CHESS—Grandmaster WALTER BROWNE of Berkeley, Calif. won his third straight U.S. championship when opponent Larry Christiansen of Riverside, Calif. conceded after 38 moves in the final round. Browne finished with nine of a possible 13 points, half a point ahead of Robert Byrne.
PRO FOOTBALL—It should have been a game of high excitement—two unbeaten teams battling for control of the AFC West. But Denver toyed with mighty Oakland, faking a field-goal attempt that turned into a 25-yard touchdown pass and intercepting seven Raider passes to give Ken Stabler the roughest day of his career. The 30-7 defeat prevented Oakland from tying the alltime NFL record of 18 victories in a row. Despite sloppy playing—only some of it caused by rain—Chicago got the week off to a fast start on Monday night, upsetting Los Angeles 24-23, but in Minnesota on Sunday it was another story. With 6:45 elapsed in sudden-death overtime, the Vikings lined up for a field goal, but Defensive Back Paul Krause surprised Chicago with an 11-yard scoring pass to Stu Voigt, Denver style, and the Vikings had a 22-16 victory and firm control of the NFC Central Division. With time running out in Houston, Cleveland also went into field-goal formation, but this one was for real, Don Cockroft coming through again to give the Browns a 24-23 victory and a share of the AFC Central lead. Field goals accounted for most of the scoring as Detroit (3-2) got the only touchdown in a 10-6 win over Green Bay. A 30-yard field goal by Neil O'Donoghue gave Buffalo its first win of the season and its first shutout in three years as it downed Atlanta 3-0 (page 78). Rushing for 138 yards in that game, O. J. Simpson became only the second player in NFL history to go over the 10,000-yard mark. Jim Brown was first, finishing with 12,312. Jim Hart managed to bounce back after last week's whiplash injury and directed three touchdown drives as the Cardinals won a much-needed victory over Philadelphia 21-17. Both teams are now 2-3. Baltimore hadn't lost a game, Kansas City hadn't won one. Both kept their records intact as the Colts took a 17-6 victory. Miami nearly blew an 18-point halftime lead but managed to hold off the Jets 21-17. Dallas solidified its hold on the NFC Eastern Division lead by beating Washington 34-16. Roger Staubach, who earlier in the week nursed a sore right shoulder, threw two touchdown passes, a 50-yarder to Golden Richards and a 59-yarder to Drew Pearson. In San Diego, Steve Grogan threw two touchdown passes to Tight End Don Hasselbeck, the second with just 3:09 left in the game, as New England edged the stubborn Chargers 24-20. Los Angeles, with Pat Ha-den passing for 180 yards, topped New Orleans 14-7, and Tampa Bay preserved its losing streak, falling to Seattle 30-23, Seahawk Quarterback Steve Myer tossing a team-record four touchdown passes. The Giants (2-3) defeated the still winless 49ers 22-17
GOLF—HALE IRWIN carded a final-round 67 for a 14-under-par 266 to win the $150,000 Texas Open at San Antonio, beating Miller Barber by two strokes. It was Irwin's third PGA tour victory of the year.
HARNESS RACING—JEAN-PAUL MOREL drove four winners at Saratoga Raceway on Thursday night to reach a total of 193, a record for most victories at a U.S. harness meeting. The previous mark of 190 was set in 1973 by Jimmy Allen, also at Saratoga.
October 23, 1977
HOCKEY—NHL: The season opened minus seven players. Two Flyers and one Bruin were suspended for a stick-swinging melee during an exhibition game and four others were benched for not staying on the bench during preseason play as the league made a mild attempt to stem violence. Defending champion Montreal was off to its usual flying start. The Canadiens graciously allowed Minnesota three goals in a 7-3 win, but that was it for the week as they blanked the Rangers 5-0. New York had won its opener 6-3 over Vancouver, Phil Esposito getting a goal and three assists, making it 740 assists for his career. Rogie Vachon stopped 24 Cleveland shots for his 42nd career shutout, as Los Angeles downed the Barons 2-0. The Kings later defeated Detroit 4-2. Philadelphia also won twice, racking up a total of 13 goals in a 5-1 rout of Chicago and an 8-2 romp over Pittsburgh, which had split its first two games, beating St. Louis 4-2 but losing to Washington 2-1. Boston tied Atlanta 2-2 but lost to the New York Islanders 3-1.
WHA: Streamlined to eight teams, the WHA opened its season with defending champion Quebec off to a shaky start, dropping two of its first three games, including a 5-2 loss to Winnipeg. Winnipeg's rookie center Kent Nilsson of Sweden scored two goals in that game, and the. Jets had 17 goals in their three straight wins (5-4 over Cincinnati and 7-3 over Edmonton). New England won its first two games, 5-2 over Birmingham and 3-0 over Houston.
HORSE RACING—The richest program in the history of American racing closed out a disappointing meeting at New York's Belmont Park. Only 23,795 people showed up, although more than half a million dollars was offered on the closing-day doubleheader. With Seattle Slew and Forego out of the picture, 18-to-l long-shot ON THE SLY ($38.20) shipped over from New Jersey's Meadowlands and, under Greg McCarron, captured the prestigious $346,800 Jockey Club Gold Cup. The 4-year-old mudder covered the muddy mile-and-a-half track in 2:28⅕ finishing 5¼ lengths in front of Great Contractor. In the lesser, but better, of the two events ALYDAR ($5.00), cunningly ridden by Jorge Velasquez, won the $134,000 Champagne Stakes for 2-year-olds, running the mile in 1:36[3/5] and crossing the wire 1¼ lengths ahead of Eclipse Award rival Affirmed (page 76). Earlier in the week Angel Cordero took CUM LAUDE LAURIE ($6.00) down the middle of the stretch, overtaking pacesetting What A Summer at the sixteenth pole and winning the $133,575 Beldame by three-quarters of a length. The 3-year-old filly's time for the 1-mile race over a good track was 2:01[4/5].
TENNIS—GUILLERMO VILAS defeated Eddie Dibbs 6-2, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 to take the $175,000 Aryamehr Cup in Tehran and then, saying a wrist injury had been aggravated, sat out the $100,000 Madrid Grand Prix, preserving his six-game winning streak. BJORN BORG won the Madrid, beating Jaime Fillol 6-3, 6-0, 6-7, 7-6.
In the $50,000 South Pacific Classic in Brisbane, Australia, VITAS GERULAITIS overpowered Tony Roche 6-7, 6-1, 6-1, 7-5 to win the men's singles title and then—just 20 minutes later—the doubles, he and BILLY SCANLON triumphing 7-6, 6-4 over Ken Rose-wall and Mai Anderson.
Chris Evert's legs were hurting, so she withdrew from the $75,000 Phoenix Classic. Billie Jean King's were feeling fine and she won it, 1-6, 6-1, 6-0 over Wendy Turnbull for her first singles victory since her knee operations.
MILEPOSTS—RELEASED: Detroit Piston Forward MARVIN BARNES, from the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute, after serving five months of a one-year sentence for probation violation (page 72).
SIGNED: By the Los Angeles Lakers, Center KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR for the remainder of his NBA career, at an estimated half million dollars a year.