PRO FOOTBALL—On Monday, Dallas fans crooned a derisive Happy Birthday to Washington quarterback Joe Theismann as the Cowboys gave the 36-year-old birthday boy a gift he didn't need: five interceptions and a 44-14 defeat that was the worst of his career. By Sunday, however, the tune had changed. Held scoreless through three quarters, Dallas lost 26-21 in Detroit while Washington was beating Houston 16-13. The Oilers showered Washington with gifts that were more to the Redskins' liking. Houston had three TDs and one 51-yard-pass play called back for infractions in the second half. Three of the week's most notable offensive performances were turned in by the Jets' Freeman McNeil, who scored twice and set a team rushing record of 192 yards in New York's 42-3 rout of Buffalo; Miami's Dan Marino, who passed for 329 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-13 victory over Indianapolis; and Denver's John Elway, who posted a career-high 353 yards passing during the Broncos' 34-23 win over New Orleans. Defensive kudos went to Chicago's middle linebacker Mike Singletary for registering three sacks and one pass interception as the Bears beat New England 20-7, and to Los Angeles linebackers Jim Collins and Mike Wilcher for a combined three sacks, one fumble recovery and an interception in the Rams' 17-6 win at Philadelphia. Elsewhere, Green Bay edged the New York Giants 23-20; Seattle bombed San Diego 49-35; Kansas City whipped the Los Angeles Raiders 36-20; Minnesota beat Tampa 31-16; San Francisco stopped Atlanta 35-16; and St. Louis squashed Cincinnati 41-27 as quarterback Neil Lomax threw for 250 yards and two scores (page 56).
GOLF—GREAT BRITAIN and EUROPE defeated the United States 16½-11½ in Sutton Coldfield, England for its first Ryder Cup victory in 28 years (page 44).
Jim Thorpe, with a final-round 70, beat Jack Nicklaus by three strokes in the Greater Milwaukee Open. Thorpe's 14-under-par 274 was worth $54,000 in this, his first tournament victory.
Joanne Carner won $30,000 with a nine-under-par 279 as she defeated Jan Stephenson by two strokes at the Safeco Classic in Kent, Wash.
September 22, 1985
HARNESS RACING—NIHILATOR ($2.20), William O'Donnell driving, eased to a seven-length victory over Discotheque in the $300,000 James B. Dancer Memorial at Garden State (N.J.) Park. The 3-year-old son of Niatross ran the one-mile race in 1:52[2/5] for his 12th victory in 13 outings so far this year.
HORSE RACING—CHIEFS CROWN ($23), the youngest in a nine-horse field, nipped Gate Dancer by a neck to earn $300,000 in the Marlboro Cup at Belmont. With Don MacBeth up, the 3-year-old colt covered the l½-mile distance in 2:01[1/5].
Oh so sharp ($2), with Steve Cauthen aboard, ran a 3:07.13 to beat Phardente by¾ length at the 1¾-mile, 127-yard St. Ledger race in Doncaster, England. The $136,590 victory made Cauthen the first jockey since 1970 to win four of England's five classic races in the same year.
MOTOR SPORTS—HARRY GANT, driving a Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS, averaged 120.538 mph around Dover Downs International Speedway's one-mile oval to win the $44,950 first prize at the Delaware 500. Darrell Waltrip, also in a Chevrolet, finished 28.8 seconds back for second place.
Ayrton Senna of Brazil, averaging 117.68 mph in his Lotus-Renault, beat Britain's Nigel Mansell, driving a Williams-Honda, by 28.422 seconds, to win the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps.
ROAD RACING—MARK CURP of Lees Summit, Mo. established a world best of 1:00:55 for 13.1 miles at the Eighth Annual Philadelphia Distance Run. With times of 1:00:57 and 1:01:03, respectively, second-and third-place finishers Mike Musyoki of Kenya and Nick Rose of Bristol, England also surpassed Paul Cummings's 1983 standard of 1:01:32.
TENNIS—IVAN LENDL stopped Brad Gilbert 6-4, 6-0 for the $20,000 first prize at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, West Germany.
MILEPOSTS—INDUCTED: Into the Hockey Hall of Fame, New York and Boston center JEAN RATELLE, 44; Boston goalie and coach GERRY CHEEVERS, 44; Montreal, Toronto and Chicago left wing BERT OLMSTEAD, 59; former Chicago coach RUDY PILOUS, 71; and JOHN MARIUCCI, 69, a Minnesota native who encouraged local high school programs and is assistant general manager of the Minnesota North Stars.
NAMED: As coach of the MISL's Pittsburgh Spirit, DON POPOVIC, 43, who won four championships with the New York Arrows (1979-82). Popovic most recently coached the now-defunct Las Vegas Americans.
RESIGNED: Kansas State football coach JIM DICKEY, 51, after two season-opening defeats and a 25-53-2 overall record dating back to 1978.
RETIRED: After a nine-year NFL career, most recently with the San Diego Chargers, running back CHUCK MUNCIE, 32. Muncie sat out most of the 1984 season after failing a Miami Dolphin drug test.
Spend a buck, 3, thoroughbred racing's second-richest horse with purses of $4.2 million, because of swelling in his right ankle.
SIGNED: By the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a six-year contract reportedly worth over $5 million, quarterback STEVE YOUNG, 23. Last year Young signed a highly publicized $40 million contract with the USFL's Los Angeles Express.
SURPASSED: By PETE ROSE, 44, Ty Cobb's 57-year-old major league career record of 4,191 hits (page 60).
SUSPENDED: For 42 days by the Men's International Professional Tennis Council, JIMMY CONNORS, 33. Over the past 12 months, Connors has acquired more than $7,500 in fines for his on-court behavior.
TRADED: By the Texas Rangers, pitcher DAVE STEWART, 28, for Philadelphia Phillies' pitcher RICK SURHOFF, 22.
By the Houston Astros to the New York Yankees, pitcher JOE NIEKRO, 40, for pitcher JIM DESHAIES, 25, and a player to be named later. Niekro now joins older brother Phil in Yankee pinstripes.
By the Oakland A's to the California Angels, pitcher DON SUTTON, 40, for two minor-leaguers to be named later.
By the New York Islanders to the Pittsburgh Penguins for future considerations, center DAVE SIMPSON, 23; by the Washington Capitals, center GLEN CURRIE, 27, to the Los Angeles Kings for left wing DARYL EVANS, 24.
DIED: ROD FUNSETH, 52, a 20-year PGA veteran who won four tour and two senior events; of cancer; in Napa, Calif.