PRO BASKETBALL—New York won four games in walkovers, the most impressive of which was a 127-93 wipeout of Washington. The Bullets, without the service of top scorer and rebounder Center Jeff Ruland, were outrebounded by the Knicks 62-26. Ruland had a sore left hand. Washington didn't need him two nights later, when the Bullets upset Philadelphia 103-98. Ricky Sobers led the winners with 29 points, and Rick Mahorn had a career-high 19 rebounds. The Atlantic Division-leading Sixers bounced back to beat Boston 121-114 in overtime. Milwaukee, atop the Central Division, ran its winning streak to five games and signed All-Star Guard Sidney Moncrief to a $6 million contract for a like number of years. Los Angeles maintained its Pacific Division lead, but more notable, San Diego Center Bill Walton played on consecutive nights for the first time in his five seasons with the Clippers. They still lost both games, 119-114 at Seattle and 117-115 to Utah. Later in the week, Walton broke the ring finger on his right hand and will be out two months. The Jazz won four games by five points or less. Still, Utah gained only half a game on Dallas, the Midwest Division leader, which ran its win string to eight (page 38).
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—In Division I-A action, Bo Jackson rushed for 256 yards, including TDs of 69 and 71 yards, to lead No. 3 Auburn over Alabama 23-20. No. 10 Florida walloped Florida State 53-14, No. 19 Air Force crushed San Diego State 38-17, and Oklahoma rallied to defeat Hawaii 21-17.
Augustana beat Union College 21-17 to win the NCAA Division III title in the Stagg Bowl in Kings Island, Ohio.
PRO FOOTBALL—Atlanta, winner of its previous two games on last-minute heroics, saved its big burst for the end again, scoring 21 fourth-quarter points. Unfortunately, the Falcons had spotted Washington a 34-0 lead. The Redskins' 37-21 triumph, coupled with Dallas' 35-10 shellacking of Seattle, proved the NFC East co-leaders were the only football people not looking forward to next week's showdown in Dallas. Miami had a glorious week. On Monday, Coach Don Shula signed a multiyear contract, ending speculation that he might jump to the USFL's New Jersey Generals. That night the Dolphins dominated Cincinnati 38-14. On Sunday, Tony Nathan's five-yard TD run capped a 24-17 comeback win over Houston that clinched the AFC East title. The Bengals bounced back to whip Pittsburgh 23-10. Cincy's Pete Johnson rushed for 126 yards and two TDs, and the Steelers committed five turnovers in their third straight loss. Cleveland had a chance to tie Pittsburgh at 9-5 for the AFC Central lead, but ran into Quarterback John Elway—remember him?—of Denver. He threw for 284 yards, including TD passes of 39 and 49 yards to fellow-rookie Clint Sampson, to lead the Broncos to a 27-6 win. Denver's slim chance of catching Los Angeles faded Thursday night when the Raiders, 11-3, clinched the AFC West title by routing San Diego 42-10. Philadelphia Quarterback Ron Jaworski threw a 29-yard TD pass to Tony Woodruff with 21 seconds left to play to upset the Los Angeles Rams 13-9. The 8-6 Rams thus fell into a tie for the NFC West lead with San Francisco, which trounced Tampa Bay 35-21. The 49ers rushed for 227 yards, only one week after Chicago had limited them to 41 yards. Green Bay held on to its slim playoff hopes by defeating Chicago 31-28 on Jan Stenerud's 19-yard field goal with :03 left in the game. Buffalo beat Kansas City 14-9; New England defeated New Orleans 7-0; the New York Jets edged Baltimore 10-6 and St. Louis beat the New York Giants 10-6. Sold-out Giants Stadium had 51,589 empty seats, an NFL record for no-shows.
December 12, 1983
HOCKEY—'Twas the night before Hanukkah, and New Jersey came up with a miracle of its own. The Devils, who had only four points in their first 22 games, beat Chicago 3-2 on Pat Verbeek's deflection of a Jan Ludvig shot with 9:28 left in the game. They then tied Washington 2-2 and shut out Detroit 6-0. Buffalo remained in the Adams Division lead by winning three games. The Sabres needed only 17 shots to defeat Montreal 5-2 and then beat the Canadiens again, 6-2. Minnesota threatened to blow apart the Norris Division race. The North Stars twice beat Pittsburgh 6-4, getting two goals from Left Wing Tom McCarthy in each game, and then won 6-2 at Boston before losing 6-4 on the Rangers' ice. Minnesota, 6-2-1 in its last nine road games, then built a six-point bulge over second-place Toronto. The Rangers' victory kept them in the Patrick Division lead by a point over the Islanders, who beat Smythe Division-leading Edmonton 4-2 at Northlands Coliseum (page 24).
HORSE RACING—FIGHTING FIT ($13.40), Eddie Delahoussaye up, won the $169,450 National Sprint Championship at Hollywood Park by 2½ lengths over Expressman. The 4-year-old ran the six furlongs in 1:09[3/5].
MARATHON—TOSHIHIKO SEKO won the Fukuoka (Japan) International in a time of 2:08:52, three seconds better than that of Tanzania's Juma Ikangaa (page 75).
INDOOR SOCCER—MISL: Cleveland held on to the lead in the East with a 5-4 victory over Memphis. Baltimore won twice at home, 7-1 over Kansas City and 7-4 over Buffalo. The Comets then beat Pittsburgh 6-5 to pull within half a game of Western Division-leading St. Louis, which lost 4-2 to previously winless Tacoma.
NASL: The Cosmos gained not only a comeback 4-3 win over San Diego but a star: Forward Stan Terlecki, last of the Golden Bay Earthquakes, who signed a one-year indoor-outdoor contract. The loss dropped the Sockers half a game behind first-place Chicago, which won 5-4 at Golden Bay. David Huson and Karl-Heinz Granitza each scored twice for the Sting.
MILEPOSTS—AWARDED: The Heisman Trophy, to Nebraska I-Back MIKE ROZIER, who gained 2,148 yards and set NCAA records with 29 rushing TDs in 1983 and a career average of 7.2 yards per carry.
HIRED: As football coach at LSU, BILL ARNSPARGER, 57, the defensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins. He replaced JERRY STOVALL, 42, who was fired after a 22-21-2 record over four seasons and a 4-7 mark in 1983.
MOVED: To Minneapolis, the NASL FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS, who will be known as the Minnesota Strikers. The team left south Florida because there was no arena suitable for big league indoor soccer. Beginning in 1984, the Strikers will play indoors at the Met Center and "outdoors" at the Metrodome.
NAMED: As LPGA Player of the Year, PATTY SHEEHAN, 27, who won four tournaments and $250,399.
PUT ON PROBATION: By the NCAA, the UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS football program, for two years effective Nov. 21, 1983, for what the NCAA termed "significant violations" from 1979 to '82. They included offering money and other benefits to recruits, providing them with more than one expense-paid visit to the school and giving employment to one high school athlete. The Jayhawks will be banned from TV appearances and a bowl game only for the 1984 season. The NCAA banned one unnamed former assistant coach from any involvement with the football program for three years.
SUSPENDED: For two games and fined $5,000 by the NBA, Denver Nuggets Coach DOUG MOE, 45, for ordering his team to stop playing defense for the last 1:12 of a 156-116 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 22.