PRO FOOTBALL—It was kickers wild almost everywhere in the NFL. Chester Marcol's third three-pointer of the second half, a 32-yard effort with five seconds left, gave the GREEN BAY Packers a 16-14 win over the Giants. MacArthur Lane set up the winning boot on a play he himself proposed, taking a short Scott Hunter pass and then making a superb cut to gain 11 yards and reach the New York 29. Hunter was impressive in relief of Jim Del Gaizo for Green Bay, completing six of seven passes. Jan Stenerud's fourth quarter 39-yard field goal erased a one-point Denver lead and provided KANSAS CITY with a win, also 16-14. Stenerud also connected on placements of 38 and 40 yards. And BUFFALO survived a scare from Philadelphia, winning 27-26 on the strength of John Leypoldt's 47-yard boot late in the fourth quarter. The Eagles' Tom Dempsey hit on four field goals but he missed one that really hurt, from the 26 with three seconds left. The Bills' O. J. Simpson rushed for 171 yards in 27 carries, as surprising Buffalo remained tied with Miami for first place in the AFC East.
The DOLPHINS, meanwhile, added injury to insult in their 31-3 rout of the Jets in the Orange Bowl as New York Quarterback Al Woodall was forced out in the third quarter with torn knee ligaments. Bob Griese threw three TD passes, two of them to Paul Warfield, to put the game out of reach early. SAN FRANCISCO kept alive its hopes of a divisional title by beating Atlanta, whose starting quarterback was still Dick Shiner. Nick Mike-Mayer, the Falcons' toe, made it close, 13-9, Bruce Gossett had two field goals for the 49ers. Houston's Skip Butler showed plenty of leg by kicking four field goals against Los Angeles, but the Oilers still suffered their fourth straight loss and the amazing RAMS won their fourth in a row (page 30). Win-less NEW ENGLAND and NEW ORLEANS both finally got on the cheerful side of the ledger. The Patriots upset the Colts 24-16, Randy Vataha scoring on a 46-yard fumble recovery and Running Back John Tarver tallying twice. And the Saints' Archie Manning used the old-fashioned touchdown, running it in twice himself to lead New Orleans to a 21-16 victory over the Chicago Bears. Oakland's Ken Stabler passed for 207 yards on 19 out of 31 completions and his running backs moved for 247 yards as the RAIDERS dumped St. Louis 17-10. Cleveland's Leroy Kelly, recapturing the form of his younger days, scored twice and the BROWNS won the battle of Ohio 17-10 over Cincinnati's Bengals. But PITTSBURGH remained the class of the AFC's Central Division, pasting San Diego 38-21. Terry Bradshaw was at the controls as the undefeated Steelers ran up an early lead. MINNESOTA remained undefeated in the NFC Central by whipping Detroit 23-9. Two Lion errors in the first five minutes led to short scoring passes from Fran Tarkenton to Ed Marinaro. The Viking defense held the Lions to—you guessed it—field goals, three of them by Errol Mann.
GOLF—JOHNNY MILLER led throughout to take the $17,000 first prize at the Lancome Invitational outside Paris. Miller's 277 topped Spain's Valentin Barrios by three strokes.
Sandra Haynie fired a final-round 73 for a 54-hole total of 212, seven under par, to win the $32,000 Lincoln-Mercury Open in Alamo, Calif.
HARNESS RACING—ARNIE ALMAHURST ($9), driven by Joe O'Brien, took the last of trotting's Triple Crown races for 3-year-olds, the $64,174 Kentucky Futurity, in Lexington, Ky. The Speedy Scot colt, who will be retired to stud at Castleton Farm after this season, won the first heat by a head, broke stride at the gate and finished last in the second but came back to win the third by a length. The second and fastest heat—1:59[1/5]—was won by KNIGHTLY WAY ($9.80).
