge of San Antonio against the league's second leading passer, Edd Hargett of Shreveport, the Steamer came out on top 41-31 with 167 yards gained in the air. The Portland Thunder stopped the Jacksonville Express 30-13.
GOLF—DON JANUARY defeated Larry Hinson on the second hole of a sudden death playoff to win the $125,000 San Antonio Texas Open. Both ended regulation play with 13-under-par 275s at San Antonio's Woodlake Country Club.
HOCKEY—NHL: Los Angeles skated past three teams as newly acquired Center Marcel Dionne proved his worth. Obtained from Detroit in the off-season, Dionne tallied five goals in the King's four straight wins, maintaining the record points (366) pace he set in his first four NHL seasons. Undefeated Pittsburgh still led the Norris Division. Buffalo overwhelmed Chicago 7-1, St. Louis 5-3 and winless Washington 5-4. Philadelphia scored a power-play goal in the final period to tie Montreal 2-2, but the Flyers remained comfortably atop the Patrick Division. In the Smythe Division, only the leader, Chicago, registered a winning week.
WHA: When the Indianapolis Racers cruised to a 7-1 win in their season-opener victory over the Denver Spurs, hopes were kindled that the losing ways of last season—in which the team had the worst record in the league—may be a thing of the past. Three losses this week convinced management otherwise. After a 6-4 defeat by the Spurs, Coach Gerry Moore was fired. The unbeaten Cincinnati Stingers, an expansion team, showed how two years of preparation off the ice can produce a winner, beating Cleveland, Calgary and Edmonton. The West is log-jammed after favored Houston lost twice. Edmonton leads the Canadian Division. The only tie of the season came as neither Edmonton nor Toronto could muster a goal to break a 4-4 score in the overtime period.
HORSE RACING—HONEST PLEASURE ($4.40), Braulio Baeza up, won the $149,375 Champagne Stakes by seven lengths to almost certainly clinch 2-year-old colt of the year honors. Bertram R. Firestone's colt covered the rain-soaked mile in 1:36[2/5].
Kamaraan, owned by the Aga Khan, won the 1-mile $125,000 Prix du Conseil de Paris for the second straight year. Ridden by Henri Samani, the 4-year-old colt bested a field of 20, beating second-place Beau Buck by 1½ lengths and collecting $73,210.
Rose Bowl, a 3-year-old filly owned by Mrs. Charles Engelhard of New Jersey, beat Allez France by a length to win the Champion Stakes at Newmarket and claim the $70,954 first prize.
MOTOR SPORTS—CALE YARBOROUGH and his Chevy took the lead near the halfway point, then held off Bobby Allison's late surge to win the $113,700 American 500 by a length at the North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham.
PAN-AMERICAN GAMES—The division of medals in the VII Pan-American Games at Mexico City (page 16) shows the U.S. leading in all departments, with 47 gold, 41 silver and 23 bronze. Cuba is second, having amassed 20 of its 32 gold medals from a possible 27 in weight lifting. Joao Carlos Oliveira of Brazil broke Russian Victor Saneyey's triple-jump world record by 1'5½", bounding 58'8¼", and also won the long jump, with a leap of 26'10½". Two U.S. records were set in track-and-field competition: Chandra Cheeseborough, of Jacksonville, Fla., running the 200 meters in 22.77, and Nashville's Tommy Haynes scoring a triple jump of 56'5¼" in a second-place finish in the event. Ronnie Ray, of Newport News, Va., won the 400-meter dash in 44.45, the fastest time in the world this year. The U.S. dominated the shooting competition, bettering its own world record in the team clay pigeon, hitting 391 of 400. Margaret Murdock won the individual small-bore rifle, setting a world record in the standing position and finishing one point shy of the U.S. record with her 1,166 total (out of 1,200). In air-rifle competition Olegario Vasquez, of Mexico, broke his own world record with a 393 (of 400) score. In the middleweight division of weight lifting, IRS agent Robert Napier snatched a U.S. record of 308.5 pounds.
TENNIS—The 1976 Davis Cup team blanked Venezuela 5-0 in second-round action at the Racquet Club Ranch in Tucson, Jimmy Connors defeating Humphrey Hose 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 after Roscoe Tanner beat Jorge Andrew 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. Erik van Dillen and Dick Stockton clinched the match with a 6-2, 6-2, 7-5 doubles victory over Hose and Andrew (page 84).
Stan Smith defeated fellow American Bob Lutz 7-6, 6-2 to win the $100,000 Australian Indoor championships at Sydney. The victory over his longtime doubles partner was Smith's first in a major tournament since he beat Arthur Ashe in the 1973 WCT finals.
Sweden's BJORN BORG rallied to beat Italy's Adriano Panatta 1-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the $75,000 Count of Godo tournament at Barcelona.
Chris Evert won the Barnett tournament in Orlando, Florida, when Martina Navratilova was forced to default, complaining of bursitis in her left shoulder.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: Oakland A's Manager ALVIN DARK, by Owner Charles O. Finley. Hired in 1974, Dark managed the club to its third straight world championship. His two-year record, including postseason play, as the 12th A's manager since Finley bought the club in 1961 was 195-141.