BASEBALL—While the Kansas City Royals swept the American League Championship Series from the New York Yankees 3-0, the Philadelphia Phillies needed five games to win the National League pennant from the Houston Astros (page 20).
PRO BASKETBALL—The NBA's 35th season began with a close call for the defending champion Lakers, who beat Seattle 99-98 on a last-second jumper by Guard Mike Cooper. Philadelphia, last spring's other finalist, also had to struggle; the 76ers needed 36 points from Julius Erving to defeat Washington 126-120 in double overtime after losing 106-103 to the Bucks in their opener. In Boston, where the Celtics were 35-6 in 1979-80, eight Celtics scored in double figures in a 130-103 rout of the Cavaliers and their new coach, Bill Musselman. Meanwhile, Indiana under its new coach, Jack McKinney (page 84), opened with two wins for the first time in the Pacers' five NBA seasons, beating the Nets 110-91 and the Pistons 100-87. Utah rookie Darrell Griffith also started well, scoring 26 points in a 96-86 victory over Portland, and the newborn Dallas Mavericks defeated San Antonio 103-92 in their debut, despite 33 points by the Spurs' George Gervin.
BOXING—YOKO GUSHIKEN retained his WBA junior flyweight title with a unanimous decision over Pedro Flores in Kanazawa City, Japan.
PRO FOOTBALL—With 15 seconds left and his team trailing Baltimore 17-12, Bills Quarterback Joe Ferguson heaved a 40-yard pass toward Reuben Gant in the end zone. However, instead of a touchdown and Buffalo's sixth win, the result was an interception by Colt Defensive Back Kim Anderson and the Bills' first loss. The defeat dropped Buffalo into a tie for the AFC East lead with the Patriots, who handed Miami its worst loss since 1970, a 34-0 rout. New England rolled up 360 total yards while limiting the Dolphins to 88 and letting them past midfield only once. The Cowboys' 59-14 win over San Francisco was even more one-sided—the 49ers' worst defeat in 22 years—as Drew Pearson caught three touchdown passes and Ron Springs ran for two TDs. Dallas remained tied for first in the NFC East with Philadelphia, which spotted the Giants a 16-3 lead before scoring four second-half touchdowns to win 31-16. The Steelers' comeback from a 17-0 deficit fell one point short as Cincinnati beat them for the second time this season, 17-16, and ended the Pittsburgh home winning streak at 18. The Steelers retained a one-game AFC Central lead over Houston, a 21-20 loser to the Chiefs, and Cleveland, which routed Seattle 27-3. In the NFC, the Rams took sole possession of first in the West by defeating St. Louis 21-13 and Detroit stayed atop the Central with a 24-13 win over the 0-6 Saints. Helping L.A. take the Western lead were the Jets, whose 14-7 win over Atlanta was their first victory of 1980. In Oakland, Kenny King ran for touchdowns of 31 and 89 yards as the Raiders upset AFC West-leading San Diego 38-24 despite 388 yards passing by Dan Fouts. Walter Payton had his 36th and 37th 100-yard rushing games for the Bears, 23-0 winners over Tampa Bay on Monday but 13-7 losers to Minnesota on Sunday. Green Bay's Tom Birney was less productive. In his first game replacing Chester Marcol as the Packers' kicker, he missed a 24-yard field-goal try late in the fourth quarter and a 36-yard attempt in overtime as the Bucs and the Pack tied 14-14.
GOLF—DAN HALLDORSON shot a 13-under-par 275 to win the $200,000 Pensacola Open by two strokes over Mike Sullivan and Gary Hallberg (page 72).
With a 12-under-par 280, AMY ALCOTT finished two shots ahead of Patty Hayes and Beth Daniel in a $150,000 LPGA tournament in San Jose, Calif.
HARNESS RACING—NIATROSS ($2.20), Clint Galbraith driving, won the $173,522 Messenger Stakes at Roosevelt Raceway by two lengths over Tyler B to become pacing's first triple-crown winner since Most Happy Fella in 1970. The 3-year-old colt was timed in 1:59[3/5] for the mile (page 26).
HOCKEY—A strike by Nassau County employees forced the Islanders to open the season without ticket takers, ushers, a PA announcer, an organist or even a planned pregame ceremony honoring the team's 1980 Stanley Cup victory. Nevertheless, the Islanders beat Boston 5-2 to give the new Bruins coach, Gerry Cheevers, his first loss. The Bruins had won their opener from the Rangers 7-2. Philadelphia, last season's runner-up, used two goals apiece from Bill Barber, Al Hill and Yves Preston to defeat Pittsburgh 7-4 and then routed St. Louis 5-1 as Reggie Leach and Tom Gorence each scored a pair. Two nights earlier the Blues had overcome three second-period goals by Hartford's Mark Howe to beat the Whalers 8-6. In Montreal the Canadiens lost a home opener for the first time since 1952, falling 5-4 to the Black Hawks, who also defeated the Sabres 4-3. Chicago rookie Denis Savard had one goal and four assists in the two games. Quebec, the third-worst team in the league in 1979-80, started surprisingly well by tying Calgary 5-5 and beating Edmonton 7-4.
HORSE RACING—Reuben Hernandez rode LOVE SIGN ($7.40) to a four-length win over Misty Gallore in the $160,500 Beldame Stakes at Belmont, running the 1¼ miles in 2:02[4/5]. Genuine Risk, the favorite, was scratched after X rays taken the morning of the race showed a bone chip in her left front knee, an ailment that probably has ended her racing career.
Diplomatic Note ($28.30), with Ronnie Franklin aboard, won the $111,800 Governor's Cup Handicap at Bowie Race Course by half a length over Current Legend, who was later disqualified for stretch interference. The 3-year-old colt's time for 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ miles was 1:50[2/5].
POWERLIFTING—JAN TODD set women's heavyweight world records for the squat (516 and 540 pounds), deadlift (476¾ pounds) and total (1,190 and 1,220½ pounds) in Marietta, Ga.
TENNIS—IVAN LENDL won a $175,000 tournament in Barcelona by defeating Guillermo Vilas 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in the finals.
Regina Marsikova won the $100,000 Phoenix Tennis Classic by defeating Wendy Turnbull 7-6, 7-6.
MILEPOSTS—HIRED: To manage the San Diego Padres, FRANK HOWARD, 44, a former slugging outfielder for the Dodgers and Senators and a coach for Milwaukee since 1977. In his only previous managing job Howard guided Spokane of the Pacific Coast League to a fourth-place finish in 1976.
MOVED: To Montreal by its new owner, Molson Brewery, Inc., the NASL's Philadelphia franchise, which ranked last in the league in attendance last season (4,465 per game).
RELEASED: By Green Bay, Placekicker CHESTER MARCOL, 30, a two-time NFL scoring leader (1972 and '74) who ranked fourth among Packers with 520 career points.