HORSE RACING—SICILIANA, a 14-to-1 outsider, overtook My Hero, another longshot, in the last furlong to win the Irish Sweepstakes by a length. The 4-year-old bay filly, ridden by Geoff Lewis, outclassed a field of 37 on the muddy 1‚⅛-mile Newmarket course turf. The favorite, Negus, finished fifth.
Jacinto Vasquez rode BUNDLER ($13.60) to a½-length victory over Chris Evert in the 26th running of the $121,100 Frizette Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Belmont. The Bwamazon Farm filly covered the mile in 1:36[2/5]. Highly touted Talking Picture finished fifth.
MOTOR SPORTS—GARY BETTENHAUSEN won the fastest USAC championship car race ever run as the field averaged 181.918 mph in the Twin 200 at Texas World Speedway. In capturing his first win of the year and the $15,887 top prize, Bettenhausen took advantage of two lengthy pit stops by runner-up Johnny Rutherford. ROGER McCLUSKEY, who has already clinched the USAC championship car title, won the rain-shortened stock-car portion of the racing doubleheader after 152 miles.
OLYMPICS—Meeting in Varna, Bulgaria, the International Olympic Committee voted to eliminate 10 events from the Olympic program. The reason: to combat "gigantism" in the modern Games. Despite pleas from various sports federations, the IOC dropped the 50-km. walk, men's and women's 200-meter individual medleys, men's 400-meter freestyle relay, all four canoe slalom races and one event each from cycling and shooting. The IOC also voted to admit women members, breaking down an 80-year-old barrier, but immediately elected four men. IOC president Lord Killanin asserted, "I will not go in for a gimmick of having a woman elected."
TENNIS—BILLIE JEAN KING won the $40,000 Phoenix-Faberge tournament for the fourth consecutive year, downing Nancy Gunter 6-3, 6-1.
Jimmy Connors won the $50,000 Quebec City Open by defeating Marty Riessen 6-1, 6-4, 6-7, 6-0 in the finals. Then Riessen and Connors combined their expertise but lost to BOB CARMICHAEL and FREW MCMILLAN 6-2, 7-6.
Ken Rosewall defeated Japan's Toshiro Sakai 6-2, 6-4 to win the $25,000 Osaka Open, first stop on the Asian pro tennis tour. TOM GORMAN and JEFF BOROWIAK beat Rosewall and Jun Kamiwazumi of Japan 6-4, 7-6 for the doubles.
MILEPOSTS—ANNOUNCED: A rematch of the memorable 1971 championship fight between JOE FRAZIER and MUHAMMAD ALI, to be staged in Madison Square Garden next Feb. 4 if a tax question can be resolved.
FIRED: Boston Red Sox Manager EDDIE KASKO, 42, after another second-place finish in the American League East. Kasko will be a scout for the organization next season. DARRELL JOHNSON, who piloted the Pawtucket Red Sox to a Junior World Series championship, replaces him.
RESIGNED: As manager of the Houston Astros, LEO DUROCHER, 67, ending a major league baseball career he began in 1925. In the past 33 years he managed the Brooklyn Dodgers, the N.Y. Giants and the Chicago Cubs before coming to Houston in 1972. He will be replaced by third-base coach PRESTON GOMEZ, 50, former pilot of the San Diego Padres.
DIED: French Formula I driver FRANCOIS CEVERT, 29, ranked No. 3 in the world, after his Tyrrell-Ford crashed into a barrier at Watkins Glen during a qualifying run for the U.S. Grand Prix, a race won the next day by Sweden's Ronnie Peterson (page 38).
DIED: PAAVO NURMI, 76, legendary distance runner of the '20s and '30s, of a blood clot in the heart, in Helsinki. Nicknamed "The Flying Finn," Nurmi held 26 world records and won nine Olympic gold medals in events ranging from the 1,500 to the 10,000 meters. Nurmi participated in the 1920, 1924 and 1928 Olympics but was banned from the 1932 Games on charges of professionalism.